If you haven’t owned rental property for very long or are just now exploring the possibility, you’ll soon find out there are a few more things being a landlord that you were unprepared for. Especially if you’re one of the “accidental” landlords who recently inherited a property or were finally talked into be a good landlordbuying a duplex by your real estate agent buddy.

But before you get too far in the landlord business, here are a few things that will make your landlord life a mess.

Being Too Nice  This doesn’t mean being a flat-out meanie. But it does mean to treat your real estate business as it is—a business. Set your rules upfront and make sure your tenants understand them completely. If there’s a late fee of $50 if rent isn’t paid by the 10th of the month, when it’s the 11th, charge the late fee. It’s all business, nothing more and nothing less.

Using Stale Lease Applications  Where did you get the lease agreement you use? From an office supply store? Did you tear along the perforations then filled in the blanks? That’s dangerous. While you can certainly start out with a template, make sure your agreement has been reviewed by an experience real estate agent or better yet a real estate attorney. If push ever comes to shove, whatever is in, or not in, the lease agreement rules. Make sure it’s enforceable and up-to-date.

Not Investigating  Did that cute couple who met you at your rental seem really, really nice? Sure they did. They were smiling, had manners and dressed well. They were so nice that when they asked you if you could reduce your deposit or even waive it altogether you couldn’t say “no.” And when they told you how much they make each month and where they worked, you took them at their word. After all, they were so nice! Document and validate income, rental history and credit. Forget the nice stuff.

Ignore Maintenance Requests  A minor leak in the bathroom faucet really doesn’t constitute an emergency does it? Then you can ignore it and get over to the unit the next time you’re in the neighborhood. Not only do repeatedly ignoring tenant requests likely mean tenants that will soon look elsewhere to rent, you could be damaging your property. That leak might be damaging areas unseen to the naked eye and can add up to costly repairs down the line.