As a company providing professional property management in Kissimmee, we have noticed seven common mistakes homeowners make while self-managing their own rental homes. These are things you want to avoid.
Entering the Property
You must provide your tenants with a 24 hour-notice period before you enter their home, whether it’s to repair something or you just want to inspect something. This is a legal requirement. If it’s an emergency, you can waive this requirement, but you still need to ask permission. It may be your house, but it’s their home. They may want repairs scheduled around their work time.
Don’t spend the security deposit. Keep it in the bank because it’s only to be used in case of damages when a tenant vacates. Some tenants leave homes in great or better condition. If your tenant has left damages, take pictures so you can produce them as evidence if necessary. Use date stamps on the photos. Normal wear and tear is permissible. Marks on the walls and wear on carpets are to be expected, and you may need to change those carpets and paint every year or ever 10 years, depending on your tenants. But if there are big stains on the floor or large holes in the walls, then you can charge the security deposit for those damages.
When you meet potential tenants, get proper documentation. Look at pay stubs, check credit, and run background checks. These people will be living in your home. Just because they look nice doesn’t mean they’ll pay on time.
Don’t use a lease from office supply store. Have an attorney draw up a lease for your property and get it redone annually, because landlord tenant laws change. You want something up to date and current.
Move in and move out inspection reports are critical. Take dated photos when you do these and do them before and after tenants move in and out. These are the things you’ll need to prove and without photos and documentation, you don’t have a case.
Inspect the Property
Some owners don’t do this, but we recommend you do a complete inspection once or twice a year. This is the only way you can really know if the tenants are keeping the house in good condition.
No Cash Payments
Finally, do not accept cash for rent. Take a check or money orders or a wire transfer. Photocopy the payment method, and put the money directly into the bank account so you have a record. You want to be able to prove what was paid. Get rid of any cash policies.
If you need any help with Kissimmee property management or you find you’re making these mistakes frequently, please contact us at McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes. We’d be happy to help you.