For many people looking to get into the income property market, dealing with potential tenant issues or maintenance problems are some of the biggest deterrents. It is among the top reasons why many people never start and why so many people quit. Here are 3 property management tips for landlords:
1. Screen tenants carefully and have a standardized application process to evaluate tenants.
There are numerous templates available online. These are okay to use but ensure both your application and lease documents are compliant for the province of Nova Scotia. By having a standardized process, you avoid the risk of potentially asking screening questions that could land you in legal trouble. As a landlord you can ask questions to assess prospective tenants’ ability to pay rent and keep the property in good repair. Asking questions about plans for more children, religion, or sexual preference is not appropriate!
2. Be diligent in conducting maintenance and repairs on properties.
For example, if you haven’t been servicing the heating or HVAC systems and you have a breakdown in the middle of winter, this will be costly. Often preventative maintenance (which is relatively inexpensive) can prevent breakdowns in these systems. Keeping up on repairs and maintenance also keeps good tenants happy and reduces your vacancy rates. Also take security precautions for your investment properties such as having good exterior lighting, and trimming shrubbery that would shield burglars. It is a worthwhile step to ensure prospective tenants stay safe and secure.
3. Try and solve problems without the use of the legal system, lawyers, or paralegals.
It is both costly and time inefficient to go this route. If you have a bad tenant that doesn’t take care of the property or has payment issues communicate with them. Keeping thigs as positive as possible with the goal being to remove the troublesome tenant usually costs less than getting into a lengthy legal battle. If you get into this type of situation, make sure to get everything in writing. To quote a lawyer friend of mine, “there is no point in using good money to chase bad money”.