There is no doubt that owning a house doesn’t always come easy in Nigeria or any part of the world. Especially for the civil servants, whose salary doesn’t always permit to do so. However, if you are fortunate to own a house, there is a need for you to guard it properly. Guarding your properties, especially, houses entail avoiding some mistakes.
Managing a rental property like houses requires a lot of expertise, knowledge, perseverance and interpersonal skills because there is a difference between managing a business and managing a property. Meanwhile, if you are first-time or a newbie in that field, there is a need for you take note of some things.
For you to guard your housing property very well and to avoid troubles from your tenants, here are 5 common mistakes first-time landlords usually make that you can avoid.
- Not Adequately Knowing A Potential Tenant
Although most landlords hardly come in contact with their tenants prior before approaching them to rent their house, there is still a way a landlord can still get to know a potential tenant before admitting him/her.
Knowing a tenant before admitting him/her has to do with doing proper screening. There is need for you to allow a prospective tenant to fill out a rental or lease form that will capture the necessary personal details. It is through the details of a prospective tenant that you can know him/her properly even before giving your house for rent. So, don’t just joke with it.
- Not Following The Law
If you are a landlord, that doesn’t give you the effrontery to go against the law bidding on rental properties in your location. You must get yourself acquainted with the laws that deal with leasing properties to the tenant and the right both the tenant and landlords have.
For instance, the eviction process is one thing most landlords usually get wrong in Nigeria and this alone can cause a serious problem for them if care is not taken. Study the law and follow the law, it is by this, that you can avoid problems most landlords usually have with their tenants.
- Underestimating Maintenance Cost
Another big mistake most landlords, especially first-time landlords should always avoid is to underestimate the maintenance cost. Most first time landlords don’t know the rudiments of housing maintenance and that usually cost them the pain of shooting themselves by the legs, when charging their potential tenants.
Repairs will cost you more than you think they will. Owning properties involves ongoing maintenance like landscaping, HVAC maintenance, painting and upkeep costs. But there are also unexpected one-time costs that will pop up, like foundation issues, concrete repairs to garages or roof repairs. Preventative maintenance will help, but there will always be unexpected costs. Just always ensure you do your calculation right to avoid this mistake.
- Over-Estimating Rent Rates
Another mistake first-time landlords usually make is to charge their prospective tenants far higher above the market price. Having spent so much on an investment doesn’t guarantee the fact that you must milk your tenants dry.
It is advisable you study the market very well before charging your tenants. One of the disadvantages of exorbitant price rate is that, prospective tenants will always boycott your house for another one with a lower price.
- Neglecting Tenants
The home(s) you are renting out are your responsibility. If you do not regularly check in with your tenants and on the condition of the property you will have no one to blame but yourself if something goes wrong. However, make sure that you are not violating the laws regarding tenant privacy before stopping by the property unannounced. You may inadvertently give them the right to sue you or be released from the terms of your lease agreement.
SOURCE: NIYI OYEDEJI
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