“A Few Landlord Tips On House For Lease”
Need tips on managing your house for lease?
Renting out your house can be a good investment. But it could also be the source of many troubles… particularly if you’re not sure of what you’re doing.
Becoming a landlord requires an understanding of your responsibilities and your tenant’s rights. It also requires you to understand certain points of rental law.
It goes beyond the simplistic perception most have of being a landlord. Your responsibility as a landlord doesn’t only include looking after the premises — it’s beyond that.
That’s why I’ve collected several tips for managing a house on lease here. These can help you with your new venture as a house rental manager or owner.
It’s vital that you must take note of these landlord tips to help you succeed in your new business. Think of these as the fundamentals you need to know about when managing a house for lease.
What You Need to Know about a House for Lease
Having a house for lease isn’t just about renting your property and getting money out of it.
When you have a house for lease, you’re basically responsible for a lot of things like taking care of and maintaining the premises.
Besides that, you’re the one who has to ensure that the rules you’ve set in your lease are followed by the tenant.
Then, there’s the actual process of seeking out and choosing from prospective tenants.
Obviously, there are a lot of things involved in a business of this type. So to get you started on the basics, here are the things you need to know prior to having your house for lease.
Why Lease Your House?
Let’s start with the whole point of this business venture. There are many advantages of leasing your house.
By leasing your house, you basically get to convert a static asset into a profitable one. That’s assuming you’re leasing a house that wasn’t in use before, of course.
Having a house for lease enables you to retain possession of a property while getting a return on your original investment on it.
It’s an excellent way to supplement your income without having to liquidate assets. That may come in especially handy for those in need of added resources.
Pros & Cons of House for Lease
To be a successful landlord, you should know the benefits as well as drawbacks in store for you with this type of business.
Some of the drawbacks aren’t necessarily drawbacks for everybody, by the way. It depends on your situation — as well as your perspective.
One advantage in having a house for lease is that you can be the landlord (property owner) and at the same time the manager of the business.
That means all decisions about the leased property’s management are ultimately in your hands. Thus, for instance, you can also have the decision to keep the property to sell sooner or later.
Another advantage was mentioned earlier. You get a steady source of income, assuming you got a reliable renter to take on your house for lease.
That income can be used for a lot of things. If your property is in good condition and your renter is a reliable one, you won’t even have to invest too much in maintaining its source either.
Since you’re the owner and the landlord, managing the business may cost you a lot of time and can cause a bit of stress. That’s one of the disadvantages when you become the landlord.
Dealing with tenants and the maintenance of a property is something not everyone is able to dedicate time and energy to, after all.
You also have to be open to the possibility too that tenants may damage your property at any time.
And depending on the damage involved and the terms of your lease contract, these damage repairs can become added expenses for you.
Not only that, but there could be tax on gains if you later sell your house or property.
Know Landlord-Tenant Law
Most states have specific landlord-tenant provisions. If you’re leasing your house, it’s vital that you take into consideration the landlord-tenant laws in your area.
Most states have a landlord-tenant law that covers issues on security deposits, level of access, and how much notice you must give your tenants (for things like eviction, for instance).
There are laws you need to look into, such as habitability and anti-discrimination laws. It’s important for you to know that fair-housing liability traps can arise anytime in many ways.
To save yourself, it’s important that you understand the law and ensure that you aren’t breaking it.
That’s why most landlords actually involve lawyers when they create their house for lease contracts.
Lawyers who specialize in this area of law can go over contracts to ensure they abide by the local regulations.
Take note that it’s also possible to involve such professionals prior to the actual creation of the contracts.
This makes it possible for them to guide your hand from the beginning.
It may actually be wiser, in a sense. That’s because it prevents you from wasting effort on creating a contract that has to be revised if it turns out to be in violation of local laws.
Just make sure the lawyer you consult is an expert in rental laws in your state. Different states have different laws on this, after all.
Strictly Implement a Pay-On-Time Rule
If you want to succeed in your house for lease business, it’s important that you keep a strict pay-on-time rule with your renters.
You can ask for a partial payment sometimes, but it’s generally not advised. The moment you do it, it sets a precedent — and the tenant may try to do it again.
As much as possible, let tenants know that they have to pay the full payment on time. Not only does this ensure the terms of the contract are met, but it ensures you a steady income.
This is why many house for lease landlords impose a penalty for late rent payments. It’s your call whether or not you want to have such fines.
But keep in mind that they need to be made explicit in the contract you have with your tenant. Otherwise, you’ll be in violation of the law if you try to collect them for a late payment.
Being strict doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat tenants with respect, however. Having a good relationship with your tenants goes a long way.
Just make sure rents will be paid on time to make repair requests easier to deal with. You may want to explain that to the tenant of your house for lease too if he’s trying to postpone rent payment.
After all, if it’s for his own good, he may be likelier to make the payment on time.
Tenant Screening Must be Done
If you want to make sure that you’re renting your house for lease to the right tenant, then make sure a tenant screening is done.
Tenant screening is the process of looking over potential tenants and excluding those who aren’t likely to be good tenants.
It means looking for qualified, dependable tenants to be your house for lease renters.
Do a background and credit check on all potential and applying tenants. You should also conduct an interview to make sure you’re comfortable engaging with them.
Check references from their employers or past landlords. If a tenant has seen eviction in the past, he may not be an ideal person to rent to.
The same is true of potential tenants who have a sketchy employment history. If they seem to flit from job to job, they may not be good options.
That’s because you’re not sure how stable they are in their present jobs. What if they lose them or leave them and thus drop their main source of income?
They may not be able to pay the rent on time afterwards.
However, know that it’s hard to find the perfect tenant. A tenant screening might not give you the perfect one but it assures you that the most responsible tenants who applied are occupying your property.
You Can Customize the Lease
There will always be room for customization. Especially if there are rules and things you want to implement in your lease.
For example, if you allow pets you must specify how many, what kind, and any rules that you want to apply. You can also state rules on smoking and other vices.
Some landlords also impose limits on noise by including a clause for “quiet hours” in their house for lease contracts.
So, for instance, a tenant might be expected not to play loud music beyond 10 o’clock in the evening.
It’s also possible to state in a lease what your positions on subleasing are. In fact, it’s generally advised for those who have a house for lease.
Even if you’re only just stating that you don’t allow subleasing, it’s better to have it in the contract to ensure it’s clear from the start. That way, there’s never uncertainty over it.
See to it that all your rules and conditions will fit your situation as a landlord of your own house. Again, just make sure that your customizations are legal by consulting a lawyer.
Final Thoughts on Landlord Tips for a House for Lease
We talked about a few landlord tips on a house for lease.
Being landlord of your own property isn’t just sitting around collecting earnings each month.
It includes maintaining and checking your property from time to time.
That’s why if your thinking of having your house for lease, you will need to prepare yourself too. Prior to leasing your house make sure you do the following:
- Look at the pros and cons of a house for lease.
- Get knowledgeable about the landlord-tenant law.
- Properly implement the pay-on-time rule.
- Screen tenants.
- Customize the terms of your lease.
In summary, you want to make sure that as a property manager you meet all concerns in the place.
If there’s anything you need to know about a house for lease, leave it in the comment section below.
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