There are several very simple things every landlord can do to avoid some potentially serious problems with a rental property. Here is a checklist to help you.
1) Get a private mailbox to use as your owner address of record. This is important for 2 reasons: a) You do not want HOA notices or tax bills going to your rental property address. Tenants will throw these away and you will get slapped with liens. b) Your address on tax records is freely available on the Clark County Assessor website. Do not use your home address. A private mailbox is available at places like Postnet, UPS Store, etc. Do NOT use a post office box (PO Box #) - the county assessor will not accept a PO box.
2) Make sure the Clark County Assessor updates your address for all properties you own. Use your Private Mailbox address. Get the change of address form here. The address format should look like this:
1234 Street Av #987 (do not use PMB)
Las Vegas NV 89100
3) Is there an HOA? Update your mailing address with them. Use your private mailbox address, same as above. Make sure to verify this because you do not want to miss out on their letters. If possible, get the HOA to send your notices via email. HOWEVER, you should still have them update your mailing address to the Private Mailbox to be safe.
4) While you're dealing with the HOA, go ahead and get an updated copy of the CC&Rs (rules). We will have to provide this to a tenant, so get it now.
5) Update your mailing address for trash, sewer, water - any utilities you will pay. Most owners should pay sewer and trash because these companies will put liens on your property if bills aren't paid. You can include this cost in rent.
6) Insurance - get a landlord policy. Your regular homeowner's insurance will not cover liability or damages for rental property. You can discuss with your current insurance carrier or ask me for referrals.
7) Gather all keys, garage remotes, gate remotes, pool keys, community keys, mailbox keys. Leave at least 1 copy of every key/remote in a kitchen drawer. Also, make sure my team has a key to the front door. We need access.
8) If you have an alarm system, provide my team with the codes and instructions. If we don't know how to disarm the alarm, you will receive distressing "break-in" calls when we try to show the property to prospective tenants.
9) If you have a community gate code and/or garage code - please provide these to my team. We need access.
10) Provide the mailbox number and parking space numbers to my team. We must provide these to a tenant so go ahead and send that info to us up front.
** Keep in touch! Provide me with a way to contact you quickly, even if you're on vacation. And check your messages! The fastest route to Frustration Town is via not communicating with your property management team. We are here to help protect your real estate investment, so please don't leave us in the dark.
Sit back and relax. It is my job to deal with the day to day hassles of managing rental property. You hired me for a reason. YAY!