So far, we’ve only discussed what you can do in regards to the investment property itself and not how to deal with tenants. A good property manager is friendly, never intrusive, and always fair. In fact, these are all characteristics of Latin Dad, and I’m sure there’s a little (or a lot!) of him in all of us. So let's look at some landlord tips for property owners.
In order to manage and keep tenants happy, you have to allow trustworthy tenants to move in to your property. The number one problem you don't want to get into as a landlord is the dreaded, "dealing with tenants not paying rent".
How do you manage tenants who are not paying rent? For one, don't give these tenants too much time - if they miss one payment then that's enough, they'll have to move out. However, if they are just going through a tough time, and they've been long term and reliable tenants, then perhaps there's some leeway to give them.
Of course, the easiest way to prevent riffraff from settling in is by conducting a scrupulous screening process. Make sure you have an application for each applicant, and check with their past landlords and employers to determine whether or not they are the kinds of people you want living in your property.
If you're not managing the property, then these are some things to consider before hiring someone to manage the property for you.
You should also run a credit check if need be, permission of which should be listed in the application. And don’t forget your intuition! As silly or superstitious as that may sound, your gut feeling may save you a ton of grief in the future.
Being a fair manager also means that you might wish to allow a few college students to entertain their friends for a day or two. We’ve all heard horror stories when college students congregate, so be careful here. But if you want to play it safe and avoid all possible scenarios, make sure you make it known in the lease that large parties are not allowed. After all, if the tenant signs, he/she is in a formal agreement.
The key is that you need to keep all tenants happy, not just a few. If a few tenants are excessively loud or have more people living in a unit than they should, give them a warning to show them you mean business. If, after your warning, they continue their disruptive behavior, evict them. If, however, their conduct is so detrimental as to preclude an initial warning, then you might want to evict without hesitation.
Keeping tenants happy acts as a way to acquire new ones. Quite often, many of your tenants will be referrals from previous or current tenants. If you want, you can even set up an incentive program that pays tenants for referring new people, similar to what banks or tax preparation agencies do.
TIP: Nowadays, most corporations, or large to mid-sized companies, have an internal classified ad system called an intranet. Where employees can post things they're trying to sell, say a car, or furniture, and then maybe property they're trying to rent or sell.
Keep this in mind when you're trying to sell a property or find tenants. You might want to reach out to friends who work at companies with a large internal community that's online via an intranet or they might be able to send out a mass email to their colleagues.