Find Answers to Some of Our Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a Property Manager?
- Are you familiar with the laws that regulate landlord-tenant relationships?
- How about credit reporting laws, fair housing laws, lead based paint laws?
- How about laws that regulate military tenants and state and federal discrimination laws?
- How about local zoning laws, fire and building codes and your HOA covenants and declarations?
It is important to distance yourself from your tenants and take emotion out of a landlord/tenant relationship. That can be a difficult thing to do for owners who have an emotional connection with the home they are about to rent out. Having a knowledgable property manager will keep you out of legal trouble and ensure a stress-free, enjoyable time as a landlord.
Why should I hire Kings Realty and Property Management instead of a big name company?
Wow. Good question. Some of the bigger property management companies handle nearly 2000 properties. It’s possible that you may feel lost in the system with an organization that big.
With us, you have a direct line to your broker – anytime. Our clients receive exceptional customer service at a great rate – that’s an advantage of a smaller organization.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Systematically. We follow a checklist. If the request is an emergency, we respond immediately. If the request is not an emergency, we respond within 2 business days. We talk with the tenant and try to diagnose the problem as accurately as possible by phone. If we aren’t sure that actual maintenance is necessary, someone from KRPM will make a visit. We can often take care of things ourselves ( reset breakers, untangle flush mechanisms, free garbage disposals) and if we can’t, we still got a peek inside the home and that’s always a good thing to do.
Most repairs that require actual work can be taken care of by our regular repair people. Occasionally we have a major issue that requires building permits and contractors (usually an insurance company is involved.) Whatever the scope of the maintenance, we can handle it.
Shouldn’t We Leave Room for Negotiation when Setting the Rent Amount?
No. The psychology of renting a home is quite a bit different than the psychology of buying a home. Prospective tenants tend to look for homes in $200 rent windows. They frequently say “I am looking for something between $1000 and $1200. If you have priced your $1200 home at $1300 to allow for negotiation, you have missed the boat on these particular tenants.
Price your home based on what similar homes in the neighborhood or school district are being rented for. Don’t try to rationalize that you have nicer carpet or a fancier countertop. Time is money. Each day that your home sits empty is a day that you pay interest, taxes, insurance and utilities with no income to offset them. Over the course of a 12 month lease, the $50 you are holding out for adds up to $600. How many days does it take you to spend $600 on your empty house? Probably not that many!
If you are determined not to take less than your advertised price, then just hold firm. If your home is priced correctly, it will rent to good tenants without a reduction.
Is it OK for me to turn off the utilities?
No. Why would you want to do that? We know, we know. You are trying to keep your expenses down. Here’s the thing – the utilities in an empty house are not going to break you, but having them off will definitely affect the rentability of the home.
When prospective tenants go into your home, they are imagining themselves living there. In fact, if they bring their kids, the kids are going to almost always pick out their bedrooms. They do it in every house they look at. The adults imagine where the furniture will go. The chef imagines himself or herself working in the kitchen. The reader mentally picks out a spot for solitude. If those mental images are pleasant, the application process begins.
If your utilities are off, the home is hot in the summertime. In July and August it is both hot and wet. In addition to the temperature, the lack of air flow through the home leaves it musty. Cobwebs that would be swept away by normal ventilation expand. Rooms that need artificial light look gloomy.