Handling a rental property requires a serious commitment, so you need to be very careful with your decisions and overall management. To help you be on the right track, we’re giving you the top 7 deadly sins rental property owners should avoid. These should help you keep everything on the ‘straight and narrow’ path for sure. And staying on the straight and narrow is something anybody who’s ever driven I-65 between Birmingham and Montgomery is keenly aware of:
Remember when planking was a thing? Me either. Alright sinners, let’s get this party started!
Not screening tenants.
As landlord or property manager, we understand that you want to get the property occupied in the soonest possible time. But this doesn’t mean that you should neglect to screen your tenants. Judge not least you be judged just doesn’t apply here. Renting the property to the wrong tenants can give you serious headaches such as delayed rent payment or tenants who destroy the property. This is why properly screening your tenants is a must. When it comes to screening applicants, the devil’s definitely in the details.
Good communication is an important factor in any line of business. In property management, it’s important that property managers keep communication lines open as misunderstandings can result in serious issues. Sometimes a simple phone call is all it takes to deliver you from…a small leak turning into a rotten floor joist.
Problematic Lease Agreements
Lease agreements and tenant screening need to be legally sound, and not some shady deal with the devil. Since these are legal documents, you need to get a lawyer to draft your lease agreements to ensure it complies with the laws in place all the while meeting your needs. Fair dealings that comply with laws and regulations are a must for landlords.
Being too lenient with tenant accountabilities.
Handling a rental property means you need to walk a thin line between being friendly and being too lenient. It’s important that tenants know what their rights and responsibilities are, and that they should be held accountable if needed. By having carefully written detailed move in and move out agreements including rent payment details, you are saving yourself from future misunderstandings with your tenants. Of course, it’s okay to befriend your tenants but they should know the limits and understand that you’re the landlord and rules are rules.
Failing to ensure safety precautions are in place.
As the property owner and manager, it’s a must that you ensure your tenants’ safety. The property should be equipped with fully-functional safety equipment like smoke alarms. You also need to ensure that the entire property is well-maintained to prevent premature structural issues.
Disregarding the law.
Ignoring the law is a serious mistake that some rental property owners or managers make. It’s very important that you ensure your property complies with all rules and regulations in place. This means not just giving your tenants proper moving in notice but this also includes getting legal advice when it comes to eviction processes and screening incoming tenants. You may want to ensure all your processes and documents are in line with the law if you don’t want to end up in a court trial.
Not keeping a maintenance process in place.
Having “no system” when it comes to maintenance and repairs is another common mistake property managers tend to commit. This sin might not get you kicked out of church on Sunday, but it will limit your success as an investor. When the property needs an inspection or repair, be sure to get bids. This will help you get the best price and service rather than just calling the latest “go to” vendor.
That’s it! We hope that the above information will help you get a good start on handling your rental property. Good luck!