Advice from Other Landlords

by Andrea West


Posted on 2017-11-27 15:17:39


During my time here at Smart Housing I have interviewed landlords and helped property managers, then used their feedback to make the world a better place. This should come as no surprise since our customers are all landlords, property managers, and tenants.

Whether they plan this or not, conversations with landlords and property managers tend to leak out advice about managing properties. They have first-hand knowledge and seem willing to let others know how to learn from their mistakes. So, without further ado, here is some of the advice I have gleaned from landlords and property managers over the years, in no particular order-

  • Brace yourself for tax season. You try to learn as you get into the business, but there always seem to be taxes you didn’t know about that will cut into your funds.
  • Hire a property lawyer. You never know when you’ll need one, it may even be on the first day, and you’ll want them there asap.
  • Have your rental application and leasing documents ready.
  • Ask a resident if you can use their unit as the demo apartment. You won’t always have an empty apartment sitting around to show potential residents. If you can get a resident who keeps their space clean to agree to the demo apartment, that’s good.
  • Have backup funds, always. Disasters happen, your units won’t always be full 100%, and then there’s upkeep. Backup funds will keep your head above water.
  • Check up on the property. Even if the money comes in on time every month, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect in the business. Checking up will let you know what needs fixed, who isn’t following their lease agreement, and how the neighborhood around your properties is doing.
  • Stay on top of the paperwork. This will help you legally and also help with your sanity.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell you tenants ‘no.’ And don’t be afraid to demand your rent money or enforce the lease. If you don’t have the backbone to do this, hire someone who does.
  • Research and know the laws about renting out properties. You may think awful tenants would be the worst aspect of this business, but not knowing the laws can put you in a pickle as well.
  • The work never ends. It helps to come to terms with this. Pace yourself and don’t let it overwhelm you.