How To Be Successful As A Long Distance Landlord
Becoming a long distance landlord can be a recipe for disaster. However, for people who must move to another area quickly, renting out the current home may be the only way to generate enough income to cover the costs of housing in both the old and new locations. If you find yourself about to assume the role of a long distance landlord, the following tips will help to ensure that the experience will remain a positive one.
Seek Out the Best Tenants
As a long distance landlord, it is imperative to have tenants who will pay the rent on time and take good care of your property. Finding this type of tenant requires a thorough screening process that includes all of the following:
- an income verification to ensure that the applicant can afford the rental amount
- a credit check to look for any indications of issues with past landlords and any late or missed payments on utilities and other credit obligations
- references from previous landlords, including contact information so that you can speak with each one to verify that the potential tenants are trustworthy
Utilize Technology to Ensure Timely Rental Payments
It's a fact of life that checks can get delayed in the mail and when a long distance landlord needs that check to cover a mortgage payment, any delay can become a huge problem. Avoid this type of problem by making it a condition of the lease that the rent payment will be transferred to you electronically through a debit card transaction or an automatic draft of the tenant's checking account.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
No matter how well you screen prospective tenants, they may not understand how or have time to perform simple, but necessary maintenance tasks on the HVAC system, such as changing filters or cleaning the units.
Since poor maintenance habits can cause excessive wear on the HVAC components and increase the likelihood that expensive heating and air conditioning system failures will occur, it is important to find a way to get these tasks done in your absence.
For many long distance landlords, utilizing a planned HVAC maintenance program through a local heating and air conditioning company like Chappel's Heating & Cooling is the best way to prevent expensive repairs due to a lack of regular maintenance. Make sure that any agreement you sign includes the dates of service, a checklist of the maintenance steps that will be taken and how you want any necessary repair work to be handled.