Florida landlords know the time and effort that goes into the upkeep of rental properties. It’s a year-round effort, both when tenants are renting the properties and when the properties are vacant. In an ideal world, the gap between tenants would remain short to keep the cash flow coming instead of missing out on rent payments.
It can be beneficial to have a small gap between tenants, however, so you have the opportunity to make sure the property is in order. This not only allows you to ensure tenant satisfaction but it can also alleviate some of your work, as well. It’s important to take advantage of the time you have in between tenants – here are some tasks you should consider when you’ve got an opportunity.
Deep cleaning and repairs
A portion of this list is the typical steps any landlord will take in between tenants, but it’s worth noting regardless. This is obviously necessary to make sure the property is ready for the next tenant, but it also protects you should legal situations arise either now or in the future.
When you deep clean and repair any issues within the property it draws a line between past and future tenants. This way should you discover significant damage now or later then you’ll know definitively who the responsible tenant is.
Inspect all plumbing fixtures
One of the most expensive fixes for any landlord will be plumbing issues. These can arise quickly and create serious liability should the plumbing issue do significant damage not only to your property but also to any other connected properties or rooms.
An inspection of the plumbing should go beyond just checking that all toilets are clean and working and that all faucets are operating as normal. A professional plumber can do a thorough review of all plumbing fixtures, taking a proactive approach to any future problems.
Change the locks/codes or rekey the property
The dream tenant is one who is considerate of the property and on time with all payments. However, even the perfect tenant doesn’t mean you should skip this step.
Future tenants should be able to rest assured knowing there are no safety risks in their homes. Even if they’re renting, the property is meant to be a safe haven for them.
If there are physical keys then it’s easy for tenants to make duplicates and there’s no way of knowing definitively that a tenant didn’t keep a key or two for themselves. Many modern locks are code-based and can be updated by simply changing the code. Whatever process you must take it’s worth taking the time to protect your property and your tenants.
Return the security deposit on time
We started this list with an obvious step and we’ll wrap it up with another one. It’s important to know what Florida law says about security deposits.
If you have done a thorough inspection and have no claims against the former tenant’s security deposit then you have 15 days to return the money. If you do have a claim, then you have 30 days from the date the tenant vacated to notify them by certified mail. If the tenant does not dispute this claim then you have 15 days from the date the tenant received the notice to return the deposit.
If your tenant disputes the claim in court and wins then you will be responsible for court and attorney fees. If the tenant disputes the claim in court and loses then they will be responsible for your court and attorney fees and will receive the deposit minus the claim you filed against it.
Each of these steps will set you up to avoid issues in the future. It’s important to use the time in between tenants to make sure the property doesn’t have lingering issues and won’t have issues when future tenants move in. If you find that there are major issues during this time and need an attorney to defend your hard work and your property, contact Atlas Law. We advocate for Florida landlords and their right to earn an honest living.