RENT Magazine Q1 '23

TIP NO. 6: Consult With Local Counsel Before you make any changes to your lease agreement, be sure to consult with a local landlord-tenant attorney. Each state has its own landlord-tenant laws, so do not make any assumptions. And be sure to have a landlord-tenant attorney draft any additional clauses or addenda you plan to use. Do NOT attempt to draft your own leases or addenda. There is an old saying that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This essentially means that it is far less expensive to be cautious and careful at the outset and pay for professional help and guidance. Believe me, I have seen many lengthy and expensive lawsuits that result from those who were winging it without legal guidance just to save a buck. Don’t let that be you. Show them how to properly use the appliances or any other devices in the home. Explain your procedures for quarterly inspections. Review your building rules and regulations. These conversations are powerful and have the ability to transform how you interact with your tenant over the long term. TIP NO. 5: Manage Expectations When you meet with the tenant to sign the lease agreement, this is a great time for you to set appropriate boundaries and manage expectations. This is your opportunity to explain all the important terms of the lease agreement and to demonstrate the importance YOU place on maintaining the property well. Their experiences with prior landlords may have been very different and you cannot expect the tenant to understand your way of doing business unless you explain it to them. Emphasize the importance of maintaining the coverage on their renter’s insurance policy. Empower them to be your eyes and ears about potential issues.


LESLIE A. MARGOLIES Attorney and Founder The Real Estate Law Group Landlord College Follow her on Instagram: @ProfessorLandlord

The Real Estate Law Group was founded by Attorney Leslie A. Margolies and is dedicated exclusively to the practice of real estate law and landlord-tenant law in the Philadelphia and surrounding counties of Pennsylvania. Ms. Margolies is also Founder of Landlord College. In her online classroom, she teaches students how to look at their business through a risk management lens and provides them with a systematic approach to protect their interests and optimize bottom line profits. She is also a licensed realtor and has been a successful landlord herself since her graduation from law school over 35 years ago.


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