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Being a landlord in Ames, Iowa, can provide a unique set of benefits. With a thriving economy and the presence of a large university, Ames offers landlords the opportunity to keep rentals occupied with quality tenants. How you handle the process will determine how successful you are as a landlord anywhere. If you have invested in property in Ames or you are considering purchasing a rental property here, consider these tips for Ames landlords.
1. Start With City Basics
Before you launch your landlording career in Ames, make sure you are familiar with all the local laws and regulations. Beyond federal laws, such as the Fair Housing Laws, there are also local regulations you need to be aware of in order to operate legally.
For example, in Ames, a landlord cannot charge a tenant more than two months rent for a security deposit. The local laws also dictate that the funds must be kept in a separate account and cannot commingle with personal funds of the landlord.
The city of Ames features a program called “Rent Smart Ames.” This is a great resource for a landlord and provides in-depth information about regulations, conflict resolution, and even local listing resources.
2. Take Advantage Of The University’s Presence
If you have never considered renting to college students, a rental property in Ames is the perfect place to begin. While renting to college students may inspire images of keg parties in your head, if you manage the rental process well, you can benefit greatly from renting to college students.
Be sure you are marketing your property in a way that will appeal to university students. For starters, use an online marketing tool to list your property online. The bigger presence you have online, the better chance of tapping into a larger applicant pool. Include details in your property listing that will help sell it to students, such as how close it is to the university and other amenities. As always, follow the regulations for choosing applicants as outlined in the Fair Housing Act to be sure you are not discriminating against a protected class, such as families.
3. Take Part In Sustainability
The city of Ames focuses on saving resources and creating a more sustainable future. Ames believes in creating a more sustainable future for the greater global good. As a landlord, you should empower your tenants to take part in the programs Ames has geared towards sustainability. Some of these programs include the following:
Smart Energy – This program provides rebates and incentives for upgrading to energy efficient appliances, lighting, and other green choices.
Smart Water – This program focuses on water-saving techniques and conservation methods, including incentives for rain barrel usage.
Smart Trash – Ames leads the way with a program that not only encourages residents to recycle but also turns garbage into energy. This resource also provides helpful information for your tenants, such as when free yard waste day takes place, what to do with batteries and other tips.
Smart Ride – Get to know the local mass transit system and let your tenants know about how they can utilize the city’s extensive bus system. Leave new tenants information, such as a map of the bus system, when they first move in.
Find ways to join the spirit of Ames by upgrading your rental property with more sustainable energy options and other green initiatives.
4. Screen Tenants Thoroughly
One of the best ways you can protect yourself, and your investment, is by screening your tenants thoroughly. Running a background check, a credit check, and an evictions history can aid you in finding the right tenant for your property.
Be sure that when you are screening tenants in Ames you determine criteria and you stick to it. Decide on important factors such as the required amount of income, the necessary credit score, and other policies. When you have clear criteria for acceptance, start accepting applications and screen each potential tenant. Utilize a tenant screening system that is simple, efficient, and free for landlords.
Bonus Tip: Use Free Landlord Software To Manage Your Properties
For landlords in Ames, tenant screening, marketing the property, and accepting applications can become time-consuming and complex. It can also become a costly endeavor. Utilize free landlord software to manage your properties more effectively and efficiently.
DISCLAIMER: Turbo Tenant, LLC does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.