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Practical Tips For First-Time Landlords

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Purchasing your first rental property is both thrilling and overwhelming. Being a new landlord comes with an array of challenges, victories and inevitable mistakes. As someone who became a landlord at the age of 19, I have been through it all — the highs, the lows and the trials all first-time landlords face.

Rental properties can be an outstanding source of income. However, in order to be successful as a first-time landlord, you must constantly learn and adapt. For landlords who are just starting out, I’ve compiled some of my best tips to help avoid common pitfalls.

1. Never Cut Corners On Documentation

Documentation is a critical part of being a successful landlord. If you are new to rental management, you will need to spend some time collecting important documents and forms. Some of the most important forms you will need include:

• Condition reports

• State-specific leases

• Locally required disclosures (e.g., lead, radon, mold, occupancy limits)

• Rental applications

Most of your paperwork you can migrate online, such as rental applications and agreements. However, the important part is to ensure you have a copy of every important document.

Never give away your only copy of a document, or ask a tenant to complete something and just hope you get it back. Make copies of every document or save them electronically so you never wind up in court empty-handed.

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Shutterstock

Purchasing your first rental property is both thrilling and overwhelming. Being a new landlord comes with an array of challenges, victories and inevitable mistakes. As someone who became a landlord at the age of 19, I have been through it all — the highs, the lows and the trials all first-time landlords face.

Rental properties can be an outstanding source of income. However, in order to be successful as a first-time landlord, you must constantly learn and adapt. For landlords who are just starting out, I’ve compiled some of my best tips to help avoid common pitfalls.

1. Never Cut Corners On Documentation

Documentation is a critical part of being a successful landlord. If you are new to rental management, you will need to spend some time collecting important documents and forms. Some of the most important forms you will need include:

• Condition reports

• State-specific leases

• Locally required disclosures (e.g., lead, radon, mold, occupancy limits)

• Rental applications

Most of your paperwork you can migrate online, such as rental applications and agreements. However, the important part is to ensure you have a copy of every important document.

Never give away your only copy of a document, or ask a tenant to complete something and just hope you get it back. Make copies of every document or save them electronically so you never wind up in court empty-handed.

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