Rental properties are investments that required your long-term savings and hard-earned cash. Naturally, you want to protect them. You also want to keep improving and maintaining your unit for market appreciation. If you ever decide to sell your property in the future, it will be worth more if it’s attractive and in excellent condition.
That’s why, at Own it Detroit, we believe that understanding how to prevent tenant damages to your property is very important.
Here are the best tips to do just that.
Communicating with your tenant is a very effective way of preventing damage to your property.
When a tenant first arrives in your rental unit, conduct a tenant orientation. Show the tenant how to properly use, store and preserve items and appliances found in your property. You can also show the tenant how to shut off utilities like gas and water. This will also help prevent injuries. Finally, give the tenant your contact information. This will be useful if the tenant ever needs your assistance.
Provide the tenant with a maintenance checklist to reinforce his responsibilities in upkeeping the property. Stress the importance of practicing accountability. Emphasize the importance of notifying you about urgent repairs so damages can be addressed immediately.
Have an excellent relationship with your tenant
Building a good relationship with your tenant from the beginning is important. If you are an approachable and understanding property owner, your tenant will feel comfortable reporting any maintenance issues to you. Ensure your tenant knows that if there is any damage, no matter how minor, he should tell you. This will prevent small problems from escalating to major ones. Overall, be open in communicating with your tenant.
Proper maintenance will always be the key to fewer property damages.
It’s a good idea to have routine inspections. Walk-through inspections outside and inside the property will allow you to notice any areas that need extra attention. Make sure to assess common problem areas such as roofs, walls and flooring. Also, consider checking for water leaks in hoses, toilets and faucets. In doing so, some minor damages can be caught early.
Long-term maintenance plan
Seasonal inspections, routine inspections and drive-by inspections are great practices. It prevents carelessness and provides a consistent schedule for property upkeep. Always adhere to a schedule and abide by it. Even if your tenant is a long-term resident, always be vigilant and avoid skipping inspections.
Pay attention during move-ins and move outs
Oftentimes, damage occurs when heavy furniture is moved. Moving furniture can cause scratches on the countertops or scuffs on the floor. To mitigate risk of damages, consider placing cushions around the moving area.
Annual professional cleaning
There’s nothing more beneficial to your property than thorough professional cleaning. The cleaning standards will be topnotch and it will preserve the condition of your rental unit. Professionally cleaning your property is beneficial for may reasons. Here are a few:
- Regular carpet cleaning, appliance dusting and sanitizing will help clear the air.
- Professional cleaning will save your furnishings from natural wear and tear.
- It will help prevent infestations.
- It will remind your tenants to consistently do their part in keeping the rental unit clean.
Sometimes tenants fail to report minor damages. As a property owner, be proactive in communicating with your tenants. You can send a message, email or contact them on the phone. This will help prevent huge expenses. And remember, always be courteous when speaking with your tenant. Exercise tact and understanding to maintain an open communication.
3. Tenant Screening
Tenant screening is a very important step that should not be overlooked. It can help you determine if your applicant is likely to damage your property.
Evaluate Tenant History
As a property owner, one of your chief tasks is to carefully review the background of your prospective tenant. Ensure that your tenant is not a violent or negligent person. You don’t want to end up with holes in your wall or stained carpets and furniture.
You want to find a tenant that will take care of your property, not drive it to destruction.
4. High Security Deposit
Another way to prevent tenant damages is to charge the tenant a high security deposit. By doing so, the tenant will care for your property because they will want to receive the refund in full. By charging a high security deposit, you will be less likely to have careless tenants. This means that your property will be maintained in a good condition. Just make sure you follow the security deposit laws!
Even if you like to believe that high quality tenants will be careful all the time, you must not expect too much. By practicing these steps, you will help prevent damages in your rental unit. Proactive management on your part will aid in the maintenance of your property. It will retain the attractiveness and increase the market value of your rental home.