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Lease Enforcement 101: Essential Tips for Fort Walton Beach Landlords

Lease Enforcement 101: Essential Tips for Fort Walton Beach Landlords

Have you ever tried to play a board game without looking at the rulebook first?

Managing tenants without proper lease enforcement is even more chaotic. It can turn into a free-for-all where no one knows what they're expected to do.

Read on for essential lease enforcement tips for Fort Walton Beach landlords.

Make a Clear Agreement

Misunderstandings can cause many a lease violation, so make your agreement as unambiguous as possible. Spell out exactly what you expect from your tenants. That includes:

  • Payment due dates
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Maintenance schedules
  • Consequences for violations

Read it over well and check for typos or illegal clauses that could make it unenforceable.

Screen Tenants

A recent survey showed that 70.7% of landlords saw an increase in application fraud. That also increases the need for background checks on every applicant. They're a proactive way to prevent lease violations.

You must also follow the tenant screening laws in Florida. You need written consent before performing any background checks. Use a blanket policy when judging all applicants. You can't discriminate against them based on factors such as:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial status
  • Disability

Denying them for anything found in a background check requires you to send them a written notice. It should include the name and contact information of the background screening company you used and the reason you denied them.

Do Inspections and Repairs

One useful piece of landlord advice is to remember that leases are a two-way street.

Looking over a property before signing a tenant lease gives you an idea of anything that needs to be fixed. Inspect it once they move in and again when they move out. It helps you determine if they caused any damage, with repair costs coming out of their security deposit.

Inspections help you uphold your maintenance responsibilities as laid out in the lease. They also keep you legal with property inspection laws in Florida.

Know the Proper Lease-Enforcement Process

Lease enforcement to address violations should work in stages.

Stage one is to provide a warning for first-time violations. It should be written, but if it's verbal, document it for your records.

Stage two is a written three-day comply or quit notice. It should include their name, the property's address, a summary of the problem, and a date by which it must be fixed.

Stage three is eviction. There are three legal reasons for eviction in Florida. They include failure to pay rent, breaking a rental lease agreement, and property damage.

Give the tenant an official 7-day cure or quit notice. Gather evidence to support your case such as:

  • Lease agreements
  • Payment records
  • Property maintenance or inspection records
  • Communication logs
  • Witness statements

Find Your Co-Enforcers Today

Lease enforcement starts with a clear agreement. It then includes proper screening to find tenants who'll follow it and penalties for violations if they don't. Inspections and maintenance help landlords keep up their end of the bargain.

All American Realty and Investment Group offers full-service property management across the Emerald Coast. Our team of veterans specializes in helping other military members make sound financial decisions in their investment journeys. Schedule a consultation today.