Orlando rental properties make great investments, but they often come with a lot of risk as well. Investors have to worry about keeping their properties occupied with great tenants and avoiding expensive legal mistakes.
Many landlords are also worried about the potential for property damage. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
Orlando Tenant Screening
Avoiding property damage starts with good tenant screening. Establish some consistent criteria for the residents you’ll accept, and stick to that criteria when you’re screening. Check credit reports for past evictions and overdue payments that are still owed to former landlords and apartment buildings. Make sure there isn’t anything in an applicant’s criminal history or background that indicates they might be dangerous to people or property.
Talk to current and former landlords as well. Ask rental references if there was any damage left behind or even excessive wear and tear.
Collect a Security Deposit
Florida doesn’t set a limit on the security deposit you can collect from a tenant before move-in. You don’t want to charge a deposit that’s too high because tenants might find the amount prohibitive. However, you want to collect a security deposit that’s high enough to cover any potential damage that’s left behind after a tenant moves out.
Routine Inspections and Documentation
Inspections are an important part of protecting the condition of your investment home. Make sure you carefully and thoroughly document the condition of the property before the tenants move into it. Then, compare that inspection report to the inspection you conduct after your tenants move out. If you take a lot of pictures, videos, and notes, it should be easy to see what kind of damage was done.
Hold tenants accountable. You can deduct damage from their security deposit, and you can require them to pay for anything that’s due to their abuse, neglect, or misuse.
Responsive and Preventative Maintenance
Don’t wait for small problems to turn into large catastrophes. When your residents report a maintenance issue or request a repair, take care of it right away. A leak that’s ignored for weeks or months is going to turn into a plumbing disaster and may result in rot and mold as well. Deferred and unreported maintenance can cause a lot of damage to your property and your relationship with your tenants, so take care of things promptly and completely.
Preventative maintenance can also protect you against property damage. Schedule annual inspections for your air conditioner, water heater, and roof. Conduct regular pest control and make sure you have hurricane shutters in place before storm season arrives.
Orlando Property Management
The best way to prevent damage to your investment home is by using the services of a professional Orlando property management company. Property managers have systems and processes in place to ensure your property is well-maintained and safe from neglect and bad tenants.
We’d love to tell you more about how we can protect and preserve the condition of your asset. Contact us at Park Avenue Property Management today.