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10 Secrets to Managing Your Rental Property Without Losing Your Shirt or Your Cool
I am a real estate agent currently living in St. George, Utah. I have successfully managed rental property in Denver, Phoenix and now St. George.
My tenants almost always pay their rent early. They are usually easy to deal with and often return the property to me in better condition than when they moved in.
I have achieved this success by following a system that I have created from the multitude of property management books I have read or from my experiences with tenants.
Try these rules when renting out your rental property next time. I think you will enjoy the success I have experienced.
1. Use your rental property showings as the first line of defense against bad renters. Save time by only showing your rentals three times per week.
Schedule all the potential renters to show up at the same time. Make the time you are at the property very short. For example tell them, "I will be at the property from 5:00 to 5:15 on Tuesday." Some people will show up late. Eliminate them. If they can't be at a simple appointment on time, how do you know they will pay their rent on time?
2. Have a list of the qualifications you are looking for in a renter.
Include job history qualifications, income needed, credit history etc. Make sure each potential renter receives a copy of this list when they fill out the rental application. By providing this list you can reduce the possibility of someone accusing you of discrimination.
3. The filled out rental application is the next step to separating the good renters from the bad. After the renters have filled out the application look it over. Is the writing legible? Are all blanks filled in? Did they include the application fee? If the answer is no to any of these questions, consider moving on to the next prospective renter.
4. Always do credit and eviction checks on your potential tenants. These checks are cheap and easy to do. You can use an online landlord credit check company. You can usually tell by the renter's credit history, how difficult it is going to be to have them as tenants.
5. Your rental application should have a space for the last two landlords contact info. Contact both. The most important contact is the landlord before the current one. That landlord will tell you everything you need to know about the renter.
6. Give yourself plenty of time to collect rental applications. Aim to get at least 10 applications. This will give you enough potential renters to find one that you will be comfortable renting to. This will also eliminate the overly anxious renter who might be desperate to rent from you because they were just evicted from their last place.
7. Give your tenant an "on-time rent rebate". I have consistently received my rents early due to this concept. If the renter pays on time I mail them a check for to 0. This also puts the rent you can advertise lower than the similar units. Lower rents equals more potential renters to chose from.
More potential renters to choose from will give you a better chance of finding a good quality renter.
8. Most rental books suggest that you go to the renter's current home to see what it looks like. Your rental will look like their current home after they move in. You may not need to go to that much trouble. If they have driven their own car, go out with the renter to their car to write down their vehicle information, I.E. make, model, license plate number and VIN number.
While doing this check the inside of the car. If it is fairly clean, great!
If it's a pigsty, expect your rental property to look like the inside of their car after you have rented to them.
9. Do a "Dinner Date Check" on the potential renters. Would you feel comfortable going out to dinner with them? If not, you probably shouldn't rent to them. I try to rent to people who have personalities similar to mine. Also, do a "Rent Collection" check on them. Would you be afraid of them if you had stand face to face with them and demand your rent? If so, don't rent to them.
10. Suppose a deadbeat renter managed to slip by your radar and is now living in your property "rent-free". Instead of evicting them, consider what the banks do to get rid of "unwanted guests" living in the foreclosed properties that they have gotten back. Get a handle on your pride and offer them "cash-for-keys." "Cash-for-keys" is a concept where you offer the renter a lump sum payment of cash if they move out of the property quickly.
For example, I have offered 0 to 00 for an occupant to move out within 10 days. If they accept, I get to inspect the property right. They have to return the property to me in the same condition as it is in currently. They also have to have all of their belongings and trash removed from the property before they get the check from me. I have the locksmith meet me at the property at the time I give the deadbeats their check. The locksmith changes the locks and secures the property while I meet with the tenant.
Using cash-for-keys vs. eviction will save you money in lost rent and damage to the property.
I have found that most new investors failed to take some simple steps to protect themselves from renting to poor quality tenants. Taking few simple steps before renting your property will save you headaches, heartache and pocketbook ache.
About the Author: www.propertyconceptonline.com provides readers with the latest reviews, articles, commentaries and write-ups on Rental Property, property management, rental books related subjects.