Property managers and landlords can use fees as both a carrot and stick approach to tenant behavior. Importantly, however, is that whatever fees you decide to implement at your rental property, be sure they are clearly explained in your lease agreement. No one likes surprises when it comes to fees.

Here in Ohio, there is a fair amount of freedom in how you construct your leases and what types of fees you can charge residents per that lease. But just because you can include them, does that mean you should? Here are two instances when applying fees can be a useful practice.

The Carrot and The Stick

Fees are generally used to 1) punish a tenant for doing something they are not supposed to do (like repeatedly playing loud music, not picking up after their pets, or failing to pay their rent on time) and 2) reward positive behavior. No nuisance? No problems? No fees!

Dissuading certain types of behavior is a common reason landlords include fees in their lease agreements. Having to deal with disturbances or other problematic behavior is time-consuming and can also be damaging to the property. The fees are one way to discourage and punish the negative behavior as well as help recover some of the repair and management costs associated with addressing the situation.

Additionally, fees are also often included to compensate the landlord or property manager for activities that go above and beyond their normal duties.

Whatever fees you decide to apply to your lease agreements, be sure you apply a cohesive approach and make sure you’re consistent with how you enforce them.

For questions about what to include in your lease agreements, get in touch with our team at RL Property Management. We’ve been managing property professionally in the greater Columbus area for nearly a decade and are here to help you.