Just about everyone uses a “Do” and “Don’t” list at one time or another, so I thought today I would share my list of the top “Do’s” you should always keep in mind when you’re trying to be a good landlord in the Santa Cruz area.
- Do have your procedures in place. You want to have a consistent process for everything, from tenant screening to rental agreements and addendums. Have all of your vendors in place and every procedure ready to go so you’re prepared for anything that might come up.
- Do know the law. There are federal and state laws to be aware of as well as local laws and ordinances in whatever area you live in. Make sure you are familiar with these laws and regulations so you don’t get yourself into legal trouble.
- Do use a current lease, a current application and all necessary documentation. This will help you with fair housing issues and it will also ensure you are up to date and compliant with anything required of you and your rental property.
- Do document everything. You want to make sure you have a written record of everything that occurs with your rental property. Take photos before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. Make detailed notes of every inspection, and take pictures. Document every conversation you have with a tenant by following up with a written email. All of this documentation will help you if you do find yourself in court for any reason.
- Do be professional. This is important. Maintain a positive relationship with your resident at all times. Remember that you aren’t your tenant’s best friend or therapist. You’re a landlord or a property manager.
- Do think of your rental as a business. Even if your property is grandma’s little house that you grew up with, you have to look at it as a business. When you have that mindset, you will stay on track and you’ll keep your emotions out of any decision making.
These are the six things you absolutely must do when you want to be a good landlord. If you have any questions, or you would like to hear more information about my list of things to do and not do, please contact us at Portola Property Management.