Being a Landlord Isn't as Easy as You Think

Monday, April 10, 2017

A lot of people paint the life of a landlord as something approaching luxury and laziness. They imagine that a landlord creates a completely passive income, sitting around at home, not doing much, ignoring phone calls from tenants. This isn’t so: being a landlord is often a busy and complex business. It’s important for tenants to understand this - but it’s especially important for budding landlords to understand this!

We’re going to look at the things you should be considering if you want to make sure people want to rent from you - and, subsequently, what to keep renting from you! Otherwise, you may find that your investment was a bad choice.

Property problems

A lot of landlords make the mistake of not placing themselves in a prospective tenant’s shoes when they’re looking for a property to buy. You should approach the shopping phase as though you were looking for a house for yourself. That means you shouldn’t just be looking for a place that looks comfortable. You need to think about nearby amenities and neighborhood safety, too. Remember: quality homes attract quality tenants. Make sure it’s a home you wouldn’t mind living in before you starting renting it out and expecting tenants to be pleased with everything.

A good price

Not all landlords charge high rent because they’re greedy. In fact, you’ll find that very few of them do. In reality, most landlords have to charge high rent because, well, they need to at least break even! They need to make sure they’re paying off the costs associated with the place. If you’re looking to become a landlord, then you may wonder how you can keep the rent below extortionate levels while making enough to pay off the expenses.

For the most part, it’s all about the mortgage. A lot of these landlords got themselves into these situations because they took on mortgage plans with high repayment obligations. If you’ve done the same, you may want to consider looking into mortgage refinance, which allows you to change your mortgage terms. Consult a mortgage refinance calculator to see how feasible it would be for you.

Empathy and communication

Surely you’ve had a landlord at some point in the past, right? No matter what you thought about the landlord as a person, the chances are that you avoided getting in touch with them unless you really needed their assistance with something. This is something landlords should remember: most tenants aren’t whining at you for the sake of it. They really need a problem fixed, and it’s important that you get to it as soon as you can. Keeping an open line of communication for this is vital.

A bit of empathy and compassion will go a long way here, especially because so many tenants seem to think landlords are cold-blooded leeches. If you’ve got a good tenant, then allow them a little leeway when things go wrong for them. If they’re going to be a day or two late with the rent, be understanding. If they need to let someone stay for a while because of personal problems, be understanding then, too. Tenants will remember these kindnesses, making it much more likely they’ll renew their lease.

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