• July 29th, 2016 - 
  • Posted by gordonw_CLD

Things to Know Before Becoming a Landlord

In an ideal world, we’d all have perfect tenants, no breakages or repair costs and no lengthy paperwork. However, unfortunately being landlord isn’t always straightforward and there are a number of potential pitfalls to avoid.

From making sure your insurance cover is sufficient to being ready to respond to an evening call when something is broken; here are some of the factors that you will need to consider before starting your life as a landlord.

What Landlords have to consider

Do your homework

Before you even think about becoming a landlord, make sure you know everything there is to know. Read books and articles, explore the legalities and the pros and cons. Where possible, also try to get real-life advice from landlords past and present to find out if it will fit with your lifestyle and bring you the income you expect.

Not your average job schedule

Being a landlord certainly isn’t a 9 to 5 job and each day can bring new challenges. Depending on the number properties you are responsible for, you could find your duties taking up a lot of your time. Hours can also be erratic; some days you might work for a couple of hours and others you could be working nonstop or late into the evening.

You may also go to a property to fix a small problem, to then be greeted with a whole host of other issues that need to be resolved.

A landlord is never just a landlord

You may believe that your job title is “landlord” but in reality you are likely to wear a number of ‘different hats’. These may include the following:

  • Realtor
  • Salesperson
  • Detective
  • Negotiator
  • Debt Collector
  • Repairman/Handyman
  • And many more

The legality of being a landlord

There are a number of legalities that you will need to adhere to when becoming a landlord. These laws include questions you are not allowed to ask prospective tenants in interviews, as well as how you should handle your tenant’s security deposit. If you want to evict a tenant there are set legal channels you must follow.

Ignore these rules and you may find legal action being taken out against you.

Tricky tenants

Whilst there are plenty of respectful tenants out there, most landlords will have to deal with difficult tenants at some stage of their experience. Being well versed on legalities and ensuring you have proper contracts and insurance in place leaves you in a much stronger position to face these.

Rent will never be the same each month

By this we don’t mean tenants won’t pay the amount agreed (although sometimes this might be the case), we simply mean that each month your expenses for the property will fluctuate. Some months you might not need to get any repair work done, and in others a number of things may break, so try to budget for those unexpected bills.

Experience is key

At the end of the day, there is only so much ‘landlord’ theory you can learn, the rest will come from practical experience.

It’s impossible to become an expert landlord over night, it will of course take time and work. However, with commitment it is perfectly possible to make a success of your landlord business.

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