As a landlord, you want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to protect your investment. But, unfortunately, many landlords make common mistakes that can end up costing them time and money. In this article, we will discuss the eight worst mistakes landlords make and how to avoid them according to specialty insurers like Just Landlords.
Mistake #1: Not Screening Tenants Properly
Not screening tenants properly is one of the biggest mistakes landlords make. This can lead to bad tenants who do not pay rent or damage the property. A good tenant screening process should include a credit check, criminal background check, and reference check. Credit checks help to ensure that tenants will be able to pay rent on time. Criminal background checks help to identify any potential red flags. Finally, reference checks provide insights into a tenant’s previous rental history. By taking the time to screen tenants properly, landlords can avoid many of the headaches associated with bad tenants.
Mistake #2: Not Checking References
Before you sign a lease with a tenant, it’s important to check their references. This is one of the best ways to get an idea of what kind of tenant they are and whether they’re likely to cause problems in the future. References can provide you with important information about a tenant’s rental history and whether they have caused problems in the past. Always contact at least two references for each applicant. If possible, try to get in touch with both personal and professional references. Personal references can give you a sense of the tenant’s character, while professional references can give you more insight into their rental history. Checking references is an essential step in screening tenants, so don’t skip it.
Mistake #3: Not Having a Lease Agreement
Mistakes happen, but some can be avoided with a little bit of planning. One mistake that can be easily avoided when renting property is not having a lease agreement. A lease agreement is essential for protecting both the landlord and the tenant. The lease agreement should outline the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including rent amount, late fees, and other important information. Make sure both the landlord and tenant sign the lease agreement. By taking this simple step, you can help avoid misunderstandings and potential legal problems down the road.
Mistake #4: Not Inspecting the Property Regularly
Landlords should inspect their properties regularly to ensure they are in good condition. If repairs are needed, they need to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Additionally, regular inspections can help identify potential problems before they become bigger issues.
Mistake #5: Not Charging Enough Rent
Charging too little rent can be a mistake landlords make. This can lead to missed opportunities to cover costs associated with owning and managing a property, such as maintenance, repairs, and property taxes. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between setting a rent amount that covers costs while still being affordable for tenants.
Mistake #6: Not Knowing the Law
Landlords also need to be familiar with state and federal laws that apply to renting property. These laws cover a variety of topics, such as security deposits, evictions, and discrimination. Not knowing the law can put landlords at risk of violating tenants’ rights or facing legal penalties.
Avoiding these eight mistakes can help landlords save time and money. By Screening tenants properly, checking references, having a lease agreement, regularly inspecting the property, and knowing the law, landlords can protect their investment and create a positive rental experience for both themselves and their tenants.