Well, find out for FREE today if at all you or them are committing any one of these landlord mistakes unknowingly and save yourself the potential dangers, troubles, costs and heart attacks associated with each one of them.
And even if you happen to be a seasoned and professional landlord, reading and reminding yourself of these dangerous and costly mistakes could save your bacon (rental profits) and prevent you from having many, many sleepless nights in the near future due to the fact that you may have unknowingly neglected to auto-correct one or more of these mistakes!
So, continue reading on and find out which one of these mistakes you may have been committing unknowingly and save yourself the potential dangers and troubles associated with each one of them as earlier on stated. Read below:
1. Ignorance Of The Law: Not Actively Seeking To Know And/or Understand The Relevant Law Relating To The Rental Business
2. Most Landlords Never Treat Their Rental Properties As A Business
Other Latin Maxims worthy noting here as well are "Nemo Censetur Ignorare Legem" (meaning: Nobody Is Thought To Be Ignorant Of The Law) or "Ignorantia Juris Nocet" ( meaning: Not Knowing The Law Is Harmful)!!!
However, as every brilliantly educated and learned legal brain out there knows, to every general rule of law, exceptions exist. But suffice it to say that it is highly important as a landlord to take deliberate and intentionally directed steps to educate oneself in such crucial matters before its too late so as to avoid experiencing the inherent potential dangers and costly consequences that come as a result of ignorance!
Therefore, if you happen to live or you're intending to come live and invest in real property in the Republic of Zambia whether for business purposes or simply for personal reasons, well, here are recommended pieces of the Relevant Law you need to educate yourself with to make sure you're on the safe side:
a) The Rent Act (Pertaining to the Leasing of Residential Properties) Chapter 206 of the Laws of Zambia
b) The Landlord and Tenant Act (Pertaining to the Leasing of Business Premises) Chapter 193 of the Laws of Zambia
c) The Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) Act Chapter 194 of the Laws of Zambia
d) The Lands (Perpetual Succession) Act Chapter 186 of the Laws of Zambia
e) The Lands Acquisition Act Chapter 189 of the Laws of Zambia
f) The Lands and Deeds Registry Act Chapter 185 of the Laws of Zambia
g) The Common Leasehold Schemes Act Chapter 208 of the Laws of Zambia
h) Part III of the Zambian Constitution Act Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia especially Articles 16 and 17 relating to the protection of Real Property Ownership
i) The Investment Act Chapter 385 of the Laws of Zambia (This is a Must Know for Foreign Nationals and/or Foreign Entities)
j) The Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 283 of the Laws of Zambia
k) The Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Act of 2013
l) The Lands Act Chapter 184 of the Laws of Zambia
m) The Income Tax Act Chapter 323 of the Laws of Zambia referred to as 'The Principal Act' in the Income Tax (Amendment) Act of 2013 [Especially The Section Relating To The Payment of Withholding Tax As a Landlord As Well As Other Taxes Pertaining To Real Property Ownership In Zambia]
n) The Land Survey Act Chapter 188 of the Laws of Zambia
o) Any Other Relevant Branch of Private Law Making Relating To Real Property Ownership Such As Basic Contract Law As Well As Tort Law On Occupier's Liabilities.
If you don't know where to locate these pieces of laws or legislation, then please simply get in touch with me and I should be able to advise you appropriately!!!
WHY? Because renting properties to other people is a business. If you don't treat your rental properties as such, you might be incurring losses and yet not know about it. And even if you weren't incurring any losses whatsoever, its just plane smart to treat each and every one of your rental properties as separate and independent businesses.
3. Most Landlords Don't Thoroughly Prepare The Property Before Showing It To Prospective Tenants
You see, before you even consider advertising your rental property, the very first and most critical thing you need to do is to make sure that you've cleaned up the property thoroughly well before showing it to your prospective and ideal tenants. Make sure the inside and the outside of the property looks neat including the surrounding yard. Why? Because no one ever wants to live in a dirty environment. Plane simple isn't it? But you'll be surprised to learn and know that its not as plane simple as it sounds to many amateur and even to many seemingly seasoned landlords!
Perhaps a great question to ask yourself as a landlord is "Would I rent and live in this place If I were a tenant myself? " If your answer is a definite no, then its time to do some work out on your piece of rental property before you advertise it and start showing it to prospective tenants.
At other times, if the property has been occupied for sometime by other tenants and the current tenants decide to leave for whatever reasons, then you might need to do some cosmetic and minor repair works on the property before advertising and/or showing it to new prospective tenants. This is so in order to increase the perceived value of the property.
These cosmetic and/or minor repair works might include adding a new coat of paint inside and outside the house. Replacing sockets and switches. Putting some new tiles. Replacing worn out doors and door handles such as mortice locks etc.
But the general, common and costly mistake most amateur and some seemingly seasoned landlords make is to straight away advertise and start showing the property to prospective new tenants before they do anything to it. They do this in the hope and promising that when the new tenant pays the rental fees, they'll be able to work on the house. But as we know it today, most tenants have become very smart and intelligent these days due to the fact that they've learn't their lessons the hard way! Most of them are not easily willing to part away with their own hard earned money and risk giving it away to some landlord who in most cases might change his or her mind and divert the money to some other personal projects of his or hers.
Yes, I'm aware that there are some tenants that are easy and willing to accept this arrangement, but the majority of them do not subscribe to this type of agreement. And of those that do accept, they may be doing it just because they are desperate and sooner than later they may decide to leave if you do not do as you initially promised to do and take you back right to square one where you have to start all over again!
So What Are You Supposed To Do Then?
Well, use your own hard earned money and work on the house before you advertise and start showing it to your prospective new tenants.
Do not become stingy with your investment property. Spend that money and improve your property first and you'll be happy that you took and made that decision later on. Why? Because you'll end up attracting excellent tenants that will end up staying in your rental property for a very long time indeed and shall be highly happy to pay you your rental fees on time because the property looks good in their eyes!
But What If You Don't Have This Kind Of Money To Do These Kinds of Cosmetic and/or Repair Works?
Well, their is a Little Known Secret and/or Cost Effective Way or Strategy you can employ or apply right now gratis to help you do some cosmetic and/or repair works and thus improve the perceived value of your rental property in the eyes of your prospective new potential tenants!
If therefore you're interested in this very Little Known Secret and/or Cost Effective Way or Strategy, then get in touch with me and I should be able to disclose it to You FREELY!!!!!
And guess what? This Little Known Secret and/or Cost Effective Way or Strategy is NOT about getting a salary advance, compassionate loan or any form of soft loan whatsoever from the various financial and/or micro-finance lending institutions! No. It's NOT any of these options. This ONE is one of its own kind that you've NEVER heard or read about!
So, dear landlord and blog reader, to get to know about this very Little Known Secret and/or Cost Effective Way or Strategy, get in touch with me and I'll gladly disclose it to You FREELY!!!!!
Call or Sms me directly right NOW on +260 977 805045 / +260 966 388525 / +260 955 168754.
Or, alternatively email me at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest in this very Little Known Secret and/or Cost Effective Way or Strategy and I'll gladly get back to you in record time!
4. Most Landlords Do Not Put Or Rather Reduce Everything Into Writing
However, since most landlords are NOT schooled or rather enlightened in such matters, they bury their heads in sand hoping, thinking and praying that all shall be fine with their tenant-landlord relationships. But to the contrary, things do not always turn out to be that easy and predictable in life as we've come to know from experience.
So, its Always Important to have a Tenancy Agreement in place that incorporates and provides for the known as well as for the unpredictable future.
Therefore, What Are Some Of The Most Important Polices, Terms and/or Conditions That Ought To Be Seriously Considered Before-Hand In The Tenancy Agreement?
Well, the most important polices, terms and/or conditions are but are not limited to the following::
a) Provision as to whether you'll allow domestic Pets and/or other Animals such as Dogs and Cats etc or not. If you will, how many?
You might ask, "Why should I limit the number of domestic animals on my rental premises and incorporate such a seemingly strict policy in my Tenancy Agreement?"
Well, uncontrollable numbers of domestic pets and/or animals such as dogs, cats, doves, horses etc can end up causing damage to your piece of rental property if left unchecked and controlled.
They can also affect the natural beauty and scenery of your property.
Therefore, its important that you incorporate such a policy or term in your Tenancy Agreement that will restrict the number of domestic pets and/or animals so as prevent the potential damages associated with having large numbers of such creatures on your rental premises!
b) The number of Occupants
c) Who pays for Utilities such as water, electricity, cabbage collection, security, sewerage etc
d) Good Management of the Property such as who will do repair works to the property when damaged by either the tenant's immediate family members or damages coming as a result of natural calamities and to what extent and what amount of expenditure is the tenant allowed to spend on repair works? And is this supposed to be done with or without express permission from the landlord?
e) The amount of Rental Fees to be paid by the tenant and on what date and time specifically is tenant supposed to pay such fees. Also, are you going to include penalties for late payment of rental fees or not. If you're going to include such penalties, how much will such penalties be per day when rent is not paid?
f) Will you allow tenant to sublet the premises to other tenants or not.
g) Will you allow tenant to conduct serious commercial business activities on your premises or not?
h) Any other relevant policies, terms and/or conditions that you may deem fit and necessary to protect your interests and the property from abuse and damage.
If you desire an example of a detailed Tenancy Agreement, then click HERE for insight and inspiration. When you click on this link, it will take you to a Webpage called 'Downloads' right here on this very Website and once on that Webpage, click where it says 'Davik Tenancy Agreement Form'. That's it. The said template Tenant Agreement can be modified to suit your own unique circumstances!
5. Most Landlords Never Do Routine Property Inspections
Just because your tenant pays you the rental fees on time and does not complain to you about the state of the property does not mean that all is okay. You need to make impromptu and occasional spot checks on your property just to make sure that all is fine. Never assume that everything is fine. Regularly inspect your property. That way the tenant will know that you do care as well as prevent any unnecessary abuse of the property by the tenant.
6. Most Landlords Rent-Out Their Rental Properties To Friends And Family
Their is totally nothing wrong with renting out your property to friends and relatives as long as you make it plainly graphic to them that this is a business and that you'll NOT entertain ANY sob and calamity stories from them when time for paying rental fees is up. Just don't allow them to take advantage of you because you happen to know each other.
Otherwise, the best strategy is for you to avoid renting your property to this class of people if you can that is. That way, you'll end up saving your good relationships with them.
But if you want to sour your relationships sooner or later on, then please go right ahead and rent out your property to such people.
However, don't complain when they start defaulting and take advantage of you!
7. Most Landlords Easily Entertain Mourning And Calamity Stories Without Question
Yes, we all experience such adversities at one point or another in our lives, but entertaining such sob stories as and when they are presented to you as a landlord on a frequent basis can affect your bottom line in terms of your income levels. It also makes your planning very difficult in the process.
The way to look at this is this; if you borrowed money from the bank, would the bank accept your mourning and calamity story and excuse you from paying and remitting that monthly loan deduction?
Well, both you and me know damn well that the answer is a definite NO of course!
Then why should you as a landlord be any different from the bank? Both you and the bank are in business!
So, You Must NEVER entertain such sob stories at all costs unless otherwise and previously agreed upon in your Tenancy Agreement where procedure relating to such issues is clearly provided for therein.
So, What Are You Supposed To Do Then As A Landlord To Prevent Such Mourning And/Or Calamity Stories From Repeating Themselves On A Frequent Basis?
Well, provide and incorporate a rental policy, term and/or condition that governs the procedure regarding how you're going to treat and handle such issues as and when they arise and not waiting until it is too late thereby affecting your bottom line!
8. Most Landlords Do Not Thoroughly and Properly Understand The Costs Associated With The Rental Property Business
The same holds true when it comes to the rental business. You MUST understand the costs associated with each and every rental unit you own as a landlord or else you'll end up a looser. Costs such as property management fees, home owners insurance, land rates, ground rents, income taxes such as withholding tax, monthly mortgage loan repayments etc must all properly be understood by you the landlord and taken into consideration when ascertaining the monthly rental fees to be paid by the tenants when they eventually occupy your piece of rental property. This will enable you to remain in a positive cash flow position rather than a negative one.
So, understanding the costs associated with the rental business is crucial to each and every landlord who desires to be a great success in his real estate investment efforts!
9. Most Landlords Do Not Thoroughly and Properly Pre-Screen Tenants
You see, not every person who comes your way and shows interest in your rental property qualifies to be a Good Tenant. Most of them are what I like to call "YUPPIES". Yuppies are the kind of tenants who once you've rented out your rental property to them, make the loudest kind of noise like a pig on the slaughter table. They happen to be very, very demanding and the moment your rental property experiences a slight problem like for instance a leaking roof or even a broken window pane or door, they are so quick to give you a call even in the middle of the night for you to go fix that problem!
So, would you love and enjoy having such a tenant occupying your rental property? Definitely not me! And its my guess that you wouldn't fathom having such a tenant occupy your piece of rental property either.
Therefore, learn and master the art of pre-screening tenants to be so that you only select and accept the best candidates and get to weed out the potential problematic ones!
In my many years of being in this industry and having dealt with a sizeable number of landlords and distinguished tenants, I've come to the realization and conclusion that their are some categories of people and/or professions or careers that appear to be very good tenants and their are some that are so problematic as to go to the extreme extent of even threatening their landlords with Unnecessary and Uncalled for Lawsuits even when the landlord was within his or her rights.
However, this is not to say or rather suggest that their are no nasty landlords out there. No. There are actually plenty nasty landlords out there who deserve to be taught good lessons by way of Justified Lawsuits so as to bring them back to their senses just as readily as there are plenty nasty tenants as well out there!
But, the bottom-line here is that as a landlord, you wouldn't want to find yourself in a situation where you're always quenching out fires here and there instead of earning money just because of a mistake you could have prevented or avoided initially had you take your time to pre-screen your tenants to be. And this does not mean that you should abuse or rather take advantage of your tenants just because you're a landlord. NO Please!
Just in case you may have a problem/s with a particular tenant or landlord, Section 5 subsection 1 of the Rent Act which is actually Chapter 206 0f the Laws of Zambia, provides either the landlord or the tenant the option of taking the matter to court so that the court can investigate the issue thoroughly and give relief to the complaining party. I hereby reproduce the said Section 5 subsection 1 of the Rent Act below:
"5. (1) In addition to any other powers specifically conferred on it by this Act, the court may investigate any complaint relating to the tenancy of premises made to it either by the landlord or a tenant of such premises".
And going hand in glove with the above quoted Section, is Section 32 of the same Rent Act which empowers the Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia, by Statutory Instrument, to make 'Rules' of the Court known as 'The Rent Rules' and Rule Number 3 of the said Rent Rules talking about the commencement of legal proceedings against either party is hereby reproduced below as well:
Rent Rule Number 3. "A complaint or application to the court under the Act shall be commenced by an originating notice of motion. Evidence in support thereof may be on affidavit or viva voce."
The Golden Rule Of Life Therefore Is: Treat Others As You Would Like Them To Treat You. In Other Words, Do Unto Others What You'd Like Them To Do Unto You. Period. Nothing More and Nothing Less.
So, in conclusion, its my sincere hope and prayer that you've learn't, known, mastered and reminded yourself of one or more of these very common, dangerous and costly mistakes landlords make unknowingly and that you'll take remedial measures to prevent your committing them in the near future!
Or, what do you think about what you've just read above? Does it make sense to you as a landlord? And would you recommend what you've just read above to another person you know is involved in the rental business?
Well, simply write or drop your comments in the comment box below. Your comments shall be appreciated. By the way, both positive and negative comments are all welcome!
So, go right ahead and drop a comment below.
Or, simply recommend this blog post article to the people you think might be interest in this kind of information!
Until next time, go well in your own real estate investment endeavors.
NOTE: Happen To Have or Own Some Piece of Rental Property Whether Commercial or Residential And Are Experiencing Challenges and/or Problems Locating Good Paying Tenants?
Well, Tell Us About It Today Using Either The Contact Us Form or The Comment Box Below and We Should Be Able To HELP You In This Matter In Record Time At a Very Minimal and Manageable Fee As Well As Disclose To You That Little Known Secret and/or Cost Effective Way or Strategy You Can Employ or Apply Right Now GRATIS To Help You DO Some Cosmetic and/or Repair Works On Your Rental Property If You Do Not Have Enough Funds To Do That and Thus IMPROVE The Perceived Value of Your Rental Property In The Eyes of Your Prospective New Potential Tenants!!!!