Landlord Tips For the Legally Blind Property Owner

Posted on: January 25, 2011

Categories: Investors, Procedures, Property Management

Author: lbuen

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Landlord Tips on Rental Applications and Lease Agreements

Prevention is better than cure. The cliche surely applies to renting out properties, and legal documents such as Rental Applications, Lease Agreements and lease clause inserts are your prophylaxis to the headaches that many landlords suffer from when they have not taken the trouble of getting vaccinated. Some experienced landlords and lawyers handling landlord versus tenant cases prescribe some landlord tips for the beginning landlords who are most often still legally blind and additional landlord tips for those who have been in the business for a time.

Landlord Tips on What Legal Documents to Prepare

For a smooth-sailing contract-signing with the tenant, require him to bring the necessary documents including a copy of his social security card, driver’s license, and the amount due in cash, certified funds or money order. The main legal documents you have to prepare to be signed by the tenant are the Rental Application and Lease Agreement.

A Tenant’s Notice of Intention to Vacate attached to the Lease Agreement and a Property Condition Report are also recommended. The former will prepare you when the time comes to look for a new tenant while the latter will help you “look after” the property to ensure that tenants properly maintain it. This may or may not include a Security Settlement Statement that computes for the deductions based on the damages done upon moving out. Take the time to read out the lease with the tenant highlighting the significant parts to ensure that there is a meeting of minds. If the meeting ends in disagreement, go ahead and tear up the Lease Agreement and move on to the next prospect.

Check data in the rental application is a must before turning over the keys to the tenant. Always remember to ask for past and current landlord references and validate these by asking the landlords to validate the address of the previous place they were renting. But sometimes a simple call to the “landlord” may not be enough. Some landlords tell the candidate upfront that they are going to inspect the place which the candidate tenant is vacating. If he argues about this, then they do not take him in. If he comes from out of town or his place is out of the way, then they require him to double the deposit. The same goes with candidates who lived with relatives or friends. If after six months, things appear to be peachy, the tenant gets refunded for the additional deposit. If you plan to copy this strategy, ask for advice from your lawyer if these inspections are considered legal in your region.

Furnish the tenant with a copy of the Rental Application which he signed. This is for your protection as it includes statements that authorizes you to retain the deposit should the tenant breaches his commitment to rent.

Landlord Tips on What Legal Documents and Document Changes To Avoid

To avoid a possible headache, do not allow the prospect to delete clauses or make changes to vital parts of the lease. Some tenants may have their own versions of the Lease Agreement, it would be best for you to stick to your own. Obviously, his version will include tenant protection wordings. Now whose welfare are you trying to protect?

To avoid the headaches of managing a property and dealing with problem tenants, it will serve you well if you ink a Lease Agreement with all bases covered. Most landlords know this that is why they share experiences and exchange landlord tips for their protection.

 Landlord Tips For the Legally Blind Property Owner
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