Do your research
Conduct research to find out how to become a landlord and how the process works (for example, how tenants apply for rental properties). Research the local market and find out about the average rent for similar properties. You need to know how much the market is able to bear so you don't underprice your property.
Ensure you understand all local laws and regulations relating to renting out properties, such as taxes and insurance requirements.
Get your finances in order
You need to first make sure that you have the finances to support the property. This is especially true if you're not going to be living in it yourself and will be relying on rental income alone.
Check that you have enough money set aside for any repairs or maintenance costs. If you don't have any savings then it's probably not worth getting involved in property management.
Find a property to invest in
The first step in becoming a landlord is finding an ideal rental property — one that has good potential for generating income while also offering comfortable living conditions for renters. When looking for properties, look for homes that have high demand in the area and have been well maintained over time. Renting out homes can be difficult if they aren't located in areas where people want to live or if they need major repairs before they can be rented out again.
Arrange an inspection of the property
Make sure you make it a priority to arrange an initial inspection of your property when considering becoming a landlord. It is important that the person who does this has experience in checking for problems such as dampness and electrical faults. This will give you a good idea of what needs doing before you can let it out and how much work it will cost.
After arranging for an initial inspection, decide what kind of property management company would be best for your needs. If you're happy to handle things yourself and want just a little help from a third party then an online rental management service might be all that's required. However, if you want someone else to take care of things like managing tenants' payments and keeping on top of maintenance issues then you should look for a local agent who specialises in this area.
Get your property ready for tenants
Your landlord-tenant relationship starts the minute your tenants move into your home. It's important to make sure everything is ready for new residents before they arrive — otherwise, it could cause problems down the road.
Get rid of any clutter and make sure all appliances are in good working order before showing your place to prospective tenants. And don't forget about the important things you’ll want to put on their initial inventory, like making sure the taps in their bathroom work properly!
Start advertising your new rental property
Ads are the most important part of finding new tenants and getting them to sign on the dotted line. Your ad should include as many pictures of the inside and outside of your property as you can, as well as maps of nearby landmarks and transportation options so potential renters know what they're getting into when they move in. Be sure to keep all of this information in one place so people can easily find it later on down the road if needed.
Screen potential tenants carefully
The most important step in becoming a landlord is to find a suitable tenant. While it might seem like an easy task, finding the right person can be difficult. You'll want to make sure they have good credit and references from previous landlords. You'll also want to make sure they won't cause any problems or damage your property while living there.
Complete all the required paperwork
A key component in the process of becoming a landlord and renting your property is to fill out the necessary forms. You should get a rental application from each of your prospective tenants, who will probably need to provide you with proof of income, references and a background check.
As the landlord, you'll also need to fill out some paperwork with your mortgage company or real estate agent. This includes:
- A rental application, which you can use to obtain information about your potential tenants' income and credit history — this information will be used to determine if they're eligible for a lease.
- A tenant screening report, which provides information about criminal activity or other negative information that may affect their ability to secure the lease.
- A lease agreement, which spells out all terms of the lease.
Collect a security deposit and first month’s rent
The final step in becoming a landlord is to collect a security deposit and first month’s rent. A security deposit protects you from tenants who may cause damage or fail to pay rent. The amount of the security deposit is usually equal to one month’s rent, but can be higher.
The tenant must give you this money within 30 days of signing the lease unless you agree otherwise. The tenant usually pays the first month’s rent when they sign the lease; if not, then they must do so within 30 days of moving into the unit.
When collecting rent from tenants, it is important to know the laws regarding rent collection. This information can vary by region, but you should always know what your rights and obligations are when collecting rent from tenants.
The process of becoming a landlord is actually pretty straightforward, if you know where to start! There's also plenty of advice out there to help you along the way, so don't be afraid to explore your options. Becoming a successful landlord requires a lot of work and responsibility. But in the end, your hard work will be worth it. By following the items we've covered here, you'll be well on your way to being a successful and responsible landlord.
If you’re still stuck on how to become a landlord, get in touch or view our letting guide for more information and letting advice.