11 Steps You Need to Take When There’s Pet Damage to Your Apartment Property
Pet damage can be stressful, especially in a rental property. Understanding what qualifies as pet damage and the necessary steps to take after making that identification is essential. Here are 11 crucial steps to identify the damage and deal with it accordingly.
1. Document the pet damage to the apartment
Arguably the most important step is to make sure you document pet damage. Take photos and videos and include any necessary descriptions and context. This protects the apartment community, managing company and leasing employees from any potential "he said, she said" situations.
2. Get estimates to repair the damage
Utilize the great network of vendors that exist within the rental housing industry. Collecting multiple estimates will ensure you are prepared to make the necessary fixes to your rental property.
3. Evaluate the cost of repairs
Once you understand how much the damage will cost to fix, you can formulate a plan to talk to the tenant about the damage. You're also able to assess which vendor is the best fit to handle the repairs.
4. Talk to your tenant about the damage
This is a difficult step that you should approach with caution and empathy, while making clear to the tenant that there are consequences for the damage.
5. Respond calmly to any pushback from the tenant
Even a responsible tenant may get upset when have to pay additional costs or might lose their security deposit. Responding, engaging and listening is imperative to maintaining a healthy relationship with the tenant. Be sure to explain to your tenants that their security deposit covers problems like pet damage but may not be sufficient, if the damage is severe.
6. Deduct from the security deposit to cover the damage
Once you brief the tenant on the cost of fixing the damage, you can calculate how much to deduct from the security deposit and any additional costs the tenant may have to pay.
7. Create a plan for fixing the pet damage to the apartment
With the gathered estimates, you can select a vendor to make the repairs. A key consideration is a repair timeline for the next tenant if the previous one is moving out.
8. Execute the plan to restore your property
Perhaps the easiest step of all, letting the selected vendor fix the pet damage. Before you reach this step, make sure the damage is documented.
9. Keep documentation of pet damage incidents
Take pictures of the area where the pet damage occurred after it's remediated. In the case where similar pet damage occurs in another rental, you'll be able to utilize the same vendor and have a good sense of how it will look, post-restoration.
10. Review your pet policy
Evaluating lessons learned from tenant situations is important so you're able to potentially stop them from happening again. Review your current pet policy and note if anything is unclear or could be misinterpreted and then make changes where necessary.
11. Edit any communication or marketing around pets
If you made any changes to the pet damage policy, make sure these changes are communicated to current tenants. Also, plan to share your pet policy with future tenants to avoid potential pet damage situations.
Facing pet damage, with a plan
While we love our furry friends, we don't love the damage they can cause. Approaching such circumstances with a plan and making any necessary adjustments to your current pet policy will help to prevent future problems with your tenants and their furry friends. Check out more tips for renting a house with pets.