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A Checklist for Welcoming New Tenants

Finding a new tenant for your rental property is very exciting. You’ve probably done quite a bit of work to prepare, market, and show your property for rent. (Or, even better, you’ve had a property management company doing it for you!) But now, the work has finally paid off and you’ve got a great tenant lined up.

What now? Here are some steps you should take to make sure the process of welcoming your new tenant goes smoothly and quickly.

Have the property thoroughly cleaned. Whether you’re having this done professionally or doing it yourself, make sure it’s done quickly and well. If you have an old tenant moving out, they may be responsible for having this done, depending on your lease agreement.

Perform any needed maintenance or repairs. Ideally, you have already discussed what specifically needs to be done with your incoming tenants. Take care of any and all repairs right away to make sure you have sufficient time to fix everything.

Change the locks. This is important when it comes to security, especially if your property has been previously occupied. This will not be too costly and will give your new tenant peace of mind.

Paint, if needed. New paint is often a huge draw for a tenant. If you agreed to have the home painted before move in, make sure it’s done professionally and quickly.

Transfer utilities. If your property is unoccupied for any period of time, your utilities should be in your name during that time. Once your new tenant moves in, make sure you transfer utility accounts to their name (unless otherwise stated in your lease). This will help avoid confusion down the road.

Review lease language. Make sure both you and your new tenant understand the terms of the lease, including payment due dates and maintenance responsibilities. It is definitely beneficial to have a lawyer or property management company to help you out with this step. You might want to give your tenant a sheet with the most important terms of the lease summarized and clearly stated.

Don’t be a stranger. Nice gestures won’t go ignored and will gain you a lot of goodwill with your new renter. Leave a welcome packet on move-in day, or send a small housewarming gift or card. At the very least, make sure your tenant knows how to get a hold of you or your property management company should they have any questions or problems.

If you’ve found a tenant for your property, you are well on your way to turning your investment into profit! If you want help maintaining your property or your relationship with your tenant, or you have more vacancies to fill, contact Real Property Management. We’re your consultant for all your property management needs, and can help you make the most of your investment home. Contact us easily through our website, or call us at (480) 719-1243.

Is Renting to Family and Friends a Good Idea?

As a rental property owner, you know that vacancies are your worst nightmare. Every day that your property sits empty means dollars out of your pocket, and those dollars add up quickly.

So picture this scenario: you’re worried about filling a vacancy at a property. Time is ticking and things are getting stressful. Then you hear that your friend or family member is looking for a home to rent. Have the stars aligned? Is it your lucky day? Or could it possibly set off a chain of events that you want to avoid at all costs?

Before you rent to friends and family, you need to consider some of the circumstances surrounding the situation, before any agreements are made and definitely before any paperwork is signed. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to navigate these tricky waters.

Check rental and credit history

Anyone you rent to should have a decent (if not impeccable) rental and credit history. This is your best defense against delayed/missed payments, damage to your property, and other hassles you might have to deal with. If you know that your friend or family member has a questionable rental or credit background, you might want to pass on taking them on as your new tenant. When in doubt, perform a background and/or credit check, just like you would do with any potential renter.

Stick to your guns (and your lease)

If you do think you’re willing to rent to friends and family, take care to not give them any special treatment when it comes to expectations (on payments, upkeep, communication, etc.). Set up the same lease arrangement you would have with a total stranger. Sure, it’s a little impersonal, but it protects you and takes a step toward separating your professional relationship as landlord/tenant from your personal relationship as friends or family. If they ask for special treatment, that should be a red flag to you that they’ll be asking for special treatment for the entire duration of the lease.

Use a property management company

This is the ultimate way to keep your personal relationship out of your professional relationship. Having a property management company handle your tenants means you don’t have to be the bad guy. Instead, they’ll be the ones handling payment, collections, maintenance, and repairs. It’s the perfect way to keep your property full and your friendship intact.

When in doubt, just say no

The truth is, all the screening in the world can’t guarantee — with absolute certainty — that a new tenant is going to work out. When problems arise with a tenant that is also a friend of family member, things get messy, complicated, and personally distressing. If your gut says you shouldn’t rent to friends and family, then don’t do it! Refer them to someone else, and focus on finding a great tenant for your property (psst…a property management company can help with that, too!).

It’s understandable that you might be tempted to rent to friends and family. It’s a sure sale, a quick fix, and you feel like you’re doing a favor for someone you care about. But it can often lead to problems, hurt feelings, and possible lost revenue for you. If you’re able to treat your friend like any other tenant, you’ll probably be okay; otherwise, find someone else.

Want some help finding the best possible tenant for your property? Real Property Management has years of experience doing just that. Also offering maintenance and payment management, RPM East Valley can help turn your property into a profitable investment. Get a free management quote online today, or call us at (480) 719-1243.

5 Simple Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Rental Property

You can’t judge a book by its cover, right? Yes, this old adage has a lot of wisdom in it, but the fact is, many things are still often judged by their outside appearance, especially when it comes to real estate.

When trying to rent out your property, you want to catch the tenant’s eye from the beginning. You want the outside to make them want to come inside, so you can showcase the home’s features and great qualities.

Of course, upgrading and maintaining the outside of a property can get expensive and can take a lot of time. Rather than feeling the need to do a complete overhaul, here are five simple changes you can make to the outside of your property to help attract potential tenants.

Upgrade House Numbers

Most “builder standard” numbers are pretty unattractive, especially if the home is several years old. New numbers can be purchased at most home improvement stores, and they will add an instant upgrade to the exterior of the home. 

Add Some Color

Plant some flowers to quickly add a pop of color to the exterior of the home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but make sure that the flowers you choose will withstand the weather of your property’s location. If you think flowers aren’t enough, greenery has the same effect. Even a small bush goes a long way toward sprucing up the curb appeal of a property (pun intended). 

Wash The Windows

You might be surprised at the difference this can make. The outsides of windows get washed less frequently than the insides, and dust and grime can build up quickly. Wash the windows to keep the exterior of the home looking fresh. 

Paint The Front Door

The front door of your home is, most likely, in a very prominent position. It is very noticeable and hard to ignore. Giving it a fresh coat of paint will make a significant difference in the look of your property. Make sure you check with your community association to find approved colors for your front door.

Cut The Grass

Even if the grass is in bad shape, it will look much better cut short than growing long and wild. This will also create the impression that your property is well maintained and attentively cared for — something a potential tenant will definitely appreciate!

When it comes to the outside of your property, you don’t have to make big changes to have a big impact. These quick fixes will give your property instant curb appeal that will attract good tenants to the home. For more great tips about filling your rental space, and to get help with the process, contact Real Property Management at 480-719-1243 today. We can help you fill, maintain, and profit from your rental property.