First time Landlord Tips please

8 Replies

Look for some advice on taking on being a landlord early next year when I rent out my condo. Should I use an attorney to make the rental agreement? How should rent be collected and tracked, any software recommended? Should I have a handyman/general contractor on standby always, recommendations? Thank you!

@Rahul Sunkavalli  

  • either get a copy of a lease that an experienced investor that you know uses or have an attorney draft one up for you.
  • If you are renting out one single unit, just use excel to track everything. There are not really many transactions to keep track of with one condo. Buying software would be a waste of money at this point
  • You do not need a handyman or general contractor on standby. The most important thing for a condo is to make sure you have a good plumber you can call if anything comes up. The association handles everything outside, right? Anything else just deal with on a case by case basis, don't overthink things.

I would use an attorney to make a rental agreement. It's not very expensive and it's your first line of defense. 

Are you moving far away and can't collect rent in person? Collecting in person gives you a reason to check on the property at least once every month. If you can't or don't want to collect in person you can always give the tenant banking info for direct deposit or have them mail you a check. 

If this will be your only property then excel is enough to track your expenses and revenue. 

I would network with some handymen or women in your area and get their contact information, but I wouldn't make a formal arrangement for them to be on standby. 

@Rahul Sunkavalli

Read Brandon Turner's book on managing rental properties. 

For rent and expenses, I recommend https://cozy.co/.  Its free and your tenants can pay you online.  I have yet to have a late payment since I moved to this software. 

For repairs, it depends on the quality of the rental.  Most of my rentals have 1-2 maintenance requests per year/ per unit. Agreed don't over think it and handle on a case by case. 

Thank you all for your quick responses. Appreciate the feedback and will action it.

The information you guys gave was great. It really helped me, especially the link to Cozy! Thanks for sharing because I have been trying to figure out the same things.

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@Rahul Sunkavalli Make sure to screen your tenants! That will save you so much time, money and headaches. They can be your worst nightmare or your best asset so make sure you get good tenants and then take care of them and they will take care of you!

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