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How to Manage a Rental Property in Utah: Pro Tips for First-Time Landlords

Becoming a landlord in Utah can be challenging, particularly when you are just starting. You might be unsure where to begin with many things calling for your attention. 

Running a Utah rental property involves several considerations, including finding and screening tenants, drafting and adhering to a lease agreement, keeping your rental in good shape (physically, financially, and legally), and collecting rent on-time. This is especially true for someone who’s just starting out.

Nevertheless, becoming a successful landlord in Utah is possible with a good plan. Below you will find ten resourceful tips for running a rental property as a first-time landlord in Salt Lake City or the surrounding area.

Manage your rental like a business

Being a landlord is the same as running your own business, even if you are only managing one rental property. If you treat your Utah rental property like a business, you'll make decisions with the right perspective. This entails planning ahead, establishing goals, and paying close attention to your property and tenants.

Additionally, as a new Utah landlord, you should maintain thorough records of your rental property's expenses, revenue, and capital contributions. This will be especially beneficial when it is time to file your taxes. It's also recommended to maintain any rental activity in a bank account separate from your personal account in order to differentiate your rental income and expenses.

Find out the cost of renting

As a first-time landlord in Utah, you might not be familiar with the average rental rates in your neighborhood. Hence, conducting research and setting a competitive (but profitable!) rental rate for your investment property is crucial. In order to do this, you must analyze comparable listings in the area to find out rates other landlords are charging.

You can also consult a professional property management company in Utah to determine how much rent you can get for your investment property.

Look for renters online

Considering the fact that most renters look to the Internet to find their next home, posting a property listing online is the most effective strategy to attract tenants. You will always be able to reach more people by advertising your rental on well-known websites, including social media platforms, real estate pages, and online classifieds.

It is ideal to provide as many details as possible in the listing, as prospective tenants typically want to know the rental rate, address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, and surrounding attractions. Tenants are also usually more interested if they can clearly visualize the property; therefore, it's a good idea to publish clear photos of every room and common space.

Thoroughly screen potential tenants

Successful rental property management in Utah is dependent on placing quality tenants. Good residents take care of a property and pay rent on time. On the other hand, mediocre tenants may not make payments at all and can cause significant damage to a home.

Running background and credit checks can help mitigate your risk and ensure you have good renters in your Utah property. Additionally, you want to qualify tenants by looking for a consistent source of income, recommendations from previous landlords, and a track record of timely payments (to name a few).

Require a rental application 

Request that all potential tenants complete a rental application in order to help you find qualified candidates. An effective rental application will provide quick access to details about your potential tenant, including their name, present address, the reason for moving, employer information, income documentation, and landlord references. Asking the correct questions will help you get all the data you need to make an informed decision about the person who will live on your Utah rental property.

Know rent laws

No one wants to get into legal trouble for violating Utah rental laws. Therefore, it's crucial for landlords to be aware of and abide by all local, state, and federal laws. By doing so, you will be well equipped on knowing how to accommodate certain resident requests. You will also know specific tenant rights and how to navigate through them while also looking out for your best interests.

Require renters insurance

It is recommended to mandate renters insurance for all tenants. This will help you avoid legal action if the renter's belongings are destroyed or if your home is damaged due to their negligence. Additionally, renters insurance typically comes at a cheap cost, making it a small financial burden that most tenants can readily (and willingly) accept.

Get landlord insurance

As a new landlord in Utah, it is crucial to have proper landlord insurance to safeguard you from property damage, liability, and loss of income.

While a homeowner's insurance policy can cover the cost of certain repairs, landlord insurance can shield you from culpability if tenants suffer injuries while on your property. Furthermore, landlord insurance may cover any missed rent while you are carrying out repairs.

Make rent payments easy

As a new Utah landlord, your primary priority is to ensure your tenants pay their rent on-time. Tenants are less inclined to pay rent if they have to go through a lengthy process. Therefore, it is always recommended to make it as easy as possible for tenants to submit rental payments. 

Thanks to technology, there are several options for accepting rent online. You can choose to use a rent portal, mobile application, or Venmo to receive rent each month. Whatever technology you employ should make it easy for renters to make their payments.

Consider hiring a property management company

Managing a rental involves a plethora of responsibilities that can be overwhelming and time-consuming without a Utah property manager. Therefore, if you prefer to save time and energy by outsourcing the tasks of maintaining, renting out, and managing your investment, then a property management company in Salt Lake City is your best option.

When you work with a property management company like Wolfnest, you will have peace of mind and free up time so you can focus on other important things.

So, if you're looking for a trusted and reputable Utah property management company, get in touch with us immediately to learn more about our offerings and find out why Wolfnest is the best option for your needs.

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