5 Benefits of a Month to Month Lease for Landlords

month to month lease

Renters who are looking for temporary housing can find the solution in rental properties that can lease on a month to month basis. This can bring a lot of traffic to your property if you decide to take on the challenge of running one of these rentals, but id it worth it?

Leasing month to month has the potential to be risky if not done correctly.

Here are 5 benefits of a month to month lease for landlords.

1. Some Tenants Need a Month to Month Lease

College students are among those who are constantly looking for flexibility in a lease like a month to month rental agreement. If you have a property located in an area that is close to a local university or college, you should see a constant flow of people who are looking for places like yours.

Big cities are another market that works well for month to month rentals. This is because there are many large businesses with workers that travel around frequently and need temporary housing.

2. Pricing Flexibility

As the landlord, you are legally able to change the lease price whenever you want to. Before the price changes for the next month, you will need to alert the current tenant, and they can decide whether to stay or leave for the following month when the price changes.

This allows you to make more money as you need to as the rental market shifts and local prices start to fluctuate.

3. Easy to Evict Problematic Tenants

No one wants to have problematic tenants, especially if they are behind or constantly late on monthly payments.

This type of lease makes it easy to remove these tenants because all you need to do is give a 30-day notice and they will need to vacate the premises due to the terminated lease.

4. More Money in Your Pocket

You have the opportunity to get more money per month because many month to month rental agreements include furniture.

This lease term works well for renters who are looking for short-term leases and won’t be staying in one place for too long.

These renters will appreciate a well-furnished apartment for their time there because it wouldn’t be worth it to haul all their belongings there to move out within a span of a few months.

Providing a furnished month to month rental will allow you to price your property at a higher price point per month and will start to put more money back in your pocket as the landlord.

5. Financial Security

If the current tenant needs to leave immediately and it’s past the 15th of the month they have to leave or past the 1st of the following month, they will be responsible for paying the rent for next month.

This will help take some of that burden off of your shoulders.

Provide a Useful Solution

Running a month to month lease in your area can help those who are looking for a temporary housing solution. If you are a landlord taking on a property that uses a month to month rental agreement, make sure you do more research so you are well prepared for this endeavor.

eFind Agent helps you find real estate agents that work best for your specific needs.

Take a look at our blog for more rental and real estate tips.

The Complete Guide to Showing a Rental Property While Occupied

showing a rental property while occupied

Showing a rental property while occupied is one of the biggest challenges an owner faces.

There are laws that allow the occupied property to get shown to a prospective tenant and the tenant has rights too. Showing a rented unit can be an inconvenience to the owner, the current tenant, and sometimes, the potential renter.

While most owners would rather wait until the unit is vacant, losing rental income isn’t ideal. With more rental properties now than ever, it’s a dilemma millions of owners find themselves in.

So, how do you show an occupied unit with success? We’ve got five tips to help you with the process.

Tips For Showing a Rental Property While Occupied

There are pros and cons to showing a rental property with tenants. The biggest benefit is you won’t lose your cash flow in most cases. Your current tenant moves out and after some updating and cleaning, the new tenant moves right in.

You’ll get a deposit and first month’s rent (and sometimes an application fee) so your rental income isn’t interrupted. In some cases, you won’t have to transfer the utilities into your name which is another plus.

When you show a vacant house or apartment, you know exactly what needs to get fixed, painted, or updated. You also have a chance to do all these things before showing the property, which is appealing to a new tenant. Still, sometimes this isn’t an option.

These five tips will help ease some of the concerns you have to give you the most success when showing a house with tenants.

1. Give Proper Notice

Your state will have clear guidelines you must follow that you reviewed when you wrote the lease. Make sure you understand your rights as a landlord and the tenants’ rights as well. In general, a landlord has to give 24 hours unless it’s an emergency like a flood, fire, or medical situation.

It’s also beneficial to have an etiquette for house or apartment showing. The potential renter will note how you treated your current tenant because they’re going to be in the same boat one day.

2. Communicate Everything

Before you give official notice to your tenant, communicate your intentions to show the property. Make sure you keep them in the loop with any changes to the schedule or plans.

3. Make Reasonable Requests

You have every right to ask your current tenant to secure their animals and clean the property. But, that doesn’t mean they have to oblige. Offer an incentive if you feel they’re not on-board with the showing, like a gift card or discount off their next month’s rent if applicable.

4. Don’t Put up “For Rent” Signs

Putting up a “For Rent” sign is asking strangers to inconvenience your current tenant. Interested parties will knock on the door at all hours and peer through the windows. This isn’t acceptable at all.

If you do put up a sign or share the address online, make sure it’s clear any interested parties must call for an appointment

5. Be Wary of the Disgruntled Tenant

Most tenants are easy to work with but let’s face it, some can get disgruntled or hostile towards the end of the lease. If you can’t get them to cooperate with you, you may be better off waiting for them to leave the premises and take the financial hit.

The last thing you want is to walk a prospective renter into your property and it’s in complete disarray because the current tenant sabotaged your showing. Use your best judgment if you’re dealing with an uncooperative tenant.

Make the Best Choice for Your Property

Showing a rental property while occupied isn’t ideal but it’s doable. If you’re an owner, you can avoid headaches like this in the future by hiring a property manager.

Don’t take finding a real estate agent lightly. Contact us today and find out how we can help you manage your rental property.

7 Tips on How to Avoid Rental Scams

rental scams

The rental market is in the midst of a massive boom, with 3.7 million people renting a living space according to CNBC’s findings.

And while renting can be a great way to find a better home or apartment for a more affordable price, renters need to be wary of certain scams that may cost them their money, credit, and even their home.

Make your next rental decision an educated one by checking out these seven tips for avoiding rental scams.

1. Get Everything In Writing

Verbal agreements are great — among friends. But if you’re dealing with someone you’ve just met and don’t know very well, you’ll want to make sure you get everything in writing.

Particularly when you stop to consider that this is someone you’re going to be stuck dealing with for the remainder of your agreement.

Therefore, you’ll want to make sure all details are hammered down in writing, which is often legally binding. Plus, you can keep a paper trail if your deal requires legal arbitration.

2. Visit The Property Before Signing A Document

This tip might sound kind of silly to some, but the Internet makes renting easier than ever.

Theoretically, would-be renters or property owners can wake up and find a new place to live or manage before they’ve even finished their coffee.

Patience is a virtue, however, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Visit the property, preferably with the owner.

3. Look Into The Current Owner’s Background

It’s time to put on your detective hat and conduct your very own background search! In all actuality, it isn’t anything that serious, but it’s quite important nonetheless.

If you’re partnering with an owner who handles multiple properties or does this for a living, a quick Google search should help you find out more information about them.

Otherwise, check social media accounts to make sure your potential landlord is who they say they are.

4. Avoid Cash-Only Deals

If an owner suggests making a deal via cash and only cash, consider this a massive red flag and move on. Typically, “owners” who only deal in cash are actually scammers looking to make a quick buck off of a trusting individual or a vacant home.

5. Speak To The Owner In Person

Texting, emailing, or messaging is more convenient than a phone call 99% of the time. But when it comes to a possible landlord, you need to be sure they are who they say they are.

Talk to them in person and ask questions such as:

  • How long have you managed properties?
  • Is this your first time selling/renting?
  • Why are you looking to lease this property?

If they’re simply running renter scams, they’re not going to have answers to your questions and will likely change the subject at the first possible moment.

6. Demand Referrals

Along with learning more about your soon-to-be landlord’s background, seek referrals before coming to an agreement or involving finances.

If they’re reputable, they’ll have plenty of people who can back them up.

7. Trust Your Gut

At the end of the day, nothing quite beats our gut instincts. Honed by years of experience, learning, and even genetics, your base instincts can get you out of some sticky situations.

If something seems wrong about a deal or you feel uneasy about the other party, walk away. It’s better to seem a little rude than to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Rental Scams Are Getting More Complex: Be On The Lookout

Rental scams are getting more and more complex, so it’s up to you to remain vigilant. Remember that there’s no shame in walking away if you feel uncomfortable about a deal and always give a deal its due diligence before signing any written agreement.

Looking to find a great agent or have some questions about property management? Feel free to get in touch!

7 Things Property Managers Must Do Before a New Tenant Moves In

new tenant

Working as a property manager is a busy and ever-challenging job. You are expected to know about landlord and tenant laws, how to screen potential tenants and how to do background checks.

Depending on where you work, the duties will vary. A property manager acts as a liaison between the person or corporation that owns the property and the tenants. You can work for the landlord, a corporation that owns property or an agency that supplies real estate agents.

Here is a sample of some of the duties you can expect when someone new moves in.

Preparing for a New Tenant

There is a lot of prep work that goes into getting a property ready for a new tenant. From the estate on the hill to the bachelor apartment downtown, there are a few things you have to take care of.

1. Clean

Get the place scrubbed within an inch of its life. Hiring a professional team to get behind appliances, floors, carpets, windows, and walls. It’s a great idea to check for bugs, like cockroaches or bed bugs, just to be safe.

2. Make Repairs

Fix any apparent damages. Holes in the walls, burnt carpet or countertops, cupboard doors and broken windows and screens.

3. Check Everything Works

Give the place a once-over for heating, air conditioning, plumbing lights, and appliances, if included. As you are responsible for ongoing maintenance, as well, having it all in working order means fewer calls for repairs.

4. Paint

Those last tenants who thought three coats of high gloss red paint looked great in the living room were wrong. You need to bring the walls back to their basic white. It looks better and gives a fresh, clean appearance.

5. Set Lease

You might be responsible for setting the rent and deposit. Unless the owner states otherwise, you set the desired rent. You need to keep it at a level that is competitive, yet not turning away potential tenants.

6. Collect Rent and Deposit

It’s your responsibility to make sure the deposit and the first month of rent are paid, plus each month after. This will depend on what is set up, the tenant may give post-dated checks in advance, make a direct deposit or you may need to go get it.

7. Change Locks

You need to change the locks each time a new tenant moves in. There is no way to know how many sets of keys are floating around. Safety first.

Welcome Home

While you are responsible for making sure these tasks are completed, it doesn’t mean you have to do them yourself. If you are managing an apartment or condo complex, there will be a handyman and other maintenance staff.

These are just a few of the duties to expect when welcoming a new tenant. There are many other exciting aspects of working as a property manager. It’s an exciting and widely varying position. You may even be expected to do math.

If you are looking for a home, looking to change careers or just have some questions, please contact us here for more information.

5 Reasons You Should Collect a Security Deposit When Renting Your Home

security deposit

As a property manager, you take great care to ensure that your units are in excellent condition.

Unfortunately, not all of your tenants will do the same.

This is why it’s essential that you collect a security deposit.

But what else can rental deposit help you with — and prevent you from having to pay for?

Read on in order to find out.

1. If a Tenant Damages the Unit

The most important reason why you should collect an apartment security deposit?

Because unruly, careless, or destructive tenants may damage the unit so that serious repairs are needed.

These damages may be accidental, or they may be intentional — like when a tenant pants a room or installs carpeting even though it wasn’t allowed by the lease.

They need to be held financially responsible for their actions. You’ll need to ensure though, that this is less than “normal wear and tear” and more serious damage.

2. If the Unit Must Be Seriously Cleaned

Even if no damages were done to the structure or the appliances within the apartment?

Collecting a security deposit ensures that, should the apartment be excessively dirty, you’ll be able to pay for the cleaning services required.

This is common if the tenant had a pet or a young child, or if the unit was furnished and furniture must be specially cleaned.

3. If a Tenant Does Not Pay Rent

Unfortunately, some tenants will just decide that they no longer want to pay rent. They may also not have the money to make rent.

As a landlord, you know that the eviction process is seldom as straightforward as it seems.

It can be tough to get these people out of your property, even if they don’t pay rent.

This is where collecting a rental deposit can be your saving financial grace.

4. If a Tenant Breaks a Lease Early

If a tenant decides to move out earlier than they’d originally intended, then you can use the money collected in the security deposit to keep you financially afloat while you find a new tenant.

The tenant may let you know they are moving out early, or they may just move out without letting you know and stop paying rent.

In this case, you may need to take legal action. The money from the security deposit can help with those fees, as well.

5. If Utilities Aren’t Paid Up

Sometimes, a tenant will attempt to leave the premises without paying their utility and electric bills.

In this case, you can use the money from the security deposit to ensure that you don’t get stuck paying them.

Collecting a Security Deposit Is the Right Move

As you can see from this post, there are countless reasons why you need to collect a security deposit from tenants.

Of course, that’s far from the only thing you need to know about becoming a property manager.

Be sure to keep checking back with our site for more ways on how to treat your tenants and to protect yourself legally and financially at the same time.