How Often Should You Inspect Your Rental Property?

From time to time, it will be necessary to have your rental property inspected. Such inspections will help you protect your property while ensuring your tenants are living under safe conditions. When done on a regular basis, the inspections can save you money by identifying repair issues early.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for an Inspection?

The average cost of a property rental inspection is $250. It is an expense that you can’t deduct from the tenant’s security deposit, so it’s important to add this sum to your budget. Make sure to ask about these fees before hiring someone to inspect your rental property, as some companies may charge more. (more…)

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What Should a Landlord Charge for Security Deposits?

Before you rent out your property for the first time, take the time to outline all of the expectations you’ll have for your tenants. These terms will go into the lease, and they should include any upfront deposits you’ll expect a new tenant to pay. Knowing how much to charge a tenant in advance will ensure you remain consistent with each of your renters. 

What Is the Typical Security Deposit?

In most cases, a property owner should charge the equivalent of one month’s rent as a security deposit. That amount should be enough to cover any damages that go beyond the normal wear and tear that results from the use of the unit. Alternatively, the deposit should be enough to cover the rent for one month if a tenant unexpectedly vacates in violation of the rental agreement or lease. The agreement should specify the amount requested as the security deposit. (more…)

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How to Rent Your House with an Agent

Owning rental property can be a great source of passive income, but you’ll still have to take certain measures to keep that property profitable. One of these important goals is to reduce the amount of time your rental unit is vacant. 

While a real estate agent can help you find good tenants, you should know how to prepare before you talk to a realtor.

Understand How an Agent Differs from a Property Manager

While both an agent and a property manager will usually charge the equivalent of one month’s rent, the services they perform will be different. Both the agent and the property management service will market your property and vet applicants, but that’s usually where the agent’s services end. 

A property manager will provide extra services for additional costs. They can help you collect rent, address tenant issues, and maintain your property in good condition. Whether you need these extra services or not will determine which professional is better to hire. (more…)

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How Much Should I Charge Tenants with Pets?

Allowing pets in your rental property will make it easier to find and retain tenants. Since a large portion of people are pet owners, making this allowance will help you stand out to those potential renters. 

While you may want to allow pets, you should also plan for covering the wear and tear damage that comes along with having pets on your property.

When You Can’t Charge Pet Fees

The Humane Society shares that a property owner can’t discriminate against an applicant who has a support animal. This includes emotional support pets as well as animals trained to help people with physical disabilities.  (more…)

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Should I Allow Tenants to Paint My Rental Property?

When you take on a new tenant, one of the first things they’re likely to ask about is painting their rental unit. Most tenants want to feel as though the unit is their own, and choosing the color of the walls is one way of doing that. You can handle this situation better by preparing a response you can give to every tenant. 

When Must the Landlord Paint Each Rental Unit?

There are situations in which you’re required by law to repaint the walls in your rental units. Unless you work with a property management company, you may need to hire painters to do this for you. (more…)

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Does the Landlord or Tenant Handle Minor Repairs?


As a property owner, it’s important to have a clear grasp of your legal responsibilities versus those of your tenants. Looking at how landlord and tenant laws in Maryland address repairs and maintenance will help you make this differentiation. A little research will keep you from wasting time and resources on repairs that are your tenant’s responsibility. 

What Is the Landlord’s Legal Responsibility?

According to the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development, a property owner must maintain a safe and habitable dwelling for their tenants. This means the landlord is responsible for repairing issues that pose a hazard to the tenant, including faulty wiring, malfunctioning appliances, or black mold. (more…)

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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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