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The American dream has always been tied to real estate. Owning your own home is a proud achievement for you and your family. Now it is time to get a little further up the property ladder.

People become landlords for lots of different reasons. When you are buying a property for a financial return, you might not think about your future responsibilities. Instead, you may be only focused on researching house prices, lending rates and budgets. Few first-time investors will think they need legal advice. However, it may help you avoid a few basic problems.

Typical legal issues for landlords

It is important to know your responsibilities and liabilities as a landlord. Renters also have rights in Virginia. As a landlord, it is your duty to abide by them. Even with only one investment property, it can be difficult keeping up to date and informed on what you must do.

As a landlord, don’t make one of these common mistakes:

  • Asking tenants questions that discriminate (race, religion, sex or gender, etc.)
  • Failing to disclose issues with the property (mold, sex offenders, recent deaths, etc.)
  • Refusing a tenant’s repair requests
  • Disregarding tenants’ privacy
  • Improperly evicting a tenant
  • Inadequately insuring your property
  • Keeping security deposits

What you think is fair treatment to your renters might look very different to them. To the occupants, this is their home, and they might fight tooth and nail if you have an argument. This may result in emotional distress for all involved as well as costly legal action. Acting early could be the best policy when it comes to rental disputes.

Investing in property is a great step towards a more constant and reliable income stream for you and your family. It would be nice if it entails minimal fuss. If you slip up in your landlord tasks, your investment could end up being more stressful, costly and time-sapping than it ever needed to be. If you manage a rental property efficiently and within your legal responsibilities, it is possible to earn steady profits for decades to come.