5 Mistakes Landlords Must Avoid

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Being a landlord is far from easy and some merely make things up as they go along.
Without guiding principles in place, the issues are going to pile up. Eventually you will be struggling to play catch up with the many problems you now have with your tenant and/or the property.
Here are just five common mistakes landlords should avoid making;

1. Not serious about property investing:
Buying property to rent is like investing in a business. It has to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, many people treat it as a hobby or a get rich quick scheme without considering the pitfalls and potential problems. Avoid doing this. Set up proper bank accounts, establish book keeping systems and take necessary steps to ensure that your property will indeed make you money.
2. Treating property as your home: While you are expected to make your property liveable for future tenants, some landlords make the mistake of decorating the property according to their likes. This is akin to selling your property; you should avoid making statements about your style and preference and instead opt for something more neutral so the tenant can imagine themselves in it.
3. Condition of property: Many properties on rent fail to measure up to the asking price of the landlords. Some are in such bad condition that it is inconceivable to think anyone would live there let alone pay a monthly rent. Part of the investment process is to fix up the apartment and make it look liveable. Think of it as a hotel; clean, neat, neutral and accommodating. Attempting to save costs here is a bad investment decision.
4. Too familiar with tenant: Hiring friends and family members is usually a bad idea. The same goes with renting your property. Becoming too familiar and friendly with a potential tenant may cause you problems in the future. Keep a friendly but professional distance from your tenants to avoid issues like late payments and utter neglect of your house rules.

5. Not increasing rent:
It’s normal to feel apprehensive about raising the rent for fear of losing your tenant. However, as long as the rent is increased incrementally, according to market rates and done progressively, tenants are more likely to agree than bail on you. Keep yourself up to date with market practices and make the decision when to increase and by how much.
These missteps may seem small, time consuming and perhaps confusing but those reasons are exactly why landlords constantly repeat them.
Coming up with a clear plan and goal for your property is the first step to making sure your investment is on the right track.
The points included here will keep you on that track.
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