Tag Archives: property management

Energy Incentives For Your Rental Home

     There are several ways to save energy in your home. From appliances to windows, doors, furnaces, water heaters, and light bulbs just to name a few. The state, federal government, and some utility companies encourage us to use lower energy rated appliances and will often times give rebates or tax credits, for purchases of qualifying products.

th-1     It is up to the consumer to research which products qualify. In Oregon you can check the Energy Trust Of Oregon site for cash incentives as well as information on how to schedule a free home energy review by a trained and certified contractor.

     Another great way to check if an appliance is or will be covered under one of these plans is to go directly to the manufactures web page to see which appliances they have that will qualify for some or all of the many incentives offered. For example if your interested in purchasing a new high efficiency furnace you could go to the Bryant webpage and get information on which units will qualify for tax credits or rebates.

     Energy star products can be found at the Energy Star website where you can learn which products qualify, how to apply and what forms you will need to fill out after your purchase and install. Forms are submitted with your taxes for that year for tax write offs and rebates usually have a time limit such as 90 days etc. Check the Forms page of the Energy Star website for more information on how to apply.

     If you purchase an appliance, furnace or water heater that uses natural gas you can also check the NW Natural Gas website for incentives that they may offer. The store or contractor may have information on which products qualify as well so check with them when your shopping around.

     Appliances that earn an Energy Star rating may cost a bit more upfront, but in an overwhelming majority of cases, their operating costs yield big savings over the lifetimes of the products. And while you can’t bank on the government bringing back the now-expired 2011 tax credits, anything is possible in an election year, especially when energy costs are an important voter issue. Regardless, the facts show that Energy Star is working for the betterment of the environment while simultaneously lowering electric bills. Even in our fractured political climate, that’s a platform everyone can agree upon — and incentive enough for all of us to make some major changes around the house not just in 2014, but also in the years to come as well. 

     

 

 

Companion Animals

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Pet lovers are guardians to more than 100 million dogs & cats in the U.S. and spend more than 35 billion on their furry friends. Oregon has the 4th highest percentage of pet owners in the U.S. at over 63%!

Think again before you place that for rent sign that says in large letters “NO PETS”.
Just by not allowing pets in your rental you are slashing more than 1/2 of your rental options and possible applicants. If your home has a large back yard and would be a great home for a companion why not let them have their pet. You can and should monitor and inspect the home for damages. You can and should make the tenant responsible for all damages done by the pet. It up to you as the owner or manager to do your inspections, communicate with the tenants about what you expect and follow through with what you say you will do when those expectations are not met even if it means eviction.

Pets are hard on things yes but so are people. In my opinion it is the owners who don’t discipline or have time for their pets that should be to blame. We find ourselves in a fast paced working world where no one is home for hours on end and left at home for hours on end are those high lovin’ pets that we thought we had time for when we fell in love with its cute little face as a puppy or kitten. But those animals grow up and get big just like kids but kids learn to be independent and move out eventually. Pets do not, they rely on you every single day of their lives.

As an owner or manager of rental properties you can allow pets and feel confident about it if you communicate with your tenants about your expectations, do regular inspections and make sure you disclose how many times per year you will do those inspections. Also communicate what will happen if those expectations are not met. You can have breed restrictions too. Know the laws in your state and follow them. also be familiar with the companion pet laws in your state. Companion pets have become a very popular “perscription” written from doctors these days. People with pets are usually more than happy to pay extra for their furry friends. I charge pet rent per pet and add it right to the monthly rent for pets in my homes. If tenants have a companion animal check your laws on deposits and make sure you get the proper documentation on file. Do not take a tenant or applicants word that the pet has been through obedience classes, ask for copies of the documents.

I suggest having a 2 pet maximum and allow only friendly breeds that do not have an aggressive behavior or history. Here is a list of breeds that you should NOT accept:

* Akita
* Bloodhound
* Boxer
* Chow
* Dalmatian
* Doberman Pincher
* German Shepard
* Pit Bull
* Rottweiler
* Staffordshire Terrier
* Standard Poodle

If you are one that has trouble inspecting your property and or communicating with tenants about such things I strongly suggest calling a property management company to help you. So make your tenants happy and say Yes to their pet!

Manage Your Lease Option

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So you’ve got buyers to purchase your home on a rent-to-own option. Great news! They move in pay rent and your forget about it. Years go buy and all is well until rent stops coming in the mail. You wait a few months, thinking you will give them the benefit of the dought, after all you know he lost his job and you don’t want to be the mean one…Next thing you know 3 or 4 months has gone by and they owe 6,000.00-8,000 and you need to reclaim the property back. Lease options have many advantages for both you and the buyer, but caution must be used on both sides as well. You will remain the owner until the property is paid for in full. In most lease option agreements if the purchaser/renter fails to pay the buyer can reclaim the property back with no refund to the tenant for the amount he has paid toward his purchase. When you reclaim the property back and the tenants move out you find that the tenants did not only miss rent payments, but they did not do any repairs either. Now you have to repair the home before you can sell or rent again and depending on the condition, this could take months. This can be avoided if you use a property manager while your home is under a lease option. A property manager will do regular inspections and help you maintain the home until the lease option is satisfied and paid in full. Tri County Management, LLC does two full inspections per year as well as drive by inspections in the spring and winter to make sure the property is well taken care of. Make sure you understand your contract terms and agreements before you sign and contact an attorney if there is something you don’t understand or agree with. Take care of your property until the lease is fully satisfied and call Tri County Management, LLC to manage your home so you don’t get stuck with the bill.

Should I Allow Marijuana Usage In My Rental?

Many people benefit from medical marijuana usage and hold a card issued annually by the Oregon Health Authority with a  written prescription from a licensed doctor.  This card allows the patient to use marijuana in Oregon however, it does not make it legal for public usage and federal laws will override it in court.

There are a few things to know as an owner or landlord before making the decision to allow or not allow usage in your rental home.  First decide if you allow smoking in the home.  If not, you can allow them to “ingest” the medicine only by eating or drinking instead of smoking it.

Make sure you and your tenants understand the laws and requirements and put them in writing by adding them to your lease agreement.   You can allow the usage but not allow the growing and harvesting, this decision is up to you and what you are comfortable with inside your rental property. Also make sure to add in the lease agreement that if complaints are issued by neighbors or others for the usage, smell, etc. that the lease may be terminated if the issue cannot be corrected.

If you are going to allow the tenants to use marijuana in your rental under special terms and agreements written in your lease agreement make sure to keep a copy of the users card and the doctors authorization within your records and update it annually.  As of today in Oregon the holder of the card is allowed to have 6 mature plants, 18 seedlings starts, and 24oz of usable marijuana at one time. It is important to monitor this and make sure that the user stays within the limits. If the user does not stay within those limits the lease should be terminated. Also make sure that the tenant understands that usage should not be in public or seen by other tenants and not to be used in any common areas shared by other tenants.

If you follow these guidelines you should be able to allow the usage of medical marijuana in your rental home without problems. It is important to do regular inspections on your rental properties and this is the only way to monitor if a tenant is following the terms of the lease agreement. If inspections and managing are getting the best of you, call Tri County Management, LLC and let us reduce your stress and manage for you. We can bring in hassle free rents, pay all your bills and send you the rent check every month while you rest or go on vacation.

Some Basic Rental Requirements You Should Always Ask Your Applicants

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Always screen your tenants. You can pre-screen them over the phone so that if they do not meet all of your required criteria you won’t waste their time or yours showing them a home they may not qualify for.  Use these guidelines when pre-screening. 

1)Monthly income at least 2 times the rent.

2)Currently employed for no less than 6 months and/or proof of monthly funds from other sources.

3)No recent evictions.

4)Good rental history from non family members. No NSF checks, late rent, evictions or complaints within 1 year.

5)Good credit score with no recent outstanding debts.

6)No criminal activity within 7 years.

Tri County Management uses these guidelines when seeking for tenants. This is the first step to locating great tenants.

Happy Renting~

 

Tips For Owners

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**Always screen your tenants and use a professional screening company. Provide the applicants with an application and a copy of your screening criteria.

**Provide a clean home that is safe and take care of repairs right away. Communicate with the tenants and inform them of your plans and follow through. Make sure all essential services are always operable or the tenant may be able to file a claim, deduct rent or move out without a lease break fee.

**Give proper notice before entering. Check your states laws and know when you can enter and how much notice is required. Allow tenants the privacy they deserve.

**Inspect the home at least once per year. If you see things that need attention like repairs, take care of them. Let the tenant know right away if they should be doing something they are not. Communicate!

**Insure your home and make sure the tenants know about how insurance works and recommend to them to get renters insurance.

**Use legal forms and hold security deposits and return them within the limits of your states laws. Use move in/out condition report and inform the tenants what you will expect at move out. Disclose everything, there should be no secrets or surprises.

**Resolve all disputes and make every attempt to settle disagreements outside of court even if it costs you a little bit. Court is stressful and time consuming.

. Understand the managers contract, terms and conditions and do a background check on them. Make sure they are currently licensed and insured. Or contact Tri County Management.

How To Choose A Management Company Thats Right For You.

Choosing a property management can be tricky. Narrowing down whether you want a large company with employees or a small company will be easier once you know the answers to the questions below. Just make sure the company you use is licensed and insured and operating under an active license within your state. Tri County management, LLC is licensed and insured and can help you with your rental or answer any questions you may have. We also do one time lease up only services.

Do you screen prospective tenants?  Who do you use?

How large is your company? Do you have employees? How many properties do you manage?

Do you do inspections? Do YOU do them personally or someone within your company, or do you sub this work out?

Do you use a trust account and a monthly accounting system? Do you pay bills associated with the property with the rents received?

Do you have a network of vendors that you use regularly?

What are the essential services that must be provided to the tenant and how much money do you require to keep in the trust account for emergencies?

How will you communicate repairs and issues with me?

Is there a contract? What are the property management fees?

 

Our Home Is A Reflection Of Who We Are

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Looking for a place to live can be a cumbersome job. Each time you walk through the door your imagining your furniture, your wall hangings and decorations all put in place and this brings a smile to your face. You know its the right house when that great warm homey feeling comes over you. It is the uniqueness of each one of us that makes a house a home. Its that comfortable, warm, safe place we love to be and the creativeness that says; “Welcome Home” every time we enter the door. Tri County Management, LLC can help you find that perfect place and our management services will make sure your always happy with your home. I love to see how the homes are decorated once my tenants move  in. Your style and unique personality shines through and the home becomes your favorite place to be.