Choosing to turn a once owner occupied home into a rental house can be difficult for many homeowners. Homeowners who have put days or months of sweat equity into their homes, meticulously cared for every square foot by regular cleanings, and keeping up with repairs can all feel like it is getting tossed out the window by transferring their home over to a renter. But the truth about rental properties is that not all renters are messy. In fact, if landlords and Folsom property management teams do their homework, it is likely to have a tenant who cares for your house the way that you did.
Tenant Screenings and Rental History
It starts at the beginning. Carefully screen prospective tenants. When an applicant turns in an Application to Rent, there should be a section on the form where they must list rental or living history. This gives potential landlords the opportunity to contact previous landlords and inquire as to the type of tenants your applicants were while living in a different house. Landlords should ask questions like the following:
- How much was the monthly rent?
- Was rent paid on time each month and in full?
- Were there any late payments?
- If so, how many?
- Was an Unlawful Detainer filed?
- Was the property kept neat and clean by the tenant?
This information will give potential landlords a good picture of their applicants to let them know if they are responsible tenants. Along with verifying rental history, always check credit report scores, verify employment, and paystubs. Folsom property management team, Real Property Management Select, knows that taking action to find out more about your tenants will help protect you as a landlord.
Enforce Lease Agreement Rules
All lease agreements should have a clause regarding cleanliness standards. Clearly explain and outline what is expected of the tenants. If landlords fail to have a cleanliness clause in the agreement, then they will not be able to take action to correct an untidy tenant. Cleanliness clauses often consist of items like keeping personal belongings inside the property and out of sight from neighbors, routine vacuuming and dusting, washing dishes daily, wiping down appliances, scrubbing toilets and showers, reporting pests, and much more. Conduct routine property inspections of the inside and outside of the property to see that tenants are following the lease agreement rules. If you find that your tenant is not in compliance with the cleanliness clause or any other part of the lease agreement, landlords should first document and take pictures of noncompliance. Folsom property management teams and private landlords should then alert the tenant of the problem or issue, clearly stating where the lease agreement explains the rules, and ask the tenant to please comply within 48 hours. Go back to the property to re-inspect to see if the tenants are now in compliance. Remember to always post an Entry Notice notifying tenants of the date and time frame that you will be entering the premises. If you find that they fail to adhere to the lease agreement, consult with legal counsel to see if you have a case for eviction.
Clearly State Move-Out Guidelines
When a tenant turns in a 30 Day Notice to Vacate, leasing professionals should acknowledge a tenant’s intent to vacate by posting a receipt that they received the Notice to Vacate, along with cleaning guidelines, and instructions on how to return the house keys. My Move provides instructions for tenants to write a 30 Day Notice to Vacate to give to a landlord. Folsom property management professionals at RPM Select ask tenants to carefully and thoroughly clean the house or apartment prior to moving out, if tenants want to recoup the security deposit that they originally put down on the property. Cleaning guidelines generally cover the following:
- Move Out: Remove all belongings from the property. Any items left behind will be discarded at the cost of the tenant.
- Wipe Down: Clean countertops and wipe out cupboards, refrigerator shelves, and pantry shelves, clearing them of all debris and stains.
- Appliances: Clean all appliances, including the oven, stove top, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Pull appliances out and sweep and clean debris from behind and under them.
- Replacements: Replace burnt out light bulbs, stove drip pans, and filters on HVAC units and the range hood.
- Flooring: Scrub all tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring. Professionally clean carpeted areas and give the receipt of cleaning to Folsom property management. Doing so will provide proof of carpet cleaning and it will prevent that amount from being deducted from the security deposit.
- Walls: Inspect all walls and baseboards. Patch and paint as needed. Many property management firms allow for normal wear and tear at no cost to the tenant.
- Window Coverings: Clean and dust window coverings and blinds. Replace broken or damaged blind slats.
- Bathrooms: Scrub toilets, bathroom vanities, showers, and tubs. Remove any residue of film or build up. Wipe out vanity drawers and cupboards.
How Folsom Property Management Team, RPM Select, Can Help You
At RPM Select, our professional leasing team handles tenant screening, routine property inspections, and move outs for you. Let us deal with the hassle of property management while you rake in the returns. Call us today.