You may have heard some of the more dramatic horror stories when it comes to the landlord and tenant relationship. There are always dramatic tales of illegal activities in rental properties, exotic snakes belonging to tenants that manage to swallow neighborhood dogs, and residents who sneak out in the middle of the night with overdue rent unpaid and thousands of dollars of damage left behind.
It’s rare that you’ll have a landlord horror story of your own, especially if you screen your tenants well and inspect your property. However, we know you have fears, and most of those are rational. Today, we’re addressing some of the things that worry landlords most, and helping you avoid those situations.
Late or Unpaid Rent
As a landlord, you count on receiving your rent on time. Many of the rental property owners we talk to are worried their rent won’t be paid on time – or at all. This is an understandable fear, but if you’ve screened your tenants well and you have a rent collection policy included in your lease, you will probably not have an issue with rent payments. When you’re screening tenants, ask former landlords if they paid on time. It also helps to offer several different ways for them to pay. Many tenants prefer paying online, so set up an electronic transfer between their bank and yours.
Excessive Property Damage
A common problem that can often turn into a horror story is when you think you have pretty laid-back tenants because you don’t hear from them at all throughout the course of the lease. They pay on time, they don’t bother you with questions, and they never need any maintenance. This may sound like a dream tenant, but if you go into the property after they move out and find a year’s worth of deferred and unreported repairs, you will have some large expenses before you can re-rent that property.
Damage is the responsibility of the tenant, and you can withhold money from their security deposit to fix anything they break. You can also avoid property damage by inspecting the home at least once or twice during the year. Get inside and take a look around so there are no surprises after they move out.
Extended and Expensive Vacancies
We also hear from landlords who are worried their property won’t rent. This is understandable. Vacancies cost money, and while there’s no tenant in your home, you aren’t collecting any rent. But, you still have to pay for upkeep and maintenance and utilities. Avoid long vacancies by ensuring your property is well-maintained and inviting. Make a few updates and upgrades. Market the home aggressively and make sure it’s priced correctly for the market. You want to be competitive so you can attract the best tenants.
The best thing you can do to avoid your own horror stories and calm your fears is work with a professional Osceola property management company. We have seen and done it all, and it takes a lot to scare us.
For more information about how we can help, please contact us at Park Avenue Property Management.