Renting out an apartment is a great way to boost your income, in fact for some – it’s their only income. For most people, renting their properties is a hassle-free and simple process, but for others – it’s a story of housing horrors that can leave a lasting mark. The good news is that these cautionary tales can be avoided if you’re careful, so learn from others’ mistakes and avoid these rental mishaps.
Contracts are a landlord’s best friend and will safeguard you from several potential mishaps. Having agreements in writing will make sure both parties know where they stand, as well as outline the terms in the case of missed payments, damages, and notice periods. Without a contract, there’s nothing stopping a tenant from failing to pay rent or even moving out with no notice. There are key points that need to be included in every landlord agreement, so make sure you include all of the necessary details to safeguard both parties.
Fixing things yourself
Ever heard the one about the landlord who fixed the plumbing himself and ended up paying thousands in damage for a flooded apartment? Let’s hope it’s never you! By trying to fix things yourself without the right training or experience, you run the risk of paying out much more later on than you would have to hire a professional. Bite the bullet and cough up the cash, you don’t want to find yourself with a maintenance bill for thousands of dollars later down the line.
Forgoing necessary checks
They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and you should adopt the same principle to your tenants. Even if they seem like the nicest and most conscientious people on earth, you can’t always trust appearances. Carrying out the necessary tenant background checks will help make sure that you find out all the relevant details you need to know about your tenants before you let them move into your home. Checks can help to identify whether a tenant is likely to be able to pay rent, whether they have a criminal background and also help you to eliminate time-waster or people with something to hide.
Not paying your taxes
Failing to pay rental income tax is not something you want to risk. There are many, many landlords who have been caught out not declaring their rental income – something that could cost you dearly. Employ an accountant to manage your finances and make sure that you file correctly to stay out of trouble. If you do get court short, a lawyer dedicated to serving his clients with a range of legal services including tax could help you to fight your case in court. Trying to cheat the law is never worth it so don’t put yourself at risk.
Assuming that no news is good news
As a landlord, you might think that because your tenants aren’t reporting any problems, that everything is fine with your property. This is a risk attitude to have as there could be many issues happening behind the scenes that you’re not aware of. Agree with your tenants in advance that you will make checks on the property every three or six months (depending on your preference) to assess whether any maintenance needs taking care of. Checking in on your tenants with an email, call or text now and then. Doing this will help make sure everything’s ok and that they’re happy – helping you to develop a good relationship with them.
Being too lenient when things start going wrong
Making mistakes is a part of human nature, but being too forgiving could have more serious consequences in the future. Letting one missed payment slide is one thing, but it could set you up for other issues if your tenants think you’re someone to take advantage of. There’s no point having a lease or rental agreement if you don’t impose the penalties you’ve put in place. If you are concerned about your tenants paying rent, there are some great tips you can follow for getting your rent paid on time that could save you experiencing late payments in the first place. While you’ll want to be a good and fair landlord, it’s important that you get tough when needed.
Before deciding to go down the rental route, you should consider the pros and cons of renting a property first. It may take you some time to figure it out, but the benefits can be worth it once you get started.