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Best tips for becoming a landlord in NYC

How crazy is the housing market in NYC? Every day, there are more and more people moving to the Big Apple, after which they encounter a typical problem all NYC newcomers face – the prospect of finding a place to call your own in this hectic city. Now, what happens when you are at the other end of that spectrum? Will becoming a landlord in NYC bring positive changes to your life or will it be a hellish experience? The truth is, it all depends on how you look at it and how well you manage the new situation. Instead of constantly trying to find a new roommate in NYC after the things with your old one don’t work out, give house/apartment owning a thought. Even if you don’t plan on staying in NYC for good.

A street in downtown NYC.

In a place as big as New York, people are always in pursuit of apartments/houses for rent.

Get familiar with the rules of becoming a landlord in NYC

Before you can even decide whether or not becoming a landlord will be the right option for you, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations. Being a homeowner is a hard job. Even though it might seem like it, your job won’t be done once you hand over the keys to your new tenant. Instead, you will be responsible for:

  • Keeping close tabs on your property while still giving your tenants their space.
  • Maintaining the house and taking care of the repairs and any and all remodeling.
  • Learning your rights as well as your obligations, and doing the same for your tenants.

Be realistic about the price

The truth is that being a landlord is all about setting the right price. If you decide to put a steep price for your house/apartment, your home will stay vacant for long periods of time. And, as soon as your tenants find something better and more affordable, they will move on, leaving you in pursuit of tenants once again. On the other hand, if you decide to put a price that is too low in an attempt to find a tenant faster, you will be losing precious dollars.

What is the point of having a tenant if their rent can’t even begin to cover your mortgage? And trust us – as a premier NYC moving company, we know everything about the right pricing and what it can bring you.

Dollar bills.

Be smart when setting your price and have someone estimate your property.

So, be realistic. Have someone estimate your property, and take into account which NYC borough your property is located in. It goes without saying that the apartments in Manhattan and in the Bronx won’t be rented out for the same amount of money. 

Decide on your dos and don’ts

Becoming a landlord in NYC is all about the incoming responsibility. And the biggest responsibility you will have will be towards your property. Besides, you as a person may have some likes and dislikes. For example, if you are a pet owner yourself, you will most likely allow your tenants to keep pets in your apartment. On the other hand, if you are a practical person, you will not allow pets as you know that they can be messy and even cause some damage to your furniture. Although, have in mind that apartments that allow pets do rent out more easily.

A black cat and a brown dog.

Decide on your dealbreakers and mention them when interviewing potential tenants.

Furthermore, you need to state your terms clearly. Make sure that, when interviewing prospective tenants, you mention the following:

  • Move in and move out dates.
  • Utilities.
  • Damages.
  • The maximum number of people allowed to live in the apartment. 
  • The amount of deposit.

Be careful and mention all of these things before the move. Also, everything should be written and clearly stated in the contract. Just like you wouldn’t like for your tenants to tell you they are a family of smokers when you don’t allow smoking in your apartment, you also have to be upfront with your candidates. They will appreciate it.

Have your eyes open when choosing your tenants

The tenants you choose will decide whether or not you will be happy you became a landlord. Arguably, this is the most important part of every process. So, what are you looking for? When becoming a landlord in NYC, your goal is to rent your apartment to a responsible individual. You are looking for someone who is reliable and reputable and who you will feel comfortable with. The ideal scenario would be if you could get a referral or have your tenant bring you a few. That way you could check what previous landlords liked about them, and whether there were any things the landlord and the tenant didn’t see eye to eye.

A woman putting a credit card in a black wallet.

You will have to act as a top investigator when becoming a landlord in NYC.

Moreover, you have to look into your tenant’s financial situation. Ideally, you want them to be spending less than 35% of their monthly incomes on rent. That is a reasonable amount which leaves them with more than enough funds for other expenses. Also, you need to investigate your tenant’s credit report and whether or not they are involved in a lot of litigation. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t rent your apartment to someone who is in a lot of debt, as you want to ensure they will be able to keep up with their rent.

This will be a bumpy road

And you will most likely come up against a few obstacles, especially if this is your first time becoming a homeowner. But you shouldn’t let a few challenges deter you from becoming a landlord in NYC. The truth is that this city is big enough that there will always be people in need of homes. And that directly means that you will always have a source of income, no matter the economic condition in the country. So, good luck and keep your eyes wide open!