1. Know the Laws
No one wants to be stuck with a lawsuit especially not in terms of housing. A way to prevent this is to know and understand the laws. The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that is enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which grants fair housing protections and rights to both buyers and renters. The Landlord Tenant Law details the rights and duties of both landlords and tenants. This law explains the rights in eviction, landlord rights, disputes, rent and security deposits, rental and lease agreements, repairs and maintenance, state resources and tenant rights. Understanding these laws will not only help you maintain a good relationship with your tenant but also avoid any lawsuits and/or complications. Research your state’s laws as different states have different requirements.
2. Regularly Inspect the Property
Having the physical structures of a property regularly inspected is necessary for the health and safety of the tenants. It is the legal responsibility of the landlord to ensure that all facilities are habitable. Everything has to be in working order and landlords are to answer requests for repairs. To avoid constant repairs that could be costly, ensure regular inspection of the property.
3. Keep Up with the Finances
One of the main reasons for renting your property is to earn some extra money. However, being a landlord has financial obligations such as homeowner’s insurance and taxes. Homeowners insurance may not be a requirement if you paid it off the building, but it is still a good idea to carry a policy. If the building it isn’t paid off, the mortgage broker or bank will require some type of homeowner’s insurance. Taxes, on the other hand, are required by state and depending on your situation, it might be a good idea to consult with a tax professional to determine applicable deductions and avoid any complications with the IRS.
Be sure to always have an updated, signed lease with every tenant. Both the landlord and tenant should agree on a payment schedule and discussions of late payments. Having this established upfront will avoid future misunderstandings.
A little planning and research will make managing your property a little less stressful.