The demand for rental property is better than ever but the value of your own home may not be what it used to be. So you may be considering renting your home until the market improves enough for you to sell. Or perhaps you’re being temporarily transferred to another city but plan to return soon. But if you don’t do your homework being a newly minted landlord can be a learning experience of the not-so-pleasant kind.

Here are some common mistakes made by a new landlord.

Inadequate or no tenant screening.

No matter how nice someone may seem their credentials must be checked. Credit reports, past landlord references and even former employers are a must. Hannibal Lecter was a doctor after all.

Underestimating the cost of maintenance or repairs.

If you want to attract the ideal tenant you’ll need to invest in updates and repairs before you even look for your first one. After that you’ll also be responsible for any ongoing or unexpected maintenance. It’s the ultimate Honey Do list.

Not having a lease.

A professional lease, drawn up by a real estate attorney is a critical part of the landlord/tenant relationship. Future problems can be avoided if you have written and binding documentation. A handshake is only good after they sign.

Not knowing the rules.

If you’re going to be a landlord you’ll need to know your legal rights, the rights of your tenants, and all the other rules and regulations that go with it. Asking your tenant if he’s single isn’t just creepy it’s now illegal.

Not enforcing a lease.

Some people just aren’t good with confrontation. These people should not be landlords. Letting infractions go by the wayside encourages more of them and they may continue to get worse.

Thinking a rental property is a steady income source.

If you’re just getting started you may be tempted to think of the rent as sure money in the bank. This may not be quite accurate so don’t buy that Camaro yet. Regardless if you have a tenant now, things happen and they may move out. This leaves you with an empty property and no income from it.

Being a landlord isn’t for the fainthearted.

Are you ready to fix a leaking roof during a thunderstorm at 3am? How about showing your property six times in two days with nothing to show for it? Can you evict the 6 foot 6 inch tenant with the bad attitude or the single mother who lost her job? Being a landlord is a lot of work and it’s not always pleasant.

If you’re just not built to be a landlord but you still need to rent your home then call National Property Management (Rent KC Management Group). We’ll take the headache from your and leave you with the peace of mind that your property will be looked after and your tenant will be too.