Rental properties can be great investments if you take the right precautions to ensure they are safe, secure, and well maintained. As an investor, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that your investment properties are successful and that your renters feel comfortable living in them.
If you own a rental property, protecting it from damage and preventing burglary are essential goals to have. Here are six simple tips that can help you protect your rental property. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your rental property safe and keep the maintenance costs low over time.
1. Create and Review the Lease Agreement
Each property has its own unique set of needs and requirements, so creating a custom lease agreement is important. Doing so will help your tenants know what they’re signing up for—from keeping their apartment in good condition, returning on time with rent payments, and respecting their neighbors. Real estate companies and online services offer customizable templates if you don’t have time to create your lease agreement from scratch. They may even be able to walk you through an overview of how a lease should work.
Remember, the more flexible you are about lease terms, fees, and other stipulations in general, the better chance you’ll stand out from other rental providers.
2. Use Caution With Pets
The majority of landlords do not allow pets, but tenants can still request to bring their four-legged friends into their rental property. You can legally approve or deny pet requests based on how they affect other tenants. Pets like dogs and cats will frequently cause more damage than other typical household goods, so you need to keep that in mind when making decisions about who is allowed in your properties. You can still allow such pets but maybe put restrictions size-wise.
3. Add Security Measures
Security measures aren’t just for people. If you own a rental property, you need to ensure safety for your renters by making sure all of your security measures are in place and working properly. Hire a professional if necessary—it could save you thousands of dollars down the road should one of your renters become victim to a crime on their stay.
Install CCTV in hallways so that you can view your property remotely. This is particularly important if you’re renting out a place that doesn’t have any employees—these cameras can be beneficial when there isn’t anyone else around. Make sure they capture both entrances and exits of your property, and make sure they are constantly recording; otherwise, it might not be worth it.
4. Do an Annual Inspection
You should perform an annual inspection on your rental property. It gives you a chance to see any issues and take care of them before they become major ones. Make sure that you look over every inch of your home, see there aren’t any leaks or mold anywhere, and check all outlets and switches for loose wiring. Renters want a safe place to live, so make sure yours is.
You can do tests that will be of advantage to your property, like mold and asbestos testing, which may ensure a safe environment for everyone. Testing for asbestos, in particular, is quite important when selling or renting homes since most states now have laws to limit exposure to the mineral fibers. The main reason is that asbestos is dangerous if inhaled. To perform the test, hire certified professionals. Make sure you do it at least once a year so that if any problems arise, they get solved immediately before causing any damage.
5. Consider Tenant Background Checks
One of your primary concerns as a landlord is ensuring that your rental property is kept safe for both you and your tenants. So it’s essential to conduct thorough tenant background checks on all prospective tenants. By doing so, you can ensure you rent to those who are qualified and serious about renting. Moreover, good tenant background checks can help you steer clear of bad renters—those with a history of irresponsible or unsafe behavior who could jeopardize your investment and disrupt their neighbors’ lives.
6. Implement Landlord/Tenant Dispute Resolution
Tenants and landlords can resolve disputes between themselves, avoiding legal hassles. If you’re a landlord, getting involved early is your best defense against potential issues in your properties. You can help facilitate discussions by giving both parties common resources, including basic information about rental laws and guidelines for resolving lease issues. It will ensure that all parties know the rights and options when problems arise.
Keeping your rental property safe is an ongoing job that requires diligence and hard work. But by taking a few common-sense precautions and getting regular inspections, you can do everything in your power to ensure your home is a safe place for tenants.