Wytheville Redevelopment & Housing Authority
The Landlord Gazette
Ten Tips for Being A Successful Landlord
1. Don’t rent to anyone before checking his or her references and background. Haphazard screening
and tenant selection too often results in problems -- a tenant who pays the rent late or not at all,
trashes your property or moves in undesirable friends -- or worse.
2. Get all the important terms of the tenancy in writing, beginning with a rental application and lease
agreement. Be sure to document important facts of your relationship with your tenants, including when
and how you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice you must give to enter a tenant’s
3. Establish a clear, fair system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits. Inspect
and document the condition of the rental unit before the tenant moves in to avoid disputes over
security deposits when the tenant moves out. A camera or camcorder is a great investment to ensure
4. Stay on top of repair and maintenance needs and make repairs when requested. If the property is not
kept in good repair, you’ll alienate good tenants. In some situations, a tenant may have the right to
withhold rent, repair the problem and deduct the cost from the rent, sue for any injuries caused by
defective conditions, or move out without needing to give notice.
5. Don’t let your tenants and property be easy marks for a criminal. Assess your property’s security and
take reasonable steps to protect it. Often the best measures, such as proper lights and trimmed
landscaping are not that expensive.
6. Respect your tenant’s privacy. Notify tenants whenever you plan to enter their rental unit, and provide
as much notice as possible, at least 24 hours or the minimum required by law.
7. Disclose environmental hazards such as lead and mold. Landlords are increasingly being held liable
for tenant health problems resulting from exposure to environmental toxins in the rental premises.
8. Choose and supervise your manager carefully. If a manger commits a crime or is incompetent, you
may be held financially responsible. Do a thorough background check and clearly spell out the
manager’s duties to help prevent problems in the future.
9. Purchase enough liability and other property insurance. A well-designed insurance program can
protect your rental property from losses caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary,
vandalism, and personal injury and discrimination lawsuits.
10. Try to resolve disputes with tenants without lawyers and lawsuits. If you have a conflict with a tenant
over rent, repairs, your access to the rental unit, noise or some other issue that does not immediately
warrant an eviction, meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If that
doesn't work, consider mediation by a neutral third party. If your dispute involves money, and all
attempts to reach an agreement fail, try small claims court. It can be used to collect unpaid rent or to
seek money for property damage after a tenant moves out and the deposit is exhausted.
and Housing Authority
170 Hedgefield Lane
Wytheville, VA 24382
If you have properties in Wythe County that are available for
rent, please contact our office with a brief description of the
property(s), and we will advertise for you. Your description
should include the location, type of unit, number of
bedrooms/baths, rent requested, and utilities included.
Also, if you know of other landlords that are not familiar with
Wytheville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s excellent
Housing Choice Voucher Program, please give them a
“heads-up” of how to be a part of the guaranteed money.