Williamsport is the county seat of Lycoming County and the home to more than 27,000 people. But around 64 percent of Williamsport’s residents are renting a home, which is why this city is a great location for rental property investment.
If you plan to invest in a rental property in Williamsport, it’s crucial to know the responsibilities and duties of being a landlord. While investing in the Williamsport rental market can be very lucrative, rental property owners need to take proactive steps to become successful.
With this in mind, we at One Focus Property Management have created this list of the most effective tips that can help landlords become profitable:
Understand Your Responsibilities
Before you decide to invest in a rental property, you have to understand that being a landlord comes with many different duties and responsibilities. You first need to first determine whether you can handle the variety of duties you will be faced with and comply with the legal requirements of owning a rental property.
While being a rental property owner comes with many benefits, especially the advantage of earning additional income, you will need to invest more than just your money to become profitable.
For example, you are legally required to provide a habitable living space to tenants. This means that you’ll need to stay on top of maintenance and repair issues that need immediate attention. Aside from setting a budget for unexpected repairs, you’ll also need to perform routine inspections to ensure that your property is well-maintained and remains in its best condition.
You should also build a rapport and maintain a good relationship with your tenants. So, first, ensure that you’re only renting to qualified tenants. Landlords should know how to screen tenants thoroughly to avoid having to deal with problematic renters.
Moreover, you are also responsible for collecting rent payments and performing renovations on a regular basis, as well as addressing tenants’ concerns, and repair issues, and paying for other any costs related to owning a rental property.
Comply with your Legal Responsibilities
As a landlord in Williamsport, it’s important to know and understand the Pennsylvania landlord-tenant laws. These laws cover all legal aspects of owning a rental property in Williamsport. So, it is your responsibility as a landlord to comply with these laws and avoid committing any violations.
For example, in Pennsylvania, landlords are not allowed to require tenants to pay a security deposit equivalent to more than two months’ rent. The security deposit should also be returned to the tenant within 30 days after moving out. If landlords fail to return the deposit on time, they may be required to pay up to twice the amount.
Aside from the landlord-tenant law in Pennsylvania, you are also required to comply with the rules and regulations stipulated in the Fair Housing Act. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on factors including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status (i.e., having minor children).
In addition to these federally protected classes, Pennsylvania has state-level protected classes—Pennsylvania landlords are prohibited from discriminating against tenants based on age or pregnancy.
Deal with Vacancies and Screen Tenants Carefully
A rental business can only be successful if the property is occupied. As even if your property is empty, you still have to pay the expenses associated with your property. That is why as a landlord in Williamsport, you need to make sure that your rental property is marketed consistently to prevent long-term vacancies.
You need to implement an effective marketing strategy to ensure that your property gets the exposure that it deserves. Before listing your rental home on various platforms, you need to ensure that the property is move-in ready. Fix any and all repair issues and invest in reasonable improvements so you can stay ahead of your competition.
After you market the property, the next step is to choose your tenants carefully. As mentioned, tenant screening is a crucial part of rental property ownership. After all, you wouldn’t want to accept potentially problematic tenants who may not pay their rent on time and may disrespect your property.
Hire a Property Management Company
Dealing with the many day-to-day tasks of being a landlord can be quite overwhelming. So, if you don’t want to go through this kind of hassle or don’t have the time to develop your skills, it’s best to hire a professional rental property manager in Williamsport to handle these duties for you.
The best rental property manager is the industry leader in your local city. The property management company should have years of experience handling different rental properties. The company should also employ a team of experts skilled in their fields of property management.
When you work with a rental property management company, its staff can handle every task regarding your rental property. This includes marketing, staging, screening of tenants, handling of repair and maintenance issues, managing the landlord-tenant laws, and rent collection.
Also, you don’t have to worry about organizing your paperwork as most rental property managers offer access to online portals where you can view your crucial financial reports at any time. Making tax season so much easier.
Renting out your Williamsport property can be a great investment. Your property can generate passive income while still appreciating in value, but only if it is handled with care. So, make sure you understand both your responsibilities to your tenant and to the law and ensure your property remains full of quality tenants.
But if you’re unsure and you're looking for a property manager in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, contact One Focus Property Management at (570) 505.3347, and we will help you with your rental property management needs.
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.