Like many people, I’m an optimist and a skiptic. I didn’t want to believe what I was reading earlier today on a colleague’s Thread (it’s the new Twitter), so I had to
10 Must-Know Tips for New Landlords in NJ
Dated: May 22 2023
Securing the right tenant is a critical process for any landlord, particularly in a vibrant and competitive market such as New Jersey. Here is how you can treat your property like a business and approach this task systematically:
Be Hyper-Aware of the Condition/Location of Your Property:
Cleanliness is paramount when showing a property. A clean and well-organized home speaks volumes about how the property has been maintained and can significantly influence a potential tenant's decision. Consider professional cleaning services to ensure the property is spotless, particularly in high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Ensure carpets are professionally cleaned, windows are sparkling, and any unpleasant odors are addressed.
Pricing your property competitively is crucial to attract multiple applications. Conduct a thorough market analysis to understand the prevailing rental rates for similar properties in your area. Overpricing may deter potential tenants, while underpricing could result in lost income.
Understanding Your Ideal Tenant:
Before starting your search, define your ideal tenant. This may include financial stability, a clean background, and reliability. Be clear on what you require: a good credit score, no criminal history, and proof of steady income might be top on your list.
Use a Reliable Screening Service:
In New Jersey, we recommend using a service such as the independently operated National Tenant Network (NTN), a third-party organization that provides comprehensive tenant background reports. This service offers insights into a prospective tenant’s credit history, previous tenancy records, and any criminal history, if applicable. A small fee of ~$50 payable by the applicant ensures you make informed leasing decisions.
Ensure potential tenants understand their financial obligations, which include the first month's rent, a security deposit of up to 1½ month's rent, and a broker fee of one month's rent. Being transparent from the start can prevent misunderstandings later.
Once the potential tenant submits their application package, which includes a cover letter, NTN report, proof of income, and evidence of available funds, carefully review these materials. In a situation where you have multiple applicants, these documents will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of each applicant's credentials.
After you have chosen the ideal tenant, work with your agent to draft a lease agreement. This contract should clearly outline all the terms of the tenancy, including the duration, payment terms, rules regarding the use of space, and utilities. After signing the lease and receiving the necessary payments from the tenant, the property will be under contract.
Landlords are often advised, and it is a good practice, to require tenants to secure a renter’s insurance policy prior to moving in. This protects both you and the tenant from unforeseen circumstances.
Once all the formalities are done, welcome your tenant to their new home. Be ready to answer any questions they might have about the property, utilities, and community information.
written by MOSES OLIVA
©2023 Moses X.O. & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved. All content including the presentation thereof is the property of Moses X.O. & Associates, LLC. and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, modify, create derivative works, or in any other way exploit any part of copyrighted material without the prior written permission from Moses X.O. & Associates, LLC. The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of Weichert® .
Moses Oliva is a licensed Real Estate Broker Associate with Weichert Realtors® where he is a top performer. Moses was recently selected to chair of the NJ Association of Realtors® Po....
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