Things Landlords Should Be Doing but Probably Aren’t
With multiple tasks to attend to, landlords may forget to take time to evaluate what tasks streamline their rental business operation. Upon deeper analysis, they may also find ways to cut costs.
Here are some tips to remind landlords what they should focus on:
Attend to Lease Renewals
As a landlord, you should record the end of tenancy date so you can provide your renters with lease renewal contracts 90 days before the lease rental period terminates. Otherwise, you can end up with a month-to-month rental arrangement without a lease agreement stating a term period.
It’s recommended to forward a lease renewal by email or send a letter with attached renewal documents around three months before the lease expires. You can also choose to meet the tenant in person to discuss new policies, rental price adjustments, and other changes to the leasing terms and conditions.
Remain Updated with the Current Rental Market Demand
While it’s convenient to set a rental price once and forget about it, you’ll often need to research the rental market conditions to get a feel for the market.
There may be drastic changes to the infrastructure and business climate in your city and neighborhood. You may encounter a strong market demand or vice-versa.
While investing in real estate is better than investing in stock, you need to ensure your rental fees match the present economic conditions since this can affect the returns you get from the business.
If your rental rate is too high, you end up sacrificing potential renters since fewer people would be interested in renting your unit. If you set the rate too low, you also lose the opportunity to earn better ROI.
Assess the right rental fees by reviewing the local rental rates in your neighborhood and reaching out to property management companies to take advantage of a free rental price analysis. Evaluate data from your competition offering the same amenities and property types.
Most landlords want to avoid increasing the rental rate yearly, since they don’t want to receive tenant complaints. However, if the costs of operating the rental have changed, such as insurance fees, it’s acceptable to raise the rent by roughly 5%, depending on your fixed and variable operating costs.
Remain Vigilant about Water Leaks
It’s common knowledge that water leaks can end up wiping out your budget for repairs. You may also deal with higher utility costs, so it’s vital to trace hidden water leaks. Further, water damage can ruin flooring, ceilings, and walls, which can lead to hefty maintenance expenses.
Landlords should strive to be consistent with property inspections and adopt a preventive maintenance mindset. It’s advisable to engage the services of plumbers if you suspect leaks around the unit to avoid being hit by huge fees later on.
Where to look for hidden leaks:
- Water heater and humidifiers
- Washing machines and dishwashers
- Showers and base of tubs
- Cabinets under the kitchen
Schedule Cleaning of Gutters
You should periodically clear your gutters from fallen leaves and dirt, especially after a storm or on windy days. You can also opt to hire an expert to clean the gutter for you. The purpose of cleaning gutters is to ensure that the water can flow in the right direction. Otherwise, it can result in leaks and water pooling, which can also impact the property foundation.
You also want to avoid flooding which can wreck your furnishings, should you decide to rent your property furnished. If the task of handling the property’s exterior is not delegated to the tenants, as per the lease agreement, then the landlord is in charge of ensuring the habitability of the unit.
Test the Rental Keys in Your Possession
While you may assume that the keys you hold can unlock the rental property, you want to avoid being the last to learn that the tenant has changed the locks. As a landlord, it’s crucial to keep a copy of the right keys so you can readily enter the property when you need to perform inspections or in case of emergency.
You don’t want to delay access during emergencies, and end up dealing with a lot of property damage. It can also cost you more time to contact the renter when they’re away, just to unlock the doors and permit hired contractors to fix property issues.
Ask For Updated Contact Information from Your Renters
Phone numbers can easily change. As such, landlords should check with their renters from time to time if there are any alterations to the contact information provided. Leasing term periods can last one to two years, and changes are expected.
You can be proactive during renewal options and require renters to complete an update form for contact information. The information update should not be confined to phone numbers only, but should also include email addresses and emergency contact information.
Be Grateful for Your Tenants
Show appreciation to your tenants from time to time, especially long-term tenants. You owe the success of your rental business to them. You don’t have to splurge to do this, simple things can make tenants happy and inspire them to be long-term residents.
Here are ways you can show gratitude:
- Greet them on holidays
- Send cards or personally call them
- Give a small and thoughtful gift on their move-in day
- Be responsive and available
Landlords are in charge of delivering a positive rental experience to their renters. By keeping the rental property well-maintained, you’re sending out the message that you’re taking care of the unit and the renters. This can help minimize vacancies, which can be costly in the long run.
Taking on some of the tasks cited above can be time-consuming. You can consider hiring a trusted property management company to help you deliver excellent property maintenance, set the right rent, handle tenant concerns, attend to lease renewal, and more.
If you’re seeking a committed property manager, contact Get MULTIfamily Property Management today!