If you conduct routine property inspections (or work with Seattle property managers that do them for you), you're probably aware of resident instances of failing to follow the lease. From not keeping up with their responsibilities to care for your property, to allowing "guests" to overstay their welcome, sometimes renters don't follow the rules—and that can cause significant problems for real estate investors.
However, enforcing the lease isn't often a fun part of owning and operating rental properties. If you struggle to remind renters to pay the rent on time, pick up after their pets, or keep the noise down, you're putting your properties and income at risk without a commitment to the rules.
Here's why it's important for Seattle investors to enforce the lease and how our expert property management team can help!
The Lease Is Your Protection
Expecting renters to follow the rules starts by creating a strong lease that clearly outlines expectations (and penalties for violations). When residents cause property damage or miss a rent payment, the lease governs how investors can respond and what residents can expect when breaking the rules.
If your lease doesn't detail the rules for living in your rentals, you lack the legal documentation to enforce any penalties at all. If your lease doesn't explain that a car that leaks oil or sits on cinder blocks in the driveway breaks the rules, renters won't know, and you can't enforce it without facing a potential lawsuit.
When setting up a new lease agreement, work with the best Seattle property managers to make sure it's airtight and protects your investments! It's the best tool to enforce the rules while following the law.
You Must Follow the Rules, Too
Just like the lease helps renters understand the rules for living in your rental, it also tells residents what to expect from you. An excellent lease serves renters and rental property owners by outlining the conditions for:
- Monthly rental amounts and due dates
- Late fees and timelines for assessment
- Your responsibilities as the property owner to provide maintenance, manage the security deposit, and deliver a safe home for renters
If you don't follow the rules in your lease agreements, enforcing the rules for Seattle renter violations can get tricky and lead to legal ramifications from unhappy renters. Setting a good example for your renters to follow includes delivering everything promised in the lease, providing high-quality maintenance services, and working with renters to follow the rules or face penalties.
The Rules Must Apply to Everyone (and All Properties)
Do you have a favorite resident? It's okay to prefer one renter over another, especially if you have multiple properties and long-term renters whom you've grown to appreciate through several lease terms.
However, rental property owners can't play favorites when it comes to enforcing lease rules—no matter how much you love one renter and can't stand other renters in another property! Allowing lease violations for some residents can be a form of discrimination if you enforce penalties for other renters who break the same rules.
Having renters you enjoy is a good thing, but make sure you apply the same reminders and penalties for every resident. When one renter finds out that you let another renter have a noisy party after quiet hours, you've created a potential legal situation from the unhappy residents who faced penalties when other renters did not.
If it's challenging not to play favorites, the best Seattle property managers can apply an impartial approach to rule enforcement for all renters and properties in your portfolio.
Lease Rules (and Enforcement) Protect Your Property
Keeping your Seattle properties in excellent condition requires more than the routine inspections and quality maintenance services we already mentioned. Making sure renters take out the trash on schedule, pick up after their pets, and don't break things in your rental keeps your properties in better condition!
Delivering the best quality rental properties in Seattle is a team effort between you and your residents. While the burden of routine maintenance and timely repairs falls on your plate as the property owner, residents have responsibilities to handle lawn care, keep the house clean, avoid activities that attract pests, and make sure pets (and kids) don't destroy the flooring.
Let Seattle Property Managers Handle Lease Enforcement (So You Don't Have To)
Enforcing the rules and dealing with difficult renters can take away from how much you enjoy the passive income from your investments. If it's time to get tougher on renters to protect your properties, income, and yourself better, you need the best Seattle property managers!
Real Property Associates helps investors create detailed, airtight leases that cover all the bases of protection for you and your rentals. We also handle all else enforcement so that you don't have to be the bad guy! If you're struggling with lease violations, let's talk about how we can help.
Learn more about critical protections investors need! Download your free copy of "Protecting Your Investment Property: A Guide."