Becoming a landlord can be a rewarding financial experience—not to mention a fantastic investment for the future. Having your home filled with tenants creates a low-effort stream of income and allows your property to gradually increase in value until you need to release some capital.
While most of being a landlord is a positive experience, there are commitments and concerns to be considered, as with any endeavor. To help make your life easier, here are some tips for soon-to-be landlords to keep your property in the best condition and keep you and your tenants happy!
Insurance is a must-have if you are planning to rent out a property. There is a range of coverage types, such as buildings and contents, and some policies which cover both in one package. Landlord insurance protects you against incidents such as fire, theft, vandalism, and damage to your property.
It can also be a blessing if you have tenants refusing to pay rent or vacate the property after being evicted and can help with the cost of taking legal action. Your home is a precious investment, and so it is well worth taking the time to ensure it is adequately protected. It also makes life more comfortable in the event of a claim. For example, when your roof is damaged in storm season, it is far easier to make a single call to your insurance company than to work through all the roofing companies in Dallas!
Create an inventory
An inventory is essential to cover yourself before tenants move in. This involves making a detailed report of exactly what is included in the rental, as well as listing any damage or repairs which are outstanding. It is also a good idea to take pictures to document the condition of the property. These can be invaluable if your tenants suddenly ‘discover’ damage and hold you responsible. Ensure that everyone living in the property signs and receives a copy of this inventory to save yourself a headache down the line.
Vet your tenants
It is far easier to turn down a prospective tenant before they have signed anything than it is to evict them at a later date. Do your homework when it comes to selecting your tenants, and make sure you are totally happy before proceeding. Asking for references from previous landlords is always a good idea. Many property owners will also conduct social media searches before agreeing to a rental. If a prospective tenant is seen throwing wild parties every night, that may be an indication that they are not quite right for your home. Take the time to check tenants out, and everyone will be much happier.
Make everything official
You can’t be too formal when it comes to renting out your home. Make sure all tenancy agreements, rent agreements, and inventories are fully signed, and that the conditions of the rental are clearly laid out with a copy available for each tenant. Get all documents checked by a property lawyer before proceeding, and you can sleep easy knowing you are fully protected and covered.
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