Landlords: Determining charges for property damaged by
Tenant Property Damage and Leases
Each state has its own laws in place to protect
you from unruly tenants, yet your best protection is the lease that
is signed. It is ultimately the tool that you will use to protect
yourself and recover losses you suffer.
following are common sense tips that will help protect you and your
- Even if you're anxious to
lease the property, take your time vetting potential tenants. Pull a
credit report and examine their rental history. Utilize public
records in order to learn more about lawsuits,
judgments and criminal background. In the long run, you're
better holding the house for a month or two rather than renting to a
tenant with a troubled past.
- Take photos of
every room prior to allowing a tenant to move in. Detailed pictures
can serve as evidence of the home's condition.
Make sure the lease contains clear language as to who is responsible
for repairs -- large and small -- as well as who will be taking care
of issues such as a lawn care.
- Include a
clause that fully outlines the condition in which you expect to find
the property at any time during the lease. For example, if you don't
want a speed boat in the driveway, make it clear.
- Cover things tenants can and cannot do. For example,
"There will be no painting without the express consent of
- Include a passage that
indicates your intention to keep the security deposit in the event
that there is damage to the property.
a walk-thru with the tenant prior to move-in and another at
move-out. Ask the tenant to sign a document indicating the
completion of the walk-thru.
- If you have any
questions about your rights, a good place to begin is The Landlord
More tips like this one ...