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Tenant Maintenance – What’s in the Contract? By Jean Hill, CEO of Jean’s Clean Team www.jeanscleanteam.com

How often do you read the fine print on a contract? Think about the privacy policy for an app you purchased online; those for a new credit card or perhaps your car lease agreement? It’s probably not very often – so should we be surprised that the contract outlining the requirements to live in one of your rental units may only get a cursory reading at signing by the tenant and then be filed away?

For a younger population raised with text messaging, Snapchat and Instagram, I’d suggest that they prefer to read short-form content rather than long-form. Even those older do. While we can assume all tenants are well-meaning, it’s smart to have documents in an easy-to-read fashion to make sure your rental unit stays clean and tidy.

Here are some ideas: Why I raise this is that requirements for landlord, property manager and tenant maintenance are included in the contract to protect the valuable rental asset. Items might include landlord and property manager duties to upkeep air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, the parking lot and common areas landscaped. A tenant may have requirements to keep a place ‘tidy, free of trash, dirt or debris.’ But how often do you see inside of those units after renting them or make sure your tenants really understand what these requirements mean? Tenant maintenance is obviously key – what you’re renting is the unit ultimately. But many of those who rent may be doing so for the first time – did you know that 51% of those renting in the US are under age 30? In Florida, it is estimated that 13.33% of the population rents. If we dive a bit deeper into Jacksonville as a large city, you’ll find that 21% of all housing is rental apartments.

Create a single-page bulleted list of the tenant maintenance section of the contract in easy to understand language and place one in each unit as it’s rented – or better yet, also talk it through at signing, where there is the required legal language on the contract.

Make sure tenants understand when they should call you – for example, don’t fix that electrical outlet yourself or install one with a USB socket because they need more charging outlets for their technical devices – without contacting you. Have your name and contact details texted or emailed to them rather than just providing a business card.

Provide the first garbage bag for the unit and tie or tape a colorful map to it of where they are supposed to dispose of trash in your property along with whatever policies are in place for recycling.

If there is a storage unit for each apartment, is there a one-page bulleted list that can be emailed or provided that tells renters the do’s and don’ts of what to store there? Continued on Page 14

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SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017

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Coastlines  

September/ October 2017

Coastlines  

September/ October 2017