It doesn’t matter if you are managing one property or several, being a landlord requires careful planning and attention to detail. If you have a lackadaisical approach you will be setting yourself up to spend a lot of extra time and money resolving issues.
So here are a couple of things to keep in mind which may help smooth out the edges a little bit and make managing your investment property a more enjoyable experience.
- You can either use a standard application template or create your own. If you create your own make sure you leave enough space for multiple landlord contact details (or check the template.) You need to get more than just the applicant’s current landlord. You may find that the current landlord is doing everything in their power to help the tenants ‘move out’ and will say anything to speed the process. By getting your applicants to fill in more than one landlord (three is a good number) then you get a much better picture of what the tenant is like.
- Obvious but critical to the application process – ensure the prospective tenants fill in a detailed employment history. This pieces of advice should never, ever be over-looked!
- If you can, get permission from all those named on the application (who will be named in the lease) to undergo a tenant check. Again any additional information that you find will allow you to create a picture of the tenant. This will let you create a shortlist of ‘good choices’ and ‘rejects’.
- References are on the application form for a reason. It is vital you call each and every reference. Do not go on ‘gut instinct’, especially if you are new to the game. It’s easy to be impressed by someone when you only see them for 30 minutes. What you need is the big picture, that means background information.
Remember everything that you can do to find the best tenant is time well spent. The last thing you want to do is to really like a person, sign the agreement without any research and find out in two months time that they are lousy at paying the rent and treat your investment property like a dump.
What are your tips for a new landlord? Do you have a rock solid system you follow?