Many people who invest in their first property will have questions once they have their first tenants. You can read, research and feel prepared, but without experiencing a real situation, you can’t know how you’ll react. Here are some of the questions a first-time landlord will often ask in their first year of ownership.

How Do I Find Reliable Tenants?

It can be scary to welcome strangers into your property. You don’t know how they’ll treat the apartment or the common areas. You’ll have an easier time if you find tenants who are reliable and trustworthy. This is done by being vigilant about references, background checks and credit reports. Have some guidelines for yourself and the people you bring into your investment and stick with those guidelines.

Should I Know Laws in My State?

This should be an easy question to answer. You absolutely should know the laws that impact the landlord and tenant relationship in your state. While it can be slightly confusing to learn the intricate details, it can save you lots of headaches in the long run. Learn how to draft a lease, handle evictions and security deposits. You don’t want to violate state laws regarding your tenants.

What Paperwork Should I Keep?

You’d be wise to keep all paperwork between you and a tenant. It can help if you have to evict a tenant or there’s some kind of dispute with them. You’ll also want to document correspondence between you and tenants regarding repairs. For example, if they contact you regarding a leak, you’ll want to note the day and time in your records, what you did for repairs as well as receipts related to the repair. If they take you to court for not keeping up with repairs, you will have proof of work you did in the unit.

How Can I Easily Collect Rent?

When you have one rental property, you might decide to pick up the rent checks in person or have the tenant use direct deposit. With more than one property, personally picking up checks from every tenant can be a hassle. You will want to consider the easiest way to collect in the future. An Austin Property Management company might be the best way to collect rents from your tenants. They have systems in place that work best for most landlords and tenants.

What Should I Do About Management Issues?

When you’re dealing with tenants on your own, you’ll eventually run into management issues. The best way to avoid issues with managing tenants is to hire someone else to perform tasks for you from collecting rents to making repairs. Property management companies in Austin like Keyrenter Austin are helpful whether you’re a new owner or a long-time landlord with multiple properties. It’s best to set up a service early that can help you grow your rentals.

You should always try to be a knowledgeable landlord, but there are times when things can get away from you. That’s why it’s important to consider whether a property management company might be a good option for you.