How to be a landlord: How to get tenants

In this post I’ll be covering a step by step guide on how to get tenants. This is the second post in our 5 part series on “How to be a Landlord”.

Advertising to tenants

One of the most important tasks in getting tenants is building a good advertisement that will draw the potential renters in.  You want to be honest with your audience (those tenants you want) about the best features of your home and I like to be ready with the one or two annoying things about the place as well.  This will help you to come off as the “honest Joe” that you are, and people won’t think you’re trying to scam them by only mentioning the good features of your home.

Use the “How to get tenants” – rental property ad checklist template below to do a quick walk around your home and think about the best features of your home that you want to call out in your ad.

Here’s a quick primer on the template (both a screencast video and an explanation of each section in text below):

Advertising your home’s interior to potential tenants:

In this section you’ll fill out the top 3 features of your home’s interior that you want to call out. Some examples of what to think about:

  1. Giant master bedroom closet, practically a fourth bedroom!
  2. Vaulted ceilings make the rooms seem extra-large! Continue reading
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How to be a Landlord: Getting Ready

Welcome to our “How to be a Landlord” primer.  This is the first of a 5 part series that will walk you through the basics of how to be a landlord.  Each post can be read independently but they do follow a natural progression of what you would go through in becoming a landlord.  Here’s a preview of what this 5 part series on how to be a landlord will cover:

  1. Getting ready for being a landlord.
  2. How to get tenants.
  3. During the lease.
  4. Transitioning between tenants.
  5. Liability and setting up your business.

In this post I cover the basics of getting ready to be a landlord.  I’ll be covering everything from getting mentally prepared to doing market research. The post is divided into sections and each section will, for the most part, stand on it’s own so you can just breeze through to find the content that is most helpful to you. Continue reading

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Rental Property Maintenance Schedule

Why is scheduling regular rental property maintenance and using a template is a good idea.

New landlords ask me all the time how to go about getting in to perform regular maintenance on their homes while the tenants are living there.  I love this question because it lets me hit on the importance of communication with your renters.  I feel strongly that letting your renters know what to expect up front is very important to have a healthy and happy relationship with your renters.  When a new landlord asks me the question I usually tell them that in their contract they typically have already given the the renters notice that they can come into the home at any time with 24 hours notice.  Having said that I will often go into my spiel about scheduling regular maintenance ahead of time and presenting the renter with a schedule when they sign the lease.  I’ve found that when I do this with tenants they are much more apt to keep the place tidy, and also be much better about making plans for me to come over.  Lastly, over the years I’ve noticed that when I show this schedule to potential renters (and they can see from the schedule that I plan on being over every month or so) the bad renters tend to move on to the next landlord that isn’t so actively involved and I’m left with the good ones!  I’ve made this rental property maintenance schedule into a template that I’m providing you with for free. Continue reading

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Geico Renters Insurance is our favorite!

Assuming you are reading this post because you’re considering getting Geico renters insurance you can give yourself a big hi-5 (or really any renters insurance at all)!  You’re making a great decision as a renter to protect yourself.  We can tell you from experience that as a landlord the insurance policy we have on our rental property is not going to cover some very valuable items to you.  I’d say 99% of the renters that we’ve had issues with find this out way too late in the game… meaning they’ve lost some personal property of theirs in an accident or theft that wasn’t covered by our insurance policy and they hadn’t thought ahead enough to insure themselves with a good rental insurance policy.

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Landlord / Tenant 30 Day Notice Template

As a landlord you can pre-print this template and include it in your packet of documents that you give to your tenant when they sign on with you.  That’s what Lee and I like to do with our tenants so that they understand that we are requiring them to give us 30 days notice that they will not be renewing their lease. Continue reading

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Landlords Insurance coverage is your friend!

Yes, it’s true, insurance companies make money from you as a landlord… many times on something you will never see a payout from.  The insurance companies employ actuaries to make an assessment on how risky a particular situation is and to help them understand what an associated business model would need to look like in order for them to be profitable while still providing a valuable service. Sooooo….. insurance companies are in business to make money…. that’s not a bad thing.  The important thing here to realize is that by stepping into this “profession” you’re taking on risk.  Many small time landlords (the simple landlords like you and I) might be stretched for money and not think that Landlord’s insurance coverage is worth while.  BELIEVE ME, even though the insurance companies are in it to make money it’s still worth it for you to pay them my friend! Continue reading

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Landlord Liability Checklist

In today’s world it’s important to think about your liability as a landlord. In this post we describe some of the things to think about as a landlord with respect to liability issues that could come up. We also offer a checklist of things to think about that you can download and keep with your rental property materials for each new rental property to you start to lease out. Continue reading

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Residential Rental Agreements

So getting your hands on a great residential rental agreement for free is a tricky one! Protecting yourself and your family should be paramount when selecting a residential rental agreement to use for your business.  In this post we will show you how we went about finding a fantastic, as close to bullet proof as possible, residential rental agreement and how you can too! Read past the break to find out how! Continue reading

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Free Rental Application Rental Form

The rental application rental form is used to help you screen and keep track of your applicants.  This form asks for basic information from the potential tenant including things like previous rental history, employment history, references, etc. and is intended to be printed up and filled out by the tenant.   Continue reading

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Free Lease Break Agreement Rental Form

The early lease break agreement is another very handy free rental form that we’ve used quite a few times over the years.  You will use the lease break agreement rental form for agreeing to terms and conditions by which you will allow your tenants to break their lease early and move out of your rental property.  This particular form that we are giving you here should be treated as a sample or a template and has some specific dates and terms in that you will need to change based on your specific situation.

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