6 Common Lease Violations
While renting is a rewarding enterprise, you won’t always have model tenants. Leases are put in place for a reason – whether it is to maintain the value of a property or keep people safe. When renters decide to break the terms of their contract, landlords may be forced to take action.
In order to learn how to handle lease violations, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the most common violations.
1. Unauthorized Pets
Four-legged friends can be an important part of the family – but they can also be quite a hassle. This is why many landlords prohibit pets to some degree. Pets can cause damage to the property and annoy neighboring tenants.
2. HOA Conflicts
If your property falls under the jurisdiction of an HOA, renters must stay up to code. These often involve things such as making sure the property is free of trash and limit your external storage.
3. Smoking Indoors
Indoor smoking can be a damaging and dangerous habit. It can discolor home interiors, lead to burns, and leave a lingering odor.
4. Noise Disturbances
While being noisy doesn’t lead to structural damage, it can damage the atmosphere of your living complex. Loud tenants can lead to unhappy neighbors and visits from law enforcement.
5. Long-term Guests
Especially if you offer a flat rate for utilities in your rental agreement, unauthorized, long-term guests can be bad for business. It’s not unusual for a non-renting guest to be overstaying their welcome. Some renters may even take it upon themselves to sublet without your permission. The popularity of services such as Airbnb has made this even more common.
6. Damaging Decorations
While there is nothing wrong with making a living space more personal, some decorating can lead to damage. Something as simple as hanging up a couple of pictures can cause countless holes in the wall.
What to do if a renter breaks a clause in the lease agreement?
The moment a tenant violates a lease, you should begin taking measures to protect yourself. There are different approaches you can take depending on the severity of the violation.
If you notice the violation during the renting period;
- Keep Evidence: Always be sure to save original copies of all of your contracts and get proof of any relevant information. This includes taking photographs of the property before tenants arrived.
- Notify the Tenant: Send a letter to your tenant alerting them of their violation and offer them time (minimum a week) to correct the problem. This is a legal obligation if you decide to take matters further.
- Eviction: When violations aren’t corrected or are continuously repeated, you are within legal grounds to file for an eviction.
If you only recognize the violation (or failure to correct the violation) during the inspection following the end of a contract, you may withhold all or a portion of the security deposit. If the amount is not enough to cover damages, you can consider taking your case to small claims court.
Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of managing your rental property. As a Tradewind client, your most difficult task is checking your monthly statement. Contact us!