Avoiding a Common Landlord Pitfall

by Wallace Gibson, CPM
Part Three of the SeriesAssisting Reluctant Landlords From Making Common Mistakes”
HeadacheSome landlords see the $$$ and not the $$$$$$$….they chase the few bucks they will lose if they do not rent their property QUICKLY and have to come out of their pocket for a mortgage payment and they do NOT see the many bucks they will lose if they take the wrong/unscreened residents who stop paying their rent, lose their jobs, or as is the more common case, vacate the property with no notice.

Landlords who rely on real estate agents to locate and screen residents fare little better. Most real estate offices no longer have access to credit screening services as a result of their E&O insurance requirements and mandatory site inspections by the screening service. As support staff has been reduced in many offices, these services have been discontinued and the agents may not know that they no longer have access to these basic tenant screening resources.

Likewise, they rarely have the proper forms for the leasing service. The lead based paint disclosure for SALES is NOT the same lead based paint disclosure for RENTALS….agents do not know this. In many states, there are mold disclosure requirements for one or both activities.

Tenant move-in inspections may be mandated by state landlord-tenant laws and if they are not followed, claims against the tenants’ security deposit may well be forgiven at the end of the lease term.

A month of paying a mortgage versus 3 or 4 months of vacancy in mid-winter or a long drawn-out eviction is not worth the risk of not doing it RIGHT!!

Wallace Gibson, CPM, is the owner/broker of Gibson Management Group, Ltd., a full-service property management company offering 45 years of professional property management services for investment property owners in Central Virginia * Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa and Greene counties. Her firm’s website is http://VaHomes4Rent.com and she blogs at www.propertymanagementmaven.com.
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American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts for landlords on products and services related to your rental investment, including real estate forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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