Getting Started as a Landlord – Part two
Zoning laws can have a significant impact on a landlord and their rental property. In a nutshell, zoning laws keep residential and commercial areas separate from each other, so residents aren’t living in the middle of a noisy industrial area.
Before purchasing a property, it’s important to investigate your local zoning laws to see whether or not they will affect your rental property. An area zoned for one type of land use may later be changed, so be aware of future developments that could affect your property. for example, property in a residential area might be changed from one zone class to another, due to factors such as sprawling, which could impact your property value and your ability to find tenants.
Once you have chosen to rent your property, you must take steps to prepare it for tenants. The condition of your rental will affect whether or not it’s ready for occupancy.
In order to remain competitive, you’ll need to make your rental unit appealing to tenants. this should include fixing any known problems, complying with your local zoning laws, and upgrading the property to make it more enticing, comfortable, or aesthetically pleasing.
From the foundation to the roof, check to make sure everything is working and that your property meets municipal and state housing codes. It’s better to tackle renovations before a tenant moves in, both for safety reasons and to avoid coordinating improvements around their schedule.
Below is a list of thing you should do to get your property rent-ready:
- Check all appliances to make sure they work, including the oven, dishwasher and washer/dryer, if applicable.
- Test smoke detectors and CO2 detectors.
- Repair any problems, such as holes, water leaks, pests, etc.
- Give the walls a facelift with a fresh coat of paint.
- Replace or clean flooring
- Upgrade fixtures and/or window treatments.
- Clean each room thoroughly, including hard to reach areas such as cabinets, vents, and other storage areas.
- If you have porches, decks, steps or stairs in the unit, ensure they are strong and safe to use.
- Ensure that all exterior doors, gates, and windows have working locks.
- Eliminate any bad odors
- Landscape front and back yards.
- You live far away from your rental property
- You’re not interested in managing a rental property
- You don’t have enough experience to successfully manage the property. In that case, a property manager can help ensure you are renting legally.
A property manager is an individual or firm who is hired to oversee and manage a rental property and its tenants. They are actively involved with the property and perform such tasks as:
- Screening tenants and negotiating lease terms
- Discussing leasing and property rules with a tenant
- Collecting rent or other fees
- Arranging for repairs, maintenance, and upkeep
- Paying bills, assisting with taxes, and managing a budget.
- Enforcing rental rules and policies.
- Setting rental rates and advertising the property.
- Issuing notices
- Handling move-in and move-out inspections.
- Record keeping.