As any seasoned landlord can attest, every property owner will deal with problematic tenets at some point. Undesirable tenets come in many different forms: noise-makers, people who are always late with rent and fearless individuals who willfully break safety regulations, to name a few. However, all these renters have one thing in common – a general disregard for the wellbeing of your property.
Of course, this isn’t to say that property damage is caused exclusively by bad tenets. Even people who dutifully pay their rent and respect your rules are liable to leave a little bit of damage behind when they move out. Fledgling landlords who are new to the rental game would be wise to prepare themselves for the following types of damage.
Dents and Holes in Walls
After a tenant vacates a rental property, you’re practically guaranteed to find a few dents and/or holes in the walls. These blemishes often come about as a result of furniture and other large objects making contact with walls. More often than not, this occurs when furniture is being moved. In fact, many of the dents and holes you’ll find were likely created when tenants were moving in. With this in mind, take pictures of the property’s walls shortly before a new tenant moves in. Once they move out, you’ll be able to compare your photos to the actual walls and request the appropriate amount of compensation.
Fortunately, most wall-based blemishes are small and are neither costly nor time-consuming to repair. A dependable Riverside handyman will be able to patch up the aforementioned damages in a timely manner and have your walls looking as good as new.
Broken Garbage Disposals
When assessing the condition of a soon-to-be-vacated property, make a point of testing out the garbage disposal. Many people misuse garbage disposals by feeding them items that are too tough for their blades. Egg shells, uncooked veggies and fish bones are all examples of items that should never be placed down garbage disposals, but some renters won’t hesitate to wash them down the drain and fire up their disposal units. It doesn’t take long for a misused garbage disposal to become completely useless, and considering how expensive a reliable disposal can be, it’s important for your tenants to keep them in good condition. If a disposal unit malfunctions as a direct result of a tenant’s negligence, the offending party should be expected to pay for a replacement.
Sweeping Aesthetic Changes to the Property
While not necessarily a form of damage, repainted walls are actively discouraged in most rental agreements. Property owners are typically in charge of determining wall colors, and if a tenant takes it upon themselves to repaint a unit, he or she should incur the cost of having it returned to its original color. While arguably the most common aesthetic change renters make to properties, repainted walls are far from the only one. Replacing carpeting and installing wall-based shelves and mounts are other common alterations that violate the terms of many rental agreements. Wanting to add their own unique flourishes to their living space is perfectly understandable, but at the end of the day, renters must understand that they do not own the property.
Virtually any rental property in which pets are allowed is bound to incur damage. The exact types of damage vary from case to case, but the most common forms of pet damage include pulled-up carpeting, scratch marks on walls and doors and the lingering aroma of urine. For this reason, many landlords require tenants to pay a pet deposit when they move in. If a pet causes no damage, this money is returned when the tenant moves out, but if damage does indeed occur, the deposit is put toward repairing it.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a rental property that hasn’t incurred some form of damage after being vacated by its most recent tenant(s). This damage can run the gamut from minor blemishes to substantial problems and dealing with such issues is an inescapable part of being a landlord. Fortunately, after familiarizing yourself with the most common types of damage, you’ll be well-equipped to draft rental agreements that ensure you’re not financially responsible for the problems your tenants leave behind.