You may become a long-distance landlord under certain scenarios. For instance, you may get a job relocation and choose to rent out your home instead of selling it. 

It is also possible to stumble across a potentially profitable investment opportunity in another city that would be too good to pass up. Or maybe, you could be looking to expand your current investment portfolio to other cities.

Luckily for you, being a successful long-distance landlord is still possible. The following are some tips to help you manage your remote rental property reliably and successfully.

1. Rent to Qualified Tenants

Your journey to successful rental investing starts here. In addition to investing in the right locale, renting to the right tenant is fundamental to your success. You will need to find a tenant that has your best interests at heart.

Some qualities to go for include a good credit score, a good rental history, a solid employment background, and a good salary. For you to do this, you’ll need to screen every prospective tenant who applies to rent your property.

Just make sure the process is consistent and fair. Also, ask the right questions that abide by the Fair Housing Act and local laws.

landlord-talking-to-tenant

2. Establish Clear and Consistent Communication Channels

As a long-distance landlord, it is vital to establish clear communication channels with tenants and property managers. This can help build a solid landlord-tenant relationship and ensure a smooth flow of information and reduce misunderstandings.

You will want to utilize modern tools such as email, phone calls, and messaging apps to facilitate smooth communication. The following is a breakdown of how you can effectively use the various communication channels.

Maintain regular contact with tenants to keep them updated. Also, promptly address issues for tenant satisfaction.

3. Inspect Your Rental Property Regularly

Regular inspections are crucial for long-distance landlords. They help ensure tenants are keeping the property in good condition and complying with lease terms. To conduct these remotely, invest in technology like video chat or hire a trusted local inspector.

When it comes to repairs, make sure to be proactive and address them as soon as you’re able to. Create a network of reliable contractors and handymen to respond to any issues that arise. 

Additionally, schedule routine property upgrades to maintain the property value.

4. Be Proactive with Lease Renewals

Use legally enforceable lease agreements to outline the expectations for both parties. Keep tenants informed of pertinent changes and send renewal notices well before the lease expires. Offer incentives for renewals, like a small rent discount or property upgrades.

lease-agreement

To protect yourself and your property, make sure to include certain important clauses in your lease. Including:

  •       Lease start and end dates
  •       Rent payment schedule and amounts
  •       Security deposit details
  •       Maintenance responsibilities
  •       Rules for property use

5. Streamline the Rent Collection Process

Remote landlords face unique challenges in collecting rent. Distance can affect communication and tracking payments. It’s, therefore, crucial to identify and address these barriers early on.

Knowing your tenants’ preferred payment methods makes the process smoother. Offer a variety of options, such as direct deposit, checks, or digital platforms. Be open to accommodating their preferences for a hassle-free rent collection experience.

After selecting a platform, set up automated billing to streamline rent collection. Configure the billing details, including rent amount, due date, and late fees. Make sure tenants provide consent and set up their payment method in the system.

When a tenant misses a payment, respond quickly and professionally. Communication is key to understanding the situation and finding a solution. While working with the tenant is essential, you must also maintain firm expectations to ensure consistent rent collection.

6. Understand the Community

As a remote landlord, it’s possible to be disconnected from the community you rent to. And this can work to your disadvantage. Even when away, you’ll want to keep plugged into the happenings in that community.

landlord-talking-to-property-manager

For instance, you’ll want to keep abreast of government policies and demographic changes as these can have a significant impact on your investment. 

This will help ensure that you’re charging the right rent, enforcing the right lease policies, and abiding by all local landlord-tenant laws, among other things.

7. Hire the Right Property Management Company

This is the best strategy for remote landlords. Hiring a competent property manager can help you reduce stress and even maximize your rental income.

You will no longer have to worry about the day-to-day running of your investment property. For instance, rent payment, enforcement of the lease terms, repairs and maintenance, filling rental vacancies, and rental marketing.

Experienced property managers also have a wealth of experience that you can tap onto to reduce your expenses for optimal ROI. They can help you charge the right rent, and reduce your maintenance bills thanks to dependable connections with local resources, and tried-and-tested tenant screening systems.

Also, you can count on them to help you keep your property legally compliant. From Fair Housing Rules, to habitability laws, to tenant eviction laws, you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Of course, just make sure you make the right hire! At the minimum, hire a company with a reputation for good service delivery, years of experience in the field, and one that has your best interest at heart.

Conclusion

Just because you’re living or working in another city or state doesn’t mean your dream of being a landlord is doomed. By making use of the aforementioned strategies, it remains valid and well within reach.

For expert help in managing your rental property, Rent Appeal can help! We are based in Atlanta, FL and have been successfully helping landlords realize their goals since 2013. Our operations are guided by three principles: simplicity, efficiency, and passion. Get in touch to learn more!

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