Many believe that once a tenant moves into a property all that is required is to “collect the rents”. As a property manager I often hear this but know it is far from reality. Tenancy starts before the tenant moves in, progresses while the tenant resides in the property, and continues after the tenant moves out. Properly setting expectations up front will go a long way towards a good tenancy experience. Understanding landlord/tenant laws is the best protection for a landlord other than hiring a professional property manager.
Before the Tenant Moves In
The very first thing that determines the success of a resident is the condition of the property. A good property attracts a good tenant. A good property is defined as clean, legal, and well maintained.
While Showing the Property
It is important that the rules of Fair Housing are applied. When quoting rents, the security deposit, and terms of the rental agreement should be the same for each party who views the property. A discrimination suit is costly and time consuming.
Selecting a Tenant
The application and screening process are keys to success. A good property management company knows how to screen each applicant carefully and work to place a good tenant in the property. Ignoring this step can lead rent to collection problems, lost rents, excessive wear and tear, and potential eviction.
Prior to Moving the Tenant In
A signed and detailed rental agreement is essential. It is important that residents clearly understand what is required of them both during their tenancy and at time of move out. This document should be signed by all adults and completed prior to move in. Our welcome package sets all expectations at the time the rental agreement is executed.
Good Landlord/Tenant Relations During the Tenancy
If the property needs repairs, do them. Ignoring maintenance is probably the first step towards bad landlord/tenant relations. It also creates liability for the property owner. Two concerns in the housing market today are mold and lead based paint. Ignoring them will often lead to disaster. Other issues such as roommates, pets, job loss or transfer can crop up during the tenancy. As your property management company, we are very aware that ignoring these issues only makes things more difficult. Facing these challenges with experience, compassion, and common sense, is the way to find solutions and maintain good tenant relations.
When a Tenant Moves Out
If you have ever been involved in a security deposit dispute, you know that the tenancy isn’t over when the tenant moves out. In a perfect world, the tenant moves out, leaves the property in a clean and undamaged condition. It is crucial that the rental agreement clearly states the move out terms and conditions and the resident understands your expectations. The landlord or property management company also has a responsibility for proper handling and disbursement of the security deposit. Failure to do so can result in the inability to withhold any funds from the security deposit.
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