« »

Monday, May 19, 2014

5 mistakes landlords make

Property management mistakes
Landlords should be aware of state required disclosure laws
Everyone knows that being a landlord can be a fraught profession. You are offering up a location that is designated as a place where people live.

People can get very particular about where they live, and that means that as the landlord, you might find yourself liable for a great deal more than you thought you were going to get in to.

There are five basic and common mistakes that landlords make. If you want to be a great landlord and to keep yourself free of harassment or legal issues, consider them carefully!

Mistake 1: Failure to disclose

Disclosing an issue means that the landlord is aware of an issue, and that he has made the tenant or the person planning on signing on as the tenant in a reasonable timeframe. This sounds fairly general, and the issue is that disclosure laws vary from state-to-state. For example, in one state, you may need to disclose whether or not there is mold on the premises. In another state, you might have to make the sexual predator status of another tenant known. Be sure that you know what the rulings are where you live.

Mistake 2: Letting issues go

Most landlords are very understanding people, and they believe that they can expect a lot of good out of their tenants. In general, this is true, but if you have a tenant that is constantly causing problems, whether it is with noise complaints or with property mismanagement, you need to act swiftly and without hesitation. A single warning should be enough to get a tenant to toe the line. Afterwards, it is often a good idea to look into disciplinary ations or eviction. It sounds harsh, but it can save you a lot of time and trouble.

Mistake 3: Failure to maintain the property

Make sure that every property is provided with a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide alarm and a fire extinguisher. Get to know your local codes, but in general, this is the trimuverate that is necessary to keep everyone safe and sound. Once they are in place, set up reminders to go around and check them. For the most part, they will never see any real use. However, if they are needed and not present, you are courting both deep tragedy and a legal fight.

Mistake 4: Failure to insure the property

If you are a handy person, or if you are friendly with your tenants, you may feel as if you do not need to insure your property from anything but natural disasters. The truth is that people can be very, very destructive, and there are many places where the right insurance policy will keep you from disaster. For example, if you are found guilty of a charge like illegal eviction, illegal entry, or non-compliance with a safety law, the right insurance will cover the damages and any cost of litigation. Make sure that you keep this mind as you proceed; this is not a needless expenditure!

Mistake 5: Illegal evictions

Every single state has different statues regarding evictions. An eviction process can take months or weeks, and it can be quite complex. Make sure that you understand your state's policy and abide by them. Some landlords who are in a rush to get rid of problem tenants find themselves hurrying the process along. However, then they are blind-sided when they get hit with a legal issue. Be aware of what your tenant rights are, and evict accordingly.

Being a landlord can be trying sometimes, but on the whole, it is good work. Be aware of these issues and learn more about how you can be a better, safer landlord!

About the author: Tulsa Property Managers is a Jenks property management company offering professional property and real estate management, consulting and sales services throughout the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

Image license: Cincy Project, CC BY 2.0