Three Landlord Mistakes to Avoid

Being a landlord isn’t easy. Many are surprised about how many responsibilities come with this work, and the potential pitfalls that can arise when things are not done correctly.

Here, I’ll discuss three landlord mistakes to avoid.

Not Having a Background in Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Law

One of the most important landlord mistakes to avoid is not having a background in Massachusetts landlord-tenant law. Few realize that almost every part of the landlord-tenant relationship is governed by some rule or regulation.

The best example of this is the security deposit law, which concerns the acceptance, handling, and return of a tenant’s money. Failure to comply with this law can have severe consequences.

For this reason, landlords need to have a background in the law. Landlords, of course, do not need to know every detail of landlord-tenant law: that’s the job of an attorney. However, having a basic knowledge of the law can go a long way towards keeping landlords out of trouble.

Not Keeping Good Records

I’m always shocked at how many landlords I meet who have no records about their tenants. It’s not uncommon to hear from landlords who do not have copies of their leases with tenants, no receipts of the repairs done for their rental properties, or a complete rent ledger for each tenant.

Not having good records is an important mistake that landlords need to avoid. Landlords need a copy of every document concerning their rental units, and a record of all matters related to the tenancy. More is better!

Not Selecting Good Tenants

Even in the strongest case, evictions are not quick or cheap. The best way to avoid eviction is to select good tenants at the onset, who will timely pay their rent and maintain the terms of their tenancy.

For this reason, landlords should resist the temptation to immediately fill an apartment with the first available applicant. Selecting the wrong tenant for an apartment is almost always more costly than the delay in finding the right candidate for a rental unit.

Final Thoughts

If you need assistance with a landlord-tenant matter, contact me for a consultation.