Even with carefully-screened tenants, landlords can suffer if they are not watching over the property. Few landlords enjoy property inspections. But failure to adequately supervise tenants can lead to income loss. Receiving a rent check each month is not the measure of a successful tenancy. Tenants also must abide by other terms of the lease agreement.
Haven’t been to the property in a while? Here’s what your tenants are doing when you’re not around:
More Occupants Than You Bargained For
One of the most common lease violations by unsupervised tenants is taking in roommates. You went to a lot of trouble to choose a tenant with decent credit and a good rental history. Allowing that tenant to open the door to other residents increases landlord liability and potential income loss, especially if the new person can’t pass
New residents don’t know the rules and aren’t obligated under the lease. Imagine what would happen if that unknown occupant winds up being the only person at the property.
Each adult occupant should be on the lease agreement, and the lease should contain a guest policy that includes the right to ask for a
tenant background check
on new occupants. Don’t allow new residents to slip in under the radar.
Lease Violations Galore
Give an inch and some people take a mile. Allow the tenant one dog, and before you know it there’s another — or three, and maybe a cat or two, and perhaps a hamster. Or a snake. Before allowing pets into a property, the animals must be screened to determine if they’re safe around others. But turn a blind eye, and tenants will feel emboldened to push the limits.
Lease violations tend to compound — once tenants see there’s no pushback, they’re likely to lose sight of the lease rules altogether. Parking violations, noise complaints — even criminal activities — are far more likely when tenants think they have free rein.
Nothing says “I don’t care” like ignoring the property for a year at a time. If you wait until the end of the lease to inspect, that water stain in the ceiling will have spread. The leak around the toilet will have destroyed the subfloor. And the mice in the crawlspace will have multiplied many times over.
Tenants who feel the landlord is apathetic have little incentive to report property damage, especially if the tenant contributed to it.
Routine property inspections
allow a landlord to prevent additional — and sometimes catastrophic — damage to the property.