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Southwest Michigan Accidental Landlord Tips – How to Be a Landlord

Southwest Michigan Accidental Landlord Tips – How to Be a Landlord

An accidental landlord is someone who finds themselves with a rental property unintentionally. It’s possible you’ve inherited a home from a loved one, or you’re moving out of the property you’ve been living in and you can’t seem to sell it for the price you want, so you’re thinking about renting it out.

Accidental landlords are a little different from intentional investors. But, you still want to earn as much as possible on your property, and you want to enjoy a successful and stress-free rental experience. There are a few things you need to know about how to be a landlord.

Provide a Property Tenants Want to Rent

It’s important to prepare your property for the rental market. Your goal is to rent to the best possible tenant, in the shortest amount of time, and for the most money. To meet that goal, you’ll have to provide a clean and functional property that has all the things today’s tenants are looking for. Be sure to remove all of your belongings or the belongings of the person who once lived in the home. Give it a good, professional cleaning, and make any necessary repairs and updates. Tenants will want a modern and attractive home with working appliances and systems. Check everything from window locks to closet doors. Carpets should be replaced or steam-cleaned and everything must work properly before you even begin to market the home.

Choosing Tenants is Important

We work with a lot of clients who once managed their own properties as accidental landlords. One of the mistakes that’s most often made is an incomplete or totally absent tenant screening process. You have to do a thorough background check before you let any tenants move in. Check rental references, talk to employers, verify income, and look at credit reports as well as criminal and eviction histories. You’re looking for a tenant who is likely to pay rent on time, maintain your home, and follow the terms of your lease.

You Need a Strong Lease Agreement

Make sure you’re using a lease that’s legal and enforceable in the state of Michigan. Many landlords will download a lease template from the internet that isn’t specific to this state or locality. Your lease will protect you and your property; you need to get it right. If you’re not sure where to find a lease, talk to a Southwest Michigan property manager or a real estate agent who has experience renting out homes. Along with the lease, you’ll need to collect a security deposit and all the necessary move-in funds. If you’re going to allow pets, make sure you have a pet policy in place. Talk to your tenant about all of your expectations and the responsibilities outlined in the lease.

Professional Property Management Can Help

Professional Property Management Can HelpAccidental landlords can benefit more than anyone from professional property management. Unless you have the time, resources, and knowledge to effectively manage your rental home, you should turn it over to professionals. We can help you effectively place a good tenant, and we can also help you keep your property maintained. We know the laws, best practices, and requirements associated with renting out a home.

If you’d like to talk more about what it’s like to be a landlord and how we can help, contact us at Real Property Management Southwest Michigan.

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