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Becoming a Landlord is All About Gathering Information

Aug 17, 2007
The key to becoming a landlord is information. There are certain subjects that you must gather information on; these would include the building's condition, tenants and their rental deposits and agreements and compliance with the applicable codes or statutes. You must not rely completely on the information provided through the seller's Realtor or what the multiple listings give out. These could be sketchy and not entirely reliable. Finding information on these things ensures that you are as equipped as possible in order to take on your role of a landlord.

Rental agreements received through escrow and security deposits can be verified by Estoppel certificates.

A private property inspector can be engaged to make inspection of the rental property and report on its true condition. A property inspector does not refer to contractors nor does he do contracting work, therefore the advice given by him will be much more objective than the report that would be given out by a termite inspector. In fact it is not a good idea to hire the services of the latter and as it is he will not be directly answerable to you or working for you.

After an escrow has closed, your tenants must be approached on a personal basis. This has to be done to confirm the information gathered by you while the deal is in a pending status. Any gaps or loopholes that are found should be filled up or amended. Non threatening personal meetings that are carried out at convenient times help in gaining greater insights into the concerns of the tenants. The degree of cooperation or lack of it on the part of the tenant can also be assessed on the basis of this.

After you have made the assessment of the property and your tenants, you must begin to proceed in a way that you had decided before becoming a landlord. A standard rental agreement that you are confident about should then be submitted to your tenants. See that rents are set at a level that seems fair and that they are raised accordingly. Tenant's rational method should be set up. This has to be done for maintenance requests that result in audit trails. However it is advisable not to do everything at once in a haphazard manner. Any changes that have to be made should be done in steps or stages. So the people who play an important part in making a viable business enterprise of your rental property are able to follow these easily.

Becoming a landlord means that you need to understand what you are getting into before you actually take the plunge. This will help you to be prepared or completely avoid nasty surprises. Try to gain the respect of your tenants by being aware of their concerns and not pushing them. Your policies and procedures should be reasonable and fair. If you can clearly accomplish all of the above then you have completed your task of becoming a landlord.
About the Author
James Klobasa, once broke with no job and $20,000 in debt made a choice that changed his life forever. That choice was investing in Real Estate. With the founder of, The Little Building Co. you too, can learn at Real-Real Estate Investing
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