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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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