Tag Archives: rental homes

Preparing Your Home To Be A Rental Home

Preparing a home to be a rental home is a lot of work. There are many things to think about and depending on the condition of  the home it can be a bit costly.  The good news is that once it is rented you’ll be able to make some of that money back over time and the improvements will increase the value of the home. Keep a list of all the improvements and the receipts for your taxes.

Outside

You’ll want to think about the curb appeal of the home. Does the landscaping match the neighborhood. If not, you will want to improve it. This will make the home more presentable when it is listed for rent.  Look at the siding,  the roofing, the gutters, the paint  the windows. Check for dry rot and areas that may need repair. The idea is to protect the house from being further weathered and to make sure the house is clean and ready for tenants.

Inside

Move out before you do the inside repairs. Once you are completely moved out you will be able to see the real condition of the home and what needs to be replaced or repaired. If the carpet is more than 5 years old consider replacing it before tenants move in. Carpets do not last forever and should be replaced every 5-7 years. Have the walls painted if needed and repair any holes, damaged or peeling areas. Replace old appliances and make sure all plumbing is operable.

Hire a professional cleaning company and make sure the house is what property managers call “hotel clean”.  A professional cleaning company will clean the inside of the cabinets, drawers, curtains, blinds, closets, doors, appliances fixtures window tracks and inside of windows.

Make sure everything works. When you live in a home people tend to overlook the “quirks” like the gas stove doesn’t turn on unless you blow on it, or the cupboard doesn’t open, the blind doesn’t open all the way, the wash machine only works unless you sit on it. Things like this reduce rent value and must be fixed before tenants move in.

Safety

Think about safety. It is very important to fix anything that may be a hazard that someone could get hurt by. Things like loose flooring or kick plates,  broken steps, loose or torn carpets, torn linoleum,  missing electrical outlet covers and sharp edges are all things to be cautious of and have fixed before tenants move in. Install smoke alarms and Co2 detectors and have a fire extinguisher installed nearby the kitchen area.

A rental is a second home and owners are expected to upkeep appliances and fix repairs in order to maintain the highest level of rents.  There will always be costs that come and go just as if you were living there yourself. The home is an investment and should you should be proud of it!

 

 

 

 

 

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~