How can property owners make sure renters follow the rules in the lease agreement? While most tenants are good residents that pay the rent on time and abide by the lease, sometimes investors run into renters who break the rules. When the rules go unchecked, difficult tenants situations can turn into expensive problems and lengthy lawsuits.
Following a strong lease (as a good example to your renters) and enforcing it with residents protects your rentals and income! If you're not sure what constitutes a violation, or the right ways to enforce the lease (without creating tension or more problems), these Salt Lake City, Utah property management tips can help.
Set a Good Example
The rules apply to you, too! The rental agreement is a binding document between rental Salt Lake City property owners and tenants. One of the best ways to set the tone for your expectations of residents regarding the lease is to follow the rules that apply to you!
A landlord has a legal obligation to provide livable rental homes and reduce safety risks for residents. As a property owner, you must deliver prompt, quality repairs, respond quickly to an emergency, and deliver full access to anything outlined in the lease when renters pay the rent on time. However, if you don't follow the rules, how can you expect your tenants to do it? Enforcing the lease properly starts by upholding your responsibilities as an excellent landlord to set a good example for your residents.
Refer to the Lease Agreement
Sometimes gray areas in the lease can lead to tenant behavior that isn't necessarily a "violation." If you think you see a problem (or hear reports of bad behavior), always check the lease first. Work with residents who engage in concerning activities or find ways around paying the rent on time if it's not clearly outlined in the lease. When it's time for renewal or to find a new resident, a landlord should work with a Salt Lake property management team to review the lease and strengthen it in areas where it failed to protect your property or income with prior residents.
Don't Let Multiple Properties (and Tenants) Go Unchecked
If you own multiple Salt Lake area rental properties, enforcing the lease becomes more challenging! Keeping an eye on your properties, tenant behavior, and on-time rent collection can require more time than you have in the day to enforce the lease effectively. However, applying the same enforcement methods across all properties and residents becomes crucial when your real estate investment portfolio includes several rentals. Showing favoritism or relaxing the rules for one tenant (but not others) can lead to claims of discrimination and lawsuits.
If you're struggling to conduct rental property inspections and keep up with potential violations, a Salt Lake City property management company can help! They have the resources investors need to monitor all residents and enforce the rules when owning and operating multiple rentals in the area.
Deliver Legal Notices for Rental Property Violations
When you recognize a violation, make sure you handle it the right way. A landlord must set a good example by maintaining their responsibilities in the lease, and they must also follow the rules when enforcing the lease agreement. In most cases, written notice is the first step toward letting tenants known they've violated the agreement and that they need to take corrective action.
- Late rent payments
- Having pets in a rental without approval
- Adding a roommate or extra resident that isn't on the lease (and hasn't gone through the screening process)
- Failing to take care of the lawn or landscaping
- Hoarding or neglecting routine upkeep, like taking out the trash on a regular schedule
Deliver written notice to residents alerting them that of a violation. Then, give residents an opportunity to fix the problem and remind them of the rules and penalties in the lease for failing to correct a violation. In many cases, proper notice that you've caught them breaking the rules encourages residents to stop doing what they're doing and resolve the issue. However, if a resident fails to comply after proper notices and applying late fees or other penalties allowed in the rental agreement, work with a Salt Lake property management team and your legal counsel to take legal action against uncooperative tenants.
Enforce the Lease and Protect Rentals With Salt Lake City Property Management
Following and enforcing the lease agreement protects you and your Salt Lake City investment property. However, real estate investors don't always have the time or resources to do this effectively! If you need help getting residents to pay the rent on time or follow the rules, Reeder Asset Management is here to help. We have the experience, staffing, and property management expertise rental property owners need to minimize risks and maximize returns. Let's talk about how we can help!
Learn more about minimizing risks to your rentals. Get our free eBook, "Protecting Your Investment Property: A Guide."