New investors are often excited about their first Charleston rental property, but also a little nervous. There’s a lot to prepare for, and we know that it can seem a bit overwhelming.
You’ll have to take care of all the financials and financing as well as inspections and insurance. Once all of that is checked off the list and you’re ready to become a landlord, there are three essential things that you need to know. If you can get a grip on these items, everything else will fall into place, and you’ll have a successful investment experience.
Place High Quality Tenants
The tenant you place will make or break your rental experience. If you allow a bad tenant to rent your home, you’ll find yourself spending more time and money than you want to trying to collect rent, enforce the lease, and protect your investment property. A great tenant, however, will pay on time, communicate well, and help you take care of your home.
You need an application that’s compliant with all state and federal fair housing laws. Be careful when you’re screening; you have to screen every application consistently, and you need to be protective of your applicants’ data and financial information. When you’re screening, check these important things:
- Nationwide eviction and criminal check
- Employment and income verification
- Credit check
- Rental history check
Many investors and landlords neglect to talk to former landlords, but this is important. You can ask if rent was paid on time, if there was any property damage left behind, and if that landlord would rent to the tenant again.
Respond Promptly to Rental Property Maintenance Issues
Responding to emergency maintenance is a no-brainer. When a tenant calls because there’s a flood or a fire or a tree that’s crashed through a window, you know that you have to respond immediately with a team of vendors.
Routine maintenance should inspire the same sense of urgency. Taking care of even minor issues right away will make your tenants feel valued and important. This contributes to excellent tenant retention, which saves you money on turnovers and vacancies. Preventative maintenance also protects the condition of your home and allows its value to increase reliably. Don’t put off maintenance work, and always hire licensed and insured vendors and contractors.
Work with a Professional Charleston Property Management Company
Every investor can earn more and spend less with the benefit of professional property management. For new investors, working with a team of professionals is even more critical. You’ll be protected from liability and expensive legal mistakes. You won’t have to worry about fair housing, long vacancy periods, or incorrect rental values. A professional property manager can help you market your property strategically, choose a great tenant, and facilitate a smooth leasing and move-in process. You can benefit from online rent collection, recurring accounting statements, and an up-to-date understanding of all landlord and tenant laws.
We would love to share some additional real estate investing tips with you. Please contact us at Charleston Home Rentals.