Being a landlord is a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. As the owner of your own property, you have to be aware of how your actions may affect both yourself and your tenants. While there are some basic guidelines that all landlords should follow, there are also plenty of mistakes that—if avoided—will make being a landlord significantly less stressful. Here are a few common mistakes that new landlords often make:
Not Screening Prospective Tenants Properly
Screening prospective tenants is the single most important thing you can do to make sure that your property is occupied by responsible people. In addition to checking credit, criminal and eviction history, make sure they can afford the rent.
Also, verify that they have references from previous landlords and employers; check their rental history with a background check service.
It’s also important for potential renters to have good rental history—that means not having many moves within a short period of time as well as having no evictions on their record.
Not Taking the Time to Get to Know Your Prospective Tenant
Get to know the tenant’s financial situation:
- Are they employed and able to pay rent?
- If not, do they have any other sources of income, such as disability or retirement benefits? Are they behind on their payments anywhere else?
Get to know the tenant’s housing history:
- Have they lived in this area before or moved around a lot?
- Were there any problems with previous landlords or neighbors?
- Why did they leave that apartment/house/building/etc.?
Get to know the tenant’s employment history.
- How long have they been at their job(s), what kind of work do they do, and how long will it last (if relevant)?
- Will you be able to contact them if necessary via phone number or email address listed on their application form (or provided by references)?
If applicable, are there any upcoming schedule changes that may affect rent payment dates while you’re waiting for them to move into place after your house goes on market sale again later next month…
Taking on a Tenant Without a Contract
A contract is a written agreement between two parties that outlines their responsibilities and rights. By having a written contract, both you and your tenant know exactly what to expect from each other.
You should use a proper tenancy agreement template when creating a tenancy contract. This will help ensure that all of the correct information is included in your contract and that it complies with local laws and regulations.
Your tenancy agreement should contain:
- A description of the property.
- The start date.
- How much rent you’re charging (and where rent payments are collected).
- Your tenant’s obligations as stipulated under law.
- Details of any items included in or excluded from the rent due, such as bills and council tax.
- How long the tenancies lasts for (e.g., six months).
- How much notice you require before ending tenancies (e.g., 1 month).
- Details about any other services offered by landlords such as maintenance work on appliances, etc.
- Contact details for all relevant parties involved—the landlord/agent, tenants, etc.
- Conditions upon which either party can terminate this contract early.
Not Understanding Landlord-Tenant Laws In Your Country or State
One of the biggest challenges for landlords is not knowing the laws in their country state. Landlord-tenant laws vary from state to state, and even within states, there may be county or city ordinances that apply to renting property.
Furthermore, landlord-tenant laws can be complex and confusing; this is especially true for first-time landlords who don’t have a legal background or experience working with attorneys before undertaking this role.
landlord-tenant law varies by type of property (single-family home vs apartment building) as well as by whether it’s an owner-occupied or investor-owned property. Therefore, it’s important that you are familiar with the specific rules governing landlords in your area before signing any lease agreements or other forms of financial transactions with tenants.
Rushing an Eviction Process
This one is pretty straightforward:
- Don’t evict a tenant for a minor infraction.
- Don’t evict a tenant for something that is not allowed by law or the lease.
- Don’t evict a tenant for reasons that are not covered by your lease or state law.
Setting Up Showings of the Rental Without Notifying the Tenant First
You must give your tenant at least 24-hour notice before showing the rental unit.
If you don’t give proper notice, the tenant can refuse to be present during the showing and prevent you from entering the unit. If this happens, it will leave a bad impression with that particular tenant.
Not Making Repairs Right Away
It is common for landlords to wait until a tenant complains about something before they look into it. This is a mistake because some issues are not easily noticed and can cause damage if left unattended. If you want to keep your tenants happy, make sure that you respond quickly and fix problems as soon as they arise.
Some landlords fall into the trap of waiting until a tenant moves out before making repairs to the rental property. This is wrong because the old tenant might come back and find everything changed without their permission, causing them to feel violated in their own home. It’s better for everyone if you get permission from new tenants first and make repairs before someone moves in or out of the property!
Being a landlord can be great, but you have to make sure you’re following all the rules and regulations that apply. It’s also important to make sure that your tenants are happy with their living situation or else they might move out without giving proper notice. You should always screen potential tenants carefully so that only the best ones get approved for leases in your properties!