Being a landlord is a significant responsibility. When faced with multiple demands, it can be tempting to rush through certain steps to move onto the next task. While making some mistakes is normal, you can avoid many with research and preparation. Do not underestimate the complexities you will face in terms of tenant disputes, insurance policies and local laws.
If you skip out on any of these responsibilities, you could end up in financial or legal trouble. Keep reading for some top tips on common landlord mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to properly screen prospective tenants
You must thoroughly vet your candidates, no matter who they are. Whether it is a stranger who found your listing online or your cousin's best friend, you need to follow certain procedures to avoid renting to a bad tenant. Enact a screening system that you follow for each prospective tenant. This process should include a set of questions, a rental application verification and a credit check.
2. Ignoring insurance
As a landlord, you need to get the right type of insurance policy with the proper amount of coverage to protect against unexpected issues. You should have property insurance and liability insurance at the very least. These two types of policies will help you in the event of property damage or lawsuit. You never know when a natural disaster will occur or a tenant will bring a claim of negligence against you.
3. Not knowing enough about landlord-tenant law
You can easily find yourself in legal trouble if you do not fulfill certain duties or follow particular procedures. New York has specific rules for collecting security deposits, maintaining your property, respecting tenant privacy and evicting tenants. You must also obey state and federal laws regarding fair housing. You may face fines and lawsuits if you do not follow the law closely.
Renting out property can cause you headaches, but it also offers great rewards. If you can avoid these three mistakes, you should be a better and more successful landlord.