Happy New Year! This time of year, many people are making resolutions about their personal lives, from resolving to eat better and go to the gym to deciding to budget and control their finances better. Your personal life does not have to be the only area you make resolutions for, however. If you are a landlord, you can make new year resolutions to kick old, bad habits and be a better landlord. Here are some suggestions to consider.
Always Have A Written Lease And Security Deposit
As a landlord, the lease is your most valuable tool. It should always be in writing, and you should thoroughly understand all of its elements. Verbal agreements often do not hold up in court, leaving your tenant with most or all of the power. If you have a solid, written lease, signed by both you and the tenant, you have security in most situations. You should also collect the security deposit either when the lease is signed or when the tenant applies. Don’t let people move in without obtaining the security deposit first.
Check-In With Tenants
Make a habit of checking in with your tenants at least quarterly to see if everything is going well. There may be issues that they are having that they do not feel are big enough to call about but do need resolving. Checking in reminds them that you care about more than the rent, and happy tenants are better tenants.
Respond To All Maintenance Requests Within 24 Hours
When a tenant does contact you about an issue, acknowledge it within 24 hours. This doesn’t mean that the problem has to be fixed at that time; some issues will be impossible to solve in 24 hours. It merely means that you respond to the tenant and let them know what you are doing to resolve the issue for them.
Streamline At Least One Process
The old adage, work smarter, not harder, applies to property management perfectly. If you are doing something less efficiently than you could be, streamline that process. This could be the way that you handle rent, applications, or anything else. Are you making more than one trip to the bank each month? Do you spend time finding misplaced paperwork? Streamline those processes.
Build Emergency Funds
Make this year the year you build your emergency fund. A reliable emergency fund has 3-6 months’ worth of expenses, including mortgage, for each property your own. If you have several properties, that is a significant amount to save, but it is worth it. When you have that savings, you don’t have to stress over unexpected maintenance issues or periods of vacancy. When they come up, you can handle them because you have the savings to do it.
Trust the Professionals at Clagett Enterprises for Your Realty Needs
If you’re looking for the perfect realtor for your property or a professional to assist you during your purchase of any home, you can rely on Clagett Enterprises. Clagett Enterprises is a full-service real estate company with almost 30 years of experience in the Frederick and Western Maryland area. For assistance with selling your home and getting the best possible price, contact us online or give us a call at 301-665-6009. To meet our team and see some of our beautiful homes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.