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.
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, you may not maximize your income.
How do you market the property?
The property is immediately added to our website, rental availability list, over 100 real estate websites, the Middle Tennessee MLS, social media, and other advertising resources. A sign is placed and marketing photos are taken. Each property is given to a property management manager to track the listing effectiveness for the individual property.
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. Homes rent more slowly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Location and price can affect vacancy, as well as military transfer periods.
What are the policies regarding Pets?
Statistics indicate that 75% of renters own pets. Restricting pets reduces the number of available qualified residents. In general, a well-behaved dog causes less wear and tear on a home and yard then a young child. Normally, we give the owner final decision making authority over the type of pet that is allowed.
What about smokers?
Smoking is restricted 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 in any way.
Is a security deposit collected up front?
It is our practice to collect a security deposit up front equal to one month’s rent. A security deposit can be used for damages after a resident vacates your property. The security deposit is held in a special trust 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 and late by the fifth. We contact delinquent residents on the sixth and a 10% late fee is applied to the renters account. If the rent is not paid by the 10th we can start the eviction process. We manage numerous properties and our eviction rate is less than 1% of properties under management.
When are monthly funds distributed?
State Real Estate Regulations require that rental checks must have cleared the bank and the accounts reconciled to the penny before disbursing funds. Disbursements are made by ACH direct deposit into the owners’ accounts between the 12th and 16th of the month. Owners will also be provided with an itemized monthly statement.
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. We are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
What is the average length of tenancy?
Our rental agreements are signed for a one year term. Upon the lease expiration date the tenants can:
- Renew for an additional year
- Submit a thirty day notice to vacate, or
- Remain on a month-to-month basis with a 5% rent increase
If the property manager/owner feels the market rates have changed and wish to raise the rent or non-renew, the tenant must be notified thirty days prior to the expiration of the lease or renewal.
How are repairs handled?
The home’s personal 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 of all maintenance requests. If funds are within the set limit, it will be deducted on the following month’s accounting statement. If the amount exceeds the set limit the property manager will contact the owner for payment arrangements. Sometime 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. The owner is notified immediately when there is a rent abatable maintenance issue.
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 and will be charged for balance of the rent due unless the property is rerented in a timely manner.
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. The property manager conducts a move-out inspection to determine tenant charges and/or normal wear and tear in the home. If the resident leaves the property owing money for rent and/or damages they will be billed. If they do not pay or make acceptable arrangements, the tenants can be turned over to collections for the amount owed.