Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
From damages to late rental payments, there's a long list of problems that landlords face. The last thing landlords want is to spend a ton of time dealing with a tenant's problems when they could be relaxing. But even if a landlord does his best, headaches are inevitable. As a new landlord, being aware of common problems is the first step to preventing and resolving them effectively.
First of all, you should always discourage tenants from paying rent late. Ensure that the tenant is truly late in payment by checking your records. Serve the tenant a late rent notice. Be sure to include any penalties that the tenant incurred.
Normal wear and tear results from normal use, while damage results from negligence or a lack of care on the tenant's part. Examples of tenant damage include gaping holes in walls, crayon markings on walls, burns in carpets, and broken doors. Before renting out the unit to a tenant, take pictures of it. Charge the tenant for the damage from their security deposit.
In a perfect world, tenants would abide by all the terms of a lease. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. For example, a tenant fails to report damage or subleases the rental without your permission. You need to know the best way to approach tenants regarding violations. Communicate in a respectful and non-threatening manner. Anytime you call your tenant, you must also record that call in your notes, and how the tenant responded.
Pest infestation is a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Figure out how the pest has entered your property and where it thrives. Hire an exterminator. As a landlord, you are responsible for pest control. Check the outside of the rental for entry points. Seal up these holes and openings. If a pest infestation happens as a result of a tenant's poor housekeeping, the tenant will be responsible for bearing the financial burden.
Many landlords have no or an insufficient screening process. That is why these landlords often deal with nightmare tenants. These are tenants who treat the property poorly, cause neighbors to complain about their behavior, host secret roommates, and conduct illegal activities. Avoiding bad tenants should be done from the beginning with the proper screening process in place.
Running a rental property business requires documentation. If you don't have an organizational system in place, you can easily misplace paperwork - tenant information, rental applications, notices, invoices, utility bills, and more. Create a filing system that works for you. Keep a file for each tenant.
Landlords are no stranger to these problems, and that is why as a new landlord, you need to arm yourself with knowledge and the right education to succeed. Get started here at Landlord Prep!
If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!