HOW LANDLORDS CAN EASILY AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES
By Mohammed Rafi, Managing Director, Master Team Real Estate LLC
Every property owner or landlord has a story to tell about tenant issues. It is easy to slip up and make a mistake that can escalate into a drama. By avoiding these common mistakes you can save valuable time and money so it’s wise to always keep them in mind even if you are an experienced property owner.
Not screening tenants in advance
Before you set up a property inspection or in-personal interview with potential tenants make sure you screen their application properly. Have they forgotten to mention their pet bulldogs or failed to mention they have more people in their family than the contract allows? Don’t waste your precious time by going into meetings with tenants who aren’t a great fit. Feel free to check social media accounts in addition to references to get some insight into who you might be dealing with.
Failing to check references:
It can be a tedious job to read through pages of references and follow up with emails and phone calls to check the references are authentic. But by not checking it can cost you a lot time and money if you end up with untrustworthy tenants. It’s easy to get caught by not checking thoroughly or not checking at all if the tenants were referred to by someone you trust.
Not following your instincts:
This is one that can’t be learnt or taught but sometimes you get a feeling and you are within your rights at the initial stages to follow them. Being a good judge or character is a gift and often if you get a feeling you will be right later on the down line. Don’t dismiss your inner instinct.
Forgetting to stay in business mode:
You are renting your property to tenants as a financial investment and it is a long-term business agreement. While it is acceptable to extend kindness to valuable tenants during tough times, it isn’t okay to turn a blind eye to ongoing issues like late rent payments. Be nice, but firm and keep your business hat on when dealing with tenants even if it’s uncomfortable.
Hiring unreliable contractors:
Don’t hire cheap or inexperienced contractors in an effort to save money. If you wouldn’t use them to work on your personal home, they are not good enough for your investment property either. Landlords can often try ot save money and end up falling into the trap of spending more.
Forgetting to keep insurance up to date:
A good insurance company will remind you when payments are due but you can’t count on them 100%. An incident like a fire or damage caused by a natural disaster that is not fully covered by insurance can be financially damaging to your property portfolio.
Not keeping property maintained:
Sometimes tenants won’t notice or will be too polite to inform landlords of maintenance that needs to be done. It is your responsibility to check and make the necessary repairs as required by law and also up to your own personal standards. Do a regular check of the interior and exterior of the property to make sure everything is functioning properly and looking smart. Leaving a small problem such as leaky roof can grow into a huge issue later on.
There is a lot to take care of when you own an investment property and if you own several properties the work load and responsibilities are magnified. We can take care of all the issues mentioned in this article and more.
As an experienced and professional property management company it is our job, and also our pleasure, to take the pressure off you as a landlord. It is an investment that makes financial sense. Hiring a property manager is well worth it for your peace of mind and to free up your time that you could be spending doing more important tasks. Imagine not having to deal with all the issues we’ve discussed. It would be lovely to make your life easier wouldn’t it?