December 7, 2016

7 Common Landlord Pitfalls

Being a responsible landlord doesn’t only help you get and keep great tenants, it protects you from legal pitfalls. Landlords need to protect their house from damage, and themselves from legal suits. These tips will help you protect you, whilst positioning you as a fair and respected landlord to your tenants.

tenancy agreement with landlord
  1. Not Checking for Health and Safety Violations

If you’re a landlord, you need to conduct regular inspections and check-in with your tenants to ensure that your property is safe and meets all safety regulations. If you find any dangerous or hazardous conditions, fix them immediately.

  1. Deal with Tenants Respectfully

There are times when your tenants may act unreasonably - demanding rent reductions or not owning up to the damage they caused. While these circumstances are incredibly frustrating for landlords, it will not serve you well to give into those emotions. Take the time to create a plan for dealing with them that is respectful, but protects your interests. Ideally, you want to resolve a situation while turning a trouble-causing tenant into an ally.

  1. Ignoring a Tenant’s Credit Issues

If a potential tenant has had previous trouble meeting their debts or paying landlords, don’t expect this time to be any different, despite any assurances that they are now more financially responsible. Instead, wait for a tenant who has demonstrated they can meet their financial obligations - even if this means accepting a slightly lower monthly rent.

  1. Not Checking for Prior Evictions

Ensuring your home will be kept in good condition is a main priority for all landlords. Knowing if tenants have been previously evicted is a good signal as to whether you want them as your own tenants.

  1. Underestimating Maintenance Costs

Properties often have unexpected costs, such as repairs, damages, and renovations. It is important to include room for unexpected expenses in your cash flow.

  1. Not Considering Property Management Services 

There is more to being a good landlord that many people recognise - or are prepared to do. Property repairs, dealing with tenants, finding new tenants, and managing accounts are not day-to-day responsibilities that every landlord wants or needs to have. A property management service will also provide the expertise you cannot. They have real estate agents, tax accountants and surveyors on hand for whenever they're needed. Furthermore, they often have deals with local contractors that allow your repairs to be done for less than they would cost if you hired them personally.

  1. Not Thinking Strategically

It’s easy to focus on how you can save a dollar here or there, but in the long run, you earn more by investing in the maintenance of your property and then earning higher rental rates.

What Else Should You Do?

If you’re interested in hiring a property management service, you can find out more by contacting your local property manager or calling 09 555 9100. We cover property management in many areas, specifically rentals in Manukau, Pakuranga and Botany.