There aren’t many simple ways to make passive income, and it’s understandable that many people feel as though buy-to-let real estate is one of the few entries on that very short list. It certainly sounds simple – you buy the house, you (maybe) remodel it a little, you rent it out at a profit by setting the rental price above your mortgage repayments and costs. Of course, any investment can turn on you if you treat it with genuine passivity, and a rental property is no different in that regard.
Being a landlord is not as simple as some would like to suggest, but neither does it need to be the headache many would have you believe. If you’re looking to rent out a property you own, or are considering buying real estate with the intention of making a rental income, you can keep the worst of the stresses at bay by following some simple techniques, as set out below…
Give your tenants an appreciative welcome
The relationship between tenant and landlord is rarely expected to be anything above lukewarm; it’s a financial transaction at the end of the day, and neither side has much reason to like the other. However, it is in your interest to get off on the right foot. Thoughtful touches like stocking the bathroom with toiletries and leaving a welcome food hamper in the kitchen can show your tenants that their custom and their presence is valued, and create a positive mindset towards you that means they’ll treat the place more like a home as time goes on.
Be hands-off where possible, hands-on where needed
As positive as your tenants may end up being towards you, the reality is that they won’t want you hanging around too much. Nobody deals well with feeling like they’re being watched. So once you hand over the property, make it clear that you’ll be around only as much as you’re needed – so you can be relied on for maintenance but won’t be looking over their shoulders. You can hire property management experts like The Realty Medics to take care of the nuts and bolts, but if you form a relationship of trust with tenants, they’ll look after the property and be ready to call you if there’s an issue with the heating or wiring.
Accept short-term tenants
Many landlords are reluctant to accept tenants on a short-term basis, because they reason that someone who won’t be staying long also won’t care much for the property. However, a lot depends on the reason that they’re not expecting to stay long. If they’re in the city on a consultancy trip for a month or two, then a short-term rental simply makes sense and gives you the chance to get in and straighten things out much sooner than would happen with someone who’s there for years. Sure, if they’re looking for something short-term because they couldn’t get a longer lease, it might be worth finding out why, and being cautious.
Avoiding unnecessary headaches as a landlord will help you find the right balance and, while landlordism will never be a totally passive income, it can be a lot less stressful if you make some simple choices.