Landlords face a lot of potential legal liabilities that they need to protect themselves against to ensure the profitability of their business. Making legal mistakes can create huge financial problems for landlords and drastically reduce the profits that are brought in through rentals.
The following are six things you shouldn't do as a landlord so that you can avoid legal liabilities.
Having no written agreements
Getting everything in writing when you lease out a home or apartment is important. This way, both you and your tenants know the exact terms of the arrangement.
Having a contract drawn out can help you to avoid conflict down the road. It can also ensure that both you and your tenant know what your responsibilities are in the agreement.
Taking on tenants without proper screening
You need to screen your tenants to make sure that they're reliable and that they won't be likely to cause you any trouble.
A thorough tenant screening should include not only reference checks, but also inquiries regarding credit history and criminal backgrounds.
Neglecting repairs that need to be made
As a landlord, you're responsible to make repairs on any malfunctioning equipment inside the properties that you rent out.
If you neglect repairs, your tenants could refuse to pay rent or even initiate lawsuits against you if living conditions could be viewed as unsafe.
Renting out properties that aren't safe
It's essential to meet some basic safety standards at a property before you try to rent it out. You need to make sure that there are no health hazards in a property like black mold growth or poor interior air quality. You also need to make sure that rental properties are secured against the threat of burglary.
Failing to notify tenants of any potential hazards
If there are some environmental hazards at a property or in the surrounding environment, it's essential that you inform your tenants about them before they move in.
As a landlord, you can be held liable for any medical issue that your tenant experiences as a result of living at your property. Therefore, you need to make sure you notify tenants of hazards so that you are not responsible for any health issues they experience.
Having no insurance
It's important for you to have both liability and property insurance. This will ensure that you will have coverage for any lawsuits that your tenants file. It will also ensure that damage to your property caused by events like fires or natural disasters will be covered.
For more information, talk to local real estate law services.