Property Management Blog

3 Tips to Help You Start Rental Leasing the Right Way

Maria Napolitano - Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Approximately 36% of Americans live in rental properties, making rental properties increasingly profitable. As a new landlord, it is important for your business model to thoroughly screen tenants. You'll also want to fine-tune your lease agreements. 

Our Kissimmee, Florida based team of experts can help you avoid costly landlord mistakes. Keep reading to learn three tips to help you start rental leasing. 

1. Thoroughly Screen Your Tenants

The ideal tenant is trustworthy, responsible, and financially equipped to inhabit your property. Screening is important because prospective tenants will put their best foot forward on rental applications. 

Ensure that your tenants are up to your rental standards. This way, you can minimize your need to later evict your tenants. 

By having a well-rounded understanding of a tenant's background you can be reassured about their reliability. Here are some items to include in your tenant screening checklist: 

  • Pre-screening interview
  • Credit check 
  • Employment history
  • Criminal background check
  • Credit report
  • Eviction History

Landlords will often skip parts of a thorough screening to save money on the front-end. Doing a deep dive into your tenants can help you look into their financial and behavioral history. 

2. Personalize Forms to the Lease Agreement 

A lease agreement is the written contract between the owner of the property and the tenant. This is a legally binding document that defines the term of the rental, including the length of the contract. This document is mutually agreed upon by both parties and can legally be enforced. 

By personalizing these forms to your property, you can save money and ensure that your expectations for tenants are met. Generic and outdated forms can cost you a lot of money. The rules outlined in generic forms may place excess responsibilities on the renter or landlord. 

Landlords need to be particular to clearly define what the expectations are for a particular piece of property. Generic forms often leave too much room for renters to disrespect the property. 

Non personalized forms may even fail to comply with local rental laws and ordinances. For example, if you are renting a property that has to abide by HOA rules those must explicitly be included in the rental agreement. 

3. Define Your Maintenance Responsibilities 

One of the most common landlord mistakes is to not clearly define what maintenance needs the tenants are responsible for. Addressing the issues of maintenance costs up-front can allow all parties to plan accordingly.  Landlords and tenants should clearly assign maintenance roles in the leasing agreement.

Typically property management will accept large repair costs unless the tenant was personally responsible for the damage. Unforeseen maintenance costs can be costly to a rental property, so clearly defining terms can help you prepare your finances. 

Tenant responsibilities could include changing and cleaning the HVAC filter or replacing lightbulbs. In many cases, renters believe that financing all maintenance needs should fall upon the landlord. Explicitly listing these responsibilities can clear up any future confusion. 

Refine Your Rental Leasing Plan 

Landlord mistakes can be costly! New landlords often struggle to build out a streamlined tenant screening process and start churning out profit.

By utilizing our property management team we can ensure that your property is well-cared for and bringing in a steady stream of revenue. Connect with our management team to refine your rental leasing plan.