Landlords face many challenges in 2020 in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. New laws are emerging that could affect how landlords collect rent and deal with restrictions related to cash payments. Reviewing seven things landlords should know in 2020 keeps them better prepared when renting their properties.
- Obtain Landlord Insurance and Income Replacement Coverage
Landlord insurance provides protection for the property itself, structures connected to the property, and any equipment used to maintain the property. In addition to property protection, the landlord insurance offers protection against liabilities. It protects the property owner if the tenant falls or becomes injured in or around the property because of any hazard that is the property owner’s fault. This includes payments for medical treatment and assistance with other related expenses.
The coverage helps with damage caused by burglaries and vandalism. Property owners can get protection to cover the property while it is under construction or must be repaired and brought back up to code after damage happens. The policies do not provide any protection for the tenant’s personal belongings or cover damage caused by the tenant’s pets.
The income replacement coverage offers financial assistance when the property owner cannot earn money due to state or federal restrictions. For example, if the government prevents landlords from collecting rent because of a global pandemic, the landlord can use their income replacement insurance to acquire funds to replace the income they have lost. Rental property owners who want to learn more about landlord insurance can contact Roger Butler Insurance for more information about the policies.
- Enforce Renter’s Insurance in All Leases
Enforcing renter’s insurance in a lease helps the property owner avoid losses due to damaged caused by a tenant. Renter’s insurance covers any damage the tenant or their pets cause inside or outside the property. If renter’s insurance requirements are in the lease, the landlord could evict the tenant if they fail to maintain coverage.
- Screening Tenants More Proactively
Screening tenants more proactively prevents the property owner from giving a lease to a tenant that presents risks. The applicants submit to a criminal background check and credit assessment. Evaluating the findings determines the tenant presents any risk to the property owner or anyone else living on the same property. The landlord cannot discriminate against an applicant due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender.
- Accepting Electronic Checks
Accepting electronic checks makes paying rent easier for tenants and property owners. The funds are transferred to the landlord’s account directly.
- Lawmakers are Restricting Access to Security Deposits Upfront
Lawmakers are restricting access to full security deposit payments upfront. This means that some landlords must break down the security deposit over a period of six months to collect it.
- Reporting On-Time Rental Payments Help Tenants
Reporting on-time rental payments helps the tenants and improves their credit score. Landlords can also use this option to report overdue payments and get more out of their collection efforts.
- Require Tenants to Apply In Person
Requiring tenants to apply in person helps the landlord ensure that application fraud hasn’t occurred. Online applications aren’t verified in the same way as in-person processes.
Landlords must evaluate all laws and regulations that apply to rental properties since the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes affect the eviction process and could restrict how a landlord can evict a tenant who is behind on their rental payments. Reviewing changes in the laws that apply to rental properties helps landlords prepare for the future.