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, it may be one or two years before the price becomes competitive again.
How do you market the property?
The property is immediately added to our rental availability list, social media (including Facebook and Instagram), over 15 well known web sites, text messaging hot line our local MLS, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, and Realtor.com. A sign is placed and marketing photos are taken within 48 hours. Each property is assigned to a property management team to track the marketing 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. In today's Bryan-College Station the market is extremly seasonal. Most of our leases are signed in February through April but do not begin until mid July to mid August. Homes rent more slowly after August. Location and price effect vacancy.
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 cat or dog causes less wear and tear on a home and yard then a young child.
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 in any way.
Is first and last month's rent as well as a security deposit collected up front?
If a resident has good credit 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 while a last month's rent can only be used for rent. The security deposit is held in a property 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. We begin collection proceedings after the third of the month. If the rent is not paid by the 10th we take the first step in the eviction process and send out a notice to pay rent or vacate. If the resident does not pay by the 10th of the month eviction papers are filed with the Justice of the Peace. In most cases we do not use an attorney for evictions. We will work not to evict however there are times when it cannot be avoided.
When are monthly funds distributed?
The payments to owners along with statements are processed around the 15th of the month. Disbursements are made and statements mailed the same day. Payment checks are processed between the 15th and 17th.
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?
Over 50% of rental agreements are for one year. Other agreements range from six to eighteen months. At the end of the lease term we can decide to renew 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 rent amount can raise at lease end.
How are repairs handled?
Residents are encouraged to submit all repair requests in writing. It is our policy to notify owners of all maintenance requests. 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. 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 be charged for rent until the home is re-let. We, on behalf of the owner, will do everything possible to re-let the home and minimize the residents' cost. The previous tenant is charged for advertising and the re-letting costs.
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 and sent to any guarantors on the lease. If they do not pay, all amounts will be sent to collections.
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