Want 2018 to be your best year yet? Here are some tried-and-true strategies that are sure to improve your property management procedures:
1. The ability to report rental history on a tenant’s credit report is the single most important development that has occurred in tenant screening in years because it puts landlords on par with other creditors. TVS landlords now can report monthly rental history to TransUnion by signing up to Report Rent Payments. This is an amazing tool — so use it!
2. Would you like to see a database of tenants — both good and bad — to take some of the guesswork out of renting? You have it: Landlord Credit Bureau. TVS’s affiliate website tracks info shared by other landlords including rent payments history. This searchable database allows landlords to flag career problem tenants who otherwise would slip through the cracks and cause thousands of dollars in income loss.
Do yourself — and other landlords — a favor and share information on LandlordCreditBureau.com.
3. Warn tenants ahead of time that the rental application is a legal document. Don’t place the warning in the fine print — include it in a cover letter so that rental applicants understand from the start that lies equal fraud.
4. Invoice tenants five days before rent is due. It is astonishing how many tenants space out the first of the month. An invoice helps tenants plan ahead.
5. Recognize the difference between a pet and a companion animal. A companion is any animal that is prescribed by any health professional for a tenant with a disability to treat the disability. Create a checklist that summarizes the policy for companion animal requests. Landlords cannot ask personal questions about the tenant’s disability, and cannot apply pet restrictions — size, breed, and so on — to companions. A checklist will help to avoid costly mistakes.
6. Warn tenants in advance that routine property inspections are required. The average frequency is every three months. The prior warning provides incentive to care for the property in the near term. Otherwise, tenants tend to think they can clean and fix everything when they move out. Unfortunately, they run out of time, and that doesn’t happen.
If you don’t plan to conduct inspections as often as the lease provides, change the language in the lease agreement. Missing a scheduled inspection trains the tenant to ignore the lease — and the landlord.
7. Schedule remodeling projects around planned vacancy periods rather than subjecting the current tenant to inconvenience that will benefit only future tenants.
Complaints over quiet enjoyment or environmental hazards are a common cause of income loss.
8. Update the lease agreement for incoming tenants. Relevant provisions to consider this year include reporting rent payments, marijuana restrictions, and any limits on short-term vacation subletting.
9. Manage move-outs like there is no security deposit. A successful tenancy is one where the landlord can return the full deposit. Strengthening tenant screening, clear language in the lease agreement, a walk through about a month ahead of move-out, and a cleaning checklist all contribute to the tenant’s success in returning the property in good condition.
10. Conduct new tenant orientations. Tenants who know the rules and understand the consequences are far less likely to be disruptive or cause property damage. After going over information in person, leave behind written instructions or point tenants to a web page they can access when they need a reminder.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.