Tenants can do an extraordinary amount of damage, and you don’t always know which tenants are going to be a chore. If you want to rent out your home, you need to protect it, first. Here’s how.
Have you ever had concrete poured down your drains? Copper wiring ripped out of your walls? Fish placed in your vents?
It might never happen to you… But it could.
Tenants can be malicious, especially if they’re being evicted. Tenants can also be negligent: a tenant can lead to thousands of dollars in plumbing expenses simply by flushing things they shouldn’t.
If you want to protect your investment, you need to be proactive.
You can’t completely eliminate your risk by being picky, but it helps. Don’t skip calling references: it’s important. Run a credit check. Follow up with prior landlords. If a landlord refuses to say anything at all, well, that’s saying something. And make sure your tenants have renters insurance. You can (and should) require it as terms of your lease, so if anything does happen to your property, you can be compensated.
Your regular homeowners policy doesn’t protect you from the risks involved with renting. You need a specific policy known as a landlords insurance policy. This is going to protect you from incidents in your home caused by tenants. But it will also protect you from associated issues, such as being without rental income while the concrete is being drilled out of your drains.
Like other home insurance properties, your landlords insurance will be based on the value of your home. So make sure you have a current appraisal and review your coverage limits.
We get it: inspections are awkward and weird. Tenants hate them. Landlords hate them. But without regular tenant inspections, you’re not going to know about the above ground pool your tenants installed in your unfinished basement. At least, not until they’ve already moved out. Regular inspections are critical for catching problems before they become major issues. As long as you’re not too picky about cleanliness (who doesn’t have a few dirty dishes?), your tenants should be fine with them too.
Imagine the worst tenant horror story you’ve ever heard. Even that can be countered with the right insurance policy. Contact an independent insurance agent to get a quote today.
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