Approximately 32% of the households in the U.S. are renter-occupied. Some of those rented properties are owned by companies, but many are owned by individuals who have decided to become landlords. However, not everyone is cut out to be a Houston area landlord. Those with the best chances for success need a certain set of skills and qualities.
1. Understanding of tenant laws
You should have a comprehension of tenant laws in your state. These laws protect both you and your tenant. They also help landlords to draft legal leases that will hold up in court. Ignoring tenant laws and just trying to “do the right thing” could land you in hot water. Tenant laws cover such things as:
Deposits – requirements regarding escrow or interest-bearing accounts, time frames for return of deposits, maximum allowable deposit amounts, etc.
Legal responsibility for accidents – in certain states, including Texas, landlords can be held legally responsible for injuries that occur on the property.
Security responsibility – landlords can be held accountable for security breaches that could have been avoided by rekeying and providing adequate locks, such as on windows and garage doors.
Entry – this covers when the landlord must be allowed entry into the premises, 24-hour notices before entry and more.
Length of lease – some states have minimum and maximum lengths of time that a lease can cover.
Termination law – items such as early termination, notice of eviction, notice of intent to leave, etc.
2. Maintenance skills
Though a landlord is usually better off hiring a company for maintenance assistance, many try to personally take care of smaller things that can go wrong with a rental unit. It helps to have a basic set of maintenance skills to handle things like:
Residential door services – garage doors and front doors receive the most wear and tear on a home. Being able to take care of residential door maintenance on garage doors and openers is a key skill.
Window repair – windows are another common repair need in rental units. They get broken, cracked or lose their insulating capacity. Having the knowledge to install replacement windows is helpful.
Carpet and flooring – carpets are frequently in need of replacement between tenants. A landlord who can lay carpet will save tons of money with their DIY skills.
3. Money handling
Houston area landlords need to understand that a percentage of money earned from rent needs to be put into an account to take care of unexpected expenses on the rental unit. If the money is not there to take care of repairs in a timely manner, a landlord could be in breach of the rental contract.
Being a Conroe area landlord is a big responsibility and not to be undertaken lightly. If you find that you are cut out for it, you could earn a tidy profit in the real estate rental business.
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