Being a successful landlord doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult. You get a few good tenants, make sure repairs are done in a timely manner and collect your rents. In fact, tenants are not always great and rents might not cover unexpected expenses. An overloaded landlord is often the result.

Screen Applicants Thoroughly

When screening your applicants, make sure your tenant has enough money to pay rent each month. You don’t want a tenant who will struggle to pay. The tenant’s income should be approximately 3 times the monthly rent. Don’t ignore credit and background checks. You’ll weed out non-payers with background checks. Referrals from previous landlords is a great way to learn what kind of tenant the applicant would be. Make sure to follow Fair Housing Laws too.

Happy Tenants are Cheaper than New Tenants

It costs you when you have an empty apartment. You’re looking at the loss of the rental income as well as the costs of advertising for a new tenant, screening all the applicants and finally getting them in the unit. Instead, make sure you’re treating your current tenants with respect. Jump on repairs quickly, and keep the property in fantastic shape. It’ll help you retain good tenants.

Reward the Good Tenants

It only takes a few dollars to reward good tenants for paying on time or making advance rental payments. It depends on the tenant, but if you have one who makes frequent, timely payments, consider a reward of movie tickets or vouchers at a local restaurant. It’s a great incentive for tenants and has the added bonus of filling your bank account early.

Documents and Organization

It’s vital that you have everything in writing. It clears up any misunderstandings later. From repairs to leases to changes in rental amounts, everything should be written down with the tenant’s signature if possible. Make sure your filing system makes sense and everything is in its place.

Have a Late Policy

If the reward system doesn’t seem to be working, the late payment policy will certainly do the trick. When tenants are penalized for late payments, they’ll often make sure that they’re making their payments in a more timely manner. As an added bonus, you’ll have extra money for your trouble.

Air-Tight Lease

To ensure you have a good lease that has the right terms and conditions, you should hire an attorney. It’s a one-time fee that will give you peace of mind in case of issues with a future tenant. The legal problems can cost a lot more than that one payment to a lawyer.

The Right Insurance

Whether it’s to protect against liability, disasters or theft, you’ll want to check your requirements in the state. While you should have basic insurance, you might consider more comprehensive coverage. It’ll cost more each month, but if you need it, it’ll be invaluable.

Property Management

Hiring a property management company might be the best investment you can make as a landlord. For a fee, they can deal with tenants, fill your empty units and hire someone to make timely repairs. It’s especially helpful for landlords who have more than one unit.