What to Know as a New Landlord

Posted by Alex Narodny on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 at 1:39pm

The National Multifamily Housing Council recently reported that over 30% of households in the United States are headed by renters, so rental properties continue to be sound investments. Renting them out, however, requires a lot of preparation. Fortunately, there are many professionals and technological advancements that can help you get the job done. Today, Marin Real Estate presents some suggestions to get you started.

Choose a Business Structure 

One of the first things to do as an investor and landlord is to decide how you wish to structure your business. A limited liability company is a common structure among rental businesses. It provides flexibility and protection of personal assets. Forming an LLC in California can be a bit tedious, but hiring a formation service simplifies the process. These services are generally less expensive than lawyers. If you decide to do the formation paperwork yourself, make sure to check your local laws because formation requirements vary by state. 

Pay Attention to the Legalities 

As with any business, there are a variety of legal considerations. Make sure to familiarize yourself with tenant rights in your state. An experienced property manager can help you keep up with all regulations. Understand the taxation laws regarding rental income. It may help to speak with a tax preparer or advisor as you get started to ensure you are keeping adequate records and setting aside enough to pay your taxes on time. 

Make Repairs and Upgrades 

When getting your property ready to rent, it is important that everything is in working order. Some common repairs that landlords make include: 

  •       Drywall patching 
  •       Plumbing and electrical work 
  •       HVAC maintenance 

After the basics are addressed, it is time to make upgrades to the property that will make it more appealing to renters. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are generally attractive to renters. Check out model homes and home renovation shows to see what is currently popular. Choose durable flooring and finishes so that the property maintains its appeal through multiple tenants. Selecting neutral paint for the walls ensures that tenants’ furniture and decor fit seamlessly into the home. Tidy up the lawn and perform a deep clean inside before showing the property. 

If you need to hire a plumber, electrician or general contractor, ask friends and family for recommendations. You can also check online reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau. Meet with the professional and ask for referrals.  

You should also give the outside of the home some love. Make sure that the facade is in good condition by power washing the exterior and replacing any loose boards. You may also want to replace older or damaged windows. Curb appeal is important, so new paint and some fresh landscaping can go a long way. As a finishing touch, add metal signage for the address to give it a polished and professional look. Give this a try and see whether the best fit for your property is aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, or bronze numbers.

Consider Video Marketing 

There are numerous ways to market your rental property. One effective method is to create a real estate video. These often take the form of a video walk-through of the property. Make sure the home is in good shape before getting started. Consider staging the property to show off its best qualities. Don’t make the video too long, but include all the major spaces, including the kitchen, living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms. Audio should complement the visuals and not distract the viewer. Merge tools are available to help you combine video online and edit it to your liking. This tool is a great starting point for making an effective, high-quality video.  

Take the Leap to Becoming a Landlord

Whether you are forming an LLC, creating a marketing video or making repairs to ready the property for tenants, being a landlord is hard work. Fortunately, there are professionals and technological innovations that can help you every step of the way. Start with the right property, and spend some time fixing it up. Everything finishing touch you include, from the flooring to the paint and the metal home address on the front, will show potential tenants your dedication and professionalism.

If you’re looking for a home to manage in beautiful Marin County, let Karin and Alex Narodny with Marin Real Estate help you to find the perfect one. Contact us today to begin looking for your real estate investment purchase.

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