SEATTLE — December 13, 2023 — T-Square Properties, an Associa company and licensed real estate brokerage firm, offering management services for multifamily, apartment building, commercial and single-family properties throughout the greater Seattle region, is dedicated to helping landlords more effectively and efficiently manage their property. The following tips are designed to help them provide tenants with a greater level of service while maximizing ROI.
Skipping Background Checks
Completion of a rental application form ensures that all applicant information is captured. Run a credit report and conduct a comprehensive background check to verify applicant information. Important details such as employment, income, rental history and criminal background, should be confirmed before considering an applicant.
Failure to Treat it Like a Business
A key aspect to running a successful rental business is understanding relevant laws. Keep separate accounts and bookkeeping for rental property. Track accounting and expenses as well. Be sure to keep all related paperwork and receipts required by federal and state government agencies or you may be fined for noncompliance.
Not Meeting Local and State Housing Codes
A landlord is responsible for providing tenants with a safe, habitable place to live. Tenants may have grounds to break their lease or take legal action if these standards are not met. Regularly check on tenants and the property. Adhere to housing guidelines regarding tenant privacy and announce these visits. Also, consider periodically driving by the property to assess its condition.
Getting the Wrong Insurance
Most inexperienced property investors overlook the importance of insurance. It is necessary, as a single weather event – fire, floor or storm – can destroy or heavily damage your investment. Rental property insurance is more complex than ordinary insurance. Discuss with a licensed insurance professional to determine your coverage needs.
Charging the Wrong Rental Rate
If a property does not have long-term tenants, or has high turnover or vacancy rates, chances are that the rent price is wrong. Experienced property managers know how to determine the correct rental rate. They do so by studying the market and conducting comparative analysis on the property.
Asking Illegal Interview Questions
The Fair Housing Act dictates that a tenant application cannot be denied based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, handicap, or family status. Understanding these regulations and applying them equally and consistently to applicants is key to avoiding discrimination claims, costly fines, and litigation.
Failing to Set Clear and Specific Tenant Rules
Owning a rental property is more than just collecting rent. Managing tenants is a key skill that all landlords must master. Clearly detail important provisions – rent, due dates, penalties, fees, payment methods – in the rental agreement. Be specific regarding the return of security deposits. Clarify with tenants as what constitutes property damage versus normal wear and tear.
Underestimating the Cost of Repairs
Many new landlords overlook the importance of hiring trained professionals to repair and maintain a property. Although tempting to overlook minor repairs or cut corners to minimize costs, small issues often lead to larger, more expensive repairs. This results in more money being spent than the cost to hire an expert in the first place.
With more than 275 branch offices across North America, Associa is building the future of community for more than 6.5 million residents worldwide. Our 14,000+ team members lead the industry with unrivaled education, expertise, and trailblazing innovation. For more than 44 years, Associa has brought positive impact and meaningful value to communities. To learn more, visit www.associaonline.com.