While rental properties are a great source of income, preventing and fixing property damage can cause landlords a lot of stress. Normal wear and tear is inevitable when renting out your property. However, sometimes tenants cause property damage that costs landlords time and money. As a landlord, it’s necessary to minimize the likelihood of tenants damaging your investment property.

Here are seven practical tips for preventing tenant property damage.

Screen Your Tenants Carefully

Rental property owners want their rental units to be occupied. After all, this is how you earn rental income. A vacant rental doesn’t generate profits, so it’s essential to avoid prolonged vacancies as much as possible. However, it’s critical to lease out your property to a responsible renter. Every landlord should have a thorough tenant screening process to ensure that only the best tenants live on their property.

An extensive tenant screening process helps landlords identify potentially problematic tenants. To screen tenants effectively, landlords must do thorough background checks. We recommend calling past landlords to verify the applicant’s behaviour. It’s best to ask their past landlords whether they’ve caused excessive property damage to prior rental homes. If the tenant caused damage and took responsibility for fixing it, they are likely a quality tenant.

Create a Solid Rental Agreement

A rental agreement should contain all the terms, conditions, clauses, and provisions renters must abide by during their tenancy. As a landlord, you must outline your expectations in the rental agreement, especially those related to the consequences of damaging the rental.
a landlord with curly brown hair in a brown plaid suit reviews a rental agreement with their new tenant who holds a clipboard with a document on it
Make sure to cover prohibited behaviours that can cause property damage. You can also list activities that can cause property damage, such as smoking or failing to notify you about maintenance or repair issues. It also helps to detail the tenants’ responsibilities in maintaining the rental home before they sign the lease. Make sure that they understand their duties, as well as any penalties related to not complying with the lease terms.

Ask Tenants for Security Deposits

Security deposits protect you if tenants deliberately damage your property due to neglect or abuse. Make sure always to ask tenants for security deposits before they move in. Also, be sure to provide any necessary disclosures regarding the security deposit as mandated by federal, provincial, and municipal law. Landlords have the right to deduct any tenant damages from the deposit as long as these damages are proven not part of normal wear and tear.

Conduct Routine Inspections and Maintenance

Performing regular inspections can help prevent property damage because it allows you to identify any potential issues early on. Conducting inspections also will enable you to resolve problems while they are still small.
a contractor in a yellow vest inspects the front door of a rental property to ensure it adheres to building codes
Remember that, as a landlord, you must provide a habitable space for your tenants. By conducting routine inspections, you can ensure that your rental property complies with the health and safety codes mandated by law.

Furthermore, when you inspect your property regularly, you can determine whether or not the tenants take care of your property. Be sure to provide a sufficient amount of notice before you visit your rental for inspections to respect the privacy of your tenants. Ultimately, regularly inspecting and maintaining the property is essential, even when you trust your tenants.

Address Repair and Maintenance Requests

In addition to maintaining your rental property, you must address maintenance and repair requests as soon as possible to prevent issues from escalating. This practice will also help you maintain a good relationship with your tenants and inspire them to rent from you long-term. If you show your tenants that you are easily reachable, they’ll know that you care about providing them with a habitable, safe, and comfortable space to reside in. In exchange, they’ll do their part to ensure that your property is kept in its best shape.

Invest in Property Improvements

To increase the value of your rental property, home improvements are necessary. However, before you make any upgrades, you have to ensure that you’re investing in the right improvements. Avoid any high-maintenance upgrades, as they can cause your rental home to depreciate faster.
A licenced contractor installs durable cherry hardwood floors in a rental property
Make sure to invest in durable materials, especially flooring, countertops, windows, doors, and appliances, to prevent quick wear and tear. Heavy-duty materials are typically more expensive; however, they can also slow any damage that may lead to more repairs, saving you money in the long run.

Bottom Line

Tenant-caused property damage will occur from time to time, but with the above tips, you can effectively minimize damages and ensure that your property stays in its best condition. Keeping your property in great shape will inspire good tenants to stay for the long term and increase your property’s value over time!

If you need assistance with any aspect of property management, including handling property maintenance and damage, reach out to the experts at GoodDoors Property Management today!