No Comments

Property Management in Columbia SC | Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Columbia SC Properties

Property Management in Columbia SC

When purchasing investment properties in South Carolina, one of the most crucial factors to consider is where these homes will be located. There are many cities in South Carolina that are perfect for rental investment, but we happen to really love the opportunity for property management in Columbia SC. Columbia is one of the most historic towns in the state and was an integral part of the mercantile economy during colonial times. If the historic charm does not convince you to invest in rental properties in Columbia, there are a few other factors that might!

  1. Lower Priced Homes- Columbia has been ranked as one of the top 25 most affordable places to live in the entire country. The average home price is 11% less than the national average with a median price of $164,200.
  2. Outdoor Recreation- Property management in Columbia SC can also manage vacation homes and short-term rentals which are nearly always full because of the great outdoor recreation Columbia has to offer.
  3. High Demand- Columbia has a steadily high demand for single-family rentals because the low cost of living and reasonable rent rates attract families from all over the state. Most neighborhoods in Columbia have a dense population and employment growth also which brings new people to the city.
  4. Buy from Snowbirds- Retirees who want to spend their winters somewhere warm often purchase small homes or condominiums in Columbia. When these people cannot travel any longer, they often look to get out from under these homes for cheap. Investors can scoop these properties up for great deals.
  5. Rent Yields Are High- Because homes are so affordable in Columbia, investors who can get low interest rates and great tax incentives can often see a much higher rent yield than other areas around the state. This means that the profit you make will be higher.

Buying property in Columbia SC is the best choice for first time investors looking to get into single-family home rentals. The key to success is having a top-notch property management in Columbia SC partnering with you to manage these homes.

If you are ready to discuss the opportunities property management in Columbia SC can offer your investments, call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | Before Investing, Study the Rental Rates

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

When deciding where to invest in single-family rental homes there are many factors investors take into consideration. One of the biggest factors is the price of homes compared to the rental rates. The amount you pay on your mortgage on the rental property should be considerably less than what you are renting it for if you want to make a profit. However, some investors neglect to take a deep dive into the rental rates in the area and make the wrong choice when choosing neighborhoods their rentals will be most successful. Property management companies in Columbia SC put a lot of time into doing market research and rental analysis and can sometimes advise investors, but we can give you a few tips on studying rental rates now.

Tips for Studying Rental Rates

Market rent is the average price of rent on a single-family home in a particular market/neighborhood. Knowing the market rent is vital to making a great return because you need to know your profit margin to be expected. The way to find out more about market rent is to ask property management companies in Columbia SC, otherwise you have a lot of work ahead of you in research.

Another crucial detail you will want to study in rental rates is the consistency. Are rental rates fluctuating frequently? Do they seem higher than what is being offered in similar neighborhoods? These are signs of a volatile rental market and these neighborhoods make for bad investments in most cases. Choosing properties in Columbia is great because the rental market is consistent with minimal risk of a market fallout. Consistency is also key to planning future investments, renovations, and marketing efforts to build out your investment portfolio and continue working with property management companies in Columbia SC.

Consider partnering with Scott Properties of the Midlands on your next single-family home rental investment for all your property management needs. Call today at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Rental Policies Essential to be in Your Lease | Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

A lease is the most important and essential component to renting your single-family home. The lease is a legally binding document that outlines the rental amount, due dates, and obligations of the landlord and tenant. Having a lawyer or experienced property management companies in Columbia SC involved in creating your lease is always a good idea. Property managers are experts in leasing and can let you know the policies that are most essential to protect owners and the property. 

Most Important Lease Policies for Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

  • Fees- There are more charges that tenants are responsible for above and beyond rent; however, these fees must be outlined in the lease to be enforceable. Fees could include municipal garbage, bulk waste, or recycling fees, late fees, lease violation penalty fees, charges made to the deposit such as cleaning fees post move-out, pet fees, and more. 
  • Overnight Visitor Policies- Long term overnight visitors can quickly end up becoming roommates which can put your tenants over the occupancy limits in the lease. Too many people living in a house and not being on the lease is a problem property management companies in Columbia SC are familiar with and we always recommend having clear occupancy policies for visitors and tenants. 
  • Exterior Upkeep- Lawns, sidewalks, porches, patios, decks, gardens, garages, and other exterior areas of the property require upkeep from mowing and weed pulling to keeping these areas free from trash and debris. Outlining responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant in the lease for these areas is important to maintaining the curb appeal of the property. 
  • Renewal and Termination Policies- The last thing you want is for a tenant to move out unexpectedly and be stuck with unplanned costs to clean, market, and lease the property. Adding policies that outline how to properly terminate or renew a lease will protect your investment financially. Make sure to consider how far in advance tenants must renew or give notice of moving out, any early termination fees or late renewal fees, and what the move out procedures should be. 

These four policies are essential to have in each property lease; however, there are many other factors that are very important. Partnering with property management companies in Columbia SC is a great way to ensure your leases are legally binding, protect your property and investment, and increase your return on investment. 

If you’re ready to talk about your property management options, give Scott Properties a call at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Battling the Top Reasons Why Tenants Want to Move Out | Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

One of the most important tasks property management companies in Columbia SC do for their investor clients is making sure great tenants don’t leave. When tenants pay ontime, keep the property clean and cared for, and don’t have any complaints, the most dreadful thing that can happen is non renewal of their lease and moving out. The best tenants are super hard to come by, and sometimes there is no way to convince a renter not to move, including when their job changes or they have personal reasons to move. However, there are a lot of ways you can increase resident retention and make it more likely for tenants to stay in place longer. 

How to Overcome Tenant Move Out Requests 

There are a few common reasons why tenants might want to move that will allow you some flexibility in changing their minds:

  • The House is Too Small- If tenants are expanding their family by having a child or wanting to have roommates, the rental home might not fit their needs any longer. Property management companies in Columbia SC can simply offer a lease transfer when this is the case! Work with the tenants to lease another property by the same owner or company so you aren’t completely losing out on the revenue from those tenants. Pre Leasing an upcoming property, or even allowing tenants to break their current leases early when transferring in-house can be a win-win for everyone. 
  • We Don’t Like the Schools- If the tenants are wanting to have kids, or their kids are starting school, they may start looking for a new home in a different school district, or closer to their school of choice. When this happens the best option is to ask them to transfer into a rental property near the school they want and offer them options that allow them to keep renting from the same property management companies in Columbia SC. 
  • No Longer Affordable- One of the toughest objections to overcome from tenants is when they can no longer afford the rent. You shouldn’t lower your rent to accommodate your renters, however, you can help them to see the great value they have by staying in their home. Moving costs, paying a new deposit for rent and utilities, and the loss of certain amenities such as on-site laundry can end up costing a tenant more than if they had stayed in the home and renewed their lease. 

Property managers often have great sales skills that help to increase retention among the tenants that you want to renew again and again. Working with a property management company can streamline your business and help you see a larger return on investment. Call Scott Properties today to find out how we can help you. 

Contact Scott Properties at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Can You Collect Rent if the Tenant is Dies? | Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

property management companies columbia sc

Property managers always want homes to be full, resident retention to be high, and lease violations to be low. When property management companies in Columbia SC have good relationships established with quality tenants rent is more likely to be on time and profits will flow easily to investors. However, there are times when even the best tenants stop paying rent including tenant death which is one thing landlords have no control over. 

What Happens When a Tenant Dies?

Property management companies in Columbia SC have an obligation to work with the executor of the tenant’s will to manage the tenant’s belongings. The lease obligation is the tenant’s responsibility even if they are no longer alive and the estate will be responsible for rent obligations. 

However, most of the time the executor of the estate will not want to pay rent on an empty unit and property management companies in Columbia SC will want to release the unit as fast as possible. There are several options open to landlords and executors for how to handle the lease when a tenant dies. 

  • Treat the death as a broken lease agreement and work with the executor to pay any early termination fees listed in the rental agreement. 
  • As the judge to award full payment of rent to satisfy the lease during probate court proceedings
  • Allow the lease to break without any repercussions

Property managers need to be flexible and patient but should know the proper procedures to go through when a tenant dies while living in a rental property. If the property manager finds the tenant dead, they should call the authorities immediately and then the emergency contact information in the tenant’s file, followed by the property owner.

The tenant’s next of kin or executor will be responsible for cleaning out the home before the end of the lease, or the agreement made between the property manager or owner, and the executor. Investors will want to consult with their attorney if the property management company they are working with does not have one available. 

If you are looking for a property manager, call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Red Flags When Talking to Prospective Tenants | Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

property management companies in columbia sc

One of the most important jobs a property manager has is ensuring the most qualified tenants are living in investment properties. Investors count on property management companies in Columbia SC to know the best techniques for finding high-quality rental applicants including the red flags to listen for when showing the homes to prospective tenants. 

Red Flags to Listen for

When a property manager is showing a home to a prospective renter it is important to have a bit of a conversation. Red flags often slip out in casual conversation and professional leasing agents with property management companies in Columbia SC will catch these right away.

  1. What Do You Look for on the Background Check? If a prospective tenant wants details about what the background check is going to look for, chances are they have a few questionable things that might come up. These applicants may not want to waste time or money filling out the application if they may not pass the background check. 
  2. How Many People Do You Allow to Live Here? This question is a red flag because it indicates the prospect may not be able to afford the rent on their own, may have roommates, or additional people living in the home, whether they are on the lease or not. 
  3. I am Moving Because I Hate My Landlord. Whenever a prospective tenant trashes a landlord or other property management companies in Columbia SC it is a huge red flag that the tenant has issues, probably lease violations, with their current or previous landlords. Rental references and rental history will be important to double-check. 
  4. How Many Pets Are Allowed? When your tenant starts asking about the pet policy it is a sure thing that they have at least one animal they want to bring. If they ask how many pets can be in the home, chances are they have multiple pets or they want more in the future. Property managers will need to be upfront and clear about the pet policy in the lease.

The best way to ensure the top tenants are applying for and leasing your rental homes is to work with property management companies in Columbia SC with the ability to conduct thorough background checks and hold professional showings. 

If you are looking for a property manager, call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Property Management in Columbia SC | How to Assemble a Maintenance Team 

When you work in property management in Columbia SC one of the most important things you need is a solid maintenance team. However, assembling the team can often be difficult, and some property managers do not know where to start. Luckily, we have some terrific tips and tricks that will help you find and hire the best candidates for your maintenance team. 

Tips to Hiring Great Maintenance Team Members 

  1. Knowing Where to Hire- Posting on Indeed, NowHiring, or other job platforms can be great for hiring a variety of positions, but a property manager will likely be looking for applicants with a special skill set for the maintenance team. Property management in Columbia SC could partner with staffing agencies that work with laborers that have experience in painting, drywall, carpet replacement, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and other trade skills that can be extremely valuable on a maintenance team. 
  2. Interview Process- When interviewing applicants for a property management in Columbia SC maintenance team managers should be able to conduct a skills assessment to ensure the team member will be able to complete the duties of their job. Skills assessments can be a verbal interview asking for steps to fixing a clogged drain, paint a living room, or other tasks your team will be completing, and can also be created on a computer as a formal test. In addition to the applicant’s trade skills, property managers should also be interviewing for on-call availability, great customer service skills, and time management ability. 
  3. Maintenance Supervisors- One of the most valuable positions a property manager can hire for is a maintenance supervisor. This person should have extensive experience in trade skills, maintenance, and team management. The Maintenance Supervisor can oversee scheduling of the team, managing maintenance requests from tenants, and leading move-out procedures to restore a home post-tenant; as well as helping to interview, hire, and train new crew members. 

Having a great maintenance team will have multiple benefits for property management in Columbia SC including keeping the property in pristine condition and keeping tenants in their homes and happy. Both scenarios are profitable for investors. 

If you are looking for a property management team with professional maintenance, call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Property Management Services Columbia SC | South Carolina Squatters Rights 

108 Cranewater

One of the worst nightmares for owners and property management services Columbia SC is tenants who do not leave or refuse to leave after their lease is up. When people occupy a home, they are not supposed to live in, they are referred to as “squatters.” These squatters are not only people who might stay after the lease is up, but also people who break in, or friends that were not on the lease who try to stay after the original lessors move out. 

Some people believe that squatters can get lawful possession of a home through a loophole called adverse possession which allows legal ownership of a property without having to provide payment under certain conditions. However, each state has their own laws, often called “squatters rights” that govern how these situations are handled. 

Squatter’s Rights, Should I be Worried?

Squatters must occupy a home or property lawfully for more than 10 years before they can claim ownership of the property and get a deed or title in their name. These situations are unique to abandoned properties or properties that have been unclaimed through inheritances or other circumstances. 

Squatter’s rights in South Carolina are not applicable to homes that are owned by someone or under contract with property management services Columbia SC. Investors may have to deal with tenants from time to time that do not want to leave after their lease is up, or when they are being evicted, but these folks are not squatters. 

Property management services Columbia SC owners trust and work with regularly are adept at handling the legal side of evictions and tenants that violate their leases. These processes are often burdensome for owners, and a good property manager will be able to handle things from start to finish without the owner ever needing to come to court in most cases. 

If you are ready to talk to a property manager and get the process started, call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702. 

No Comments

Residential Property Management Lexington SC | Avoiding Discrimination

110 Toucan

The Fair Housing Act is federal legislation that makes it illegal for most housing providers to discriminate against a tenant based on race, disability, familiar status, national origin, color, religion, and sex. Residential property management Lexington SC investors work with are trained and certified in Federal Fair Housing regulations, but it is easy for people to slip up and discriminate against someone in a passive way and without even realizing. 

Our property managers have some recommendations you can follow to ensure you are always in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act. 

  1. Be Consistent- The rules need to apply to everyone equally with no exceptions being made. If leasing agents working for a residential property management Lexington SC company are supposed to ask for a photo ID when showing a home to prospects, the leasing agent or property manager needs to ensure the practice is consistent. Same scenario applies to applicants that might not qualify for the home but offer to pay the full lease up front. If you allow one tenant to do this, you must allow all applicants the ability to do this. 
  2. Fulfill Maintenance Requests First Come First Served- When it comes to maintenance, the crew might want to resolve smaller problems or quick to fix issues first; however, it is important that, unless there is a maintenance emergency, that all requests are addressed in the order they are received. Following this rule will ensure that your maintenance staff is not accused of discrimination. 
  3. Practice Giving Tours and Processing Applications- If there are multiple people working in the leasing or property management office, try to spend time practicing having conversations with coworkers and roleplaying. When having a conversation with potential tenants, it can be easy to slip up and give out information that you are not allowed to, or accidentally discriminate against someone. Practicing your approach to showing homes and answering questions can save residential property management Lexington SC companies a fair housing violation lawsuit. 

Partnering with residential property management Lexington SC companies to take care of your investment properties is always a fantastic way to make sure you are not violating the law. When you are on the hunt for the perfect partnership, make sure to ask if all the leasing agents at each company are certified in Federal Fair Housing laws. 

If you are looking for property management in Lexington SC, call Scott Properties at 843-779-6527.

No Comments

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | How to Make Carpet Last In Rental Homes

505 Rapids

Property management companies in Columbia SC understand the burden of needing to purchase and replace carpeting with every moveout, and the strain it puts on investors. Between the price of materials, the cost of labor, and the time it takes away from being able to re-rent a home, carpet replacement can really put a dent in an investor’s budget for property maintenance. Luckily, there are a few ways you can make carpets last longer so that they do not need to be replaced every time! 

Tips for Rental Carpet Care

Carpets are easy to damage and get dirty but property management companies in Columbia SC can take certain steps to make reduce the damage and keep carpets in good shape longer. 

  1. Hard Surfaces at Entryways- Many homes have carpeting in the rooms that contain exit doors. It is common for living rooms, sitting rooms, or foyers to have carpet; however, consider a hard surface for just in front of the entry. Tile, laminate, or hardwood flooring in front of the doors to create a 5’ x 5’ landing area will help reduce the amount of dirt, water, grass, and grime that is dragged into the house on your shoes from the outside. 
  2. Complimentary Carpet Cleaning- At least once per year, offer a free deep carpet clean to your renters. They will appreciate the above and beyond service, clean carpets, and property management services in Columbia SC will reap the benefits of reduced carpet replacements! This is a win-win for everyone involved! 
  3. Consider the Type of Carpet- There are many different types of carpeting. Some have longer fibers, others are denser, and there are even carpets that are moisture wicking and stain resistant! Carpeting such as polypropylene fiber carpet is the most popular, easiest to clean, and affordable. Nylon Frieze and nylon are also very durable and easy to clean. 
  4. Provide a Vacuum- Some property managers will go as far as to provide every home with its very own vacuum cleaner. This way, residents are guaranteed to have one on hand during move-in, which is often one of the messiest times. A vacuum cleaner will cost less than carpet replacement! 

Keeping carpets clean and looking brand new can be difficult. Sometimes, no matter what precautions you take, carpet replacement will be inevitable. A property manager can help ensure the likelihood of replacement is reduced. 

If you’re looking for property management in Columbia SC, call Scott Properties at 843-779-6527.

No Comments

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | Average Price for Rentals in Columbia SC

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | Average Price for Rentals in Columbia SC

One of the most important things real estate investors in Columbia need to determine is how much they will charge for rent on their properties. The amount you charge for rent should be competitive with the market rental rates of the area but also be more than enough to cover the mortgage, taxes, maintenance, and the services of property management companies in Columbia SC.

While many other factors also go into pricing rent, such as the size and condition of the home, nearby amenities, and recent upgrades, a good place to set your baseline, would be what is the average price of a rental in Columbia. Property management companies in Columbia SC track this information diligently so they can apply their knowledge to the owner’s portfolio.

Why Property Management Companies in Columbia SC Would Help You:

Average Apartment Rent in Columbia SC ranges from $812 to $1,100 depending on if you are renting a studio apartment or up to three bedrooms. Student housing can be more expensive as the rental rates are usually on a per bedroom basis which can skyrocket the price for an entire apartment or house.

Average Rent for a Single Family Home in Columbia is around $1,200 with some homes renting for upwards of $1500-$2,000 and others staying closer to $900-$1000 per month to rent depending on bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities.

The cost of living in Columbia is lower than the national and state averages with housing coming in incredibly more affordable with a rating of 59.1 compared to the US rating of 100. Transportation in Columbia is also more affordable which makes the area quite attractive for families, new young professionals, and first-time homebuyers looking to live in an up-and-coming area near the coast.

Columbia is also a college community which means the area is prime for renters and investors looking to partner with property management companies in Columbia SC to offer high-quality, affordable single-family housing with multiple bedrooms.

If you are looking for professional property managers to help you make the most of your rental property investments in Columbia, Call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

No Comments

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | Should Tenants Be Allowed Swimming Pools?

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

One of the toughest decisions property management companies in Columbia SC must help owners make is whether to allow renters to set up swimming pools in the backyard. In South Carolina, some homeowners keep their pool going all year round and renters in single-family homes often want to enjoy their own private swimming pool as well. However, swimming pools can be a significant risk for property owners and there are several factors that you will need to consider with property management companies in Columbia SC.

Why You Should Let Tenants Have Swimming Pools

There are two reasons to let tenants have swimming pools—to make your property more attractive, and to charge more in rent. Depending on the type of renter you are targeting, swimming pools can be an effective draw for communities where you can increase rent for the luxury amenities. Swimming pools are hit and miss with families who might think the pool is a safety hazard; however, younger millennials and generation Z renters will love swimming pools with decks they can entertain on in the backyard and they will be willing to pay extra for it.

Why You Should Not Let Tenants Have Swimming Pools

The property management companies in Columbia SC will warn you that allowing tenants to have swimming pools can be a risk. Not only can swimming pools to a lot of damage to the yard, lawn, and property if they overflow or leak; they can put you at legal risk if an accidental drowning happens on the property. When the tenant moves out, they may not take down the pool ahead of time and the property maintenance crew will have to find a way to deal with it and restore the lawn beneath.

If you are considering allowing renters to have swimming pools, it is best to purchase rental properties that already have swimming pools installed. This way you know that the installation is done properly, the swimming pool will add value to the home rather than diminishing it, and professional pool maintenance can be called as needed.

If you need a property manager who can help you navigate the tough decisions, call Scott Properties at 803-951-0702