If you are contemplating becoming a landlord and you own a home along the Jersey Shore it is not a decision you should make lightly. Choosing to rent out your home involves more than just finding a tenant and handing over the keys. It involves a great deal of responsibility. Here is what you need to know.
How close do you live to the rental?
Ideally, you want to live close to the property so that you can check in on its condition every now and then (only after giving your tenant proper notice). If you want to do any needed repairs yourself you will want to live close. If you no longer live in the area and want to own a rental home, you should hire a property management company to oversee it while you are away.
Know the law
There are specific landlord-tenant provisions unique to the state that you need to be aware of before jumping into the rental business. These provisions cover everything from security deposits to how much access you have to the home while it is being rented out. Also, it covers what you need to do if you want a tenant to vacate the home. Beyond provisions, there are also federal laws you need to be aware of regarding antidiscrimination and habitability. Fully understand all laws before jumping into the rental business.
How will you enforce that rent is paid when it should be?
It is easy to become too friendly with your tenants and there may be a time or two when you let them slide a few weeks on their monthly payment. Don’t do this. Have a plan set in place for how you will enforce that rent is paid on time. Be firm and respectful.
Do you plan to thoroughly screen tenants?
It is in your best interest to screen new tenants. It’s customary to do a background check as well as a credit check on any potential tenant. A credit score alone should not be the determining factor in either denying or accepting the tenant. Always conduct an interview with a tenant and check references from past landlords.
Include a clause in your lease documents that allows you or a property management company of your choice to conduct an inspection of the home at least once every three months. Before the tenant moves in, photograph the inside of the home so you have a baseline to go from during each inspection.
Being a landlord can be tough and it is not a path to get-rich-quick. This is just the beginning of what you should consider before jumping into the role of landlord. If you are looking for an investment home The Ferzoco Group is here to help you find one that is right for you.
The Ferzoco Group are experts in real estate from Ocean City to Cape May. Real estate is one of the biggest investments of your life and The Ferzoco Group knows what it takes for you to take that leap of faith in real estate. We provide you with the tools, professional service, and resources it will take for you to live the dream. Contact us here or give us a call directly at (609) 399-5454. We are here to help you with all your real estate needs.