As a landlord, one of the things you’re likely concerned about is making sure that your properties stay in good condition. You take security deposits, but if someone ruins the property, it’ll take more than just a few hundred dollars to resolve the problem.

It’s wise to take the steps you can to prevent legal issues ahead of time, so you can avoid going to court if at all possible. Here are a few things to do to protect yourself as a landlord.

1. Require your tenant to keep insurance

If your tenant damages your property, you want to know you can get that money back. Require your tenant to have insurance and to provide proof of insurance upon request.

2. Provide a move-in checklist

Another thing to do is to provide a move-in checklist. This list should provide information on what was wrong (if anything) with the property at the time of the resident’s move in. If the tenant moves out, you’ll have a record of what was previously damaged to compare to the property’s current state.

3. Do your background and reference checks

Finally, remember to do background and reference checks. Skipping these is a good way to find out that you missed important information about your tenant that could have saved you time and trouble.

These are three things you can do to better protect yourself as a landlord. The right measures taken before you bring in a tenant can make a world of difference in protecting your investments and keeping them safe for the future.