February 21, 2020
Throughout their day, property managers have a lot to focus on, going from one task to the other in order to make sure they’re tending to their tenants’ needs. From taking care of invoicing and payments to answering queries from potential tenants to taking care of requests from current residents, a property manager needs to be aware of the many different potential risks they face.
Claims and disputes from tenants can be costly and lengthy, eating up not only time but money in the process. By implementing steadfast property management practices on a daily basis, you can cut down on the majority of risks you face and the potential for tenant lawsuits.
Here are some effective tips to use every day in order to limit exposure to claims and disputes with tenants.
Screen Tenants Properly
Screening a potential tenant should be a thorough and well-rounded task. Check their background, criminal record, credit history, and referrals to make sure you’re bringing in a responsible tenant. Although it may take some extra time, it is very important to screen any potential resident.
While not everything can be planned for or protected against completely, thorough screening will prevent future problems that may come up. This can help protect you from someone trashing a unit or house or someone who doesn’t pay rent.
If someone does make a claim against you or decides to damage a unit or home, you need to be protected. This is why having property manager insurance is important, protecting you from costly claims that may arise at any time.
Lease contracts give you an outline of rules that both landlords and tenants agree to follow during the tenant’s residence. A lease is a legal document that should include all details of a tenant’s lease, such as the rent, terms of tenancy, limits of occupancy, repairs, entry to property, fees and deposits, and other restrictions.
Keep Tenants Informed
It’s important to let your tenants know of any potential scenario that may cause them some inconvenience, such as a mold infestation or an issue with parking or the entrance gate. When it comes to issues regarding the health and safety of tenants, it’s of the utmost importance for property managers to inform tenants of what is wrong and how they are fixing the issue. If not, property managers can find themselves in civil court cases due to health problems for tenants.
When someone requests repairs to be made in their home, a property manager should work with them to set up the right time and date for repairs to be inspected and made. Tenants should receive a few options to see what works best for them, but regardless of the time and date, it’s important to notify them that you will be entering their home.
The faster a repair is made, the happier the tenant will be. Plus, without immediate repair, a tenant may sue you for injuries caused by the defective condition of what they need repaired.
Stay Within the Law
Each state has its own housing laws. As a property manager, it’s important to be familiar with the landlord-tenant act in your region. It’s important to know all the state statutes regarding rent, rights, security deposits, obligations, and evictions. Violating just one of these can lead to not only a disgruntled tenant but a potential lawsuit.
About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)
The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.