If you are considering becoming a landlord, you may be in need of guidance. If you are feeling worried, here are some landlord tips that may help you when starting out.
Landlord Tips: Rental Applications
I am often asked whether a rental application should be used in screening tenants. I strongly recommend a rental application for a number of reasons. First off is to determine whether or not you’re getting a good tenant. Secondly is to collect a judgment in the event that you have to sue the tenant for damages or rent. The third reason is for defense of a discrimination charge. If you are ever charged with discrimination, you will need to provide a bona fide reason for rejecting a tenant such as bad credit, no credit, or bad tenancy history.
Landlord Tips: Leases
Landlords often ask me whether or not they should use a lease. I recommend that a lease be used in all instances, which will provide for recovery of late charges and attorney’s fees in the event you need to evict the tenant. It doesn’t necessarily need to be for a fixed term. You could have a lease for a month-to-month term for instance, which would enable you to ask the tenant to leave for no reason at all.
Landlord Tips: Documents
New landlords often ask me what documents they should be using. There are a few documents that I recommend. First is a lease. Secondly is a rental application. Third is a move in/move out checklist in which the condition of the apartment is noted when the tenant moves in and when the tenant moves out. I also recommend taking photographs or videos of the apartment prior to the tenant moving in to be able to document any damages to the apartment.
Landlord Tips: Death of a Tenant
Landlords often ask me what to do in the event that their tenant dies. First, you should never grant access to the apartment to anyone unless they are either an executor named in the will, an administrator, or the public administrator if they have no will. These individuals need to present a certificate from the surrogate’s court showing that they are the designated representative appointed by the court. Also, you may be able to file a claim against the estate for any unpaid damages or rent.
If you are becoming a landlord, please call our Rochester landlord tenant lawyers today!