Landlords have every right to protect their assets. There may come a time when you have disputes with your tenants concerning property damage.
1. When one tenant leaves and before the next one moves in, go around the property, take photographs and make detailed notes of everything. You should keep a few copies in various places – hard copies and digital. Be sure to include all fixtures and appliances including interior rooms as well as exterior areas.
2. Carry out regular inspections of the property throughout the year to check up on things and ensure tenants are looking after it. You can conduct inspections as long as you let the tenant know in advance and both agree on a day and time.
3. Perform a thorough inspection again once the tenant has moved out and compare with your original photos. This could be vital evidence if you have a dispute with tenants over property damage and have to take it to court. These photographs and detailed documentation could be the different between winning and losing your case, so you want to have as much information on hand as you can.
Of course, going to the Tenancy Tribunal is the worst case scenario and it is always advisable to discuss any property damage with your tenant before it gets to that stage. Send them a written notice of damage with costs to repair and only if they don’t comply, will you have to seek advice regarding taking the matter further.