As a landlord, finding the correct resident to rent out your property is the most important step in leasing, and you need to spend significant time checking references and income and performing background checks. Nevertheless, regardless of how much due diligence you do, you can still encounter issues with residents. Here are some of the top five things residents try tricking landowners with:
The first is not paying rent on time. Residents will try to take advantage of landlords and come up with excuses on why they have not timely paid their rent. Popular excuses range from “I’m waiting for my paycheck from work to come in” to “You haven’t repaired damages in the house, so I shouldn’t have to pay rent until they are fixed.” The best way to prevent these excuses is to hold records of rent collection so your residents can never claim they paid you when they have not, always stay up to date on necessary repairs on your property, and maintain regular evaluations of the property to make sure everything is running well.
Next, residents attempt to get away with a person living at the property who is not on the lease. Most people rent in areas where they know people or have friends, which is not a problem until your resident has a friend living with him or her you had no idea about. If someone is living at the property and isn’t on the lease, numerous problems could develop, from damaged property to noise complaints. The best way to prevent this is to make sure to include in the lease that no other person may stay in the property except those on the lease and that failure to comply will lead to eviction.
The third thing residents try to get away with is keeping pets in a “no pet policy” property. Many residents will wait weeks or even months after they move in to try and sneak a pet into the property without permission of the landlord and without paying a pet fee, if applicable. Avoid this by doing regular evaluations on your property and checking whether any pets have appeared.
The fourth thing is damages. Accidents happen and items break, but who ends up compensating for the damages? If your lease is in order, and you do assessments before and after with the resident, you won’t have to be the one who pays the price. Make sure to create a list and do a walk through the property together on the first day your resident moves in, marking all preexisting damages. Then, the day before your resident moves out, walk through the apartment with that list that has all the preexisting damages so your resident can’t say that they did not create the new damages done to your property.
The fifth and final thing residents try to get away with is evading eviction. Residents will try and claim, and sometimes even take legal action, that they are being evicted unfairly. To avoid these conflicts, have a clear and concise lease that states the rules precisely and states what qualifies as terms for eviction. This way, if the resident tries to take legal action, you have a great chance of winning your case, and if the resident refuses to move, you can take legal action to get them out of your property and get it back on the rental property market.
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