7 Responsibilities As A Landlord
As a landlord, your responsibility to your tenant does not start with enforcing the rent and end with collecting it.
Whether you are a new landlord or are someone who’s been doing this for a while, there are certain things you absolutely have to do to ensure the monthly rent is justified and your tenant is comfortable.
1. Renovate / Furnish / Clean Your Space
Before you put your property on the rental market, spend some time to make sure that it is comfortable. It doesn’t have to look luxurious, just suitably clean and furnished.
2. Clear House Rules And Guidelines
When you draft the agreement, make sure there are no loopholes or clauses which are opened for interpretation. For example, if your contract states that the tenant is not allowed to have visitors over but exceptions may be made you will need to specify what those exceptions are.
3. Home Improvements
Every once in a while, add something new which adds value to the property and to your tenants living there. The benefits are twofold; your tenants will be more opened to a price increase if it is justified and the value of your property also goes up. Do discuss any potential changes with the tenant first as it will certainly affect him/her.
4. Minor Repairs
You will need to specify in the agreement the type of repairs you will pay for and what your tenant will have to handle himself. For example, if a light bulb were to blow, it would make sense for the tenant to handle this him/herself. However, if there is faulty wiring, then the landlord will need to instigate the repairs and bear the costs.
It will do you good if you took time to visit your tenant once every month or so. Your tenant is not just a monthly paycheck and showing him/her that you are open to their suggestions or issues with the apartment will go a long way in establishing a good working relationship between the two. In addition, these random visits will help prevent your tenant from feeling that they can break the rules in your tenancy agreement. Do remember to call before you visit though.
6. Contract Renewal
Plan this early on. Even if the tenant is not sure if he/she will renew, it is far better to have that option on the table. As contracts usually go for a full year, plan for a renewal possibility early on.
7. Notice To Vacate
If you need the tenant to vacate the property, a minimum of three months notice must be given. Make sure that this is made known in the contract as well, especially if the tenant is a non-resident or expat.