Landlords can take certain steps to prevent problems before they occur—or at least to minimize the impact. It’s hard to prevent trouble completely, but there is a great deal you can do to protect your interests. The lawyers at The Fell Law Firm have put together a list of steps you can take.
Have the Right Lease Contract in the First Place
While certain statutes and legal precedents apply to landlord-tenant matters, legal disputes often come down to the contract involved. Courts ask: What did the lease say? Did the tenant violate the lease when he or she took a certain action?
Unfortunately, too many property owners fail to take their leases as seriously as they should. They download them from the Internet or copy leases used by other property owners. In doing so, they end up with:
- Leases that do not apply to the landlord-tenant relationship.
- Leases that say things opposite of what the landlord intended.
- Leases that are confusing.
The best way to have a contract that means what you intended and that protects your interests is to have your attorney draft one for you. That way, you are sure your lease protects you in the event of trouble.
Make Sure You and Your Tenant Understand the Lease Contract
It is not enough to have a great contract if you and your tenant do not understand it. Understand what your lease means. Talk through the lease with your tenant. Discuss important elements of the lease, like the notice period, subletting and assignment of the lease, and what happens in the event of property damage.
Those conversations will do more than make the lease clear. They will help set both parties’ expectations and serve as a foundation for a landlord-tenant relationship built on mutual trust.
Always Proceed With Caution
It is much better to take longer to find the right tenant than to rush and agree to a problematic or unreliable tenant. When looking for a tenant, do your homework. Conduct an interview and background check. Check references. Get a sizable security deposit.
With a thorough approach and a bit of preparation, you can find the right tenant—and form the basis for a mutually beneficial relationship that serves you both for years to come.
Despite Your Best Efforts, Conflict May Arise. It’s Time to Talk With an Attorney.
At The Fell Law Firm, we have found that taking proactive measures to minimize the potential for conflict can pay great dividends for our clients. However, it is impossible to protect against all conflicts always.
If necessary, we are fully prepared to protect the interests of Dallas-area landlords in negotiations and litigation. To talk with us about your situation, call 972-450-1418