Pre-screening potential tenants can save you time, money and headaches. While many landlords opt for face-to-face meetings as their primary screening tool, it's simply not the best way to determine a good candidate. You may be a good judge of character, but character is one consideration among many when it comes to finding reliable and responsible tenants. Follow these critical tips to make sure you get a complete picture of each candidate.
1. Interview Questions
Conducting an intervie ... Read More
You've set up a great process for screening local applicants, but what do you do when you receive an application from outside your state? That's a different screening process altogether. But that doesn't mean you have to rule out the applicants completely, especially if they're willing to pay full rent without negotiation. Here are some questions to ask out-of-state applicants so you can make an informed decision.
Why Are You Moving to a New State?
Perhaps this question sou ... Read More
Is your property located near a college or a large company? Although you're blessed with a potential surfeit of tenant applications for your rental property, you may be at a loss because most of them are from outside the state. Accepting tenants from your own state can be daunting on its own. For your out-of-state applicants, you'll find yourself in a much better position if you streamline the process. Don't assume you will run into a problem. Instead, conduct proper research and fol ... Read More
There are countless things landlords have to worry about on any given day, and when several states decided to deregulate their energy markets, it created one more potential concern. In regulated markets there's not much for you to worry about, but if your property is in one of the states that has deregulated energy, a few things might have changed for you. Either way, it's important for all landlords to understand a few things about energy regulation and deregulated markets.
Underst ... Read More
In years past, landlords could spend hours researching rental laws at the local library and sometimes still end up needing legal help. The Internet, however, has changed this to an extent. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can find the legal codes of your state and even necessary legal forms to help rent out a property. There are certain legal documents, though, that should stay outside of the realm of "do-it-yourself." Randomly downloading these documents, or typing them up yours ... Read More
In 1935, Congress passed the Public Utility Holding Company Act, which limited electrical companies to certain geographical areas. Along with gas companies, the law forced electrical suppliers to shed any subsidiaries they might have. As a result, electrical consumers ended up being tied to their local utility company, accessed via a state-owned network.
The Start of Deregulation
The regulated system remained largely unchanged until the 1970s, when the oil crisis led Congress to enact the ... Read More
There are definitely certain documents (both legal and non-legal) that all landlords and property managers must have on hand for situations like new applicants, evictions and more. Listed below are the top seven legal documents every landlord and property manager must have.
1. Rent or lease agreement
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many new and even experienced landlords don’t have a solid rent or lease agreement contract available. Here are a few basic ... Read More
If you're only renting units or homes to tenants with an excellent credit history, you might be waiting a while before you get an acceptable application. While it's true that a good credit history normally equals timely payments, that's not always the case. There are many potential renters out there who haven't yet had the opportunity to boost their credit score; they're simply too young or too financially inexperienced to have any credit history worth mentioning. Others may ... Read More
It's renting season once again! Are you ready to find the perfect tenant? Renting has become a great way to maintain a steady stream of income while you are focused elsewhere. It's important to receive the maximum possible return value from your rental home, whether you're giving it to residential tenants or temporary vacationers during the busy summer months. Remember that homeowners only attract good tenants when they have something great to offer. You need to stand out during the ... Read More
Evaluating potential tenants is an important step for any property manager, and is especially important for non-professionals, who may be trusting guests with their personal, intimate spaces. But while it's easy to get to know a potential renter in person, it can be much harder to evaluate applications when they come from out-of-town or out-of-state, making face-to-face meetings impossible and giving property managers less of a chance to get a good gut-feel for things. Thankfully, with the r ... Read More
You can get a good feel of a prospective tenant by having a phone conversation with them before meeting, but there are some things that you won't figure out until you have a rental application in hand. These applications are an important part of the screening process, but some landlords simply accept these applications at face value. There are numerous red flags that may not stand out, but if you ignore these tell-tale signs, you could be in for a world of hurt.
Numerous Mistakes on Ren ... Read More
As a landlord, it’s clear that not all tenants are created equal. Some don’t pay their rent, some break their lease and others are perfectly reasonable tenants who pay their rent on time. Often, you can save yourself some serious hassle by screening them thoroughly from the very beginning. Often, the warning signs are subtle and other times there’s a big red flag that should be obvious to any landlord. Here are seven warning signs that you need to pay attention to for every app ... Read More
Technology has changed the way landlords work, and if you've been in the business for more than a few years, you've already seen some far-reaching changes. Just imagine what a landlord would have said a decade ago, for instance, if they were asked to do a Skype interview. Now, however, Skype and phone interviews are the norm. When conducting these types of non-traditional interviews, though, it's important to ask the right questions.
What is your income level?
There are plenty ... Read More
When the rental market is small, you'll have little trouble finding a suitable tenant for your home. However, when the market is flooded, you'll need to do a little advertising to convince prospective tenants that your rental is the best option for them. When you're developing an advertising strategy, make sure you include these key points.
1. Create a website with great images.
This is the digital age, and nearly everyone uses the internet to make big decisions. If you don' ... Read More
While every landlord dreams of having a tenant with great credit history and awesome references, there's a good chance that you find someone who's just starting out and doesn't have a strong credit background. Weak credit histories have become a fairly common phenomenon in recent times, with banks and lenders pushing out more loans than people can repay. Or perhaps your tenant is a student with a part-time job who doesn’t have a credit history -- yet. That doesn't mean you ... Read More
Few people enjoy moving. Whether it involves a rental or a home you own, moving can be an expensive hassle. The same is true for your leased properties. The turnover process can be a fraught time, with conflict, confusion and surprise expenses. It doesn't have to be, though. With a bit of planning and lots of communication, you will be able to have a smooth turnover process with your outgoing tenants.
Communicate Early and Often
As with many aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship, ... Read More
As a landlord, you may be faced with a disabled tenant who has recently suffered from an auto accident, stroke, or some other life-altering event. In such a situation, you will automatically start to wonder what reasonable modifications you should allow your tenant to make to your rental to make his life easier.
What Are "Reasonable" Modifications?
In most states, a disabled tenant can make reasonable modifications to his or her home to make it more disability friendly. As a land ... Read More
A security deposit is often, but not always, equal to one month of rent. Ideally, it helps the landlord or property manager pay for any repairs or cleaning that the property needs when the tenants move out. When the cleaning is over, the landlord sends their tenants a check for what remains from the deposit.
It sounds simple, right? Unfortunately for novice landlords, it's hard to know exactly what to charge to a security deposit. Any miscalculating -- whether accidentally or on purpose - ... Read More
For landlords who encounter a tenant or applicant with a disability, it’s important to be familiar with federal and state law regarding housing and disabled persons. That means not only understanding what you can and can’t do in relation to disabled tenants, but also being familiar with what kind of modifications and allowances to your property you may be required to make if you have a disabled tenant. Here is the information you need to make sure you properly accommodate disabled te ... Read More
People with disabilities often struggle with everyday activities that most of us take for granted. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was created in 1990 to help make life easier for disabled people.
The ADA applies to rental properties as well, and landlords should be aware of pertinent ADA guidelines. Some of the laws vary depending on when the property was built. Homes, apartment and condos for rent that were built before the ADA took effect (January 26, 1990) have slightly differ ... Read More