Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

Feb. 10, 2022

Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

Some things are inevitable in the life of a landlord. One such thing is tenant damage, which can range from scuffs on wooden floors to even smashed windows.

Luckily, as a landlord, there are several things you can do to prevent your tenant from damaging your real estate investment. Here are 8 tips to get you started!

1. Have a Proper Tenant Screening Process

This is the best way to minimize tenant damages to your property. Remember, tenants are all different, and it’s your job to make sure you rent to the right tenant. The right tenant, among other things, is one who pays rent on time, cares for the property, notifies you of maintenance issues, and renews their lease.

The only way to land a tenant with these qualities is by screening every applicant. Only consider renting to tenants that have a good credit score, good rental background, sufficient income, and have no prior relevant convictions.

2. Draft a Solid Lease Agreement

In addition to screening tenants, go the extra step and ensure your lease agreement is foolproof. A good lease agreement is the best defense against potential issues, one being tenant damage.

In particular, have a clause that addresses situations that are more likely to cause property damage. For example, it’s imperative you have a clause on subletting if you allow it. Let your tenant know that it’s only you who can approve a sublet.

creating lease agreement

The benefit of having this requirement is that it’ll allow you to only choose tenants that you’ve approved. That is, have undergone your tenant screening process.

Another important clause you’ll want to have is on smoking. Ideally, prohibit smoking inside of the property.

Other things you may want to address include the burning of candles and having pets.

3. Conduct a Move-In Inspection

A move-in inspection is important to evaluating tenant damage at the end of the tenancy. Ideally, document the condition both in written and visual form.

This way, you’ll be able to hold your tenant accountable for any damage they cause during their stay.

4. Inspect Your Rental Property on a Regular Basis

This is arguably the best way to safeguard your rental property against any tenant damage. The following are some benefits of routine inspections.

To begin with, they can help you identify upcoming maintenance issues which may not be recognizable to your tenant. Also, you’ll be able to ensure your property adheres to the Warranty of Habitability, which requires landlords to keep their rental property up to the relevant health, safety, and structural codes.

What’s more, keeping up with your maintenance responsibilities will incentive your tenant to care for the property, as well.

property inspections

Generally speaking, there are four types of rental inspections: a move-in inspection, a drive-by inspection, a seasonal inspection, and a move-out inspection. Save for a drive-by inspection, you should always notify your tenant beforehand.

5. Make the Right Improvements to Your Rental Property

The right improvements or upgrades are those that provide the highest return on investment (ROI). Generally speaking, such upgrades are both durable and long-lasting.

So, if you’re considering upgrading your property, make sure to go for heavy-duty options when it comes to flooring, countertops, and appliances. For example, consider replacing a worn-out carpet with wood or tile flooring.

6. Require Tenants to Pay a Security Deposit Prior to Moving In

Seems rather obvious, right? However, it isn’t uncommon for landlords, especially newbie ones, to overlook it when starting out. It’s often a big mistake.

No matter how good a tenant may come across, always require them to pay a security deposit prior to moving in. The deposit acts as a financial cushion against potential negligent actions the tenant may cause. Examples of such actions include excessive property damage and non-payment of rent.

preventing tenant damage

There are some rules you should be aware of when it comes to a tenant’s security deposit. While there is no limit on how much you can charge your tenant, there are rules on:

7. Establish a Good Relationship With Your Tenant

This is a recipe for running a successful rental investment business. One way of achieving this is by being a responsive landlord. When your tenant has an issue, try to be as helpful as possible. Having open communication is key to any good relationship, and a landlord-tenant one is no different.

Bottom Line

These are our 8 tips to help you prevent tenant damages to your rental property. If they still feel daunting, hiring a professional can save you the trouble.

Innovative Property Solutions has been in the business for well over a decade now. Our solutions guarantee your success and peace of mind!

Innovative Property Solutions

8833 Perimeter Park Blvd Suite 301, Jacksonville, FL 32216

(904) 321-9020

Office hours:

Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 5:00pm

Sat - Sun: Closed