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Top 5 Landlord Mistakes

Top 5 Landlord Mistakes

Being a landlord seems straightforward enough, but it requires business acumen to manage investment properties soundly and keep residents happy. Especially if you are a new landlord, it is important to lower your stress by knowing landlord mistakes to avoid. Here are five of the most common pitfalls:

 

#1. Incomplete knowledge of landlord-tenant law

 

There are responsibilities you must meet and procedures you must follow to keep yourself in a strong legal position. Per the Fair Housing Act, you must not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, nation of origin, or disability. Eviction must follow a step-by-step process. You also must follow guidelines within landlord-tenant law related to necessary maintenance; reasons for entering a residence; and security deposit receipt and storage.

 

#2. Being slow to respond

 

When surveyed, residents often say that the #1 problem they’ve had with their landlord is that they’re unresponsive. Especially since retention is so incredibly important to ROI, you want to make sure you are never ignoring your tenants. You will lower your costs over time and increase satisfaction of those who are renting from you by simply being available when they call. That way you won’t have to go out and find a new resident!

 

#3. Failing to screen tenants sufficiently

 

Be careful to closely review each resident’s background, rather than quickly processing applications so you can have a tenant paying rent. Check references and get a credit report. Your application should obtain substantial information so that you have everything collected in a single location.

 

#4. Not keeping paperwork organized

 

Any business must pay attention to documentation, and property investment is no exception. The cornerstone of your documents is the lease. Be certain that you either carefully review the lease or get it professionally written, rather than simply trusting a template. Plus, elements such as taxes, the security deposit, and recording expenses are all critical – and point to how key it is to have your financial paperwork organized. You don’t want to be penalized or be subjected to audits because of tax issues.

 

#5. Hesitating to get assistance

 

Often a landlord will try to handle everything on their own. That can be a big mistake, since it does not recognize the value of your time.

 

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