2 Costly Mistakes Many Landlords Make

by Chris on October 15, 2012

Experienced or novice, one unit or hundreds, every landlord is susceptible to these two costly mistakes.

But anticipating these missteps can be the key to preventing income loss:

Love at First Sight

Getting excited about an applicant because they are likeable is a trap, and rushing to lease to them is a dangerous move. Sure, at first blush they seem perfect in every way, but don’t let your heart rule over your head. It’s surprising how many times that “ideal” candidate was just a well-rehearsed problem tenant. 

Allowing excitement to take hold can cause a landlord to overlook that individual’s flaws, some of which will seem obvious in hindsight.

Follow the same protocol when selecting and screening each and every applicant — no matter how excited you are to have found the “perfect” fit.

The ideal tenant is one who has good credit, a good rental history, pays on time, keeps the property tidy, and follows the rules –even when you are not watching.  Don’t develop a preconceived notion of what that tenant is going to look like.

It’s okay to like your tenants, but it needs to be for the right reasons.

Got it Made!

Once that “ideal” tenant moves in, it is easy to think that the tenancy will run itself. That complacency may even cause the tenant to act out over time.

Take steps to remind the tenant that they are in a rental property, and you are the one in charge. Follow the same policies every time around, like enforcing rules uniformly, going through with scheduled inspections, and staying on top of repairs. 

Even a reasonably good tenant may act like a different person if their circumstances change.  And the longer they are in the property and getting away with rule-breaking, the more likely the landlord will lose money. 

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Randal Miller October 16, 2012 at 6:38 am

Very true. Lay down the law upfront. It’s unfair to tenants to get tough later. Besides, if you have reasonable expectations, making the rules known will only scare off people you don’t want to rent to.

Marv October 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

Very good point Randal…making the rules known will scare off people you don’t want to rent to. At the very least your tenant will know what your expectations are, and when those are known and recorded in the lease, problems/hassles are minimized. That’s why you have a thorough tenant screening in place and that’s why you have a lease. Minimize risk of income loss! Minimize hassles! I was recently at a Trade Show and in speaking with many landlords I found it amazing how many landlords rented based on gut feeling. In most instances that might work out as many tenants abide by the rules in the lease agreements, but…it’s my opinion that when you do that you are playing the odds. For the sake of a few dollars landlords are taking a risk. If you go on gut feeling 9 out of 10 times, then decided to screen the 10th applicant because your gut told you things weren’t quite right, are you being discriminatory? Why didn’t you screen the other 9 Mr./Ms Landlord? It’s best to have a checklist which is in the forms section after logging into TVS and stick to the same process with every applicant. Thanks for your comment Randal and good point. Thank you Chris for another great article!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: