4 Teaneck Accidental Landlord Tips

4 Teaneck Accidental Landlord Tips

New Jersey ranks third among the top U.S. rental markets in 2024, as its robust performance attracts interested investors and tenants alike. Given the competition, it's no wonder many people have become so-called "accidental landlords," meaning people who inherit properties due to unforeseen events.

If this sounds familiar, you may already know how difficult the job can be! Despite the hot market, the learning curve of property management can be steep. From finding the right tenants to following local laws, how do you know where to start?

We've got you covered. Let's take a look at four essential tips to help accidental landlords in Teaneck better manage their rental properties.

1. Screen Tenants Thoroughly

It's easy for first-time landlords to forget that tenants make or break your business. Great tenants bring consistent income, and bad tenants cause time-consuming and money-draining problems!

Always follow the best practices for tenant screening:

  • Conduct interviews
  • Verify financial standing (income, employment, etc.)
  • Do a credit check
  • Get a background check
  • Ask for references

These checks help you avoid nightmares like unpaid rent, evictions, and more.

2. Set Clear Rental Policies

Your tenants can only meet your expectations if they're laid out clearly. Ensure that your lease terms, rental policies, and other documents are detailed yet easy to understand. You should also do a rental analysis to make sure your pricing is competitive but fair.

As a new landlord, some of the most pressing policies to cover include:

  • Due dates for rent
  • Late fees
  • Security deposit terms and amount
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Tenant rules for pets, noise, guests, subleasing, etc.
  • Procedures for eviction

Always go over these policies with your tenants up front.

3. Maintain the Property Proactively

Property maintenance is crucial for protecting your investment property. Prompt upkeep and repairs are also important for ensuring happy tenants!

Make sure to do a rental property inspection for safety and maintenance issues at least once a year. This allows you to catch common repair issues before they worsen. Keep in mind that in New Jersey, you can't enter a rental unit without your tenant's consent, and you have to give them reasonable notice of any inspections, repairs, or maintenance taking place on the property.

4. Understand Landlord-Tenant Laws

Last, but not least, follow all local landlord-tenant laws. The state of New Jersey offers a convenient and downloadable online booklet that covers all of the relevant regulations.

Complying with these laws helps you avoid legal hot water. Make sure all of your property's documents, policies, and agreements take local law into account!

Follow These Tips for Accidental Landlords

Using the tips above is a great way for accidental landlords to remain proactive while avoiding common pitfalls with their property. However, if you're struggling with your rental unit, it may be time to work with an experienced property manager!

That's where PMI North Jersey comes in. With almost 20 years in the property management industry, our locally owned business is proud to offer expert services to landlords throughout North Jersey and the surrounding communities. For a free, no-obligation rental analysis, connect with us today.