Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to earn passive income and build some financial stability. However, many real estate investors will tell you that it also comes with a lot of risk and liability. Whether you’ve been a landlord for years or you’re just starting out, you have likely heard some terrible horror stories about awful tenants or impossible situations.
Today we’re facing those fears head-on, and showing you how you can avoid them with your Chula Vista rental property.
Awful Tenants Who Never Pay Rent
One of the most common landlord fears we hear about is unease about rental payments. All landlords have a bit of worry that their tenants won’t pay when they’re supposed to. This is a real fear because your cash flow and ROI depend on consistent rental payments. Plus, you have your own bills to pay, including a mortgage, taxes, and property insurance. So the horror stories about chasing down late rent every month or having to evict nonpaying tenants are terrible. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to avoid having this become a reality.
A strong screening process will help ensure you’re only placing good tenants with a history of paying rent on time. Verify income to ensure they earn enough to afford the rent. Talk to current and former landlords and ask about whether rent was paid on-time. Your lease needs an enforceable rent collection policy. Bad things can happen to good tenants and you might have a late payment once in a while. But, with a good screening process, it shouldn’t be common and you shouldn’t have to worry.
Expensive Property Damage Left Behind
Another horror story you might have heard probably covers property damage. Maybe you heard the one about the landlord who walks into the home after a tenant has moved out, only to find devastating damage that’s been left behind.
It’s possible that this can happen. We’ve talked to landlords who have found gaping holes in the walls, doors dangling from their hinges, appliances that were abused and misused, yards dug up by what would appear to be a pack of wild animals, and floors that are scratched and warped from who-knows-what. These are easy things to worry about. In reality, however, most property damage left behind by tenants is minor, and will almost always be covered by the security deposit.
Tenant screening is again important for this reason. Inspections can also help. Even if your tenant never requests maintenance, make an appointment to get inside the home for an inspection at least once a year. This is the best way to look for unreported maintenance and check for lease violations.
Surprise! Your Tenant Has Some Pit Bulls
A lot of landlords also fear pets. Maybe you don’t want to risk the damage and the potential liability of allowing pets in the property. However, more than half of the tenants in Chula Vista have at least one pet. So, not allowing pets may extend your vacancy.
No-pet policies also seem to lead to tenants sneaking their pets into the property. If you say no to pets and you discover that a pet is, in fact, living in your home, you’ll have to decide whether to force your tenant to get rid of the pet. When it’s a dangerous breed like a Pit Bull, you have extra fears that are certainly understandable.
We recommend you allow pets so that you don’t have to worry about tenants bringing unauthorized pets into your property. There’s rarely damage that exceeds the amount of the security deposit and your pet fee.
Talk to us about your other fears, and we’d be happy to help you come up with creative solutions and reliable ways to avoid bad situations. Contact us at Encore Realty, and we’ll provide you with extra peace of mind.