Being a landlord can be a lucrative business opportunity when you are diligent in screening tenants and maintaining the property. Landlords are bound to encounter problems and most of them can be successfully managed when you treat your rental properties as a business.

Before you do anything, be sure you are complying with federal, state, and local laws which will help you avoid legal problems. It is the landlord’s responsibility to know what the laws are and abide by them.

Always be professional with your tenants and screen them before entering into a rental contract with anyone. Be sure to meet them in person. Be clear about rules for children and pets.

Keep your property in good condition. Many landlords find it beneficial to make one or two updates to the property every year. This will prevent problems from occurring and costs from getting out of control.

Rental property insurance will help protect your property from sudden or accidental incidents that cause damage to the structure. Liability is part of a rental property insurance policy and it protects landlords from someone getting injured on the property.

Advise or require tenants to get a tenant insurance policy to cover their personal property. A tenant’s clothing, furniture, and other items will not be covered under the landlord’s policy in the event of a fire or other peril covered under the policy.

New landlords may decide to contract with a property manager or maintenance company that can be available to respond to emergencies on the property such as repairs or the failure to pay rent on time.

Finally, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with a real estate attorney in case you run into any legal problems with tenants or neighbors.