When you decide you utilize your property for rental income instead of selling it, there are many responsibilities that come along with the undertaking. Any landlord who has been doing it awhile will tell you that there is a lot of trial and error that comes with learning everything you need to be successful. In this article, we want to outline some of the major responsibilities of landlords, as well as how a property management company like Galvan and Gardner can make your life as a landlord much easier.
Many hats are worn by landlords. The requirements are all unique and cover a wide variety of areas from rental property maintenance, to tenant acquisition and other legal responsibilities.
Responsibilities to your Tenants
As a landlord, you have an ongoing responsibility to your tenants. While you expect them to pay rent on time each month, they have also signed a lease. The lease outlines certain expectations of you, as well. First, a tenant will rightfully expect their homes to be stable and safe. It is your job as a landlord to ensure this is a constant priority. Your tenants must feel safe. This means that all doors, windows and other methods of entry are in working order and secured with the appropriate working locks. Ensuring there is no one else out there with keys or access to the property is also essential to your tenants’ safety. It is best practice to replace the locks after every tenant. Keep one of your tenants’ keys for yourself for emergencies throughout their occupation of your property.
You should never let unsupervised repairmen or maintenance staff into a tenant’s residence. This will prevent accusations of theft and other problems. It is also your job to make sure all of the safety codes for your property are strictly followed. Keeping up with fire alarms, and other detectors is imperative.
These important ongoing responsibilities to your tenant can be very time consuming and sometimes stressful. Luckily, these responsibilities can be handled completely by a property management company for you. They have successful plans in place to take care of these types of duties.
Another tip to avoid stress as a landlord is to require your tenants to purchase renters insurance. Many renters do not know that they are not covered under YOUR insurance policies. Obtaining renters insurance will protect your tenants possessions in an unfortunate event, like a fire, flood, or other natural disaster. Did you know that a renters insurance policy also protects their liability for an accident a guest may have on your property? This is not a huge or unfamiliar request. Most properties require this of their tenants and policies can start as low as $10 a month.
Safety Codes for Landlords and Property Management Companies
- Lead Paint – If your rental was built before 1978, you are responsible for providing a led paint disclosure form along with an explanatory pamphlet with information about the risks of lead paint.
- Mold – It is a direct safety code violation if mold is found in your rental property. You are required by law to clean the mold. Landlords are also responsible for fixing the cause of the water build up, as well. This can be very time consuming and costly to repair. Make sure you are up for it, if renting a property yourself.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – There are laws out there that dictate how many smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are required for each room and floor of your rental. There are several factors that go into determining these requirements. Property management companies like Galvan and Gardner are well versed in the various laws and codes. They will ensure your property is perfectly up to code at all times.
- Common Areas – Ongoing safety checks and maintenance must be completed in all common areas of your rental property. This falls under ensuring the safety of your tenant wheelhouse. This can also take up a good bit of time. If you do not live close to all of your properties to keep up, a property management company in Colorado Springs can take care of it.
- There are several other codes and laws that you will need to become familiar with as a landlord. Tenant evictions, snow removal codes and other various legal responsibilities are sometimes overlooked by new landlords. When a property management company is utilized, the landlord won’t have to worry about knowing the ins and outs around the law.
There is a lot of responsibility in being a landlord, but it can be a fruitful pursuit if you know what you’re doing. The first thing to know is that a good tenant makes for a great landlord and it all starts with quality tenant screening. At Galvan and Gardner, we pride ourselves in finding the most reliable, and long-term tenants possible for your rental property in Colorado Springs. We know all of the laws that surround a tenant and landlord relationship. Protect yourself, your property, and your tenant by stopping by our offices in Colorado Springs or by contacting us online. You’ll have a happy renter and a great new source of consistent income.