One of the more important concerns of property management companies and rental property owners is tenant damage. While a rigorous screening process can help to reduce the possibility of your property getting damaged by a bad tenant, it’s not 100% guaranteed that it won’t happen at some point in time. However, there are certain precautions that you can take that will help you avoid a potentially disastrous situation. The following will help protect your property from tenant damage.
Condition of the property – Make sure the property is in as pristine a condition as possible before the new tenant moves in. A good tenant will be more inclined to respect your property and care for it properly if it’s in good condition when they move in. If it looks rundown or needs several repairs, the tenant will assume that you don’t care that much about the property and just continue letting things go.
Conduct regularly scheduled inspections – As a landlord, you should be conducting periodic inspections of your property. After all, this is one of the responsibilities of all property management companies. This will help you or the property manager to see whether any damage has been done to the property and whether or not there are any problems that need to be addressed. Most property management companies conduct inspections annually or bi-annually.
Establish guidelines for security deposits – It’s imperative that you establish clear and concise guidelines. The tenant needs to understand that they could be penalized part or all of their security deposit if they cause any damage to or don’t take care of the property. As with the other issues mentioned here, the best way to ensure there are not problems is to find the best tenants to lease or rent to. There are plenty but you just need to adhere to the background checks.
Pet policies – As the property owner, you have the right to allow pets or prohibit them. But if you do allow tenants to have them, make sure you have a clear pet policy in place. If a tenant allows their pets to damage a rental property, it’s usually because the landlord did not make it clear to them that there would be penalties for this. You need to explain your pet policy to tenants as thoroughly as possible and give them a chance to ask any questions if they are unclear about any part of it.
Rigorous tenant screening — Finding the right tenant starts with the screening process and the more rigorous it is, the better the chance of renting to someone who will respect and care for your property. Property management companies thoroughly check rental histories and so should you. Ask plenty of questions when discussing a prospective tenant’s rental history with their prior landlords. Remember, the goal is to lease or rent your property to better quality tenants. It is best to do more screening than worry about evictions later on.