While you may think that purchasing a desirable rental property guarantees healthy returns, you’re liable to find that you’re in for a rude awakening. No matter how much the property has to offer or how desirable its locale is, there are a number of rookie mistakes that stand to hurt your chances of success. Assuming that any rental property can be successful without a fair amount of effort on your part is pure folly, so if you want to ensure that your first rental constitutes a wise investment, you’d best be prepared to roll up your sleeves and avoid the following blunders.
Failing to Obtain the Proper Permits
If a rental property requires large-scale repairs and/or renovations, you may need to obtain certain permits from the city or township in which the property is based. Failing to obtain the right permits in advance of beginning work is liable to land you in legal trouble, earn you considerable fines and result in you having to start the work over from scratch.
This is among the many reasons you should work exclusively with contractors who are fully licensed and insured. In addition to providing accurate estimates and standing by their work, licensed contractors will be able to pull the necessary permits before beginning new projects. So, when perusing homes for sale in Palm Coast, FL, make sure you’re fully aware of any repairs or renovations that have been deemed necessary, as well as which permits you’ll need to obtain before beginning work.
Being Difficult to Reach
It’s only natural for renters to want their concerns addressed in a timely manner. After all, they’ve giving you a sizable chunk of their income each month, so making yourself difficult to reach is unlikely to do you any favors with your tenants or increase your renter retention numbers. Furthermore, if you develop a reputation for being uncommunicative and indifferent towards tenants’ needs, you’re likely to have trouble attracting new renters to your property.
So, whether you’re unintentionally or purposefully difficult to reach, it’s in your best interest to correct this behavior posthaste. To start with, make sure to provide all of your tenants with a phone number and email address at which you can be reached during normal business hours. Additionally, even if you’re unable to respond to calls and messages instantaneously, make an effort to provide responses within the same day each communique is received.
Tenants should also be given a number to call in response to after-hours emergencies. Keep in mind that certain maintenance issues need to be addressed in an expedient manner, and failure to do so stands to cause major damage to the property.
Regarding Online Feedback as Unimportant
Some landlords don’t care about drawing the ire of their tenants. The way these individuals figure it, if their current renters are unhappy enough to leave, they can just be replaced. However, what this line of thinking doesn’t take into account is online feedback.
In the digital age, if a renter is displeased with a landlord’s unresponsiveness, approach to maintenance or general attitude, they won’t hesitate to savage them on the web – and there are quite a few renter feedback-focused websites through which they can do so. So, if you think that a lackadaisical approach to property management or poor relationships with tenants aren’t going to become public knowledge in this day and age, you’re sorely mistaken.
Skipping the Screening Process
Depending on where your property is based, evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent can be an extremely complicated and time-consuming process. As such, it’s important to minimize your chances of taking on unreliable renters. So, regardless of how impressed you are by the impression a rental applicant makes over the phone or in person, you’ll still need to put their application through a thorough screening process. Should you lack the bandwidth to do this personally, enlist the aid of a dependable screening service.
Although rental property ownership can be a great way to generate passive income, this shouldn’t be taken to mean that a landlord’s job is easy. Assuming that this job will entail nothing more than sitting back and waiting for rent checks to come rolling in is unlikely to serve you – or your tenants – well. In the quest to find success with your first rental property, you should steer clear of the behaviors discussed above.