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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What Is a Notice to Quit?

A notice to quit is a document that attempts to correct an issue with problematic tenants in a formal manner. It gives the tenant a predetermined number of days to fix the issue before the landlord or property owner files a notice of eviction. This is the final attempt to collect rent or fix other issues before starting the eviction process. 

Why Would You Issue a Notice to Quit?

In many cases, a notice to quit is sent by the property manager or owner due to unwanted behavior committed by the tenant. This includes late rent payments but might also involve noisy or destructive tenants. Alternatively, the notice to quit may be sent due to other factors. 

The owner of the property may have sold the property, and the new owners may want the tenants to move out. This is one of the property management services you can retain to make a difficult process easier. (more…)

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When Does a Guest Become a Tenant?

It’s important to know when a guest becomes a tenant as they stay on your property. When this change occurs, your responsibilities toward that individual will also change. If you’re unaware that your guest suddenly has legal standing as a tenant, you might unwittingly be violating the landlord/tenant laws in your community.

Rent Must Be Exchanged

While it doesn’t matter how much you charge, the simple act of taking money in exchange for a place to stay makes the individual a tenant. 

If you have been letting a friend sleep on your couch for free, they are a guest. However, once you enter into an agreement in which that individual will pay you $100 per week, they have become a tenant. (more…)

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Rental Property Spring Cleaning Checklist

Whether you have a vacation rental property and are gearing up for your first guests of the year or you’re cleaning between tenants, spring is the best time to get your rental property in tip-top shape. 

Whip out those dustpans and break out that vacuum cleaner. You don’t want to miss these steps for your rental property spring cleaning checklist!  (more…)

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