Being a landlord can be a lot of work! From playing rent collector, maintenance man, investigator and sometimes maid, being a landlord can be tough! In our latest post, we offer tips for landlords in Chicago and beyond. Find out how to generate more revenue and maximize your returns!
Be Firm About Due Dates
Don’t allow tenants to pay late. Period. Have a fee schedule in place letting them know what you charge for a late payment. The fees do not have to be outrageous, but don’t let these things slide either. It is these sorts of things that snowball. If a tenant pays late once, it is much easier to do it again. And Again. And then they want to get you twice next month. Don’t put yourself in this position. Stay firm about when the rent is due, and what the penalties will be for late payments.
Make Paying Rent Simple
A great way to get your rent on time is to make it easy. Instead of waiting for a check in the mail, encourage your tenants to use online means. Set up a system that collects payments and helps tenants communicate with you. There are a number of platforms out there that can help with this. It can be as simple as using Paypal or using something more robust such as Cozy.
Know The Law
It is critical that you know both your rights and your tenant’s rights as a landlord. Not adhering to procedure, or crossing lines you shouldn’t can cost you. If you need to evict or file a claim against a tenant, make sure you do everything as the law states, without missing any important steps. Make sure you have a good attorney on your team should an issue arise that you need to take further.
Not properly screening your tenants is a sure fire way to have a bad one move-in. Have a thorough background check done on everyone you allow to move into your property. There are numerous companies out there that will provide you with detailed reports almost instantaneously. It doesn’t hurt to do a little investigation on your own. A quick Google search should let you know if there is anything major you need to be aware of. You can also get a better idea of the person by seeing how they behave on social media.
Be A Good Landlord
You want your tenants to feel as if they are at home. Not living in someone else’s home. Go out of your way to make your tenants feel welcomed and comfortable. When people have a good living situation, they will never want to leave. And tenant retention should be one of your biggest goals as a landlord.
Know When To Get Help
You are only one person and only have so many hours in the day. As your investment portfolio grows, you are bound to need more assistance in managing your rental properties. Choose a well-known company with a solid track record. Make sure they can help you with screening, deposits, rent collection, maintenance requesting, moving out, evictions and more. Shop around and get management rates from multiple companies before settling on a property management company in Chicago.
Only Upgrade To Add Value
Most landlords will only sink money into the property when they really have to. However, you really should step it up a bit and do things to keep the tenants happy. Consider making reasonable upgrades to the house that won’t inconvenience the tenant too much. For example, you could replace drafty windows. It will add value to the home and it will help your tenant save on their energy bill. Avoid upgrading things that might become easily damaged by a tenant or that aren’t necessary.