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Nobody could keep a closer eye on her biggest asset than you will. And your commute will be unbeatably short. But being on the premises has decided drawbacks. To start with, you need to keep some emotional distance from your tenants. Become friends with them, and it can be difficult to resist their pleas to pay the rent late. And they may pressure you to let other rules slide. Meanwhile, your proximity can be a double-edged sword.

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Do you really want people knocking at your door at all hours to complain about minor problems? One way around this is simply not to tell anyone that you own the building. Use a property manager to run the place.

Assess your temperament

But it helps to know one. Becoming a landlord brings a plethora of legal issues and risks. So, if that scares you, you should find a good real estate attorney. And have her on speed dial. And the scariness will recede, as will your need to consult that lawyer. Twenty-one states have adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act as the basis for their local laws. If your rental property is in one of them, you may find it easier to research legal issues yourself online.

Although these federal laws establish a nationwide baseline, many states, cities and counties have other anti-discrimination legislation that applies to landlords. For example, at least 15 states bar discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Some legislation has loopholes for certain categories of landlord.

But why chance it? And a good tenant makes you the most money, regardless of his or her race, religion, sex, family status, sexual orientation or identification.

Restrictions on security deposits are mostly derived from state law. But your city, county or town may impose further regulation. But, in Wyoming, there are no state-level caps. If you operate in the segment of the market where your tenants have financially precarious lives, you may find such lateness a continuing headache. Many landlords recommend being strict about prompt payments. But you may find yourself in real trouble if you get a reputation as a pushover. Make sure your leases specify the date on which rent falls due. Chances are, when the due date is a weekend or legal holiday, it will be payable on the next business day.

Consider including penalties for late payments in your leases. Because they can provide you with leverage if a renter begins to give you continuing problems. Collecting overdue rent can be time consuming.

Most landlords start off with reminder phone calls and escalate to emails and letters. So keep a log of calls even unanswered ones and voicemail messages left, notes of conversations and copies of emails and letters. That provides the tenant with a fixed date in which the rent must be brought current or the premises vacated. Make it clear that you will apply to a court for an eviction order if that demand is not met.

How to be a Landlord

Eviction and debt collection can be legal minefields. So you may want an attorney to hold your hand, at least the first few times. Alternatively, you could research the local state, city, county or town laws that apply where your rental property is located. But smaller repairs and maintenance can be the subject of disputes.

However, you may still be subject to local laws. And your tenant might report you to the local building or housing agency unless you keep the home up to code. The last thing you want is for them to move for the sake of a lick of paint.

10 steps to becoming a landlord

In most states, a landlord is not generally entitled to enter a home without giving the tenant prior notice. Do so where a law forbids it, and your tenant could report you to the state agency that enforces fair housing laws. Get multiple quotes. The best landlords are usually either trained or instinctive marketers. All that means is they optimize the profitability of their products investment properties by methodically analyzing their options. So here are some extracts from Marketing Landlords can benefit by thinking about their rental properties in those terms.

And, unlike most professional product managers, they can select the products they want to market by carefully choosing the homes they buy. Marketing for tenants is more than signage.

Investment Properties

But, if you buy a rundown place in an up-and-coming neighborhood, you might want to invest in upgrades that will get you a better rent. And the more profitable your purchase may prove. After all, has anyone, on becoming a landlord, bought spots on TV stations to find renters for a single home? So you need to screen out prospective tenants who might fail to care for your property — or perhaps even actively vandalize it.

How to rent out your house

And you need to steer clear of those who might not pay their rent on time — or perhaps not at all. You need much more information. But how do you get that? Well, while no guarantee, past behavior is often the best indicator of future behavior. So do background checks.

Of course, if you have a property manager, that will be her job. But you might want to review the information she collects. Starting a property management company is a tough business, plain and simple. Buying rental property and becoming a landlord comes with a lot of stress and responsibilities, and all of these things can turn a well-meaning property owner into a jaded landlord. But creating a good connection with your tenants and marketing yourself as a great landlord has numerous benefits.

It will make working with your tenant on fixing repairs and showing the property to prospective new tenants at the end of a lease go smoother, and your tenants are more likely to renew — possibly even with a rent increase. Customize the Lease You can get a standard lease form at any office supply store. This will cover basic things like rent, security deposit costs and any legal tenant rights in your state. Use these basic documents as the framework for your own lease.

Add in any special rules you have for the property, such as a weight limit on pets. A clear cut lease will reduce friction between you and your tenant in the future. You can get a copy from the Department of Housing office in your area, or online at the Department of Housing website for your state.

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Get to know these laws well. Make those Repairs When a tenant calls with repairs, set up a time to come and inspect the damage. Tenants will respect you more if you let them know ahead of time when you plan to stop in, and many states require this notice legally. Once you inspect the damage, schedule the repair immediately. State laws handle property management maintenance differently.

How to rent a house and become a landlord | Trulia

Some states will allow a tenant to deduct the cost of repairs from his rent if you do not make them in a timely manner. Keep the Lines of Communication Open While you do not want your tenant harassing you at home or calling you at all hours of the day, you do not want to cut yourself off from your tenant completely. Tenants feel more at ease when they know how to get in touch with their landlord.

When a tenant moves in, give them your business number right away. Better yet, include an email address where the tenant can reach you. This will cut down on the amount of after-hours calls you get and help you keep a written record of communication between you and your tenant. While I knew he had the right to inspect the property, and I was happy to give him access anytime he asked, repeat visits before 7 AM and after 9 PM led me to not renew the lease at the end of the term and cut out.