Property Managers know how to help Tenants Prevent Property Damage
One reason that so many rental property owners choose to utilize a professional property manager is because managers typically have a lot of experience dealing with tenants. This not only helps with choosing the right tenant to live in a property, but also helps to ensure that the tenant will treat the property well. Because ignorant and negligent tenants usually cause the most property damage, a good property manager like Martin Feinberg knows how to work with tenants to lessen the likelihood of damage happening.
While most tenants won’t punch a hole in the wall, they are likely to fail to let a property manager know that there is a minor leak under the kitchen sink. It’s this kind of negligence that most property managers need to worry about, but with a small time or monetary investment it can be done.
Good tenant screening is always the property manager’s first line of defense in limiting property damage. Managers need to ensure that they only rent to responsible tenants. And a good screening process can help achieve that goal.
After utilizing a good screening process, the next thing that property managers can do to help limit property damage is to charge a reasonably high-security deposit. A security deposit doesn’t exist only to reimburse the owner for damages. It can also remind tenants to take good care of the property.
However, even a responsible tenant that is invested in caring for the property can sometimes fail to maintain it properly. Usually this is caused by tenant ignorance. Some renters might not understand what prevention measures need to be taken to keep repairs at bay. This ignorance can be overcome when property managers provide tenants with a simple maintenance checklist. This will help keep certain responsibilities on a tenant’s radar.
Sometimes the best way for an experienced property manager to help protect against property damage is to automate common recurring tasks. One such task is the changing of HVAC filters. Automatic air filter deliveries will help ensure that such an easy task always gets done, thus protecting HVAC systems from unnecessary repairs.
Smart moisture sensors can also be another great way to protect against potential property damage without having to relying solely on the tenant. Smart moisture sensors can be placed in areas of low traffic that have a high likelihood of water damage—such as under the sink—and will detect moisture buildup, helping to alert someone that there is a leak. Moisture sensors are surprisingly affordable and can prevent a lot of costly damage.
Yearly professional cleaning is another way to alert property managers to potential infestations or other damage. Though there is a cost involved, annual cleanings can protect against a lot of possible damage, or at the very least alert a manager to damage that has already occurred and needs to be fixed. Preparing for a light professional cleaning can also encourage tenants to bring their space up to standards at least once a year. Property managers that do not want to pay the cost should consider asking interested tenants if they would like to split the fees.
Just like yearly cleanings, regular inspections are very important when trying to protect a property from preventable damage. Though tenant education is important, there is no substitute for regular physical visits and inspections. Experience property managers know that they cannot just take their tenant’s word for it. They need to verify for themselves that everything is in working order.
Along with regular check-ins, utilizing an online tenant portal or easy maintenance reporting system can help encouraging tenants to report problems quickly. Most tenants mean well, but they can be good at putting off phone calls or emails. An automated reporting system can help.
Lastly, but likely most importantly, the number one key to stopping property damage is for property managers to maintain a good relationship with their tenants. Tenants should be aware of their landlord’s expectations from the beginning and should always feel that their property manager is an ally and not an enemy. When tenants understand that a property manager wants them to get their security deposit back, and will work with them to help them be able to do so, they are more likely to care about the state of their home.