Hi, I’m Faye with Residential Property Management in Portland Oregon. Today we are talking about a few common mistakes made by folks managing their own rental property. Hopefully, we can help you identify potential mistakes you might be ready to make so you can change course and ensure you’re successful as a landlord and rental property owner.
Security Deposit Amounts
Many landlords don’t collect enough security deposit funds before handing the tenants their keys. When you have a mortgage to pay, it can be tempting to make it easier than it needs to be for a tenant to move in. However, that can be a problem for you when the tenant moves out. We recommend having at least one month’s rent in a refundable security deposit as a minimum. Sometimes, you’ll want to collect even more.
If you don’t require proof of renters insurance with specified liability limits, you might want to consider it. Unexpected things happen, and if your tenant burns down the kitchen or lets the upstairs bathtub overflow, you don’t want to be stuck with the bill. Make renters insurance a requirement, and make sure the insurance company lists you as a certificate holder. That way, you’ll get a written notice if your tenant cancels the policy.
Renting to Friends and Family
Do you rent to friends and family? We don’t recommend it because it can ruin the relationships you might have preferred to keep. You don’t want to find yourself in the situation where you have to take a friend or relative to court to enforce your rental agreement. If you aren’t willing to evict them using the legal process, don’t rent to them.
Not asking for prior landlord references is a huge mistake. You should always call a tenant’s landlord references and be prepared to ask them a specific list of questions. We are always amazed at how few calls we get in our office for landlord references on our past tenants.
Another common mistake is showing your rental property to prospective renters before it is move-in ready. All tenants want a clean place to live. Renters will make a yes or no decision about the property based on the condition at their viewing. It doesn’t matter what the condition could be, make sure it is ready for move-in when a tenant walks through it.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes we see landlords make. If you have questions about how to successfully manage your rental property, please feel free to contact us at Residential Property Management.