How Can You Handle Property Damage As A Landlord?
Whether you are a landlord or you hired one to take care of properties you own and rent out, it is really important to know how property damage should be handled. There are many things that can happen and it is not always the tenant that causes property damages. Even good tenants can end up causing accidental damage and there are situations when bad things just happen. The problem is htat there is a clear increase in the number of malicious damage claims that appear and that are paid. With this in mind, there are things we have to know.
Understanding Accidental Damage
We can define accidental damage as being something that was caused by an event that was unexpected. The best examples are wine being spilled on the carpet and having a broken window. The main difference between malicious damage and accidental damage is when the tenant will create destruction because of ill will.
Understanding Malicious Damage
Common examples of malicious damage include doors that were kicked in and holes that were punched in walls. Accidental damage claims do increase but malicious damage is the most common claim type seen. In most cases it is extensive and can actually be spread to many rooms. At the same time, the malicious damage will also be associated with rental income losses as the tenants tend to simply go away after causing damages. There are even claims that are high as $50,000 in malicious damage.
Other Damage Types
We have deliberate damage that appears and alters an item state but it happens without malice, vindictiveness or spite. For instance, when you put a picture hook in a wall without being allowed to you can end up with damage, even if you did not plan it.
We also have wear and tear that naturally happens. It is actually inevitable, happening in all property types. As an example, we have carpets that are worn and walls with scuff marks.
How To Reduce Property Damages
The easiest way to reduce damages is to schedule regular property inspections. That also allows you to quickly solve all the problems so that more problems do not appear. The rental properties that have children and pets are those that are particularly important and when scheduled inspections have to be more often.
It is always a really good idea to think about appointing property managers so that long and short term property damage can be avoided. This also allows you to find the tenants that are perfect for a property, together with managing the regular inspections schedule. The rental property has to be protected from tenant damage and no matter what you may think at the moment, the most important thing at the end of the day is to always schedule inspections.
Make sure that your contract includes all the clauses that have to be added. That is particularly important. At the same time, make sure that you will always draft really good contracts that include all the important mentions. This is what counts the most at the end of the day. Only draft contracts with tenants after you are confident that all will be ok and that they will be great.