As a landlord or property owner, there are a number of responsibilities that you need to tend to. Whether it be a semi-detached house, studio flat, or bungalow, managing a rental property requires a lot of serious work. Some tasks are easy enough to do but are often tedious, and they have to be done on a regular basis. Other tasks require more time and effort on your part.
To make everything more manageable, it helps to divide these tasks into three big categories:
Maintenance work and clearance
The property must first be comfortable and safe for occupants. There are several ways to go about this.
The common areas must be kept clean at all times. Rubbish should be disposed of regularly. Barring any delays in bill payments, running water and electricity should be accessible throughout. During winter, sufficient heating solutions should be available.
Repairs must be made on any part of the property that is faulty or damaged, whether it be windows, doorknobs, cabinets, cupboards, or roofing.
In addition, there are government regulations pertaining to gas safety, electrical inspections, and plumbing work—to name a few—that property owners must comply with. For instance, owners are required to ensure that faulty and outdated electrical installations undergo remedial work.
If you acquire property insurance, the insurance company will usually pay a visit to verify the financial worth of the property. Then you’ll have to secure other requirements pertaining to the insurance policy you have taken out.
Planning out how your revenue sources can meet operational costs is the next important step. It’s crucial to get a good grasp of your finances to make sure that you can earn a profit while paying the bills.
Rent payments must be priced and structured in a way that ensures a steady monthly income. To do so, find out how much you need to pay for property taxes, insurance, and utilities.
Property owners often transfer the responsibility of paying for water, gas and electricity bills to tenants. Depending on your financial situation, this may be a good option to consider. Then figure out how much you need to spend on routine maintenance work or emergency repairs. Determine the cases in which the tenant pays for damages on any part of the property.
To be a successful property owner, you must develop efficient systems that can help manage tenants. Aside from rent collection on a weekly or monthly basis, there are other areas that you need to carefully consider:
- Draw up lease agreements with accurate information. Writing agreements that have varying information across your own and your tenants’ versions can leave parties confused. Review references to legal terms and concepts with the help of experts. Any errors or inconsistencies may compromise your ability to enforce certain actions such as repair requests and security deposits.
- Advertise vacancies and screen tenants. This is an important part of the process that ensures that your property is attracting people. You must create material, such as flyers and social media posts, that will inform potential tenants of the benefits of staying in your rental property. Additionally, you must set up a screening process that can find tenants who are a good fit and keep out those who will only cause problems.
- Create a complaint system. The goal of setting up a complaint system is to ensure that tenants can send their feedback and suggestions properly. Conflicts or heated arguments will be less likely if you can find a way to resolve issues effectively.
The three key areas mentioned above encompass several responsibilities that may prove too much for any one person to handle. Many landlords and owners often hire the services of property managers. There’s no shame in delegating some tasks and duties to professionals. If it helps you manage your property better, then that is the outcome that matters.