Why Lynnwood Property Owners Should Enforce the Lease

The Joseph Group Dec 2021

Ian Joseph

“Clients first!” – is a huge part of the DNA that Ian Joseph and his Team have established at The Joseph Group. This motto helps them focus on striving for the highest level of customer experience, for their clients (landlords) and customers (tenants). In fact, Ian strongly believes that in life, family and business, you must strive to give more than you receive. “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar

Updated July 8, 2022.

When property owners commit to a lease for a rental property, you and the renter agree that you both will perform your responsibilities. However, what do you do when something goes wrong—like when a tenant has pets and it's not allowed per their lease agreement?

This blog post will go over some important reasons why rental property owners must enforce the terms of their leases. We know it can be hard to be the bad guy when enforcing important lease clauses. That's why many landlords don't follow through with implementing the lease. However, property owners need to make sure residents do what they agreed to when signing the rental agreement. A Lynnwood property management company can assist property owners in enforcing their leases to protect everyone, and here's why it's essential!

Follow the Rules Society Regulations Legal System Law Concept

Following the Lease Protects the Property Owner

Rental property owners should enforce the terms of a standard lease agreement for various reasons. One reason is to protect yourself from liability if something goes wrong. For example, suppose the tenant has pets, which isn't allowed by the rental contract, and the animal bites a neighbor. In that case, you could be held liable for injuries caused by the animal attack. Also, if the animal destroys your investment property, you might not be able to withhold funds from the security deposit to pay for it.

In addition to protecting themselves from liability, residential property owners also protect themselves from fraud (or retaliatory lawsuits) when they enforce the rental lease agreement terms. If there are no rules written in a contract, renters can take advantage and do what they want because there are no enforceable consequences in a legal document. 

Finally, enforcing a lease helps ensure that renters respect the neighbors around the property. If there are no rules, tenants will feel like they can do anything, which leads to tension between renters and neighbors. When tenants behave badly, property owners are responsible.

Consistent Enforcement Helps Landlords Avoid Discrimination Claims

Many property owners have processes to prevent discrimination during tenant screening but forget that the law also applies to managing renters after moving into the property. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing, from the screening process to applying lease enforcement fairly across all residents. 

A rental property owner could inadvertently discriminate against a renter by not enforcing a lease agreement consistently. Let's go back to that "no-pet" policy in the leases for the rental properties you own. Renter A brings a dog in—but there are no repercussions. Then Renter B decides to sneak a cat into their rental home, and you choose to take action. The action to enforce the rules for one renter (but not the other) can be mistaken for discrimination. This could lead to a costly lawsuit and losing the ability to operate rentals in Lynnwood. 

When you enforce the terms of your rental agreement consistently with all renters, tenants don't have any reason to interpret your actions as discriminatory. If you have more than one rental property, this consistency is even more critical. One of the best rental management companies helps property owners create fair and legal leases, then enforce them consistently for all residents and properties. 

Young people with dog at home leisure

Rule Enforcement Helps Protect the Rental Property (and Your Income)

Enforcing the lease also helps protect your property and real estate investment income. If tenants know that they can break the rules or not pay rent, they will do so without a second thought. This could lead to property damage, late rent payments, and other costly problems that take money out of your pocket. 

Property managers can tell you that it's much harder to enforce the rules once the damage has taken place or tenants get away with breaking a few rules. Owners must be proactive in enforcing the terms of their lease agreement to set the right tone for the landlord-tenant relationship. 

By having a lease in place and enforcing it, you tell potential renters that you are a fair (but serious) landlord. In addition, enforcement helps renters understand there are consequences for not following the lease terms. However, if rule enforcement is something you'd rather keep at arm's length, a Lynnwood property management company can handle it for you!

Enforce the Lease Agreement With a Lynnwood Property Management Company

We hope we've made a good case that there are many reasons why rental property owners should enforce the terms of their lease agreement. A property manager can tell you that neglecting enforcement can lead to property damage and lost rental income. Plus, building good relationships with renters is easier when tenants understand the lease and see that you deliver your end of the deal throughout the lease term. 

The Joseph Group specializes in helping landlords with professional property management services, including lease creation and enforcement. The lease only works to protect your property if it's consistently enforced across the board! Contact The Joseph Group today if you need help enforcing your lease or want to learn more about our full-service property management.

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