How to Verify Prospective Tenant Employment and Income

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One of the most important parts of the tenant screening process is to make sure the prospective tenant has verifiable employment and income.

This tenant screening process is important for two reasons:

  1. It helps you ensure that the applicant has the income to pay rent regularly and on time.
  2. It helps you ensure that the applicant has stable employment and income.

Sometimes, a tenant might have plenty of cash on hand to pay rent every month, but they could still be an undesirable type – like someone with a history of being evicted – that you don’t want in your property.

As an Abingdon landlord, you want to select the best possible tenant – every time. Today, we’re going over everything you need to know to properly verify the employment and income of your prospective tenants.

 

How Landlords Can Verify a Prospective Tenant’s Employment and Income

Run a Credit Check

The information you discover on a prospective tenant’s credit report can make or break the deal.

A credit check provides you with insight into your prospective tenant’s financial health, and lets you know if they have been able to fulfill their financial obligations.

And it’s not too hard to uncover your applicant’s credit history. All you have to do is order a credit report through a reporting agency or tenant screening service. By doing so, you’ll learn:

You can also learn the applicant’s total debt to income ratio. For example, if they make $40,000 a year but have $40,000 in debt, they might struggle to pay their monthly rent.

A credit report doesn’t list a person’s current or previous employers, but it does show who else has run a credit check on that person in the past. Because employers often run credit checks on applicants before hiring them, you can see which employers have also checked your prospective tenant’s credit recently.

This will not prove one way or another whether the company actually hired them or not, but that’s why you should always check your prospective tenants’ references.

 

Check Their References

First, you should call your prospective tenant’s employers to verify they’re actually working where they say they are. Sometimes, a dishonest applicant may lie about their employment and write down a fake phone number – so it’s important to be sure.

When you call, be sure you’re calling the main number for the business and ask to speak to human resources or to the manager directly. Ask questions about both their character and how long they’ve been employed at the company.

If you find that a potential tenant has been employed for a considerable length of time, you’ll be able to determine that they have a stable history of employment and a stable income.

Landlords regularly ask employers directly to confirm the income listed on the rental application. If the employer refuses to provide this information for privacy violation reasons, have your tenant sign a release of information form. That way, employers will know it’s okay to release their employee’s info.

Second, you may want to call their previous landlords to find out how the tenants behaved while living in their past homes. It’s wise to insist that all of your applicants disclose the names and addresses of at least two of their previous landlords.

 

Ask former landlords questions like:

  • Did they habitually pay rent on time?
  • Did they follow the rules and non-monetary agreements they made?
  • When did they move out, and why?
  • Did they provide advance notice that they were moving out?
  • Were they evicted?
  • Did they commit any crimes?
  • Did they leave the property in good condition?
  • If they re-applied today, would the landlord accept them?

If the previous landlord tells you something negative about the prospective tenant, it may be a clue that they’re unable to fulfill their obligations to you. They could be economically unstable or totally irresponsible.

Remember, though, that current landlords are not necessarily the most reliable sources of information on current tenants.

If the tenant is a fantastic renter, the landlord may not want them to move and could offer a lukewarm to negative reference in the hopes of keeping the tenant around. If the tenant is the world’s worst renter, the current landlord may offer a glowing reference to get rid of them.

This is what makes it so important to collect multiple references in all categories and follow through on calling them and asking the crucial questions.

 

Use the right process to screen self-employed tenants

Many people are self-employed these days – not just Abingdon landlords.

If your prospective tenant is self-employed, they won’t have a paystub. The best thing you can do is to request copies of their bank statements from the past three or more months to get a good picture of their average monthly income.

Because this can be trickier verify, you can also request to receive a copy of the tenant’s federal tax records. Have your prospective tenant fill out then submit Form 4506 to the IRS. The only problem with this process is that it can take up to 60 days to process this request, and most landlords and tenants alike cannot wait this long.

An easier and faster way to verify their income is to file Form 4506-T, which is a request only for a transcript of the tenant’s tax returns. This typically only takes a single business day to receive and contains the information you need to verify a self-employed individual’s income.

 

Be Wary of Fakes

As a landlord, you should always do your due diligence when it comes to tenant screenings.

While most of your prospective tenants will be upstanding members of the community, you may sometimes need to dig a little deeper.

Ask detailed questions if you have even the smallest suspicions about the listed references for a prospective tenant. Check to see if the employer says the applicant has ever been any trouble, makes enough money to cover the rent, and maintains gainful employment.

You should ask the person you’re speaking to verify their name and position within the company, and double check with what was written on the application in front of you. Sometimes, a tenant could have friends or others pose as their supervisors.

If your prospective tenant cannot provide you with any of their paystubs, ask for W2s or 1099/1040 forms. If they cannot provide these, it may be time to move onto the next applicant.

And remember, if you need any extra help verifying your tenants, reach out to an Abingdon property management team and rely on their expertise. Our team at Bay Management Group would be happy to help you select the best tenants for your properties.

 


3 Methods of Communicating with Your Tenants – Which is Best?

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Nowadays technology has made communicating with people a cinch.  Contacting friends, family, employees, and even customers has never been easier.  And the same holds true for your Rockville tenants.

With so many different ways of communicating with your tenants, issues can be resolved quickly and effortlessly.  Utilizing the different methods of communication, you can achieve an active connection with your tenants making them feel important and cared for.  Plus, it allows you to stay proactive when it comes to your Rockville rental property.

Today we will look at the most common ways you can communicate with your tenants so you can see which method best suits both you and your tenants’ needs.

 

1. Snail Mail

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Although this method has largely been abandoned, it still serves a purpose in the management of your rental property.  This is true whether you manage your own property or enlist the help of your favorite Montgomery County property management company.

Sending your tenants correspondence regarding important things such as their lease agreements, inspection dates, and rent payment related information is best done using mail.  You should send each letter via first class certified mail to ensure that you can prove you at least attempted to contact your tenant.

It is well-known that in a court of law, the party that proves the attempt to contact usually has the upper hand.

  • Hard copies of important documents will allow tenants to have their own personal and original copy.
  • If you receive the certified mail portion signed, you have physical proof your tenant received the letter.
  • If your letter is returned due to non-arrival and should a court case arise, you have proof that you attempted to contact your tenant that the judge can examine.
  • This method also works for those that are not comfortable relying on electronic communication.

In the end, using regular mail is the best solution for providing your tenant with any time-sensitive or essential correspondence.  Making it more difficult to ignore than electronic correspondence, hard copy documents mailed to your tenants are less likely to be lost or ignored and will protect you in the case of a landlord-tenant dispute later down the road.

 

2. Electronic Communication

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There are several ways you can communicate with your Montgomery County tenants that fall under the “electronic communication” category.  For instance you could keep an updated website with information regarding your properties. This is especially helpful when your properties are managed by a property management company.

The one drawback to this option, however, is the fact that you would then be relying on your tenants to access the website regularly to receive updated information.  If your tenants do not make an effort to seek out the updated information, you run the risk of many tenants claiming they simply did not know something important was going to take place.

Also falling under the category of electronic communication is email.  While this offers a much more active way of communicating with your tenants, it still has its downfalls.  Sending out emails and newsletters to your tenants is a good way to ensure that they will see it in their inbox.

Rather than having to seek out information, as with the website updates, you bring the information to your tenants.  However, there is no guarantee they will open and read your emails or that they won’t end up in a spam folder.  In addition, there is a lot more work to be done on your part that you must be prepared for: updating email lists, dealing with distribution and bounce-back emails, and the actual drafting of the correspondence.

Though electronic communication does offer a relatively easy and quick way of communicating with your tenants, this option should typically be used for more casual updates that will not affect your rental property or tenants in any major way.

 

3. Texting

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With over 90% of all Americans having a mobile phone, chances are high that texting will be an effective way for you to communicate with your tenants.  As the most active method of reaching your tenants on an individual basis, and in real-time, texting has many benefits.

  • They will receive the message. There is little chance your tenant will not receive the message.  More so, they will open it and read it relatively quickly.  Studies have shown that those receiving text messages rarely erase texts before opening and reading them.  Plus, there is no spam box for them to get lost in.
  • Texts are universal. Even without a smartphone, your tenants can receive text messages.  And remember, without a smartphone, your tenants will not be able to access an email you send them without the use of a computer.  This makes texting a more accessible method for those without smart phones.
  • A response is likely. As one of the most convenient ways of communicating with anyone these days, it is likely you will receive some sort of response from your tenant should you text them.  In fact, your tenants are more likely to respond to your text message than even your email correspondence.
  • It sets you apart from competition. Tenants are often interested in leasing from those that have high customer service standards.  Text messaging is not only convenient, it is personal.  This means that you will be setting yourself apart from the other landlords that rely on snail mail or some other form of electronic communication.

There are many benefits to texting your tenants.  As texting grows in popularity amongst tenants, landlords, and property management companies, it is important you take this method of communication seriously as an option for communicating with your tenants.  However, there are some important things to consider:

  • Make sure you have your tenant’s permission to text them.
  • Put this permission in writing. For instance, add it to the lease agreement as an agreed upon method of communication.
  • Limit the text correspondence to things such as repair updates, rent due dates, or seasonal maintenance reminders.
  • Dictate which kind of information your tenant can text you with.
  • Do not send too many text messages. You do not want to annoy your tenants.

While some courts are starting to recognize text messages as a legal form of correspondence, it is still a good idea to leave important things, such as rent increases and changes to the lease term, to hard copies sent in the mail.

 

Final Thoughts

Communicating with your Rockville tenant is a must, regardless of whether you manage your own properties or have the help of Maryland’s premier property management company, Bay Management Group.

It is important that you discuss with each tenant which method of communication he or she prefers at the start of their lease term.  This will prevent any annoyances later on and ensure that your tenants receive the information they need in the method they are most comfortable with.

If you are looking for a high quality property management company to help you keep in touch with your Montgomery County tenants, consider contacting Bay Management Group.  Finding the best method to contact your tenants is their job.  This means you don’t have to worry about contacting your tenants about difficult things such as rent increases, or even minor things as the spring maintenance cleaning.  Your peace of mind is the goal of Bay Management Groups.  So, call them today and see how they can help you stay connected with your tenants in the most effective way.

 


6 Reasons Not to Rent Your Baltimore County Property to Friends or Family

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At first, renting out your Baltimore County property to your friends and family might sound like a great idea.

You know more about them than your other tenants, and you know that they’re good people. You think that if a problem were to arise, you’d be able to handle it swiftly and without hassle because they’d be more likely to cooperate with you than a stranger would.

In truth, renting to people you share a close relationship with can create a potentially delicate situation. Mixing personal relationships and business rarely ends well, so you should always carefully consider your decision to rent to friends and family.

You never know what might go wrong. So, keep reading to find out the six reasons you shouldn’t rent to your friends and family.

Why You Shouldn’t Rent Your Baltimore County Property to Friends and Family

1. They Might Take Advantage of You

If you want to help out people you know and love, renting to them isn’t a good way to do it. If they’re struggling, you may not be able to say “no” when necessary.

Even good people can take advantage of the situation. They might be unable to pay on time or may be unable to afford the rent altogether. They might damage the property, ignore local Baltimore County ordinances, and disregard the terms of your lease agreement.

Friends and family may believe you’ll forgive these mistakes because of your personal relationship. They might think you’ll be lenient, so they won’t have to give much thought to preserving the business relationship.

Your loved ones may do this without realizing it – don’t let it happen or you’ll end up resenting them.

2. They Might Be Too Nice

This one may seem surprising, but it can be a major issue.

Why?

Because if your Baltimore County properties need some work, your friends and family may be reluctant to let you know.

It’s not just because they might have caused the damage. You could have numerous pre-existing problems that need attention, but you might never hear about them because they worry you’ll be upset with them or blame them for the problems.

People you share a close relationship with may not recognize the pressing need to fix these issues. They might be content living in your property, and subconsciously suppress the knowledge of problems in their rental unit.

If you must rent to friends and family, be sure they know to alert you to all problems with your rental properties – the same as any other tenant should.

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3. The Power Dynamic

You too could be at fault in a situation where you’re a landlord to your loved ones.

Landlords are inherently in a position of power over their tenants. They own the properties their tenants pay to live in on temporary lease agreements, and a landlord can alter or terminate those agreements at any time—and for  a long list of reasons.

You have control over you’re a major aspect of your tenants’ lives. And if they’re your friends and family, they may grow to resent you for that power. They may feel they can’t be as comfortable with you as they once were for fear you might wield that power in a way that negatively affects them.

It is difficult to avoid conflict in a situation with such a clear power imbalance, especially when issues arise. To avoid feeling like you’ve exploited your position of power don’t rent to friends and family.

 

4. Unnecessary Involvement in Their Personal Lives

One reason a landlord might rent to friends and family is because they feel obligated to.

When loved ones live on your property, it’s practically impossible to avoid becoming more invested in their lives – especially if you have to demand a rent check from them every month.

Soon you could find yourself entangled in their personal lives instead of focusing on your own. You might forget to focus on your own goals and responsibilities if they’re issues are dominating your time.

And when you need to pull out of your involvement in their lives to protect your business interests, you might do considerable damage to your personal relationship with them.

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5. The Relationship Might Sour

Financial situations almost always put a strain on close relationships.

Imagine having to ask your friends and family for a late rent payment. You might have to contact them every month to demand they pay on time. You could end up feeling guilty, but unable to be more lenient because you have to make your mortgage payment on your Baltimore County property.

Additionally, your friends and family might feel you’re playing favorites, especially if you’re renting to more than one person you share a close relationship with. Or, your other tenants may accuse you of favoritism because you are more lenient with your loved ones.

A Baltimore County property manager must require all his or her tenants to follow the exact same set of rules as stipulated by the lease agreement. Any form of favoritism is illegal and can cause strain on your relationships with your tenants.

6. Eviction May Be Necessary

As a landlord, you aren’t running a charity. Your goal is to make a profit from your rental property – not to provide family and friends a convenient and inexpensive place to live.

If you do end up renting to your friends and relatives, understand that there might come a time when you must evict them. Just because you’re close to them doesn’t mean they won’t violate the rental agreement or stop paying their rent altogether.

Evicting someone could permanently damage these relationships. Would you be comfortable with kicking your cousin, your college roommate, your uncle, your sister, or your best friend out of their apartment? They might never fully forgive you or understand why you had to do it.

That’s why you should strive to always place tenants in your properties who allow you to operate in a professional, businesslike manner. When issues arise, you can handle them in ways that don’t waste time and money.

None of this is to say you have to be an overly tough landlord. You can be friendly with your tenants as long as they recognize that the relationship is built on a foundation of professionalism.

If you value the relationship you have with a friend or family member, don’t rent to them. It’s a conflict of interest you should avoid, period.


Tips for Reducing Vacancy Rates

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No Baltimore landlord likes a vacant property. Worries about loss of income, damage to the property, and theft can cause many sleepless nights.  And while vacancies are an unwelcome downside to being a landlord, there are steps you can take to reduce the possibility of an unoccupied property.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at how you can reduce your property’s vacancy rates.

Understand the Market

Your Owings Mills tenants are sure to know what a fair monthly rent is.  If you price your rental property too high, chances are you will experience a higher turnover rate (when your current tenants realize they can find a better deal elsewhere) and a longer vacancy period (because potential tenants will know beforehand that your asking rent is too high).

The key is to calculate the perfect balance.  You do not want to price your rent too low and appear cheap, or worse make no income off of your property, so it is important that you offer a fair and competitive rate.  Tenants that feel they are getting a good deal are less likely to leave.  Also, a competitively priced property will sit vacant for a shorter period of time.

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Advertise Your Vacant Property

So your Catonsville rental property was just vacated and you had been counting on that supplemental income.  Well, there is no reason to worry if you have good advertising practices in place for times like these.  Especially if you have enlisted Baltimore County’s best property management company to help you.

Understanding the best places to advertise your rental property is crucial to keeping vacancy rates low.  At Bay Management Group, your property will be advertised aggressively.  Using search engines, online classifieds, MLS, Craigslist, and direct mail, potential tenants will be made aware that your property is available.  The advertisements will be detailed and informative to attract serious tenants.

Even if you are on your own, there are some really great resources, such as this one, for advertising your rental property that getting results.
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Elevate Your Tenant Screening Process

Tenant screening is another part of the process that you and your property management company can fine tune to keep vacancy rates lower.  After all, the better tenants you place in your Essex home, the more likely they are to renew at the end of the lease term.

The screening process that each potential tenant must go through should be strict and thorough.  It should include a full background check for things such as prior evictions, bankruptcies, income, and credit worthiness—all things that can affect a turnover rate.  Think long term when choosing to place a tenant in your property.  This will help to alleviate many of your concerns about vacancies at the end of every lease term.

Market Your Property as the Best

It’s one thing to have a Pikesville rental home available for lease.  It’s another to have a beautiful Pikesville rental home available for lease.

Highlight the unique amenities of your property to potential tenants – location, surrounding shops and restaurants, the newly carpeted flooring, the superior customer service your property management company will provide. These are the types of things that will get your potential tenant excited at the thought of calling your property home.

Make them want it.  Don’t make them question why it is vacant in the first place.

Reward Current Tenants

The easiest way to reduce vacancy rates in your Towson rental home is to never let it become vacant in the first place!  A great way to do this is by rewarding quality tenants by not raising their rent.

Rent increases are a major turnoff to tenants and may cause them to leave to find a better deal elsewhere.  Though increasing rent is sometimes necessary, try holding off for as long as possible.  A rent that is being paid monthly at a slightly lower price is better than no rent coming in at all.

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives is another way to keep tenants around for another lease term.  For instance, you could offer to pay for the monthly water bill or the weekly trash bill.  Something as small as $25 a month can mean a lot to your Parkville tenant.

The great thing about this tactic is it can work wonders on existing tenants and is a great strategy for attracting new tenants quickly should your property become vacant.

Get to Know Your Tenants

You don’t have to have Sunday dinner with them every week, but being nice to your tenants can go a long way in convincing them to stay on for another lease term, thus lowering your vacancy rates.

Include a welcome package once tenants move in, communicate openly with them, keep your property great condition, and most importantly, be professional.

You don’t have to be their best friends, but stay connected and let them know you care.  They are your customers so let them know how grateful you are that they chose to rent from you.

Other Quick Tips

There is a lot you can do to reduce your Dundalk or White Marsh rental property vacancy rates.  Here are some extra tips to keep in mind:

  • Once your property becomes vacant, start prepping for the next tenants right away
  • Consider longer lease terms
  • Make your property more secure by adding alarms and security lights
  • Provide the amenities many tenants look for such as updated appliances or new carpeting
  • Be timely with your repairs during their tenancy so they know you care about them
  • Reduce long term rental rates, lower the security deposit, or consider a rent-to-buy option

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Final Thoughts

One of the best ways to help reduce your Baltimore County’s overall vacancy rates is to enlist the help of a professional and trusted property management company such as Bay Management Group.  Dedicated solely to property management, Bay Management Group has the means for filling vacancies quickly and efficiently.

Offering advertising services, thorough screening processes, and airtight lease agreements, Bay Management Group helps to lessen the impact of a potential vacancy.  In addition, understanding that vacant properties can wreak havoc on your cash flow, Bay Management Group does not charge monthly management fees while your property is vacant, unlike many other companies out there.

If you own a vacant rental property in the Baltimore area, or you are worried about a possible vacancy in one of your properties and want help in reducing that risk, call Bay Management Group today and talk to one of their friendly staff.  They can help you with all of your property management needs and make sure a tenant is placed in your property as often as possible.


5 Amenities College Students Look for in a Rental Property

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You might feel hesitant to rent to students. Maybe you’ve heard stories of wild parties where students trash their house, or maybe you’re concerned that students don’t make enough money to pay rent on time every month.

However, if you screen every tenant thoroughly and clearly explain your rules, you might find that renting to college students is one of the best actions you can take to power your rental property business forward and maximize your ROI. Here’s why:

  • Demand for student housing is often high. If you own properties near a college campus (like Montgomery College in Montgomery County), there’s a good chance you’ll be able to attract the interest of many student renters.
  • Students aren’t usually looking for anything fancy. That means that you’ll probably end up with lots of low-maintenance renters if you regularly place students in your properties, which can help you save time and money.
  • Parents often cover rent payments. For this reason, renting to college students can be a pretty safe bet financially. Their parents might even pay you in advance to take the hassle out of regular monthly rent payments! Just make sure you require a parent (or someone else who can be held responsible for rent) to co-sign the lease. That way, you can feel confident knowing rent will be paid on time every month, regardless of the student’s financial situation.

Now that you know the benefits of renting to college students, you’re ready to learn what amenities they look for in a property and how you can entice them to pick your property while they attend school.

 

5 Amenities Montgomery County College Students Want in a Rental Property

We’ve already discussed that college students aren’t usually looking for fancy amenities when they rent a property. Instead, they look for the following essential amenities that help make their life easier while they juggle school and work.

 

1. WiFi

This is one of the most in-demand amenities for college students. Not only do they use WiFi for homework – they use it for all kinds of entertainment and to cut down on data usage on their cell phone bill (which we all know can get pricey!). So, consider offering free WiFi services or including it with the overall price of your property if you want to gain an edge over the competition.

Tip: You may want to bundle electricity and water with the WiFi and rent payment too. That way, all of the expenses for the property can be conveniently handled by the student (or their parents) in one simple payment!

 

2. A washer and dryer

Having to go to a laundromat can be a huge inconvenience for a college student. Students are so busy with school and work that the last thing they want to do is spend hours waiting to wash and dry their clothes.

So, it’s easy to understand why a washer and dryer can be such attractive amenities for them. They may even be willing to pay more for your property if living there will allow them to avoid the hassle of regular laundromat visits!

 

3. A great location

No college student wants to waste hours every day driving to and from school. That’s why you should prioritize location if you want to invest in properties that attract students.

Try to find properties within walking distance of campus. If you can do that, it should be easy for you to attract tons of student renters to your property.montgomery-county-rental-property-walking-distance-college-campus

If you can’t purchase a property next to the college campus, try to find one within 10-15 minutes of it and market it as a location near campus. When you’re marketing to attract students, also include information about the property’s proximity to other popular college student locations, like coffee shops, bars, and places where students work.

 

4. Ample storage space

Students who live within walking distance of their college campus often choose to ride their bike to school, so they appreciate storage space to safely put away their bike.

On top of that, college students tend to look for a place with a large closet and a bedroom that is big enough to accommodate all of their belongings. That means if the bedrooms in your property aren’t big enough to fit a bed and desk comfortably, they may keep looking for a property with more space to offer.

 

5. Security features

If you want to get a college student’s parent to approve of your property, adding security features may be your best bet. After all, parents are often concerned for their child’s safety first and foremost – especially if it is the child’s first time living on their own.

Here are some security features you can consider adding to your property:

  • A deadbolt lock
  • An alarm system
  • External security cameras
  • Ample external lighting

If you opt for these features, be sure you mention them to the college student and their parent when they tour the home. You’ll also want to mention security features in your property ads and throughout your marketing efforts since security can be a determining factor when a parent is choosing between a few similar properties for their child.

 

Tips for Attracting College Student Renters in Montgomery County

Maybe you have a perfect property for student renters, but you aren’t quite sure how to make them aware of your property and entice them to live there.

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If that’s the case, consider these 3 tips:

  • Advertise where students are looking. Try Craigslist and other online resources like Zillow and Trulia. Chances are, students are looking there as opposed to a newspaper (like the Montgomery County Sentinel) or other places.
  • Mention the amenities in your property ads. Be sure to put the most in-demand amenities at the top of the ad. That way, students can understand the benefits of living in your property right away!
  • Offer competitive rent rates. Make sure your property is affordable for student renters without undercharging. If you aren’t sure how much your tenants should pay for rent, research some of the other properties in the area that are often rented to students successfully.

Make sure you’re prepared to talk to each student’s parents as well – if you can convince them that your property is the best place for their child to live, there’s a good chance they’ll buy in.

Related reading: The Maryland Landlord’s Guide to Renting to College Students

If you need help using marketing tactics to attract student renters, consider partnering with a Montgomery County property manager at Bay Management Group. In addition to marketing, we can take care of rent collection, maintenance services, and more so you can take a hands-off approach to running your rental property business.

To learn more about how we can help your business, contact us today.


The Pros and Cons of Collecting Last Month’s Rent

Now that you have the perfect tenant for your Howard County rental property, you must decide how much money you would like to collect upfront before you tenant moves in.

While charging new tenants first month’s rent and a security deposit is commonplace, the question remains – should you charge last month’s rent as well?

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Deciding whether to charge last month’s rent for your rental property is a decision that requires careful consideration.  There are some advantages to doing so, but as with everything, there are also significant disadvantages to consider.

While there is not one best way for property owners to collect rent from their tenants, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you may or may not collect last month’s rent from your tenants.  This way when you make your final decision regarding how much to charge you can be confident it is the right one.

 

Last Month’s Rent versus Security Deposit

It is not unusual for both landlords and tenants to confuse the terms ‘security deposit’ with ‘last month’s rent’.  Unfortunately, the amounts for each are usually the same which only adds to the confusion.

Before deciding whether collecting last month’s rent is right for you, it is important you understand exactly what that ‘last month’s rent’ means.  The same goes for the security deposit every landlord or property management company should include in their rent collection procedures.

 

Last Month’s Rent

Sometimes landlords would like to collect last month’s rent at the signing of the lease agreement.

But what does this mean? 

In short, last month’s rent is just that, a collection of money equal to one month’s rent that is to be used to pay for the monthly rent due during the last month a tenant resides in your Columbia rental property.  This money can only be applied to the monthly rental dues, whether collected directly from you or your property management company.

If a lease agreement dictates that last month’s rent is due at the lease signing, and the tenant pays accordingly, then no rent will be due at the end of the lease term.  If you decide to renew your tenant’s lease agreement, this payment of last month’s rent typically carries over into the new term and will be applied when the tenant is ready to move out.

 

Security Deposit

On the other hand, a security deposit collection is a much more complex payment made by the tenant at the beginning of the lease term.  Though much has already been discussed when it comes to security deposits, here is a refresher of what a security deposit is:

  • A collection of money made payable to the landlord directly or property management company that is usually equal to one month’s rent.
  • If the rental property is located in the Howard County area, property owners may request a security deposit equal to two month’s rent.
  • This money protects the landlord financially from things such as: non-payment of rent, breach of the lease agreement, or damage to the rental property.
  • Should any damages occur or rent payments go unpaid, this money can then be used to supplement the landlord’s financial loss.

 

So, Why the Confusion?

There are several ways landlords and tenants can confuse the two monetary collections.  Let’s take a look at the most common:

  • Landlords believe that a collection of ‘last month’s rent’ can be used for the same reasons a security deposit can (non-payment of rent and damage to the property). However, it can only be used to pay for last month’s rent if designated in the lease agreement as ‘last month’s rent’.
  • Landlords believe they can charge a new tenant first month’s rent, a security deposit up to the maximum amount, and last month’s rent. Most states consider last month’s rent collections to be a part of the security deposit when it comes to collection limits.  This means a landlord cannot collect first month’s rent, the maximum security deposit limit, and last month’s rent.  The security deposit maximum must be split between deposit and last month’s rent.
  • Tenants believe they can apply a security deposit to their last month’s rent. Unless expressly written into the lease agreement, this cannot be done.

To avoid any confusion when it comes to the security deposit and last month’s rent, it is important to thoroughly outline the collection of each in your lease agreement and make sure your tenant understands the uses for each.

 

Pros to Collecting Last Month’s Rent

Quality Tenants

If your rental property is located in the affluent area of Ellicott City, chances are your property has a significant amount of value to it.  working-with-howard-county-property-management-company

By collecting first and last month’s rent, in addition to a security deposit, you are more likely to gain a higher quality tenant.  By having that amount of money upfront, the tenant is showing they are financially responsible and the chances of missed rent payments are lower.

 

Additional Landlord Protection

By collecting last month’s rent, you add an extra layer of financial protection on yourself.  Should your tenant stop paying rent, you are already one month ahead of them.  Plus, you have the security deposit collected for issues such as non-payment of rent that you can now apply to any addition loss you are experiencing.

Some tenants will try to ‘live-out’ their security deposit by not paying for rent and just letting the security deposit pay for the non-payment.  By not collecting last month’s rent in advance, this leaves the landlord in a bind especially if the tenant owes any excess beyond the security deposit for additional non-payment or damages.  You are now looking at a day in court which every property owner tries to avoid at all costs.

 

Cons to Collecting Last Month’s Rent

Smaller Tenant Pool

First and last month’s rent plus a security deposit is a lot of money to ask for upfront, even in the well-to-do area of Elkridge.  Some tenants struggle to come up with first month’s rent and the security deposit, without last month’s rent added into the mix.  Plus, some tenants may not want to pay that amount of money all at once.  These things can lower your tenant pool.

While you may get a better quality tenant in your home by asking for last month’s rent, it may be more difficult for you to find a tenant with the proper funds, leaving your property vacant for longer than you wish.

 

Rent Increase Dilemma

Sometimes, you may want to increase the monthly rent your property management company collects on your Laurel rental property.  If your original ‘last month’s rent’ was $1000 and now you would like to charge $1200 a month, but fail to collect an additional $200 from your tenant to cover the ‘last month’s rent’ at the time you increase the rent, you will not be allowed to collect that additional amount when your tenant moves out at the end of their lease term.

This is why proper rent collection procedures by you or your property management company are essential.  Unfortunately, all of this extra money collection will probably not sit well with your current tenant either, which can strain the landlord-tenant relationship.

 

Final Thoughts

Last month’s rent is money that is paid by your tenant to live on your premises.  The security deposit is your financial protection against any unforeseen non-payment or damage.  Whether you choose to collect last month’s rent from your tenants at the start of their lease term is up to you.  Just make sure that you enlist the help of your favorite Howard County property management company, Bay Management Group, to help you draft a lease agreement that makes all of your rent collection procedures clear to avoid unnecessary confusion on both yours and your tenant’s part.

 


How to Create the Perfect Welcome Package for Your New Tenant

Making a good first impression is one of the best ways to set the tone for a healthy tenant/landlord relationship.

If you can consistently build those kinds of relationships with tenants, you can feel confident knowing you’ll be able to keep them living in your properties for a long time. This is important since losing a tenant can be costly for your rental property business.

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Ready to learn the best way to make a good first impression on a tenant?

It’s all about the welcome package, which is a simple basket or box full of goodies and necessities. This package should be given to a new tenant when they move into your property.

When you give a tenant a welcome package, you show that you genuinely care about making their move as stress-free as possible.

The best part? Welcome packages are cost-effective and easy to put together.

Keep reading, and you’ll learn everything you should include in a tenant welcome package (as well as a few other tips to help your tenants feel welcome when they move into your property!).

 

What to Include in Your New Tenant’s Welcome Package

A map of the local area

If your tenants are moving from out of town, they probably don’t know much about the area where their new home is located.

To help with this, include a map of the local area in the tenant’s welcome package. You may also want to circle or highlight important points on the map, like grocery stores and gyms (like Fitness Together in Howard County!). You could even ask the tenant what kinds of places they’d like convenient access to and use their feedback to create a custom list of nearby attractions they’d be interested in.

 

Essentials and toiletries

Let’s face it – moving can be stressful. If you’ve ever moved before, you already know that the difficult process can sometimes cause you to forget about the important things you’ll need once you get settled.

Your tenants are no different, so consider providing them with essentials and toiletries so they don’t have to go to the grocery store after a long day of moving. Here are a few items you could include:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning items

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You could also provide some items that will make the tenant’s first experience in the property more enjoyable, like a scented candle or a bouquet of flowers. Either of these options is a cost-effective way to give a bit of extra appeal to your welcome package.

 

Food and drinks

When your tenants are moving into your property, there’s a good chance they’ll appreciate some snacks to help keep their energy up. They’ll also appreciate a refreshing drink, especially when they’ve been breaking a sweat unloading and unpacking boxes all day.

Here are some drinks and snacks you can consider including in your welcome package:

  • Cold bottles of water
  • Lemonade or soda
  • Trail mix
  • Candy bars
  • Chips

If your tenants are over the age of 21, you could also include a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of your favorite local Maryland beer to help them unwind after finishing the moving process!

 

Gift cards

Everyone loves a good gift card. If you really want to impress your new tenants, ask them about their favorite restaurant before they move in, and give them a gift card to that restaurant in their welcome package.

If you don’t have the budget to splurge on a restaurant gift card, you could give tenants a gift card to a local coffee shop (like Matcha Time Café in Howard County!) or home goods store. That way, they can get a cup of coffee or a couple items that will help them spruce up their new home.

 

A handwritten note

Write a few sentences that tell the tenant how glad you are to have them living in your property. Also, use the note to welcome them to the neighborhood and give them your contact information so they know exactly how to reach you when necessary.

Make sure you personalize the note with the tenant’s name and anything else relevant to them specifically – that extra effort to connect with your tenant can go a long way.

 

A book of coupons

All of the different costs associated with moving can add up fast, so your new tenants may be stressing a bit over their financial situation when they move into your property.

To help ease the financial blow, consider giving them a coupon book. Some local Maryland businesses (like restaurants and retailers) may be willing to give you coupon books for free, so start asking around and see what deals you can find. Often, businesses will be more than willing to give you a coupon packet in the hopes that your tenant will become a loyal customer.

 

An information packet

This helps your tenants by putting all the information they need in one convenient packet. It also helps you by allowing you to reinforce all of the facts and important points you went over with the tenant when they signed their lease agreement.

Here’s what you can include in the packet:

  • Relevant information about the property, like the address and utility suppliers
  • A copy of the lease agreement and any other documents containing information you’d like the tenants to have handy
  • Your contact information and any emergency phone numbers

If you give the tenant all the information they need, there’s a good chance they won’t contact you with questions as often, which can help you save time and stay more productive while running your rental property business.

 

More Tips for Welcoming a Tenant to Your Rental Property

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Providing a welcome package isn’t the only way to make a good first impression on tenants. Here are a few more ideas for you to consider:

  • Introduce tenants to their new neighbors. Doing so will help your tenants and their neighbors feel safer and more at home. On top of that, troublesome tenants may think twice about doing something illegal or disruptive in your property if they know their neighbors are watching.
  • Clean the rental property thoroughly before the tenants move in. If you don’t have the time to get this done, hire a professional Howard County cleaning company to handle it for you.
  • Ask new tenants if they have any questions about the area. They’ll appreciate your local knowledge and effort to be helpful.

By following the tips above and creating a welcome package full of useful items, you can effectively start your tenant/landlord relationships off on the right foot.

If you don’t have time to handle landlord duties like the ones mentioned in this post, consider outsourcing those duties by partnering with a Howard County property management team like Bay Management Group. We can handle tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, and other aspects of your business so you don’t have to.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.

 


How to Prevent Crime at Your Rental Property

As a landlord, it’s easy to worry about a crime occurring at your property, especially if you own a property in an area where crime is common (like the Brooklyn Park area of Anne Arundel County).

Not only could your tenants feel unsafe or become injured if you fail to prevent crime – your property could become damaged during a break-in. On top of that, landlords are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for tenants to live in.

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Keep reading to learn how you can help prevent crime in your property. That way, you can gain peace of mind, keep your tenants happy and safe, and protect yourself from liability.

 

How Landlords Can Prevent Crime at a Rental Property

Maintain the interior and exterior lighting

A well-lit property is a property that criminals will likely stay far away from because it doesn’t give them anywhere to hide.

Check in with your tenants to make sure that all exterior and interior lights are working properly. You might also want to drive past your property at night to analyze how well-lit it is.

If you think the lighting situation would allow a criminal to easily sneak into the property, consider adding additional exterior lighting. While it may require a significant upfront investment to purchase and install new lighting, it is well worth the peace of mind you and your tenants will gain knowing that criminals are likely to stay away.

Tip: Not sure where to purchase lighting for your Maryland property? Try The Home Depot in Anne Arundel County for cost-effective options.

 

Make sure all safety devices meet requirements

A faulty lock could make it easy for a criminal to enter your property. That’s why you must make sure all locks work properly for your tenants. You may even want to add a sliding chain lock to properties located in areas that have a high crime rate.

However, locks aren’t the only property features you should check to keep your tenants safe. Consider other features like door peepholes and smoke alarms – these should be added to your properties and repaired right away if they aren’t functioning properly.

Some counties even have special safety requirements for landlords. For example, Prince George’s County law requires landlords to add deadbolt locks to certain types of properties, and Baltimore County law requires landlords to install one direct-wired, electronically operated smoke detector in every unit.

Check your local laws to see what safety features are required and what crimes you could be held liable for before you place a tenant in your property.

 

Choose high-quality tenants and educate them

Sometimes, criminals aren’t strangers who try to break into your property. Tenants can just as easily commit crimes in and around your property if you don’t have a thorough tenant screening process in place that empowers you to pick high-quality tenants.

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Once you’ve found a good tenant, let them know the importance of locking doors every night, turning exterior lights on, and taking other measures to prevent crime.

To protect yourself in case one of your tenants does commit a crime, require renter’s insurance and make sure you include a crime-free addendum in the lease and explain it to the tenant thoroughly. The addendum should clearly state that tenants are not allowed to engage in illegal activity in or near your property. That way, you can legally evict anyone who commits a crime in your property.

 

Prioritize landscaping

If the trees and shrubs around your property are tall and unkempt, burglars may be able to use them to remain unseen while sneaking into the property.  On the other hand, a yard that is well-maintained won’t give burglars and other criminals any place to hide, making them far less likely to attempt entering the property.

That’s why it’s critical for you to trim hedges and bushes. You may even want to eliminate problem plants altogether.

If you don’t want to handle the landscaping yourself, hire a reputable contractor to take care of it for you. When you do this, make sure you let the contractor know that greenery should be trimmed in a way that will eliminate hiding places for criminals. That way, the job is handled to your standards.

Tip: Use Yelp to find local Anne Arundel County contractors who have been highly rated by other business owners.

 

Consider adding additional security features to your property

Here are a few ideas:

  • Home security systems – A five-year Rutgers study showed that residential robberies decreased in an area as the number of home security systems increased. So, consider choosing a security system that requires the tenants to enter a code on a keypad near the door to enter the property. With these systems, you can be notified right away if someone breaks in or enters the wrong code too many times.
  • Exterior cameras – For even more peace of mind, consider choosing a security system that allows you to monitor the property exterior remotely from a mobile device. That way, you can identify security threats and act fast to eliminate them.
  • Small security robots – You can purchase a home security robot and tell your tenants to let the robot roam the inside of the property when they are away or sleeping. These robots activate a video feed when they detect motion, so they’re great for quickly identifying criminal activity inside your property.

If you don’t have the budget to add extra security features to your property right now, consider doing so as soon as you can afford it. In the meantime, you can purchase a fake security system sign or a “Beware of Dog” sign. Either sign could help discourage burglars and other criminals from entering the property.

 

Perform regular property inspections

You can’t stay informed about security issues in and around your property if you avoid inspecting it, so schedule multiple inspections per year.

anne-arundel-county-property-manager-doing-safety-inspection

Make sure you inform tenants ahead of time when you plan to enter the property. While this courtesy is not required by law in every Maryland county, it is a good way to promote a healthy tenant/landlord relationship by avoiding the confrontations that might occur if you show up unannounced.

 

Communicate openly with tenants

If your tenants don’t feel comfortable communicating with you, they might neglect to tell you about security issues at your property. This can be a major problem. After all, if you don’t know about security issues, you can’t work to prevent and eliminate them.

Keep the lines of communication open with all of your tenants and ask if they have any safety concerns that need to be addressed when you check in with them. If they express a concern, address it quickly to prevent worse problems down the road.

If you struggle to place high-quality tenants in your property and have dealt with crime as a result, consider partnering with Bay Management Group. Our tenant screening process allows us to find the best tenants for your properties, and we can even help you evict a tenant who is causing problems.

To learn more, contact our team today.

 


9 Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing a Property Manager

Tired of handling your day-to-day landlord responsibilities on your own?

If so, you’re likely considering hiring a property manager to help make your rental property business much less demanding. But if you choose the wrong property manager, your decision could backfire, making your job as a landlord even more stressful.

Don’t let that happen. Instead, ask every property manager you interview the following questions so you can correctly determine whether or not they are equipped to take over your responsibilities in a way that will allow you to get the best return on your investment.

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Questions Landlords Should Ask When Interviewing a Property Manager

1. Do you have a lot of local experience?

This questions is necessary because working with a local property manager can make a huge difference in the results they are able to achieve for your rental property business. That’s because property managers with lots of insight into the local market know about:

  • Local attractions that appeal to tenants
  • Local rent rates and property values
  • Local laws and regulations

If you’re a Maryland landlord, be sure your property manager has experience handling properties in the specific county where your property is located. Since tenants living in rural Maryland areas like Harford County have different needs and wants than tenants living in more urban areas like Prince George’s County, this is a key step to successfully placing high-quality tenants in your properties.

2. Exactly what services do you offer, and what are your terms?

When you hire a property manager to take over your unwanted landlord responsibilities, you need to make sure they can handle all of those responsibilities for you. Here are some of the services you may want to ask about:

  • Leasing/marketing
  • Tenant screening
  • Maintenance
  • Rent collection
  • Evictions
  • Rental registration
  • Inspections

Of course, if you have concerns specific to your rental property business, ask about those as well. Also, make sure you ask the property manager’s terms and conditions so you know exactly what the property manager expects from you as well as what you can expect from them.

3. How long have you been a property manager?

When you choose a property manager, you want to work with someone you can trust to get the job done right. To make sure the property manager you’re considering is capable of doing so, ask them how long they’ve been in business and determine whether or not they have a long track record of successfully managing properties.

You’ll also want to do some investigating of your own, so visit the property manager’s website and look for testimonials from past landlords. If you see lots of positive feedback there, you can feel more confident about the property manager’s abilities.

4. Can I see a sample lease and the management agreement documents?

You need to look over these two documents because they set the parameters for your experience working with the property manager. The lease is what your property manager will provide to your tenants, and the management agreement is what the property manager will give you to define your business relationship.

maryland-tenant-rental-agreement

Read over both documents carefully, and come up with a list of questions to ask about each of them. If you don’t, you could end up in conflict with the property manager later on due to a misunderstanding about either document.

5. How will you advertise my rental property?

As you probably already know, your marketing efforts as a landlord can make or break your rental property business. That’s why, when you hand those marketing tasks over to a property manager, you must make sure they know how to market your properties effectively. Here are some questions you can ask to determine whether or not they are well-equipped to do so:

  • What would your timeline be for marketing my property?
  • What advertising methods will you use to find high-quality tenants for my property?
  • What metrics do you use to determine the success of your marketing efforts?
  • Can I, the landlord, find tenants myself? If so, what are the main marketing strategies you recommend?

Once you hear the property manager’s answers to these questions, you should have a better idea of how they will use marketing to boost the profitability of your rental property business.

6. What is your tenant screening process?

The right tenant will treat your property with respect, consistently pay rent on time, and make your job as a landlord easy. A difficult tenant, on the other hand, may damage your property, neglect to pay rent, and overwhelm you with unnecessary responsibilities. So it’s easy to see how a bad tenant screening process could negatively affect your rental property business.

That’s why you should always make sure the property manager you’re considering has a thorough tenant screening process. They should screen for:

  • Prior evictions
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Bankruptcies
  • Criminal history and terrorist activity
  • Sex offender registry
  • Credit worthiness

Also, make sure the property manager verifies the tenant’s income, checks their references, and follow the necessary federal and state legislation to make sure your rental property business is compliant.

7. What percentage of tenants you place get evicted?

Any property manager can say that their tenant screening process is effective, but the only way to know for sure is to ask how many of the tenants they place get evicted. Ideally, you should look for a property manager with evictions as less than 10%. The lower the percentage, the more confident you can feel that you won’t end up dealing with the costly eviction process.

8. What are your fees?

Like many other things, you often get what you pay for when you hire a property manager. So, don’t expect to find one for cheap – just look for one who has reasonable rates within your budget.

If you’re in Prince George’s county or a nearby Maryland area, consider Bay Management Group. Not only are we experienced and responsive – we also have an 8% monthly management fee, which makes us one of the most affordable property management groups in the Baltimore and Washington metro area.

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9. Do you have any special guarantees?

Some property management companies may offer special guarantees to provide you with additional peace of mind about working with them. For example, at Bay Management Group, we offer a 12-month tenant warranty. In other words, if we place a tenant in your property and they are evicted within the first year, we release the property to you for free. We’re that confident in our ability to place high-quality tenants for the landlords we serve.

Keep in mind that this list of questions isn’t comprehensive – think about your business goals and how a property manager can help you meet those goals and come up with your own additional questions to ask based on what you need.

If you’re interested in learning more about how property management services could benefit your Prince George’s County rental property business, contact us today.

 


5 Commonly Disliked Landlord Tasks and How to Make Them Easier

Many people decide to start a career as a self-employed landlord to avoid having to work for someone else and handle unwanted tasks. however, they quickly learn that unpleasant tasks can be an everyday part of being a landlord, no matter how much experience they have in renting properties.

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If that situation sounds all too familiar, you might be considering going back to your 9-to-5 so you don’t have to handle unwanted landlord tasks anymore. Don’t do that just yet – instead, keep reading to learn how you can easily manage the tasks you dislike and maintain a more profitable rental property business as a result.

Troublesome Landlord Tasks and How to Manage Them

1. Dealing with difficult tenants

If you haven’t had to deal with a difficult tenant, it’s only a matter time before you encounter one. They’ll demand your attention with constant neediness, test you by seeing how long they can get away with making late rent payments, or do something else that makes your job even more stressful.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies for handling troublesome tenants that can make the whole situation much easier on you, including:

  • Training your tenants – Your tenants learn how to treat you based on what they think they can get away with, so make your rules clear and eb strict when enforcing them. You can still be sympathetic depending on the situation, but don’t let them walk all over you.
  • Keeping good records – Good records of payments, policies, and conversations you have with your tenants can serve as proof and clearly describe your side of the story if and when a dispute arises with a tenant.
  • Building healthy tenant/landlord relationships – While it’s tempting to avoid a difficult tenant altogether, it’s more effective to focus on building a good relationship with them. Openly communicate with your difficult tenants and you might just soften their hearts, making them a lot easier to deal with.

Of course, the best way to make dealing with troublesome tenants easier is to avoid placing them in your properties in the first place. If you you don’t already have a thorough screening process, create one and follow it each time you decide which tenants will live in your properties.  Doing so will greatly increase your chances of placing high-quality tenants in your properties.

2. Dealing with property damages

If you’ve been a landlord for a while, you’re probably familiar with that sinking feeling you get when you walk into a property and see that it’s damaged. It’s never fun to see your property in worse condition than expected, regardless of whether or not the damage was intentional.

Fortunately, Howard County landlords don’t have to worry about repairing damages because Maryland law states that tenants are responsible for any damage caused by their negligence.

That being said, keep in mid that you are responsible for normal wear-and-tear in your properties, so there will be regular, unavoidable repairs that you’ll need to budget and plan for.

To decrease the likelihood of damage in your property, be sure to:

  • Perform regular inspections – Walking through your property every few months will help you identify minor problems and fix them before they become costlier to repair. Just make sure you give your tenant the proper notice first. For example, in Howard County, you’ll need to provide a Notice to Enter at least 24 hours before you play to enter the property.
  • Communicate with your tenants –  Open communication increases the chances that your tenants will tell you when a problem with in your property arises. That way, you can address those problems quickly.
  • Make your policies clear – Let your tenants know what they should report any damanges to your immediately, and make sure they understand what kinds of damages they will be held liable for.

Also, you’ll want to document any problems with a property before you  rent it it out to a tenant. Have the tenant walk through the property with you before they move it, and take photos of any worn/damaged areas. That way, you can avoid misunderstandings involving the initial condition of the property later on.

3. Evicting tenants

Not only is the Maryland eviction process stressful and time-consuming – it can be costly. But keep these tips in mind, and you can make the process a bit easier on yourself:

  • Keep track of all conversations – As mentioned before, you must keep good records. You’ll need them to effectively represent yourself in court and prove your case to the judge.
  • Begin the eviction process promptly when necessary – Don’t hold out hoping that your tenant will suddenly get their act together. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can get the eviction process over with.
  • Check in with the county clerk’s office – Don’t pester the court, but do check in to get progress reports on the case from time to time.

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Tip: Check out this blog post to learn how you can get a tenant to move out without evicting them.

4. Marketing properties

When you become a landlord, you take on many different job roles. Suddenly, you’re a salesperson, a debt collector, a negotiator, a business owner, and – you guessed it – a marketer!

But marketing can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. Keep these tips in mind to make marketing your properties easier and more effective:

  • Include several high-quality photos in your property listings – Your potential tenants should be able to see themselves happily living in your property, and they won’t be able to do that if you merely describe your property or post a couple of low-quality photos.
  • Point out notable amenities when you write your property descriptions – For example, security systems and remodeled kitchens are two features that you’ll definitely want to mention as they tend to be popular among tenants.
  • Market in the right places – Free sites like Craigslist and Zillow are great for marketing, but think about your local Howard County marketing opportunities, too. For example, if your rental property is near Howard Community College, you could advertise your property in the school newspaper to attract student tenants.

Don’t forget to put a “For Rent” sign in the yard with your contact info – this tried-and-true trick still works today, and it could land you some great leads!

5. Dealing with unwanted and overwhelming responsibilities

Since owning a rental property business can be demanding, even the most seasoned landlords feel stressed from time to time. If you’re feeling the weight of unwanted responsibilities, try one of these methods to decrease your stress:

  • Set boundaries with your tenants – Let tenants know that you are available during your specified business hours and to call you outside of those hours during emergencies. If you don’t, you may find yourself receiving unnecessary calls in the middle of the night.
  • Keep a repair fund – Unexpected expenses are likely to arise on occasion, but you’ll feel less stressed about it if you already have money set aside.
  • Outsource the tasks that stress you out the most – For example, if you are facing far too many unwanted tasks, you may want to consider hiring a Howard County property manager to help decrease your workload

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Every landlord faces tough tasks from time to time, but if you work to prevent those tasks or outsource them to a trusted professional, you’ll enjoy your job much more. If you’re interested in Maryland property management to help relieve you of unwanted stress and responsibilities, contact Bay Management Group today.