Tips To Make Life as a Landlord Simpler

Two years ago, we switched from being tenants to being both home owners and landlords for tenants. Here's some tips from a reader to consider when becoming a landlord, to make your life simpler and to prevent any misunderstandings with your tenants.

Lease agreements involve more than just rent payments and living accommodations. They are also legal documents that define the limits of what your tenants can do, and their relationship with you, their tenant. These agreements define their obligations to you as well as your responsibilities to them. And when emergencies or potential conflicts arise, you will need to work closely with your tenant to reach an acceptable solution.

So if you need help with tenant management then here are several tips to help you get started.

Taking Pictures and Getting Everything in Writing

Document the condition of your property before your tenant moves in, so that you'll have something to work with when they are about to move out. This is a very basic precaution, but doing so will benefit both you and your tenants in the long run. A brief photo or video of your property before each tenant moves in is not only prudent, it will also allow you to keep track of important details that you might miss along the way.

Air Conditioning Services

Think about your property's air conditioning units. They may not seem like a big deal, but good AC units can be a deal breaker for a lot of people, particularly those who are used to living in cooler climates. The same is true with heaters and cool environments. So having a good AC unit in your rooms, apartments or condos can really keep your tenants happy, but you can take things even further. You can purchase custom AC units with special filters, including custom sizes. You will still need to take good care of your AC unit, but having a few custom parts can keep most tenants happy.


Try to prioritize tenants who have tenant/renter insurance policies. These insurance policies are designed to protect people's properties, particularly against natural calamities. Although tenant or renter insurance policies offer little or no protection to your property, they can prevent disputes should your tenants lose some of their belonging while staying in your property. So the next time you interview potential tenants, prioritize the ones who have the necessary insurance coverage.

Lay Down Rules About Alterations and Removals

Almost all tenants will want to make a few changes when they move in. Most of these are harmless, like moving a chair or removing certain items to make additional room, but sometimes, they'll make alterations that you may not approve of, like bringing in a set of electronics or remove a painting or two. In certain cases, they may even want to bring their own furniture to replace the ones already in the room, condo or apartment. The best way to control these situations is to lay down rules ahead of time. This way, all potential and approved tenants know exactly what they can and cannot do, which is good for all the parties involved.

Controlling Access to Your Own Property

Residential lease agreements state that landlords and their authorized representatives may enter their properties at reasonable times for the purpose of surveys and reviews. Therefore, if any of your tenants will not allow you to enter your property under normal circumstances, then they are effectively violating their residential lease agreement. When this happens, you have several options on how to deal with the tenant. One option involves charging the tenant a trip charge. A lenient option is to talk it over with the tenant, preferably with a third party or mediator present. A harsher option involves eviction and the associated legal fees.

Set Down Rules for Additional or Miscellaneous Fees

Aside from rent, most tenants are also required to pay for other items and services. Wifi is a better and more recent example. Food and beverages may also be charged if they require those particular services. Some tenants also want help with their vehicles or with special items, and you can charge them for the extra services. Getting all this extra income is good for you and your property, but be sure to set down some rules ahead of time to prevent any misunderstanding or concerns.

Managing your tenants can be just as important as managing your property, which is why you will need to plan things ahead of time. The tips suggested here are some of the ways that you can keep your tenants happy without undermining your control over your own property, or creating a restrictive lease agreement, but you can add a few ideas of your own. Tenant management is ultimately up to you, and the needs of your property, so prepare accordingly.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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