It’s every landlord’s worst nightmare: a call in the middle of the night that the rental is flooding. Or maybe you’re worried about rental payments that are six weeks overdue. Whether catastrophe or collections is on your mind, there are five problems that new landlords should be prepared to handle. Knowing these five things in advance can help you avoid the headaches of unaddressed issues, lack of communication or other challenges as you relate to your new tenants.
Common Problems for Landlords
There are a few common problems you should know about when going into this adventure. Having a rental property can seem, at first glance, like a no-brainer. Easy money. However, there are general challenges that you may face. Whether you are in the apartment, townhouse or rental home business, these problems will all present themselves to you at some point.
- High turnover rate: No matter what, regardless of what price point you’re listing at, a high turnover rate is a problem equaling high costs and little profit.
Solution: if high turnover is a fear or reality, having a better tenant screening service is one way to face the issue head-on. By screening your potential tenants, you will automatically avoid many issues. You can also review your written rental standards to be sure that you are setting the right bar for who lives in your place and that early termination penalties and other barriers keep tenants from leaving early.
2. Late rent payments: Following through with penalties for late rent payments can be a hassle and is a common problem for landlords.
Solution: one way to protect yourself from getting stiffed is starting off with qualified tenants. Do a credit check and be sure they have the right income. Use a rental application that covers all relevant financial items and ensures that they have the capacity to pay you on time every time. When they are late, be sure there is ironclad wording in your agreement to protect yourself and recover your money. To encourage your tenants to pay on-time, you can also setup online rental payments as a convenient method to secure your funds faster.
3. Legal compliance: Keeping everything in compliance can be challenging. It takes some due diligence to understand the scope of your responsibilities.
Solution: find online resources and consult with a lawyer. Do the work to inform yourself about all of the laws in your state that apply to your situation. It may feel like a google search is enough, but skimping on legal advice or research now will hurt you later. Too many issues could arise in which a lack of understanding ends with you losing out financially. Put in the time to be sure you are armed with what you need to know to succeed.
4. Property vacancy: Your income depends on occupation. Vacancy can make you feel desperate and lead to getting wrong or underqualified tenants.
Solution: it costs more to replace bad tenants than it does to wait for new ones. Patience, tenant screening and high standards will pay off in the long run. There are numerous way to advertise your property and get the word out about vacancies. Take advantage of social media and online outlets to be sure people know you’re open for business.
5. Property maintenance: Routine and one-off maintenance items (like appliances) need to regularly be addressed. If you’re doing this yourself, keeping on top of it can be hard.
Solution: Plan for maintenance. Get on a schedule of how and what you’re going to check on. Understand that midnight calls may be part of the gig, but you’ll get far fewer of them if you’re keeping everything in good repair.
Solutions to Common Landlord Problems
These are just five basic things you need to know as you begin renting a property. As a landlord, of course many more things will come up. We invite you to subscribe to our blog for regularly updated material that will help you avoid trouble and make money renting your unit. Don’t lose out: make the most you can and have great landlord-tenant relationships by plugging into what ApplyConnect has to offer.
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