It is important to find just the right rental rate. To high and you can sit on the market vacant and lose income, too low and you are giving away possible income. 

The first step is comparing your property to the current market. This involves researching both currently active comparable properties and properties leased in your close vicinity. Your rental will be directly affected by other homes on the market. Tenants are savvy shoppers and with the online resources they can view dozens of properties in a short period. Your property needs to be competitively priced with other active rentals in your area. The next factor is currently leased properties in your direct vicinity. Another rental on the same street, neighborhood or community can be a good benchmark for the monthly rent of your property.

The rental market is highly influenced by the time of year. The market activity is a consistent bell curve starting low the first of the year and peaking in the middle of summer the falling the end of summer through end of the year. This can be directly related to events throughout the year.  First of the year market is slow people are concerned about tax payment from last year and coming out of Christmas. We see a pickup in March with the tax returns and spring break. Market continues to rise with summer approaching. Summer marks the high point of the year. With children out of school tenant are urgent to move and settle in before summer activities and vacation. As Summer ends we see a slow as families prepare for school. The market continues to slow as we enter the fall and the Holliday season. The market slows to a crawl as most tenants don’t want to move over Christmas and New Years Break.

Lastly is the location and condition of the property. You can compare your home to the house down the street but you have to also look at the other factors. Is your home nicer, have a better lot, not have trashy neighbors, or does it back to a busy road. These are all factors that affect the price of a rental.  Yes the home down the street rented for top dollar, but it has larger lot, a better view and it’s in better condition. You have to do an honest evaluation of your home. While you put semimetal value on the tree in the back yard and the view of your kids elementary school. A tenant is looking for the best value and fit, not semimetal value.

EXPERT Property Management can create a custom rental evaluation for your property. We are able to pull local and current research to demine how to get you the best return in the shortest time.  Give us a call and let us help you market your property.

 


Published by Expert Property Management.

As with all areas of life, some mistakes are small and have minimal consequences. These small mistakes can comfortably be chalked up to learning experiences. Other mistakes can land you into legal and financial battles. Going it alone can be intimidating and can have lasting consequences. Hiring a property manager will provide you with the knowledge and support needed to run a smooth renting process for you and your residents and help you avoid these 6 landlord mistakes.

1. Performing Inadequate Background Checks

Don’t make the biggest rookie mistake of all: improper screening of tenants. It’s lucrative to fill your vacant home as quickly as possible and get the rent checks rolling in; but it’s not worth it if you choose tenants with a history of failing to pay the rent. An inconsistent screening process can also get you into legal trouble, especially if there’s a possibility of discrimination. Inconsistent screening can land you with a fine, and increase your chances of leasing a unit to an irresponsible renter.

EXPERT Property Management screens for multiple areas of interest such as credit, criminal, collections, rental history, employment verifications, and more.

2. Failing to Follow Fair Housing Laws

Fair Housing Laws are single-handedly the most important knowledge base a Landlord needs to know and require time and effort to learn. Landlords cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or familial status.

Anyone who violates these laws or other areas of fair housing safe practices, will be smacked with a hefty fine.

EXPERT Property Management agents and managers are required to complete Fair Housing training and be certified to comply with these rules and regulations.

3. Using Outdated or Generic Leases

Your renters have to sign a lease agreement before they move in. However, it shouldn’t be just any “standard” lease agreement that you can download from the Internet. Your lease agreement should be extremely specific, and detail your precise stipulations for living in the space as well as expectations about the future. In addition, the lease should adhere to all current tenant – landlord laws. This lease agreement needs attorney approval to avoid loopholes and legal trouble. Failure to present a proper lease can lead to fines, lease breakage, or lawsuits.

All EXPERT Property Management leases are attorney prepared by the Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Wolk, P.A.  and compliant to the most up to date tenant – landlord laws.

4. Ignoring Dangerous Conditions and Neglecting the Property

If you expect tenants to hold up their half of the lease agreement, you must also hold up yours. It’s not a suggestion; it’s the law. If you know about a dangerous condition on the property and fail to act to repair it, you’re going directly against your half of the legal agreement and can be subject to lost revenue, lawsuits, fines, and loss of licensing, depending on the severity of the issue.

At EXPERT Property Management we have seen and experienced it all. Our agents are knowledgeable to handle any maintenance issue that ails you. Our wealth of vendor base will ensure you repair any dangerous condition for the best price.

5. Improperly Attempting to Evict Tenants

Landlords have a right to evict tenants who don’t meet the contractual agreement, but it must be done properly according to state law. After distinguishing if the resident should be evicted, it should not be delayed. If your resident is breaking the contract it is important to penalize appropriately and quickly to avoid setting a standard of improper grace that repeats itself and becomes a big headache.

Be sure to follow correct procedure when you evict the tenants. When to set out a notice, how to write/enforce the notice, late fee charges, how to post a notice, etc. Improperly handling any of these steps will invalidate the notice.

EXPERT Property Management has developed a process to serve proper notices in timely manor, using the proper methods, to ensure all notices are valid resulting in a quick and efficient eviction process.

6. Underestimating Costs

Landlords and property owners often find themselves in hot water when they underestimate the costs associated with running the property. Most landlords budget for insurances, taxes, and mortgages, but they might neglect to include landscaping, maintenance repairs, and lost revenue from vacancy. Savvy landlords will develop a more realistic estimate of these costs and create a healthy amount of savings in case of vacancy. Annual maintenance and living costs can run anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of yearly rental income, so you should have that amount stowed away for unforeseen annual costs.

At EXPERT Property Management, we want to ensure your investment return and or/coverage will sustain your financial goals for your home, with the most realistic expectations possible.


Published by Expert Property Management.

When you are contemplating whether or not to lease your property, there are many things to consider. Once you decide to be a landlord, you have some very important and new responsibilities to your tenants, the property, and your neighbors that you may not have thought of. There are many reasons property owners become landlords. Some are not by choice. Maybe you cannot sell your property in a slow sales market. Maybe your job transfers you out of town for a while. Maybe you have inherited a home or condo and cannot go through the emotional stress of selling a family property. Whatever the case may be, once you decide to lease your property, you have created a small business for yourself.

A good property management company can help you through this task in many ways: Screening and selecting qualified tenants, accounting of the rents and deposits, maintaining the property and helping with emergency situations and many other ways. Once your new tenant has moved into your rental, you need to be prepared (emotionally and financially) for potential adversity. What if your tenant loses their job? What if there is a break-up or divorce? What if your roof starts leaking or sewer-line collapses? What if your furnace needs to be replaced? Can you stay calm and act professionally towards the situation? An experienced and prepared property manager will help you through these difficult times. Granted, these items are rare, but they can happen at any moment.

Something we discuss often with new owners is being prepared for the worst case scenario. Setting aside adequate funds or having a line of credit to draw upon if necessary for a major and unexpected repair. A sewer-line break or septic system failure can cost anywhere from $3,000.00 to $10,000.00 depending on the property. If the line does break, you have a legal responsibility to your tenant to repair it in a timely manner. As a licensed Property Management Company, we help our owners every day maintain their properties. We have the resources to know which plumbers, roofers, contractors to call, especially in an emergency situation. Our goal is to make the best out of a bad situation for our owners. Keeping cost down and ensuring the repair is done right and quickly to preserve a good relationship with our tenants.

Becoming a Landlord has certain inherent responsibilities that most people do not think of or about. For almost all Landlords, the severe cases listed above never occur and that is great. We just want to give you an educated perspective when deciding to become a Landlord so you can make a calculated and educated decision for yourself if becoming a Landlord is right for you. Hiring a property manager to cover all possible emergencies is only the beginning of what EXPERT Property Management can do for you.

 

 


Published by Expert Property Management.