You have a rental property and what seem to be good tenants. So how do you make your renters behave? Set rules and choose your battles. Then hire a good management company to help you enforce them.
It isn’t unreasonable to set clear rules for your tenants to follow. You want to keep your investment property in the best shape possible. So setting clear rules about smoking in the home, having pets, having hobbies that might damage the property and so forth are a good idea. On your side is the law and courts who will back you up if you find you have to evict someone for breaking rules that lead to damage to your property.
One of the first things you have to do is be sure that you rent out a property in tip top shape. That will mean that you will attract renters who are willing to keep a property in better condition. That is your best defense. Second, you should be careful about who you choose. If you don’t want someone smoking in the property, don’t rent to a smoker. If you don’t want pets, don’t rent to someone who has pets. Sounds common sense, but it really is. You will still have to enumerate all the rules, because that way they don’t bring in a roommate who smokes or go get a pet.
If you allow pets or smokers, ask for an extra deposit. Smoke gets into everything and the work involved in removing the smell can be expensive. Same with pets. If you’re renter has a cat who likes to mark territory that is a smell that can mean tearing out walls or tearing up rugs and floors. Mostly, just be crystal clear about the rules. Then choose your battles. As with parenting a child, making a huge deal about every little infraction will chase good tenants off. Require a deposit for pets and smoking and you will mitigate some of the expenses of removing the damage they either can cause to your property.
How to make your renters behave? Your best bet is to hire a good management company who knows the best way to enforce your rules, such as having the tenant sign a list of the rules, and what to make a big deal about and what to let slide.
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