Buying and owning residential rental properties can be a very lucrative venture. However, to be successful, you should have a plan going in and commit to never stop learning ways to improve.
The following tips outline some of the best choices you can make as a rental property investor:
Opt for Hardwood Flooring
Not only is hardwood flooring more desirable among most tenants, but it also makes life as a landlord much easier. Hardwood lasts longer and is much easier to clean and maintain. Carpet often gets soiled very quickly, leaving your property in an undesirable state to live for prospective tenants until you opt for deep cleaning or replacement. This amounts to added investment for property owners, which they can avoid by sticking to hardwood floors. While not immune to damage and destruction, hardwood equates to less hassle. This, ultimately, equates to less money spent on your rental property.
Utilize A Property Management Service
Unless you own very few properties and are capable of managing every aspect of them yourself, you will likely be more successful working with a property manager. For this reason, finding property management in Fort Myers and other cities is a worthwhile investment for most rental property owners. Professional property management takes care of many of the most difficult aspects of renting a property; screening tenants, collecting rent, arranging for maintenance and handling tenant issues. They also have a network of professionals they can turn to for maintenance, legal matters, specialized contract work and others who can help you run your rental in a high-class manner. It’s a small price to pay for the assurance that these and other important aspects of rental property management are addressed in a timely and professional manner.
Allow Pets But Have Rules
Renters of the younger generations love their pets and allowing pets is a very desirable amenity among a large swath of renters. However, pets can be a nightmare for a landlord, causing damage and issues with other tenants. Although most landlords are under the impression that cats cause fewer problems than dogs, cats can actually leave more odor and be more destructive. At the end of the day, it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether to be a pet-friendly property owner. If you opt to not allow pets, do consider being flexible with those who have proven themselves good, responsible tenants.
Consider Renting By the Room
Most single-family homes available for rent are rented for a lump monthly sum. However, you have another option: you can rent the property by room. Renting by the room can be a great idea depending on the property's location, such as if it is close to a college campus. Renting each room individually usually allows you to justify charging more overall for rent since the cost is split among several people. This strategy has its drawbacks, such as a greater potential for roommate problems and a rate of higher maintenance issues, but is still worth considering.
Get All Necessary Permits for Upgrades
Eventually, you will want to install various upgrades in all of the rental properties you own. The laws governing these upgrades and additions will vary widely by state, local municipality and homeowners association, so be sure what you are planning is allowed. For example, converting garages into living space may not be legal without a proper permit. If you are working with a professional contractor, request a copy of their insurance and licensing information and keep it on file as well as make sure they pull proper permits to do the work. Be sure to only schedule updates that you can justify the cost with higher rent.
Renting a property provides a variety of challenges but ultimately can be a very rewarding experience. Leverage a qualified network of professionals to help you and make measured and educated choices. Doing so can drastically increase your chances of success.