If you are looking to make extra money, becoming a landlord might be the right choice for you. Renting out property gives you some added benefits beyond just the paycheck too. For example, it can provide you with tax breaks and let you earn interest on your investment.
However, it is not always easy to become a landlord. You need to keep up with maintenance tasks like repairs and regular cleaning and collect rent from your tenants.
In some cases, these roles can be a major source of stress for you. But with the right tips and tools, you can live a stress-free life while your tenants are living on your property.
Here are ways to live a stress-free life as a landlord:
1. Keep Organized Financial Records
Being organized is the first step towards living a stress-free life as a landlord. Sorting out your financial records ensures you are not missing any income and seeing a complete picture of your earnings.
It also helps you maximize tax deductions such as capital allowances for letting residential properties, which you can claim when you have refurbished or upgraded your unit.
Organizing your financial records is easy. Keep all of your rental agreements together in one central location. Scan and then upload them on your computer so that you can have digital copies in case you lose them.
Keep track of all repairs and regular maintenance tasks with special calendars or notebooks. Make notes about anything that is a particularly time-consuming task or anything that might cost a lot of money, so you remember those tasks when they come around again.
2. Set Up an Easy Payment System
Many landlords have a difficult time collecting rent from their tenants. For example, some get stressed when they have to ask for payment after a tenant falls behind on the rent. The problem can also escalate into eviction notices and even lawsuits.
One of the best ways to manage this is to set up an easy payment system for the tenants. Allow them to pay rent online with a credit card, checking account, or even PayPal. This way, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of checks or cash.
You might also want to consider offering an automatic rent debit to your tenant’s bank account on each due date. Discuss with your tenant these options.
In the meantime, you can provide a grace period to settle their payment and a late charge if they miss the deadline, which you can add to their next monthly rental.
3. Vet Your Tenants
Tenants have as much responsibility as landlords if both parties want to coexist as peacefully as possible. For this reason, use your power to vet applicants to save yourself the headache later.
Check their rental history, employment status, credit score, and other background information. You can also run a criminal check on them and ask for an application fee, first and last month’s rent, and security deposit (typically one or two months’ rent).
Interview them during the application process. Ask them about their previous landlord and why they left. This step will allow you to get to know more about your future tenants.
4. Keep Up with Repairs and Maintenance Tasks
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring your unit is habitable, which means you need to keep up with repairs and maintenance. Not only do they cost money, but they can also be physically and mentally stressful.
While this sounds like a lot on your plate, you can hire repair and maintenance professionals or contract them for larger projects that require specialized equipment or more experience. Ask them to send you photos and videos before they do the job, so you can see what needs fixing without setting foot into the unit each time.
As for routine tasks that need taking care of monthly, quarterly, or annually, these are easy self-help chores that don’t require much expertise. For example, you can start by checking all the windows and doors for weatherproofing. When cold weather hits, inspect your heating system to ensure it is functioning properly.
5. Keep Calm
Stress can create a vicious cycle for landlords. Because managing your unit is stressful, you might get frustrated easily and yell at tenants whenever something goes wrong. Negative emotions only fuel more stress and add to the problem, making it difficult to solve anything (and harder on your tenant).
Instead of getting angry every time something happens with your unit or its occupants, remember that most issues are temporary and can be handled one step at a time. Remember that renting property is not permanent. If things don’t work out in the long term, evicting (or being evicted) is always an option.
Being a landlord is no easy task, as it requires a lot of time and effort. You have to keep track of your rental agreements, do repairs and maintenance tasks, and collect rent from tenants. However, with these tips, you can make the job easier and lead a more stress-free life.