|How do I make sure the tenant will take good care of
One of the biggest concerns landlords have is how the tenant will treat
the property. We all hear horror stories of what tenants can do to a rental.
Many of us have lived through the horror of having our beautiful rental
property destroyed by a bad tenant. The fact that we have invested great
expense plus gallons of blood, sweat, and paint in the property only to see
it trashed and desecrated by a tenant makes it even worse.
Some landlords still believe that finding a good tenant is a matter of
luck, while more and more of us are taking steps to make our own luck. Have
you heard the old adage, "Luck = Labor Under Correct Knowledge"?
So how do we protect your rental property from getting trashed by a
tenant? There are a few very important steps to follow.
- Complete tenant screening. It sounds like a no brainer, but
how often do you do complete tenant screening? Part of your
standard screening is to try your best to actually verify the past landlord'
s reference. Call him and talk about the tenant. Ask questions. The Landlord Reference
Qualifier form can make it easier to do this.
- Drive By. Another important part of the screening process is to
actually visit or at the very least, drive by the property the tenant is
about to vacate and assess the condition. Chances are the tenant will treat
your property the same way he treats the one he's currently in.
- Photographs & Video Before conveying possession to the tenant,
maybe even at the lease signing, mention or show the tenant that you have
dated pictures and a video of the property condition before occupancy.
Having this supports you on the next powerful step in making sure the tenant
takes care of your property.
Condition Report & Checklist Before turning your rental over to the
tenant, I suggest you prepare a complete Property Condition Report to
document the undamaged condition of the property. By having the tenant agree
and sign this inventory and condition checklist, the tenant realizes he is
now on record, not only by signing the lease, but also for signing
this additional legal document, the Property Condition Report.
By following these steps along with your normal screening process, you
will become a landlord who has better luck with how tenants take care of
your property. Remember, "Luck = Labor Under Correct Knowledge".
- John Nuzzolese
John Nuzzolese is a licenced Real Estate Broker / Real Estate Investor in Nassau County, NY. where
he resides with his wife and 3 children. John has been involved with real estate sales, rentals and
investing since 1979. He owns two real estate businesses and is also President of a national
organization for landlords, The Landlord Protection Agency, Inc.
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