Being a landlord is one of the more fulfilling jobs out there because you can provide housing for people who would otherwise not be able to get it. But with any job, there are certain risks involved. As a landlord, you enter into a special relationship with your tenant in the eyes of the law. Because of this special relationship, you are tasked with certain duties. If you shirk these responsibilities, you can end up in court being sued. Here are a few things you can do to avoid ending up in the attorneys’ office of an Orlando attorney:
1. Respond to maintenance requests immediately.
Some tenants are quiet and you never hear from them, and others seem to always have something wrong with the property. And a lot of times, they have unrealistic expectations about the property and nothing is wrong. This causes some landlords to treat these tenants like the “Boy Who Cried Wolf.” But if something actually goes wrong and you were notified, you will be held liable. You cannot go in front of the judge and allege that the tenant cried foul numerous times before and nothing was wrong. You would be wise to inspect each and every time. To save you time, you can have the tenant send you some kind of proof (e.g., text a picture) before you head over there. Another thing you can do is to not send an expert over before someone does a preliminary examination. For example, let’s say the tenant claims there is an issue with a toilet. Send someone over from the property management team to investigate before hiring a plumber. It could be a simple issue you can solve for free.
2. Develop a strong relationship with your tenant.
With several property management teams, they see the tenant when they move in and move out—that’s it. You obviously do not have to become best friends with your tenant, but make some effort to know them. Know their children’s names, know their names. Maybe send cookies when they move in. When you do these things and develop a relationship, they will be a lot less likely to take you to court immediately if a problem later arises. You will hopefully be able to talk it through and settle it out of court if you have developed a relationship.
3. Provide a high quality rental.
At the end of the day, you have to turn a profit. So while you might love to update the kitchen with granite countertops, your budget will often prevent you from doing so. But the unit has to be sound. That means that it has to be very clean and all appliances have to work. And there are things you can do to improve the unit for very little cost, such as a fresh coat of paint or switching out the light switches for new ones. If you provide a nice unit, it is a lot less likely that the tenant will complain and it is more likely that the tenant will take good care of it.
Unfortunately, although you do everything in your power to avoid issues, sometimes certain situations are outside of your control. Our Orlando eviction lawyers assist in all matters related to landlord-tenant conflicts. We offer free case evaluations over the phone, so please do not hesitate to contact our office. Call (407) 426-7222 today to speak with an experienced Orlando landlord tenant attorney.