Running a rental property is just like any other business: it comes with risks. Since a property’s condition can deteriorate with time due to normal wear and tear, it may not look as it did before. However, some of these issues may come from the tenants’ activities or neglect.
Damage by tenants may occur intentionally or unintentionally. However, a landlord can get ahead of some of these issues by clearly stipulating the tenant’s responsibilities at the beginning of their lease term. The lease agreement will ensure that the property is protected by listing the various freedoms and limitations of the property. In any case, some damages can still slip by.
Repairs can be costly, becoming a financial burden to landlords long-term and bringing about losses to their investments. As such, landlords should ensure that they take the necessary steps to prevent damage.
Using our property management experience that spans over 20 years, Evolve Nevada looks at several ways in which landlords can protect their investment. Our sound, professional advice has been the cornerstone of successful investments in the region!
Ensure You Screen All Tenants Before They Occupy the Property
There are several steps you will need to take in order to find a responsible and trustworthy tenant. One of these steps is by screening your tenants. This is a necessary process that will help you lock down a high-quality tenant who is likely to take reasonable care of your property.
Develop screening criteria that you will use in order to determine whether a person is right for your property. Some of the important details to include in your tenant screening process are:
- Ask for a recommendation letter from the previous landlord
- Do a background check on the prospective tenant
- Run a credit check to help avoid defaulting tenants
- Do a quick interview to assess the tenant, as the interview will help you get a sense of the tenant and know more about them
As a landlord, you should take your time in choosing a tenant. Don’t opt for reducing the search period in order to receive your income faster; this can easily backfire. By using screening criteria, you can find a good tenant who will protect your property’s condition.
Ask for a Reasonable Security Deposit
A security deposit acts as a financial guarantee for any damages that may be caused to your property. If a tenant damages your property and does not have it fixed, you can then use the security deposit to make these necessary repairs.
It’s important to ensure that you set a reasonable amount that is neither too little nor too much. This amount is set aside and often refunded to a tenant once they move out. Tenants are often aware of the rule on security deposit deductions, but you can still inform them during the interview. They will often take better care of the property once they realize they’re liable for any form of damage.
Evolve Nevada also recommends that you check up on the state’s security deposit laws. These will inform you of any necessary provisions on security deposits.
Have a Detailed Lease Agreement
A lease agreement is a contractual agreement between a landlord and a person who desires to have temporary possession of a rental unit. It stipulates various rules and regulations as well as the responsibilities of each party.
Once you’ve found a fitting tenant, make sure you have them go through the lease agreement terms, and later have them sign the document. This is a legally binding document that requires them to act according to the agreement.
Make the lease agreement as detailed as possible and remember to include a clause that covers property damages. You can always refer to the lease agreement if there is a disagreement on who is liable for certain repairs.
The lease agreement will also keep you in check. You’ll be required to attend to your duties, as stated in the lease. By doing so, you’ll also encourage your tenants to be responsible and attend to their duties as well.
Nurture a Good Relationship with Your Tenants
A rental investment, just like any other business, involves interacting with people. Having good social skills will help improve the relationship you have with your tenants. A good relationship with your tenants will go a long way in improving the performance of your rental investment. Property owners that have good relationships with their tenants often have a low property turnover rate, for example.
Ensure that you establish clear communication channels where your tenants are able to reach you in case of any complaints and be sure to respond promptly to their requests.
Make Your Expectations Clear to Your Tenants
The landlord is in charge of setting the pace for their property. You can set standards of cleanliness, noise level, and maintenance you expect from your tenants. However, in order to set some of these rules, you need to lead by example: you must follow these same guidelines yourself.
Once a tenant moves in and finds a clean space, they are more likely to feel obliged to keep the unit in the same state as they found it in. It indirectly sets the expectation for the property.
Do Regular Inspections
It’s important to carry out regular inspections of your rental property. This will help protect your property from preventable damages and should help you avoid huge costs on repairs.
As said before, properties start wearing out after a number of years. By carrying out regular inspections, you’re able to identify areas that require renovations before they escalate to bigger problems.
As a landlord, you can acknowledge the issues and challenges that come with property management, some of which you may not have the time or experience to handle. In such a scenario, call on the premier property management company in Northern Nevada!
Evolve Nevada prides itself on being the number one full-service property management company in the area. We manage single-family homes, multi-unit housing, university housing/ accommodations, commercial retail buildings, and commercial office spaces. Call us today and have a chat with our skilled property management team!