Property Owner FAQs
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive from our property owner partners
What do I need to do to get my property ready to market for rent?
Nice, clean properties attract nice, clean tenants. For all intents and purposes, a rental home is a product. Potential tenants are looking for the best possible option in their budget. For this reason, we want to make sure your home is looking its best.
When we visit your property, we will make some specific recommendations but here are a few general suggestions.
- The home must be clean. We require all our tenants to have the carpets professionally cleaned upon vacating and to follow our cleaning checklist. We want you to do the same. Please neutralize any unpleasant odors in the home.
- The home should be safe. Your property should have adequate and functional smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Any potential trip hazards should be corrected, handrails should be installed where needed and secured appropriately, and dangerous objects such as wood with nails in them or broken windows or glass should be fixed.
- The home should be in good repair. Please test and inspect all appliances and mechanical systems as well as plumbing and electrical fixtures to ensure they are operating safely and correctly.
- Cosmetically, the home should be appealing. Loud paint colors can be distracting to potential tenants and dried out, overgrown grass can turn people off. Spend some time fixing walls and touching up paint or painting rooms as needed. We are not suggesting a full remodel of your home by any means and we don't expect you to do any work that does not fit in your budget. We definitely want to focus first on any safety hazards and then concentrate on those items that may set your property apart from other rental properties on the market.
How much will my home rent for?
The amount your property will rent for has to do with current market conditions - supply and demand, which can fluctuate quite a bit from month to month. We have very little control over these market factors.
However, with effective advertising, the phones should ring. If no prospective tenants are calling on the vacancy, we may need to adjust the price. If too many are calling, it may be an indication the price is too low and adjustments can be made.
There are certainly things we can do to rent your home for the most money in the quickest amount of time.
For example, the home needs to be clean and in good condition. The advertising photos, video tour, and description need to look great. Lastly, we need to be sure to answer the phone when prospective tenants call at all hours of the day.
If we do these things, we will rent your property for the highest amount of money the market will bear and in the quickest time period.
How do you advertise my property?
We are fortunate enough in our marketplace to have some excellent advertising resources at little or no-cost.
In order to take full advantage of these resources, we will take lots of good photos of your property as well as record a video walk through tour of your home.
Next, we write a thorough description of your property detailing the positive features and amenities.
We then upload the description and photos to a number of websites including:
- Property Pond
Of course, the advertising will also appear on our website.
The video tour is uploaded to YouTube and all advertising directs people to view the video tour.
The feedback we have received about our advertising photos, descriptions, and video tours has been outstanding, and many potential tenants make the decision to rent the home based on what they see online.
Good advertising doesn't do much good though if you don't pick up the phone when potential tenants call. That is why we put our personal cell phone numbers on all advertising so we can receive and take phone calls at all hours of the day.
How do you screen applicants?
Thoroughly evaluating and screening each applicant is the most important thing we do as your property manager. Good tenants make you money and bad tenants cost you money as a property owner. As a result, we spend a lot of time and energy processing applications.
- Our rental criteria are stated clearly on our website here. We have developed these criteria very carefully. Leasing only to applicants who meet or exceed the criteria listed will greatly reduce the likelihood of a tenant skipping out on rent or leaving the property a mess.
- We require a complete application from anyone interested in renting from us. Once the application is turned in, we carefully verify all the information by calling current and past landlords, verifying employment and income, speaking to personal references, running a credit and background checks, and analyzing their ability to pay the rent and expenses on the property.
By following our system of screening applicants, we have been extremely successful in eliminating the common problems landlords have with tenants.
Our success ratio regarding tenant selection is very high for this industry which is due to the fact that we know what characteristics a good tenant demonstrates verses those a potentially bad tenant exhibits.
Through this process we are very strict in our compliance to federal and local Fair Housing laws to ensure we do not unlawfully discriminate against any applicants.
Who holds the tenant's security deposit?
The tenant's security deposit is held in our trust account until the end of their tenancy.
Can you help me buy and sell real estate?
In addition to providing property management services we also help people buy, sell, and invest in real estate.
We have helped many clients build their real estate investment portfolio as well as liquidate properties when needed.
Loyalty and integrity are very important to us so, if you were referred to us by another real estate agent, we want to refer you back to them when it comes time to buy or sell.
Please feel free to discuss with us our sales services anytime by calling (801) 830-1500.
Who handles the utilities on the property?
During all vacancies, the property owner is responsible for the utilities.
When a tenant moves in, the tenant is instructed to put those utilities in their name as obligated by the lease.
In some situations, like in the case of a multi-unit property, a utility will remain in the name of the owner and the owner will be responsible for the payment of that utility. Also, some utility providers will not allow a tenant to put the utility in their name but they will send a bill to the residence for the tenant to pay.
In these cases, please review the copy of the duplicate bill sent to you monthly to make sure the tenants are paying the bill. If they are not, please notify Home Basics Real Estate immediately.
Some utility providers allow for a "landlord agreement" which authorizes them to put the utilities automatically in your name once the tenant moves out. Please discuss those details with the utility provider.
Lastly, most utility providers will not discuss the details of the account with Home Basics Real Estate.
For this reason, we encourage you to call the provider shortly after we notify you that a new tenant is moving in. We do verify this with the tenant but sometimes we are not able to receive confirmation from the utility provider directly.
For a list of some of the utility providers in our area, please click here.
What bills do I pay and what bills does Home Basics Real Estate pay?
Home Basics Real Estate does not pay your mortgage, insurance, taxes, utility bills, or HOA fees.
We do pay vendors and contractors who work on your house. This will be reflected on your monthly statement.
We also handle the disposition of the tenants' security deposits.
When and how do I receive my monthly rental proceeds?
Rent collected at the beginning of the month is deposited into our trust account. We distribute your proceeds on or before the 25th of each month either via a check in the mail or via a direct deposit into your bank account (which is our preferred method.)
There are two main reasons we hold these funds until the end of the month.
- We do want to make sure all tenant payments clear. We have had rental payments returned to us for non-sufficient funds or other reasons as late as the 20th of the month.
- Should there be a maintenance expense during the month on your property, we will use the rental funds to pay the bill rather than send you an invoice or, alternatively, require you to have on deposit with us a fund to cover those expenses.
How often do I receive accounting statements?
We send out monthly statements on or before the 25th of each month. You will receive this statement electronically by logging in to your owner portal.
When your statement is ready to view, you will receive email confirmation.
The statements from prior months are also stored and accessed through the portal for your convenience.
Can you help me fix up my rental property?
Yes - to an extent. Some projects will be beyond the scope of what we can do and want to do as a property manager.
For example, if you are wanting to finish a basement or do a kitchen remodel, we will introduce you to a good, reliable contractor.
The contractor we work closely with is Centurion Homes. They are happy to help you complete projects that are above and beyond what we can do as your property manager.
What do you do if a tenant does not pay their rent?
If a tenant does not pay their rent before the 6th of each month, we will start the collection process.
Initially, we begin with a phone call to talk to them about the reason why the rent is not paid. If we feel like the tenant has a good plan to pay the rent and is likely to get it in to us in a reasonable time period, we will discuss a plan to get it paid and then schedule a follow up as needed.
Don't mistake our initially "soft" approach as weakness. We are very firm in helping tenants understand how important it is to get the rent paid to avoid eviction, but, in our experience, a little patience and understanding, especially with those tenants who are not usually late, pays off and the rent and late fees get paid very quickly.
If the tenant does not have a good plan for paying the rent or if they do not follow through with the plan we discussed, a three day pay or quit notice will be served to the tenant.
At the expiration of the three days, their file will be sent over to our attorney who will aggressively pursue the rent and, if needed, file an eviction suit.
Having worked with over 1,000 tenants over the years, we really have very few files we need to actually escalate to an attorney.