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Common Questions Owners Have About Property Management

Property Management | Deciding to hire property management to take care of your rental property is a big decision and one that should not be made lightly. There may be several companies that boast the best vacancy fill rates or have great reviews, but as an owner, there are common things that you should wonder about. When you begin interviews potential companies to manage your rental property, make sure to ask these questions.

  1. Do You Require A Security Deposit?Not requiring a security deposit is a big mistake for homeowners and most property management companies will also charge at least one full month’s rent as a deposit that will be placed in an escrow account according to law. These deposits protect the owner against damages incurred by the tenant.
  2. Do You Do Inspections?Believe it or not, many property management companies do not walk through or inspect rental homes to make sure that everything is being taken care of. An excellent property management company should schedule walkthroughs at least twice per year to verify that the house is being treated well.
  3. What Are Your Fees?Don’t trust a property management company that has hidden fees or charges for services based on a laundry list. A high-quality management firm should charge a flat percentage rate of the gross monthly rent. Owners also need to ask if the tenant doesn’t pay rent, who is responsible for the rental fee? Some companies may require that the property owner still pay the fee, even if the renter doesn’t pay. Look for a property management firm that doesn’t hold owner’s responsible such as Scott Properties in Midlands.
  4. What is The Application Process for Tenants? As the owner of the home, you want to know that the people renting from you will pay on time, not destroy your home, and not cause problems in the neighborhood. Tenants should be screened through an application to determine suitability. Background checks, income verification, and previous rental history along with photo idea should all be part of the application process.

 

Start with these four questions when you interview property managers. If the answers aren’t to your liking after these four, it is time to move on to a different property management company. Call Scott Properties today to see how we can help you rent your home in Midlands!

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Why Your Property Manager Will Require Renters Insurance

Property Manager | When a property manager is handling the leasing of your rental home, you want to trust that they will be able to keep your property safe and incur a profit for every month. One way the property manager you are working with will ensure that your rental property stays safe and valuable is to include mandatory renters’ insurance in the lease agreement.

Why Renters Need Insurance

Many tenants may not want to purchase renter’s insurance. No one wants to take on more bills; however, renter’s insurance should be non-negotiable. Many renters do not understand that when it comes to their belongings, a property owner’s insurance is not liable for damages to the renter’s things. Renters need their insurance to cover them in the event of disasters that result in the loss of property.

Your property manager should ask for a copy of renter’s insurance to prove the renter’s liability coverage if damages are caused to the property as a result of the renter’s negligence. Renters are often surprised to find out that if they leave the water running and flood the apartment, or cause a fire, that they are responsible for the damages, not the property owner.

Where to Get Renters Insurance

Many renters will ask a property manager where they should get renters insurance. Most of the time a renter can receive a discount on their insurance if they package renter’s insurance with their other policies such as car insurance. Tenants should be able to choose whatever insurance provider they prefer, but a property manager may also have suggestions for tenants.

What Does Renters Insurance Not Cover?

While every policy may be different, there are a few things that most renter’s insurance will not cover. Natural Disasters, especially in flood zones such as coastal cities are not covered in renter’s insurance policies; however, additional coverage for these events is generally available. Damage caused by pests is usually not included. High-value items such as antiques, or rare collectibles often require additional coverage as well, especially if their value exceeds your policy limits.

If you are looking for rental property in the Midlands area, call Scott Properties today to see how we can help you rent your home in Midlands!

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Property Manager Nightmares A Trashed House

Property Manager Nightmares: A Trashed House

When property manager is your career, it’s a given that you have walked into some unbelievable situations involving your rental homes. One thing a property manager always dreads is taking that first step through the front door after a resident has moved out and turned in their keys. Sometimes, we are pleasantly surprised that the tenants follow the lease rules on moving out. They leave the home in great condition and even have the carpets shampooed. Then there are other tenants. These tenants leave holes in the walls, food in the fridge, bug infested furniture, nasty bathrooms, and ovens caked in grease. A trashed house is a property manager’s worst nightmares.

How Can A Property Manager Avoid A Trashed House?

The property manager can only do what the law and lease say they can about damages to a home caused by the tenants. A reputable property manager will have a lease that includes everything the tenants are responsible for upon move out. Carpet cleaning, window blinds replacement, and a deep cleaning are often considered the tenants responsibility.

Another option is for the property manager to include in the lease exactly how much will be deducted from the rental deposit for those tasks such as cleaning fees, carpet cleaning and damages. In some cases, if damages exceed the amount of the deposit the property manager is entitled to send a bill for damages to the previous tenant. This depends on the laws in your city and state however.

The most important thing that a property manager can do to avoid a trashed house is to screen tenants. Screening a tenant does not include mean to just run the credit and background check (although you need to do these things first). Call the prospective renter’s previous landlords and employers to get the best idea of the type of renter the prospect will be.

When a home is damaged beyond reasonable expectations, sometimes legal action is necessary. Make sure that you contact the appropriate legal representatives for the rental company and property owner.

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Finding Tenants for Rental Homes Midlands

Finding tenants for rental homes Midlands should be easy, after all the city has a population of 744,000 people in the metro area. People are flocking to Midlands for the job opportunities, family friendly atmosphere, and southern living. The median age of folks in Midlands is 36 and with the same number of people moving to town every day, property managers can have a tough time finding quality applicants for their rental homes Midlands.

The first thing you must do when you are looking for quality tenants for your rental homes Midlands, is have a comprehensive application that prospective renters fill out. This application should include:

Full Name
Proof of Income
Job history
Social security number
Current contact information including address
Past 5-10 years of rental history and job history
Date of birth
Driver’s license number

All members of the household that will reside in the rental home

Next, conduct a background check on the applicant to ensure they meet all the rental property qualifications. These could relate to criminal history, credit report, income, etc. Do not make exceptions for any applicants. This is against fair housing laws. All applicants for rental homes Midlands must be treated equally, so do not make concessions on the application criteria ever.

After the background and credit checks are passed, do a reference check on the applicant. Call their past employers and past landlords to get a better idea of the renter. While employers and landlords are limited by what they can disclose by law, they can tell you whether they would hire or rent to that person again at the very least.

If you have income requirements for your rental homes Midlands, make sure that they are reasonable. Standard practice is that rent should consume no more than one third of a renter’s monthly budget. Set these same expectations for your applicants to reduce the chance of late rent or missed payments. Including an application fee in your rental process can also give you a better idea of a person’s ability to afford your rental unit.

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What You Need to Know About Being A Property Manager

Property Manager | Do you love real estate, customer service, sales and meeting new people? Are you thinking about becoming a property manager? Being a property manager may seem like a lot of fun, but not everyone can cut it in the competitive marketplace. Here is what you need to know about being a property manager, so you can decide if it is truly the right fit for you.

1. You Must Always Be Available- You may have regular office hours that you hold for leasing, but once you have tenants, you have to be available for maintenance emergencies, issues paying rent, and other tenant issues at all hours of the day. There are answering services that can help field calls outside of normal business hours but if a tenant has true emergency you will be expected to handle it, whether it happens at 3 in the morning or on a Sunday Afternoon.

2. You Must Love People- Working as a property manager means that you will have to love people. You must be comfortable talking to people on the phone, through emails, and in person. You have to be friendly, outgoing and have excellent sales and customer service skills. If you aren’t comfortable around new people or don’t consider yourself a salesperson, being a property manager is not for you.

3. You Must Think Quickly- Making decisions in the moment is important for a property manager to be able to do. When your tenants have an emergency, you must be able to react quickly. If a tenant confrontation is escalating, you must be able quickly diffuse the situation while still protecting the property. A property manager needs to not only be able to make snap decisions, but those decisions must be the right decision. Decision making is a huge responsibility to have.

If you read through these three requirements for being a property manager and believe you are still cut out for the position, this may just be the correct career path for you!

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What A Property Manager Does to Get A Home Move in Ready

Property Manager | Turning a home, or getting the home ready for the next renter, can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or even months depending on what needs to be done. When tenants leave rental homes in good condition, a property manager usually just has a few tasks to ensure are completed before the next tenant can move in.

1. Repaint. You cannot live in a home without damaging the paint on a wall. It’s inevitable and a property manager knows this. After a move out, most rooms in the rental home will be repainted. Often, a property manager may offer for the new tenants to be a part of this process by choosing an accent wall color.

2. Shampoo Carpets. Carpets in the home need to be, at the very least, shampooed in between tenants. If the previous tenants lived in the rental home for a long time and the carpet is worn, or the carpet has stains that cannot be removed, replacement may be necessary. Switching to wood or laminate floors can help a property manager replace flooring less often.

3 Deep Clean of Home. The property manager will hire or schedule a cleaning company to provide a deep clean of the rental home. Appliances such as the oven, refrigerator, and microwave will be cleaned. Dusting will be done as well as vacuuming, mopping, steaming floors, scrubbing toilets and bathtubs and much more. A deep clean should always been done between tenants and after any work needed.

4. Locks Changed. The rental homes locks should be replaced or rekeyed between tenants. While every property manager will request the keys to the rental home upon move out, there is no telling whether the previous tenants kept copies. Changing the locks between renters is standard in the rental home industry.

Other than damage to the home that needs to be fixed or major maintenance issues such as flooding, a rental home can be turned in just a few days doing the four things in this list. Scott Properties is dedicated to making sure every tenant moves into a move in ready home.

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Tips on Curb Appeal from A Property Management Company

Property Management Company | If you are charging market rent or above for your rental home, curb appeal must be comparable to or better than the other properties for rent in your neighborhood. Curb appeal is what attractions renters to your home. Other than location and price, the way a home looks is one of the most important things a renter thinks about when deciding where to live. Use these tips from professional property management companies to increase the curb appeal of your rental home.

1. Maintain the Yard- Mowing the grass and raking the leaves is very important for curb appeal. When home owners and property management allow yard to become overrun with weeds, don’t rake the leaves, and allow the grass to grow long when homes are vacant, renters don’t believe the home owners care about the property. When property management shows and markets the home to renters, the yard being well maintained sets the tone for the meeting and will leave an impression on the renter.

2. Plant Flowers- Everyone wants to be welcomed home by colorful flowers. If you are renting a home in the winter months ask the property management to put wreaths out, pine garland, and other evergreen plants around the exterior of the home to be festive and welcoming. When garden beds and yards are landscaped, it shows that the home has been well taken care of and creates an inviting ambiance.

3. Cut Down Dead Trees and Branches- There is nothing more menacing than dead trees and bushes in a front yard. When long, dead branches hang over driveways or on street parking, renters will fear damage to their cars or getting hurt by falling branches. Your property management should arrange for dead branches and trees to be trimmed back twice per year.

4. Keep Walk Ways Clear- When winter comes and snow falls, potential renters don’t want to worry about needing to tread through snow to get to the front porch. The last thing the property management wants is someone slipping and falling on the home’s walkways. When visitors pull up to the home, clear walkways are a welcoming invitation to approach the home.

Scott Properties has many other tips and tricks to increasing your curb appeal! Call today to ask us how we can help you!

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How Spot a Smooth Operating Property Management Business

Property management companies are much greater than just the property manager that is taking care of renting out the home. A property management company sometimes purchases homes and properties, employs many property managers that manage the day to day business of those homes and properties and much more. Many property management companies use in house maintenance crews and vendors for all the properties they own or manage and can get great discounts on services and products this way. If you are opening a property management business, or looking to work with one, there are few key traits that smoothing operating property management businesses all have.

 

  1. They Hire Well-Owning a property management company means hiring the best people to represent the company. Maintenance crews, property managers, leasers, and vendors all need to be selected carefully. A property management company that hires the cheapest bidder for the job is one that should be avoided. Quality of services should never be a low priority for a great property management business.

 

2. High Occupancy-Property management companies that have a lot of vacancies should be questioned. Are they vacant due to a recent remodel and the units are all just now available or are all the company’s properties unkept? Does the property management company have a bad reputation? When there are high occupancy rates this means that people want to rent from them, want to keep renting, and are happy with the property management company.

 

3. They Are Responsive-Property management companies need to be responsive in all aspects of their business. When an email comes through the leasing software from a potential renter, someone should respond to it before the end of the business day. Companies that offer walk-in appointments for tours of available properties should make sure that there is always someone available to help.

 

Property management companies with great teams, high occupancy, and proven responsiveness are the best to hire to manage your rental home!

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Hiring a Property Manager Can Increase Your Quality of Life

All property owners who operate rental homes have days where they don’t want to answer anymore tenant calls. Property owners have times where they don’t know why they ever got into the rental home business because they have no time to themselves or to spend with their family anymore. Are you sick of having to field phone calls because your tenants don’t understand how to work their air conditioners? Being a property owner of rental properties can be a super stressful job that is more than we bargained for when we thought making money off rental properties would be fun and easy. If you want to increase your quality of life and still make a substantial income from your rental properties, you should hire a property manager.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

A Property manager is your tenants’ main contact person for your rental home. If you don’t want to be bothered by tenant phone calls, a property manager will be a lifesaver for you. Property managers have expertise in marketing rental homes. They know what the average rent for a property like yours is and they know how to make your home worth more than average.

Homeowners can also trust property managers to attract the right kind of tenants to their property. Many property managers can perform background checks on tenants if you have requirements relating to criminal history or credit. A property manager can also handle all of the day to day tenant needs once the tenants move in.

Property managers are also great for bookkeeping and property maintenance. A property manager can invoice a vendor, set up appointments for maintenance issues, and be the liaison between tenants and the property owners. Homeowners can even allow property managers to handle lease violations, late rent payments, collections activities, and legal proceedings.

Hire Scott Properties today to increase your quality of life by using a property manager.

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How Property Management Companies Can Boost Your Profits

Thinking that a property management company can actually help your profits while a percentage of the rental income is paid to them in fees every month. While a property management company, at first, will cost you money out of pocket, there are many ways that hiring property management can actually increase the profits overall.

Property management companies have the resources and expertise to rent your property quickly and efficiently. Think about how long a home may sit empty between tenants. The amount of time it takes for you to turn the home yourself, market, and then lease the unit. The property could sit empty for weeks or even months, creating no income and only debt for the owner. A property management company is able to market your property in the latest and most effective ways, employs people to do the turn, and is up to date on all regulations regarding the leasing process and fair housing. Property management companies make it possible to have little empty time between leases.

Property management companies also save you time and everyone knows that time is money. Rather than the homeowner having to field calls, show the home, do the paperwork, and provide maintenance, a property management company handles all the tasks associated with home rentals. A property management company will also employ maintenance staff that is reliable and knowledgeable, so you never have to make a guess at what may be wrong with the central air, dishwasher, or furnace. This is another way a property management company can increase your profits. You don’t have to waste money or time on guesswork. Maintenance issues get fixed right the first time when you have professionals managing your rental home.

Scott Properties is a property management company that wants to make sure that your experience as a rental homeowner is the best it can be. Contact us today to discuss our property management services!