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Tenant Screening

8 Property Management Tips For Landlords

In the property management world most tenants of rental properties are great. However, experienced landlords know the 80-20 rule which states, 80 percent of all renter issues are from 20 percent of tenants.

Being a good landlord requires plenty of learning to avoid creating even greater issues. Moreover, many landlords become burned-out dealing with the headaches of property management including high-demand, slow-pay renters. Therefore, we are sharing our top 8 property management tips for landlords and rental properties.

1. Complete Screening – Thoroughly vet prospective tenants. Scrutinize their credit history, call their references, and verify their work history. If you do not perform a thorough background check, you are only asking for trouble. Therefore, always use a written rental application and complete a screening. 

2. Don’t Discriminate – The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits the discrimination of certain protected classes: race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, or sex. Moreover, many localities have their own laws, sometimes adding protection for sexual orientation or gender identity. If you are rejecting an application, ensure you have documentation to prove the issue was credit, employment history, inadequate income, or other legal reason.

3. Use a Solid Lease Agreement – It does no matter if the agreement is a month-to-month or long-term, always use a written contract which identifies the rights and responsibilities of each party. Provide clear details about late payments, repair issues, and your complaint policy. This is important if you need to remove a tenant for not living up to their end of the deal.

4. Properly Handle Security Deposits – Use a fair method for handling security deposits. Document the property condition before a tenant moves into the property and when they leave, and properly document repairs to avoid disputes. Moreover, Colorado limits the time a landlord has to return a security deposit between 1 month to (with written agreement) 60 days.

5. Regularly Inspect Property – The fact is, as the owner of the property, you are likely responsible if an injury occurs because of property issue. Use a monthly smoke detector check as a reason to perform regular “health & safety inspections”. This allows you both to stay on top of needed property repairs and stay in tune with potential tenant behavior issues.

6. Handle Repairs Efficiently– Don’t create ill-will or give tenants a reason to withhold rent by ignoring repairs. You have a legal and moral obligation to maintain and repair your properties. Failing to do so can create hazards and/or legal liabilities.

7. Create Clear Policies – In addition to a well-written rental or lease agreement, have clear policies and provide a copy to your tenants. This will explain how you handle complaints and disputes. Additionally, tenants will understand their responsibilities, like not becoming an annoyance to neighbors.

8. Always Be Professional – Always maintain a professional attitude and demeanor. Never allow problems to get the better of you. If a tenant becomes an issue, have a system in place to deal with it and handle the problem quickly.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like more property management tips for being a better Landlord and managing your rental properties, or need additional information, please contact us.

Property Management Services        Boulder Property Management  

 

Boulder Property Management Company or Property Owner

When it comes to Boulder rentals, you will often end up dealing with one of two types of landlords – a Boulder property management company that handles everything for the property owner, or the property owner himself or herself.

As a renter, it might seem as if you would be better off dealing directly with the property owner, but this often is not the case at all. These are a few reasons why you might find it better to choose a rental that is managed by a Boulder property management  company instead.

Choose from Multiple Rentals

If you search for a rental through a property management company, there is a chance that the firm will have multiple openings, possibly in different neighborhoods or apartment complexes. This can make it easier for you to find the rental that is right for you.

Work with a Knowledgeable Person

Just because someone owns a rental property does not mean that he or she knows very much about renting properties out to tenants. Some homeowners aren’t really knowledgeable about the landlord and tenant laws, for example, and might violate  them without even meaning to. If you work with a property management firm, however, you will be more likely to work with individuals who know about the rental process.

Take Out the Emotion

In some cases, property owners can be attached to their properties and can be a bit more emotional about the rental process. A property manager, however, will see things more from the business side of things. This can make for a more professional rental experience.

As you can see, it is sometimes better for renters to work with a Boulder property management company when looking for a home or apartment to rent. Luckily, Housing Helpers can assist you if you are currently looking for a rental.  

Give our Housing Helpers Boulder office a call at 303-545-6000 and we can help you find the ideal apartment, condo, or house to rent.  

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5 Ways Property Management Gets You More Bang for Your Buck

The decision to hire a property management company is not one that many home owners take lightly. After all, putting someone else in the middle means that you get a smaller slice of the pie.

Or does it it?

Let’s look at some ways in which using a property management company actually helps get as much money into your pocket as possible – which, let’s face it, is exactly where it belongs.

Time is Money – Especially Your Time

When you sit down to think about what managing a property entails, lay out a salary for yourself. Think about what you’ll be doing, and what your renters will be expecting of you. If you were ever a renter, try and go back to that time – what did you expect of your landlords? Match those expectations to yourself, and try to put a dollar number to it. Do you have the hours every month, or week, to match that salary? Do you have the ability to afford paying yourself that, while still breaking even on this?

With a property management company working for you, there’s no math to figure in trying to decide if your time is going to be made worth while… because you’ve already made the decision that your time is more valuable than anything else.

DIY Can be Costlier Than You Think

Even assuming that you’re a tried-and-true handyman who owns all your own tools and knows their way around a circular saw, doing your own repairs gets expensive… fast. Even something as simple as a leaky faucet can potentially lead to any number of great home renovation problems. Not to mention to the repairs that are fairly cut and dry – there’s still all the components of evaluating the problem, driving to the hardware store, purchasing the parts, returning to the property (all within a time frame that works for both you and your tenant), hopefully fixing the problem on the first go, and leaving all without having any second problems arise, or hearing, “Well while you’re hear…” from your renter.

A Property Manager Won’t Get Sick of the Business

People become landlords for a variety of reasons. They buy a second home, but have trouble selling the first and so it becomes a rental. Or perhaps they get curious about what a second income might look like, so they buy another home and rent it out. How long do you think it will be before you’re throwing your hands up and screaming, running stark mad into the woods? Managing properties is not for everyone – but you can be guaranteed that a Property Management company is vested in having this be something they will work hard at every day.

While you may wake up one morning and not want to deal with your tenants, that will never happen with a Property Manager. You may start eyeballing your renter’s agreements, scheming ways that you could evict them early because you want out – again, not something a property management company would ever do. The honeymoon may eventually end for you – but for a property manager, this relationship is about the long haul.

The Math (Likely) Doesn’t Add Up

Let’s look at some easy numbers. Consider the idea that by managing your own property, you save an estimated $200 a month. Let’s further assume that you spend around 10 hours every month (or two per week) handling those properties – everything from running around town to check on houses, calling up handymen (or doing it yourself), stops by the bank or notary. Every bit of the business. What you’ve found yourself with is a job that pays you $20 an hour.

Instead, you could pass on that “saved” $200 a month, and focus instead on the part of property management that actually makes money – acquiring more properties, planning renovations to boost the rent, devising income plans. In the long run, letting a Property Manager do the “busy work” for you means that you get to do all the fun stuff yourself.

One Legal Bout Can Ruin All Your Fun

It’s easy to have an, “Oh, but it’ll probably never happen to me,” opinion about having to drag a tenant to court. You can just cross your fingers and hope that you only ever have great renters, or that even if you do have a few “difficult” ones, they’re never bad enough to need the court involved. The truth is, even within the world of small claims court, fees rack up to staggering heights. The most well-researched landlord is likely not as knowledgeable about tenant rights and property law as someone who works in the field, meaning you can trust yourself to be in the hands of someone who is working to keep you – and your renters – out of court.

If you own rental property in Colorado and would like to discuss options for property management and tenant placement services please give Housing Helpers a call at 303.545.6000.

Boulder Property Management

Colorado Property Management Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall Tips From a Colorado Property Manager

Fall in Colorado is beautiful, sunny clear days and cool nights.  But Colorado weather can sneak up on us.  As the saying goes “if you don’t like the weather in Colorado just wait five minutes!”  Over the years as a property manager I’ve developed a routine for maintaining my properties.  Here are a few tips to share from my October schedule of Colorado property management maintenance.

Service HVAC units

With winter fast approaching, fall is a great time to have a professional HVAC service done on your heating systems.   Service should include at minimum: changing the furnace filters, cleaning and testing the furnace, changing out humidifier pads ( in a central humidifier system) and changing the settings from “summer” to “winter”.   We also like to stock extra air-filter nearby in a utility closet at the property so that filters can be easily changed throughout the winter season.

Winterize The Sprinkler System

It’s still eighty degrees on the thermometer and the sun is shining bright but don’t let that fool you.   Snow will be falling soon and so will the temperatures.    I remember more than a few Halloweens’ where the kiddos were trick-or-treating in the snow and freezing temps.  Now is a good time to have your irrigation system winterized including: blowing out the lines with an air compressor, draining the back-flow device, shutting off the main water line to the sprinkler system- draining any excess water from  the line, and I like to cover the back flow device outside. You can do this with a couple of hefty garbage bags and some duct tape or purchase a cover at Home Depot.

Aerate and Fertilize The Lawn

Yep. Often overlooked, fall fertilizer and aeration service can make the difference in having a lush green lawn come spring time.   Lawns go dormant in Colorado in the winter time.  However they aren’t dead!  They still need nutrients to survive the long harsh winter weather.  Aerating gives the fertilizer a path down to the deep roots- the part of the turf that will feed the lawn nutrients all winter long as the surface stays dormant.

Schedule Snow Removal Service

If you have a property in Colorado chances are you will have to deal with snow removal.  Be aware of your local City ordinances for snow removal and know the rules.  For example in Boulder Colorado where we are located, the City requires that you remove snow and ice from public walkways in front of your property within 24 hours of the snow fall.   If you have a snow removal contractor, now is the time to get that new contract signed and agree upon the terms for service.  Most contractors will initiate service after 2 inches of snowfall and follow up again after subsequent 2 to 4 inches of snowfall.

TIP!  October is the time to stock up on ice melt and snow removal supplies- your local hardware store or Home Depot tend to run out of supplies as folks rush to the store when the first snow fall hits.

Cover Patio Furniture and BBQ Grills

Whether you invest in custom fit covers or use my method (tarps with bungee cords) , covering your outdoor assets will add years to their life.   Keep the snow and ice off and help prevent rusting, fading, and weather damage.   Patio cushions and fabric umbrellas should be stored away in a protected area.  Believe it or not, the Colorado winter sun does more damage to patio furniture than anything else so if you can keep the sun off you will be ahead of the game.

We enjoy Colorado in the fall, it’s my favorite time of year.  But as a property manager I feel a lot better knowing that my properties are ready for winter.   If you need help renting your property please give us a call and we’ll go to work to help make your days worry free.  303-545-6000

 

Property Managers in Boulder Colorado 

 

 

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