5 Tips for Effective Lease Enforcement in 2024

5 Tips for Effective Lease Enforcement in 2024

Owning rental property is a fantastic way to generate extra income, but it's not always a simple process. Minnesota saw well over 22,000 eviction proceedings in 2022. Evictions are a costly and stressful process for all parties, so how do you avoid them?

Lease enforcement is a critical aspect of being a landlord, and the best way to ensure that your property is cared for. Don't stress if you haven't had to navigate this process before. Read on to learn some basic lease enforcement strategies!

1. Find Quality Tenants

The best way to make lease enforcement a breeze is by leasing your property to quality tenants. Create a set of standards tenants must meet to qualify for your property, and perform thorough background checks on each and every tenant. This includes credit checks, rental history verifications, and checking their criminal background.

2. Utilize a Strong Lease Agreement

Many landlords utilize a boilerplate lease agreement. This gets the job done, but it's not going to meet your individual expectations. Be sure to draft a lease agreement that clearly states your duties and the tenant's duties.

Include information about:

  • Rent due dates
  • Methods of payment accepted
  • Late fees
  • Who takes care of maintenance
  • Required notice for move-out
  • Expectations regarding decor and storage inside and outside of the home

The more specific you are, the easier it is to enforce.

3. Communication, Communication, Communication

You want your tenants to know what to expect from you as a landlord. Regular communication about your expectations and activities is the best way to do this.

If you have regular property inspections or maintenance work that needs to be done, send regular emails in advance of these duties. This builds trust between you and your tenant and gives you the opportunity to take note of any violations while performing routine maintenance.

4. Be Consistent

When it comes to enforcing a lease, consistency is really important.

For example, you do not want to allow one tenant to have a pet and restrict another one from having a pet for arbitrary reasons. You need to have a comprehensive pet policy that you apply consistently from tenant to tenant. Similarly, don't allow someone to pay late without penalty multiple times and then choose to enforce the penalty later on.

In the event you wind up in court, the judge is going to look at how consistently you enforced your lease to determine the outcome.

5. Know Your Laws

Finally, it's really important that you stay on top of both federal and Minnesota laws about housing. This can help you stay out of hot water, and save you a lot of stress in the long run. If staying on top of an ever-changing legal landscape sounds tough, consider hiring a property management company to handle the administrative duties of your rentals.

Do You Need Help With Lease Enforcement?

If you want your rental properties to generate consistent income with tenants in place who care about your property, then consistent lease enforcement is the way to go. Make sure you utilize a strong screening process, and an ironclad lease agreement, and enforce its provisions consistently, and you'll be good to go.

Do you want all of the benefits of owning rental property without any of the labor? Then hiring a property management company is the best decision you can make. Contact PMI Lakeshore today for help with everything from tenant screening to the eviction process!