Updated: Apr 25
As much as you want to leave your rental properties pristine, tenant damages are to be expected. Some damages can be caused by tenant negligence such as torn curtains, untrimmed lawn grass, and broken appliances. Others can just be the result of normal wear and tear such as small scuff marks on furniture.
As a landlord, you want to protect your investment and uphold its value. So, here are some tips to help you diminish the likelihood of tenant damage to your rental property.
Before a tenant takes possession, make sure the property is in top condition. You’re teaching by example — showing the tenant what the property is supposed to look like when it’s well cared for. If the property is suffering from nagging little problems, the tenant is going to be more lax when in comes to cleaning and maintaining it. Don’t set the bar so low.
1. Screen Your Tenants
Someone who is likely to damage a rental property has likely done so in the past. So, will want to do your due diligence and call previous landlords as well as run criminal background checks.
It is also a good idea to examine a prospect’s credit score to get a good idea of how they handle money. Also, check for evictions and violations in the past. You’ll want to protect your rental investment by evicting any potential troublemakers.
2. Collect a Reasonable Security Deposit
Asking for a security deposit is an easy way to encourage tenants to take care of your rental property! These deposits are a great incentive because tenants will want to receive a total reimbursement of their security deposit when their lease ends.
A security deposit will also cover any losses or damages caused by a tenant's negligence or mistreatment of your property. Requesting a large security deposit is useful, but keep in mind that each state's Landlord-Tenant regulations have limitations.
3. Make a Strong Lease Agreement
Drafting a leasing agreement can help you keep your rental in good shape! To reduce property damage, create specified conditions and clauses. Creating a detailed and solid lease agreement can help to clarify your expectations of a tenant. For example, a tenant who understands that it is their responsibility to clean their pool or mow the lawn can keep the rental property in reasonable condition.
If you want a secure and profitable rental space, you should create policies regarding smoking and the growing of plants inside the rental. It’s also crucial to emphasize the significance of reporting even minor damages. You will want any problems solved quickly so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on repairs.
All of these measures will help ensure that both you and your tenants are on the same page regarding unit upkeep!
4.Respond Quickly to Repair Requests
Tenants who promptly report property problems will help lower your long-term costs by addressing maintenance issues before they become a major problem. Besides complying with state laws requiring you to provide a habitable rental space, proactive property upkeep improves your relationship with your tenants and keeps your property in good shape!
5. Implement regular property inspections.
Although adding more responsibilities to maintaining your rental property sounds tedious, conducting periodic property inspections allows you to be aware of the damages first-hand. Prevention is better than cure!
In this case, checking the property for signs of damage will help you save a ton of money.
It would even be good practice to have a property inspection list. This way, you can just check off everything and avoid forgetting essential items. One of the basic things you want to make sure of is the safety and cleanliness of your unit. You can assess the smoke detectors, air filters and the roof for damages. You can also inspect for any water damage or for signs of pest infestation.
When red flags are raised, you should immediately resolve the problem. Otherwise, you'll be dealing with widespread and more expensive dilemmas in the future.
6. Maintain Open Communication
Be open, friendly, and flexible as establishing a good professional relationship with your tenants is critical in the rental business.
You should establish a solid landlord-tenant relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Few renters will approach you with maintenance requests if you’re an intimidating landlord. This may prevent you from repairing minor property issues, leading to greater problems such as tenant complaints.
7. Pick Durable Finishes
It’s best to take a long-term approach when buying appliances or purchasing finishes, such as solid kitchen countertops for your rental. This entails buying appliances with a longer lifespan and a more extended product expiration date.
It is also best to choose solid flooring, countertops, and furniture that can withstand the inevitable wear and tear and minimize property damage.
Even though buying cheaper options may appear to be a good way to save money, it can be costly in the long run. The cost of getting new or repairing items in your rental can quickly add up or cause issues in your tenant relationships. So, it’s always best to use quality appliances.
It takes significant effort to prevent tenant damage. It necessitates devoting time to cultivating a positive relationship with your tenants. To keep tenant damages at bay, you must also be assertive and follow consistent management procedures.
It’s reassuring to believe that your tenants will do their best to minimize property damage out of a sense of obligation. But accidents do happen. So, one sure way to protect your investment is to hire a property management company like Overland Management.
We provide exceptional property management services. Contact us today and let us manage your rental property.