Managing a rental property comes with responsibilities. While many individuals aspire to own rental property and embark on the path to purchase one or more, most find that they are ill equipped to actually manage it. They don’t know how to list the home for rent, how to screen a tenant, where to obtain a lease or how to effectively manage a property. Here are 5 tips for managing a rental property:
1. KNOW WHERE TO LIST FOR RENT. While we don’t advocate one site over another, it is true that much advertising these days for rental properties occurs online. Prospective tenants may use a search engine or go to their trusted site for finding a property to rent or even buy. Some online sites have become dominant over others. Advertising on sites that do not draw interest or traffic to your property will cost you time and as a result, money. So, finding trustworthy and popular sites is key to getting the prospects you need and as a result, timely rental period.
2. TENANT SCREENING. Once you have someone interested in your property from the advertising you do, what do you do next? Do you have an application you would like for them to complete? What parameters will you use to screen them? Will you want to run credit? If so, where would you go to do that? It’s best to ask yourself these questions ahead of time and prepare well and do your research to know exactly where you will turn to once you have a prospect. And don’t forget, fair housing laws apply! So be sure not to violate those.
3. GET A LEASE. If you search for a lease online, you’ll find plenty that have been posted. However, not all leases are created equal and some may be less than desirable, without having solid provisions to protect you as a landlord. Also, keep in mind that landlord – tenant law varies from one state to another. So, using a lease from one state may not work in another. Did you know? Nevada has specific requirements for leases – specific things that must be part of a lease! Curious as to what they are? They are found in Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 118A.200 at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-118A.html#NRS118ASec200
4. KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS. Developing a method to keep track of maintenance, expenses, income and more via, for example, a spreadsheet, will help you stay organized. You can track and see if the tenant has paid their share of utilities or maintenance. This way, when months pass, you have an easy and accurate reference tool to go back to. Be sure to keep copies of leases and other paperwork in a safe place, organized and easily accessible.
5. FOLLOW THE LAW. Real estate and property management is based on law and ethics. In Nevada, statutes are in place to protect both landlords and tenants and ensure a smooth transaction. Keep these handy and become familiar with them as many processes in the rental business are governed by them. NRS 118, 118A and 118B discuss landlord and tenant dwellings. Of course, keep in mind that additional regulations can also be imposed, such as is the case now during the COVID-19 pandemic, which must be followed. This includes fair housing laws and equal housing opportunity provisions against any and all discrimination.
Many landlords realize that managing a property can be overwhelming. That’s where licensed property managers step in. We help guide landlords everyday with their rental properties and make them a profitable and successful investment.