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Loss Control Tips for Rental Property Owners

Uncategorized / March 10, 2011

If you manage your own rental properties, take steps to avoid the most common causes of loss related to tenant behavior.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 1: To help identify good tenants develop a thorough application that asks for previous addresses, former landlords, work and salary history, bank accounts and references. Contact your local landlord association if you need assistance.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 2: In addition to a tenant application, prepare a list of questions to ask such as “Why are you moving?” The answers you receive may aid in your decision.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 3: When screening tenants, it’s best to meet face to face. Personal appearance, transportation and attitude can all help you make a determination of how well a tenant will respect you and your property.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 4: When screening tenants insist on seeing a valid photo identification card, then make a copy and attach it to the application.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 5: When considering tenants for your rental home, create a list of the characteristics you prefer (i.e. non-smoker, no pets, stable employment) and then run through this list with each candidate.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 6: Run a credit check. It’s always wise to check an applicant’s income, employment and credit history to verify they can afford to pay rent each month. However, make sure you obtain your prospective tenant’s written consent before doing so.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 7: Always check references. Request at least three references (preferably previous landlords) and take the time to follow up on them.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 8: Develop a lease agreement that outlines rent, deposit information, prohibited activities, maintenance and repairs, responsibility for utilities and waste removal, your right of entry, pet policies and length of notice to vacate. Contact a landlord association in your area for local guidelines and laws.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 9: Provide all prospective tenants with a copy of the lease and have them initial each page and sign an acknowledgement.

Tenant Guidelines Tip 10: Keep records. To protect your interests and the interests of your tenants, document everything in writing and keep the paperwork throughout the entire rental agreement. This could potentially save you a lot of time, money and hassle.