Recent Tenant Turnover

While a main goal of being a landlord should be to reduce vacancies, turnover in a rental property can be a good thing. How, you ask, is not making money via a rental payment a good thing? Well…

1. It allows you to inspect the property inside and out. Although you should always have routine inspections (I recommend once a quarter on average, maybe more for new tenants or if you suspect there could be issues), an empty house allows you to really go top to bottom. Tenants won’t always be eager to tell you they broke something, or even care if a sink faucet is always dripping. Things I find helpful in identifying any issues include flushing the toilets to make sure they don’t run; run the dishwasher, washer and dryer to ensure they all function and don’t leak; run the a/c or heat depending on time of the year to ensure they work properly; change out any light bulbs; do any general maintenance that you have been putting off. Things like trimming bushes, or hammering in any loose deck boards.

2. Take pictures of the house if you make any updates or simply don’t have them from your prior listing. Especially if you only had a few shots, since the more hi resolution pics you have in your listing the better. If a prospective renter sees grainy, random photos where they can’t really tell if the counters are granite or Formica, they will just click onto the next listing. Make filling vacancies as easy on yourself as possible. High quality pictures matter.

Please reglaze me!
Please refinish me!

3. You have the opportunity to make any updates, big or small. If you have carpet in any of the rooms, maybe it’s the perfect time to replace it. I have had to get the porcelain finish on a metal bathtub reglazed, something that takes an entire day (and costs around $475 by the way). But kitchens and bathrooms are usually selling points for a rental, and no one wants to shower in a flaking tub.

Welcome!

Welcome to “Landlord on the Side,” a new blog all about my journey as a landlord and residential property manager “on the side.” What does “on the side” mean? Well, I have a 9-5 day job! My foray into landlording began as a way to add supplemental income to my wife any my finances. My goal with the blog is to tell all about my real-life experiences, successes, failures, and basically all the trails and tribulations of learning on the job, how to be a Landlord.

First, a little about myself: I’m 36, married, with one daughter who is not quite 2 years old. We live in Baltimore, Maryland and currently own 3 rental houses in the area that we self-manage. I also manage 3 additional properties for friends, also in the city. The blog posts will go into not only the current, real-time issues that pop up with all 6 of these rentals, but also past experiences.

So again, welcome, and I hope you enjoy the journey!