Bad Tenant Screening, Terrible Leases and Other Mistakes Jacksonville Landlords Make

There are a number of mistakes Jacksonville, FL landlords make that can be costly and damaging to properties. Whether you’re a new landlord or someone who is managing a rental home without the benefit of a professional manager, it will help if you pay attention to these common errors and avoid making them yourself.

Tenant Screening

Without a detailed and thorough screening process, you run the risk of getting a bad tenant into your property, or someone who isn’t going to pay rent on time and take care of your asset. Don’t use your own instincts when you’re evaluating applications; check credit, talk to references and verify income. You need to look for a history of evictions and any kind of criminal background. It’s also important to talk to previous landlords so you know what kind of tenant you’re getting.

Payment Methods

It’s a common mistake to accept a personal check on the date of move in to cover the security deposit and the first month’s rent. The problem is, if the check bounces, that person is already in your home and it’s going to take some time and money to evict. Require the security deposit in advance, and get it in certified funds or a money order.

Lease Problems

Don’t make the mistake of using a generic lease that you find in an office supply store or get off the Internet. You need a strong lease that protects your interests and explains all of the tenant’s rights and responsibilities. Another mistake landlords make is not checking the number of occupants in the property. Every occupant should be listed on the lease.

Tenant Repairs

You never want a tenant to repair something on their own with the expectation that they will simply deduct the cost from the next rent payment. This is a huge mistake. It never works out the way you hope it will, and if the repair isn’t done correctly, it will end up costing you more money than if you had just had it professionally fixed the first time.

Contact Collins Realty Services and Property Management if you have any questions about these mistakes, or you’d like some help in avoiding them.