There are advantages and disadvantages to owning rental property, and if you are considering it, below are some ways to ensure your business stays viable and tenants are healthy and safe.
Remember Safety First!
It’s vital to keep your properties well-maintained and safe for all tenants; if you have difficulty managing your properties, please consider hiring an experienced Houston property management company.
You should ensure that all common areas are well-lit and flights of stairs are well maintained, so no one slips and has an accident. Also, do regular inspections of the property and each unit to check for mold, asbestos, lead, and carbon dioxide problems.
Further, you should always look for moisture anywhere it isn’t supposed to be; standing water is a health risk to everyone and can indicate a severe maintenance issue.
Clean And Disinfect
If you own an apartment building with common areas, you’ve had to adapt during the COVID-19 era. Of course, it’s always important to keep common areas clean, but it’s taken on a new importance during the pandemic.
Science shows that the COVID-19 virus can live for hours on surfaces and spread through contact. So, your staff should clean and disinfect common touchpoints in common areas, including handrails, elevator buttons, knobs and door handles, mailboxes, entry and exit doors, etc.
Also, ensure that you have hand sanitizers available in the lobby, at elevators, and in your laundry room.
Keeping common areas clean and sanitary will help to avoid the spread of many viruses, including COVID-19.
Encourage Tenants To Clean
Many property owners don’t have a cleaning requirement in the lease, but this can cost you. You cannot claim a tenant is breaking the least by keeping a filthy apartment if it’s not a lease requirement to clean. And you cannot change the lease after it is signed.
So, you should have something in the lease that says the apartment must be kept reasonably clean. You can enforce this part of your lease by doing a monthly or quarterly inspection. Of course, you cannot expect everyone to be impeccable and tidy, but you can point out obvious cleanliness problems, such as dirty dishes sitting in the sink.
When your tenant has a mess in their apartment, make sure you document everything on paper and take photographs. You must have clear pictures so you have evidence that will stand up in court if needed.
You can bring this evidence up when the tenant leaves and demands their security deposit. Also, it helps to take a video of the mess left behind if you want to use their security deposit to pay your cleaning staff.
Check Your Smoke Detectors
It’s vital to ensure the safety of tenants from both an ethical and legal standpoint. Therefore, when doing your unit inspections, ensure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work and have fresh batteries.
This is an easy way to keep everyone safe, and you cover your bases if your tenants decide to remove the batteries for some reason. If they have, replace them and note in your documentation that the batteries were removed.
Keep Cleaning Supplies Stocked
You’ll need to have a cleaning staff working at an apartment complex to keep common areas clean and to get vacant units ready for rent.
Help them do their jobs well by keeping them well-supplied with carpet cleaner and deodorizer, bleach, sponges, window cleaner, steam mops, carpet freshener, etc. The easier it is to keep your place clean, the safer it will be for everyone. And your units will be easier to rent.