Updated: May 8
As a landlord, managing tenants will probably always be your toughest task.
How you behave and act will ultimately dictate your tenant’s behavior. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the lease, your tenant’s legal rights, and the various aspects of tenancy. Remember, there is no shortage of landlords who face troubles with tenants who are unable to communicate and enforce boundaries.
Here are some words of advice on what tenants aren’t allowed to do.
Paying Late Rent
It’s not uncommon for some tenants to pay their dues after the agreed-upon deadline simply because they want to test how you will react. Many landlords try to go easy on their tenants to help them out and excuse late rent. There’s nothing wrong with this approach – as long as it’s employed rarely. Some tenants see their landlord’s leniency as a sign of weakness and realize they can get away with it next time.
This is why it is imperative to communicate the importance of paying the rent on time – even if you want to excuse your tenant. You’ll hear many excuses from tenants about why they’re late this time – but it’s important to draw a line.
Having Pets on Your Property
Unless you have special arrangements to account for the damage small animals can do to your property, it’s probably best to restrict pets on your rental property. Furry animals, as cute as they are, create all kinds of messages from fur and dander to urine and fecal matter. While these can be swooped up with a broom and dustpan, the same can’t be said about the damage done to your yard and baseboards.
This restriction may turn away interested tenants, but preventing pets on your rental property will protect your home in the long run. The last thing you want is to have to explain the smell and the run-down condition of your rental unit to future renters. This is a problem you probably don’t want to deal with.
Listing Your Rental Property on Airbnb
Tenants do not have the right to let anyone else live on your property without your permission. That should be obvious but some people don’t always understand. According to these San Diego property managers it isn’t uncommon for some tenants to list your rental unit on sites like Airbnb to make some extra money while they’re out of town.
This is something you should not allow. Airbnb is a great platform for landlords, it’s not a tool for tenants. In addition to specifically prohibiting subletting on your lease agreement, you should be prepared to have a conversation with the tenant that they cannot put the rental unit on a platform like Airbnb or rent the property to someone else without your permission.
It’s okay for tenants to let a friend stay at your rental unit for a day or two, but if this becomes a permanent arrangement, then you should be taken into confidence first.
Smoking and Doing Drugs
Fixing the damage done to your property due to drugs can cost an arm and a leg.
And drugs or any sort of illegal activity could get you involved with law enforcement even if you aren’t directly involved. If you suspect your tenant of conducting illegal activity on your property, you are required by law to get LEA involved. Not doing so could put you in a world of legal mess that could take a long time to fix.
Making Adjustments to the Landscape
It’s nice to have a tenant who cares about your property as if it’s their own. Basic landscaping such as picking the leaves and mowing the lawn is good for your property. But you don’t want your tenant making significant changes to the landscape without informing you first. This means they shouldn’t be taking down trees, planting new shrubs, or removing large branches unless you give prior permission.
Painting or Renovating Without Your Permission
Just like landscaping, your tenants should not be allowed to renovate the home without your permission. Even if the renovation is minor and you’re okay with it, your tenants should still run it by you. It’s a matter of principle at this point.
As a landlord, your priority should be to protect your property from damage, minimize your liability associated with the tenant, and collect your rent on time.
Treat your property as an investment. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a property manager near you to handle everything for you – from rent collection to property maintenance and even finding new tenants.