Thoroughly screening your tenants is one of the most important steps of properly maintaining your property. It insures your pay, protects your property, helps you avoid turnover, gives you peace of mind, and helps you maximize your return.
While nothing will guarantee that your tenants will pay their monthly rent, your property will be treated respectfully, and the tenants will stay long-term. Thoroughly screening your tenants will help reduce the risk by 80%.
Tenant screening primarily involves looking at their rental history, checking with previous landlords to learn what kind of tenants they were and if they paid on time, and scrutinizing their finances to ensure they have the funds to pay.
Having this procedure set in place is essential to saving you time and money and avoiding any violation of housing laws. Most investors understand the importance of having a professional handle their investment. Consider hiring a management company to spot excellent renters, maximize your returns, and give you peace of mind about your tenants.
2. Set Protocols and Policies; Remain Consistent
Property managers must have set policies and protocols to eliminate miscommunications and potential problems with tenants. All property rules for tenants should be in writing and provided upon the lease signing. Likewise, property managers need to have protocols in place for different situations.
If a tenant violates the parking policy, it’s up to the property manager to follow through with the protocol. An example of this could be a situation such as issuing a warning for a violation or having a vehicle towed.
Keep Up-To-Date Books or Hire a Bookkeeper or Property Manager
Maintaining organized financial records regarding tenant rent and property expenses, such as maintenance, employee payroll, and trash removal, is essential. You have to know what money is coming in and going out.
If your other property manager duties need more time for bookkeeping, consider hiring a qualified bookkeeper or Property Manager. Doing so will save you time and money in the long run.
Sometimes, it’s simply good business to outsource. Hiring a bookkeeper when you’re drowning in financial paperwork will ease your load and ensure that your files are handled properly. Specialists should also handle more complex repairs. For example, an apartment with carpet requires professional cleaning.
So, you should work establishing partnerships with service providers, such as carpet cleaners, plumbers, housekeepers, real estate agents, electricians, and attorneys.
5-Perform and Document Move in- move Out inspections
Before tenants physically move into your rental, the tenants and landlord should complete a move-in inspection. Move-in inspections are designed to document your rental property’s original condition when your tenants move in. Typically, we recommend using both written and visual accounts to document the condition (a PDF report with photos and notes).
Thus, any existing damage will not become the responsibility of the new tenants at the end of their lease term. Instead, landlords can compare this to a move-out inspection to determine any new damage.
Once the checklist is complete, both the landlord and tenant must sign the document. This will help avoid future disputes if any damage requires withholding from the security deposit.
The most important thing you can do is to follow state law scrupulously when you return security deposits. Make sure you meet the Florida deadline of 15 to 60 days (depending on whether the tenant disputes the deductions) for itemizing and returning the tenant’s deposit. Then, be sure to provide tenants with advance notice of intended deductions.
6- Schedule/Perform Routine Inspections to Reduce Problem Risk
Regular inspections can help reduce the risk of potential problems in and around the property and its units. Items to inspect include but are not limited to:
- All smoke/fire alarms
- Fire/emergency door access
- HVAC systems
- Roof and downspouts
- Windows (check for cracks and sealant issues)
- Water lines for laundry areas
Establish and Maintain Office Hours
This may seem like the most simple of all property management tips, but it’s important for your tenants to know when to contact you for non-emergency situations. Established business hours allow tenants to contact you easily when a maintenance call is needed. Instead of putting it off and allowing the problem in their unit to worsen, which can lead to costly repairs, the tenants will have a set time to address the problem during the business hours.
It is also important to establish how to contact you in emergency situations and what are considered emergencies.
You should offer great customer service to your renter, but it is equally important to set boundaries and expectations accordingly. When you have protocols and procedures in place, you allow for effective and open communication with your tenants.
These tips will help you every step of the way. Contact Metropolitan Real Estate today!