How to be a successful landlord in Malta after 2018

It’s a LOT cheaper to retain a tenant than it is to find a new one. Fix repairs promptly, keep the property in good shape, treat your tenants with respect, and you’ll see less turnover and more cash flow. 
But, anyone who has actually been in the rental market knows that that’s easier said than done, so we’ve outlined the best strategies for landlords to retain tenants, increase their return on investment, and start getting good reviews. 

1. Keep your property fresh

leaking ceiling

Failure to maintain and upgrade property is the number one fatal mistake landlords commit. Check faucets, water taps, switches, sockets, and make sure your property can be experienced as a home.

2. Upgrade unreliable or tired lifts

Remember, owners who operate unsuitable lifts can be reported. In fact, it is compulsory by law to carry an engineer certification – one should be carried every year for residential lifts, and every six months for commercial lifts.  
Attract the best renters available by keeping your lifts modern and up to date. 

3. Reinforce good behaviour

Threatening with penalties (such as withholding the deposit) is a good first step to ensuring your property is maintained, but successful landlords know that reinforcing good behaviour is always more effective than punishing bad one. Reward on-time, advanced rent payments, or tenant referrals with movie tickets, dinner vouchers, or anything your tenant would appreciate.

4. Document everything

When it comes to being a successful landlord there is no such thing as a verbal agreement, only a signed contract. In order to protect your interests and the interests of your tenants, get everything in writing. 

5. Electronic rent payments

It is 2018 – forcing tenants to pay you with cash or cheque will add an extra burden on them and slow your returns down. Accept payments with an app like Revolut for fast and convenient transfers. 

6. Have a late policy

Make it clear from day one you will be charging a late fee for overdue rent. The key is to be strict with the policy. The extra income will help compensate for the stress of not getting rent on time. 

7. Get the right insurance

Make sure you have the maximum amount of rental insurance, and property liability insurance. Rental insurance is actually much cheaper than most landlords would believe – and it can spare you a lot of headaches when it comes to making repairs and absorbing damages. Don’t get roped into bad deals by sales agents – hire a broker to help you find the best insurance for your property on the island.

8. Avoiding mistakes in your rental agreement (this is a big one)

tenant signing paper

When you make a rental agreement, you need to make sure you cover everything. Use a template like this rental agreement template to make sure you have everything covered. 

9. Make the right renovations

Landlords tend to either leave the apartment sub-par or work on a property to the point that they don’t get a positive ROI(return of investment) for many years. Make sure the renovations you make provide good return of investment and are actually useful to your tenants. Want to find out what are the best renovations you can implement in your property? Check out this article.