7 tips for first-time landlords

Buying your first rental property is a big achievement and the important first step to becoming a multi-property owner and full-time landlord.

Owning an extra property is a great investment, an easy way of earning extra income, and to extend your property portfolio.

Becoming a landlord comes with a lot of responsibility and it takes time to become accustomed to the role.

We have compiled a list of 7 top tips that can help you develop as a landlord and avoid regular mistakes.

1.Research

Most first-time landlords try to jump to conclusions or think they know more than they actually do. Researching is a fundamental process to help you familiarise yourself with the following:

  • The demand of your market 
  • How much you should be charging for rent
  • Whether your property is worth the investment
  • The appeal of the area: transport links, infrastructure, schools and hospitals

It is also important to research the finance options available to you to help you purchase your rental property. A number of bridging loans can help you purchase your next property quickly and efficiently. Learn more about property finance here.

2. Your property is a business

Being a landlord is a business. You will have legal obligations to follow and also to set.

Make sure that you are reasonable to your tenants, however, you must also set boundaries and expectations regarding rental payment or tenancy agreements.

Don’t struggle alone in a complicated situation.

You can always rely on or consult insurance companies, accountants and lawyers to advise you on the best way around a situation you are uncertain about.

It is also important that you set ‘office hours’ so that you can maintain professionalism as well as routine and boundaries.

3. Know your rental laws and rights

Being a successful landlord does not just mean making profit, but by building a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable property owner. Manage your property as effectively and efficiently as you can.

It will be helpful to know about:

  • Security deposit rules
  • Tenant notice laws
  • Inspection laws
  • Licenses
  • Online and secure rental payment options

4. Make your money effectively

If you own a commercial property, there are so many other ways that you can make money than raising the rent.

The value of your property may well increase over time, which will mean that you can increase rent.

However also consider other ways of generating income for your commercial property: rent out storage space or parking, add vending machines or coffee machines in common areas or rent out a billboard either on your property or nearby.

 Read more about being a commercial landlord.

5. Insurance

You are responsible for your tenants, but it is also vital that you protect yourself too.

Getting landlord insurance will help protect you from financial loss caused by natural disasters and accidents such as fires or burglaries. Learn more about insurance options for landlords.

6. A good landlord is also a good salesperson

Whether or not you want to rent the property as furnished or unfurnished, future tenants always prefer being able to envision your property as their future home.

Consider staging your property to maximise its homeliness and appeal, or offer a furnished rental option.

Ensure that the property smells fresh. Smells and odours are one of the first things potential tenants will notice about your property.

Learn more on how to sell and market your rental property to future tenants.

7. Be organised

  • Take pictures before and after tenancies to identify preexisting issues or new damage to your property
  • Save and record all information about your property: contracts, tenancies, events, inventories etc.
  • Make sure records are digital and physical
  • Hire an accountant to help keep your finances in check. More.
A guide for first-time landlords
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