Renting properties is an excellent way to generate revenue. However, damages to your property can result in unexpected costs which drive down your income. Damage can come from normal wear and tear on a unit or it can come from tenant activities and neglect.
Harm does not always come to your properties on purpose, but it is still important to use strategies that help lower the amount of damage your properties suffer through. The good news is that damage to your property is avoidable!
Screening Potential Renters
Screening tenants before they move in is a great way to understand the habits of the person potentially moving into your property. Interviewing the tenant is a great way to get a sense of who they are as a person.
Asking any previous landlords for a character evaluation of the tenant gives you insight on how they treat rental properties. This lets you make an informed decision based on another landlord’s experience with them.
You should also run background checks to assess the person who will be living on your property. Credit checks are important when determining if this will be the type of person who will be able to afford rent. It provides insight on whether or not this person can manage their money properly and directly links to how responsible they will be as a tenant.
By screening your potential tenants, you get to know the person who moves into your rental property before any damage can be done to it. Choosing responsible tenants is the best way to limit property damage.
Be Clear With Your Tenants
Before anyone moves into your property be sure they are aware of your expectations for how they will treat the unit. If the expectations are made clear to the tenant, then you are likely to attract more reasonable tenants to your property.
You can ask the renter to keep the property reasonably clean and report property issues. These terms can be outlined in the lease agreement.
Ask For a Security Deposit
A security deposit is a safety measure to fall back on in case your tenant incurs damage to your property. It remains in your possession in case the tenant does not repair their own damages, but it is often refunded to the tenant if the rental is left in good condition.
Tenants tend to leave little to no damage if they know they are fiscally responsible. Before charging a security deposit to a new tenant, you should consider what is a fair price to charge for that unit.
Inspect Your Unit
Keep a schedule to ensure you regularly inspect your units. Sometimes a tenant may not notice when or why something is not working properly. Inspecting the units helps improve the quality of the tenants life as well as limit any major repairs.
By regularly inspecting your unit you can keep track of any small damages that can be fixed before they escalate. Checking up on your properties after each season is a great way to take note of any unusual issues. This also gives your tenants an opportunity to show you any aspects of the property that need small repairs.
Having a good relationship with your tenant makes them less likely to abuse your property. Openly communicating with them about issues in the unit, being friendly and willing to fix small problems, such as repairing broken appliances or replacing windows, can go a long way in maintaining your property.
Coming to their aid when they need small repairs on the property creates a good relationship between the tenant and the landlord. This allows you to assess small issues before they escalate. It also allows you open communication with the tenant, making them more likely to respect you and your property.
Choose Long Term Solutions
When picking materials for your property, try to pick ones that are more durable. While this might not be the cheapest option, it will end up saving you money on repairs in the long run.
Wear and tear is inevitable, but damage is less likely if the quality of the materials and furnishings are high.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Sticking to a maintenance schedule is a great way to make sure your properties are kept up to date and well maintained. Renters will see this maintenance as you caring for the property. Tenants who see this are more likely to assume you want them to live in a clean, safe space and are more likely to renew their lease.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with regular maintenance, consider hiring a property management company.
Property damage is not completely avoidable, but there are many steps to take that can help you keep damage to a minimum. Property damage doesn’t have to be a huge expense that comes out of your pocket.
Prevention of property damage is a group effort that starts with you and your tenants. By being clear and keeping open communication with one another, your rental property will generate revenue instead of costing you money in repairs.
To learn more about reducing repair costs in your rentals contact our team at RentSmartUSA.