Between landlord and tenant, a successful relationship relies on good communication. Here are 5 points to discuss before anyone signs anything.
Whether it’s from carelessness or simply miscommunication, there are plenty of stories of landlords being left with thousands of dollars worth of repair costs when a renter moves out. Fortunately, by discussing the following questions with renters before they move in, you may be able to avoid this kind of damage.
1. When will you do inspections?
Almost all landlords will conduct a move-in inspection with their new renters when they first arrive. However, many fail to do any follow-up inspections after that. It’s a good idea to have regular inspections of the property so you can take care of minor issues and prevent bigger problems from starting.
Whether it’s seasonally or yearly, give your renters a general idea of when you’ll conduct these inspections so they’re prepared.
2. How will you handle maintenance requests?
While slow drains or a dripping faucet are issues that might be inconveniences for your renters, they can cause major damage to your property if they’re not taken care of properly. Letting your renters know how and when to submit maintenance requests is a very important step in avoiding damage to your property.
Whether you use an online system or you have a phone number for renters to call, a simple and convenient way for renters to submit these orders means they’re more likely to report issues before they become larger problems.
3. Is the renter responsible for any maintenance?
As you’re discussing maintenance requests, it’s also a good idea to go over what type of maintenance you expect the renters to handle. Whether your renters are responsible for tasks such as changing light bulbs or maintaining a clean property to keep out pests, it’s important that you both understand who is responsible for what duties.
4. How many people will be living on the property?
Simply put, the more people living on the property, the more wear and tear you can expect. Before the new renters move in, it’s important to know how many people will be living there. You either need restrictions on the number of people who can live on the property or you need to adjust the rent accordingly.
Additionally, keep in mind that some states have laws that say you cannot have more than two people per bedroom at your rental property. This is also the ideal time to make sure both you and your renter understand the pet policy for the property.
5. What are the rules about personalizing the property?
While all renters want to make their property feel like home, it’s important that they know what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to personalizing their new living space. Discuss the rules about paint colors on the walls, holes in the wall from hanging pictures, and changing or installing permanent fixtures such as shelves or lighting.
An amicable relationship
All landlords and renters want an amicable relationship during their time together. To make sure both of you understand the expectations you have for each other, be sure to discuss these questions and include the information in your tenancy agreement.