Thursday, May 15, 2014

Preparing for a new tenant

As a landlord, accepting a new tenant can expose you to several risks. Leasing your property to someone new means you’re still unsure of his willingness to abide by the rules of your lease agreement. 

Before you turn over the property to your tenant, check your property’s condition with regard to safety against fire, particularly gas and electrical provisions in the property.

To mitigate these risks and avoid problems with your tenant, consider these tips… 

Background check

Before you commit to accepting a tenant, it’s important to find out what you can about him first. Ask for references - work and previous landlords. Personal and credit references are also important because they’ll paint you a better picture of your tenant’s character and his capacity to pay rent. 

Safety checks

Before you turn over the property to your tenant, check your property’s condition with regard to safety against fire, particularly gas and electrical provisions in the property. All facilities must be in compliance with the Building Code. Performing these safety checks ensures that your property is safe and livable, thus avoiding liabilities that may ensue from unsafe property conditions. 

Security deposit

As a protection against possible damages or theft on your property, it’s important to ask for a security deposit, which can be in the amount of a couple of months’ rental fees. This amount can also serve as security for when your tenant flees the property without paying rent. Ask for the security deposit upfront, and don’t let the new tenant move in without his or her check being cleared by the bank first. 

Lease agreement

Get your agreement in writing. Include all the terms and conditions for your property such as terms on subletting, pets and renovations. Have your tenant sign the lease agreement before he moves in. Keep a record of the official lease agreement, with original signatures on every page of the document. 


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