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How to Prevent Tenants from Damaging Your Rental Property

Property damage. Landlords despise these two words. After years of working so hard to put up a rental property business, here come tenants who have no regard for your items. But the good news is that you can take simple steps to protect your investments from tenant damage. Heed these nine pieces of advice.

1. Charge a reasonably high security deposit.

Discourage clumsy tenants from messing up the rental by charging more for their security deposit. This high security deposit should be enough to fix damages. Low security deposits make renters careless about maintenance.

Related: Asking for a Security Deposit from Your Tenant

2. When checking a tenant’s rental history, look for issues about property damage.

Rental history refers to a potential tenant’s past rental arrangements. This includes everything from late rental payments to evictions. You can ask a previous landlord if a tenant caused property damage and whether he took responsibility for it.

3. Avoid carpets and use faux wood instead.

Everyone knows that carpets easily stain. If you still can, replace your carpet flooring with hardwood substitutes. Hardwood floors will scratch while faux wood stays resistant and is also less expensive.

4. Remember that not all high-end tenants are responsible tenants.

A common misconception is that all high-end tenants are reliable. Bad habits have nothing to do with a person’s financial status. Just because a tenant makes a lot of money, doesn’t mean he will behave well or take responsibility for property damage. This is why tenant screening should be taken seriously.

5. Watch out for a tenant who wants an immediate move-in.

If you come across a tenant who wants to move-in quickly, consider the possibility that the tenant got evicted. Perhaps the tenant had an issue with his previous landlord regarding property damage and needs to find another place before the eviction shows in his record.

6. Conduct routine inspections.

Here at Landlord Prep, we encourage landlords to carry out routine inspections. These inspections must be stated in the lease agreement. You can do them twice a year or on a quarterly basis. Inspections let you check the condition of your property.

Related: Tips for Carrying Out a Rental Property Inspection

7. Orient new tenants.

Do not assume that tenants know how to operate all the appliances in the rental. When tenants are about to move in, conduct a tenant orientation. Show them how to safely use items such as the lawn mower or replace filters.

8. Install door stoppers behind the doors of your rental.

Tenants who are always in a rush may care less about the way they open doors in the rental. Having door stoppers prevents door knobs from crashing into the walls and creating damage. You can install these yourself or ask a handyman for help.

9. Invest in a smart water sensor.

While tenants should do their best to protect the rental from water damage, some tenants cause such accident due to neglect. There are times when water damage goes unreported. Nowadays, smart water sensors connect with an app that alerts you whenever water or high humidity is detected in the rental.

Final Thoughts

The information you state in the rental application should already be doing the talking. From the start, find the right tenants. Also, make sure that you document the condition of your property before anyone moves in.  

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