As a landlord, you want your tenants to treat your unit as you would, with loving care. But unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Much of the damage done to walls, floors and carpets happens on the first and last day of your tenant’s lease, because that’s when they are moving all the furniture in — banging against your walls, and scraping your doors. If it happens to be a rainy day, you could end up with dirty traffic stains on your carpet from all the trips in and out.
While tenants are responsible for damage, landlords end up paying for normal wear and tear.
Here are a few suggestions that might help reduce the wear and tear on your rental property:
Install clear plastic corner guards on the most vulnerable walls.
Which walls are the most vulnerable? Just think about where furniture will be hauled around sharp corners or up and down stairways. These are the corners that regularly get banged up when amateur movers (most of your tenants) are struggling to get their furniture in and out of your unit.
Keep in mind that you don’t need the corner guards on every wall, so it is not a big investment.
Lend entry mats for move-in and move-out days.
You can purchase these rubber-backed and waterproof mats from many department stores and home improvement stores. Be proactive, lending the mats to your tenants as a courtesy, explaining that they will help keep the unit looking fresh and clean. It’s a good investment, because you can re-use the mats over and over.
Provide furniture leg protectors for wood floors: Does your unit have wood floors? If so, consider providing tenants with felt pads they can put under their chairs and table legs. Once your floors are scraped up, it is far more expensive to repair them.
Provide Trivets or Counter Protectors
One hot pan on your counter or a careless knife cut can ruin the appearance of your counters — forever. Consider providing some inexpensive trivets or acrylic counter protectors as a “house-warming gift” to keep your kitchen looking sharp.
The beauty of all these suggestions is twofold:
1. Your cost is minimal.
The combined cost of all the above suggestions should be no more than $50 – $100. That’s an inexpensive way to avoid typical “wear and tear” that you’ll likely end up footing the bill for anyway. It’s also a great way to avoid an unpleasant interaction at the end of your lease, arguing with your tenant about who is responsible for damage.
2. It lays the foundation about how you expect your unit to be maintained.
Being proactive and politely explaining that you care deeply about your unit, and showering your tenant with (inexpensive) gifts will demonstrate that you are committed to keeping your rental fresh and clean.
Tenants will be far more likely to follow your lead, and treat your rental as if they owned it themselves. Plus, it lays the foundation for a friendly and cooperative landlord-tenant relationship.
And who doesn’t want that?
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.