If you invest in property to rent it out, it is important, whether you manage that rental yourself or whether you have a rental agent, to follow certain guidelines so that your investment is a success and you don’t run into problems later.
Here are some tips put together.
SCREEN YOUR TENANTS PROPERLY.
Be sure to have a written rental application with supporting documents to get all of the prospective tenant’s information. Don’t rent to anyone before checking their affordability (payslips and three to six months’ bank statements), credit history, employment references, and previous landlord references. If this is not done properly, it often results in problems later.
GETTING THINGS IN WRITING.
Be sure to use a written lease agreement to document the important facts of your relationship with your tenants – including when and how you handle complaints and repair problems.
MAKE SURE IT IS A SECURED PREMISES.
Don’t let your tenants and property be easy marks for criminals. If the property needs security additions, take the necessary steps to protect it and your tenant. Proper lighting, trimming tree branches that hang over the wall or fence and decent security gates are often all that is needed.
PROVIDE NOTICE BEFORE INSPECTION.
While it is recommended that you inspect the property from time to time, your tenant’s privacy must be respected. Notify them whenever you plan to enter the units.
CHOOSE YOUR RENTAL AGENT CAREFULLY.
Do a thorough background check and clearly spell out the agent/manager’s duties to help prevent problems later. Remember, Decisions must be taken by the owner of the property and not the letting agent.
HAVING ADEQUATE BUILDING INSURANCE IS IMPORTANT.
Purchase enough liability and property insurance. You must protect yourself against possible losses to your rental property caused by anything from fire and storms to burglary and vandalism.
TRY TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH TENANTS WITHOUT LAWYERS OR LAWSUITS.
If you have a conflict with a tenant over rent, repairs, or some other issue that doesn’t immediately call for an eviction, meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If that doesn’t work, consider mediation by a neutral third party or lodge a complaint at the Rental Housing Tribunal.
A property is a big investment and you don’t want to end up in a situation where you lose money on the investment because you didn’t follow all the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. Prevention is better than cure,” says Bauer.