Category Archives: tenant transitions

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3 Issues Landlords Face

Landlords wear many hats during their tenure. These “hats” could include being a fix-it person, bill collector, or negotiator. Staying on top of issues can be a stressful but also rewarding career in the property management field. If you are considering entering the industry, here are 3 issues that you will want to prepare yourself for as you take on this industry. 

Turnover Rates 

Some of the busiest times in a property manager or landlord’s career are during the times when a unit is being turned over from one tenant to another. While this time gives a perfect opportunity to make improvements or repairs to a unit, it can also be a costly time. 

When a tenant gives his/her notice that they will be vacating a property, it is imperative that the unit be filled in a timely manner. That means marketing or advertising the opening, ensuring the property is properly cleaned and vacated, and finding a suitable candidate to rent the space. 

Remember, once a property is vacant, it is no longer making money and can quickly become a cash flow issue. 

Strategies to keep your tenants happy include making maintenance a priority, ensuring that the rent rate is fair, and ensuring that your selection process includes looking for long-term renters who are financially solid. 

Late Payments 

There’s nothing worse than having to chase down your rent payments. Dealing with later payers or lack of payment entirely can be a huge cash flow issue that can become a legal one. 

Strategies to overcome this include increasing communication with tenants about what your maintenance schedule includes. That way they understand the value of their payments. Another tactic is to make payments easy by having an online portal or payment system that can be done right at a tenant’s fingertips either through a computer or smartphone. 

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Maintenance Calls 

Toilets don’t always clog during work hours. Roofs don’t leak only during the day. Snow doesn’t only fall during the week. That means your job as a landlord is essentially around the clock all year long. That includes weekends and holidays and all through the night. 

A strategy to handle the onslaught of maintenance calls is to have a list of reliable repair people, including plumbers and electricians, who can be called at any time of day or night to handle emergencies. 

Some property managers have their own crew, but if you don’t you will want to build partnerships with local service people so you can maintain your properties 24/7. 

 

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Qualities of a Good Landlord 

In medieval and manorial times, the word landlord often took on many negative connotations from an emphasis on crime to a malevolent land owner. Now, in the modern day, landlords manage apartment complexes and homeowners associations in an efficient, reliable, and professional way. 

The connotation of the name “landlord” has most definitely evolved over the years toward a more positive and helpful side of property management. In fact, the number of landlords in our area is on the rise as rental needs increase. 

According to the United States 2019 Census Statistics, approximately 38% of the Greater Boston area rents rather than owns their residence. That means thousands of young professionals, families, and critical workforce members are renting in the broader Boston area.

If you are planning to manage property (or currently do,) today’s blog is for you. We are looking at some of the top qualities that landlords should possess in order to make community living a more positive experience. 

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Must Have Qualities of a Good Landlord

What exactly does it take to be a good property manager or landlord? More importantly, what qualities should a landlord possess in order to do their job efficiently? 

Knowledge

Landlords need to have a broad depth of knowledge into many areas. This includes the ability to market their properties and financially manage the money coming in through residents as well as money being spent on major renovations. 

Landlords should also have a working knowledge of the major components of their building including plumbing, pest management, landscaping and more. It doesn’t mean that a landlord should be able to fix every issue, but rather be able to know when a simple fix is needed and when to call in the professionals. 

Communication 

Property managers and landlords live in a time when communication, especially digital communication, can make their job much easier. Text messages, emails, and voicemails can make repairs and communicate about upcoming events like master repairs and landscaping that may be happening in the coming weeks. 

Being able to let your landlord know about a problem and get fast feedback from them is an important part of being a reliable landlord. There are many new software apps available to keep the lines of communication open from both sides. 

Professionalism 

Being a good landlord often means wearing many hats over the course of the day from on-the-fly repair person to financial wizard. Being professional in each of these positions is also a critical part of being a respected landlord. 

At the very least, a landlord is invested in a property. Invested enough to make needed improvements for the residents who live in the community. Most landlords are passionate about their jobs and show pride in the improvements they make in their properties. 

Are you a new or established landlord in the Greater Boston region looking for more information on adding to your property? Follow our blog or contact us for more insightful ideas. 

 

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Minimizing Stress During Tenant Transitions 

In an ideal world, good tenants would move in and stay for eternity. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect and somewhere along your time as a property manager or landlord, you will need to handle the transition from one tenant to another. 

Having a smooth transition between tenants is critical to not only the landlord/property manager but also to the current and future tenants of the unit. Making sure that the property changes over  from one renter to another as smoothly as possible can also be a positive for the property in general. 

Let’s take a closer look from three points of view (landlord, current tenant, and future tenant) at how to make these transitions less stressful and as uneventful as possible. 

Giving Notice 

Depending upon the type of lease agreement you have for your rental property, you will most likely have 30 days to give notice of your departure. A tenancy-at-will has no formal lease agreement, so thirty days to end your rental agreement is usually the norm. 

For renters who have a year-long lease, letting your property manager or landlord know before your lease is up is the norm, although by giving ample time you help make the transition smoother all around. 

End of Lease Rental Checklist

Once a renter has given their notice, a checklist that breaks down what will happen in the last thirty days is a smart idea not only for communication’s sake, but also so that each party knows, in writing, what they are responsible for. For instance, a landlord may require that the unit be clean including a wipe down of the refrigerator and stove. Or a tenant may request a security deposit be returned as long as items on the checklist are completed and no damage to the unit is evident. 

Part of the lease-ending checklist should be the specific date of vacating the property so both the property management team and new renter will have time to arrange for upgrades, repairs, or changes to the unit. 

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Arranging For Repairs 

While inconvenient to the current tenants, many property managers like to get a head start on repairs and upgrades on units that are being vacated. That may mean updates while the current tenant still occupies the unit. 

It’s a good idea to make arrangements for repairs, painting, or deep cleaning to be done in the days immediately after the tenant has moved out. Some managers, however, like to get a jumpstart and schedule out those tasks even while the former tenant is still occupying the property. 

Check your lease agreement to find out when and how these tasks should be handled. 

Formal Walk Through

Walking through a property is not done just at the end of a lease, but should also be done thoroughly at the start of a lease as well. Current and future tenants need to know the condition of the unit as well as any issues that may be remaining from past renters. 

During each of these ‘walkthroughs’ each involved party should look for damage, areas that need repair, and problems with electrical, plumbing, or fixtures. Safety issues and health issues should also be addressed. Report these to the appropriate people so you are not held responsible later. 

If you are in the need of expert property management services to make these types of transitions go smoothly, contact Thayer & Associates