As a property owner, you want to protect your investment and keep it damage-free. That said, property damages caused by negligent tenants are a common scenario.
Floor scratches and marks, broken furniture, gaping holes in the walls and chipped wood are all common examples of damages you may experience in your rental property. As a result, you will have to spend a lot of money to get everything repaired.
In this article, Pinnacle Property Management will provide you with solid ways to prevent tenant damages.
1. Be Cautious when Screening Tenants
Before accepting a tenant to fill your units, check with previous landlord for references.
Here are some of the questions you can consider asking:
- Has the tenant damaged the preview property?
- How was the condition of the previous rental unit when the tenant left?
- Did the tenant get back the full refund of his security deposit? If not, why?
- Does the tenant perform his property maintenance duties?
In asking these types of questions, you’ll be able to better determine whether your prospective tenants will cause damage to your units.
Never let the immediate gratification of earning income right away lead you to skip necessary tenant background checking. Otherwise, you might suffer from the resulting stress of dealing with major damages to your property.
2. Create a Clear Leasing Agreement
If you outline the tenant’s duties and responsibilities in the lease agreement, they will be more accountable and more likely to follow the policies.
Be clear and inform your tenants about your expectations in terms of the property’s maintenance. Outline what you permit, and what you discourage.
Also, tell your tenants to report any property issues so that maintenance and repairs can be conducted right away.
Make sure your tenants understand the repercussions if violations occur.
3. Have Thorough and Regular Inspections
Before a tenant moves in, it’s best to document the property’s condition through photographs and videos. This is helpful to assess the extent of damages when a tenant moves out.
In addition to the move in and move out inspections, you should also consistently monitor the property condition. In doing so, you will be able to notice any small damages and prevent them from getting bigger.
Here are some areas that you should be regularly inspecting:
4. Collect a High Security Deposit
A security deposit can act as a great incentive to help your property stay damage-free.
By setting your security deposit too low, you’ll risk a tenant not caring about getting it back. Thus, it’ll be more likely that the renter is negligent in the property.
However, if you set it high, a tenant will want to get his money back in full. This means that he will perform his responsibilities by reporting damages and taking care of the property.
5. Implement a Long-Term Maintenance Plan
It’s best to design a strict schedule when it comes to maintenance and repair of your property. Not all tenants will report minor damages, and this will result in major damages long-term.
Outline your inspection schedules. Consider various types of inspections including seasonal and annual inspections and drive by ones. Be consistent and exercise the same for all units, even if you have long-term tenants.
Preserving the value of your rental property needs consistent effort and evaluation. If you catch damages early, you’ll be able to improve the condition of your unit and lessen future maintenance expenses.
6. Be Conscious of the Presentation of your Home
As early as the tenant moves in, it’s advisable to set a good standard. Your rental unit must be neat, orderly and all things must function well. This will demonstrate your expectations for the unit’s presentation.
If you don’t present a clean and organized rental space, it sends a negative message to the tenants. It will make them feel that they don’t need to exert effort in keeping the rental unit well maintained. Therefore, it’s a good strategy to hire professional cleaners at least once a year for deep cleaning.
Keeping the property clean is also important when photographing the space for property listings for new, potential tenants, which is covered here.
7. Cultivate a Good Relationship with your Tenants
Act professionally and establish a solid relationship with your tenants. You’ll find it much easier for them to adhere to the leasing conditions and house policies when they respect you.
Also, if they are comfortable with you, they’ll bring maintenance issues to your attention in a timely manner. Keeping your tenants happy is one of the crucial parts of preventing tenant damages.
As an overview, here are the main ways to prevent tenant damages:
- Screen prospective tenants thoroughly.
- Implement a clear lease agreement.
- Regularly inspect the unit.
- Collect a high security deposit.
- Schedule regular maintenance visits.
- Set a good example.
- Build a strong landlord-tenant relationship.
With these tips, your property will remain in good condition!