Having a rental property business comes with many risks. One significant source of trouble arises from a tenant’s problematic behavior. Some tenants are responsible and will take care of your property without causing damage. But other tenants may not be that cautious because they know they don’t own the property.
Damage caused by tenants is often unintentional. It’s usually caused by the tenant’s negligent or careless behavior. For example, your tenant may not have the urgency to fix or report minor damages.
Because you weren’t there to fix it quickly, it worsens and will be costlier to repair. Even if your lease agreement has clear clauses on tenant damages, tenants may still unintentionally damage your property.
Taking care of heavy wear on the property can be costly. Costs are especially high when there’s high tenant turnover. Some repairs may not cost much, but when added up, they become a considerable financial burden.
Landlords need to take concrete steps to protect their property from tenant damage. In this article, we’ll share essential tips to prevent tenant damages.
1. Require a Reasonable Security Deposit
Requiring a security deposit from your tenants will give you a financial guarantee on damage and missing items. When the property experiences tenant damages, you can deduct the cost from the security deposit. Tenants will be motivated to take care of your property if they’re aware of this rule. Set a larger security deposit so that your tenants will take better care of the property.
2. Build a Good Relationship With Your Tenant
Having a harmonious relationship with your tenant is essential to having a successful rental business. It will also help you have long-term tenants. As a landlord, you need to communicate well with your tenants and assure them that you’re ready to address any issues.
If you have a healthy relationship with tenants, they will be more respectful to you and your property. Your tenant will take care of your rental property out of respect for you, not out of obligation.
3. Set a Standard for Cleanliness
Landlords should set a standard for the property’s cleanliness, which the tenant will see and follow. Upon their first visit, you must show a clean and well-maintained property. If tenants see that there’s no property upkeep being done, the tenant will think that you’re negligent in your landlord duties.
4. Have a Detailed Lease Agreement
The lease agreement should include how you expect your property to be left once your tenant moves out. You can even attach pictures of the property from when you turned it over to the tenant.
Make the lease agreement as detailed as possible. It should require your tenants to report property damages, even minor ones, as soon as possible. It should also include a clause that will control high-risk tenant actions, like smoking or using candles.
You can always refer to the agreement when you encounter disputes with your tenant. Because lease agreements are legally binding, tenants must fix and clean the property before they move-out.
5. Screen All Potential Tenants
It’s not easy to find a responsible tenant who will take care of your property. Screening potential tenants is a time-consuming but crucial task to protect your property from damage. Take your time when screening potential tenants. Develop a screening criteria list and stick to it.
Include the following in your tenant screenings:
- Run a credit check
- Make time to interview the tenant
- Do a thorough background check
- Verify their employment status
- Check if the tenant has any criminal history
- Contact former employers and landlords
6. Do Regular Property Inspections
Conducting regular inspections will protect your property from any preventable damage caused by age, weather or tenant issues. No matter how much you encourage your tenant to maintain your property, physical inspections are still necessary.
You should always be aware of the current state of the properties you manage. It’s not enough to take your tenant’s word for it and not visit the property. Some negligent tenants might not report damages that you need to fix immediately.
For example, a tenant may forget to communicate a small leak to you. Because you weren’t able to fix the leak immediately and it worsened, it resulted in expensive renovation fees.
7. Provide Your Tenant with an Upkeep Checklist
Most of the time, landlords are responsible for heavy-weight property repairs and maintenance. However, there are some specific upkeep tasks, like changing HVAC air filters, that are the tenant’s responsibility.
It’s possible to extend a property’s lifetime when the tenant follows simple principles. Provide your tenants with a checklist of basic maintenance tasks. The list should include items that are easy to complete and can protect the property from damages.
If you implement this, your tenants will realize the importance of taking care of the property. They will also see how simple upkeep tasks prevent long-term damages to the property.
8. Install a Digital Moisture Sensor
Having small leaks will affect your property’s humidity levels. Digital moisture sensors can help you detect sudden spikes of indoor moisture and alert you when a leak has occurred.
Regular inspections by the landlord help prevent water damage from occurring. But the digital sensor help reduce the margin of human error. Thus, having a digital moisture sensor will significantly reduce the risks of property damage.
9. Conduct Annual Property Cleaning
Consider hiring a professional cleaning service or carpet-service cleaner for your property. It may be costly to hire one, but infestations or damaged flooring caused by poor hygiene are more so.
Having your property cleaned professionally will encourage your tenants to have higher standards of cleanliness. Hiring a carpet-service cleaner will save your flooring from further wear and tear. If you’re worried about the costs of these services, you can ask your tenants if they’d be willing to split the fee.
As a landlord, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your property from tenant damage. Following the tips above will help you lessen the risks of property damage. It will also save you more money in the long run.
Looking for a professional property management team to support and aid in your rental business? Contact TrustHome Properties today by calling (407) 204 0839 or visiting our website.