Start the journey to become a landlord in California today. Whether you’re relocating your rental property business from another state or a local Californian looking for an exciting business opportunity, gather the tools you need to complete a landlord toolkit. From rental agreements and safety tips to quality insurance options, be sure your investment is secured as you grow your business.
Landlord Toolkit Essentials
The first place to start as a landlord is local laws and regulations. Check with your city, town and state for information you need for renting properties. This may include a business license, rental license and approval by a zoning officer.
While you’re pursuing the legal aspect of rental properties you should be searching for properties in your area or in an ideal location. Here are some common features that landlords use to find the perfect rental property:
- Estimated cost of rent
- Number of rental units
- Property condition
- Upkeep costs
If you are planning to manage your own rental property you may want to look for a property near your home. Otherwise, search for properties in California that offer the best balance of price, expected rental price and location. Some properties will require more maintenance than others. You may be able to require your tenant to maintain the yard of a rental home, but you’ll need to hire a lawn care professional to maintain an apartment complex green space.
Rental Agreements and Eviction Procedures
No one wants to evict their tenants. The eviction process can be long in many areas, so consider pre-screening tenants to avoid this unfortunate process. Pre-screening involves references, background checks, previous rental information and sometimes even a drug test.
This information can help you make an informed decision about who to rent to and how to keep your property safe while enjoying consistent rent. Once you do choose tenants, consider scheduling routine visits to your property to check up on things and discuss any issues with your tenants. This will not only improve your relationship with your renters but can also help you spot warning signs early on and prevent unnecessary damage to your property.
Safety Tips To Protect Your Tenants
All real estate requires maintenance. Whether you’re renting out single-family homes or a multi-family apartment complex, take the steps necessary to keep your property safe and comfortable. Preventative maintenance and emergency repairs protect your tenants from danger and allow you to continue to rent out your units at a competitive price.
Inspect your units or have a qualified contractor inspect them for you. Look for signs of cosmetic damage as well as more serious issues. Your roof, HVAC system, plumbing and electrical system need to be safe for your tenants. Necessary repairs are typically tax deductible as a business expense, but check with your tax professional for more information.
Other maintenance and safety concerns include repairing sidewalks, clearing gutters, replacing smoke detector batteries and checking the temperature of hot water heaters. These minor preventative maintenance steps can help your tenants feel comfortable and can prevent more costly repairs in the future.
How To Attract Tenants
Once your real estate is ready to rent, it’s time to invite tenants. Advertise your property on relevant websites, create your own website and consider local advertising strategies. Consider your target audience and find ways to reach them locally or nationally to attract qualified tenants to reduce turnover time.
Homeowners Insurance vs. Rental Property Insurance
While homeowners insurance is enough coverage for your personal residence, it won’t cover all the liabilities and other factors that landlord insurance covers. Be sure to work with Insurance by Castle for quality landlord insurance in California. This will cover damage to your property by a tenant and can cover you in the event of an uninhabitable rental unit.
When your property becomes uninhabitable, fair rental income protection can offer you your typical rental income for up to 12 months as you restore your property and make any necessary updates to allow it to be safely rented again.
Receive a Free Landlord Insurance Quote
Get started with your landlord business opportunity today. Contact us today at Insurance by Castle to request a free insurance quote. Discuss your insurance options to complete your landlord toolkit and prepare for a lucrative business opportunity in California.