How to be a Great Landlord
Owning an investment property can be a great way to build your wealth and possibly add some extra cash to your wallet each month. Owning an investment property, however, can be hard work, and requires more than just finding a tenant and being done. Great tenants want a great place to stay, a fair deal and a respectful landlord and if you can't keep your tenants happy, they'll move elsewhere. If you're new to being a landlord, here are some great tips to keeping your tenants happy:Fair Rent - Set a fair rental amount and be up front with your tenants about potential rental increases. Standard annual increases can be anywhere from 2-10% depending on your market, but most landlords would rather keep a good tenant happy by keeping the rate the same. If you do plan on having an annual rental increase, try to be upfront with your tenants before they move in. Your monthly rental amount should be in line with the neighborhood price per square foot, unless your home has upgrades or amenities that may make it higher than market rent.
Be Available - One of the biggest complaints tenants have about landlords is that they are unavailable. Tenants may need to contact you about repairs or may even have an emergency, like a broken A/C in the summer, a security issue like a broken exterior door lock or a possible flood. That's the difference between being a homeowner and a landlord; landlords need to manage the Jacksonville rental property to make sure their tenants are comfortable and taken care of. If you don't think you have the time or energy to respond to these requests, hire a property manager to make sure your tenants' needs are being met.Offer Improvement Opportunities - Long-term tenants tend to make themselves at home, and make want to make adjustments or improvements to your property.
These could be small changes, like paint and shelves, or larger improvements like a deck or garden. Your lease should allow for improvements as long as your property if left undamaged or returned to its original condition. Smart landlords will request approval for all adjustments and improvements. If it's a major improvement, like a patio or exterior paint, that adds value to your property, you may want to split the cost with them or offer to buy supplies if they are willing to do the labor.