You may think it’s only the tenant who can run into rent payment trouble, but as a real estate investor or property owner, there may be times when you can also run into mortgage payment trouble!
Things you can do (to stave off getting into mortgage payment trouble).
Keep your properties full.
While it may sound overly simplified, this is the most obvious method for ensuring you’ve got rent money coming in each month to cover your property mortgage payments. Don’t allow yourself to get slack on advertising for new tenants. Don’t put off screening applicants or filling your properties because you’re too busy or overworked. Recognize filling your vacancies as a major aspect of your REI business success and deal with it quickly and efficiently every time.
Do your best to find quality tenants.
While you want to keep your properties full, finding good quality tenants is key. “Good” means they pay their rent on time, keep the property maintained and don’t abuse the lease. By using background and credit checks, you can find the best tenants available and thereby do what’s possible to keep your rental fees coming in regularly, which will help you pay the mortgage when it comes due.
Look for long-term tenants.
Don’t assume that quality tenants will necessarily be long-term tenants. Some good renters may know they can’t stay over a few months at most. They may be students or working a temporary job. They may just be living in an area waiting to move or retire somewhere else. Whatever the situation, opt for long-term renters when the choice is available. Doing so will make filling a vacancy at least a more infrequent possibility.
Keep the property well maintained.
If you want good tenants, long-term tenants, and tenants who pay their rent on time, do your part to keep them. Deal with maintenance issues quickly. Make repairs as necessary. Upgrade appliances or at least ensure the ones you provide are in good working order. Respond to your tenants’ calls quickly, or if you can’t be sure they know you’ll be unavailable for a while.
Being a good landlord will also go a long way in developing lasting relationships with your tenants, which will, in turn, help you keep them in your property longer. Often a tenant and landlord relationship can turn an average tenant into a great one simply because they want to keep that relationship intact.
In a crazy economy, it’s important to do all you can to avoid mortgage payment trouble. That applies just as much to an REI professional as it does to the average renter. These simple tips can help as you work to develop lasting, long-term, rent-paying tenants to keep your properties bringing in the income you need every month.
We’re happy to help you find answers to your toughest questions about real estate in Los Angeles. Please feel free to call us at (310) 928-9688 and chat with us anytime.