Tips to Being a Successful Landlord

March 11, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Property Management Landlording

Got tenant problems? If so, Marco Santarelli from Norada Real Estate has some tips on being a successful landlord . . .

The ultimate goal of investing in rental property is to turn a profit. To ensure that you achieve that goal it is essential that you follow several critical guidelines.

First, always make sure that you check tenant references. This can be a burdensome step and many landlords overlook it because they feel as though they have good instinct when they meet with the tenant. But, not checking references can lead to a number of problems later on. You will uncover a wealth of information about potential problems before you rent to a prospective tenant.

Second, make sure you have everything in writing. This is to protect your rights as a landlord as well as the rights of your tenants. Everything from the code of conduct you expect your tenants to abide by while renting your property to the rental application itself must be in writing.

Third, you will find that you have better success with your rental property if you take the time to ensure that it is both secure and clean. The grounds of the property should be free of litter and trimmed regularly. Not only will the property be more visually appealing, but these actions will also assist you with property liability. You will also want to take additional security measures. Extra security may be able to lower your insurance premiums as well as provide an incentive to quality tenants to rent your property when they know it is secure.

If you decide to hire a property manager, take the time to interview prospective candidates very carefully. Property managers can be very helpful if you don’t have the time to manage the property yourself. This is especially true if your property is a long distance away from you. The wrong property manager can cause you problems with poor tenant screening and delayed lease up times. This means that you will need to hire a thoroughly responsible and professional individual to handle the job. Always ask for referrals.

Always make sure that you obtain adequate insurance. Not only should you have property insurance but you should also have liability insurance. One incident is all it takes to wipe out your investment. Also, check with your state to determine if any additional insurance coverage is required.

Regardless of the condition the property was in when you purchased it, there will come a time when repairs are needed. This is part and parcel of owning rental property. If you take too long to make repairs, not only will your property suffer and repairs ultimately cost more but you will also likely lose quality tenants as well. By making sure you handle repairs promptly you will be able to maintain the life of your property as well as retain good tenants.

Always make sure that you follow all applicable regulations in the renting of your investment property. The Fair Housing Administration Act provides precise regulations in order to prevent discrimination. If you violate those regulations you could find yourself facing a lawsuit that is costly in terms of time as well as money. The best course of action is to take the time to do your homework and consult an attorney experienced in real estate matters for guidance regarding the FHA as well as ensuring that you have the proper forms. Good property managers will already be versed in these regulations.

Finally, make sure that you do not violate the privacy of your tenants. Check with your state’s regulations to find out whether you must provide any type of notice to your tenant before you enter the dwelling.

Following these guidelines will help you to retain good quality tenants and avoid any potential legal problems. After all, happy tenants make for happy landlords!


Marco Santarelli is an investor, author, and founder of Norada Real Estate Investments – a national real estate investment firm offering turnkey investment property in growth markets nationwide.

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Category: Property Management, Tips and Tricks

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  1. Chris says:


    Do you think it’s smart to get a home warranty from a company like American Home Shield to protect yourself from big repairs? I was thinking that if I did any subject-to, lease options or rentals that it might make sense to do so if you have a small amount of positive cash flow (100-200 / month). On the other hand if everything in the house is brand new and under warranty I guess a home warranty doesn’t make much sense.

    Your thoughts?

  2. Hi Chris,

    A home warranty is basically an insurance policy. It makes sense when you are buying investment real estate that is NOT new. For the cost of a 1 or 2 year policy it makes good financial sense. I think it’s well worth the cost. Make sure you understand the policy and what is and is not included.

    Continued Success!

    Marco Santarelli
    Norada Real Estate Investments
    (949) 218-6668
    (800) 611-3060

    Your Premier Source For Turnkey Real Estate Investments

  3. julie says:

    Good article Marco. One thing to note when checking tenant references is to call previous landlords – not necessarily the current landlords – of your prospective tenants. Current landlords may be anxious to get rid of their crappy tenant and may not give an accurate evaluation of the tenant!!

  4. Patrick Riddle says:

    One of Marco’s tips is to make sure to follow all applicable regulations when renting investment property.

    To check out your state’s landlord tenant laws, here’s a good website

  5. Jip says:

    The property management tips are essential in order for you to save your investments. It is relevant that you hire someone to do the job for you in order for you to be assured that things are doing fine.