Being a first time landlord isn’t quite as easy as people think. Just like with anything, there are hundreds of things to know. As a landlord, sometimes you’ll get lucky. You’ll rent your property out and nothing will happen. Other times, you won’t be so lucky, and it will be the worst experience you ever had, and you’ll never want to do it again. We want to help you avoid that, with these tips for first time landlords.
Tips for First Time Landlords: Know the Laws
The first tip is to know all the laws associated with being a landlord. You have to know the rules of the game. The state of Washington has a landlord tenant act that’s easily accessible. You can find it online, and it’s easy to read. There’s not a lot of legalese. You can read it, interpret it, and know the rules of the game before you even think about renting out your property.
Tips for First Time Landlords: Filling Your Vacancy
You want to be a landlord, not just a vacant property owner. To fill your vacancy, you have to understand your marketplace. Go online and get a reliable rental range. Let’s say rents in your area for your type of property are between $1,500 and $1,800 a month. We would recommend staying on the lower end, because you’ll rent it out faster and get a better tenant.
At the higher end of that range, your property will sit longer. Every day that it’s vacancy is a cost to you. This isn’t like selling your home. If you’re trying to hold out for that extra $100 or $200 a month, it will only take about 15 days of vacancy to eat up that money. So, price it right and understand the market. You’ll rent it quickly.
Tips for First Time Landlords: Pricing to Attract Tenants
Be smart about having a good tenant. We have found that tenants who are willing to pay prices on the higher end of the rent range have had credit issues or other problems, so they’re willing to pay more. There might be a lot of roommates, or a situation that’s a little messier. Tenants looking for prices on the lower end can demand a better deal. They have good credit, a reliable job history, and nothing in their past that would complicate their approval. Those are the people you want in your property. They cause fewer problems and cost less money.