Rental properties come with great monthly income, but being a landlord also comes with a lot of stress and responsibilities.
As a landlord, it is easy to start seeing your tenants purely as an income source, but you also need to build a healthy relationship with them. Connecting well with your tenants and being a great landlord has many rewarding benefits, including smoother tenancy and low tenant turnover.
Being a great landlord doesn’t have to be complicated: it is all about common courtesy, kindness, and good manners.
In this article, we will cover tips on how to be a great landlord in Torrance, California.
Tip #1: Thorough tenant screening
Before accepting a tenant for your Torrance property, it is critical to perform an advanced tenant screening.
Who are quality tenants?
They are renters that pay rent on time, do not damage your property, and do not create expensive legal problems.
When screening tenants, look at factors like their credit and rental history. You also need to check their income stability to establish whether the tenant is able to pay rent on time and will be responsible in your property.
Tip #2: Be a responsible landlord
Being a landlord does not mean that you just sit back and relax while waiting for the rent check to arrive. It requires a lot of hard work, including marketing, bookkeeping, property maintenance, and strict adherence to Torrance landlord-tenant laws.
It’s for this reason, that landlords consider hiring a professional property management company to take on many of the responsibilities for them.
Tip #3: Customize the lease
For a tenant to rent your property, they must sign a lease. A lease is a legally binding document that outlines the rules and regulations you and your tenant must follow during the course of the tenancy. Standard terms that should be indicated in the agreement are the security deposit, the rent, property maintenance, and lease termination.
You can also customize the lease to include any special policies you may have, such as allowing pets and rules on property modifications.
A detailed lease will help you minimize conflicts with your tenant. Consider hiring the services of a good property management company if you need help drafting one.
Tip #4: Charge the right rent
Did you know that the right rent will attract the best, most qualified number of prospective tenants?
This means that it is important to always start by charging the right rent, which translates to a stable income and low turnover costs.
It is advisable to research the marketplace and assess rental amounts for properties like yours. You may also want to hire a competent property management company in Torrance to help you.
Tip #5: Know the laws
As a landlord, it pays to know that each state has landlord-tenant laws that cover things like security deposits, rent, tenant rights, and evictions. It is in your best interest to understand that these laws can help prevent potential issues with tenants in the future that could possibly cost you a lot of time, effort, and money.
For example, under the Torrance landlord-tenant laws, you must provide your tenant with 24 hours’ notice before entering the premises. Failure to do this could result in your tenant suing you for harassment.
Tip #6: Keep the lines of communication open
The key to a successful tenancy is communicating with your Torrance tenants. The security they will feel in knowing they can easily reach their landlord to deal with any issues will help them feel comfortable being your tenant.
Define your communication channels and times you are most frequently available and let them know how you will respond. Managing your rental will be much easier when you stay in touch with your tenants.
Tip #7: Listen to the tenants’ concerns
Listen to your tenants’ feedback and complaints. This is essential if you want to enjoy long term tenancies and be a great landlord. When you communicate with them, listen attentively, and do your best to resolve issues, they will feel valued and appreciated.
Tip #8: Align with the Fair Housing Rules
As a landlord, you need to be aware of the Fair Housing Act that prohibits discriminatory practices in housing. This states that you should never discriminate against tenants based on certain protected classes: familial status, disability, national origin, sex, religion, color, and race.
Be careful about what you write or say, whether on your lease, advertising, in person, on the phone, or anywhere else in your business. The last thing you want as a landlord is to be fighting a tenant discrimination lawsuit in court.
Tip #9: Take care of those repairs
One of your responsibilities as a landlord is to keep your rental property in good condition. When a tenant calls with repair requests, make sure you respond as quickly as possible. Take note that you will also need to give your tenant adequate notice before entering the property. Most laws require landlords to give their tenants at least 24 hours prior to entering rental premises.
The tenant may choose to withhold the rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” if you fail to repair the issues on time. The tenant may not consider renewing their lease for another term if this becomes an ongoing issue.
The Bottom Line
Being a landlord in Torrance, California can be challenging and demanding. It is a job that requires you to provide exceptional customer service and spend time building a good relationship with your tenants.
Nevertheless, by following these nine tips, you’ll be able to establish a great relationship with your Torrance tenants. Your renters may end up staying and extending their lease as a result, making your experience as a landlord more stress-free and profitable.