Landlord Basics 101

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing rental property for the first time. What location should I choose? Should I choose a house that needs minor repairs? How do I put my home on the rental market? These are all important questions to answer, but it’s important not to overlook some essential details. To ensure you cover all areas of your new venture, our experienced property managers in Tampa have put together a few tips to get you ready for success.

1. DETERMINE WHAT TO CHARGE FOR RENT

After you purchase a rental property, one of the first steps before seeking out tenants is determining what rental rate will be appropriate based on your location and property type. Your mortgage will determine what the minimum rent will be, but to gauge what other landlords in the area are charging for rent look at online ads, the local newspaper, or speak with a Tampa property manager who is knowledgeable of the local housing market.

2. SEEK OUT QUALITY TENANTS

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be shocked how many property owners get duped by nightmare tenants. From property damage to free loading, choosing the wrong people to live in your home can cost you in the long run. Keep your standards high and be sure to conduct a thorough background check before handing over the keys to your property.

3. CREATE A DETAILED LEASE AGREEMENT

Beyond choosing the right tenants, creating a detailed lease agreement is one of the most important components of protecting your investment. This is an investment you have worked for and have a right to protect, so when it comes to lease agreements leave nothing to chance or misinterpretation. The expectations laid out within this contract will be your protection if something goes wrong and will be evidence that can be brought before a judge if litigation becomes necessary down the line.

4. PURCHASE RENTAL PROPERTY INSURANCE

Want to avoid financial setbacks stemming from home repairs caused from intentional or unintentional damage to your property? If your answer is yes, invest in rental property insurance. Rental insurance is not the same as homeowners insurance, so keep that in mind when choosing a policy. A suitable policy should protect your home’s structure, cover personal liability, medical expenses, and provide reimbursements for periods without tenants.

5. CONSIDER THE ADVANTAGES OF A MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Chances are tending to your tenants and property maintenance is not something you will have time to deal with on a day to day basis. Even if you do have the time to answer the calls, you may not have the resources to deal with tenant issues quickly and efficiently. This is where hiring a Tampa property manager can be largely beneficial. Property managers are able to tend to property repairs, ensure rent is collected, and help with background checks and the formation of your lease when bringing on new tenants. While it might not be right for everyone, it is worth taking time to consider the advantages of managing the property yourself versus hiring a professional to take on this role.

Since 1981, our property managers in Tampa have had the pleasure of assisting landlords in managing their investment properties and their tenants.

Request a proposal today, or call us at (813) 968-5665 to learn more about our property management services.

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