Not everyone has the skills to succeed as a landlord. It takes tactfulness, responsiveness and focus. Once you find a good tenant, you don’t want to lose them. So, treat them right, and they’ll stay. Here are some tips to help you succeed as a property manager in New York.
Carefully screen prospective tenants
Conduct a thorough background check that includes criminal and credit history reports on everyone aged 18 and older who will reside in the property. Managers often include the cost of the screening as part of the application fee. Follow the federal fair housing laws that prohibit discrimination based on the following:
- National origin
- Sex, sexual identification and sexual orientation
- Familial status
Counties and cities may have additional protected classes. Familiarize yourself with the rules for your area. Ignorance of the law is not a good defense.
Use a written lease
Use a written lease that includes the following items:
- Names and ages of all the residents residing in the property
- Starting and ending date
- Amount of rent
- List of landlord-paid utilities and services
- List of tenant-paid utilities and services
- Contact information for landlord and tenant
- Additional landlord conditions
- Landlord and tenant dated signatures
You can include whatever you want as additional conditions as long as they aren’t discriminatory. If there is an association in the development, ensure the tenant receives a copy of its rules and regulations.
Maintain the property
Keep the property in a safe condition with ample heat and hot water. Respond promptly to all repair requests. If the tenant’s complaints are too burdensome, consider obtaining a home service warranty that allows a tenant to call the service company directly for repairs.
Inspect the property
Although you cannot show up and demand access, you can make an appointment to stop by and check on the property. Some property managers collect the rent money in person and ask to come in at that time.
Landlord and tenant disagreements happen frequently. Many times, a quick reply satisfies the tenant. Other times, issues may escalate to a point where it’s necessary to evict the tenant. Follow the New York eviction laws very carefully. If you miss a step, you may have to start over from the beginning.
Follow these tips, and you’re on your way to becoming a successful New York landlord.