New York landlords often make costly mistakes by failing to:
- Use rental applications to screen tenants.
- Use criminal/credit/tenant screening reports.
- Use move-in/move-out checklists.
- Obtain payment of security deposit and rent and tenant’s signature on the lease before giving the keys to the tenant.
- Include attorney’s fees, late fees and added rent provisions in the lease.
- Provide the lead-based paint disclosure form and booklet to warn tenants of the dangers of lead paint in properties built before 1978.
- Include a drug-free rider in the lease.
- Require guarantors to sign if the tenants have bad credit or no employment history.
- Require renter’s insurance.
- Use limited liability companies for asset protection.
- Give rent receipts for payment by cash or money order containing the date, the amount, the identity of the premises, period for which paid and the signature and title of the person receiving the rent.
- Properly prepare and serve default notices.
- Properly prepare, serve and file the eviction notice of petition and petition.
- Comply with Section 8 requirements for preparation and service of eviction papers.
- Obtain and collect money judgments for unpaid rent and damages.
- Comply with City of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY rental registry requirements.
- Allow tenants to perform repairs in exchange for rent.
- Accept rent after serving default or termination notice.
- Allow unauthorized people to have access to a deceased tenant’s apartment.
- Ignore building code violation notices.
- Procrastinate in evicting delinquent or troublesome tenants. Drug dealing tenants should be immediately evicted to avoid civil forfeiture and fines.
Also, New York landlords should not:
For further information regarding the above, contact Robert Friedman at 716.542.5444 or order a copy of his book, How to Survive Legally as a Landlord at www.LegalSurvival.com.