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 shape with marred or dirty areas touched up. Neutral colors for walls and floors are best. Blinds or shades are ideal window coverings. The home should be “detailed” clean and the yard in excellent shape. Appliances should be provided whenever possible and in good working order.
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, it may be one or two years before the price becomes competitive again. We work closely with our owners to set the right price that makes sense in the current market conditions.
How do you market the property?
The property is immediately added to our rental availability list, web site and other resources. A sign is placed and marketing photos are taken. We receive many phone calls and visits to our office by prospective tenants because we are well know property managers in the area.
How long will it take to rent?
Vacancy periods are market driven. There is also some luck involved in the right person looking at the right time. Properties rent more slowly between Thanksgiving and New Years. Location, condition and price effect vacancy.
What are the policies regarding Pets?
Most of our properties do not accept pets.However, there are exceptions from time to time. We will discuss that with the owner on a case by case basis.
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 or people of differing races and religions?
In federal, state, and local Fair Housing regulations children come under the protective class of “familiar status”. It is unlawful to discriminate against children in any way.It is also unlawful to discriminate against race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, handicap, or other legally protected characteristics.
Is first month’s rent as well as a security deposit collected up front?
It is common practice to collect first month’s rent and a security deposit up front. A security deposit can be used for any owner costs due to tenant damages or fees incured for repairs or unpaid bills that exceed normal wear and tear.
What happens if the rent is late?
The rent is due on the first of each month. We begin charging late fees shortly there-after. If the rent is not paid we take the first step in the eviction process and post a notice to pay rent or vacate. If the resident does not pay the owner is notified and eviction papers are filed at the local district magistrate in the municipality the property is located in. Most evictions are the result of loss of employment or seperation of tenants.It is rare that we have to actually go through the entire process of eviction.However, we do have a process for this if needed.
When are monthly funds distributed?
We work closely with the owner to provide the monthly funds as quickly as possible. We discuss individual needs of the owner on a case by case basis.
What is the average length of a lease agreement?
All of our rental agreements are for one year. At the end of the lease term the owner can decide to renew to the resident (if the resident wishes to remain), vacate the resident, or allow the resident to remain month-to-month. If the market has changed the owner can raise the rent at lease end.
How are repairs handled?
All repairs are approved by either the property manager or the owner directly. Residents are encouraged to submit all repair requests in writing. If funds are available the expense will be deducted on the next month’s 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. If the owner has a list of preferred contractors we will work with the owners list. If not, we have a list of contractors whom provide timely, professional service at a reasonable cost.
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 be charged for rent until the home is re-rented. We, on behalf of the owner, will do everything possible to re-rent the property and minimize the residents’ cost.
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 excellent credit and references seldom cause significant damage. If the resident leaves the property owing money for rent and/or damages they will be billed. If they do not pay, we will file an action on their credit report through our credit reporting agency for the amount owed. This will show up on their credit report history when they try to establish credit or get loans.