Landlords have a lot of responsibility as it relates to maintaining an investment property. By having the right systems and routines set in place, landlords have the ability to make their lives a lot easier.
This blog post outlines five critical things every landlord should do at the beginning of every year to save time and headaches going into the new year.
1. Check Local Market Rent
Great landlords always monitor the market rents in the areas that they are investing. It's a good practice to establish this routine at beginning of each year because rents tend to fluctuate yearly.
If you don’t have the time to physically check for market rents, many landlords lean on their network to help them accomplish this goal by checking with local property managers as well as real estate agents. They also use online sources such as Zillow and Apartments.com to check for rents for properties similar to theirs.
You don't want to be the property that has the highest or the lowest rate in the market, so regardless of when you complete this exercise it should be done every year.
2. Check Your Insurance Rates
Every real estate investor needs insurance for all of their properties; however, they do not have control over whether the insurance company decides to raise or lower rate each year. With that being said it is best practice that you as the landlord, shop around for the best deal constantly to ensure you have a competitive rate.
Potentially finding a lower insurance provider, could easily save an investor hundreds of dollars a month on their insurance. You can use online resources as well as calling local insurance agencies to see if there are better offers in your market.
3. Clean Your Gutters
I know some of you may not be happy to see that “cleaning your gutters” is one of the things landlords should do add to beginning of each year; however, this task can prevent a much biggest problem later.
Every property will have a system for storm water management and typically gutters are the go-to methods. Gutters must be cleaned to make sure they are free from debris so that the water can properly flow through during rain showers. If the system is clogged, it could result in excess water being trapped in the gutters or excess water ponding on the roof, which are bad predicaments.
Having to replace an entire gutter system or a roof are not quick or easy fixes either.
4. Inspect for Water Leaks
As the landlord or property manager someone should be inspecting a property for potential leaky pipes or water leaks. Water leaks can eat away at your cashflow if they are not taking care of quickly. By having a routine checkup at the beginning of each year will allow you and other landlords to catch any big problems early.
You should pay attention to both showers, tubs, and toilets but also checking the ceiling to ensure water is not leaking through the roof.
5. Renew Rental License
Depending on the area of the country you live in, you may have to renew a rental license for your rental property own a yearly basis. If you failed to register your license you may end up paying a fee to your tenants. Yes, you heard me right, you may have to pay your tenants.
If you have any questions on whether your state/county requires a rental license, ask your local city and state officials for additional guidance on this topic.
As a landlord it is a lot of responsibility to provide housing for someone else; however, by setting systems and routines in place, it can make this process a lot easier. By completing these five task every year then you will be on track to becoming a more productive well-rounded landlord.