Rental Readiness Checklist for First-Time Landlords

Being a first-time landlord is rewarding, but also brings new challenges. Many landlords are aware of the commonalities of being a landlord, such as late rent payments, eviction notices and enforcing the terms of the agreement. There are several things your checklist should include to help you be prepared for those unexpected issues with your tenant(s). For example:

Criminal and Financial Background Checks on All Parties

Be sure to check the criminal, eviction and rental history of everyone that will be on the lease. This is also a good time to do an identity verification through a company like Checkr.

Screen Your Tenants Like You Would Your Employees

A background check and even a credit check are just the beginning! Your checklist should include:

  • Tenant’s Schedules- If your tenant(s) gets paid before you, make sure they can pay rent on time. Generally, first-time landlords recommend collecting first and last month’s rent (waived if there is good credit).
  • Tenant’s Employment Information- Be sure to check if they are planning on holding two jobs. If so, ask for proof.
  • Reference Letters & List of Previous Landlords- Try to get in touch with their previous landlord(s). It doesn’t have to be you! These individuals may have known the tenant has a family member that will be living with them.
  • Professional Opinion– If you can, hire a professional tenant placement service to help you find the best tenant(s) for your rental property. A professional can speak with several tenants before choosing the right fit for your checklist requirements.

Discuss Payment Expectations & Methods Upfront

Make sure your tenant(s) know how you would like to be paid. If they choose to pay you with a check, will it be cashed immediately or deposited directly into your account?

Get Everything in Writing

After finding the right tenant(s), draw up a checklist agreement that is customized for your checklist requirements and rent amount.

Monthly checklist Inspection

Inspect the checklist monthly with all parties present. Make sure your checklist agreement includes a checklist walk-through and that you document any damages or changes with photos and receipts.

Follow Your State’s Eviction Checklist

If you do need to evict a tenant, make sure you follow your state’s checklist to the checklist.

Routine Maintenance

How will you get access to your checklist property? Make sure that you include this in your checklist agreement and get permission from the tenant(s) up front. If something breaks, do you have a plan of action? 8. Insurance: What about an insurance checklist for your checklist property? Check with your checklist provider or search online for checklist companies and the checklist types of coverage you will need.

Be Prepared

To cover those unexpected checklist issues, put away 1-2 months’ worth of rent as a safety net and include it in your checklist agreement that this is an option should something happen to either party.

After You’ve Invested

Lastly, after you’ve successfully rented your checklist property for the first time, take a checklist of lessons learned to help improve your checklist for next time.

Overall, being a landlord is an incredibly rewarding experience. You get to meet people from all walks of life, yet you still have the checklist comforts of home. If you keep your checklist open and communicate with your tenant(s) throughout the process, it will help make renting a much more rewarding experience for everyone involved. For more information about checklist requirements for different parts of the checklist process, please contact Amanica and they will be happy to help you out!