If investing in Memphis real estate isn’t on your ‘To Do’ list in 2019, you may want to reconsider as Memphis made Forbes.com list of Best Markets For Real Estate Investments in 2019. Memphis is on this list because the local economy is doing well with job growth at 2.2% and housing prices are in line with income prices.

If you have read our blog post, Investing in Real Estate – What You Need to Know, and have taken the leap and bought an investment property, you may be thinking “Now what?” Don’t panic! Here are 6 Tips to get you started on your way to becoming a landlord:

1. Know Landlord-Tenant Law

Most states, Tennessee included, have very specific state Landlord-Tenant laws regarding things like security deposits, landlord access, and evictions. There are also national laws regulating Fair Housing and discrimination. You will want to do your homework and become familiar with these laws as violations can be costly.

2. Screen Tenants

Tenant screening is one of the most important steps to becoming a landlord. Thorough screening will help you to eliminate a multitude of problems further down the road. Use a standard application and require a credit check, background check, and references from employers and past landlords. There are online tenant screening services to help make this process convenient and manageable.

It is also a good idea to meet your prospective tenant in person. Make sure this is someone you want to do business with.

3. Have It In Writing

Always, always, always have everything in writing. You may hit it off with your prospective tenant or be renting to a friend and feel that you are both on the same page but don’t fool yourself, having a written lease is a MUST! Your lease should include items such as a code of conduct, late payments, property maintenance, pets, and landlord accessibility. Tennessee lease agreements can be found online that are easily customizable for your property.

4. Perform Inspections

Frequent inspections (every 3-6 months) will ensure your property maintains its value. Let’s face it tenants are not always diligent with reporting issues. Having a dark spot on the ceiling that may indicate a water leak is probably not top of their list of priorities. But for you, catching the leak early can mean the difference between an inexpensive problem and a very costly one. Don’t feel like you are imposing on the tenant by making inspections. Inspections go a long way to keeping good tenants.

5. Make Repairs Promptly

Another thing that makes tenants happy is making repairs promptly. Don’t make them suffer through a leaking toilet or a garbage disposal that doesn’t work. Your interest in the property encourages a tenant’s interest in the property which keeps your property in good condition.

6. Collect Rents On Time

This may sound like a no-brainer but is gets landlords into hot water more often than you would think. Becoming friendly with a tenant and giving them leniency on rent deadlines is a slippery slope to an eviction and ultimate foreclosure. Be friendly and polite but firm when enforcing the terms of your lease agreement.

Following these guidelines makes for happy tenants and happy landlords!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!