How To Protect Your Apartment Community Units From Tenant Damage
As an apartment community owner, there is always a risk of being left with apartments that are cluttered with garbage, structurally damaged, or simply neglected and in need of refurbishment when tenants move out. Requiring a security deposit from each tenant before moving in is a great way to protect your apartment units from damage and unnecessary neglect.
However a deposit is no guarantee of a well-kept apartment, so it's a good idea to take even more steps that will protect your apartment units from tenant damage so you aren't left with the need for repairs and replacements before you can fill the units again. Here are a few ideas to consider implementing:
Host Spring Cleaning Events
One of the best ways to ensure that clutter doesn't pile up in apartment units and that your tenants have a convenient opportunity to get rid of unwanted furniture and other household items (so they aren't left behind when someone moves out) is to host yearly spring cleaning events within your community. By encouraging all tenants to participate, you can create an event that's fun and productive without breaking the bank.
Renting a couple of dumpsters from a company like Parks & Sons of Sun City, Inc. is one of the most important steps of planning your spring cleaning event. They can be delivered and set up in a convenient area that is centralized to most residents and then picked up once they're full at the end of the event. This will minimize the stress load on your community garbage stations and encourage tenants to get rid of even large objects without feeling guilty about not taking it to the dump themselves.
In addition to making sure that there is plenty of dumpster space for all unwanted belongings, send a flier out to each tenant announcing the event so they have time to plan. Consider offering perks to those who qualify, such as a free scheduled movie night at your community center after all the hard work is done. Ask everyone to bring along a dish to share with each other and make a potluck out of the experience so everyone stays fueled while they work, and put a few signs up around the apartment complex in the days leading up to the spring cleaning event as a friendly reminder.
If the dumpster rental company you're working with does not accept specific items in their containers, it's a good idea to include a list of unacceptable items for the dumpsters on your signs to ensure nothing prohibited is accidentally dumped. In the end, you should be left with a cleaner apartment community that in turn encourages tenants to take good care of their units.
Provide Tenants with Move-Out Checklists
To ensure that apartment units are left in the condition that you expect, it's essential to create and provide a move-out checklist that can be used by tenants when they're in the process of moving their belongings out of a unit and cleaning it up before leaving. The items on the checklist should coincide with how you've decided to base the security deposit that you require. An effective way to do this is to assign a specific amount of money to each item on the checklist so that the total matches the total amount of the deposit that a tenant pays.
This will ensure that there are no surprises for tenants if they don't receive all of their deposit back, and it will allow you to be very clear about why a tenant doesn't get all of their deposit back. In most states, by law it is your responsibility to prove that damage was done or things weren't satisfactorily cleaned – so you can document each section of the checklist that wasn't conformed to and back up your findings with photos taken during the inspection process after a tenant moves out.
You'll find that these techniques and methods not only help to save your apartment business some money on repairs and refurbishments as time goes on, but they're sure to improve the quality of life your tenants experience while living within your community.