One of the hardest things about property ownership is how best to manage your tenants. And it something that you should not enter into lightly.
In our previous blog, we outlined all the potential pitfalls that might befall you, when it comes to tenants. So how do you navigate your way through this minefield?
Scroll through our checklist to discover the way to hassle free property management.
Always vet potential tenants fully, so you can have peace of mind about their character. Things you should look for are their occupation and salary, how long they have been in their current position, their previous residences, a credit check and of course references.
Sometimes landlords ask for a guarantor in addition to this – it might be worth using this for high risk tenants.
Most of the information you need can be found by using a rental application. This will allow you to discover their employment and rental history, credit, and criminal checks, as well is details about any vehicles and pets, amongst other things.
NB: It is vital you do not discriminate against potential tenants on the grounds of their sex, race, age, religion, or disability. For more information see The Americans with Disability Act and the Fair Housing Act.
When you lease your property, you are in a legal agreement with your tenant. So, what does this mean?
You need to check your local state regulations on rental leases. You should also be aware of your tenants’ rights and of your obligations as a landlord.
Believe us, it is better to be forearmed when it comes to matters of legality!
The Residential Lease Agreement
Your Residential Lease Agreement is the basis of your relationship with your tenants. It makes clear the expectations on both sides of the transaction. In addition to this it:
- Limits your liability as a landlord
- Clarifies all regulations, descriptions, and scenarios
- Helps minimize problems down the line
- Gives a clear record of the expectations of the tenancy
- Describes the eviction process
- Helps to protect your tenant
There are two kinds of lease terms. An automatic renewal or a fixed term.
An automatic renewal is a lease term which will keep going every year, or month, unless either side decides to quit.
A fixed term tenancy
This is as it says on the tin, a tenancy agreement where there is an expected and clearly defined expiry date. These may be a year, or six months from the start of the tenancy.
In brief there is a lot to get to grips with when it comes to managing your tenants – and this is just the start! Check out our next blog posts for more tips on managing tenancies.