Being a landlord comes with huge responsibilities. Taking care of tenants is often a tedious process that requires a heavy focus on communication and problem resolution. If you’re lucky enough to have ideal tenants, you probably won’t need to worry too much. However, most tenants will need some extra attention which will take more of your time and energy.
If you’re a landlord, you can’t ignore your responsibilities, but you can make your life easier using the following resources and tools.
Hire a property manager
Never underestimate the power of hiring a property manager to take care of your real estate investments. If you own rental property, handing over your landlord duties to a property manager is the smartest thing you can do. It will save you time and energy, making it possible to pursue other areas of your life.
Being a landlord is time-consuming because you have to juggle multiple priorities. Taking care of tenants is hard enough. You also need to take care of your physical properties to ensure they stay in good repair. A property manager will handle all of the following for you:
- Qualifying applicants
- Advertising vacancies
- Showing empty units
- Collecting security deposits and rent
- Move-in and move-out inspections
- Running repairs, maintenance, and cleaning
- Serving official notices like lease changes and evictions
- Fielding emergency calls from tenants
- Being available 24/7
- And more
Some property management companies will also take care of your financials, so you have one less administrative task to worry about. It all depends on who you hire and what they offer.
Hire a CPA to do your taxes
Preparing your tax returns seems like a great idea, especially when you have a good idea of what’s required from watching your tax pro do the job in previous years. There’s only one problem. Real estate taxes can get complicated if anything in your life changes, especially with investments and taking on more properties.
It’s easier to hire a CPA to prepare your tax returns than to figure out what you need to know to do your taxes when something has changed. If you do anything wrong and the IRS decides to audit you, then you’ll be even more inconvenienced.
With a CPA preparing your tax returns, you’ll know you’re in good hands. Some of them will even agree to represent you during an audit, so it’s worth considering.
Be strict about your standards.
One thing that can’t be stressed enough is to be strict about your standards. You can only do this by raising your standards and not making exceptions. You can only do this by increasing your means and not making exceptions. Your life will be much easier when you make it hard to accept the wrong tenants accidentally.
For example, if you require a credit score of 650 or higher, don’t accept people with low scores. If someone doesn’t have a score, that’s different. If they have good references, you can request a higher deposit or several months’ rent upfront. However, don’t make exceptions for anyone with bad credit or an eviction on their record.
Don’t make exceptions there if you require a certain income level. Maintaining strict standards will help you avoid choosing the wrong tenant. A lot of times, bad tenants come across as likable people. It’s not worth the risk.
Respond to requests right away
Whenever a tenant makes a request, respond right away. Even if you can’t act on their request immediately, at least communicate that you’re working on it and will get back to them. This will make them feel like they’re being taken care of already, making them less likely to feel like you’re ignoring them.
Even when something isn’t urgent, please don’t wait until you schedule the repair to tell your tenant you’ve received their repair request. Always make sure your tenants know you’re handling their demands, even if all you do is tell them you’ll call them back. Just make sure you call them back when you say you will.
Being a landlord doesn’t have to be hard.
Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Taking advantage of some of the tools listed in this article can alleviate some of the stress most landlords experience.
When you do that, your life as a landlord will be a bit easier.