Property ownership is a great investment and a great source of income, but it’s not a free ride to riches. Property management can be a real pain and brings its own set of challenges and risks. Here are four headaches you should be particularly careful to avoid.
As a property owner, you have certain responsibilities to your tenants. Fail to uphold those responsibilities, and you make yourself liable for the consequences. For example, Chapter 92.158 of the Texas statutes on such responsibilities lay out rules for the security measures a landlord must provide by default and by request, along with a number of rules governing the timetables, who pays for what, etc. If someone breaks in through a door that should have been secured under this statute, you’re going to be financially liable. There are dozens of statutes like this to consider, so know your responsibilities and fulfill them. A knowledgeable Houston locksmith will know the laws concerning security devices in Texas rental property.
Problem tenants aren’t completely avoidable, but you can greatly minimize your odds of encountering them in your rentals if you’re careful. One important thing to consider are the various ways a tenant might be a problem: you have the chronically delinquent with rent, the combative and argumentative, the destructive, etc. Use a good screening process to keep these tenants out as best you can – beyond that, they roll into issue 3.
Little Problems That Grow Up To Be Big Problems
It’s important that you identify your problems early, while they’re isolated issues. A small leak is cheap to fix; the water damage it causes over months is not. A problem tenant can be controlled or evicted if you identify the problems they’re causing, document them, and take appropriate actions; if you don’t, you’ll end up taking a far bigger hit down the line. It’s a general rule of property management: put in a little effort today and you’ll spare yourself a lot of effort in the long term.
Putting together good rental agreements and other legal paperwork can be a pain, but it’s important. A good contract protects everyone from bad faith actions, lays out a proper procedure for working out conflict, and keeps you and your property safe. Remember, there are limits on what can be in a contract: fill your lease agreements with unenforceable nonsense, and a judge might just throw the entire thing out as unconscionable down the line when you need it. Be wary and follow the above tips to ensure a hassle-free property management role.
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