You’ve invested a lot into your rental property so it’s understandable that you want to ensure that it remains in good condition. While most of your tenants will be responsible and follow the leasing policies there’s always a risk that others will be negligent.
You want tenants who will report issues right away and reasonably maintain the unit during their stay. Landlords want small damages to be dealt with swiftly to avoid incurring massive repair expenses down the line. Aside from that, the landlord also has to confront the normal wear and tear damage.
It’s your responsibility to address damages when they arise but it’s also up to tenants to keep you informed. To help maintain your rental, follow these recommendations to keep your property free from damages.
Collect a Reasonable Security Deposit
Security deposits motivate tenants to pay attention to the upkeep of the rental property. The security deposit acts as an incentive since tenants want to get a complete refund once the tenancy ends.
The deposit also covers losses and damages that result from a tenant’s abuse or negligence during their time in the property.
Asking for a high-security deposit is effective but bear in mind that there are limitations per State under the Landlord-Tenant laws. Oklahoma doesn’t currently place any limits on how much your charge as a security deposit.
That being said, you want the price to be reasonable and in line with your competitors.You also need to ensure that you’re complying with the rules on the proper storage and use of security deposits.
Create a Standard of Cleanliness
When renters move in, they immediately make judgments on the state of cleanliness of your rental. They will then match the level of tidiness you portrayed.
As a landlord, it’s best to present a sparkling and refreshing living space so your renters understand what’s expected of them. Otherwise, you’d risk your property being treated poorly. You also must keep your rental space habitable to its residents.
Cultivate a Harmonious Relationship with Tenants
Managing a rental comes with many responsibilities. One of the most important duties of a landlord is tenant management. Successful landlords are skilled in building great relationships with their renters. They listen well and treat them fairly.
When renters feel heard and understood, they feel they can trust the landlord. It’s your duty then to be responsive and keep a professional relationship with the renters to understand their needs.
Craft a Solid Leasing Agreement
Designing a leasing contract can play a key part in maintaining your rental. Create specific conditions and clauses to minimize property damages. You can include policies on reporting property issues so your team can immediately fix property problems such as pest infestation, mold, and others.
You can also stipulate policies to prevent hazardous actions such as smoking inside the rental or lighting candles. By dealing with these situations at the outset, there will be fewer misunderstandings.
You can also include expectations on reasonable cleanliness of the property especially before the tenant moves out. All of this will ensure that you and your tenants are on the same page which it comes to maintaining the unit.
Don’t Skip the Tenant Screening Process
Tenant screening may require a portion of your time but the effort pays off. You get to know the potential tenants and evaluate their level of responsibility.
You want to ensure that you’re renting to someone who will pay rent on time, respect the terms of the lease agreement and reasonably maintain the unit during their stay.
To start, you need to have certain criteria that all prospects must pass. Among the things you need to evaluate from a tenant are the following:
- Credit score
- Rental history including landlord references
- Employment status
- Criminal background
Perform Periodic Inspections
As much as you want to rely on a tenant’s report on property damage, it’s still best to conduct preventive maintenance through inspections. Some tenants can fail to report or even notice certain property issues. Conduct visits to check the real situation and problems before they become costly.
Even if the renter has renewed the lease and has a history of being responsible, you still must conduct regular inspections. You want to look for signs of neglect but also normal wear and tear.
Property inspections allow to you ensure that your rental and tenants are being well cared for.
Schedule an Annual Cleaning
If you want to maintain the condition of your rental unit and increase its value, prioritize cleaning. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service. They can spot looming pest infestation and damaged areas of the property.
This investment in cleaning will benefit you in the long run since it inspires the tenants to maintain the rental’s cleanliness too. Hiring cleaners also help minimize normal wear and tear.
This risk of property damages caused by tenants can be reduced. You just need to be more vigilant as a landlord through these steps.
Remember to collect a security deposit, build a great relationship with tenants and maintain a clean rental. You should also make a solid lease and conduct tenant screening. Finally, be sure to perform regular property inspections and consider hiring cleaners.
If you’re looking for a trusted property manager in Oklahoma, contact Draper Realty at (405) 401 8100. We ensure your rental home will be properly maintained and free from tenant damages to protect your real estate investment!