What Is a Rent Grace Period and How Does It Work?

Paying rent on time is one of the most important qualities that landlords look for in tenants, as late or missed rent payments can significantly affect the landlord’s personal income as well as their ability to properly manage the property.

However, that doesn’t mean that landlords are totally unforgiving when it comes to tenant rent payment issues. Sometimes, extenuating circumstances can cause tenants to have to delay a payment, which is why many landlords have a rent grace period outlined in their lease agreements.

How Long Is a Rent Grace Period?

The length of a grace period that tenants are allowed before late fees are uncured will vary from state to state. In some states, there is a defined grace period that all landlords have to abide by. In other states, landlords are allowed to set their own grace period. However, rent grace periods are rarely longer than five days. (more…)

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How Often Should Landlords Perform Property Inspections?

One of the biggest priorities for property-owning landlords is making sure that your property is being well taken care of by your current tenants. Additionally, it’s important to regularly check for any issues that could be affecting your tenant’s safety on the property. 

That’s why property inspections are a crucial part of a landlord’s job. Generally, when a tenant is currently renting the property, landlords won’t perform property inspections unless the tenant has specifically asked for one due to an issue or the landlord has cause to believe that an issue might be occurring. 

If a tenant hasn’t had any issues with the property and is on time with rent consistently, many landlords will continue to re-sign the lease year after year without performing an inspection in between lease renewals. However, even with overall good tenants, the landlord should have an accurate picture of the state of the unit on at least a yearly basis. (more…)

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Why Subletting Shouldn’t Be Allowed in Your Rental Agreement

As a property owner, it’s important to address various potential issues in your lease or rental agreement to avoid misunderstandings. One issue you should consider is whether you’ll let your tenants sublet their rental units. While some landlords allow this practice, there are several good reasons to prohibit subletting in your lease. 

Know Who’s Living on Your Property

When you allow your tenants to sublease their rental units, you’ll have to rely on them to vet the applicants. They may not conduct the same background checks or follow the same evaluation process that you use as the property owner. This can leave you with a tenant you don’t know and one who doesn’t meet your standards. (more…)

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6 Terms to Include in Your Rental Agreement

It’s a good idea to have every tenant sign a detailed rental agreement. When you write the agreement, there are some specific points you will want to include to better protect your property and yourself. These terms will affect your relationship with your tenants and how they use your property.  

1. Specify the Rent

Your rental agreement should specify how much you’ll expect your tenant to pay each month and how you will collect the rent. This clause should also mention any late fees or penalties that you will charge for late or delinquent payments.  (more…)

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How Does Rent Roll Work?

A rent roll is a record of your rental property’s history. It’s used for a variety of purposes. It tracks rental payments, late fees, lease terms, and due dates. The rent roll is effective in helping you make sure your property continues to generate enough income to remain profitable.

How Will a Rent Roll Benefit You?

A rent roll separates the rental income your property generates from each rental unit. For example, if you own a multifamily home with three rental units, you’ll have one entry for each of the three units. 

The rent roll also provides a grand total that tells you how much of the income the entire property generates.  (more…)

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Advantages of Renting to Section 8 Tenants

If you’re new to rental property ownership, you might be unfamiliar with the Section 8 program. This program is federally funded, but managed by local governments to ensure low-income families can obtain affordable housing. 

In addition to helping those families avoid homelessness, Section 8 vouchers also benefit a property owner who rents to low-income families. 

Lowering the Risks for Unpaid Rent

When screening Section 8 applicants, it’s still important to run credit and background checks. Since the Section 8 program only pays a portion of a tenant’s rent, you will have to rely on the tenant to pay their out-of-pocket portion of the rent on time. Fortunately, you can trust that the portion covered by government subsidies will arrive on time. (more…)

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Tips for First-Time Landlords

Your rental property can be a great source of passive income, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have to work for that revenue. 

There’s a great deal of administrative work involved in managing any rental property. However, if you create a system for handling these details in advance, you can save time and money in the future.

Treat Your Rental Property Like a Small Business

You should treat each rental property you own as though it’s an independent small business. This involves opening bank accounts for each property and keeping track of rental income, deposits, and expenses. If you maintain meticulous records for each property, you’ll find that it’s easier to file your taxes at the end of the year. (more…)

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Does Your Rental Meet Safety Standards?

As a property owner, one of the responsibilities you have is to make sure your rental units meet safety standards. This usually consists of making minor improvements to the property to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries for your tenants. 

If you’re not sure how to get started making your property compliant, here are a few suggestions. 

Avoid Slips, Trips, and Falls

An often overlooked safety feature that requires your attention is the presence of safety railings in key areas. Any incline, stairway, or potentially slippery surface should have a safety railing. This list includes bathrooms and short stairways of three or four steps. 

If the area is already equipped with safety railings, make sure that they’re properly secured. Damage from wear and tear is common with safety railings. (more…)

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What Is Considered Normal Wear and Tear for Rental Properties?

Each time a tenant vacates one of your rental units, you will have to repair and update it. You should expect to have to conduct minor wear and tear repairs, but there’s a clear line between those normal signs of living and more extensive property damage. 

Once you know where to draw the line, you can better determine when a tenant is responsible for those repair costs. 

What Wear and Tear Damage Should You Expect?

No matter how much a tenant respects your property, they will always leave some wear and tear damage. These are minor damages that you can repair easily and cheaply (more…)

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Landlord or Tenant: Who Is Responsible for Appliance Repair?

Whether you are a property owner or a tenant, the issue of appliance repair is an important matter to address. Understanding your responsibilities starts with looking into the law and your legal obligations. From there, the terms of the lease may determine responsibility.  

What Does the Law Say About Supplying Appliances?

Although most people don’t know it, the law does not require the property owner to provide appliances. This includes the stove, refrigerator, and microwave oven. Over time, it has become a custom for the property owner to provide these appliances, but having appliances supplied is not among legal tenant rights. (more…)

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