Top 5 Challenges Tampa Rental Property Owners Face and How to Overcome Them

Owning a rental property in Tampa, Florida is a highly profitable investment, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. From finding the right tenant for your property, to dealing with unexpected damage, Tampa rental property owners must be educated and prepared for the obstacles that come with this investment venture. 

Following our guide to overcoming the top 5 challenges Tampa rental property owners face will ensure your rental property remains a valuable and successful asset.

1.) Finding Reliable Tenants

Without an established screening system, finding and retaining reliable tenants can be a challenge for rental property owners. The best way to accumulate wealth from your rental property is to have reliable tenants who pay rent on time and in full, and keep your property in good condition. One of the biggest mistakes a rental property owner can make is to fill a rental property with tenants who fail to meet a specific criteria. 

The first applicant, or even the first five, may not meet all of your criteria. Going through applicants and denying them can be frustrating, however, do not compromise your standards; it’s better to stick to the criteria even if it means waiting longer to fill your vacancy. Lowering your tenant standards and accepting an applicant with an unsteady financial situation, criminal record, or history of eviction is not worth the risk. This only puts you in a position for future conflict and possible delay of rental income.

tampa tenant screening

At The Listing Real Estate Management, we implement a strict tenant screening process to ensure only high quality tenants are placed in each property. Our tenant screening criteria does not waver and we do not make exceptions; all tenants must meet each requirement. This criteria includes:

  • Credit score greater than 550
  • No past evictions
  • Employment verification
  • Sufficient and verifiable income of 3x the rental rate
  • Previous landlord references
  • Background screening


Holding prospective tenants to these standards increases your chances of not only finding reliable tenants, but retaining them as well. When you find respectful and responsible tenants, having them renew the lease for another term is one of the most effective ways to maximize your income and financial returns.

2.) Dealing with Late Rent Payments

Facing the issue of late rent payments is a significant challenge for Tampa rental property owners. While screening and vetting all prospective tenants lowers the risk of having financially unstable tenants, there may be instances where tenants fall behind on rent or fail to pay at all. Unfortunately, sometimes, life happens and a tenant’s financial situation changes for the worse during the lease term— it is crucial to be prepared to deal with this obstacle should it occur. 

In Florida, rent is typically collected on the first of every month with a grace period of 1-3 days. If your tenant does not pay by the first, I highly recommend communicating with your tenant to see whether or not they plan on paying rent. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding and the issue can be fixed without further conflict or legal proceedings. Rent is considered “late” or failed once the grace period has passed. 

If your tenant still fails to pay rent, the next step to take is issuing a 3-day notice. A 3-day notice is a formal notice demanding the tenants to pay rent or vacate the premises within three days. If the tenant pays rent, they have the right to remain in the house. If they do not pay, the property owner has the right to continue with eviction proceedings. 

To avoid such conflicts, it is important to clearly outline payment terms, dates, and amounts in the lease agreement. Without written guidelines in the lease agreement, the terms are not enforceable when it comes to legal proceedings. In addition to a clearly stated lease agreement, it is essential to have an open line of communication with your tenants. Some rental property owners also choose to offer flexible payment options to suit their tenant’s needs. 

Taking steps like screening tenants, communicating effectively, and taking action when necessary can significantly decrease the chances of having to deal eviction proceedings and months of missed rental payments.

3.) Handling Property Damage or Repairs

Handling property damage can be another significant challenge for rental property owners, especially in coastal cities like Tampa that are prone to natural disasters and storms. Storm-related damage can include flooding, power outages, wind damage, and fallen tree damage. 

As a Tampa rental property owner, it is critical to have a smart and effective hurricane plan in place to help keep your home and tenants safe. With strong winds, surges, and flooding, any property not secured has a high chance of damage. It is essential to move any loose outdoor furniture — loose items can be picked up by the wind, displacing them or causing damage to your home or surrounding areas. In Florida, it is typical and suggested to board up windows and sliding glass doors before a hurricane. This minimizes the chances of shattered windows and prevents severe damage. 

florida hurricane preparedness

Click here for our complete hurricane guide containing valuable planning and preparation information for rental property owners and tenants. Property owners can use this as a resource to help keep your tenants and property safe before, during, and after a storm. 

In addition to storm damage, handling normal wear and tear and unexpected repairs is an essential responsibility of rental property owners. Even with responsible tenants who take care of your property, wear and tear and occasional maintenance issues are inevitable. It is essential to be prepared to take action when your property is in need of repair.

Maintenance and repairs can vary in cost and urgency, however, when a problem is uncovered it is essential that you take care of it promptly. Although maintenance issues like leaky faucets, HVAC issues, and repairing and replacing appliances can be quite costly, failing to address these problems can cause further property damage and tenant conflict.

Set up a Maintenance Reserve Account

With the possibility of having to handle maintenance issues, it is crucial for rental property owners to set up a maintenance reserve account. A maintenance reserve account is an account with funds dedicated to any maintenance expenses that may become necessary for your rental property. This account allows you to run your property efficiently and stress-free.

Rental property owners who do not set aside funds to prepare for maintenance may find themselves scrambling to gather money to cover the expenses. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to a potentially large expense like a new refrigerator or a roof repair.

There is no way to know for sure how many repairs will be needed or how much money will be spent on maintenance. At The Listing Real Estate Management, we tell property owners to expect to pay 1.5x the monthly rental amount on maintenance. This means that if your property’s rent is $1,500 a month, you should be prepared to spend $2,250 on rental property upkeep.

Following our guide to hurricane preparedness and setting up a maintenance reserve account will help tackle the challenges of property maintenance and allow your property to remain successful and prosperous.

4.) Tenant Turnover and Extended Vacancy Periods

One of the most dreaded challenges rental property owners face is tenant turnover and extended vacancy periods. Of course, it would be ideal to have your rental property filled 100% of the time, however, that is not always the case. Here are some strategies to minimize tenant turnover and extended vacancy periods:

Encourage Lease Renewals

If your current tenant has been reliable and a good fit for your property, one of the best ways to avoid tenant turnover and a vacancy period is to encourage lease renewals. To encourage lease renewals, consider offering incentives like small rent discounts or flexible lease terms. 

Some Tampa rental property owners fail to retain tenants by deciding to significantly increase the rent. Keeping reliable tenants is valuable—as an experienced property manager, I highly recommend being practical and fair with your rent increase.

Maintain a Good Relationship with Tenants

Maintaining a good relationship with your tenants throughout the lease term increases your chances of retaining tenants. Tenants appreciate and value effective communication and respect. Respecting your tenants privacy, following and implementing guidelines outlined in the lease agreement, addressing their needs, and promptly tending to maintenance issues all promote a positive and trusting relationship. Creating a positive and safe living environment encourages tenants to renew the lease instead of looking for a new place to call home.

Cater to Tenant Preferences 

Understanding and catering to the needs and preferences of tenants can make your property more attractive compared to competitors who are not doing so. In Tampa, Florida specifically, renters typically seek updated properties with modern amenities and appealing features such as:

  • Onsite laundry
  • Onsite parking
  • Wifi
  • Pool/ balcony/ backyard/ patio
  • Gym or community amenities
  • Updated appliances in kitchen and bathrooms
  • Neutral and cohesive paint colors


When searching for an investment property, consider purchasing an already updated property, or a fixer-upper if you’re looking to take on a project.

By implementing these strategies, you can significantly decrease tenant turnover and vacancy periods for your Tampa rental property.

5.) Should You Allow Pets in Your Tampa Rental Property?

As a Tampa property manager, I can tell you that a majority of rental property owners are apprehensive about allowing pets in their rental properties. Some see it as unnecessary, and others are worried about damage to the property, but did you know that Tampa has been ranked the second most pet friendly city in the United States? In addition, 72% of renters nationwide own a pet, making it highly likely that a number of your prospective Tampa tenants own a pet.  

Should i allow pets in my rental property

At The Listing Real Estate Management, our property owners ask us all the time, “Should I allow pets in my rental property?” and our answer is always yes. The pros of allowing pets in your rental property significantly outweigh the cons. The benefits of allowing pets in your rental property include:

  • A larger tenant prospect pool 
  • Increased tenant retention and satisfaction 
  • Charging a monthly “pet rent” and higher rental prices
  • Quality tenants who expect to pay more for pet-friendly rentals 

When allowing pets in your rental property, it is essential to clearly outline the terms of pet damage in your lease agreement. To cover significant damage, rental property owners will typically keep the security deposit instead of returning it at the end of the lease term. In addition, charging a monthly “pet rent” can help mitigate the conflict or financial strain of having to tackle any pet damage. 

How to Avoid Common Challenges of Owning a Rental Property 

Hiring a property manager is an excellent way to avoid the common challenges of owning a rental property. At The Listing Real Estate Management, we can provide valuable insight to help your rental property flourish. We will find reliable and responsible tenants, help you make the necessary upgrades and repairs to your property, market your property effectively, and guide you through legal proceedings if necessary. Through our services, we can help you provide your tenants with the best possible experience.

The Listing Real Estate Management offers the best property management in Tampa, Florida. Our team works hard to offer the best service through a personal, proactive, and dynamic approach to property management. When you work with us, your property management journey is stress-free. We handle all of the challenging aspects of owning a rental property for you. 

If you’re struggling to manage your Tampa rental property or looking for some extra support, contact us at The Listing Real Estate Management, your trusted Tampa property management company, to take the next step in maximizing your profits and turning your rental property into a unique and life-changing investment!


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The Listing Real Estate Management

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