Feb 18, 2014

Common Landlord Mistakes

As a landlord, you have quite a bit to manage.  There are several very important things that a landlord cannot overlook, through out a tenancy.  Here are a few common mistakes one might make at a property manager.

1: Delaying time!

As a property manager or landlord, you might often choose to let late payments extend passed a due date. Landlord's who delay sending default notices and commencing evictions action often risk enduring longer "rent-free" periods than if the landlord immediately responded to the first delinquency. A landlord is generally better able to obtain overdue lease payments if the landlord promptly contacts the delinquent tenant to work out payment details. In some instances, the landlord may obtain full payment. In other circumstances, the landlord may make concessions by providing a lease modification (i.e., lower rent payments; forbear a portion of future rent payments; etc.) so the tenant will agree to remain in the premises. In yet other situations, the landlord may need to pursue eviction proceedings. It is important to you bottom line, to attempt to minimize your risk.
2: Holding off on the eviction process, while negotiating with your tenant.
It is necessary to pursue eviction, purely for business purposes. As a landlord, you must increase your leverage, as you start the negotiation process. It provided a landlord the ability to dangle a carrot in front of his tenant, and create motivation for change! If the tenant cooperates in the negotiations and pays at least some of the past due rent, the tenant will obtain a lease modification. If the tenant is does not cooperate, the tenant will be evicted. Assuming the tenant cooperates and a settlement is reached, the eviction may be cancelled, but a landlord cannot obtain a refund for court filing costs. Two other benefits of starting an eviction while negotiating with a tenant is that (1) the proceeding give you a firm deadline for an agreement, and (2) if negotiations break down, the tenant will have to vacate the property. 
3: Ignoring your tenants imminent bankruptcy.
As soon as a tenant files for bankruptcy, all legal proceedings against the tenant must be immediately halted. Pending lawsuits and eviction proceedings are also included! As a landlord, you must begin eviction proceedings against any tenant that is expected to declare bankruptcy. Once in bankruptcy, a tenant may be able to remain in the property rent-free for up to 60 days. It is usually far less costly to pursue an eviction proceeding than to be enveloped into a tenant's bankruptcy action as the landlord and/or creditor. IMPORTANT! Eviction proceedings can take several weeks to complete.