When it comes to managing rental properties, things can get pretty messy. Property can be damaged and utilities can be overused no matter how well you screen your tenants. Because of that, it’s important that you have the right protocols in place.

I developed the following protocols and form after years of experience. My hope is that you won’t have to learn the hard way like I did!

So whether you’re doubling as a landlord or are at the point where you can hire one, make sure these six things are clear:

  1. Inspect all properties every month. Let tenants know in writing and have them sign a permission slip that you can and will inspect filters and heating and cooling units on every second Tuesday of the month between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Have landlord provide property inspection checklist to owner.)
  2. Do credit and criminal checks on all tenants!
  3. Charge for any and all tenant damages. Tenant damage becomes part of the rent due. If not paid, then the rent is not paid, and the tenant can be evicted. (Provide tenant with “Damage Costs List” at time of signing Rental Agreement. We’ll get to that in a minute.)
  4. Implement an Excessive Utility Policy. Anytime the tenant’s usage of provided utility becomes excessive and exceeds $_____ per month, the tenant is responsible for payment above this amount. It will be considered additional rent due.
  5. If you hire a landlord, have him/her provide written explanation with management reporting when there are rent shortages or additional expenses.
  6. If you hire a landlord and when there are vacancies, have him/her provide a written traffic report to the company.

I gave that list of policies and procedures in my Real Estate Mastery course. I also gave this Damage Cost Lists form in that program! This list is provided at move-in and move-out so you are aware of the cost of property damage, and so you can avoid these expenses. It is understood by resident that damages resulting from resident’s neglect, abuse, or fault become rent due.

Damage Costs List

Cleaning (not done by you)

  • Refrigerator $35
  • Stove top or oven $25-$50
  • Kitchen cabinet or countertop $20
  • Kitchen or bathroom floor $30
  • Bathtub/shower $25
  • Toilet $25
  • Carpet cleaning or deodorizing $100-$150
  • Extensive cleaning $75 per hour


  • Remove crayon marks $25
  • Small/large nail hole repair $10-$35
  • Replace interior/exterior door $150-$250
  • Replace sliding glass door $200
  • Replace faucets $50
  • Replace bathroom mirror or cabinet $50-$75
  • Replace shower heads $15
  • Replace toilet $175
  • Replace garbage disposal $100
  • Replace countertop $250-$450
  • Repair window pane $75-$150
  • Replace blinds $75
  • Replace tile/linoleum $300-$450

Missing Items

  • Replace light bulb $1.50
  • Light fixture globe $15
  • Light fixture $50
  • Electrical outlet/switch $5
  • Electrical cover plate $2
  • Replace key $2
  • Replace shower curtain $10
  • Replace refrigerator shelve $25
  • Replace oven knob $8
  • Replace window screen $25

Additional Charges

  • Replace door lock $25
  • Replace curtain rod or towel bars $20
  • Replace smoke detector $40
  • Remove junk and debris $75
  • Fumigate for fleas $150
  • Replace fire extinguisher $40
  • Replace thermostat $75
  • Remove wallpaper $150
  • Repaint wall $25
  • Vacuum entire unit $50
  • Clear drain stoppage $75
  • Fence replacement $25 per foot

Resident agrees that subject to the conditions above, the deposit will be refunded in full within __________ days after vacating premises. It’s understood that the above amounts are minimum charges.

I hope these two things help you manage your properties effectively! Good luck out there everybody.

Join me every Thursday for more real estate tips. Leave your real estate related questions in the comment section and sign up below for more real estate training!