Anyone that has a Baltimore County rental home with carpeting knows what a beating the floors can take after a lease term has come and gone.
And, while sometimes it may be your tenant’s fault (e.g. not removing shoes upon entering the rental), so long as the damage does not exceed normal wear and tear, you are ultimately responsible for the cleaning or replacement of the rental’s carpet.
That said, there are some tried and true ways of protecting the carpets in your rental home that can help extend the life of your flooring, and keep the costs of replacement down.
Today, we are going to look at some of the most common ways your rental property’s carpets are damaged during a tenant occupancy, as well as some of the best ways to avoid such damage.
With this information on hand, you will be able to extend the life of your Baltimore rental property’s carpet, keep tenants more satisfied with the physical appearance of your property’s carpeting, and best of all, save time and money.
The Biggest Reasons Why Your Baltimore County Rental Property Carpets are Being Ruined
Understanding the most common reasons why your rental’s carpet is looking less than ideal (even after a short tenancy), can help you prevent further damage in the future.
- Poor Cleaning Habits. Lack of cleaning only aids in the deterioration of your rental property’s carpet. For example, stains that soak in, and a lack of vacuuming can wreak havoc on carpet. Unfortunately, property owners typically have very little say when it comes to how often their rental’s carpets are cleaned during tenancy. However, not investing in a professional cleaning in between tenancies can make matters even worse.
- Pets. If you have a pet-friendly rental property, you can expect to have at least minimal damage to your carpets by the end of the lease term. Pet accidents, scratching, digging, and chewing are all reasons why your carpets may look terrible when your tenant is ready to move out.
- Lack of House Rules. Though there is little you can do as a property owner when it comes to your tenant’s house rules, it is important to understand that a lack of carpet house rules is the root of the problem. One of the most common carpet house rules is removing your shoes at the door to prevent tracking in dirt, grime, and the dreaded black marks shoes leave behind.
The Best Ways to Protect the Carpets in Your Rental Home
Although carpets are not meant to last forever, there are definitely ways to stay in line with the seven-year rule that states you should replace your rental property’s carpet approximately every seven years.
If you find yourself having to replace your Baltimore County rental’s property more often than every seven years, check out these property management tips to better protect your carpet.
1. Conduct Thorough Move-in and Move-Out Inspections
One great way to protect yourself from having to replace your rental’s carpet prematurely is to place the responsibility on your tenant, should they be at fault.
Sure, carpet is bound to experience some natural wear and tear, thanks to the day-to-day living of your tenants.
However, if you document before move-in that your rental’s carpet has no staining, tearing, or pet smells, there also should be none of that upon move-out.
If there are signs of these damages, your tenant will then be held responsible, should those damages exceed the definition of normal wear and tear.
Your Baltimore County property management company can help you conduct these kinds of property inspections. In addition, they have the experience to help you determine how much of your tenant’s security deposit you can keep at the end of the lease term to help pay for any damaged carpeting.
2. Avoid Carpet Near Doorways
Some of the worst damage to carpeting is known to exist in the entryways of doorways.
Why is this?
Because, even if your tenant has a no-shoes-in-the-house rule, it is rare that people take their shoes off outside of the home.
This means that directly inside the doorway, your carpet is going to be met with a lot of dirt.
By placing a small hard surface, whether it is tile, wood, or laminate, directly inside the doorways to your rental property, you will accommodate your tenant’s need to enter the house before removing their shoes.
And, more importantly, this will prevent your tenants from tracking dirt from the outside to inside your rental, where it will grind into your entryway carpet.
3. Choose the Right Carpet
There are many options available when it comes to choosing the right carpet for your Baltimore rental property.
While you do not want to overspend, (especially if you plan to replace the carpet regularly) you do not want to install cheap carpeting either.
You should consider things such as cost, look, feel, color, and type of fiber when it comes to carpeting your rental property.
Highly trafficked areas require a durable fiber type and a darker-colored carpet to prevent staining, or at the very least, to show less staining when spills happen.
4. Implement an Annual Cleaning
You should have your rental’s carpets professionally cleaned after a tenant moves out in preparation for the incoming new tenant.
However, what happens when a tenant lives in your rental for more than one year?
Not having your carpets deep cleaned for years at a time is a big mistake, if you are looking to protect your floors.
Instead, consider having your rental’s carpets cleaned at least once a year by a professional. Even better, pay for it so there is no inconvenience on the part of your tenant.
The money spent on quality carpet cleanings will save you money in the long run.
5. Do Not Allow Pets
If you are overly concerned about the preservation of your rental’s carpet, consider not allowing tenants to have pets. Or, if you do allow pets, be very firm about which types are allowed, who will be responsible for carpet damages, and whether or not the pets will be allowed in the rental.
If you need helping drafting a lease agreement that prevents pets from being allowed in your rental, contact your local property management team to help you.
If you end up allowing tenants to have pets, but want to implement strict provisions, your property manager will be able to help you include this in the lease agreement, as well as explain the rules to your tenants so there is no confusion.
In the end, protecting your Baltimore County rental property’s carpeting can be tough when you are not the one living in the rental.
However, there are things you can do to protect your rental property’s carpet, and your bank account from excessive damage.
If you are in the Baltimore area and want help protecting your rental property’s carpet with move-in inspections, pet policies, and required cleanings, contact Bay Management Group to help you draft the perfect lease agreement and find the perfect tenant for your property.
With years of experience in the rental property business, we know what it takes to protect your rental property’s flooring. In addition, we understand that managing rental properties is a tough job So, let us take on the responsibility of protecting your property, managing your tenants, and collecting your monthly rent.