I don't want to be a slumlord, I swear!
May 2, 2011 5:30 PM Subscribe
About to become a landlord in NJ, would like some advice from the HiveMind.
posted by pyro979 to work & money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Basic situation is as follows: I own a condo in Central NJ. Wife and I feel like now is a good time to buy a house (between the market being what it is and having kids soon). Now since it might be a good time to buy, but it is def. not a great time to sell (condo lost about 15% of it's value based on the latest appraisal, not to mention all the improvements) we want to rent out the condo. Condo was renovated when we bought it (wood floors, new paint, granite counters, and I will be replacing the furnace/heating/washer/drier before tenants move in).
Since I've only ever rented, but have never been a landlord (nor do I know any) I have some questions:
1. How do I best protect myself from bad tenants (there's horror stories aplenty)?
2. Is it reasonable to ask if I can inspect the unit quarterly (by appointment of course) to make sure it's being maintained properly?
3. Any good resources for first time landlords (esp. in NJ)?
4. How would I go about crafting a solid lease agreement. Do I need a lawyer or are there some boilerplate type leases out there that will cover me well?
5. What are my responsibilities to the tenants besides heat/AC/water/electricity (for example, if they have plumbing issues is that always/sometimes my responsibility, or pest extermination)?
6. Any other advice/cautions/recommendations?
Thanks much all.