How to Be a Great Landlord

One Methods:Sample Rental Documents

Always wanted to be a landlord, but were afraid to try? Fear no more! Follow the steps in this article and become a great landlord. It's all about keeping them happy and being fair and accessible. It’s really that simple–be nice, be fair, be accessible. If you take one step, your tenant will probably take three.


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    Go the extra mile. If you want your tenants to go the extra mile for you, go there for them first.
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    Set a reasonable rent. Study and learn the market in the area in which you'll be renting. There are many valuable online tools that can help you accurately calculate an appropriate fee. The information society we live in today makes it easy to determine if you are charging market value. You can charge what you want, but keep in mind, "the invisible hand" of capitalism will ultimately prevail.
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    Reward on-time or advanced rent payments. People tend to be motivated by 3 things in life-money, food, and the s word. Since this is a business, money is the best way to motivate your tenants into action. Consider offering a reduction in rent for paying for a full year, or 6 months up front (if you find this tenant, you should be writing this article!). Be careful with offering too many incentives. A little goes a long way. You want your tenants to appreciate your offers, not expect them.
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    Know thy tenants. Dale Carnegie was master motivator. A good read is "How to win friends and influence people." Basically, take the time to get to know the people you are working for (yes, you are working for your tenants). Try to learn a little about them. Be human. Most tenants will assume your are rich and rolling in it if you have property to rent. It's a stigma you have to get around. Taking the time to show genuine interest in a person or people will pay off in the long run.
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    Be available to your tenants. If you miss their call, respond promptly. There is nothing more annoying than a property manager who never answers your call and never responds.
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    Discuss win-win options with them. Never allow a tenant to do work on your house unless they are licensed and bonded to do the work! Allowing an unlicensed professional could cost you more than just the repair job they mess up: If a job is done incorrectly by an unlicensed professional, and your house is damaged, insurance will not cover you! Consider offering them a discount on the rent if they purchase the materials or pay for a service call. That way they do the leg work involved in getting licensed professionals to come out to your property. Your tenant(s) will feel more empowered if you allow them to do something, and you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that the job is being done by a licensed professional.
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    Know what you're doing before you get into it. There is a reason why property management companies exist. If you are not comfortable with the concept of stress, than you may want to consider hiring a property manager! Things will always happen when you least expect them to happen. Have a budget for repairs to avoid being too stressed out when that inevitable repair job happens. Being a great landlord can be challenging and rewarding. [Image:Be a Great Landlord Step 07.jpg|center]]

Sample Rental Documents

These documents should give you a good idea of the information tenants should provide when renting from you.[1][2]

Sample Rental Application

Sample Lease

Sample Property Inspection Checklist


  • Do not follow the rule that tenants are always right, because they are not. They are your customers but you own the property.
  • Communicate clearly what you expect from applicants from the outset. Establish rules for prompt payment of rents. Maintain rules for good tenant relations with other tenants. Follow through on penalties for non-performance of prompt payment of rent.
  • A tenant who will go the extra mile will:
    • Do minor repairs at their own cost
    • Add value to your property (for example, by installing a broadband connection, a wall-mount for a dryer [if it’s a unit/apartment], or by painting the balcony railing etc)
    • Always pay rent on time or even in advance
    • Be extra careful not to scratch walls or floors
    • Clean everything better so it doesn’t age/rust as fast.
  • Start out on the right foot and make sure your tenant feels welcome when he steps in the door on moving day:
    • If your tenant has not yet moved in, make sure your unit is spotless before the moving truck arrives.
    • To make moving day more pleasant for your tenant, go ahead and install fresh toilet paper rolls in all the bathrooms and place a nice fresh bar of soap and a package of paper towels at each sink.
    • Place a few six-packs of disposable water in the fridge.


  • Even the best of people will resent their landlord if their home life is unsatisfactory. The resentment may be only on a subconscious level, but it makes your tenant less enthusiastic about looking after the house properly. They won’t "go the extra mile" caring for your property. So if you want an above average tenant, be an above average landlord and follow the steps above.
  • Do not look down on renters.
  • Make repairs to rental unit in a timely fashion.
  • Even though landlord owns the property, the tenant is the one having to live there. Don't be intrusive.
  • Don't treat tenants like a child, they know when the grass needs to be cut, snow shoveled, etc.
  • A dissatisfied tenant is likely to cause headaches and expense. They are in a very good position to hurt you financially if they want to - many landlords have spent thousands cleaning and fixing their house after a bad tenant set about damaging it. Judgments for damage can be claimed by tenant if they declare bankruptcy, leaving you with the bill.

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Categories: Renting