The uncertain state of the world today leaves many of us with questions about how to best proceed with our lives and businesses, says Nathan Miller at BiggerPockets. The current climate for landlords and Covid-19 means all, including renters, are navigating best practices to keep everyone safe, healthy, and happy.
As a landlord, your tenants will mainly look to you for information on how regular operations will continue during this highly irregular time. Here are five tips to keep yourself, your tenants, and your business safe.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Make it a priority to communicate with your tenants, and make it clear that you and your team are available and open to hearing their questions and concerns during this time. Provide your tenants with all of the critical information they need to know about strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19, common-area maintenance and cleaning, updated rent policies, and any other important property information.
Understand Your Current Rights and Responsibilities
Things are changing almost daily, so it is critical to stay updated on current laws and regulations that explicitly apply to you and your tenants. Many states have currently placed restrictions on things like eviction policies and charging late fees for rent payments. The laws and pending legislation vary from state to state, so be sure to do your research for any location where you own rental properties.
Implement Online Property Management Tools Wherever Possible
If you don’t already have property management software, now it is appropriate to revisit this option. Online property management tools give you the ability to perform business actions remotely, such as collecting rent, advertising and filling vacancies, receiving maintenance requests, and more. These online tools are work for landlords and property managers who need to conduct the majority of their business via the internet and allow multiple team members (and tenants) access from anywhere. WorryFreeTenant (WFT) is a tenant screening service that allows landlords to screen and connect with prospective tenants while managing their properties from one easy to use dashboard. Owned by Delaware Realty Management, WFT provides landlords with thorough tenant screenings.
Properly Disinfect (or Close) All Public Areas
Common areas such as pools, clubhouses, community rooms, and fitness centers have likely been temporarily closed. Before reopening such amenities, you will need to sanitize the space thoroughly and should provide an increased level of cleaning for the foreseeable future. Pay special attention to handrails, stairwells, doorknobs, light switches, and other surfaces that are frequently touched.
Get Your Financial Plan in Place
Many landlords are experiencing tenant or two who might not be able to pay rent on time. See what the law allows you to handle late payments. Then research how it will impact your investment and your finances. Know when it’s time to ask for help from your bank or mortgage company—many lenders are offering payment suspensions or decreases during the pandemic.
Hopefully, this crisis will pass soon, and we all can return to normal.
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