Owning a rental property can be a great avenue to take to provide for your future.  If you put in the time and effort it requires, you will see a good return on your investment.

Before undertaking this responsibility, be sure that you have the time and energy to put into it.  Renting a property is hard work.  You will have a much larger load than before.

There will be many unforeseen circumstances come up.  You need to be as prepared as you can for any situation.  Carpet will need to be replaced, walls will need to be painted, even kitchen appliances will need to be repaired and replaced at some point.

Once you are willing to accept all the responsibilities that come with being a landlord, you need to prepare yourself financially for anything that could go wrong.  One of the worst situations you could find yourself in is not being able to find a tenant and having an empty property.  Not only are you not bringing in money, but you are losing money.  You are paying the mortgage out of your own pocket.

Be prepared for when a tenant’s contract is coming to an end.  Talk with the tenant about signing on for another period of time.  If they don’t want to, then start advertising.  You want to only have a week or two open between tenants.  That will give you time to clean and get the apartment ready for new tenants.  Having a tenant lined up early will help keep money coming in.

There will be times that you have a renter who either wishes to break contract early or for whatever reason, you have to evict.  This can be one of the hardest times for a landlord because it usually leaves you little time to find a replacement.  These situations can’t be planned for.

One of the best resources you can have readily available for these unexpected situations is a renters list.  A renters list is a list of your possible tenants.  It contains people who have previously contacted you or you have contacted them.  The list provides you with the information you need about them in case something opens up.

Keeping a renters list requires regular maintenance and follow up.  Call through your list whenever you have an opening.  Keep people on the list who have already passed your screening.  The list is for people you already know you could rent to.

Not every situation can be planned for, but you can do everything possible on your part to keep your properties full.  Having tenants is key to getting the most your investment.  Without tenants, you have nothing.