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Real Estate 101: A Day in the Life of a Single-Family Home Landlord

Real Estate 101: A Day in the Life of a Single-Family Home Landlord
Photo by Trinity Nguyen on Unsplash

So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to turn your second home into a rental property. Well, congratulations on taking that big step. Most people don’t realize that becoming a landlord is a huge undertaking and one that lends itself to more headaches than most would care to have. Why? Well, in becoming a landlord, you’ve essentially started your own business.

Being a landlord requires a great deal of responsibility, especially when it comes to dealing with tenants and making necessary repairs. As a homeowner, you’re the one responsible for fixing things when they need repair and keeping your home livable for tenants. 

Landlords deal with a variety of issues on a daily basis, and while an apartment complex landlord might have much more on his or her plate, a single-family home landlord doesn’t fall short on tasks and responsibilities.

Here, we’ll explore a few of the issues that a single-family home landlord might face day to day. 

Collecting Rent

In the past, it was actually much harder for a landlord to collect rent from his or her tenants. Around 20 years ago or longer, we didn’t have the tools that we do today to make paying rent easier for tenants and landlords. Today, you can simply log in to an online portal and pay your rent at your convenience.

Dealing with tenants that cannot pay rent is every landlord’s biggest headache. Not only can non-payment keep you from paying your mortgage, but it can also reduce your monthly income and keep you from making necessary repairs on your properties. 

In order to be assured that you’ll be able to collect rent on a regular, timely basis, ensure that all of your tenants meet rental requirements such as credit and background checks. In addition, you should also ensure that a tenant earns at least three times the rental value per month prior to entering into a contract. 

Making Repairs 

Sometimes things simply get worn down and break, or other things such as inclement weather happen out of our control, and we have to use resources to make repairs. 

Home repairs
Photo by Tekton on Unsplash

For a landlord, your job is to make sure that the rental property is livable and that there are no hazards or dangerous areas present in the home. Basically, if there is a hole in the roof, this can present a danger to the tenant. While it’s not usually a direct threat, over time, water can damage the ceiling and cause mold damage or a collapse.

As a landlord, you must ensure that you’re taking steps to fix problem areas in a home, no matter what these problems are. And, at times, you’ll have to go and buy materials and perhaps even do the work yourself. If this is the case, you can also consider renting a work truck to assist you in transporting materials month to month as repairs are needed for your properties.

In order to avoid a personal injury or liability claim against you, ensure that you’re taking proper steps to correct the problems.

Upgrading Your Property 

All homeowners want to get the most value out of their home not only for rental purposes but also for when it comes time to sell the home. 

In order to get the most value out of your home, you’ll want to do some remodeling to upgrade the property. And, most of this work is simple enough to do on your own. It should be noted that if you want to build new additions unless you have the skills and the know-how to get this all done, you might want to consider hiring a specialty contractor for any larger projects.

At the end of the day, it’s usually the most simple process that adds value to your home. Often this is done through creative landscaping, hire a fence contractor for a new fence installation, adding a pool, painting, and the like. While additions do bring in much more value, smaller steps always lead to bigger rewards.

No matter what type of property or properties you own, being a landlord is a business with huge responsibilities, and it should be treated as such.

Featured Photo by Trinity Nguyen on Unsplash