Being a landlord is not as easy-peasy as some may think. Naturally, there are so many mistakes that a landlord could make but they are categorized into two.
The first are the small, petty mistakes which have no significant impact on your cash flow or income.
The other one you could call the ‘deadly’ mistakes. Such mistakes are not easily amenable and can lead you into a deep hole if care is not taken.
Below are some of the mistakes that you could make as a landlord that’ll make you go scurrying to a property manager.
#1. Failing To Perform Tenant Screening
Inasmuch as you’re eager to make that bucket load of bucks and get tenants in your building, it is vital that you perform background checks on your tenants.
Be consistent with your screening. Interview the tenant and find out if this person is suitable to live in your house. Not finding out the history of a tenant and then discovering along the line that they always struggle to pay you what’s due, will be a little too late.
So be sure to perform proper screening before handing them that contract.
#2. Ignoring Fair Housing Laws
You could always look at it this way. The law could be a double-edged sword- follow it and it’ll be your friend; contravene it and you’ll be sure to face its wrath.
As a landlord, you cannot discriminate based on religion, color, sex, nationality, race or family status.
Doing so will mean rolling into court with a heavy fine to pay!
#3. Improper Leases
It is normally the case that renters have to sign a lease agreement before moving into the property. It shouldn’t be just any lease agreement that you could get from the library or the net. It has to highlight all the conditions for which the renter should abide by in order to reside in your property.
Your expectations should be clear-cut and the agreement must agree with present laws that delineate both landlord and tenant’s rights.
It is best to consult an attorney for a help with the document to avoid loopholes or any future lawsuits
#4. Overlooking Dangerous Conditions
A lease agreement isn’t just for your tenant but it’s for you to follow.
If you are aware of any dangerous situations or condition in the house, like some repairs that need to be done, you have to be sure to take care of it. Failing to do so will mean facing legal fines or lawsuits or losing your license depending on how serious the issue is.
So be sure to get rid of any dangerous conditions.
#5. Trying To Evict Tenants, The Wrong Way…
Of course, a tenant can get on your nerves and the only way out seems to be trying to evict the tenant. However, this must be done properly. You cannot evict a tenant if they have not gone against any contractual obligation or rule.
Refrain from delaying an eviction. Follow the correct means when evicting tenants and not by harassing or depriving them of certain utilities. That might just lead you to some legal mess.
#6. Miscalculating Costs
It’s a natural tendency for everyone to undermine or miscalculate costs. However, doing so tends to lead many into a lot of trouble, and even more so for a landlord.
You may underestimate costs associated with running the property and Of course taxes, mortgages and insurance could be in your budget but do not fail to add utilities, maintenance repairs or landscaping on that list.
A wise landlord will have enough backup saved for any extra costs. Yearly maintenance and living costs could range from 30 to 50 percent of annual income so make sure you’re prepared.
#7. Terrible Maintenance of Property
Most landlords tend to think that once a property has being rented out, it is the duty of the tenant to take proper care of it. Of course, that’s so.
However, most tenants may consider it the landlords duty to deal certain matters pertaining to the property. Thus, in order to avoid spending loads of cash in repairs, you could always pay a visit to the property to investigate and watch for any issues that may arise such bad roofing, mold growth or broken drainage.
There are a lot more mistakes that could demand the presence of a professional property manager but the above just a few. You may not have a budgeted for an extra hand but you’ll be glad you did as it could save you from committing serious mistakes.