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The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Landlords

Do you want to set yourself up for success as a landlord? Highly effective landlords don’t just sit around waiting to collect rental payments. The most effective landlords know what it takes to run this type of business.

If you are looking to incorporate good landlord habits into your landlord style, then here are some tips to consider:

1.  Reiterate rules and lease agreement

Good tenants are made when landlords make it look like they mean business. What’s the use of having a no-smoking clause in the lease when a tenant doesn’t follow?

If you are having problems with tenants that do not follow the rules, you have to remind them and send them warnings for the benefit of all.

A lot of arguments can be mitigated by turning to a well-written lease agreement that also states your house/building rules.

Remember, good tenants, know that strict rules make for harmonious living with their neighbors. Only bad tenants will resist strict implementation of the rules and lease agreement.

2. Keep an organized file for every tenant

As a landlord, you always have to prepare for the attack of bad tenants. Whether it is a complaint about their bills or taking you to court, having records can help you deal with these troubles.

Keep most records digital so you can have a quick search when you need a reference.

Opt to use online billing to track rental payments. Also, have a system in place for repair and maintenance requests. Archive emails and keep records of phone calls from your tenants as well.

Be sure to keep the information up-to-date so you have it ready in case you need to collect a debt from your tenant or bill them for repairs.

Read more: Basic Record Keeping System for Landlords

3. Know and apply the laws

Don’t just count on your lawyer to let you know whether your lease violates the law or not. Find out what your state laws are when it comes to running a rental property business.

State laws vary when it comes to landlord-tenant responsibilities as well as the rights of tenants, security deposits, evictions, enforcing a no-smoking policy, and issues with theft.

Also, be updated about changes to the law especially when you are considering enforcing rules that can be misconstrued as discrimination or harassment. Keep in mind that there are laws to when you can enter the premises of a rental property as well.

4. Be ultra-responsive

You want your tenants to tell you when something seems wrong in your apartment such as weird sounds coming from the pipes, a rodent problem, or mold growth.

You appreciate it when they report these things as soon as possible. So when they do call to request for repairs, inspection, or pest control, then be quick to respond. 24 to 48 hours is a good rule of thumb.

Be sure to have contact information of skilled workers who can help you out and offer a great quote. Go with a reputable contractor that offers competitive pricing and is licensed and insured.

5. Never stop learning about the business

Watch out for trends and changes to real estate values. You want to give the best price for your tenants especially when it comes to negotiation.

Brush up on news within your community both on signs to watch out for like burglaries and signs of growth like upcoming establishments. This should help you take preventive measures and help you advertise your vacant units too.

Read up what you can about landlording and listen to podcasts too. You may find trends that you want to adopt for your rental business such as offering no-smoking rentals to boost your high-value tenant ratio.


Highly-effective landlords are always learning, responding, law-abiding, organized, and strict. As a result, they can stay on top of their rental business and improve on it.

By adopting these habits as your own, you will find more satisfied tenants, fewer turnovers, and harmonious living among your tenants. You will also have less to stress about and be confident in handling disputes, even legal ones.

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!