Have you become an accidental landlord in San Mateo, CA? It can be a stressful situation. First, you inherited a property. Then to manage the taxes and other expenses that came with that property, you decided to rent it out without ever having the intention to.
Like any other real estate investor, accidental landlords have the task of screening tenants, keeping up with tax paperwork, and more. We have a few landlord tips that will help you stay stress-free amidst the chaos. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Be Realistic With Your Rent Prices
Becoming a landlord means setting your rental prices. Deciding on a number isn't as easy as many would think.
If you set the cost too low, you won't turn a profit, but if it's too high, you won't attract tenants. You also have to factor in how much you're going to spend on vendors and maintenance.
The best thing you can do is check the cost of other rentals like yours in the area. Study real estate marketing trends to decide if you need to increase your rent at the end of the year.
If you are stumped on how much to charge your tenants, a property management company can perform a rental analysis to help you figure it out.
2. Know Your Rights
Let's say that one of your tenants broke something on your property. In situations like this, both you and the resident have rights. It's important that you're familiar with these rights.
Studying the problem will tell you how you can handle it without getting into a complicated legal battle.
3. Invest in Insurance
Speaking of breaking stuff, before you start leasing your property to tenants, it's crucial to invest in insurance. While regular homeowner's insurance covers some stuff, it doesn't take care of everything.
Talk to your current insurance company to find out if you need to change your policy to a landlord one or if you need to open a new policy alongside your homeowner's insurance.
4. Screen Your Tenants
Becoming an accidental landlord can be stressful enough. You don't want to add a bad tenant on top of it. To avoid missed rent payments and expensive damages, you must screen every single tenant before giving them a set of keys.
Running a thorough background check will tell you how many evictions someone has on record. You'll also learn about their criminal activity and their credit history.
Ask tenants for a list of references and actually call them. Speaking to previous landlords and close acquaintances can tell you a lot about a person's character.
Crucial Tips for Accidental Landlords
Accidental landlords undergo a lot of stress. Especially the ones that have never toyed around with the idea of having tenants. Screening residents and investing in good insurance will save you a lot of headaches.
It's also important to study your rights and let us help you with the paperwork.
Five Star Property Management has a team of professionals on hand who have been assisting people like you since the 2000s. Contact us to learn more.