Being a landlord is not an easy job but it can be a very rewarding one. When you are beginning your venture as a landlord, it is important to have all proper precautions in place to proactively protect yourself and your business down the road.
Get Everything In Writing
The most important item to consider when renting an apartment is the lease. This Lease Agreement between you and the tenant is legally binding and is meant to protect you and your legal rights should there be problems with the tenant. Proactively protect yourself in the event of a dispute down the road.
Get A Security Deposit
Another way to proactively protect yourself is to get a security deposit from the tenant. By collecting this deposit you will communicate that you care about the condition in which the tenant keeps the property and that he or she will be held responsible for damages. A security deposit is a great motivation for the tenant to keep the place clean and damage-free as well as gives you a cushion should something happen. Take photos of the property and have the tenant fill out and sign a Renter’s Inspection when they first move in to reduce disputes about the initial condition of the apartment should damage occur.
Know and Enforce the Law
When you and your tenant sign a Lease Agreement, it is legally binding. Therefore, both must follow the terms of the lease. If you do not, you can be found liable in small claims court or find yourself in trouble with the local housing authority. Your tenant must also abide by the lease. This means that you must enforce regulations, like penalties for late rent payments.
Both you and your tenant have rights under the law. You, as property owner, should be able to enter the property for maintenance reasons with the appropriate amount of notice given to the tenant. You also have the right to evict a tenant if they break the terms of the lease. Your tenant also has rights that you must learn and respect. This includes rules to follow when evicting a tenant or constructing a background check.
Know the Tenant
As the landlord it is your responsibility to vet your tenant to ensure they are who they claim to be. This goes beyond their identity and into their rental and credit history. It is important to verify that they are employed and have good credit and no past evictions or other issues.
The best way to ensure your tenant is the right choice is to take advantage of CheckPoint Screening’s wide range of tenant screening services including credit reports, criminal history checks, eviction reports, and more! Check with CheckPoint before giving any tenant the green light.