Being a landlord can be tough, especially when you have stubborn tenants. If you are tidy in your own home, then chances are you would want your tenants to be just as mindful when occupying your property. Not only is it healthy for everyone, it also makes it easier to rent out a recently vacated unit. No one likes moving into a building that looks trashed. A dirty tenant is also likely to be careless in other maintenance issues which may end up costing the landlord serious amounts of money. Here are a few tips on how you can encourage your tenants to make cleanliness a priority when living on your property.
- Check references
These days it a good idea for you to have a prospective tenant provide you with previous references. Where possible, ensure that they are of previous landlords. In this way, you can check up with them on what kind of tenant the applicant is. Avoid problematic tenants as much as possible, they can prove more costly than having a vacant unit.
- Know your tenant
Sometimes establishing a rapport with your tenant can serve your relationship well in the short and long term. Some may fail to properly clean their homes because they do not know what they are supposed to be doing. This is especially common with young tenants who are moving out on their own for the first time. Being approachable will make it easier for you to advise them when you notice cleanliness problems arising.
- Toughen up lease terms
It is possible to institute rules that allow you to hire a professional cleaning service at the cost of the tenant if they fail to properly maintain their living space. If you put this into action, they will either become more serious about cleaning up their home, or opt not to renew their lease so you can find better tenants. A milder option is giving notice of inspection. Most people will take advantage of the notice period to clean up before you come round. You can use the opportunity to kindly give them tips on which kinds of cleaning products they should use and how often.
- Be specific on cleaning practices
You can go so far as to specify the cleaning activities that should be carried out around the house and how often within a lease. This is especially useful when you are providing furnished or carpeted accommodation. Set steep penalties for failure to comply. This kind of deterrent can help keep your tenants on the straight and narrow
- Maintain the exterior
Keeping the exterior areas that are the responsibility of the landlord, or property management company, in order can also be helpful. From yards and stairwells, to roof gutters and exterior paintwork, make an effort to keep the tenants surroundings neat and clean so they can feel compelled to do the same indoors. If you let the exterior areas suffer, you will have little grounds on which to demand that your tenants maintain the interior properly.
- Keep record
Be sure to properly document the condition of the property before you hand over the keys to the tenant. You can do this by taking time stamped pictures or video recording. Let them know what you have done and that if they take good care of it, they stand of better chance of getting back their deposit intact and a positive referral to their next landlord.