relaxThere are often misconceptions when a person buys up a property with the intent to rent it out. Sometimes they may believe that all they have to do is buy it, rent it out, and kick back. It's a nice theory, but being a landlord is a job, not a hobby. While it's considered 'passive income' it's anything but passive if you're both landlord and property manager. You're responsible for everything that happens.

Is the property vacant? You need to market it. Has the tenant sent in their rent yet? No? It's time to get on that. A tenant called in a panic at 1AM because her kitchen is flooded due to a busted pipe? Yep. You got it. It's your responsibility.

A landlord is expected to keep a property in living conditions. In other words, a tenant must be able to reside there safely without fear of injury or sickness. Regular inspections help provide you with a chance to catch things before they fall too out of control. Your tenant's sink may have had some indication that something was wrong, but if they're quiet and hardly complain they might not be as inclined to pick up to phone and call you. Make yourself available. That doesn't mean that they should to feel the need about a constant drip from the sink at 1AM, of course, but there are emergencies and catching them before they become one fully is always the best option if you can manage it.

When you choose to become a landlord, make sure you understand what your responsibilities are as a property owner and manager. Know what it means to keep the home habitable and research the best ways to take care of your tenants so that the good ones will stay longer and you'll have less of a turnover expense that will eat at your profit. Landlords have been stereotyped in many cases, but if you focus on being the best landlord you can to your tenant and providing for them what you said you would when you both sign the lease then your business will run smoother.

POSTED March 13 2014 11:27 AM

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