Being a first-time landlord can be challenging. From finding the right tenant and creating a lease agreement to collecting rents, there are a lot of moving parts to get right while making sure you follow the law correctly. This article explores some of the important tasks landlords need to do when leasing their apartments.
To get started, here are three valuable tips for first-time landlords:
In order to rent out your apartment, you need to know all the details about the premises and have everything written down. The information will come in handy when creating an advertisement, especially if you decide to use an agency. It will ensure that you comply with all legal requirements.
You will need to answer the following questions when compiling information on the apartment:
● For how long do you want to lease the apartment?
● Will the apartment be furnished?
● What are your terms and conditions for the lease? For example, is it pet-friendly? Are your tenants allowed to sublease? What are the requirements for a roommate?
● What is the rent and security deposit?
Property analysis is essential to ensure your prospective renters of safe housing. Make sure you have the documents to prove that everything is in working condition, including:
● A gas safety certificate
● An energy performance certificate
● Electrical safety certificates and fire safety checks
A landlord can get a tenant quickly when they price their apartment reasonably for the neighborhood. Since rent payments are the primary source of income for rentals, consider how the price will affect your financials. Important points to consider when determining the right price include:
● The location. Properties located in major cities and near essential services often demand higher rents. Properties near stores, transportation, and recreational facilities are more desirable.
● The apartment size. The square footage of your apartment significantly affects its value. You will need to consider the number of rooms when determining the rental price.
● The amenities. Rent will depend on the amenities at your apartment complex, such as furniture, appliances, a parking spot, and Wi-Fi. If there are high-end amenities, such as a gym or pool, that will also factor into the cost of the rent.
● Your costs: Your monthly costs as the landlord will also determine what the tenant should pay monthly. How much do you pay for insurance, mortgage, and taxes every month? What do you offer for free? What about management, utility costs, and emergency repairs?
You do not want to set rent so high that people cannot afford your unit. To ensure you are pricing your unit appropriately, you might want to explore housing websites and advertisements that offer apartments similar to yours.
Finding the right tenant is one of the most challenging things for a landlord. While you can do it on your own, an agency can be helpful and take the task off your hands. However, an agency will take a commission from the landlord and charge other fees for their administrative processes and lease agreements.
Most people search online for apartments. Therefore, creating an online listing is among the most effective ways to find a tenant. Online listings make it easy for people to learn what they want to know about your apartment.
An online listing will display the rent, address, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, utilities included, nearby attractions, and how close the apartment is to transit. To help the renter visualize the space, make sure you add clear photos of key areas of the house. There are various websites on which you can list your apartment.
A detailed rental listing highlighting your best features is an excellent way to attract high-quality tenants. However, you still need to implement a thorough tenant screening process to ensure you find a tenant who will pay rent on time and take great care of your apartment.
The Lease Agreement: Screening Rental Applications
To select a responsible renter, you should scrutinize each rental application you receive and do a background check. You want a tenant who can pay the security deposit and full rent every month, so they should possess a positive rental background.
Make sure you ask for the documentation that proves your tenant’s identity and income. Here are some of the important documents that every landlord should ask their tenant to ensure they are dealing with the right person:
● A copy of their ID. This may include a driver’s license, state identification card, a passport, or other documentation.
● The tenant’s last three pay stubs or a tax return. If the tenant is a student, you may accept their loan or scholarship information. You may also request their guarantor’s documents.
● Employment contract, if the person has a new job or does not have access to paystubs.
● If the tenant cannot provide an employment contract or pay stubs, they will need verification from their employer or guarantor.
● Tenant’s bank account information.
As the landlord, you also need to know if the person has a roommate. You will need details about the roommate for security purposes or if they are paying a portion of the rent.
It is important to ask for a security deposit equivalent to a few months’ rent or a guarantee. This will serve as security against unpaid rent, early departures, and any damage. They should provide the deposit as soon as they sign the lease.
Hiring a property manager can be a great investment if you want to avoid the headache involved in renting and maintaining your apartment. Finding a tenant, drawing up a lease, collecting rent payments, and resolving tenant issues can be overwhelming. An experienced manager can help you manage multiple properties, saving you the challenges that landlords face when self-managing their properties.
If you are a landlord looking for a reliable professional to manage your apartment, look no further than NYC Apartment Management. We handle all tenant issues, maintenance, and other future communications on your behalf. That means you will have time and peace of mind to handle other things in your life.