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Whether you are a seasoned landlord or this is your first real estate investment, being a landlord is not without its challenges. Managing a property has its demands and it is possible to make mistakes that might result in substantial legal fees, damages to your property, ruined relationships and more. There is a lot to think about, such as advertising, pricing, lease agreements, real estate laws, vetting potential tenants, or evicting poor ones. At HouseME we have been through some of the ups and downs of managing property for landlords. As a result, we have put together a list of tips to guide you in managing your property effectively and efficiently.
- Vet your tenants properly
For Landlords who want to increase retention and occupancy rates, it is a big deal to screen tenants before they move in. To ensure on-time payments and a non-defaulting tenant, it’s worth taking the time to do a credit check on potential tenants. A credit report detailing the applicant’s monthly financial commitments and whether the tenant is in arrears, together with a proof of income can indicate whether you should offer a lease agreement or not.
Download the HouseME generic lease agreement here.
- Comprehensive Landlord-Tenant agreement
While the lease agreement is one of the most important documents for a landlord, it is in both the landlord’s and tenant’s interest to have a comprehensive agreement that can answer tenant-landlord questions. The contract should include all aspects of renting the property, possible scenarios and repercussions should the rules outlined be broken. It is not worth leaving the likelihood of a dispute to chance. Rather be prepared. In addition, when drafting a lease, it is in most cases worthwhile to consult a legal expert.
- Prioritise rent collection
Make sure you enforce that rent is paid on time. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But if you get too lax with payment dates, it is a slippery slope to your tenants being behind on payments or, even worse, completely defaulting on their rent for the month, and the next and the next.
Find out about HouseME’s Rental Guarantee which covers you should your tenant default.
While you can take all the necessary precautions with a comprehensive lease agreement, tenant vetting process and rent collection, it is not always fool-proof. This is why above everything else, communication is critical. Immediately after a tenant misses a payment, it is important to communicate both in writing and over the phone.
- Know the laws
For all landlords, it is important to know the local laws and regulations. Make sure you know what is at your disposal from a legal perspective. This is particularly important when it comes to a defaulting tenant and you need to take the correct steps to lawfully cancel the lease. For example, when to issue a Letter of Demand and how to go about it. Knowing the correct procedures can save you time and oftentimes a significant amount of money.
Find out about HouseME’s Eviction Cover in partnership with Xpello here.
While letting a property sounds like a good investment and can provide additional income, managing the property can prove to be difficult. The above is also not a comprehensive list of everything a landlord needs to know; that might take a full novel to cover all bases. It can be overwhelming to research and consider all the elements landlords have to deal with, never mind the time required to manage the property.
Another option is to save yourself the risk and hassle and get HouseME to look after your property. At HouseME we pride ourselves on our excellent vetting of tenants. We are confident in our verification process, so much so that we offer a Rental Guarantee for up to three months, should your tenant default on their rent. We also do the arrears management by being in communication with the tenant and will issue a Letter of Demand from our attorney within a week of default. HouseME offers this in addition to collecting your rent each month. In February and March this year, we had a 99% collection rate after 30 days for tenants on our Rental Guarantee. Over and above this, we have a fully legally compliant lease agreement which saves you the hassle of finding a legal expert to assist.
Allow us to remove the risk and stress of being a landlord. With a once-off payment of 2.5% for our Home package, plus 1% for our Rental Guarantee, only charged after we have found you a tenant, HouseME can give you that sought-after peace-of-mind.
Ben Shaw and Kyle Bradley are Co-founders of Proptech Company, HouseME, Winner of Seedstars World’s Best Start-Up Company in Cape Town.
To Sign up with HouseME as a Landlord or Tenant, Click Here.
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