It’s not hard to emphasize the gorgeous exterior of rental homes in the sunny state of Florida, but proper maintenance plays a big part. As a rental property owner, it’s your job to provide a clean, safe, and livable home. However, you’re legally allowed to outline a set of maintenance responsibilities for tenants in the Orlando, Jacksonville, or Palm Beach area. Read on for tips and tricks that can increase your rental property’s curb appeal one tenant at a time.
Outline in the lease whether you will arrange for lawn care or the tenant will be assigned duties. If they’re expected to perform the property’s landscaping, keep it simple. Watering and mowing the grass is a reasonable request when a property includes a visible front or back yard, but provide the tools to do so. Explain that overgrown or browned grass can attract pests and result in fines from the tenant’s neighborhood association. Alert the tenant to the area’s watering restrictions during the droughts and shortages in Florida’s long dry summers.
Pruning plants, raking leaves, and removing pet feces are easy tasks that tenants aren’t likely to object to, and they’ll keep your property looking attractive to passersby. Write them out in the lease. Make sure you include a clause that any yard work leftover after the tenant’s residency will be deducted from their deposit so they don’t bring down the curb appeal of your property.
Smells, chemicals, and pests can all result from garbage that accumulates, not to mention unsightly heaps of trash. Include a lease clause that covers the municipality’s maintenance fee – tenants will be more likely to manage their waste when they’re paying for it. Make sure your tenant understands where and how to contain their garbage. Provide an appropriate size and amount of receptacles for the number of tenants (around the side of the building in an enclosure is best for curb appeal). Tenants are legally required to keep the property sanitary, but make it easy for them. Give them a schedule of which days their garbage needs to be curbside or provide the location of facilities where they can dump their waste.
Since your tenants will be overseeing your rental property the majority of the time, they have a mutual interest in its upkeep. Their respectful usage of your property is quite literally your business, so you should specify dos and don’ts in the lease. While sweeping the sidewalk, cleaning buildup in gutters, and avoiding oil stains in the driveway will increase your property’s curb appeal, these are small fixes compared to costly repairs.
Outline the tenant’s responsibility to immediately report rotting banisters, broken doors or windows, torn screens, and siding or shutters that have fallen into disrepair. A well-lit property also helps prospects to see a visible address and creates the expectation of safety, so have tenants either install or request bright, working bulbs at all times. This will also help to deter burglars and prevent tenant injury.
You can bill the tenant for any damage that was caused by their failure to report these instances in a timely manner. Make sure “timely manner” is defined by a reasonable amount of time in the Orlando, Jacksonville, or Palm Beach area.
Protect Your Property and Your Tenants
The longer a property’s maintenance goes neglected, the more you risk an empty rental. Your tenants are required to contact you for repairs, and it’s your duty to respond quickly and efficiently. You can offer to reduce rent for the tenant to perform their own repairs within reason, but make sure the tenant doesn’t get ahead of themselves and violate terms in the lease. We also discourage property managers from allowing tenants to do their own remodeling, get on the roof, or conduct other potentially harmful behaviors (i.e. electrical repairs).
As the nationwide leader in residential property management, Real Property Management Sunstate has a network of trustworthy maintenance professionals. We can also help to navigate relationships with your tenants to preserve your property. Contact us today to learn how we can service your rental property in the Orlando, Jacksonville, or Palm Beach area.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.