This is Your Job: A New Landlord’s To-Do List

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This is Your Job: A New Landlord’s To-Do List

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Diving into a new venture is exciting. The world is your oyster, ready to deliver unto you its pearls! People told you that being a landlord is a passive income – people move in, live their lives, and each month they pay you. How great! How easy!

Diving into a new venture is exciting. The world is your oyster, ready to deliver unto you its pearls! People told you that being a landlord is a passive income – people move in, live their lives, and each month they pay you. How great! How easy!

Not quite. Monsieur Thénardier, who might jeer about all his fees that build his fortune (and later lack thereof), might say ‘everyone loves a landlord, everybody’s bosom friend’ but in case the title of Les Miserable didn’t tip you off, he’s not to be trusted.

As a landlord, the passive income isn’t always so passive.

sepia toned rental application

Not quite. Monsieur Thénardier, who might jeer about all his fees that build his fortune (and later lack thereof), might say ‘everyone loves a landlord, everybody’s bosom friend’ but in case the title of Les Miserable didn’t tip you off, he’s not to be trusted.

As a landlord, the passive income isn’t always so passive.

Your To-Do List

What is a landlord responsible for? The job title isn’t limited to just collecting rent. For one huge umbrella term, landlords need to ensure that the property is ‘habitable.’ Black mold? You have to fix it. Heater broken in the winter? You have to fix it. Stairs are crashed through? You have to fix it. That doesn’t mean you need to take a class in expert-craftsmanship, but you do need to have the will and way to get it done. Whether you are hiring someone or doing it all yourself, that’s all up to you, as long as at the end of the day, your tenant could survive there long term.

This includes and is not limited to:

Your To-Do List

What is a landlord responsible for? The job title isn’t limited to just collecting rent. For one huge umbrella term, landlords need to ensure that the property is ‘habitable.’ Black mold? You have to fix it. Heater broken in the winter? You have to fix it. Stairs are crashed through? You have to fix it. That doesn’t mean you need to take a class in expert-craftsmanship, but you do need to have the will and way to get it done. Whether you are hiring someone or doing it all yourself, that’s all up to you, as long as at the end of the day, your tenant could survive there long term.

This includes and is not limited to:

      • Water is working, no leaky faucets and functioning sewer access
      • Locking exterior doors
      • No broken windows
      • A properly sealed roof
      • All wiring is safe
      • Gas is safe
      • No pests
      • Water is working, no leaky faucets and functioning sewer access
      • Locking exterior doors
      • No broken windows
      • A properly sealed roof
      • All wiring is safe
      • Gas is safe
      • No pests

What happens if you break this promise? That is a contract technically – when your tenant signs a lease, it is a two-way street. They will pay to live there on the condition that you (and they, really) keep it safe and livable. Breaking this lease is asking for trouble in both a legal and financial sense. Consider tenants your customers: if you don’t keep the customers happy, they will do one of two things, hire a lawyer or leave. You’ll be lucky if they just leave, but what good is a business if you have no customers?

Your To-Don’t List

Ah, yes, the tricky part. Do you need to fix the things that your tenant damaged? It depends. If your tenant has a pet and the animal chewed on the baseboards, that’s the tenant’s responsibility, as it is their job to keep their pet in check. If the tenant broke the built-in microwave, that’s on them, as well.

For Example:

What happens if you break this promise? That is a contract technically – when your tenant signs a lease, it is a two-way street. They will pay to live there on the condition that you (and they, really) keep it safe and livable. Breaking this lease is asking for trouble in both a legal and financial sense. Consider tenants your customers: if you don’t keep the customers happy, they will do one of two things, hire a lawyer or leave. You’ll be lucky if they just leave, but what good is a business if you have no customers?

red x on a list

Your To-Don’t List

Ah, yes, the tricky part. Do you need to fix the things that your tenant damaged? It depends. If your tenant has a pet and the animal chewed on the baseboards, that’s the tenant’s responsibility, as it is their job to keep their pet in check. If the tenant broke the built-in microwave, that’s on them, as well.

For Example:

red x on a list
      • Small Items such as bathroom mirrors that they broke
      • Stains that they have caused
      • Upkeep with own waste and garbage
      • Maintaining plumbing cleanliness
      • Small Items such as bathroom mirrors that they broke
      • Stains that they have caused
      • Upkeep with own waste and garbage
      • Maintaining plumbing cleanliness

These are all smaller issues that don’t directly affect the home’s habitability and were directly caused by the tenant’s action, such as refusal to train a dog or decision to yank a microwave door. That can be a guiding factor, but it may be best to consult a lawyer to see where the fine line of yours or theirs is when it comes to responsibility. If it is theirs, you’re in luck. While not affecting habitability, still,  these problems do hurt the aesthetic and re-renting capability, so you’re going to want those things fixed but at least in a perfect world, your tenant would be the one to pay for it.

On the bright side, finding out what is or is not your responsibility should not be an insurmountable investigation. That’s why we’re here to help, and along the way, everyone can learn something new!

to stay informed!

These are all smaller issues that don’t directly affect the home’s habitability and were directly caused by the tenant’s action, such as refusal to train a dog or decision to yank a microwave door. That can be a guiding factor, but it may be best to consult a lawyer to see where the fine line of yours or theirs is when it comes to responsibility. If it is theirs, you’re in luck. While not affecting habitability, still,  these problems do hurt the aesthetic and re-renting capability, so you’re going to want those things fixed but at least in a perfect world, your tenant would be the one to pay for it.

On the bright side, finding out what is or is not your responsibility should not be an insurmountable investigation. That’s why we’re here to help, and along the way, everyone can learn something new!

to stay informed!

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The nation’s most trusted tenant screening for real estate agents, landlords, and property managers. No cost background checks available 24/7.

©2018 ApplyConnect. All rights reserved

ApplyConnect marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of applyconnect.com. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.