Staying up to date with Washington State landlord-tenant laws takes a lot of time.
Knowing what and how to prioritize can be daunting. With the goal of a high return on your rental investment, you’ll want to keep these 5 common landlord mistakes in mind:
1. Having a non-existent or weak lease
Gone are the days of handshake deals. In Washington State contracts are void unless in writing so having an ironclad lease is so important. A property management company will have a standard lease that they use and making sure it has all the important pieces pertaining to your specific property is key.
2. Not conducting a thorough move-in and move-out walkthrough
A written checklist that clearly states the condition of the property prior to occupancy should be done before every new tenancy. When the checklist is completed the landlord or property manager and tenant should sign off on it. At the end of the lease term, both parties will need to review the property to see if there are any repairs needed and if any damage expenses should be deducted from the security deposit.
3. Renting to someone without a thorough screening
When you’re looking for a tenant you’ll want to do a thorough background check. You’ll want to research the new tenant and make sure you’re fully informed about what you are and are not allowed to ask.
4. Not knowing important and legal timelines
Keeping up to date with the most recent laws and rental agreement requirements could keep you from being sued. Knowing and reviewing the Washington state landlord-tenant laws is the best way to stay up to date on best practices.
5. Avoiding routine inspection
The best way to make sure your rental property is being well cared for is by conducting an annual inspection. Using the written checklist from the move-in can be a good guide.
At the end of the day, every property is different and has unique circumstances. If you need someone to speak with I’d be happy to help