10 Easy Ways you can be an Awesome Landlord
Anyone can decide to put their property up for rent, but it takes a set of skills to be a fantastic landlord. If you want to become an awesome landlord, read our insider’s tips below.
1. Market to the right tenants.
Make sure you are clear in your marketing about who the property is suitable for, be it young couples or families and whether it is a short or long term rental. Life will be easier for you and your tenants if both sides have a good idea of what to expect before you meet. Although advertising on the internet or distributing flyers are good ways of finding tenants, you should take care to find out ways how to best attract the type of tenants you’re after. A great way of doing that is to have a frank discussion with a letting specialist you trust from QuickLets who knows you and values your property.
2. Communication is key
Everyone knows that effective communication is the most important thing when dealing with other people, and it’s no exception between landlords and tenants. Make sure that you explain yourself clearly and directly when dealing with your tenants. Especially if your tenants do not speak Maltese or English very well, speak slowly and make sure they have understood. People might be nodding in agreement while still not sure what the person in front of them is saying, so check from time to time to make sure they have understood you.
3. Make everyone’s rights and obligations clear.
This ties in a lot with the above. While good communication with the right tenant is a recipe for success, knowing in advance what to expect comes close behind. It is important that both the tenant and the landlord know their rights and obligations. A written contract that spells out the terms of the rent clearly, especially in the case of long-term rentals, facilitates this. Make sure to go over it with the tenant before signing, and discuss anything that is not clear enough.
4. Make your tenant feel welcome.
Start on the right footing and be welcoming. You can write a welcoming letter to your tenant and help them become acquainted with the area by including written directions to the closest amenities like the pharmacy or grocery store. Don’t forget to leave instructions for rubbish collection, which can vary from town to town in Malta.
5. Commit to being a professional landlord
Being a landlord is a business – it entails taking care of your rental investment and working to increase its value every year. As with all other businesses, it needs to be managed well if you want it to flourish. While this is something you can easily do on the side, it is not a hobby and requires some serious commitment from your end.
One of the most important attributes is availability. Although you cannot always pick up when the phone rings, do keep in mind that any communication with your tenant is a business transaction. Therefore, call back at your earliest convenience if you can’t take a call right away. Be consistent in this so that you can build a relationship with your tenants based on trust.
6. Stick to your word.
Ensure that the property is ready for the new tenants to move in. It needs to be clean and sufficiently maintained. Also, if the property description says that it comes fully equipped then check that there is nothing missing.
Once you have been informed of any issues, act upon demands in a timely manner. If something cannot be resolved quickly, promise to work on it and give a rough idea of when it could be arranged. Keep the channels of communication with the tenant open and inform them of any progress in the matter. Do your utmost to honour the deadline you have set.
7. Run it like a business.
Maintain strict financial control so you know exactly what is spent and how much money is going in. Do this by keeping track of all expenses, as well as income. Sort the paperwork, which includes contracts, written proof of rent paid, and any receipts of expenses. Organise them in a way that makes sense to you so they can be accessed easily if needed. Keep in mind that storing them electronically has its advantages: you will have the possibility to access them from anywhere and they will be safer as they are stored on the cloud.
Apart from finances, there is also the legal aspect. A successful business owner knows the rules and laws that govern their industry and seeks to work within the law to create the best business possible. Therefore, know what your legal obligations as a landlord are. If you are just starting out and the legal part sounds intimidating, speak to one of our letting specialists from QuickLets. They will answer any questions you have.
8. Keep the relationship professional.
Your tenants are your clients, so be friendly and courteous in your interactions but keep the relationship professional. Always call in advance if you need to enter the property, that way the tenants will be aware of your arrival.
9. Handle issues calmly.
Being a landlord comes with hiccups sometimes, despite your best intentions and efforts. It is only natural that you may feel negative emotions when issues arise. Deal with them calmly and effectively, perhaps by taking a few minutes to breathe, or give yourself a few hours to calm down. One always sees things in a more rational way after some time.
Be aware of your rights and obligations when it comes to more serious issues. Don’t rush. Take careful action so that you are always on the right side of the law.
Keep in mind that there is always a solution, which you might not be seeing initially.
10. Build a database of trusted contractors.
Because you are not living in the property itself, you need to make sure that any contractors you engage are reliable. Stick to those who come on the agreed day and on time, who do the required work well at the first attempt and who honour deadlines they set for the completion of the works. Finding the right people can be a challenge, although by no means impossible. You can ask around and if you find a promising one, get them to do some work in your own home first and, if you’re happy with the job, then delegate more work to them.
A good tip is to get to know the neighbours of your rental property – they can help you keep an eye on your investment while you’re not there.
All the work to acquire rental properties means nothing if you don’t manage things correctly, and you can start doing that by building a good working relationship with one of our QuickLets. Get in touch with our Letting Specialists today