How to Thrive as a Kitsap Peninsula Landlord: A Guide to Renting Properties

The Joseph Group Sep 2021

Joseph Property Management

Landlords in the Kitsap Peninsula area often wonder what it takes to be successful. With so many tasks and responsibilities, it can seem daunting. It's also easy to make mistakes.

This guide will walk you through some of the most important aspects of being a landlord! Our property management experts cover how to create a lease agreement, conduct effective tenant screening, tackle marketing for your property, and more.

The Complete Guide to Being a Landlord

Becoming a landlord is often a second career or an additional stream of income for investors. While it can seem simple to buy a property and collect the rent, there's much more to being a successful landlord than that!

Create a Residential Lease Agreement

If you're starting as a property owner, you'll find plenty of free lease agreement templates online. While it's tempting to download one and use it as your rental agreement, a free template can leave you with too many loopholes or gray areas to protect your property and income effectively. 

To ensure your leases include critical legal terms and every necessary detail to serve tenants well and enforce the rules, work with a lawyer and a property management company to finalize a lease before tenants sign. They can review the language and help close loopholes to ensure your agreements comply with local, Washington state, and federal law. 


Realtor

Find (and Manage) Excellent Tenants

Finding great people to rent your property is a critical step toward success as a landlord. To find good tenants, you'll need an excellent tenant screening process. Free online tools for this are often limited at best and usually don't include thorough background checks or social security number verification.

A better option would be to work with a full-service property company in the Kitsap Peninsula! The right property manager has experience verifying applicant information using credit reports, criminal history, running reference calls on applicants' current and previous landlords, confirming employment and income, and conducting thorough interviews before tours begin to identify problem candidates early in the process.

Once you have a quality tenant, it's critical to manage them well! Conduct a thorough make-ready process before new residents move in. Welcome them with a move-in checklist to ease their transition into their new home. Be responsive, build positive relationships, and work with them to follow the rules in the lease agreement. 

Create Compelling Rental Property Listings

Before you can screen or manage tenants, you have to market your rental property. 

When you create a free ad for your residential property on Craigslist or Zillow, it's challenging to stand out from the competition. Most owners attract more qualified tenants and get higher rent offers when their rental listing is professional and well-written. 

To make sure your listings have compelling content, property managers recommend choosing photos carefully, so each ad looks its best with accurate captions about what makes your place unique! If possible, include some before and after shots of any recent renovations to show renters that you're a thoughtful property owner who cares for the rental. Property management experts recommend writing strong descriptions of amenities, like pool access or laundry facilities. The right descriptions and features can help bring in top Kitsap applicants quickly!

Enforce the Lease

Having an effective residential lease agreement is a great start, but it can't enforce itself--and not every tenant follows all of the rules appropriately. Property owners must enforce the rules in every rental agreement! While there are legal rights and protections for tenants that should be followed, landlords also have responsibilities that require strict enforcement. If your terms aren't appropriately enforced from day one, your property can become damaged, or you'll lose rental income when renters don't pay the rent. 

However, while rule enforcement is essential to protecting your rental and income, good landlords also exercise compassion and flexibility through different circumstances. Work with residents to stick to the rules, but avoid being an overbearing landlord that reacts punitively when a resident neglects the lawn for a few weeks.


House construction renovation abstract background and tools

Deliver Excellent Maintenance

As the rental property owner, part of your responsibilities is to provide a safe, well-maintained home for residents. If keeping up with preventive maintenance tasks or taking care of significant repairs is outside of your skillset or you simply don't have the time, a property management company can help! Responding to maintenance requests promptly and keeping homes in excellent condition is one of the best ways to keep good tenants longer, build great relationships, and maximize returns! 

A Kitsap Peninsula Property Management Company Boosts Your Success!

There are many critical tasks that landlords need to tackle to be successful. From creating an airtight lease, finding quality tenants, and maintaining your rental, being a landlord can be a lot of work! 

Partnering with a Kitsap Peninsula property management company is the best way to be a good landlord and maximize your success. The Joseph Group handles every task for you, so you don't have to worry about any of it. This means you have more time to enjoy life while experiencing the benefits of being a successful landlord. No matter what type of property you own, we have expertise in this area. Reach out today, and let's talk!

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