Congratulations! You’re ready to be a Philly landlord. Now what?
Being a landlord isn’t as easy as it sounds, but when you’re armed with the right resources (and backed by a team of property management professionals who do this for a living), you’ll set yourself up for success, ensuring the happiness of yourself, as well as the tenants who reside within your units’ walls. Here’s a quick renting property guide to help you understand the ins and outs of renting your property in Philadelphia.
Lock in on Your Licenses
In the city of Philadelphia, landlords must hold Housing Rental Licenses before they’re legally allowed to rent their properties to tenants. In order to successfully complete the application for this license, you should obtain the following:
- A business tax account number
- A federal tax identification number*
- Zoning approval (for two or more units)
- A Commercial Activity License
*You can use your social security number if you’re an individual, but there are good reasons to use an EIN instead of your SSN. The process of applying for a separate tax ID is pretty simple, and it could save you a lot of hassle if something goes awry down the road.
Learn the Laws
Of course, every law is vital when you’re looking to be a landlord, but some cities have requirements not found in other cities. So, it’s important to learn the specifics of the area in which you’ll be renting property. In Philadelphia, every landlord and tenant must sign a Certificate of Rental Suitability prior to a tenant taking possession of the property. As a landlord, you can only get this certificate if you have an active rental license and no licensing and inspection (L&I) violations on the property currently. The Certificate of Rental Suitability is extremely important because it protects you—as a landlord—ensuring you’re able to evict a tenant if he or she isn’t paying rent.
Have Your City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing Brochure Readily Available
As a landlord in Philadelphia, you’re required to provide every new tenant with this document. It ensures that you and your tenants are on the same page regarding lawful regulations and reasonable expectations. Explaining your tenants’ lawful rights upfront prevents unnecessary complications as the lease gets underway. Knowing your tenants’ rights will also protect you, as a landlord, and being well informed will help you to make better decisions when you’re assessing tenant candidates.
Market Your Property Properly
Naturally, you’re inclined to lean towards online advertisements in today’s market. But are you really checking all the boxes when it comes to landlord/tenant relationships? You need to hone in on the people who are most likely to pay attention to the properties you have available. Are you employing proper SEO elements, so you attract the right customers at the right time? Are you touching base with people who have questions on social media?
Marketing is a major endeavor, but it’s an essential tool if you want to attract today’s consumers. People look for brands they can rely upon, and that includes the building in which they’ll soon be living. Be sure to check in with social media outlets and address questions, compliments, and complaints from people who post their opinions. Remember, the whole world is watching; a single snarky comment could cost you hundreds of residents. On the other side of the coin, properly managed reputations can build a brand that people want to be a part of.
Figure out who your target audience is, then place marketing campaigns in places that make sense. Once everything else is in order, your business model will make more sense.
Bay Property Management Group is Philadelphia’s premier choice when it comes to creating a positive rental experience for both landlords and tenants. If you’re ready to attract renters to your property, you’re ready to reach out to our team. Start by getting your free, personalized property management analysis today!