Being a landlord in Wilmington, DE, can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Whether you're new to the game or have been at it for years, there is always more to learn. This blog will provide you with tips on getting started self-managing rentals, refining your processes, and avoiding mistakes. If you are looking for expert Wilmington property management information, this is the place!
What Are the Top Responsibilities of a Landlord?
To be an excellent landlord requires more than owning rentals and waiting for rent checks to arrive every month! Rental property owners have plenty of responsibilities. Mastering these tasks keeps tenants happy and properties in excellent condition. When those things are in order, you make more money!
When self-managing rentals, make sure these six landlord tasks are some of your top priorities.
1. Ensure the Rental Property Is Well Maintained
Wilmington renters want rental homes that are clean, safe, and comfortable to live in. As the landlord, you're responsible for making that happen!
Owners must provide livable homes for renters. However, to attract better quality renters, justify higher rental rates, and experience more renewals, don't stop at delivering "livable" homes. If you're not sure what could make your property more competitive or improve renewal rates, work with a property management company to learn what renters look for in a Wilmington rental home. The right upgrades and amenities can help your rental stand out and encourage tenants to renew their leases!
2. Listen to Tenants and Respond Promptly
One of the biggest reasons a tenant doesn't renew their lease is feeling ignored or unheard. Whether it's a maintenance request or another issue, renters won't feel valued if it's days (or weeks) before they get a response after reaching out to their landlord.
Some residents complain simply to complain. At other times, your renter has a valid concern that should be addressed right away. Regardless of the nature of the complaint, question, or contact, an excellent landlord listens to residents and responds promptly. Building excellent, positive relationships with renters encourages more of them to stay for another lease term.
3. Collecting the Monthly Rent On Time
Getting those rental payments every month is a nice reminder of why you invested in rentals in the first place! However, not every tenant pays the rent on time every month.
Unless you have an online payment system that allows residents to set up automatic payments or pay directly through a secure system, your job is to collect rental payments the old-fashioned way: by receiving checks. When rental payments are late, your cash flow suffers.
In many cases, simply offering flexible or more accessible ways to pay can increase your on-time collection rates (and reduce the work you have to put in to get rent checks in on time). If an online payment system sounds like a good idea to take some work off your plate (while you still get paid), a property management company can set this up for you!
4. Be Available 24/7 for Rental Properties and Tenants
We already mentioned prioritizing prompt responses to tenant requests. Unfortunately, not all maintenance requests come in during your regular business hours!
When emergencies happen, landlords must be available to take calls from a panicked tenant and respond with a quick maintenance solution. If those calls come in after hours (even in the middle of the night), a good property owner is available. However, taking the call is only part of an emergency response. You'll need a reliable contractor on call to show up at your rental property at night or on the weekends to fix something that can't wait until Monday without causing more damage to your rental or tenants' personal property.
Being on-call 24/7 isn't the most enjoyable aspect of being a landlord. If you need help in this area, the right Wilmington property management team can be there for you and your residents!
5. Find Quality Tenants
Before you can collect the rent or deal with a midnight phone call, you'll need to find good renters to live in your property. If you've struggled to find quality renters, implementing a thorough screening process can help.
With a complete background check, rental history, and employment verification, owners can select better residents that pay the rent on time, take care of the home, and often renew their leases. Make sure your screening process follows the law to avoid lawsuits! Work with a property manager to avoid the dangers of a free lease agreement and create a move-in checklist for a new tenant.
The Best Landlords Choose Wilmington Property Management
If you're a landlord feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of managing your property, take some time to find out what Rentwell can do for you. Our team is here to help manage every aspect of your rentals, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the rental income we collect and send your way each month!
We work with landlords across Wilmington, DE, and the Tri-State area. Our property management services reduce the amount of work for owners while improving their bottom lines. We handle a lease violation, take security deposits, create a custom rental agreement, and run a thorough tenant screening process that follows the law. Reach out to learn more about how we can help!