There’s an old saying that goes, “one stupid mistake can change everything.” It’s simple, but true — especially if that mistake involves breaking the law. As a landlord, you have to be on top of everything, from occupancy costs and marketing efforts to legal loopholes and mistakes. If you don’t, it can cause a setback for your business (at best) or put you at risk for closure (at worst).
From improper building and property safety to not abiding by the contract, let’s look at common landlord legal mistakes and some proactive steps to avoiding them.
Mistake #1: Unsafe Conditions
Whether it’s the building or the grounds, if your property isn’t safe, you run the risk of being liable for people injuring themselves on it. This is a common pitfall for landlords and a big reason these unsafe conditions develop in the first place is due to a lack of maintenance. You can avoid this potential mistake by immediately addressing any maintenance concerns or repair requests, as well as proactively inspecting every area of your property. Property management software can help you stay on track with maintenance requests and safety concerns by letting you monitor repair statuses, post notes and record safety or condition changes.
Mistake #2: Contract Breaches
If you’re not following every detail of the contract you sign (or if your tenant thinks you aren’t abiding by the contract), you could face legal ramifications. Most of the time, this shows itself in a small clause or addendum, but it could also be something as simple as forgetting to notify the tenant about upcoming renewal dates. Property management software helps prevent this by securely storing and sharing all contracts and other documentation. Quickly and easily bring up any document at any time and post notes or reminders about any important areas you don’t want to forget.
Mistake #3: Invasion of Privacy
As mentioned above, you want to create a safe environment, but not at the cost of your tenants’ privacy. Even commercial tenants have a right to privacy, which is why you should provide a written or verbal notice that you’re entering their unit, whether it’s for repair, inspection or another reason. Property management software lets you keep track of maintenance requests and statuses so your team doesn’t accidentally make an illegal entry. Furthermore, you can easily send updates with the click of a button.
Mistake #4: Inadequate Insurance
Probably the biggest mistake is not having enough insurance, whether it’s from lawsuits or damages to the property itself. Are you properly monitoring and recording all of your equipment, inventory, furniture, artwork and other assets… for all of your properties? Property management software like Quarem helps you easily monitor your assets for multiple properties at once. Good asset management makes it much easier to ensure you’re insured (no pun intended).
Want to avoid these landlord legal mistakes? See how Quarem can help by requesting a demo today.