Landlord RAQ (Randomly Asked Questions)

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on July 10, 2009 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Tenant Credit Checks, Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

raq-image on tenant screening blogFrom time to time, we get a handful of rental property-related questions that concern many landlords—but don’t fall neatly into any category. We hope you find one or two that you’ve been wondering about, too!

Q: My rental unit has a jetted tub. If it breaks, am I responsible for repairing it—or replacing it with the same type tub?

A: You might want to consider adding a clause in your lease agreement that states the jetted tub is as is; the tub itself will be maintained for bathing purposes; however, if the jets malfunction, they will be repaired at your discretion only.

Q: I live in a city where only the owner of the property can be billed for the water and sewer service. How can I handle this with my tenants? I’m afraid they’ll run up the water bill, since they’re not paying it.

A: Your lease can state that you will pay for a certain amount of the water and sewer, based on average rates in your area. The lease can require the tenant to pay anything above that amount, to be included with the following month’s rent.

Q: Is it necessary to prescreen tenant applicants if they were referred by a good friend of mine?

A: Not only is it necessary, it is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your other tenants and the neighborhood residents. You need the peace of mind that a professional credit and background check will bring you. But just as important, if you don’t follow consistent procedures for each applicant, you could be accused of discrimination. Apply the same rules and follow the same procedures on every single tenant applicant—no matter who recommends them!

Q: What’s the absolute most effective way to advertise my for lease property?

A: Landlords we talk to say that good signs in the yard or window, visible from the street, plus an ad with photos on, are the two best ways to advertise. Do beware of scams on Craigslist—read the warnings posted on the site and don’t allow anyone you have not personally met send you a check to hold a rental—many scammers operate like this.

Q: What should I do to make my rental property appealing to high-quality tenants?

A: Give your rental the best curb appeal possible! Get rid of unsightly trash, hide the trash cans, trim shrubs and low-hanging branches, and plant some new flowers. Repair any broken windows or screens, and paint the trim if it’s needed. A bright color for the front door is a great way to make the property pop!

Q: How do I know when it’s time to hire a property management company?

A: If you no longer enjoy or have the time to spend on property maintenance, dealing with tenant questions and problems, and finding new tenants, you should research property managers. Base your decision on the out-of-pocket expense; if you decide your time and peace of mind is worth more than what you’ll pay the management company, give it a try!

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