5 Common Property Owner Mishaps and How To Avoid Them

It is no secret that Property Owners have a lot on their plates.  It’s a tough job to manage the many variables required to keep properties running smoothly.

Below is a list of areas that you can discuss with your clients that commonly result in problems for property owners…

  • Documentation/Not keeping proper records – Keeping good records is an important way to avoid any issues in the future. Documenting interactions and resolutions with tenants, vendors, and clients is the best way to minimize the consequences of litigation.  As a general rule if it does not get documented it never happened.

  • Under-estimating the need for preventative maintenance – i.e. not inspecting the property on an annual basis… Inspecting the property on a regular basis can protect your clients and their residents from safety issues and financial liabilities. It is important to check smoke alarm batteries, air conditioner, and heater filters, carbon monoxide detectors, washing machine hoses, etc. Something as minor as a slip and fall accident could turn into a huge financial burden.  You may want to mention that conducting regular inspections will allow them a chance to address any lease violations and deferred maintenance.

  • Not sufficiently screening credit applications, rental references, and proof of income – In order to screen these properly you must have written standards that are both firm and realistic. Verifying the identity of a potential renter or owner prior to releasing possession is also very important.

  • Entering a property without proper reason or notice- Whether performing an inspection, conducting a repair, or arranging for a potential purchaser to see the interior of the unit, you must give proper notice to the current resident. This will reduce any resentment for any perceived inconvenience or intrusion.  Don’t forget to document the notice in some form. The only time it is acceptable to enter a unit without notice is in the event of an emergency.

  • Trying to evict a non-paying tenant without the guidance of an eviction attorney – If your property owner client has taken the prior steps to enforce their rent policy and has still not received the payment, it is then time to start the eviction process with a procedure developed by an attorney that knows how to handle unlawful detainers.

New Empire Group is a nationally recognized and awarded insurance program administrator providing specialty insurance programs and products for the commercial real estate industry, including Commercial Umbrella, CondoPak, and RECOVER Environmental.

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