A Letter to Landlords
We would like to thank you for the opportunity to manage your property. We want you to know that your best interest is our first priority. We are very selective when finding a tenant for your property. The tenant must have a minimum credit score of 640 and at least 30% of their gross income available to pay rent and other monthly obligations. We occasionally rent to tenants that may not meet the minimum requirement, but we charge them a two month security deposit. As the owner, you will always have the final say as to whom we rent your property to.
We find that about 80% of the renters seeking a home have pets. We typically recommend that owners consider pets on a case by case basis. We do not recommend puppies, as there is always a learning curve. If you allow pets we charge the tenants a one-time non-refundable fee of $250 and the fee is paid to you. This does not alleviate the tenant from any responsibility of insuring that the pet does not cause any damage. We have an addendum that states all damage caused by a pet must be paid at 100% of the cost. Again, you will always have the final say. If we find that a tenant has an unauthorized pet we fine them $450 and they must remove the pet promptly.
We suggest that before renting your property you should consider that it will not be the same when you return. Tenants will not do the little things around the house that you do. They are required to cut and edge the grass, but weeding, watering and seeding are not required and often are not performed. We recommend that owners who are concerned with lawn care and flower beds should have a company that specializes in yard work do fall maintenance to keep up the appearance.
When you return to visit your property, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t look the same as when you left. Tenants do create wear and tear, but anything beyond that we will have repaired and charge the tenants from their security deposit. The tenant landlord act requires we prorate any replacement items based on the age of the item. This means that if, for instance, the carpet is damaged and it is not brand new we will not be able to charge the full amount of replacement. This does not apply to pet damage since the tenant signs a separate pet addendum stating they must cover the cost of full replacement for any damage by the pet.
When tenants move in they are required to fill out a move in inspection sheet. We use this as a guideline when they move out so we know if they have caused damage. They must return the inspection form to us within 5 days of moving into the property. We find that tenants who report maintenance items tend to take better care of your property. We will always share any maintenance requests with you, as well as the cost of the repair. You are welcome to hire your own vendors as long as they are licensed and insured. We will need a copy of these items from the vendors in order to protect your interest and that of RE/MAX Alliance. The vendors we hire to make any repairs agree to 30 day billing, so we are, so we are able to deduct the cost of the repair from the next month’s rent. We do not charge any fees or benefit financially from the vendors we hire on your behalf. They are independent contractors and are not employees of RE/MAX Alliance. We highly recommend owners have one month’s rent available for repairs that may arise. You may hold this in your owners account at RE/MAX Alliance if you would like.
We encourage all of our tenants to pay by auto debit from their checking account. RE/MAX Alliance will debit the checking account for rent on the first business day of the month. There is a 5 business day turn around for the money to be placed into your account. Keep in mind that any holidays at the beginning of the month can delay this process for up to an additional 5 days. If tenants pay their rent late we charge them a 10% late fee, which we keep to offset the cost of the process of possible eviction. In the rare instance that we should need to evict a tenant the cost of eviction is half of one month’s rent to cover attorney fees and court costs. This process typically takes 45 days.
Please remember that when we secure a tenant you will need to change your insurance policy for the property to include RE/MAX Alliance as additional insured. In the event that a tenant or guest of the tenant brought a law suit, this prevents the person from having two separate suits against you and RE/MAX Alliance. We will need a copy of the insurance certificate within 10 days of the new tenant moving into the property.
When you turn your property over to us we have to meet a standard that we will expect the tenant to comply with. This will require you to hire a professional cleaning service and carpet cleaning company. You will also need to have the dryer duct and fireplace, if applicable, professionally cleaned. Lastly, we require that you check all smoke detectors and replace the batteries if necessary. Please provide us with the receipts for this work. if you would like recommendations of vendors for any of these services, we are happy to assist with that. And please keep in mind that our tenants are required to complete each of these tasks when they move out of the property. Lastly, we will need 3 sets of keys and any remotes for the property. It is also helpful to leave additional HVAC filters for the tenant.
If you have questions, please contact us. We are a team of 4: Jackie and Steven Dunbar, Stephanie Higley, and Jen McLean. We represent you and we appreciate your business.