Although there are many good things about being a landlord in Tomball, Texas, be careful not to make these three mistakes:
- Forgetting that your rental property is a business. You may think of your property as an investment and an asset, but it is also a business. You would not start a business without a business plan, so do not buy a rental property without one. You also need formal, written policies and procedures to manage the day-to-day operations of your rental property.
As a landlord, you need procedures on property maintenance and repair and on how financial, insurance, and other records will be kept. If you have employees, you also need employment policies. A written record of who is responsible for the many tasks involved with being a landlord is also critical. These are just some of the documents you need to create and maintain in addition to your business plan.
- Forgetting that you are governed by laws and many agencies that protect your tenants. Serious problems and consequences can result if you do not follow the laws, rules, and regulations that apply to you as a landlord. First, in Texas you must be in compliance with the Texas Property Code. If you are not sure what that is or whether you are in compliance with it, hire a building inspector to help you understand it and ensure that you are.
As a landlord, you must also comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act to avoid discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and the presence of children. From rent policies to eviction processes, other local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations may apply to your responsibilities as a landlord. Consider scheduling a consultation with a Landlord-Tenant attorney to help you understand how they apply to you.
- Taking things personally. Neither business nor the laws, rules, and regulations that govern you as a landlord are personal. Try to remember that when you interact with your tenants. Doing your part to be a good landlord should help prevent or minimize any conflicts that may arise with your tenants.