Some landlords attempt to manage their rentals themselves, thinking they are saving money by not hiring a property manager. However, a property manager is much more than a rent collector and a repairperson. One of the most important qualities of a professional property manager in Denver is that they have to carry a real estate license, hence countless hours of studying current landlord-tenant laws, continuing education and valuable experience.
While property managers are not lawyers, a lot of us know what is legal and what is not. There are certain actions that a landlord may think are fine, but in the eyes of the law – not so much. A good professional property manager is well versed in these laws and will help protect your investment and not expose you to liabilities.
Here are some of the most common examples of illegal activities, which could get landlords in trouble:
- Visiting the property without notice: Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property. So your surprise visit maybe well intended, but in fact is a violation of this law. Most leases require at least a 24-hour notice in writing to the tenant. Habitual “visits” may be regarded as excessive; visits without proper notice are illegal in most cases. A good Denver property manager has a system in place to do periodic visits to ensure your property is well cared for, without violating any laws.
- Denying pets in some cases: It is every owner’s right to decide whether they want pets in their property or not (see another blog post for pros and cons of having pets https://www.evolvedenver.com/should-you-allow-pets-in-your-rental-property/). However, service animals and some companion animals are not considered pets, and must not be treated as pets, i.e. they must be allowed in the property and the landlord may not charge pet rent nor pet deposit. Any licensed property manager in Denver would be familiar with these laws, and will be able to save you from the hassle and expense of a lawsuit.
- Being too nosy during application process: Did you know that certain questions on the application or while interviewing potential tenants are illegal? Certainly, landlords can ask potential tenants questions about their income, credit and criminal background, job and rental references. At the same time, it is illegal to ask about personal matters such as religion, place of origin, whether the applicants have children and how many. Don’t get caught violating these fair housing laws, it may end up being costly. Ask a reputable Denver property management company for a list of allowable questions.
- Not being diligent enough about finding replacement tenants: Your tenant has to break the lease and move out. But they are on the hook till the end of the lease for rent, and you don’t have to do anything, right? Wrong!!! The landlord has a responsibility to “mitigate damages”. In other words, the landlord must exercise reasonable effort to find a replacement tenant. See our other blog post for more details on this. (https://www.evolvedenver.com/breaking-the-lease-landlords-responsibility-to-re-rent/).
- Kicking tenants out because of the sale: Landlords typically reserve the right to sell the property at any instance. However, they are required to honor the lease. It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the new owner will keep the tenants in place until the lease expires, or negotiate a buy-out with the tenants.
These are just a few examples of how a knowledgeable property manager will keep you out of trouble with law and money in your pockets. If you want one of the most reputable property management companies in Denver show you how we can save you money, please give Evolve Real Estate and Property Management a call.