How to Protect Yourself from Irresponsible Tenants
Every landlord hopes that the residents of their building or apartment complex will be agreeable. Rent should be on time. The noise level at night should be at a minimum. Tenants should clean up after themselves. Most of all, the apartment should not be trashed after the tenant moves out. Sadly, this does not always happen. Mesa Arizona landlords should take some of the following precautions to weed out potential problems before approving a resident.
1. Create an Airtight Lease
Loopholes in leases are the downfall of anyone renting out a living space. They must account for every possible situation and implement them into the contract. Although residents rarely read the entire lease, evicted renters will bring lawyers to the table to go through it carefully and find a way to escape the charges. This is a common way to get out of the fees associated with breaking the lease.
2. Require a Security Deposit
Refundable deposits are a must when it comes to signing a new tenant. They cover the removal of abandoned personal property and any damages that are not normal wear and tear. If Mesa tenants flee leaving no trace of their whereabouts, at least the landlord has some of their funds to clean up their mess. Tenants who do this are more likely to have trashed the apartment or skipped out on rent. Some landlords ask for the first and last month’s rent in advance to prevent this from happening, but the average security deposit is one month’s worth of rent.
3. Decline Tenants who have a Criminal Record
This is especially helpful in large cities where crime is a problem. Property value decreases when areas become riddled with crime. Common crimes in residential areas such as drug dealing, breaking and entering, robbery, and mugging affect the other tenants as well. Drug dealing is especially dangerous because it brings other criminals to the property to buy the substances. A simple background check should uncover any illegal activity. Landlords have the choice whether to prohibit anyone who has a conviction or just anyone with felony charges. They should also encourage residents to report suspicious activity on the property.
4. Do a Credit Check
Not everyone with bad credit has been irresponsible with money. Some of them haven’t had the chance to accumulate it. Nevertheless, credit checks purge renters that have shown they have no financial responsibility. In addition, warning tenants that failure to pay rent could affect their credit score gives them incentive to pay on time. Checking credit scores is free and only requires a social security number. Background checks may require a fee.
5. Have a Clear Pet Policy
Although a lenient pet policy attracts more tenants, animals are a massive liability. They have accidents on the floor and create unpleasant smells. Residents who do not dispose of their pet’s waste leave it for other residents to step in. If a large dog gets loose, it can hurt another dog or even a person. Many Mesa landlords that allow pets only allow cats or cats and small dogs. Most apartment complexes have a list of prohibited breeds because they are considered dangerous. These include pitbulls, huskies, akitas, mastiffs, and bulldogs. Pet fees help to offset the cost of potential damage a pet can do. They can be a onetime fee, part of the monthly rent, or both. Of course, make it clear in the lease that no barnyard animals are allowed.
Such actions cannot guarantee that all the residents of the complex will be compliant easy tenants. However precautions like these could save landlords thousands of dollars in maintenance, insurance premiums, and loss prevention.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
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