4 Foolproof Tips For New Landlords


Being a first-time landlord can be challenging at times. Not only do you have to manage tenants, but there are financial implications that can get dicey. There are also other issues to recognize including maintenance, adhering to legal obligations and being accessible to tenants should they need to reach you.

Here are 4 tips to help you succeed as you begin your landlord journey.

1. Keep the Tenant Relationship a Business One

Set boundaries early on and keep the relationship you have with your tenant strictly professional. Don’t veer in the direction of a friendship beyond common courtesy. Don’t make the mistake of fostering a friendship which may sway your emotions should an issue arise. For example, if your tenant is experiencing financial hardship, they may lean on your emotions if you are friends. Of course it’s human to be sympathetic, but if you have a business mindset you are more likely not to let your emotions take over. 

Your business is being a landlord, so you should treat your tenants accordingly. You can offer a 2-week grace period or not charge late fees for a month or two, but if you are friends with your tenant they may expect more than that.

Having a business relationship with your tenants will keep your decision-making objective.

2. Develop a Circle of Professionals

It can take a supportive circle of professionals to help you succeed as a new landlord. Having advisors like a lawyer, accountant, and insurance agent on board is a good start. You can find reliable and competent professionals by asking your friends and family. Beyond these professionals, it’s important to build alliances with contractors, cleaners, locksmiths, handypersons, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and emergency clean-up specialists. Not only can you trust these contacts to show up when expected, you can turn to them in a tight timeframe. These professionals can also establish a scale of pricing so you know what a service can cost. This can save money and time should you need to have work done in your rental property.

3. Make a Commitment to Being a Responsive Landlord 

One of the best ways to keep your tenants happy and paying on time is to be responsive to their texts, calls or emails. If there is a maintenance issue, tenants want to know their landlord is accessible and responsive. Making a commitment to being a good landlord can keep your first-time landlord experience less stressful. When your tenant signs a lease, explain the process of how to reach you and give them a reasonable time frame to hear back from you. Prepare a document with all your contact information so your tenant has it handy.

4. Look for Ways to Boost Your Earnings

Collecting rent can be an income stream but there are additional ways to boost your income as you begin your landlord career. For example, you can allow pets but make sure you collect a pet deposit. You can also charge for extras like parking, storage, or cleaning. You can also get creative to encourage tenants to sign longer leases. If you can get a 2-year lease you can secure tenancy and not have to spend money on trying to find a new tenant. 

Setting reminders to contact tenants about renewing a lease can also yield more earnings. You can assess a small rent increase that most tenants will accept. This is a very important practice for you to implement. By contacting your tenant early and asking if they would like to renew, you can again increase the likelihood that your unit won’t be vacant between tenants.

How to Be a Successful New Landlord

There are several ways to achieve landlord success!  First, maintain a business relationship with tenants; next - be responsive and accessible to your tenants; then develop a circle of professionals to support you, and finally look for ways to boost your income. Using these strategies can help you be profitable and successful and pave the way to succeed as a new landlord.