We know that a lot of Issaquah rental property owners worry about tenant damage. Something can happen to your home during a tenancy, or you can find excessive damage after a tenant has moved out. It’s frustrating. No one wants to walk into their investment property and find large holes in the walls and the floors or broken appliances in the kitchen.
Normal wear and tear is expected during a tenancy, but damage can be expensive. It can also delay your process for re-renting the property.
If a tenant has damaged your home, make sure everything is documented so you can withhold as much money as possible from the security deposit.
Issaquah Rental Property Inspections and Documentation
Conduct an annual maintenance inspection annually so you can check for any potential damage. If you write this into your lease agreement and mention it during the move-in process, your tenants will not be surprised or inconvenienced. This is a great way to look for and document potential damage.
Most damage isn’t discovered until after the lease period, however. Once your tenants have moved out, get into your rental property quickly. You don’t want to wait more than a day or two because if there is damage, you’ll need to take action immediately.
Inspect the home thoroughly and document all the damage you find. You’ll need pictures, notes, videos, and a copy of your move-in inspection so you can compare the condition then to the condition now.
Make Repairs Quickly to Re-Rent your Issaquah Property
Repairing the damage quickly is important for two reasons. First, you want to have an accurate idea of how much damage was done and what you’ll have to do to repair it. You don’t want to estimate what the tenant owes you when you’re making a claim against the security deposit. You’ll want to have receipts and invoices that you can use to demonstrate what is owed to you.
The second reason is that you’ll be able to get your property back on the market as quickly as possible. Work quickly and get the property rented out to a better, more responsible tenant so you can begin earning income again.
Withholding the Tenant’s Security Deposit
The security deposit you collected before your tenant moved in is held in case there is damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear. After the work has been completed and the cost has been documented, you can let your tenants know that you’re keeping all or most of the security deposit.
Washington State has pretty strict security deposit laws. Make sure you get the itemized statement of deductions back to your tenant within 21 days.
When your tenant owes you more than what the security deposit covered, you can send a demand for payment. It’s a long shot, but you might be able to set up a payment arrangement or some kind of schedule in order to collect what your tenant owes you.
Preventing Tenant Damage: Screening and Insurance
Protect yourself and your property by doing everything you can to avoid this type of tenant damage. Rigorous screening practices are a good start. Check every applicant’s credit for money that’s owed to former landlords or apartment communities. Talk to former rental references.
You can also require renter’s insurance. This will protect you from any of the tenant’s liability when they’re renting your home.