Our topic today is what every landlord should know in managing their own property. We are talking about the five most important things you need to consider.
Laws and Compliance
You have to be aware of current laws and codes pertaining to rental housing and the landlord tenant relationship. This means knowing all the federal, state and local laws. You also need to keep up with the changes in those laws. Make sure you’re using an up to date lease that is current with all laws.
Having the correct property insurance is critical. When you’re renting out property, you’ll need fire and extended coverage as well as liability insurance. If you have a homeowners insurance policy on the property, that’s not sufficient.
Landlords need to understand the IRS requirements. There are specific reporting requirements for the income and expenses that come with your rental property.
When you have a tenant apply to live in your property, it’s important to use professional screening. You’ll want to have criteria in place, and you will need to check an applicant’s credit, income and employment. You will also want to do a full criminal background check which includes the sexual predator list and the national terrorist watch list. Always check with current and previous landlords to find out what sort of tenant your applicant has been previously.
Determine how you plan to handle maintenance issues at your rental property. Landlords need a plan for how repairs will be taken care of, and who will be responsible for preventative maintenance as well as emergencies. If you hire an independent contractor, make sure it’s someone who is licensed and insured, with workman’s compensation insurance.
Bear these things in mind when you are managing your own property, and if you’d like to consider professional management, please contact us at Boardwalk Real Property Management. We’d be happy to answer any of your questions.