How to Limit Your Risk and Liability As a Landlord
Being a landlord isn’t always the easy life that many property owners imagine when they start leasing residences. The landlord’s life is a major source of stress for many, and can be a very risky business for the uninformed. If you haven’t got all your bases covered as a property owner, then you could be leaving yourself open to significant risk and liability from several different directions. Read on to find ways to limit your risk and liability as a landlord, making your life much easier in the long run.
Before going into a lease with any tenant and approving a move-in, be sure to go through the proper measures in your screening process. Some tenants can be a real nightmare, and part of minimizing your risk is making sure that you get agreeable tenants moving into your properties. Request employment verification and a current credit report to make sure that your new tenant will be able to make his or her monthly payments in a reliable fashion. Some landlords even require their tenants to take up renter’s insurance, and you may want to consider this as well.
Never budge on your financial and legal agreements with your tenants. Allowing a tenant to take up residence without signing a lease or submitting a security deposit is very risky, and could lead to significant legal problems in the future. Set your legal and financial requirements in the beginning, and hold all of your tenants to the same agreements.
Protecting yourself and your tenants from the unexpected should be one of your primary concerns as a landlord. One of the biggest liability issues in all of real estate is a lack of insurance on the part of property owners. General liability insurance as well as property and casualty insurance are highly recommended for landlords everywhere. Some landlords may even want to consider umbrella insurance, a comprehensive coverage package that goes past the typical limitations of general liability insurance. With this coverage, your properties will be protected from catastrophic loss and negligence issues that can put you at risk.
As a landlord, you can expect to bring in contractors, maintenance workers and construction teams on a regular basis to service your properties. Think twice before you hire any workers on your property. Make sure that all workers are properly insured, and stick with reliable companies as much as possible. It is imperative to make sure that your workers are protected from personal injuries, and that you will be protected from any possible mistakes that could damage your property.
Property ownership carries significant risks and responsibilities. Heed the advice of professionals at Gullands and other law firms across the country, and follow these guidelines to limit your risk and liability. Some landlords go about their business so carelessly that they might as be welling be asking for a lawsuit. Don’t get caught up in a mess of legal troubles with either your tenants or your workers. Be a responsible and informed landlord so that you can minimize your risk every day.