One of the three biggest mistakes that new landlords make is not putting the home on the market in good condition. They think that if they just touch up the paint or do a minor cleaning, everything else will be fine. If something needs to be done, they say they’ll do it before the tenant moves in. The problem with that approach is good tenants don’t want to believe you. They aren’t willing to take the risk and they want to see a house that is in good shape. So, the property stays vacant for longer and you lose rent. When you do finally rent out a property that isn’t in perfect condition, the person who agrees to take it is probably a less than perfect tenant. That will end up costing you in the end. Take the time to make the place move in ready before you show it.
The second big mistake is not screening tenants properly. A lot of landlords are squeamish about asking the right questions. Sometimes, it’s easier for them to believe the stories and the explanations that come with why they didn’t pay rent in a former property or why they didn’t get a good reference from their current landlord. You’ll hear every excuse – maybe their grandmother died twice in the last year and so they couldn’t come up with rent. Do a thorough screening job so you get better tenants in your property.
Lastly, setting rent incorrectly is a big mistake new landlords make. When you set the price too low, you’re obviously not going to get as much money for the property. That costs in the long term, especially if you keep the same tenant for many years. If you set rent too high, that’s also a problem. Lots of landlords think if they set rent a little higher, they will get a better quality tenant. Actually, the opposite is true. A well qualified tenant will rent a property at market rates and in good condition. Only those tenants having trouble qualifying for homes elsewhere will be willing to pay higher rent. You might get that higher rent for a month or two, and then they will stop paying it. Evictions and vacancies are very expensive. Then, the damage a bad tenant can do to the home makes your problem even worse.
These are the most common mistakes we see. Working with an experienced Hayward property manager can help you avoid these errors and have a more successful experience as a landlord. If you have any questions or need any help, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.