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Setting Rules for Your Rental Properties

By Chris Wilkins

Being a landlord and managing your own rental properties is not an easy feat. After all, you need to have the time, expertise and knowledge to dedicate to your investment.

However, to make the job easier, it’s best to set some rules and guidelines for your tenants to ensure you don’t run into any problems in the future.

Here are some rules you might want to establish with your tenants when signing a tenancy agreement.

Pets or no pets?

Imagine letting a few groups of people through your home and finally finding the perfect tenants, only to find they have a dog.

While this might set off alarm bells in the back of your head, it might actually be worthwhile to consider allowing pets at your home.

Opening up your rental to allow animal companions allows you to expand your pool of tenants, which can only be beneficial when you need to find someone to occupy your home.

Furthermore, some states allow ‘pet bonds’ to be added to the moving in costs of a home. This can safeguard your investment from damage that may occur from an animal.

However, this decision is entirely yours to make. You don’t have to allow pets at your property if you don’t want them, and you should always weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Lawns and gardens

Will maintenance of the lawns and gardens be your responsibility, or will that be shifted to the tenants?

You will need to establish this upon signing the tenancy agreement so the gardens are taken care of and don’t turn into overgrown jungles.

If it’s your responsibility, will you pay for a gardener to regularly mow the lawns, or will you visit the property yourself? However, if it’s the tenants’ responsibility, will you provide a lawnmower, or does the tenant need to organise this?

Utilities

If a property doesn’t have a separate meter for gas, water or electricity, then it is the owner’s responsibility to pay for the utilities.

However, if the property does have separate meters then the utilities become the tenant’s responsibility, unless otherwise agreed in the lease.

Reach out to a property manager

To ensure your investment and tenants are well taken care of, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional property manager to manage your home for you. Not only do they know the ins and outs of tenancy law in their respective states, but they have the time and resources to dedicate to your property, too.

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