If you own rental real estate, it is likely that you are focused on keeping units filled with good-paying tenants and ensuring that all of the day-to-day maintenance is being tended to. But there is something else that all investment property owners and landlords need to consider – and that is how to avoid lawsuits from tenants.
In most any situation, there is the possibility of someone getting injured – or worse. But there are times when some people will do whatever they can to bring in some additional cash…and real estate investors are oftentimes seen as having “deep pockets”.
In either case, it is essential to try and reduce the likelihood of lawsuits and to ensure proper coverage if one should arise. Some of the primary methods of protection can include:
- Carrying the right type of insurance coverage. Making sure that both you and your property(ies) have sufficient insurance protection should be the first step – even before you put up the For Rent sign. With that in mind, a good homeowners’ and liability insurance policy is a must.
- Ensuring that the property is safe. It is a tenant’s right to reside in a property that is safe from dangerous conditions, such as faulty wiring, mold, and a whole host of other issues. So, be sure that your property meets all of the building and safety codes, and that it is compliant with state and local health codes, as well.
- Following the proper entry rules. Even if you are the owner of a property, you are required to provide notice to your tenant before you enter. Otherwise, you could be in violation of their privacy rights. It is typically best to give your tenant at least 24 hours notice.
There is a long list of items to consider when protecting yourself from potential property-related legal issues. Working with an experienced property manager can help to ensure that your investment(s) is being well taken care of, though, and that the rules are being followed.