Do you remember your first landlord? Most of us started out renting property. For many of us, its the first time away from home and our first landlord can make a big impression on us.
Whether they were nice or scary, whether they sorted out all of our problems and made sure we had somewhere nice to live, all of it made a difference to our first home-away-from-home.
If you’re a first time landlord here is what you need to know about renting out a house for the first time.
1. Make It Clear When The Rent Is Due Every Month and What the Penalties Are
Collecting rent payments can often go one of two ways. You can either be too lax stating when the rent is due which can make you a soft touch in the eyes of your landlords and might mean you never get rent payments on time.
Or you could be unfair and too strict. By not putting any leeway in the contract there might be genuine reasons why a tenant cannot pay you that month and they may just need a few extra days or a week to get the money in.
By demanding the money and starting proceedings against them you could cause unnecessary drama which could ruin your relationship.
Be clear in the contract when the rent payment is due but also be clear on what the grace period is and what the penalties are if the tenant has not paid at the end of the grace period. This is great landlord advice.
But also be clear that if the tenant speaks to you and informs you of the issues they are having in advance you might be able to make an exception.
2. Take Care of the Repairs
It’s much better for the landlord to take care of repairs and maintenance and to factor this into the rent or to simply send them the bill for it. Most people renting out a house for the first time don’t do this.
Simply expecting tenants to take care of the repairs themselves and to pay for it can only lead to disaster. They might call a cowboy plumber that could end up flooding the place when you want water submetering systems installed.
Equally if you ignore vital problems you are allowing tenants to live in unsafe and unfair conditions.
Remember most tenants know their rights.
The tenant does repairs might mean they do them in a way that you don’t agree with.
3. Inspect Regularly
Be sure to inspect regularly and be clear about when the dates for inspection will be. This way you can ensure everything is in working order and plan any repairs. You can also ensure they pay for any damages they incur.
If the tenant begins refusing entry this should set alarm bells ringing and might suggest to you that you should begin eviction proceedings.
First Time Landlord? Be Kind But Firm
Striking the balance between protecting your interests and having compassion for your tenants is the hardest thing about becoming a first time landlord.
You need to ensure that everything is written into the contract but you also need to be flexible and ensure your tenant talks to you if there are any problems.
If you are interested in reading more about real estate then be sure to check out the other articles on our site.