As a landlord, getting the right resident to rent out your property is the most important step in leasing, and you have to spend significant time checking references and income and doing background checks. However, irrespective of how much due diligence you perform, you may 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 exploit 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 keep these excuses from happening is to maintain records of rent collection so your residents can never say they paid you when they have not, always keep up with necessary repairs on your property, and perform regular evaluations of the property to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Next, residents try to get away with a person living at the property who is not on the lease. A lot of people rent in areas where they know people or have friends, which is not a problem until your resident has a friend staying with him or her you had no idea about. If someone is living at the property and isn’t on the lease, many problems could develop, from damaged property to noise complaints. The best way to avoid this is to make sure to include in the lease that no one else may live in the property except those on the lease and that failure to comply will result in eviction.
The third thing residents try to get away with is keeping pets in a “no pet policy” property. Most residents will wait weeks or even months after they move in to try and sneak a pet into the property with no consent from the landlord and without paying a pet fee, if applicable. Prevent this by doing regular evaluations on your property and inspecting whether any pets have appeared.
The fourth thing is damages. Accidents happen and items break, but who ends up paying for the damages? If your lease is in order, and you do evaluations before and after with the resident, you won’t have to be the one who pays the price. Make sure to make a list and do a walk through the property together on the first day your resident moves in, noting all preexisting damages. Then, the day before your resident moves out, walk through the property with the same list that has all the noted damages so your resident can’t argue that they did not create the new damages done to your property.
The fifth and last thing residents try to get away with is escaping eviction. Residents will try to claim, and occasionally even take legal action, that they are being evicted unfairly. To avoid these conflicts, have a clear and concise lease that states the rules explicitly and states what qualifies as terms to evict. This way, if the resident attempts to take legal action, you have a good chance of winning your case, and if the resident refuses to move, you can take legal action to remove them from your property and get it back on the market to rent.
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We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.