3) Not Making Sure Your Lease Contains Favorable Terms
Often times it is easier to use a form lease downloaded off the internet or given to you by a realtor. However, having a lease that contains provisions the landlord wants and needs for the management of their property is simply better business. These provisions include late fees for payment of rent a certain number of days after it’s due, notice requirements for when the tenant plans to renew or terminate the lease, and perhaps one of the most often neglected provisions: making it clear in the lease that the security deposit may be used to reimburse the landlord for tenant’s failure to pay rent. Having these provisions means generating more income and minimizing uncertainty.
4) Improper Record-Keeping
One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome when landlords ask me to make a claim on a tenant’s security deposit or defend a tenant’s withholding of rent for failure to maintain the premises is proof to the court that repairs were made. Whenever a landlord makes repairs to a rental unit, they should always keep invoices and receipts from the vendors making them. If the repairs are done by landlords themselves, make sure receipts from the purchase of materials are kept. Good record-keeping creates a paper trail that can be introduced as evidence should a dispute arise, and it’s good business to write off such expenses per the counsel of your CPA.
5) Failure to Consult an Attorney Before It’s Too Late
The management of rental property and adherence to the law in your landlord-tenant relationships is an area of commerce that is highly time-sensitive. If the proper notice is not given for certain stages in the rental relationship, landlords could end up waiving or minimizing the protection of their rights afforded by Florida law. If there is ever a question as to how to proceed to accomplish the goals of your landlord-tenant relationship, consult a real estate attorney immediately. The cost of professional help is often well worth the expense when it means avoiding forfeiture of your legal rights.
Renting real estate is not a commercial activity reserved for only the most sophisticated of business people. However, there are many pitfalls along the way that can be avoided with the assistance of professional help. Consult your local real estate attorney to make sure you’re maximizing the productivity of your rental property.