Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages

Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages

September 25, 2020, 8:10 pm blog-header-image

When you're a landlord, your main objective is keeping your investment property's value growing as time passes. This leads to an increase in demand if your property retains its attractiveness.

If you ever decide to sell your property in the future, you'll be able to fetch a higher price since it's been well-maintained. This is why it's essential to protect your property from costly tenant damages. You might feel that it's out of your control, however, there are a variety of ways to reduce tenant damages from occurring in your rental unit.

1. To create accountability, set a high security deposit and establish a clear leasing agreement.

As an incentive to taking care of your property, a high security deposit works well. Tenants, as much as possible, seek to obtain the full refund of their security deposit. This means they'll strive to report maintenance requests, follow the leasing conditions and perform their tenant obligations in property upkeep.

Clarity must accompany your leasing contract, so a tenant knows what is expected of him in terms of maintaining his rental space. All possible questions must be answered to avoid confusion.

  • What are his responsibilities?
  • What types of repairs does he shoulder?
  • What's the difference between minor and major property damages?
  • What will the landlord cover if the tenant caused the damage?
  • How do you define property negligence?

Before a tenant moves in, it's best to document the state of your property through photos and videos. This way, it's clear to pinpoint future damages and prevent blaming one another. When the leasing conditions are clear, there can also be a lesser conflict between the parties.

2. Create and develop a genuine and respectful relationship with your tenants.

You can be friendly and still retain professionalism with your tenants. You're not required to hang out and be the best of friends. You can strive to build a healthy relationship to make interactions running smoothly.

Create opportunities for open communication so you can be told of any specific property issues a tenant is experiencing. You can then apply the proper solutions.

A tenant will also perform his renter duties more casually if he respects you. You don't have to keep reminding him of his responsibilities nor do you have to force him to perform them.

Another advantage is you'll always know what to improve on and what the tenant's needs are. He'll also avoid hiding damages. You can then repair those damaged items or facilities.

3. Prioritize proper tenant screening.

Sometimes a landlord can get too excited when he finds a tenant after weeks or months of vacancy. He can commit the mistake of carrying out the tenant screening halfheartedly or not at all. This must be avoided at all costs, as it's crucial to check the suitability of an applicant by conducting due background diligence.

Here are some things you can find out from his former landlord:

  • Is a tenant prone to violent behavior resulting in property damage?
  • Is he responsible for carrying out his tenant property maintenance obligations?
  • Was an eviction suit filed against him for damaging property?
  • Did he receive a full refund of his security deposit?

Reducing these risks on your property by selecting the right tenant will solve half of your worries. Conducting property maintenance on your own is challenging enough; you need every supporting hand available to maintain the condition of your rental space and build its value over the years.

4. Schedule professional cleaning and regular property inspections.

When a tenant moves in, he'll take in the state of your property. He'll do his inspections and from there, decide the expectations of the landlord basing on the condition of the property. Some common questions that may run through his head are:

  • Is it clean?
  • Are there pests and mold presence?
  • Are the appliances fully functioning?
  • Is there a good waste disposal system?
  • How is the landscaping?

As a landlord, you should present a unit that's not only clean but also contains appliances in topnotch conditions. This way, a tenant will strive to constantly meet that standard. He will want to have minor damages repaired right away and be particular when it comes to cleaning, knowing the original state of the rental space.

Make it a point to spend on professional cleaning services. They can detect if there are pest infestations and mold problems in your unit. If needed, you can then hire a pest control company to address the issue.

Aside from this, regular inspections must be performed consistently. This informs the tenant that you're serious when it comes to property maintenance. This is also the best way to detect minor damages and have them repaired right away.

5. Provide the tenant with a maintenance checklist.

To aid the tenant in keeping the property free from damages, you can hand him a maintenance checklist as a reference. You can include points, such as proper waste disposal, mowing the lawn, reporting maintenance requests and replacing light bulbs.

All of this depends on your leasing agreement. To what extent is the tenant responsible for property upkeep? This must be clear to prevent any conflicts.

A checklist is a great way of keeping the tenant accountable. It's also a convenient way for him to measure his performance in dispensing his tenant maintenance duties.

Bottom Line

Tenants can cause damages whether consciously or unconsciously. The important thing is to minimize the gravity of the property damage and encourage them to report it right away so a repair can be swiftly accomplished. A landlord can motivate the tenants to do so by creating open communication.

Remain professional and thank the tenant for bringing the matter to your attention. Remember that a problem is easier to address when it's known rather than hidden.

By following these tips, it will be easier for you to prevent major tenant damages. You'll save yourself from high expenses by keeping your rental unit in superb condition.

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