Damage to rental property by tenants is a very common phenomenon. It is not always done by someone trying to take revenge on the landlord but also by ignorant and mischievous tenants. No matter why a tenant causes harm to the property of his landlord, it can result in loss of money, time and effort. Here are some tips to make sure tenants do not cause damage to your property.
Rigorous tenant screening
Tenant screening is a potent tool in the hands of a landlord to allow entry only to good quality tenants. You can judge how responsible an applicant is by taking a close look at his track record in employment, payment history, and conduct during his previous tenancies.
Charge a high security deposit
By asking a high security deposit that is refundable only when the tenant hands over the property in a good condition when leaving, you can make sure that your tenant behaves in a responsible manner. He knows that you will deduct a sizeable amount form this security deposit if you find any damage to your property and this will force him to take care of your property.
Make your tenants sign a maintenance checklist
This is a clever ploy to make your tenants remember about their responsibilities towards routine maintenance of your rental property. Tenants who have never owned a property often ignore simple routine maintenance that can lead to damage of property. Once your tenants have signed this maintenance checklist, they know they are in violation of the lease agreement and hence they are sure to comply with it.
Deliver air filter to your tenants
It is very common to see tenants forgetting cleaning of air filters of HVAC. No tenant changes the filter and marks the date on his calendar. It may not be a big thing for them, but dirty filters can reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system and it can even lead to costly repairs and maintenance. You can make sure that your tenants replace air filters on time by making automatic delivery of new air filters to them.
Inspections with changing seasons
It is very difficult to barge into a unit occupied by your tenant to check if it is maintained in a neat and clean condition by him or not. But you can schedule seasonal inspections to have the freedom to go inside all the units (with prior permission of tenants, of course). This is a good way to check if your unit is being taken care of by the tenant or not.
Easy tenant reporting system
It is seen that in many cases, tenants choose not to inform the landlord about a minor problem in the property because they find the system of reporting cumbersome and inefficient. Make it easy for your tenants to make a request for a repair with the help of an app that can be downloaded in their smartphones. You will get notifications through this app to take prompt and corrective action whenever there is a complaint from any of your tenants.
Have a smooth relationship with your tenants
If you are a sincere and responsive landlord, you will find that your tenants have a good relationship with you, and they will keep you informed about every small or big thing taking place in your property. Yes, you have to be strict in case of violations, but you also need to stand up for your tenants whenever they are right. Explain your expectations clearly at the time of moving in and do not be afraid to point out violations and mistakes. If you are fair and consistent, your tenants will hold you in high esteem and they are less likely to cause any damage to your property.
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