Rockville, MD, Accidental Landlord Tips

Rockville, MD, Accidental Landlord Tips

32% of landlords with one property are considered "accidental" landlords. They either inherited a property or were forced to rent out one they couldn't sell.

It's like being thrown into a job with no training. There are so many new tasks to learn, but no one is willing to teach you.

Read on for a bit of training and to learn the best tips for being an accidental landlord.

Make Comprehensive Leases

Have each lease agreement be clear and detailed. It should include rules about everything, including:

  • Rent payments
  • Due dates
  • Late penalties
  • Pet policies
  • Penalties for breaking the lease

This prevents disagreements later. It also helps encourage tenants to renew lease agreements when they expire, giving you a steady income stream.

Keep Up With Maintenance and Inspections

Inspect the rental property when tenants move in and when they move out. Fix any damage you notice.

Perform a regular walk-through property inspection from time to time after that. Notify the tenants before you come in to protect their privacy. These inspections prevent major issues and help spot lease infractions.

Keep up with property maintenance inside and out. In addition to safety jobs such as checking appliances, look for ways to improve the property such as a new paint job.

Know the Law

There's so much to research as an accidental landlord. Focus on all the tenant-landlord laws in your area, especially those relating to:

Breaking them comes with hefty fines or lawsuits. The excuse of being a first-time landlord won't hold up in court.

Attract and Screen Tenants

Properties are the heart of a real estate investment, but tenants are the blood. You won't have enough positive cash flow to survive without them.

Attract them with all possible marketing methods, including print and digital. Use attractive listings and professional photographs.

Tenant screening is like being a white blood cell and stopping invaders. Use a thorough screening process that looks into every part of their background. Speak to their references and do a face-to-face interview.

Outsourcing your screening process makes it more thorough and effective with fewer errors. It also saves you significant time and money.

Get a Property Manager

Inexperience may cause an accidental landlord to miss important issues such as a maintenance emergency or red flags in a potential tenant. They may also become stressed handling a job that was thrust upon them. They may even struggle with transportation if they live far from the property.

Hiring a property manager can make this stress melt away. They can handle all of your daily property maintenance tasks for you, including:

  • Marketing
  • Inspections and maintenance
  • Leases
  • Rent collection
  • Tenant screening
  • Tenant communication
  • Evictions
  • Legal compliance

They have the expertise to handle these tasks. You get to sit back, knowing the property you accidentally became the landlord over is taken care of.

Going From an Accidental Landlord to an Experienced Landlord

Being an accidental landlord means a sudden need to make careful leases, gain legal knowledge, perform maintenance, and attract and screen tenants, all of which is difficult to do alone.

PMI Potomac provides full-service property management services. We're dedicated to providing excellent customer service and protecting your investment while maximizing its profitability. Get a free rental analysis today.