Landlord's Duties: What Are Your Responsibilities?

If you are considering becoming a landlord, you will want to make sure that you understand all of the potential responsibilities that you will take on. There are a number of tasks that you will have to complete regularly as a landlord. Here are some of the responsibilities that you should expect.

Prepare the Property

Before you can become a landlord, you are going to have to make sure that your rental property is in working order. You will have to facilitate any repairs that are necessary on the property. You may have to replace the flooring, paint the walls, fix the roof, or conduct a number of other repairs on the property. You need to make sure that the plumbing, the electrical, and the heating system are all working fine. 

Finding Tenants

You are also going to have to spend some time locating tenants to fill your properties. During this part of the process, you will need to locate individuals that will minimize the risk of your investment. Most of the time, you will need to advertise that you have a vacancy in the property. This might require you to put a sign in the front yard or take out an ad in the newspaper. Once you get the word out that you have a vacancy, you will have to communicate with prospective tenants about filling it. You will need to have them fill out an application that gives you some background information about the individual. When doing this, you will most likely want to check their credit as well. This way, you will be able to get a feel for whether the individual pays their bills regularly or not.

Collect Rent

Throughout the tenancy, you will have to be responsible for collecting rent from the tenant. You will have to implement a specific policy about when a payment is considered late and what will take place if they make a late payment. For example, you might charge a late fee after five days. Then after a certain period of time, you will initiate the eviction process.

Violations

As a landlord, you will also need to communicate with your tenants if they commit any violations. If the tenant does commit a violation of their agreement, you will need to notify them in writing. This will involve telling them what the violation is and what the potential penalty is if they continue doing so.

Maintenance Requests

When you are a landlord, you will inevitably have some maintenance requests from your tenants. If something breaks in the property that is negatively affecting your tenants, you will need to be able to fix it as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the repair, you may have to drop whatever you are doing and fix the problem immediately.

Moving out

Whenever a tenant moves out, you will have to assess the rental property for damage. You need understand the difference between normal wear and tear and excessive abuse. If the property is in good condition, you will need to return the tenant's security deposit.

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