What is the process for getting my house rented?
A: At Elevated our process is pretty comprehensive, but we can boil it down for a streamlined answer. First, we visit the property (typically with you) to determine rental market value and conduct a “rent-ready” evaluation. In other words, we look at the property, make suggestions on how to get the home rent ready, then give you a rent price we believe the market can handle.
Second, we provide you a Management Agreement and discuss it thoroughly with you. Normally these first two steps can happen together.
Once you have signed the Agreement (and you’ve moved out), we will take high resolution photos and video of your home for both advertising and to document the homes condition. Then we will list the property on all our advertising venues and begin capturing interest in your home.
As soon as there is a prospective tenant, we will take them through the application process and screen them through a national database for criminal, credit, and rental history. If the applicant is approved, we will sign a lease and get them moved in.
Upon move-in, we will take care of all correspondence with tenant, rent collection, property accounting, and manage any other needs of the tenant or property.
How much rent can I get for my house?
A: We can generally give you a general estimate on the rental value of your home based on address, details of home, and comparable rentals in the area. However, for a more accurate number, we will need to schedule a property evaluation with you.
What costs can I expect while renting out my home?
A: Great question! It is very important to have the right expectations as a rental property owner. Understand that legally you retain all the rights and obligations of a property owner except one – the right to live in it. In exchange for temporarily giving up that right, you collect rent. In even the most ideal situations, there will most likely be maintenance costs required on the property, just as if you were living in the home.
In many cases, repairs and maintenance are not the fault of tenants, but just part of normal property ownership. It is good practice to put aside some savings in anticipation of repairs or maintenance. Estimating how much you should set aside can be difficult because there are so many factors to consider (age of home, age and type of appliances, type of amenities, type of construction and roof, type of heating and cooling system, type of flooring, etc.). We would be happy to discuss it with you on a case-by-case basis.
An extremely important thing to understand is: don’t make a habit of deferring regular maintenance just because you’re not living in the home. This can be very costly in major repairs and also detrimental to placing quality tenants in the home.
What do I get for paying management fees?
A: Our basic duties include: advertising the property when vacant, screening and qualifying prospective tenants, enforcing the lease provisions, collecting rent, proper accounting of the property and the income, monthly statements to the property owner, monthly payments to the property owner, coordination of repairs to the property made by maintenance personnel or licensed contractors, prompt evictions should the tenant fail to pay and comprehensive year end statements.
What does your advertising package include?
A: Elevated’s advertising package will expose your property to the top trafficked websites used to search for rental homes which is typically over 100 sites. Some of the top sites we list with are Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Rentals.com, Hotpads.com, and of course, our own site.
We also work with quality local resources to take advantage of special opportunities. Military bases, major area employers, and executive placement agencies have all worked with us to rent homes from our portfolio. Based on your properties needs we can take advantage of our Premium advertising for an additional fee. This works well for apartments not necessarily single family homes.
Keep in mind that listing companies and services change on a regular basis, so we are unable to guarantee specific sites will always show your listing. However, we strive to always provide the best coverage to maximize your property’s exposure to the best potential tenants.
How long does it take to find a tenant for my property?
A: There are many factors that affect the length of time a rental is on the market. What time of year is it? What part of town is it in? What is the size of the home? What is the asking rent? Overall, plan on the property renting between 3 and 6 weeks from the day it is clean, needs no repairs and is priced appropriately “rent-ready”.
We try to pre-market your unit even before a tenant moves out. However, most circumstances don’t allow us to show the unit until it is completely vacant and “rent ready”. We have also had some very unique situations that have led to almost 8 weeks of availability. Regardless of your situation, we would be happy to discuss your situation in more detail and get a plan to minimize vacancy.
How do I make sure to get a good tenant?
A: You can never predict with 100% accuracy the actions of a tenant. However, the standard antagonistic approach to tenants that many property managers take, has no place in the current market. Frequent inspections, erroneous rules or restrictions, and excessive fees do not provide a better situation for any of the parties involved. It is also a reactionary approach to a situation with a simpler solution. The best place to filter out the wrong tenant, is through a comprehensive screening process. We use the best property management software on the market. They provide a screening process that includes, national eviction history, criminal reports, sex offender registry and rental history on occasion. We also report late payments to the credit bureaus.
What security deposit do you collect and who keeps it?
A: The standard security deposit is typically $100 less than one month’s rent. This security deposit cannot be used for last month’s rent. Landlord/tenant regulation dictates landlords have 30 days from day the tenants move out to determine whether any portion of their deposit will be used for repairs or cleaning.
(NOTE: The procedures and time allowed by law to account for security deposits will depend on specific State and/or municipality regulation. Another reason to stick with the pros!) All security deposits are held in a trust account controlled by our office. Deposits can only be transferred to the owner if the owner chooses to take over management of the current lease. Deposits cannot be used for repairs during the time the home is occupied.
What should I do about utilities at my property?
A: Handling utilities can vary from area to area. First and foremost, do not disconnect any utilities until asked to do so by our office. We will have you sign a landlord standby (where available) so that there in not an accidental lapse in service. There are varying procedures to transfer utilities or keep them in your name depending on where the property is and what services are needed. Our staff is familiar with the local company policies and can help walk you through any steps required of you. Rest assured, should any charges be billed to you that the tenants are responsible for, we will manage collecting those charges from them.
By keeping utilities active, unless otherwise directed by our staff, you can avoid costly re-connect fees, delays in cleaning and maintenance that requires hot water or electricity, and even possible damage to your property (especially in cold-weather climates). Feel free to talk to us if you have questions and we’ll help you find the best way to navigate the transition.
What happens with maintenance requests from tenants?
A: If the request is a legitimate emergency request, it will be completed as soon as possible to avoid additional danger and/or damage to the property, tenants, and other tenants. Otherwise, the request will be reviewed and we will trouble shoot with the tenant. If we then cannot solve the issue, we will dispatch the proper repair person. Again, the process may have some variation depending on your individual contract guidelines.
If the repair is over our contract limit, the owner will be provided with an estimate will have 48 hours to respond with a solution. The email will outline all of the available options the owner can take at that time. If there is no response within 48 hours, the office will have the right to determine if the repair can wait or if we can give the owner more time to respond.
If I need to sell my property, can you take care of that?
A: Our office is a full service (One Stop Shop) we have a top level broker that can assist with the sale of your property. If you need to sell when the property is still tenant occupied, we will need to discuss the rules and regulations around that procedure.
If you are considering selling your property, be sure to coordinate with Elevated Management Group if you are still under our Management Agreement. There are certain protocols that must be followed to ensure a smooth process. The important thing to understand is Elevated will not manage a tenant in a home that is also listed for sale. For more information on this, please feel free to ask your Elevated representative.