By Anica Oaks
Being a landlord comes with a variety of perks. One particular benefit is that you get to have extra income. However, earning this money comes with a cost for you as well. While you personally do not need to be available at all hours of the day and night for your tenants, you do have to make sure that someone is available, particularly in the case of emergencies.
Provide Availability Details
When new tenants move into the property, let them know how and when they can reach you. Be specific about the times of the day and days of the week that you are available. If you prefer that tenants contact you through text messaging as opposed to calling when you're at work or when the kids are asleep, clearly convey that information. You should also provide information regarding whom your tenants can contact if you're unavailable.
Offer Reasonable Availability
While you might want to avoid any texts or calls related to the property on weekends or after getting home from work, doing so isn't a reality for most landlords. You're going to have to be available the majority of the time in order to be a good landlord. Of course, one way to create a reasonable balance is to screen prospective tenants. Individuals who have a history of problems at previous residences may very well end up consuming too much of their time.
Consider Property Management
Being around to address issues with the rental literally all of the time isn't possible for most people, especially when multiple tenants are involved. Think about hiring a property management company to help with the upkeep. For example, you could look into condo 24-hour maintenance to avoid constantly having to go to the building to complete repairs and handle problems. Even when you have only one small rental space, a property manager can be immensely helpful when you're away on vacation or having a busy season at work.
Make a Team Effort
It's also possible that a property manager is either out of your budget or unnecessary for the small number of rentals that you have. Instead of hiring someone, team up with a relative or partner to be landlords together. When one of you can't address the tenant's needs right away, the other can get to the location.
If you want to be a good landlord, you're going to have to avail yourself a decent amount of the time. Still, though, you need to have your own life as well.
Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco, California. When she's not writing, she's enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks.