Whether it’s because it’s “where the boys are” or because it’s often the place where seniors retire to have some fun in the sun, the Sunshine State is the place that people young and old flock to—and when they get there, they’re going to need someplace to live. You may own or manage apartment buildings, condominiums, or other types of multi-unit residences that are being sought out by these folks, which means that you should be in the market for habitational insurance in Florida.
The policy offers protection from property damage as well as incidents resulting in an injury, to residents or visitors alike. While a comprehensive collection of coverage is called for, you can also take things into your own hands to help reduce the likelihood of problems on your premises. Consider the following:
- Scrutinize your prospective tenants. You can’t judge a book by its cover, so take the time (and spend the money) to run credit checks, contact references and look into potential tenants’ background. You are putting your property into the care of strangers, so you want to have concrete evidence that they will pay rent as promised and take good care of the property.
- Do it by the book. Even if your property is very small and you live on site, take the time to get written, signed rental agreement or lease, and update it as needed should the tenant take on a roommate, a pet, or make other changes that are not part of the original agreement.
- Take special care with collecting, holding onto, and returning security deposits, making sure you establish a policy that extends in the same manner to all tenants.
- Keep the property in good repair. Tenants won’t want to take care of the property if you don’t. Not only does maintaining the property keep your tenants happy, staying on top of small repairs can help reduce more costly fixes if you delay. Also, you will reduce the instance where angry tenants who are fed up with unresolved property maintenance attempt to withhold paying rent, or move out without notice.
- Keep things secure. Simple things such as motion-sensitive lights at night, good-quality deadbolts, trimmed-back bushes and locking gates can help improve safety and security for the whole property, and help reduce break-ins and vandalism.
- Talk to your tenants about any type of environmental issues such as mold or lead that is discovered on the premises, as withholding such information is increasingly becoming liability issues for landlords.
- If you hire others to manage your buildings, screen them as carefully as you do the tenants with background, credit, and reference checks. Make sure managers provide the proper notice and notification before entering a tenant’s unit, even if the reason for entry is to make a requested repair.
Talk to a professional insurance agent about habitational insurance in Florida to make sure that you and your property are well protected from liability, property damage, and a host of other exposures. Call an agent today.