Are you thinking of renting out your Hampton Roads property? If you are, it can be one of the best decisions you can make. Rental property investing can provide you lucrative returns if you do it well. The following are some tips to help you become a great landlord!
Know Your Responsibilities
Being a Landlord can be a hard job. You’ll need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to it in order to reap the benefits. Some of the responsibilities that come along with being a landlord include the following:
- Staying on top of repairs and maintenance
- Collecting rent every month
- Enforcing the terms of the lease agreement
- Determining the optimum rent amount
- Evicting a tenant when it becomes necessary
- Abiding by all relevant landlord-tenant laws
Make Your Home Rent-ready
You may not be able to rent your home in its current condition, especially in a down market. Tenants are looking for specific accommodations and amenities when selecting rental properties.
To attract the right tenants, make sure that the property stands out from the competition and meets all federal and state habitability codes. You can do that by doing the following:
- Cleaning the rental unit before showings and move-ins
- Replacing dated appliances with new, energy efficient ones
- Sprucing up the curb appeal
- Making the required repairs and upgrades
- Providing additional storage areas
It’s important to understand what your target tenant demographic wants and needs before investing in changes. Doing so will save you money and help you attract your ideal renter.
Understand Your Legal Obligations
This touches on your responsibilities as a landlord. When your tenant signs the lease agreement, you’re required to do certain things by law. Such responsibilities include the following:
- Abiding by security deposit laws. Among other things, you must not charge your tenants any more than 2 months’ rent as a deposit.
- Treating your tenants fairly in accordance with the Fair Housing Act.
- Providing your tenant with a 24 hours advance notice prior to entering their rented units. The only exception is during emergencies.
- Providing your tenant with certain mandatory disclosures. For example, disclosures of lead-based paint and defective drywall.
- Evicting your tenant in accordance with the Virginia eviction laws.
- Abiding by the Virginia Habitability laws, and responding to maintenance issues within a 30 days period once notified.
Start the Marketing the Home
Once you understand your legal obligations and your property is rent-ready, start marketing it to prospects. Create a list of the most desirable aspects of the property and then create a rental ad that highlights these features and includes professional photos of the rental property.
Next, start the distribution process. Put the listing on popular real estate and rental listing sites and social media. You can also opt for traditional market methods like “for rent” signs and flyers on local bulletin boards. The more prospects the ad reaches, the better your chances are of landing the right tenant.
Alternatively, hire a reputable property management company to handle the marketing for you. They will have effective strategies and adhere to the Fair Housing laws at all times.
Screen Tenants Thoroughly
Be selective with the tenant you rent to minimize headaches down the line. The right tenant will enable you to maximize your rental income and enjoy your overall experience as a landlord. The opposite will be true with a difficult tenant.
This is why tenant screening is such an important aspect of property management. You should be able to create a foolproof tenant screening process that guarantees that you find a tenant with the following qualities:
- Pais rent on time
- Takes good care of your rental property
- Notifies you of maintenance issues on time
- Abides by the terms of the rental agreement
- Gets along well with neighbors or other tenants
- Have a good rental history
For you to land such a tenant, make sure your tenant screening process verifies tenants on the basis of their income level, credit rating, employment background, and rental history.
In addition to that, make sure to require qualified tenants to pay a security deposit. Please note that you can only ask a tenant for a maximum of two months’ rent as a deposit as per state law.
Hire a Property Management Company
For you to run a successful rental investment in Hampton Roads, you need to manage it professionally. However, you may have a hard time doing that if you don’t have the requisite experience or time.
Luckily for you, you can still reap the benefits of rental property investing by hiring a reputable property management company. If you’re just starting out, go for a full-service property management company. One that will provide you a full suite of property management services, including:
- Marketing your property extensively for maximum reach
- Screening tenants thoroughly
- Collecting rent month after month on your behalf
- Maintaining your property by inspecting it regularly and responding to issues promptly
Renting out a property can be a lucrative venture if you dedicate the necessary time and energy to it. If you have no prior experience as a landlord, it may be in your best interests to hire a professional property management company.
Keyrenter Property Management Hampton Roads provides quality property management services in Chesapeake and the surrounding areas. Get in touch to learn more!
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.