What needs to be done to prepare a property for rent?
The property should be in the best possible condition to attract a quality resident. Paint should be in good condition, without holes or dirt streaks. Neutral colors for walls and floors are best. Blinds or shades are ideal window coverings. The home should be “detailed” clean and the yard should be neat and tidy.
How do I determine the rental amount?
The competition determines the rental amount. As experts in the field, we know the market and the competitive rental ranges for your home. If the home is marketed too high the home will be vacant much longer. If it is marketed too low then your profit will be lower.
How do you market the property?
A sign is placed in the yard and marketing photos are taken. The property listing is created and added to our website, rental availability listing, real estate websites (such as Zillow), the local MLS (if so directed), and other advertising resources.
How long will it take to rent?
Vacancy periods are market driven, and there is some luck involved in the right person looking at the right time. Over the summer we have homes where one family moves out on the 31st and the next family moves in the following day. Homes will rent more slowly between Thanksgiving and New Years, and no one likes to move in the snow or rain. Location, price, and the amount of work needed to turn over the property also affect vacancy lengths
What are the policies regarding Pets?
Statistics indicate that 75% of renters own pets. Restricting pets reduces the number of available qualified residents. Pets should be screened and pet references checked out. Security deposits and pet rent are used to mitigate the risk to your property.
What about smokers?
It is common to restrict smoking inside the property. This does not significantly reduce the marketability of the property.
Is it possible to refuse to rent to families with children?
In federal, state, and local Fair Housing regulations children come under the protective class of “familiar status”. It is unlawful to discriminate against children or families in any way.
Is a security deposit collected up front?
It is our practice to collect a security deposit up front. A security deposit can be used for damages after a resident vacates your property or for unpaid rent. We hold the security deposit in a tenant escrow account as required by state real estate regulations.
What happens if the rent is late?
The rent is due on the first of each month. We begin collection proceedings after the fifth of the month. We contact delinquent residents on the sixth of the month. If the rent is not paid by the 10th we initiate the eviction process and file legal action with the local District Court
When are monthly funds distributed?
The payments to owners along with statements are processed after the end of the month. Accounts are reviewed for accuracy and statements are mailed on the 5th. Payments are mailed by check with the statement or direct deposited into the owners’ account. Statements are also available online through the Owner Portal.
Who handles emergencies?
A licensed property manager is always on call for emergencies. We have an extensive network of maintenance personnel and sub-contractors to handle any emergency on your property, day or night. You will not need to directly deal with a renter or repair man.
How are repairs handled?
The property management team is responsible for approving all maintenance requests. Residents are encouraged to submit all repair requests in writing. It is our policy to notify owners only of extensive or large-dollar maintenance requests, unless otherwise agreed upon. If funds are available the expense will be deducted on the accounting statement. If funds are not available the property manager will contact the owner for payment arrangements. Sometimes a request falls into the category of a maintenance emergency. Emergencies are scheduled immediately and the owner notified at the first possible opportunity. Some maintenance requests can result in a rent abatement if not handled timely.
What is the average length of tenancy?
Our rental agreements are for one year. Near the end of the lease term we will send renewal notices to the residents. The options are to renew the lease, vacate the resident, or allow the resident to remain month-to-month. If the market supports it, we will increase the rent at renewal and lease end.
What happens if the resident leaves before the end of the lease?
The resident is responsible for the rent for the term of the lease. If residents leave before the termination date they will forfeit their security deposit.
How is the owner protected if the resident damages the property?
A refundable security deposit taken at move-in is usually sufficient to handle the minor damage caused by residents. Residents with good credit and references seldom cause significant damage. Residents will be billed if they leave the property owing money for rent and/or damages. Rental judgments remain active for 10 years or until satisfied, and wage garnishment may be possible. Legal action by an attorney or collection agency may be necessary.