One of the biggest anxieties of owning a rental property is the risk of damage. While not all damages are done maliciously, it is nonetheless a cause for stress and concern having to deal with them. Read on for our expert tips on decreasing the risk of damage to your investment property.
Enforce a pet policy
Pets are a popular addition to many families, but this doesn’t mean you need to wear the cost of damages. Instead, if you wish to allow pets on the property, establish a clause in the agreement outlining your expectations. This could include restricting the animal to living outside only, and the tenant to keep the property free from animal hair, odours and pet waste. The agreement should also clearly state the consequences if the tenant fails to adhere to their obligations.
Regular property inspections
Conducting regular property inspections doesn’t necessarily mean you are suspicious of the tenants. It is in fact a sensible way to identify if and when damage has occurred, or whether there are any maintenance issues that need addressing. To help protect your property against preventable damages from age or weather, encourage your tenants to report any problems, and don’t hesitate to fix them.
Present an attractive property
If your property looks untidy and unkempt, why would your tenant feel inclined to treat it any better? Presenting a clean, well-cared for property sets the standard for what you expect of your tenants. Doing so is more likely to attract better renters who punctually pay their rent and stay longer at the residence.
The best way to prevent potential property damage is to conduct a thorough tenant screening during the application process. Asking for a higher security deposit will not benefit you in choosing the best renter for your property. A detailed rental background check will reveal which tenants are good and which you should avoid. Tenants who have damaged a previous rental are a greater risk of doing it again. Allowing only responsible tenants into your property greatly decreases the risk of damage due to laziness, neglect, or malicious behaviour.
Establish a Good relationship with your tenant
Establishing a good rapport with your tenant is vital in building a long-term profitable relationship. Open and honest communication is key to establishing trust and respect. If your tenant feels that you’re on their side, they’ll be more likely to inform you of any arising issues. It is important that to show that you understand accidents happen and that you’re there to help them. Let them know that you want to return their security deposit (because the truth is it means less work for you). As a result, your tenants will feel respected, and will therefore show respect to you and your property.
Obtain landlord insurance
A good insurance policy can minimise the financial impact of damages caused by tenants. You should check that your policy covers you for both accidental and intentional damage. Additionally, it’s a good idea to seek insurance cover for loss of rent if the property cannot be occupied during repairs.
While there are never any guarantees when it comes to renting out your investment property, you can certainly be proactive. Our list of guidelines can help protect your rental from damage, and prevent your investment dream from becoming a nightmare.
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