In Part One of this two-part series, we briefly cover the screening process, initial interview, and background checks of a potential tenant. These initial measures are stepping stones to avoiding problems with your tenants down the road. In this blog, we will touch on the importance of contracts documentation and consistent operating procedures.
The simple truth is that even when the screening process is done correctly, troublesome tenants can lurk- becoming the bane of the Real Estate investors existence. Contracts and consistency are cornerstones in dealing with tenants, good and bad. What constitutes a bad tenant has many interpretations. What the landlord may consider egregious offenses may not be cause for immediate eviction. Including:
- Noise and other disturbances
- Unkempt yards
Reasons for eviction in Colorado, however, do include:
- Failure to pay rent
- Committing lease violations
- Engaging in criminal activities
Besides a tenant not paying rent, damage to appliances and other components of the property are expensive; therefore, it’s essential to consider possible issues before during and after the term of the lease. A solid contract is vital in protecting against losses.
The internet has many resources that can help with cookie-cutter lease agreements and may save you some money; however, it’s best to have a specific agreement legally drafted by a professional.
Some common mistakes in leases include:
- Rental property use limitations
- Some required insurance provisions
- In the event of tenant default
- Personal guaranty
- Landlord sale of property during the tenancy.
Remember that every rental situation is unique from the owner to the property to the person renting, and advice for each requires individual review and consideration.
Regardless of the offense committed, it doesn’t pay to get angry. Renters have rights also and if violated it can land the owner in trouble with the law.
It is essential to keep records of maintenance and repairs done to the property to avoid issues with requirements of “implied warranty of habitability.” If the property becomes uninhabitable, the tenant may have several options. In the State of Colorado, it includes:
- Termination of the lease
- Injunctive relief (repairs required by court)
- Defense to nonpayment of rent
- Damages claim (rent reduction and other expenses)
When problems arise with a tenant, it’s prudent to keep records of events with as much detail as possible. Doing so will help in the event of an eviction. Having a reliable property management company to assist in these matters reduces stress and can relieve an owner of these burdens.
Operating in a consistent manner with collecting rent, late fees, and notifications to tenants and authorities keeps owners out of trouble and assist attorney’s when preparing to go to court. Again a good rental management company will assist owners in remaining consistent in these matters.
Regardless of how prudent an owner is, it’s an excellent idea to have an attorney when things fall apart. At Blue Mountain, we use knowledgeable experienced attorneys during the eviction process. We understand that time is money, and to have an eviction case tossed out because of simple mistakes is painful. Tenants will know their rights- how much time they have and will take advantage of it, which is another reason to have an attorney when dealing with an eviction.