When you rent out your property to a tenant - whether it be an apartment in the inner city or a holiday home near the coast - you're putting your valued investment in the hands of others. This comes with inherent risks on your part.
However, there are strategies you can use to reduce the chances of tenants damaging your property.
Your first order of business should be to have condition and inventory reports made so you can detail every aspect of the property before the tenant moves in. Go over these reports with the tenant when you take them on a walkthrough to check the state of the home.
The reports and walkthrough should clearly point out any existing damage, as well as what items come included with the home, along with their condition.
This will help you get started on the right foot without any confusion as to who may be responsible for damage to the property. Make sure you and your tenant both sign the documents in order to prevent any future legal disputes regarding damage liability.
No tenant wants to get a lecture form their landlord, but it is important to let your renters know exactly what is expected of them. For instance, you can provide them with guidance on expected maintenance, such as lawn care, the proper use of appliances and how to request repairs or contact you.
This will cut down on any confusion and hopefully lead to less chance of a simple problem turning into a major one.
The goal is to reduce the likelihood of damage being done to your investment. While choosing a responsible tenant is important, it's ultimately up to you to make sure they know what is and isn't allowed, as well who to turn to should problems arise.
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The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.