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Top Mistakes Landlords Make

The following article was provided by Advantage Realty Services, an experienced and trusted property management firm that manages property in the Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, Odessa and Land O Lakes areas. We deliver a variety of management service for single-family and residential homes, including condos and townhomes.

In order to become a successful landlord in Tampa, FL you are required to have all the practical know-how, as well as knowledge regarding the rental agreement. However, aside from that, you should also familiarize yourself with other things related to rental properties, such as, the usual mistakes a lot of first-time landlords are guilty of. By doing so, you’ll have the confidence that you won’t face any issues regarding your rental property.

5 Mistakes Landlords Should Avoid

1. Failure to Return the Deposit on Time

One of the most common mistakes a lot of landlords in Tampa, FL are guilty of committing would be failure to give the security deposits back on time. This could be caused by a number of reasons, such as, being used improperly or simply not being able to return it according to the state law of Florida. A lot of states have deadlines by which the landlords must adhere to – they are required to itemize their use of the deposit and return any balance. However, it’s not uncommon for tenants to wait a number of months for this to occur. This could encourage the tenant to file a claim, and the landlord would have to face penalties – the amount is usually 2-3 times the deposit cost. That being said, it’s better to settle your deposits in a timely manner.

2. Failure to Update the Tenants Regarding Lease Termination

There are rules and policies that you must adhere to regarding ending a tenancy. A property manager, tenant, or property owner has the right to issue a notice ending a tenancy. Wherein, if the correct notice and form were not followed then the other person is allowed to ask for compensation. Additionally, when serving notices by USPS the sender should allow time for the mail to arrive and adjust the period depending on it.

How Much Notice Should a Landlord Give?

This would depend on the tenancy agreement as well as the grounds for termination.

  • A fixed-term agreement is used for a specified period of time, while a periodic agreement is one where the fixed agreement has already expired, or when the fixed term has not been specified.

  • In case that the termination notice has been already posted to the tenant, then the landlord should offer 4 working days for delivery.

Immediate Notice

The landlord is allowed to give immediate notice in the event that the premises has been destroyed or is no longer lawfully inhabitable.

3. Neglecting Property Repairs

In a rental agreement it should be clearly stated who would be responsible for the necessary repairs. Wherein, the landlord is required to shoulder the basic repairs even if this isn’t written on the rental agreement. Likewise, a landlord should also ensure that the property being rented is habitable. Florida obliges an “implied warranty of habitability” on all rental properties within the state. In order to be classified as habitable the rental unit should have plumbing, gas, heating, clean water, flooring, electricity, and most importantly be structurally sound.

If the rental property is not in perfect condition the tenant could either fix the problem and just deduct the expenses on his rent or move out. Likewise, he can also report the violation to the state building inspection. It’s important that the landlord performs the necessary repairs or he would have to face a lawsuit.

4. Ignoring the Tenant’s Privacy

Landlords should respect the privacy of their tenants. That means he is not allowed to enter the tenant’s unit without the tenants permission nor if there isn’t a verbal or 24-hour written notice. The only case where a landlord could enter without any notice would be during repairs, showing the place to a prospective tenant, or property inspection.

5. Delaying an Eviction

Failure to begin the eviction proceeding as early as possible could be a very costly mistake for a landlord. If you run into issues with a tenant and you are not familiar with your rights or how to proceed, it’s important that you contact an eviction attorney as early as possible.

Final Words

Indeed, the real estate business is a great business for those who want to generate passive income. However, just like anything else before you get started, it’s very important that you familiarize yourself with how the rental industry works. By knowing the usual mistakes landlords commit, you’ll be able to save yourself from doing the same.

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