Avoid These Common Landlord Mistakes.
Being a landlord is a full time job that requires follow through and constant maintenance. With a long term plan investment properties can be profitable. If you as landlord cannot commit time and energy to managing your rentals then it might be wise to higher an experience property manager like DMK Property Management in Darien, Connecticut.
Read and learn about these eleven common landlord misstates to avoid.
Do a full background check on every tenant.
Rental application, credit check, job and income verification along with verifying the rental application will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Thinking the property will always be rented.
Cash flow is very important; you rentals will not always be full, plan ahead and have reserve monies to cover payments such as mortgage, heat, maintenance issues, advertisement and Realtor fees.
Know the cost of repairs and property maintenance.
Budgeting and keep on top of minor repairs before they turn into bigger issues is key. You will also need to have reserves for the big ticket items that come up such as a new HVAC system, exterior painting, roofing, etc.
Being a Landlord is not a hobby.
Operating rental properties is a business and needs to be operated as such; proper accounting practices, reporting taxes as a business, keeping records are all key items. Best to consult a professional accountant, CPA.
Relying on a handshake.
Yes it would be nice but once again you are running a business, contracts need to be signed along with all other agreements, work to be done, repair to be in writing.
Asking illegal interview questions.
The Fair Housing Act applies to landlords as well, you are now operating a public business. The Fair Housing Act of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 requires that you cannot deny a tenant's application based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, handicap or family status (i.e. if they plan on having children). As well check with your state on local laws pertaining to being a landlord.
Being a landlord is 24/7, you have responsibilities throughout the contract. You need to check in regularly with your tenants and the condition of the property. Be aware you need to schedule these with the tenant, you cannot just pop by.
State and local housing codes.
Every state has their own housing codes and law in addition to the federal laws. As a landlord you need to know these such as how to deal with security money, evection process, rights of tenants, etc. Here is the link for Connecticut Landlord and Tenant Law.
Delaying an eviction.
You want to be a nice person but once again you are running a business. Not proceeding with an eviction as soon as legally possible can be a costly mistake.
Not enforcing the lease.
You have a lease for a reason, enforce it. If you agreed to no pets then that is what it is. If not your tenants will realize you are lax and will take advantage.
Everything in writing.
As a landlord you must have a record, get everything in writing, repair requests, contract, etc. He said she said does not work in a court of law and many times can be misunderstood. Along with this pictures are very important form of documentation. Always have pictures of before move in.
For more great tips on being a landlord please check out
and as well Investopedia.
DMK Property Management llc a locally owned company serving lower Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Specializing in Residential Property Management that can custom tailor a program to fit the homeowners needs be it short term or long term from rental management to full estate management.
David Popoff is a certified “Green Homes Specialist” Realtor with William Pitt Sotheby’s in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut.