If you’re lucky enough to own more than one property the thought has surely occurred to you: Why not make back some cash by renting out the home? After all, in a hot rental market, that should be easy enough – all you have to do is find a tenant and watch the dollars roll in. Right?
Whether it’s your first time renting out a property, or you find yourself in a sticky situation with an existing tenant, it can be a challenge to differentiate fiction for the facts. So we’ve dug up five of the most common myths newbie landlord find themselves believing.
However, if you don’t want to worry about the amount of time, energy, and dollars it takes to manage a rental property S&D Real Estate has a full-service Property Management Division.
You’re Responsible For All Repairs
While this might be what your tenant is saying, it’s not completely true. A good lease agreement will usually specify which repairs you are responsible for, and laws will vary depending on where you live. However, in general, a good rule of thumb is that landlords are responsible for any repairs that have to do with “habitability” of the property.
It’s also important to note how the damage was caused since anything caused by a tenant, their friends, pets, etc. is also generally their responsibility to fix. Along with smaller repairs, such as replacing light bulbs or AC filters.
You Can’t Refuse to Rent To Anyone – Even a Felon
While it’s true there are a number of laws protecting people with a criminal history from discrimination, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re forced to rent out a property to them.
Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, it’s considered discrimination to deny housing to someone with any type of criminal record (even a misdemeanor that happened over 10 years ago). However, you are perfectly within your rights to refuse to rent to someone with a record that could potentially put you, your property, or your other tenants at risk.
To avoid being accused of discrimination, consider the crime itself, when it happened, whether they were actually convicted (as opposed to just being arrested), and whether the nature of the crime puts anyone at risk. If you’re feeling concerned about the answers to those questions, chances are it’s within your rights to refuse to rent.
Generic Form Contracts Are Good Enough For a Lease Agreement
A lot of landlords use form contracts (the generic contracts available through your local Realtor Association), in lieu of a customized lease agreement. And sometimes this works out just fine. However, when it doesn’t, you could find yourself in a big mess, with little legal authority to get out of it.
Since the quality of these contracts varies so much, it’s good to familiarize yourself with what they cover before blindly using one. It’s also good to keep in mind that the contract may not cover extenuating circumstances that are specific to your property or location.
Noisy Neighbors? Not Your Problem
In fact, this would be your problem at least in most situations. And again, this is where it helps to know your lease agreement. If there’s anything in there about “quiet enjoyment” or quiet hours, your tenants are fully within their rights to expect you to do something about any excessive or disruptive noise coming from other tenants. (“Quiet enjoyment” is exactly what it sounds like, and this clause is meant to protect tenants from neighbors who might be making their lives miserable by throwing loud parties, having incredibly obnoxious phone conversations, or walking like elephants.)
And know this: Even when the lease agreement doesn’t specify a right to quiet time, it’s often implied and seen as a general courtesy to help your tenants resolve the issue.
You Can’t Enter Your Tenant’s Space
A landlord has a right to enter a tenant’s space so long as they provide the tenant with a “notice to enter” in advance. In most states, including Florida, 24 hours is sufficient. In the event of an emergency such as a flood or fire, a landlord does not need to provide any notice to legally enter the tenant’s space. So if there is something you need to check on, or a repair you need to make, don’t worry you’re not invading your tenant’s privacy. Just do it by the book.
The laws and regulations that come with being a landlord can be overwhelming along with the amount of time it takes collecting all the rent, going through an eviction, and conduction walkthroughs on a regular basis. S&D Real Estate can take care of all your Property Management needs!
Offering over asking price on a house often makes buyers wince. But let's face it, paying above list price is just a reality in certain circumstances - at least if you really have any hopes of getting that house! So when exactly should you aim high and offer over...read more
Conventional wisdom dictates that one of the more successful tactics out there to convince a home seller to accept your offer is get personal: Include some sweet and heartfelt information to them in a note expressing why you're just dying to buy the house. A personal...read more
Ever wonder what could keep your home from selling? Just ask a listing agent! Listing agents, as the professionals who help prep a home for sale, are often tasked with telling home sellers why their house might not sell in its current condition. It's a tough job, but...read more
A home's price is a moving target that is based on where it is when it's listed for sale, whether it has that trend open kitchen, all of it. So if you're tasked with pricing your own home before putting it on the market, how do you figure out how much your place is...read more
Selling a house takes salesmanship. In other words, you have to prep your house so it looks its best. You have to open your door to strangers who'll traipse through your home, open closets, and ask all kinds of questions. And, you have to do all of this without...read more
Have you ever gotten excited about a house for sale, then looked at the price and thought, "Are they out of their minds?" It can be a disheartening moment when you're house hunting. And that jaw-dropping asking price might simply seem like an arbitrary, money-grabbing...read more