One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a rental property owner is whether you want to manage your property on your own or hire a professional management company to do it. If you decide to do it alone, remember that there may be a lot of things you don’t know. Today, we’re covering some of the most essential topics in landlord education.
Renters Rights and Tenant Screening: How to Place a Resident
The leasing process will require a lot of your time. You’ll need to prepare the property for the market, spend some time researching comparable homes so you can correctly price the home, take good photos, develop a marketing and advertising strategy, and show the home to prospects after pre-screening them by phone or email. Then, you’ll need to process and screen tenant applications. Renters have a lot of rights, and you have to be careful during the leasing process. Violating fair housing laws, for example, will land you in a lot of legal trouble and cost you a lot of money. Your screening process must include, at a minimum, checking a credit report, conducting a nationwide eviction search, doing a criminal background check, verifying employment and income, and talking to current and former landlords.
Understand Property Codes and Conduct Inspections
The Texas Property Code includes a number of requirements for landlords. For example, you need to know what’s required in terms of deadbolts and peepholes on exterior doors. Keeping your property up to property codes is an ongoing project for landlords. You also need to conduct regular inspections. A move-in and move-out inspection is critical, and be sure to document and compare the condition of the home at each point. Do at least one interior inspection during the course of the tenancy, and drive by the property frequently to look for potential lease violations.
Managing the Eviction Process
When you do a thorough job screening tenants, maintain consistent policies, and enforce the lease, you’ll have little reason to evict anybody. However, bad things happen to even the perfect tenants, and if you have a resident who has stopped paying rent, you may need to evict. It’s important to follow the proper legal steps and not violate any renters rights. Unless you have experience with the courts and real estate law, we don’t recommend you begin an eviction on your own. Be sure to check out our blog on the eviction process, so you know what to expect.
Maximizing your Return on Investment (ROI)
As a rental property owner, you want to keep your income high and your expenses low. This can be done through a complete understanding of the market, smart maintenance decisions, and retaining good tenants. If you work with a professional property manager, you have a better chance of maximizing the return on investment that you get on your property.
At CrossPointe Management, we’re very thorough and we’re very experienced. We believe in transparency and honesty. Don’t sign a property management agreement without looking through the fine print of your contract. We’ll send you our agreement via DocuSign, and we’ll always be willing to get together and go over our contract line by line.
If you have any questions about how to be a landlord, we invite you to read our other blogs and watch our videos. If you have questions, you are always welcome to contact us at CrossPointe Management.