Tips To Protect Your Property and Increasing Your ROI

  • Hire a management company. Be sure your management company does quarterly walk-throughs and provides you with a written update.


  • Have a yearly maintenance routine. This is especially important for an older property. Create a schedule that includes having your AC serviced twice per year (fall and spring are recommend), pest control, tree trimming, and weed spray. I recommend Britton Service Group and Magic Pest and Lawn. I use both companies for my personal home. Request the AC company to replace the AC filters when they visit the property.


  • Consider putting into the lease that the tenants are responsible for replacing the AC filters each month. One suggestion is to provide the tenants with 12 AC filters and require them to change the filters each month. You can give the tenants the option of replacing filters themselves or paying $25/month to have management or the AC company change them. Or, if filters aren’t changed after the first walk through they will lose $200 from their security deposit at the end of their lease to cover the cost of the AC service.


  • Provide move-out instructions upfront so tenants are aware of their responsibilities of maintaining the property.


  • If you allow pets, charge a $300-$500 non-refundable fee instead of a security deposit. The fee ranges based on the breed, weight and age of the pet.


  • Require the tenants to fill out an Inventory and Condition form and send it to you within 3 days of the lease start date. *Both you and the tenants need to sign and date it for it to be valid.


  • Personally walk through the property before the tenants move-in. Take photos and date them. Hold onto these photos in the event there is a dispute in the future. If you can’t walk through the property then have your property manager do it and request they take photos. Things to look for would be broken blinds, stained carpet, marks on the wall, etc.


  • Walk through the property with the tenants after they move-out. Give them an opportunity to clean and repair damages.


  • You will have to provide an itemized list of repair and cleaning costs so the tenant knows what is being deducted from their security deposit. You have 30 days from when the tenants provide you their forwarding address to return their security deposit. If you have a property manager then they will handle this for you.


  • If the median days on market in the area is over 30 days, consider giving the tenants a 60 day notice. This needs to be written into the lease that the property can be marketed for rent 60 days before the lease end date. This gives you double the amount of time to find a tenant which should help decrease the vacancy rate.


  • If you aren’t using a property management company then try an app like Landlordy to help keep track of rent and expenses.


  • Require the tenant to pay for a monthly lawn service or increase the rent to include lawn service. This should ideally be disclosed upfront (before they submit applications).


  • Require proof of renter’s insurance.




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