Landlord Blog

Education and news for smart DIY landlords!

7 Common Mistakes Do-It-Yourself Landlords Make

Becoming a landlord can be a lucrative way to generate income, but it also requires a lot of hard work and responsibility. You’re probably already aware of this. While many landlords choose to manage their rental properties by themselves, which can save money on property management fees, the downside is that can also lead to common mistakes. 

Here are some of the most common mistakes that do-it-yourself landlords make and how you can avoid them.

1. Not Screening Tenants Thoroughly

One of the biggest mistakes that DIY landlords make is not screening tenants thoroughly. It can be tempting to rent to the first person who shows interest in your property, but this can lead to a lot of problems down the road. Protect yourself by doing background checks, credit checks, and contacting references to ensure that your tenants are reliable and trustworthy.

2. Failing to Inspect Properties Regularly

Another mistake that DIY landlords make is not inspecting their properties regularly. This can lead to maintenance issues going unnoticed, which can result in costly repairs down the road. Schedule regular inspections to identify any problems early on and address them before they become more serious.

3. Not Having a Lease Agreement in Place

Having a lease agreement in place is essential for any landlord. It sets clear expectations for both the landlord and the tenant and protects both parties in case of any disputes. Have a written lease agreement that covers all of the important details, such as the rent amount, security deposit, and maintenance responsibilities.

Read more: What Makes a Good Lease Agreement?

4. Being Too Lenient with Rent Collection

Collecting rent can be a difficult and uncomfortable task, but it's important to be firm and consistent. Some DIY landlords are too lenient with rent collection, which can lead to late payments and missed rent altogether. Set clear expectations for rent payments and enforce them consistently to avoid any issues.

5. Neglecting Maintenance and Repairs

Neglecting maintenance and repairs is another common mistake that DIY landlords make. It can be tempting to put off repairs or maintenance to save money, but this can lead to more serious issues down the road. Regular maintenance and repairs are essential for keeping your property in good condition and maintaining its value.

Here’s how your tenants can help with property maintenance

6. Not Understanding the Law

Landlord-tenant laws can be complex and vary from state to state. DIY landlords may not be aware of all of the legal requirements and regulations that they need to comply with. Make sure to do your research and understand the laws in your area to avoid any legal issues.

7. Failing to Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is essential for any landlord-tenant relationship. Failing to communicate effectively can lead to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and unhappy tenants. Make sure to keep open lines of communication with your tenants and respond to their concerns and questions in a timely manner.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a DIY landlord can be a great way to generate income, but first, be aware of common mistakes involving tenant screening, maintenance, and communication. The tips we just shared can help you to be a successful landlord and ensure that your rental property is well-maintained and profitable. Take your role as a landlord seriously and be prepared to put in the effort required to succeed.