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5 Common Problems New Landlords Face (And Their Fixes!)

Frustrated Mature Man Working on ComputerInvesting in Kennewick rental properties is a perfect way to build wealth. But even though this is your first experience as a landlord, you probably already know that rental property owners sometimes need to deal with problems. You just need to deal with issues like emergency repairs, property damage, and late rental payments. Even though great preparation and tenant screening can easily reduce some issues, other problems often come suddenly. Knowing what the five most common issues that a new landlord faces can help you be prepared to handle them with ease.


1.      Payment Issues

There are situations where your tenants may pay their rent late or not at all. You need to include late fees detailed in your lease documents, but it can be a hassle to charge and then collect on those fees. The loss of income from late or missing rent payments can immediately turn your Kennewick rental property into a big cash drain. This is especially true because the eviction process, if necessary, can take anywhere from one to three months. The proper approach to avoid such problems is to perform a very detailed tenant screening process. Keep in mind to do a background check, credit check, and reference check on every applicant. Another way to encourage timely rental payments is to create an online payment method. Tenants enjoy the convenience of paying their rent and other bills online, and funds are often available to you faster as well.


2.      Vacancies

As a Kennewick property owner, your income relies on occupancy. If you figure out that your rental property is sitting empty for months at a time, that can instantly become a very expensive problem. This can lead to confusion and even in making poor decisions or renting to unqualified tenants in an effort to balance your cash flows. If finding tenants has become a challenge, it’s imperative to double-check everything from your rental rate to your advertising. Your rental rate is usually dependent on a detailed assessment of your local market. If your rate is too high, that could lead to longer vacancies. Besides, you have to make sure that your advertising is reaching your target renter demographic. In this generation, it is recommended to put your rental property advertisements online and on social media, not to mention any other appropriate locations.


3.      High Turnover

High turnover can be an equally expensive problem. Every time you want to find and screen a new tenant, you’re spending money instead of earning profits. When you’re starting as a new landlord, and your tenants keep leaving, it’s time to make a little investigating. Though high turnover could be due to outside forces like the local market or economy, in other cases, your tenants might leave for reasons a little closer to home. If you haven’t already, make sure that your rental property is in good condition and that necessary repairs and maintenance are being done regularly. It’s also a great idea to step up your communication with your tenants. Frequent positive interactions can have a big impact on tenant retention and help encourage your tenants to tell you the real reason they left. You can then address the problem directly.


4.      Legal Compliance

As a landlord, it is your obligation to take care to operate your rental property in compliance with both federal and local laws. Sometimes, this can be a hassle. You may accidentally violate tenant-landlord laws without even realizing it. To avoid getting yourself into legal trouble, make sure that you possess a thorough understanding of the federal Fair Housing Act and local regulations as well. Even one mistake could lead to an expensive, yet preventable, legal mess.


5.      Property Maintenance

Staying updated on property maintenance can be both time-consuming and difficult to manage. This is because property maintenance contains both routine tasks as well as individual repair items. If you’re trying to accomplish all of your property maintenance yourself, you need to have a system in place or risk losing your tenant – or worse. If you’re just getting started, take some time to plan out a property maintenance schedule for the entire year. If there’s a chance, study more about how to carry out each property maintenance task as thoroughly but as efficiently as possible. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a property management company to finish the job for you. Due to their relationships with local service providers, a professional management company can often complete both routine maintenance and repairs for far less than you can. Anyway, proper property maintenance can help you avoid larger, more expensive repairs down the road.

Even though these five problems are the most common ones that a newbie landlord will encounter, there may still be other issues. Hiring a property management company like Real Property Management Tri-Cities can help you eliminate all of these issues as well as increase your return on investment. You can contact us online to learn more. However, if you do plan on managing your properties on your own, the most important thing to remember is to use the best practices of the industry and to keep learning all you can about how to succeed as a Kennewick rental property investor. In this way, your landlord skills will continue to improve the longer you own your properties.

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