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Why You Should Change the Locks on Doors Between Tenants

Rental property owners know that there are several important tasks that should take place between the time a previous tenant moves out and when the new one moves in. This includes fixing any damage that may have occurred and giving the property a good cleaning so that it is ready for the new tenants.

One other task that should be done each time there is a change in tenants is changing the locks on the doors. This may seem like a mundane and insignificant step, but there are actually several good reasons why you should change the locks on doors between tenants.

1. Provides Safety for New Tenant

New locks on the door will definitely help your new tenant feel more secure and safe in their new surroundings. If you start the lease out on a good foot by letting them know you went the extra mile by having locks changed, your tenants may show their appreciation in the form of re-signing their lease when the time comes. Keep in mind that it’s often these little things that make a big difference to your tenant.

2. Provides You Peace of Mind

Imagine if a burglary took place at your rental property and police found no signs of forced entry. You can only imagine how quickly questions will be asked about locks and keys and previous residents. If the locks haven’t been changed, you can bet that your tenants may come after you for restitution for their stolen items. Even worse would be if you suddenly become a suspect yourself. You can avoid that by simply changing the locks.

3. Shows Your Respect for Privacy

Some tenants are much more concerned about privacy than others. Even if you give them every key that has ever been made for a previous lock, they might still have concerns about someone, including you, being able to have access to their home at any time. If a tenant is worried enough about it, they may even ask the changing of the locks to be a condition of them signing the lease. Then you’ll have to change the locks anyway.

4. Shows Your Professionalism

Property owners have one main goal in mind: to keep their property occupied as much as possible! When a home sits empty, you run the risk of losing money. Changing the locks between tenants is a great way to show that you are professional and experienced when it comes to being a landlord. This in turn allows your tenants to have more reason to want to stay and sign a new lease when the time comes.

There are many details like changing the locks on doors to consider when managing a rental property. This is why so many property owners have turned to RPM East Valley for help. We have years of experience to help us effectively manage your property so you get the best possible return on investment. For more information about our services, call us at 480-719-1243.

What to Address in Your Property After Someone Moves Out

Once your tenants have completely moved out of your rental property, the next step is spending some time getting things in shape for your next renters. If you are lucky, your previous tenants were meticulous and went to great lengths to leave your property in tiptop shape. Even then, there may be some normal wear and tear that you will want to address.

Here we share some ideas on what tasks should be completed on a routine basis between tenants and what to address after someone moves out.

Appliances

If your rental includes appliances, then you should definitely spend some time cleaning appliances before new tenants arrive. Even the cleanliest of tenants often miss spots in their rush to move out. Appliances are often over-looked when it comes to cleaning. Be sure to check your refrigerator, stove, ovens, and built-in microwaves.

Floors and Carpets

It’s just a fact that floors get dirty no matter what we do. After your previous tenants move out, you can expect that the floors and carpets will need to be cleaned or even replaced to ensure the property is ready for your new renters. This often includes cleaning scuffs and stains that may have occurred.

Hardwood floors could use a coat of wax to not only make it look good, but also to add protection. Rent a carpet-cleaning machine or hire a professional service to make sure carpets are looking good and to remove any lingering odors. Carpet that is worn out completely should be replaced between tenants.

Remove Nails and Patch Holes

You might find that your previous tenant used nails or screws to hang art or other fixtures on the walls of your property. You’ll want to remove any nails still in the wall and patch any holes that may be left behind. You can do this on your own or hire a handy man to do the job for you. It’s a good idea to have paint on hand so you can paint over your repairs making them less noticeable.

Fresh Paint

Depending on the scuffs, scratches and peels left behind, you might be able to get away with just some quick touch-ups around your property to get the paint looking good again. In other cases, it’s easier just to re-paint entirely. A fresh paint job helps to spruce up the home for new renters and helps you keep track of and damage that may occur down the road.

The good news is, most of these tasks are things you can do yourself without having to pay someone else. For more ideas on what you can do between tenants to ensure your rental property is ready to go, give RPM East Valley a call today at 480-719-1243.

Why You Should Require Your Tenants to Have Renters Insurance

Most standard lease agreements will have some sort of reminder or suggestion that highly recommends that renters have renter’s insurance to protect in case of an unfortunate event. The problem is, a suggestion in the lease agreement may not be enough to prompt a tenant to actually get insurance. Often, the landlord or property manager must consistently follow up with the tenant to make sure insurance is in place.

So why is it such a big deal for your renters to have their own renters insurance? How does it affect you, the property owner, if they choose not to have insurance?

Unfortunately, situations have been known to arise that can cause major stress for homeowners when their renters don’t have insurance. Here are a few reasons why you should require your tenants to have renters insurance when they live in a property you own:

1. Fire

Let’s say there is a fire at your home that was not the fault of your tenant. You may have homeowner’s insurance that will cover damage to the property, but if your tenants do not have renter’s insurance, there’s a chance they may come after you for coverage of their property that was damaged.

2. Neighbors

In the event that your tenants cause their neighbors to suffer a loss, from either bodily injury or property damage, renter’s insurance can provide protection that will compensate the injured party. This protects you from possible lawsuits or claims from the neighbors and can prevent arguments over liability between you and your tenant.

3. Prevents Delayed or Missed Rent

Some tenants seem to find any excuse they can when it comes to paying rent on time. If they were to experience a loss of property or damage to property, they might try and use that as a reason why they can’t pay rent. Renter’s insurance covers their personal property, even when they are away from home. This helps to ensure that they are covered in a jam and are able to pay their rent on time.

4. Peace of Mind

As a property owner, you already have enough to deal with without having to worry or stress about any loss issues your renters might have. Knowing that they have the right type of insurance in place gives you peace of mind and allows you to focus on other issues.

5. It’s Good for the Renter

If you have a tenant that shows any signs of hesitancy when it comes to getting renter’s insurance, be sure to point out the advantages for them. Many auto insurance companies provide renters insurance and will even offer discounts when the two policies are bundled. Overall renters insurance is very inexpensive and easy to obtain. They will feel better about having it in place and you will look like the good guy looking out for them.

For more information about why it is important for your tenants to have insurance or for help in enforcing this policy as part of the lease agreement, give RPM East Valley a call at 480-719-1243.

Pest Control Tips for Property Owners

The job of a property owner or manager includes continually keeping an eye on their property. looking for potential improvements and necessary maintenance. When done correctly, this type on continual improvement can become routine, effective and more cost-friendly. However, if certain maintenance goes unchecked for too long, it can lead to expensive repairs.

This is especially true when it comes to pest control. Property owners must take pest control seriously as to prevent long-term problems and irreversible damage. Sometimes, pest control can be a challenge when you’re not actually living at the property and it’s difficult to know what problems exist and how intense they are.

Having been in the property management business for many years, RPM East Valley has had experience in these matters. Here are a few pest control tips for property owners we’d like to share with you:

1. Cleaning

We cannot stress how important it is to make sure your property is cleaned properly between tenants. Take the time to clean basements, attics, and outdoor areas thoroughly to keep pests away. It’s also important that you communicate the need to keep the property clean to your tenants. Talk to them about cleaning up, paying close attention to food and drink remnants. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight and keep pantry shelves clean. It may not seem like a very important step, but you want to eliminate anything that pests may see as food.

2. Fix Holes, Seal Entrances

It’s amazing how insects are able to find their way into building structures like homes and offices. While they may continue to do so, we can do our part to keep them out by making sure holes and cracks are repaired. It’s also important to seal all entrances, such as doorways and windows. Be sure to check window screens as well for holes and tears. Not only can sealing doors and windows properly help prevent unwanted pests from entering, but it can also help you reduce your energy bill by not allowing as much air to escape.

3. Dealing with Roaches

Here in the desert of Arizona, some of the most common pests we have to deal with are cockroaches. They can suddenly show up in large numbers at certain times of the year. Not only are they dirty and downright gross, they can seem almost impossible to destroy. With that in mind here are a few ideas to help conquer roaches:

  •      Roach Gel
  •      Boric Acid
  •      Petroleum Jelly in a Glass
  •      Bait Stations
  •      Professional Exterminator

4. Keep Trees and Other Vegetation Trimmed

Part of keeping a property free from pests is making sure the surroundings are well maintained. Overgrown vegetation and untrimmed trees are the perfect place for insects and rodents to live and breed. Eventually, they will find their way into your property. Be sure to keep the landscaping of your property well maintained on a regular basis to avoid pest problems.

For more tips and ideas on maintaining and managing a rental property, give RPM East Valley a call today at 480-719-1243.

What Your Tenants Want

As a rental property owner, part of your job is keeping and maintaining a home that is desirable to renters. The market can be tough, and if you are not focusing on providing a home that has what tenants are looking for, your property may end up sitting empty for too long – a property owner’s worst nightmare.

This can definitely be a tricky situation. In order to make money, you need to be able to walk that fine line of investing in your property to improve its marketability, but still be able to keep the property valuable. It’s important to know how, where and when to invest in your property to attract the best kind of tenants.

There have been studies conducted that ask tenants what they are looking for in a rental property. Here are some of the highest ranked amenities by tenants:

1. Space

The number one thing renters want more than anything else is a spacious floor plan. Unfortunately, this is not something that is easily controlled. Creating more space in a home through renovation is not only expensive, but also time consuming, potentially leaving your property off the market for months.

Instead of renovating, try minor adjustments to create the illusion of space. This can be accomplished through clever staging of the home or making a change in the floor levels. A slightly raised dining area or lowered living area can be just the thing to give your tenant the psychological sense of more space.

2. Community Amenities

The next thing tenants are looking at is the community that the home is in. Does the community offer amenities such as pools, lounges, outdoor grills, dog parks or even pathways for early morning or evening walks? These amenities can help a tenant feel more at home and can actually make up for a smaller living space. They give people a chance to get to know their neighbors and enjoy time outdoors.

3. The Extras

Window coverings, such as blinds and shutters, ceiling fans, neutral paint and even Wi-Fi are some of the extras many tenants are expecting to see these days. Any extra that you can offer and highlight will definitely make a difference when a tenant is looking and comparing rentals. Other extras that can make a difference include a small backyard for kids or pets, and appliances, such as a washer, dryer and refrigerator.

For more tips and ideas on how to make your rental property more of what a tenant is looking for, feel free to give us a call at (480) 719-1243. With close to 30 years of experience, RPM East Valley has successfully managed hundreds of properties throughout the east valley of Phoenix, Arizona.