Landlord Tool Kit Checklist

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Things to do When Renting a Property

Landlord Insurance

The first, and one of the most critical steps when renting a property is ensuring the property is properly insured. The professionals at Insurance by Castle are the people to talk to about this. Call them today at 800•644•6443.

You may also want to encourage your tenants to procure a renter’s insurance policy. Your landlord insurance will not cover their personal belongings.

Listing Your Property for Rent

As a landlord, your primary concern is to find the right tenant. Some of the best ways to find the right people to occupy your property include:

  • Post on various rental websites
  • Share the listing details with your friends on social media
  • Place an ad in your local newspapers
  • Strongly use word of mouth promotion

Provide the Proper Application Forms

It’s always a good idea to include a standard application form to every prospective tenant during the screening process. It should include the leasing terms and request certain pertinent information such as:

  • Employment history and income information
  • Social Security number
  • References, most importantly former landlords
  • Pet information

It is always a good idea to involve an attorney in the preparation of your application forms prior to utilizing them.

Collect rent checks via a P.O. Box, drop box, electronic transfer, or PayPal. NEVER provide your home address to tenants or prospective tenants.

The Dreaded Credit Check

It’s always a good idea to run a credit check on all prospective tenants. A credit check can alert you to someone with weak credit or a history of nonpayment. These prospects will probably prove to be less than ideal tenants. A standard credit check can provide you such valuable information as:

  • History of late payments
  • Accounts in Collections
  • Bankruptcies
  • Current outstanding debt

Running a background check is oftentimes a good idea as well. This simple, inexpensive check can provide you with such vital information as:

  • Criminal history
  • Relevant public records including any legal disputes
  • Eviction history

*NOTE* A landlord cannot utilize just any background checking service. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, landlords must use a Consumer Reporting Agency.

Finalize the Rental Agreement

Once you have decided on a tenant, set up a time to review and sign the lease. This will be your last chance to address any concerns you may have about your future tenant.

Setup the Payment Method

It is probably a good idea to include the method of payment you and your tenant agree on in the rental agreement (lease). Some of the options you have include:

  • Direct Account Transfers
  • ACH- Automatic Clearing House
  • PayPal
  • Rent Collection Service

Inspect the Property with Your New Tenant

It behooves you to conduct a mutual walk through with the tenant to address any final issues or concerns either of you may have. Agreeing on the condition of the property on delivery and the condition expected upon return is vital to any rental contract.

Once you are satisfied all the above steps above have been satisfactorily completed, turn the property over to your new tenant by providing them with keys and unsupervised access to the property.

Contact the professionals at Insurance by Castle today at 800•644•5443 to learn more about landlord insurance and design the policy that best suits your individual needs.

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