How To Keep Your Tenants From Destroying Your Property

by James on 08/25/2010

Image of a living room damaged by tenants

Now that you have rented your property and are collecting monthly rent checks, you need to make sure your property stays in good shape. The last thing any real estate investor needs is a hefty repair bill when tenants move out. Unfortunately, nothing is full-proof, but if you follow the steps below, the chances of your property remaining relatively undamaged will be higher.

Select Good Tenants!

Sorry, but the most important step in preventing rental property destruction is to avoid terrible tenants! If you already have destructive tenants in your house, then you need to consult a professional for assistance.

Promptly Resolve Any Issues With Your Property

Once you get tenants into your rental property, resolve any problems with the house promptly. Nothing proves to your tenants that you take care of your property more than if you respond quickly to any issues. And, this will influence them to take care of your property, too. Make sure to give your tenants a checklist to walk through the house and mark anything down that is not working, broken, damaged, etc. Get this checklist taken care of during the first week they move-in and quickly fix anything within reason. Don’t go overboard and hire a interior designer because your tenants want a new look! Just make sure everything works as expected.

Emergency Contact Information

In case there are any emergencies, make sure that your tenants have a way to contact you. Provide them with a phone number they can call. Sure, no one wants to be disturbed at 10 o’clock at night, but if it is a true emergency, you should want to know. I personally told my tenants to call me at any time if there was an emergency. I then followed this up with examples such as water leaks from plumbing or the roof. Anything else can wait until the next day.

Have A Key To Your Property

If there are ever any issues with your rental property, you had better have a way to get inside. Imagine that a water pipe breaks inside the house and your tenants are out-of-town. Or, you need to fix something in the house and during the only time you can get over there, the tenants are away. Make sure that you keep spare keys and that these keys work.

Keep An Eye On Your Property

Don’t just leave your property and expect everything to be okay. Come around every two or three months to change out the air filters, spray for weeds, etc. Ask your tenants if there are any issues that need to be addressed. If you see that the yard is not being done or there is anything that you don’t like, be polite and remind them to take care of the property (taking care of the property should be in your contract). Of course, let your tenants know in advance that you will be coming.

Remember, nothing is more important than selecting good tenants. However, if you set an example by promptly fixing any issues with your property, keep a spare key, and visit the house on a regular basis, you stand the best chance of avoiding any huge repair costs.

Related posts:

  1. Top 3 Ways To Avoid Terrible Tenants
  2. 12 Simple Steps To Get Your First Rental Property

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

stephan strydom 02/21/2012 at 12:42 pm

the big question is how to get the bastards out without paying a laywer 3months worth of fee [witch iI have not] to get a court order, some other er legal ways

James 08/19/2012 at 6:44 am


That is an excellent question. Dealing with tenants that don’t pay the rent is a tough situation. Unfortunately, the process is not easy, as you already know. It is unlikely that you’ll get your money back, but it is important to follow through on the legal stuff in hopes of making it very difficult for these people from being able to rent another property. This will help other landlords identify these terrible tenants via background checks and avoid renting their properties to these people.

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