Owning a rental property is a great way to supplement income, as tenants’ rent checks provide a direct revenue stream. However, as the landlord, it’s your responsibility to keep the building safe and clean for occupants. To prevent disputes, review the following property management procedures to follow and avoid.
Cover all bases in the lease.
With a vague lease agreement, tenants could get away with bad behavior, leaving you little legal recourse. For this reason, work with a lawyer and property management specialist to draft a comprehensive contract. The lease should clearly state the names of all tenants, occupancy limits, rent amount, due date, charges for bounced checks, pet policies, and prohibited activities. Devote a section to maintenance and repairs, outlining tenant responsibilities and tasks you'll perform.
Conduct a thorough screening process.
When reviewing rental applications, conduct criminal background checks on prospective tenants. State and federal criminal records will list convictions, as well as whether a person is on a sex offender registry or terrorist watchlist. This way, you can weed out applicants who could be potential dangers to other tenants. Running credit checks will also give you a better idea of which applicants will likely pay rent on time.
Neglect to perform inspections.
By performing routine inspections, you can make sure the building is up to code. This will prevent fines from the city and tenant lawsuits or rent withholding. Every quarter, have electricians and plumbers inspect the utilities and perform maintenance and repairs. The superintendent should also test smoke detectors in each unit, and an exterminator should check for signs of pest infestations.
Micromanage outside help.
With a regular job, overseeing day-to-day operations in a residential or commercial property can be overwhelming. That's why many building owners hire property management companies. Representatives will serve as the point of contact for tenants, making sure the building is maintained and rent is paid on time. The professionals are experienced, so let them do their jobs. Micromanaging could cause a lot of otherwise-avoidable stress.
If you want a property management specialist to keep your rental building running smoothly, contact MetroHudsonMgmt LLC. Dedicated to customer service, these professionals have been providing commercial, condo, and apartment building management solutions in New York City and Putnam and Westchester counties for nearly 20 years. To learn more about their management and maintenance services, call (914) 941-7111 or visit them online.