Owning rental properties can be a lucrative business; however, it also comes with its fair share of risks. Fortunately, there are many things Georgia landlords can do to lower those risks and avoid common pitfalls that come with renting a property. Here are some tips for how to protect one’s interests when leasing a property.
- Be careful when selecting tenants. Many landlords rely on a “gut check” when selecting tenants, going by how rental applicants present themselves. But, it can pay off to dig a bit deeper into who will be leasing a property, most notably by checking references from former landlords.
- Secure a security deposit and clear lease. A security deposit is usually equivalent to one to three months’ rent, and it can be used for any damage above normal wear and tear. Make sure the lease is clear on all aspects, especially those pertaining to when and how the security deposit can be used and what the tenant’s responsibilities are with regards to maintaining the property.
- Choose flooring that is easy to clean and repair. Floors are one of the most common things that need repaired or replaced between tenants, as they are easily damaged. Forgo the pricy carpeting for affordable, easily replaced laminate or hardwood to save stress and expense when fixing flooring issues.
- Inspect regularly. Giving tenants their space and privacy is a must; however, landlords can benefit from scheduling a brief inspection every few months or so. This not only provides an opportunity to identify and resolve any possible damage caused by tenants, but can be a good chance to make repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility, which will keep good tenants happy and more likely to stay around.
In summary, due diligence, attention to the situation, and selecting the right materials for a rental home are all part of helping a landlord make the most if their rental property investment. The lease is one of the most important documents in the entire process, so it is a good idea to have it looked over by a lawyer. Finding a Georgia attorney who can provide quick advice if legal concerns arise is also a good idea for landlords, be they experienced or new to renting.