As a property owner, your priority lies in keeping your property well-maintained. Properties kept perfectly will also improve in value, especially if you plan to sell it in the future. It’s also a prime way to keep on attracting more tenants and encouraging existing tenants to renew their leases.
One of the ways to increase your property value is by preventing damages caused by a tenant. Here are some tips to try to achieve this goal:
Make sure to properly conduct tenant screening.
Sometimes you might be so excited to have renters that you forgo the essential screening. You want to receive the income right away and follow your instincts rather than asking for documents. If you want to avoid bigger problems and bigger expenses down the road, it pays to conduct your due diligence.
You can check a prospective tenant’s rental history. Cross-check previous landlord references to find out the real reason the applicant left. You can also obtain first-hand information over how responsible the prospect is with maintaining the rental home.
Additionally, you can check his criminal background to make sure he does not engage in illegal activities that can affect the condition of your rental property.
Include specific property maintenance conditions and clauses in your leasing agreement.
How do you want your tenant to maintain the rental unit? You must set a standard to which a tenant must strictly adhere. This is to promote the proper maintenance of your property.
Take pictures before the tenant moves in and show it to him for visual accuracy. This way, the renter has an idea of your expectations on maintenance.
If a tenant sees how well-kept your rental home is, he will be more inclined to take care of it. If your unit is not so well-maintained then chances are he will also be unmotivated to keep it in a proper state.
You must also outline what type of cleaning and repairs of damaged items you expect before your tenant turns over the keys back to you. This is to always make sure that a tenant remains mindful of the duties expected from him as a renter.
Ask for a reasonable security deposit.
Even if security deposits can cover for future damages, its objective is creating an incentive for a tenant to take good care of your property. As long as you guarantee that the security deposit can be returned intact, they will be more accountable and will seek to fix minor damages. Tenants will also be motivated to clean the rental property.
Most damages occur because of negligence but asking for a security deposit takes care of this common cause of damages. Most states require a security deposit as a requirement for renting. This means it’s acceptable and won’t be a reason against tenants choosing other rental units over yours.
Establish a good relationship with your renters.
If you can cultivate a healthy and respectful landlord-tenant relationship, it makes following the leasing terms easier. A tenant who respects his landlord will make sure the rental unit is treated as if it were his own. He will do so on his own accord, as his rapport with you will translate to respect towards the property.
Being friendly does not mean becoming too close for comfort; it means having a professional and respectful interaction. Striving for a calm relationship is a win-win situation and sets the tone for future engagement. It will also steer you away from conflicts since you’re able to discuss things peacefully.
Make time to conduct inspections.
When you regularly check your rental property, it signals to the tenant that you give importance to property maintenance. As a result, he’ll also make sure to report any maintenance issues and will do his utmost to keep your unit in an excellent state.
From time to time, schedule a checkup of main systems to nip minor problems in the bud. It also helps to conduct regular inspections of problem-prone areas to prevent emergencies, such as plumbing and heater facilities. You can also encourage your tenant to report problems early on by asking about maintenance needs.
Be responsive when a tenant requests for a repair.
Some landlords can feel annoyed when a tenant reports property issues. This discourages the tenants to report and later, minor issues turn into major property problems. This is the right time to practice great customer service.
If a tenant requests for a repair, be prompt in addressing the need. Even if the tenant caused the damage, it’s better to be aware than for the problem to stay hidden. In the long run, it’s costly when minor problems become major ones.
After the problem is resolved, ask for feedback from the tenant and thank him for letting you know about the situation right away. This builds a healthy landlord-tenant relationship.
Spend for annual professional cleaning.
Landlords want to save money when it comes to property maintenance. However, what might appear to be a cost can also qualify as an investment.
One of these great practices is getting your property cleaned professionally every year. This allows you to detect pest infestations or damages resulting from tenant negligence or poor hygiene.
When a new renter sees that your property is professionally cleaned when he moves in, he will strive to keep up with the same standards. Further, it’s also a great way for your furnishing to last.
For example, your carpets will be prevented from looking worn down after a year. This minimizes your replacement costs. You can also arrange to split the costs with your current tenants to reduce your property maintenance expenses.
Make sure to foster an environment of accountability. It’s impossible to keep your property perfectly maintained especially with the change of tenants over the years. However, implementing ways to lessen the property damages is key in keeping the value of your home.