A Landlord’s Right to Enter Their Rental Property

When a property is under contract as a rental, both the tenants and the landlord have specific legal rights. A tenant has a right to privacy, but at the same time, a landlord (or their property management company) has the right to enter the property they own – under certain conditions.

When Can a Landlord Legally Enter a Rental?

There are a variety of legal reasons why a tenant would be required to let a landlord into the rental. These include: (more…)

Continue ReadingA Landlord’s Right to Enter Their Rental Property

How Often Should You Inspect Your Rental Property?

Most landlords will agree that inspecting your rental property one to three times each year is acceptable. Some landlords only do this three times during a lease: at move-in, within six months after a move-in, and then again when tenants move out. 

Some landlords do not ever inspect their properties at all, and instead, rely on a property management company to handle the task.

Regardless of your inspection schedule, as a landlord, you must give your tenants notice of inspections at least 24 to 48 hours in advance. Below, we’ll explore the pros and cons of different inspection intervals to help you decide how often you want to inspect your rentals. (more…)

Continue ReadingHow Often Should You Inspect Your Rental Property?

Why Move-In Property Conditions Checklists Are Important

There’s so much to do when it comes to renting out a property. Any step you can make to streamline this process is a great benefit, which is why move-in property condition checklists are such an asset. 

 Move-in property conditions checklists make it easier for both you and your tenant by facilitating transparency and accountability upfront. 

 If you don’t already have a checklist in place or aren’t sure why you need one, this quick read will fill you in on what you need to know! 

What Is a Move-In Property Conditions Checklist? 

The move-in property conditions checklist is a document that states the condition of the property at the time of move-in. This checklist works for both parties by serving as a documented agreement of the rental’s condition at the start of a new lease. The checklist should be signed in conjunction with the lease to minimize the chance of a dispute later on. (more…)

Continue ReadingWhy Move-In Property Conditions Checklists Are Important

How to Deal With an Unauthorized Person Living in Your Rental Property

Managing rental is a tough job. It involves constant diligence, staying current on state laws, and having to make tough decisions at a moment’s notice. 

 Of all the challenging situations that can arise when renting out properties, dealing with an unauthorized person in your property is one of the most frustrating. 

 Whether you own or manage the property, the following information is intended to help with this difficult endeavor. 

What Exactly Is an Unauthorized Occupant? 

In the simplest terms, an unauthorized occupant is a person who isn’t on a lease but still lives in the home. If someone in the residence has stayed long beyond what would count as a visit and is living with the tenant, then you’ll need to take action to remove the unauthorized occupant. A few examples of unauthorized occupants are: (more…)

Continue ReadingHow to Deal With an Unauthorized Person Living in Your Rental Property

Understanding Florida’s Security Deposit Laws

Security Deposit LawsEvery state has different rules when it comes to security deposits, and Florida is no different. Here are some of the top facts to know about Florida’s security deposit laws:

How Much Can Landlords Charge?

Florida state laws have no limits on rent or security deposit costs. However, most landlords in Florida will charge no more than two months’ rent as a security deposit. However, there may be city or county restrictions, so be sure you double-check and don’t charge more than your local government allows.

How Is the Deposit Stored?

In Florida, you can (legally) store a security deposit in three ways. The first is a surety bond, which is an agreement with a third party to guarantee the deposit amount. However, most landlords will place a tenant’s security deposit in either an interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing bank’s savings account.  (more…)

Continue ReadingUnderstanding Florida’s Security Deposit Laws

How to Prepare Your Investment Property for Hurricane Season

hurricane shutterFor vacation rental property owners, hurricanes present one of the biggest dangers to your investment. But with careful planning, you can protect your property against tropical storms. 

Here are some useful tips for getting your property ready for hurricane season:

Use the Right Materials

Your investment property should be prepared to withstand the strong winds of a hurricane before the storm hits. Install windows or shutters that are rated to withstand impacts, and make sure all doors are hurricane-rated as well. 

It is also a good idea to have your property management company check the property annually to remove any trees that could put your property at risk. (more…)

Continue ReadingHow to Prepare Your Investment Property for Hurricane Season

Tips New Landlords Should Know

Tips New LandlordsAre you a new landlord? Managing a rental property can be a great investment strategy, but there are some things you should know about the rental business before you jump in. In this post, we’ll cover some tips that every new landlord should know.

Establish a Screening Process

First things first:  You need to ensure your rental units are occupied by reliable tenants. A screening process with a credit screening and background check can weed out individuals who might not be the most stable renters. (more…)

Continue ReadingTips New Landlords Should Know

What Questions Should You Ask in Your Rental Application?

rental tenantScreening potential tenants can be a tall order. Since most rental agreements are one-year contracts, it’s important to determine which applicants will be reliable. However, it can be difficult to figure this out with a traditional application or a quick interview. 

However, there are some questions that you can ask prospective renters to help you in your search for long-term tenants. In this article, we’ll list some of the best questions you can include in your rental application.

What Date Do You Intend to Move In?

This basic question can ensure that your schedules align so that you can avoid gaps in the occupancy of your rental unit. (more…)

Continue ReadingWhat Questions Should You Ask in Your Rental Application?

How Much Cash Flow is Good for a Rental Property?

Much Cash Flow mary landThe startup costs associated with the development of rental properties can be steep. If you want to secure a steady cash flow, you need to be confident that your property holds value. However, quantifying a good cash flow is a highly individual process. 

With that in mind, here are some steps to determine how much cash flow is good for a rental property.

How to Calculate Your Cash Flow

When you’re calculating your cash flow, you need to account for the expenses associated with the property, as well as the gross income that the property brings in. In essence, your net income — the amount of money you have left after you’ve paid all of your bills — constitutes the liquid assets that you have available. (more…)

Continue ReadingHow Much Cash Flow is Good for a Rental Property?

The Complete Guide to Tenants’ Rights in Maryland

tenant right marylandThe state of Maryland goes the extra mile in protecting its tenants’ rights. Landlords that are looking to lease new property will need to keep the state’s codes in mind both when they establish their leases and as they invite potential renters to the property.

Fair Housing

Maryland State Code §20-101 notes that all tenants that are seeking to rent a property have the right to do so without facing discriminatory practices. This means that landlords may not bar new residents from housing based on their: (more…)

Continue ReadingThe Complete Guide to Tenants’ Rights in Maryland