William Norton Johnson

 Master Real Estate Practitioner

Mill Valley, Marin County, California

DRE# 00872562



Problems Landlords Face

Posted by William Norton Johnson

Becoming a landlord is a big decision that can provide revenue for property owners. However, landlords sometimes find themselves facing unforeseen problems often created by tenants. Having high standards for tenants and performing background checks can help reduce the number of problematic tenants, but there may be problems landlords face despite their best efforts to find the perfect tenant. Here are the top four problems landlords face and how to avoid or remedy them.

Payment Problems

The most frequent problem landlords face is having tenants send payments late or not at all. While landlords can include late fees in tenant contracts, recovering lost revenue when tenants don’t pay can be difficult. The best step for landlords to take is to start the eviction process as soon as possible once your tenant has missed a payment. This process can sometimes take up to three months, so starting early is essential. Make sure that when you decide to become a landlord, you have enough money in savings to cover three months of mortgage payments for the rental. This precaution will give you enough time to evict the current tenants and find new ones.

Property Damage

Landlords have to expect some typical wear and tear from tenants, but tenants are ultimately responsible for maintaining clean and sanitary living conditions while they are renting the property. Tenants cannot approach landlords to request repairs due to tenants’ negligence. Security deposits can sometimes cover these costs but can be insufficient in some instances. Landlords can ultimately seek legal action, but choosing tenants with good references from previous landlords can often prevent such issues. Also, make sure every tenant fills out a “property condition” form listing out all pre-existing property damage that the tenant finds during an initial walk-through before moving into the property. This will ensure that both parties are aware of any existing property damage caused before the tenant moved in.

Violation of Lease

The nature of a violation of a lease can vary, but landlords find that this can be a common problem. For instance, if you have a no pet policy and the tenant brings a pet on the premises, he has violated the terms of the lease. If the tenant has additional people living at the house without permission, he has violated the lease. Landlords can resolve this issue by notifying the tenant immediately when the lease has been violated. It’s very important to specify the nature of the violation. Make all warnings to tenants in writing so you have record of all correspondence between you and the tenant. Also, it’s essential that landlords ensure they follow all protocol specified in the lease so if the landlord chooses to take the tenant to court, the verdict will be in the landlord’s favor.

Demanding Tenants and Complaints

This problem isn’t one that is easy to screen ahead of time. Tenants will often approach landlords with a variety of concerns and problems. Some may be valid and need immediate attention, such as a broken appliance. Some tenants will find various things to complain about or make demands on a landlord more frequently. It’s important to deal with complaints in a timely manner. Communicate with tenants to let them know when you plan on addressing the situation and fulfill your commitments. One way to avoid dealing with tenant complaints it to hire a property manager who will take care of those issues for you.

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