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June 22nd, 2011 7:24 AM by David W. Welch
Current economic conditions have meant home ownership has decreased, a direct factor of this is that the demand for rentals has increased. This is great news for the many professional landlords across the United States. Not only has there been an increase in demand, but also some areas are seeing an increase in monthly rent prices. Landlords still need to be cautious when renting their homes because there are many reports that the economy will not be recovering anytime soon and may even get worse. We recommend the following tips for landlords to survive economic challenges:One – Research, research and more researchDecide who your target market is for renting. For instance, are you near a university and looking for college students to rent the property? Do some research to find out what the rental prices are in the area. Think about pricing your rent slightly below if there is a lot of competition. Two – Make your mortgage work for youLook into the terms of your mortgage. See if you can re-negotiate the terms. Your lender may even help you to see if you qualify for a lower monthly payment. When eligible for refinancing, check into all your options and the best rates for long term loans. Situations and circumstances change, make sure you have the best mortgage for your situation and circumstances.Three – Avoid the voidThe ideal way to avoid an empty rental is to keep a good renter. Small discounts, complimentary carpet cleaning, and other incentives can encourage a good renter to renew his or her rental lease. When you know you will be losing a tenant, to avoid a void, start marketing the house with a future availability date. Four – Pick your tenants with careIt might be tempting to take the first potential renter out of fear there will not be another, but take your time. Deciding too quickly can be costly in the future. Do background checks, call references, do credit checks, and whatever else you need to so that you can reduce the risks.Five – Understand together you are better Having a positive relationship with your tenant will benefit you and the tenant. Taking care of repairs and concerns promptly will develop a positive relationship. It is important to have good communication with your tenant to keep small problems from developing into big problems.Six – Follow the golden rule Know the rules and regulations that you must comply with as a landlord. Know the details of the rules and regulations before you make a rental available.Seven – File your paperwork
There are many costs that you will find you able to deduct from your rental income to offset your tax bill. These costs include mortgage payments, safety inspections, repairs, letting agent fees and even your insurance. Keep a record of all these costs. They soon build up and when it comes to the end of the tax year you will be glad you did!
Eight – Make sure you are coveredThere are a variety of insurance needs for the average landlord. It can include liability insurance if the tenant or guests incur an injury, coverage for voids, damage to the property and damage to tenants belongings, etc. Know your risks and get enough coverage.Nine – Start a rainy day fund Each month set some money aside for a rainy day. Unexpected costs can pop up at any time, they don't wait until you are "ready", so be prepared with a fund for such occasions. If you have several properties, be sure to put aside some extra in case more than one rental has unforeseen problems because sometimes when it rains it pours.Ten – Seek good advice Even if you have experience as a landlord, you will benefit from decent advice from those who are more experienced. The market and the economy are constantly changing and you will need to keep up.Being a landlord can be a positive experience in any economy when you follow the above tips and use a bit of common sense.
Andrew Potter who runs My Online Estate Agent wrote this guest post. My Online Estate Agent is an online estate agent based in the United Kingdom and advertises properties on Rightmove and many other top property portals.
David Welch Real Estate Optimist, Orlando Real Estate, Any Home-Any Phone