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Getting Started in DIY Landlording? Here's What You Should Know

Starting a rental property business sounds exciting. A lot of people who want to be landlords are under the impression that the work is going to easy. On the surface, everything looks simple. Truth is, it’s not -- especially when you’re going to rent out a property yourself. Self-managing is what a DIY (do-it-yourself) landlord does.

I’m not here to discourage you from becoming a DIY landlord. I’m here to help you prepare yourself and that starts with this article. Read on to learn what you need and some considerations in DIY landlording. 

1. Rent out your own home

Rather than buy a new and very expensive real estate property, why not just rent out your current house? The benefit is that you save on commission fees. You also know how to maintain the property since you’ve lived in it for years. Just protect your rights with a well-written lease. That way, tenants understand their responsibilities and limitations.

2. Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Laws

Landlords should know state and federal rules and regulations. Compliance will help landlords live peacefully with their tenants, protect themselves from lawsuits, and maintain a profitable business. Don’t be ignorant of the law.

3. Location

Tenants care about the location of the rental. A certain location that fulfills their lifestyle is an attractive location. Is your rental nearby restaurants, cafes, stores, and facilities that make life convenient? How about employment opportunities? Transportation access?

4. Comprehensive Tenant Screening

If there’s one thing you must do as a DIY landlord, that’s to screen all tenants thoroughly. Verify everything that’s in the rental application -- from employment to rental history to criminal background. You want to know that your tenants can be trusted. While screening, be careful not to discriminate.

Related: Should You Use Social Media for Screening Tenants?

5. Marketing

If you’ve got your rental property all set up, all you need is to find good tenants. Start with free and low-cost ways to promote your rental. Posting photos on social media and listing them on listing sites works. Consider hiring someone who can help you with marketing on a short-term basis.

6. Basic Handyman Skills

As a DIY landlord, you’d have to deal with calls about maintenance every now and then. While not a requirement, it’s still a good thing to know basic skills such as painting, swapping out air filters, and simple landscaping. You’ll never know when it’ll come in handy.

Ready to be a DIY landlord?

Not all people are suited to become a DIY landlord. But those who do will benefit by following these tips. At the end of the day, you need outside help especially if your rental property business grows. At Landlord Prep, we provide you with tips, tools, and templates to succeed.

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!