It’s generally acceptable and fairly realistic that damages occur in a rental property. But can a landlord prevent them from frequently occurring? The answer is yes.
A landlord can take control and create an environment that will visibly reduce damages. Although you can’t directly foresee the future and how responsible or neglectful a renter can be, you can find ways to keep them accountable.
It’s not terribly complicated to keep your property damage-free or damage-proof. You only need to practice calculated processes that will help address potential, extreme damages. As a landlord, your priority is enhancing the value of your rental unit. You can achieve this through the following:
1. Conducting adequate tenant screenings to protect yourself.
Aside from verifying submitted documents, calling previous landlords is good practice. This is a great way to find out if a prospective renter is responsible when it comes to his duty to maintain a rental space. It’s also an easy way for you to find out why the applicant left the previous rental unit in the first place.
Ask the previous landlord if the tenant left their previous rental home in a messy state. You can also inquire if the tenant is prone to violence and leaving the furnishing in disarray.
More importantly, did the security deposit cover for the damages left by the tenant? Learning about this will provide you with more clues about an applicant’s behavior. Thus, your decision to accept him in your rental property will be more objective.
2. Following a regular property inspection schedule and attending to repairs promptly.
If you spot the red flags immediately, you’re best able to resolve an issue at a lower cost. This is possible when you’re a landlord who’s strict with his property inspections and in fixing damages. It’s the only way to spot potential giant problems. If you rarely inspect, then chances are you won’t notice the brewing trouble you could easily have addressed and repaired.
As a landlord, it’s essential to prioritize delicate and costly areas such as roofs, heaters, plumbing and areas where water damage is probable. This will save you a lot of money in the future. It will also majorly inconvenience for a tenant when heaters, air conditioners, pipes and toilets are broken. You want to be proactive and alert rather than being too late when emergencies happen.
3. Making it your objective to cultivate a good relationship with your tenants.
It’s important to stress the value of a good relationship between a tenant and a landlord. It will make policy implementation much smoother. When your tenants respect you, they will work with you to keep the rental unit habitable and well maintained.
If there’s any property damage, it will be reported right away. This helps in resolving the problem immediately and makes repairs cheaper.
To achieve a good relationship, respect your tenants’ privacy. Listen to them when they have complaints and take responsible action. Shirking your landlord’s responsibilities will only drive a wedge between you. Be firm with your policies but never forget to act professionally.
Try to also adopt a human approach when certain circumstances present themselves. Offer a chance, hear the side of the renter and weigh the event rather than resorting to immediate eviction. Good relationships can be cultivated.
4. Practicing the collection of a security deposit.
Most landlords collect a security deposit to ensure that any losses will be covered. A high-security deposit will inspire a tenant to reclaim a full refund. Thus, he’ll do his best to keep the damages at a minimum.
Some might even go so far as to practice maintenance procedures on their own. If your security deposit is not high enough, the renter can be neglectful of the property.
So, if you want full cooperation with keeping your rental unit in a pristine condition, a security deposit works as an effective incentive. On the other hand, setting a too-high security deposit will also discourage prospective renters, so keep it reasonable.
5. Incorporating an annual cleaning program for your rental property.
Sure, it will cost good money to hire professional cleaners, but the results are astounding. Not only will it increase property value, but it will attract prospects, too. It’s also a great way to detect pest infestation aside from making your appliances and furnishing last longer. Therefore, a regular annual or bi-annual cleaning will do wonders for your property.
Some landlords may argue that they can clean the place themselves to save more money. Note that professional cleaning companies can perform the job quicker. The quality is also admirable compared to a non-professional job.
You’ll certainly get your money’s worth since their cleaning standards are considerably topnotch. They also know which particular areas are easily dirtied and left in a mess. Thus, they can focus on the major spots that need heavy-duty cleaning.
6. Making it a point to orient your new tenants before moving into your rental unit.
It’s easy to assume that tenants know how appliances function in your rental home. To prevent damages, it’s best to conduct a tour beforehand and show how gadgets around the house are operated. This can save you from tons of repair bills.
This is also a good way to remind the new tenants of safety measures. Show them security features around the house and leave your contact information with them in case they need any help.
By being transparent during the first meeting with your renters, it will show that you’re committed to preserving the value of your home. When a landlord shows his dedication to property maintenance, it will also make it clear to the tenants that you expect the same kind of commitment. However, the level will always be greater for a property owner to reduce property damages.
These are effective strategies to follow to keep the upkeep of your property investment. If you’re looking for a property manager to aid in running your rental, contact Young Property Management today!