Things you weren’t told about being a landlord

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Investing in real estate is an exciting prospect. It’s a long-term asset and on the upside you get to earn easy money as you collect rent from your properties at the end of the month. It sounds like a blissful life, doesn’t it? The sad news is that it does not always pan out like that. There are a lot of challenges that come with having tenants. Television relays this message clearly. You don’t see many landlords elated about their tenants on T.V; there’s always a wrangle about this thing or the other. While the scenario may be a little exaggerated for the viewers, best believe the same challenges await you as a landlord.

Here are a few problems that you will face when you put your house for rent in Kuching, some of which you may have overlooked or taken too lightly. Read on and find out what the downside of being a landlord is about;

Flouting the law

Laws guiding the relationship between a tenant and landlord differ in different states and cities too. In some states, the tenant needs a 60-day notice to move out and in others you just need to give them 15 days to move out. Most landlords didn’t know anything about the guidelines they were supposed to adhere to. One way to avoid getting in trouble with the law is avoiding generic documents that don’t consider your hometown laws. Tenants are protected by certain laws that you ought to familiarize yourself with before putting up the unit for rental.

Federal law prohibits landlords from denying rental to people on the basis of their race, gender or religion. This is also tied to a clause that prohibits you from advertising your rentals as suitable for a certain group of people, or denying a house to people with kids. However, you can ban pets and specify the maximum number of occupants you accept. 

Getting the unit ready and paying for repairs 

Preparing the house for rental takes financial backing. The amount you are going to spend depends on the state of the house as well as the size. Such things as carpets and fresh paint, as well as lawn maintenance, are some of the basics that you have to revisit every time a new tenant is about to move in. 

The thing with repairs is that they are not only limited to when a new tenant is moving in. sometimes you get a call from a disgruntled tenant in the middle of the night, to inform you of a spoilt water heater that is flooding the house. You have to find a repair guy at that time, and pay the extra charge that comes with after-hours service. In this scenario, you may end up spending a lot more than you expected replacing the heater, paying for labor, and drying the carpet. 

Finding tenants 
With the internet, it’s easier to do these things now. You just have to advertise your house for rent in Kuching with website like PropertyGuru and wait for respondents. Well, it’s not that easy. The type of avenue you choose to advertise your property determines the kind of respondents you get. Landlords often go for mature tenants with families; they are the easy bunch to deal with. At all times, make sure you run background checks. It will cost you money, but it goes a long way toward getting you the best tenants. 

Uncooperative tenants 

Every landlord has to brace themselves for a few wayward tenants. These types of tenants come in all flavors. Some stay without paying rent, others trash the place, and others just don’t respect your rules.

Most tenants will live cordially with others around them, and take care of the place as if it was their own, but you need to be ready to enforce eviction laws at any time. Another thing with problem tenants is their dodgy nature. A tenant may spoil the sinks, draw graffiti on the walls, and make a mess of the place. You’d expect them to foot the bill on the damage they caused; it’s only fair that they do. However, when you get there with the authorities to get them to leave, you find your deserted unit with repair work that will cost you an arm and leg. Lucky for us, these 13 tips will help us deal with bad tenants.

Rent collection is a nightmare

There are good tenants that pay their rent on time, never a day past the due date. Then you have tenants who pay past due dates but at times tell you they will be late with the rent for about a week. Now, if this is all you have to deal with then you have it easy. Unfortunately, no single landlord has such a luxurious life. Every once in a while you will have to confront a tenant and ask for rent. Not everybody is comfortable with such scenarios. You encounter all types of characters when you go demanding for rent; sometimes this is too much for the landlord. Another scenario is that of a tenant who has been paying, but wants a two-week extension this time. As a landlord, you have to make judgment calls on the spot at such times. Do you allow the tenant the extension or set about processing the eviction?

Bearing the cost of evictions

There is a process to be followed with evictions. In most cases, the whole experience is time consuming and expensive. Even if you finally succeed getting the tenant out you may end up spending a lot of money and wasting a significant amount of time.
After the process, you may find that you have lost 4 months’ rent and have repairs to deal with. The cost may go pretty high when you factor in repairs, storage fees-if the tenant left their property, court fees and other expenses. This isn’t exactly what you planned for when you thought to evict the tenant. 

There are ways to avoid these hustles though

If you want to put your house for rent in Kuching, there are a few smart ideas you can add to your philosophy that will make things easier for you.

· Have everything in writing, from the lease to the rejection letter for prospective clients. It will solve a lot of problems in the long-term.
· Disclose everything beforehand-the tenant can spring a surprise on you and take you to court for this thing or the other, seeking compensation. This is money you will most likely fork out.
· Keep records of correspondence between you and the tenant. This could make the whole difference when the tenant takes you to court for infringement of any kind. Make sure you have the date of the conversation you had about something broken in the house and how much the tenant spent if they fixed it themselves.
· Beware of discrimination claims. A landlord isn’t expected to let anyone into their property; it is not prudent. However, discrimination on gender, racial or religious lines could land you in court and give you a bad rap in the long haul. 

Final word 
The best way to avoid dealing with a lot of issues that are come up with renting is doing everything according to the correct protocols and avoiding shortcuts. Select the right tenants and make sure that you treat everyone right. Always stick to a polite code but be firm in your decisions and actions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Things you weren’t told about being a landlord by Garfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.