Many homeowners believe that they can handle renting a property themselves. All goes well at first. That is until they realize that they have made what can only be described as landlords mistakes. Those errors end up costing them a lot in time, hassle and, most important, money. That is not to speak of unpleasant confrontations with the tenant, with neighbors and with homeowners associations. Here is a look at some of the do-it-yourself landlords mistakes that homeowners often make, some of which they live to regret. All of them can be avoided by selecting the best property management company in Boca Raton to handle the renting for you.
Failure to check thoroughly on a renter’s credit history and ability to pay
This is among the biggest landlords mistakes. Would-be renters can appear pleasant and sound reputable. They assure a homeowner that they will meet their commitments every month without fail. They might even have references and offer paperwork, such as recent paychecks, to prove how capable of paying they are.
The homeowner is satisfied that no problem exists when tenants happily pay their rents for the first couple of months. Suddenly, however, a renter stops paying. As a month or two go by and only partial payments materialize, the DIY landlord is plunged into a nightmare as dues, property taxes and other payments on the property become payable.
The problem then becomes how, when and whether to evict the tenant.
An in-depth check on the ability of the renter to pay would go a long way in helping to prevent such a scenario. Property managers in Boca Raton have all the knowledge and experience needed to conduct such a thorough credit check.
Failure to treat the rental as a business deal
When homeowners rent their homes without the help of property managers in Boca Raton, they tend to do so on the basis of a friendly deal. Doing so clearly is a pleasant, neighborly approach which at other times might be lauded. But houses should never be rented on the basis of friendship. The rental contract is a business deal. Personal feelings and emotions cannot become involved.
Problems can start to occur when a renter fails to keep to the terms of the contract. Emotions become involved and the friendly deal becomes downright unfriendly.
It is so much better — for both the landlord and the tenant — that an objective third party be involved. Such a third party is a property management company that can act on the landlord’s behalf and make any face-to-face discussions between landlord and tenant unnecessary.
Failure to go over the condition of the property when a renter moves in
Because the relationship between a DIY landlord and a tenant tends to be casual and friendly, often no strict record is kept on the condition of the property prior to the start of the rental term.
Yet it is essential that the landlord and renter go over the property thoroughly before the renter moves in. They should do so jointly, so that they are on the same page.
They should check out any damage to the property, such as scratching on furniture, dings on the walls or stains on the carpet. Even pictures on the walls, or the absence of any art, should be noted.
These precautions are essential so that confusion is eliminated when the tenant leaves. A landlord might know, for example, that there were no drawings on the wall when the tenant moved in. But now a wayward child has left a trail of art. Without documentation, however, it becomes a matter of opinion.
Such landlords mistakes can be eliminated by hiring an efficient property management company.
Failure to explain the rules
Another of those DIY landlords mistakes that can come back to haunt them is a failure to explain fully to renters the rules of a condominium homeowners’ association or any community agreements on behavior and improvements.
A tenant who is a garden lover, for example, might change the nature of the landscaping, breaking the rules. Children who are noisy might create problems. Noise after 10 p.m. is a common complaint, particularly in condos or apartments.
A property management company can handle the difficult problem of approaching the renters and asking them to change their behavior.
Failure to conduct efficient property maintenance
Landlords often fail to see the difference between maintaining a home that is being occupied by tenants and their own home. They might be prepared to live with run-on toilets, leaking faucets and broken appliances in their own property. But a responsible landlord cannot expect a renter to tolerate such situations for more than a short time.
An added complication arises when a landlord is away on vacation when the problems are reported and so nothing gets done for weeks.
A good property manager, on the other hand, will ensure that repairs are conducted quickly and efficiently.
Failure to employ qualified contractors to conduct repairs
Although many DIY landlords see the need to conduct efficient property maintenance, they often fall into the trap of doing it themselves. After all, they are also DIY home repairers. Because they usually fix their own plumbing and even electrical system, they are confident they can do so when it comes to their rental properties.
Doing so, however, can be a recipe for disaster. Inept repairs can cause major headaches should damages result to renters and their personal property.
It is far better to hire the services of a property manager who will attend to the situation by employing qualified contractors to do the job right the first time.
Failure to leave it to the experts
The money landlords believe they are saving by renting property themselves can be wiped away in a second when something goes wrong. Such landlords mistakes can be avoided by employing an experienced property management company in Boca Raton that can attend to even the smaller details of renting — and get it done right.