Landlords can find themselves having to worry about an abundance of issues when owning a rental property, that they often overlook some of the obvious ones that can lead to litigation.
Most of the major causes of landlord-tenant litigation include problematic late fees, failing to issue proper notices, renting without a tenancy agreement, illegal property use and conditions in need of repair.
Here is a list of what you should double-check to save yourself from future litigation:
1. Verify tenants
Don’t ever be a gullible landlord who believes the lies of prospective tenants applying to rent our your investment property. Appearances can be deceiving and there are many tenants out there who are ready to take advantage of the rental system. That’s why you ought to adhere to strict measures when screening tenants.
Ensure that you conduct a full backgrounds check. If you’re smart, you don’t have to pay for this.
Simply ask your rental applications to pay for a background check to validate their identity, history of criminal records, evictions and money judgements. Even if you’re willing to pay for this and still refuse, that will send alarm bells right there. After all, any rental applicant who refuses to undergo an extensive background check would normally have something to hide from their past. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the day for conducting thorough screening, as approving an undesirable and problematic tenant can cost a landlord, hundreds, if not thousands in litigation fees and property damage. So protect yourself first by only approving trustworthy, reliable tenants.
2. Verify contract workers
Electrical, plumbing, air conditioner, energy and vacuum cleaning systems are areas that require professional licensed workers to repair or alter your rental property. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you check the registration and insurance papers of any worker you contract on site at your rental property. You must verify that they are covered. Otherwise, what you don’t know can hurt you as a landlord.
For example, imagine your tenant received an electric shock from a faulty powerpoint; they were harmed as a result of a dodgy installation job. You will be at fault if you employed unregistered and uninsured workers to repair or install systems at your rental. Don’t risk it. Don’t just hire qualified, registered tradesman, but check the papers.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding tenant litigation?
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