Personally Vet Your Tenants The number 1, most common mistake by any property manager, of any type is to not have you(the owner) or someone you know is a good judge of character, personally meet every tenant. The fact that they have no evictions, no broken leases, good credit, and no criminal background to speak of does NOT make them an ideal tenant. These are personal relationships that can last for years. You do not want to get into a contractually binding relationship with someone you do not know. Nothing worse than agreeing to let someone stay and then find out that both of you hate each other. Get it in writing! Make sure that you communicate with your tenants in writing. Do not concentrate on oral communications, because they are often lied about or misrepresented. If a tenant contacts you with an issue, tell them to send it to you in writing. If a tenant comes into the office with an issue, either record it with your phone or send them on their way, stating that them being there does not create a legal duty to do anything, such as fix an issue. Watch what you say! This may sound obvious, but I commonly find that people make the mistake of not being cautious with what they say or promise. Understand, that in Texas, people can record your conversations, not tell you, and they are admissible. In addition, some tenants will keep cameras in their apartment. So, make sure anyone whom goes in there watches what they say or do. I know this can be difficult, but the key thing to remember is to NOT EVER promise ANYTHING you are not legally required to do, under the contract. When you promise people different things, This is what can cause massive amounts of communication breakdown, complaints, and overall problems. Keep it simple, work with your tenants to keep a healthy relationship, but do not go beyond what you are required, under the contract, unless expressly authorized by the property owner. No Hand Delivery for NTV Do not hand deliver your notices to vacate. Tenants will often say they never received it. Especially "professionals" whose entire existence is bouncing from one landlord to another, by manipulating them. Most tenants are good people, and as long as you feel they are right for your community, the odds of problems diminish, a lot. However, you can never trust anyone, when it comes to a notice to vacate. Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code states that you can send them certified mail return receipt requested. This is how you should do every single notice to vacate. EVERY TIME. You can track it, prove it to the court, and no one needs to testify about whether or not they actually delivered it to the tenant. No more "he said, she said." Keep Your NTV simple The code does not require you to put any reason for you demanding possession of the property. If they have breached their lease, simply say they breached it, and then send it to them. If you add additional stuff and it is wrong, the tenant can turn around and claim wrongful debt collection under 392 of the Texas Property Code. It is simply safer and more prudent to avoid putting anything other than breach of contract and a demand for possession within whatever time period was contracted for.