The Complete Guide To Being A Landlord in Newport News

Osprey Property Management   |   date November 2021

Being a landlord can be very rewarding! However, it’s not without plenty of challenges. Many investors say that the biggest challenge is the financial responsibility of being a landlord. However, many responsibilities must work together to avoid losing money on investment properties. 

Today our Newport News property management experts provide information on what you need to know about becoming a landlord and how to avoid some common pitfalls that new rental property owners may encounter when they first get started.

Before Becoming A Landlord

If you are interested in operating rental properties, there are some things you should consider before making the final decision and signing any contracts:

  • Do I have enough funds to invest in a property? Before closing on an investment home, make sure you have the funds, whether it’s cash, financing, or a combination of the two.  You should have enough funds available to invest in your property without jeopardizing your financial situation.
  • Do I have time to manage a rental property? If you don’t think you have the time to self-manage, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a landlord! Partnering with a property management company is your best resource.

Before becoming a landlord, make sure that you are ready and willing to put in the work necessary for success, or choose property managers to handle everything for you.

Learn the Basics of Managing a Rental

When buying a rental property, you become a landlord! If you choose self-management, educate yourself about critical tasks that must support your success. Here are a few areas to learn about. 

1. Creating a Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement is the foundation of a landlord-tenant relationship. Therefore, it should be drafted with you and your tenants in mind. While you don't have to prepare your lease agreement on your own, be sure to familiarize yourself with landlord-tenant law before beginning the process.

Young happy couple in love getting a key for own apartment

If you're not comfortable writing a lease, an experienced property management professional and an attorney can help! A free lease agreement template could help you get started, but make sure a property manager reviews and customizes it for you.

2. Tenant Screening

Comprehensive tenant screening is crucial for avoiding any future problems with residents. Potential renters can be screened through various methods, including running credit checks and verifying employment history. Screening prospective tenants helps ensure that all applicants are able to pay rent on time every month while also understanding their responsibilities as a tenant.

3. Marketing

Once you've created professional lease agreements and tenant screening procedures, it's time to advertise your vacancies! Be sure to work with a property manager who knows the Newport News market and understands what kind of rental properties are in demand. 

4. Lease Enforcement (Including Eviction)

Property owners should take steps from day one of their tenancy to maintain control over any issues that might arise between them and their tenants. A solid lease agreement is a crucial first step!

Enforcement can range from conducting simple property inspections every month to more regular formal notice periods based on a tenant's lease violation. Forms of notice include a notice to pay rent, notice to comply or quit and notice to vacate. Eviction is a legal process that should always be done with the help of an experienced professional.

5. Property Maintenance

To keep your property in good shape, you'll need to regularly inspect it for damages and problems that could cost more money if left unresolved. Maintenance services should be detailed in your lease agreement, but keep in mind that these responsibilities fall on both parties.

worker, service man, plumber or electric

In addition, property owners must ensure that repairs are made in a timely manner every time they're needed.

6. Make-Ready (Including a Move-in Checklist)

It's important to prepare your property for new tenants when one moves out and before new renters move in. You can hire a professional cleaning service or simply do it yourself before renting your property again. However, it’s important to conduct a thorough make-ready process to clean and repair a property, then help renters move in with a helpful move-in checklist!

7. Know the Laws

Before purchasing your first rental property, familiarize yourself with landlord-tenant law. Keep up to date on what changes are in place in your area by consulting local governing agencies and your attorney. A property manager can also help you comply with all laws! 

8. Budget for the Planned (and Unexpected)

Effective property management means being ready for anything, even the unexpected. Property owners should budget for planned repairs, as well as keep a reserve fund for emergencies as needed. 

A Newport News Property Management Company Makes You a Good Landlord!

It takes a lot of work to be the best landlord in Newport News! From making sure your property is in good condition and up to code to finding tenants who will pay their rent reliably, a property owner has a lot on their place. 

If this sounds like too much work or you don't know how to handle it all yourself, Osprey Property Management is here to help! We make managing rentals easy by handling everything for you. Give us a call today to learn more about our property management services!

Get more insights into managing rental properties. Download a free copy of the “Expert Guide to Rental Property Management.”


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