Renting your home can be a very simple process. You list your home for rent, find a tenant, and collect the rent. Sounds easy enough right? However landlords who either lack experience or time make the mistake of overlooking their rental which can lead to costly mistakes. If you do not feel you have the experience to handle a rental property, there are many real estate management services companies that can handle it for you, and leave you to your day job. Below we will provide landlords a list of 5 mistakes you should not make regarding your rental property.
- Not screening your tenants: Failing to run a proper background check may be the biggest mistake you can make when renting your home. A proper background check will verify your potential tenant’s criminal record, previous eviction history, or any other red flags that may affect their ability to pay rent.
- Not signing a lease: If it is not written down on paper, then it likely did not happen. You may trust a tenant that you have found for your rental property, but when it comes to problems having a signed lease between you and a tenant is your only guarantee for proof.
- Staying too far away from your property: You do not want to intrude on your renters, however checking on the rental property every so often shows your tenants that you care about your rental property. Make sure you provide your tenants proper notice prior to doing so.
- Violating Fair Housing Act: You should familiarize yourself with the rules of fair housing act. Asking questions about race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and family situation are off limits. If you turn down a prospective tenant due to these questions about them, you can face legal action.
- Ignoring repairs: Let your tenants know that you would like to be updated immediately on any repairs that need to be fixed. It is also the landlord’s responsibility to make sure fire alarms work, outside doors lock properly, and that the home is safe for the tenants.
Being a landlord is easier than you think. Avoiding the above mistakes will help you have a smooth rental process. If you feel you do not have the time go handle a rental property, then you should look into hiring a rental agency. They have the staff and time available to manage your property so the only thing you need to do is sit back and collect rental income.