The 6 Biggest Landlord Traps
Even landlords who have been around for a long time have fallen into these common landlord traps.
1. Improper Screening
"95% of tenant problems can be eliminated in the screening process."
Believe it or not, many landlords still are very trusting and comfortable with a basic application if any or a handshake. The eviction courts are full of landlords who like to trust their 'gut' feeling.
The Landlord Protection Agency highly recommends you use our rental application or another comparable application. Applications are powerful screening tools when you verify the information that they contain.
Do you really have to spend a lot of money?
When you list your rental with an experienced, landlord oriented real estate agent, (preferably a member of The Landlord Protection Agency, your advertising should be included with the service. If you are not using an agent to rent your property, you can advertise very inexpensively or FREE through TheLPA.com's Rentals Available listings and Craigslist. You also may want to take advantage of services such as The National Tenant Register, which is a listing of prospective tenants in search of rentals. The tenants advertise their rental needs to landlords through web sites such as theLPA.com web site. The ads are broken down geographically into categories for the landlord's convenience.
3. Relying On Non-Landlord Agents
How can someone who has never experienced the same responsibilities advise you how to rent your property?
If you are forced to use an agent inexperienced in landlord matters, be sure to do the screening and accepting of the prospective tenant yourself. If your agent is not using the The LPA Rental Application or a comparable one, be sure to supply him with one.
4. Developing Friendships with Tenants
Is it possible for a tenant to take advantage of a good rapport with his landlord? Allowing tenants to cross the professional line can be a mistake. This is a common trap that many landlords fall into. Many of us make the mistake of becoming too close with our tenants and becoming friends. Unfortunately, maintaining a business relationship with friends and family as tenants is a serious handicap for the landlord and rarely ever ends well for the landlord.
Many tenants have a way of making it their mission to become friends with their landlords. It has always been a valuable rule of thumb to not do business with friends and family. If possible, keep a friendly professional arms length from your tenants.
5. Using A Substandard Lease
The conventional leases need improvement. Most leases on the market are quite generic, designed not to offend the tenant. They often have more "tenant protection" than "landlord protection".
Landlords need a lease designed by professional landlords and attorneys that protect them and their properties. Our LPA Lease and the Essential Landlord Forms do just that.
It is also important to know what is in the lease and also know how to enforce the contract in the almost inevitable event of violations.
6. Paying For Credit Reports
Why pay for a credit report on a prospective tenant that turns out to be undesirable?
Have your application require a tenant paid screening fee as included in our LPATM Rental Application.
If you decide not to sign up for your own LPA credit reports account, you also have the option to use an applicant assisted alternative, TransUnion SmartMove Discount for LPA Members!
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