Skip to main content

Property Management Blog

What Are the Best Tips for Accidental Landlords in Venice, FL?

What Are the Best Tips for Accidental Landlords in Venice, FL?

Have you suddenly found yourself being called a landlord?

Maybe you recently acquired your dream home, and it makes more financial sense to rent out your starter home instead of selling it. Even relocating to another state for work can turn you into an accidental landlord.

It doesn't matter how you got yourself here. You're now a landlord, and like every landlord, your mission is clear: turn the property into a rental income machine. For that to happen, however, you must know how to navigate your way.

These tips for accidental landlords will help you move in the right direction.

1. Understand Florida's Landlord-Tenant Laws

You're certainly aware that both landlords and tenants have rights that are protected by the law. When you become a landlord, it's not enough to be aware. You must have an intricate understanding of all the relevant federal, state, and local laws that pertain to running a rental property.

If you're not familiar with all the laws, you can easily find yourself in court facing a lawsuit. For example, how much security deposit should you charge? There are laws around that subject.

2. Learn How to Screen Tenants

Unless you're a seasoned landlord, you may not fully appreciate the importance of tenant screening. You may think that as long as someone is paying the rent on time, they're good to be your tenant.

But what if that supposedly good tenant vacates after a few months and leaves behind so much damage that even their security deposit isn't enough to pay for repairs?

Tenant screening helps you ensure that bad tenants don't find their way into your property. It involves checking a renter's criminal background, rental history, and credit and employment records. Some landlords go a step further and ask to speak to the applicant's previous landlords.

3. Draw a Rental Agreement

If it's starting to look like landlords and lawyers have a lot in common, that's because you really need to protect your investment.

You may have heard horror stories of tenants who move into rentals, stop paying rent, and refuse to move out. By the time the eviction process is complete, the owner has lost a lot of money in rental income.

A lease agreement outlines both the landlord and the tenant's responsibilities. It can also include conditions under which the landlord can revoke the lease, provide a grace period for paying rent, charge late fees, and whatnot.

In the event of a disagreement with the tenant, the rental agreement can be the one document that wins you a lawsuit in court.

Professional Rescue for Accidental Landlords

Being a landlord might have been one of your goals in life, sure, but you probably didn't see yourself becoming a landlord by accident.

The sheer amount of work that goes into managing a rental property catches most accidental landlords by surprise. If you're feeling overwhelmed, you can get professional help by hiring a full-service property management company.

At Gulf Coast Property Management, our focus is on the Venice, FL market. Our local experience is unmatched, having served Manatee and Sarasota counties since 2003.

Schedule a free consultation with our team to discuss your needs.