6. Document everything. Document when rent was paid and the form of payment. Document when tenants call with maintenance issues and the course of action taken. Document if you told the tenant to remove trash or vehicles.
7. Have the tenant fill out a check in list when they move in, noting any issues. The condition of the house should be fully documented and pictures are a plus.
8. If you allow pets, verify with your insurance company if they will cover all breeds. Get a pet deposit. You will want the tenant to remove the dog defecation when they move.
9. Make sure your lease is legal and detailed. Seek the advise of a real estate attorney to write a lease.
10. Address pest control in the lease. Are you paying for bug spraying and rodent issues or is that the tenants responsibility.
11. The landlord’s hazard insurance generally does not cover the tenant’s belongings. Make sure you address this in the lease.
12. Check with your hazard insurance to see what exclusions need to be make as part of the lease. Address things like business adventures (ie daycare activities, etc), animals, pools, and trampolines. Not all insurance company coverage’s are the same.
13. Pictures are a great thing. They will show what the house looked like prior to the tenant moving into the property.
14. Save all your receipts for tax purposes.
15. Hire a good CPA that is familiar with investment property.
16. Use separate checking accounts. One for escrows and one for opporating capital and expenses. I do not mix my business accounts with my personal accounts.
I guess the best bet of advise I can give you is to be detailed orientated and document what is going on in your business. Treat property management like a business and it will reward you like a business. This is not legal advice. If you need legal advice on renting property please seek legal advice. If you’re interested in purchasing investment property, feel free to call me at 405-213-2992.