Landlords are naturally worried about tenants damaging their property. In our experience, the best way to handle tenant damage is to avoid it. That may sound easier than it is, but not really. You can take a few precautions to ensure your tenants are taking good care of your Sandy rental property.
Tenant Screening Protects Against Potential Property Damage
Protecting your property starts with a great tenant screening process. Make an effort to place renters who are going to take care of your home. You’ll know they’re responsible by checking their landlord references and asking if any damage was left behind and if the tenants received their full security deposit back. When you’re checking credit, look for outstanding debts owed to former landlords, management companies, or apartment communities. This might indicate they left damage and refused to pay for it.
Conduct an Early Property Walk-Through
You don’t want the entire tenancy to pass without getting inside the home to check things out. We recommend you schedule a walk-through with your tenants two or three months after they move into the home. They can decide whether they want to be there. Take photos and make sure there isn’t any unreported maintenance or an indication of lease violations. We do this for all our owners, and send a detailed inspection report to provide peace of mind and documentation. In the past, we have noticed unauthorized pets, smoking violations, and other issues that would have escalated into property damage situations if we had not been proactive about inspecting.
Drive-by inspections can also be useful. If we’re in the area, we’ll drive by your home to make sure it looks well-cared for. If we see any problems or concerns, we immediately get in touch with the tenants.
Build Relationships within the Neighborhood
We want our tenants to be good neighbors, so we will often hand out business cards to the people living in the area. They can call us if they notice a concern. We also train our contractors and vendors to be aware of what’s going on at the property when they’re dispatched to make a repair. When you have extra sets of eyes on the rental home, you can be sure it’s in good condition.
Lease Renewal Inspections Can Help you Decide to Renew or Reject
Sixty days before the lease ends, we conduct an inspection at the property when tenants indicate that they’d like to renew the lease and stay in the property. We never want to renew a lease with tenants who fail to pay rent on time or take care of your property. So, we take a look at how well the home has been maintained. We send our owners the inspection report and if we agree that everything looks good and the owner feels good about how things are going at the property, a renewal is offered.
These are just some of the ways we protect your property from the potential of tenant damage. It’s also important to collect a security deposit and have a strong lease. If you’d like more information, please contact us at Safeguard Property Management.