No business venture lacks mistakes. Even the most experienced landlords can mess up big. Because we work with so many landlords, we are all too familiar with the errors that can be made in the rental business. The potential for making costly mistakes is real and can have a long-lasting impact.
It’s always better to prevent a problem than to try to fix it. In this article, we’ll focus on the most common mistakes in the rental industry, so you can avoid them and learn what you may have been doing wrong without knowing it.
Superficial tenant screening
Improper tenant screening is more common than one might think, and it can have serious consequences. This occurs when landlords fail to conduct a thorough background check or proper tenant verification. This puts the landlord at risk of renting to a tenant with a history of not paying rent or being involved in criminal activity.
Without checking accordingly, landlords run the risk of renting to tenants who are not suitable for the rental property. If a landlord doesn’t take the necessary steps to ask the right questions or perform a credit check, they could end up with tenants who are unable to pay rent, are disruptive, or don’t take care of the property. This could result in the landlord being forced to evict the tenants and taking a financial hit. It could also damage the landlord’s reputation and make it harder to find future tenants.
Improper lease agreement
A robust lease agreement is essential when leasing a property, and not having one can be costly for many landlords. Not having a lease agreement can cause legal issues and have long-term financial implications.
The primary purpose of a lease agreement is to establish the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant. Without a written agreement, it can be extremely difficult for a landlord to protect their interests in case of a dispute or misunderstanding. Without a lease agreement, the court must rely on the tenant’s word regarding enforceable promises – which can be difficult to prove. This puts the landlord at a disadvantage, as they may not receive all they are owed, such as unpaid rent, and can result in a costly dispute resolution process.
The best way for landlords to avoid this mistake is to create a well-drafted lease agreement tailored to the specific property. This should include details such as security deposit, rent amount, when it is due, and any applicable late fees or eviction protocols. Landlords should also be aware of local, state, and federal housing laws. They should seek legal counsel if they need assistance creating or reviewing a lease agreement. Taking these steps will ensure landlords have the appropriate safeguards in place should a problem arise.
Poor customer service
Poor customer service is a common mistake that landlords make due to a lack of understanding or simply not investing the time and energy it takes to foster a good relationship with their tenants. It involves failing to meet customer needs, not responding promptly to tenant concerns and inquiries, and not providing the level of service that tenants expect and deserve. This lack of respect and customer service can eventually lead to tenants feeling resentment and frustration, which can have a negative impact on their living experience.
The consequences of inadequate customer service can be serious for landlords, from tenants seeking to end their leases early or moving out altogether to a significant negative impact on their reputation in the local community. Not only will poor customer service tarnish the landlord’s reputation, but it can also result in fewer people wanting to rent their property in the future and cause occupancy rates to drop, leading to financial losses.
Be lenient with tenant violations
Many landlords mistakenly think that being lenient on tenants’ violations is acceptable, but this can actually weaken their ability to hold tenants accountable for the conditions of their lease agreement. Allowing tenants to break the rules can lead to more serious problems, such as property damage, late or unpaid rent, and other costs. Aside from this, landlords may become an “easy target” if they don’t take a strong stance on their rules from the start. This can make it hard to find tenants who respect the lease in the future, as potential tenants may get the impression that the lease agreement isn’t taken seriously.
Poor insurance coverage
Many landlords make the mistake of not having adequate insurance coverage, leaving them exposed and unprotected financially. Without sufficient coverage, landlords may find themselves facing expensive repairs, loss of rental income, or legal liabilities if someone is injured on the property, such as a tenant, visitor, guest, or employee.
Insufficient coverage can have serious consequences, such as decreased property values, difficulty finding qualified tenants, and potential lawsuits resulting in financial losses. It’s important to note that landlords won’t be protected against natural disasters, fire, and theft, leaving them responsible for all repair costs and property losses.
If you find yourself doing one of these, don’t worry! Everybody can overlook these matters or do them superficially. With little knowledge, preparation, and planning, landlords can avoid them altogether.
What will prevent in the most efficient way most of these mistakes is associating with an experienced property manager. Professionals who handle these every single day have a low chance of making these mistakes. To them, this industry feels like second nature.
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