Bay Management Group’s Top Property Management Tips of 2017

Top Property Management Tips for 2017

Becoming a successful landlord takes time, money, and patience. But most of all, it takes knowledge and experience to build a successful Maryland rental property business.

Here at Bay Management Group, we have what it takes to make it in the rental property industry – years of experience and a knowledgeable staff, complete with Maryland property managers that excel at providing superior customer service, garnering clients the highest rent rates possible, and making sure that tenants never go without what they need.

But something we also strive to do here at Bay Management Group is educate fellow rental property professionals.

Whether you employ us to manage your rental properties, are considering hiring a property management company to aid you in your efforts to become the most successful landlord possible, or are simply looking for tips and tricks to making it in the rental property business, we have you covered.

As the year comes to an end, and we all take a step back and evaluate our progress, we would like to remind you of some of the most important things you can take with you into 2018.

Keep reading to find out what our most favored tips and tricks from 2017 are for making it in the competitive rental property world, and find inspiration to make this upcoming year even better.

 

Our Top Property Management Tips in 2017

1. Know When to Raise Rent Rates

Property Management Tips Know When Raise Rent

We started the year off with a bang by focusing on the things you could do right away to make 2017 your most profitable year yet.

Knowing when to raise rent rates is a tricky thing that sometimes needs a property manager’s insight. However, with some help from the pros, the oftentimes difficult process of raising rent is made much easier.

 

2. Make Sure Your Pet Policies Are Legal

Something we recommend to all property owners is placing a distinct pet policy in their lease agreements.

After all, whether you want to allow tenants to have pets or not is a personal choice.

However, what is not a personal choice is whether to allow your tenants to have service animals in your rental. Knowing common landlord-tenant laws is key to avoiding legal trouble.

 

3. Stay On Top of Income Boosting Opportunities for Your Rental Property

Something income property owners never tire of is tips and tricks for boosting their rental income.

After all, that’s why you get into the business, right?

We at Bay Management Group always jump at the chance to share new tips on how to garner more income from your rentals. From lowering vacancy rates to tracking expenses and collecting every late fee that crosses your path, we are here to guide you along your path to success.

 

4. Set Goals as an Income Property Owner

Set Goals as a Maryland Property Manager

It would only seem appropriate that we remind you of the importance of setting goals each New Year.

It is not enough to set short and long-term goals just once during your career as a property owner. In fact, consistently re-evaluating your goals is going to bring you more success than you’ll find in setting goals at the beginning, and later forgetting them.

Take the time to re-assess your goals from 2017. See what you have accomplished in one year, and then find ways you can improve. This is the only way you will continue to grow and succeed as a landlord.

 

5. Keep Your Rental Secure

Rental property security will always be an important topic.

After all, your investment property is what makes you money. If it is damaged in any way, you lose money. Not to mention the nightmare it would be for your tenants to experience something as scary as a break-in.

As a property owner, it is your job to protect yourself, your property, and your tenants. That’s why we love sharing security tips with you, such as securing entryways and installing a security system.

Did we mention the more secure your property is, the more appealing it will be to potential tenants? That’s a great added bonus.

 

6. Opt for Online Rent Collection

It’s no secret that your tenants want convenience.

And, it just so happens that allowing tenants to pay their rent online is one of the most convenient things you can do for them.

Online rent collection saves you time, is a secure way to collect payments, makes bookkeeping easier (whether it’s on our end or yours), and best of all, prevents any disputes when it comes to whether a payment was made.

Take it from us – your tenants are not the only ones that will appreciate this convenient way of collecting rent.

 

7. Go the Extra Mile for Your Tenants

Go Extra Mile For Your Tenants Property Management Tips for 2017

Tenant retention is something even the best property owners contend with sometimes.

There are many reasons why tenants move, and they are not all attributed to a poor lease experience.

That said, recognizing when you have a high quality tenant, and appreciating them for being so great, can go a long way when it comes to lease renewal time. That’s because not all tenants need to move out of your rental after one lease term, though they have the option to do just that.

Encourage tenants to stay by forging solid relationships, renovating your property in ways they might not expect, or even giving them a discount on their monthly rate to show them how much you enjoy being their landlord.

 

8. Avoid Common Landlord Mistakes

If you just got into the rental property business this year, it is likely you learned a lot from your experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes new landlords make and see how you fared in 2017:

  • Not screening tenants thoroughly
  • Underestimating the cost of maintenance and repairs
  • Not being legally compliant
  • Failing to put it in writing, whatever “it” may be
  • Overcharging tenants for rent

 

Did you make any of these mistakes?

If you did, it’s okay. Everyone in the rental property industry learns from past mistakes.

And you have another opportunity to make things better just around the corner with the new year.

 

9. Airtight Lease Agreements Are Essential

Airtight Lease Agreements are Essential Rental Property Management

Drafting a solid lease agreement is one of the most important things you can do for your rental property business.

And, if you don’t use our expertise when it comes to lease drafting, you may find yourself in some hot water time-wise, financially, or even legally if you make some of these common mistakes.

Understanding how to write up a thorough lease agreement is in your best interest.

 

10. A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Go a Long Way

Knowing how often to paint your rental property can be difficult to determine.

This is especially true if you have long-term tenants leasing from you.

However, your tenants – whether old or new – want to enjoy living in the rental you are leasing to them. And, it just so happens that one of the best, and most affordable ways of doing this is to regularly paint the interior of your rental.

Know your paint types, find a neutral color, and plan how often you want to invest in a good ol’ paint job. It will make a world of difference.

 

11. Eco-Friendly Rentals Are In-Demand

We have discovered that more people than ever want eco-friendly rental properties.

In an effort to save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and have newer looking appliances, tenants want everything to be energy efficient in the place they lease.

Luckily for you, we rounded up some great energy efficient updates you can make to your rental property that won’t break the bank.

These updates will not only allow you to do your part for the environment, but they’ll also help boost your rental’s ROI, since eco-friendly places are what tenants are after.

 

12. Stay On Top of the Latest Investing Advice

Stay on Top of the Latest Investing Advice Rental Property Management Tips

Here at Bay Management Group we are not only dedicated to helping you become a successful landlord.

In fact, we want you to become a successful investor as well. That’s why we regularly share information about investing in rental property that you may not already know.

Understanding the process of purchasing a rental property, and the associated fees that come with that process, is important for anyone getting into the rental property business to know.

Don’t get caught going over budget because you didn’t know about the fees that come with buying a rental property.

 

13. Hire a Property Management Company Like Bay Management Group

Self-managing your rental properties can be difficult.

You may not be cut out for after-hour maintenance calls, educating yourself about landlord-tenant laws, or evicting tenants when they fail to pay the rent on time.

But we are.

That’s why investing in a high quality Maryland property management company is something you should consider in 2018, if you haven’t already.

We at Bay Management Group are convinced that anyone who wants to become income property owner has the potential to become a highly successful one – with the right knowledge and resources.

If you are looking to take your rental property business to the next level in 2018, contact Bay Management Group today and see how our Maryland rental property managers can help aid you in those efforts. With our combined knowledge and experience, you are sure to make the most of your rental portfolio and have the most profitable year to date.


4 Renovations To Keep Your Tenants Happy & Complaint-Free

Renovations to Keep Your Owings Mills Tenants Happy & Complaint-Free

Keeping your tenants happy is the best way to continue collecting a consistent stream of rental income, prevent an unnecessary vacancy, and of course, build your Owings Mills rental property business into one that is reputable and successful.

That said, how you keep your tenants happy can be challenging at times.

There are so many ways to keep tenants satisfied, and each tenant you encounter will have their own individual needs, and complaints, that you need to address.

If you are looking to secure more lease renewals, and genuinely provide quality customer service to your tenants, take a look at these common renovations you can make to your rental property to help lower tenant complaints.

 

Lower Tenant Complaints with These Rental Upgrades

As a property owner, you cannot possibly anticipate every issue your tenants will have.

However, with these Owings Mills rental property renovations, you can definitely lower the number of complaints you receive from tenants, and boost their overall satisfaction.

 

1. Appliance Upgrades

Upgrade Appliances to Keep Owings Mills Tenants Happy and Complaint-Free

Your tenants will always have maintenance and repair issues that need dealing with throughout their tenancy.

In fact, some of the most common maintenance complaints you are going to face will be associated with your property’s appliances.

The last thing you want is to have multiple grievances about your property’s appliances put in by your tenants during their tenancy.

Not only will this begin to cost you, since it is your responsibility to handle all maintenance and repair issues, this is sure to grind on your tenant’s nerves – even if you handle every repair quickly and efficiently.

In short, tenants want the appliances in their home to work. What they don’t want is to have to call your property management company on a regular basis to inform you of another appliance that has burnt out.

If you have room in your budget to upgrade your rental’s appliances to newer, more energy efficient ones, you should.

This will not only allow you to command higher rent rates, new appliances are bound to last longer without needing repair, which is something every tenant will appreciate.

 

2. New Flooring

In the past, we have discussed the various flooring options you have when it comes to your rental property.

And, while flooring such as hardwood or laminate garner you a higher ROI on your rental property, the truth is, they don’t do much for one major tenant complaint – noise.

 Noise problems can wreak havoc on your tenant’s daily life, especially if they lease an apartment or townhome from you, where shared walls are common, and neighbors become an issue.

What’s worse is that typical noise complaints don’t usually break the threshold designated by local authorities as a violation of the city’s noise ordinances. This means your tenants have to deal with neighboring animals, music, or children, and there is usually no legal remedy available to stop it.

This is when noise complaints become your problem.

As the landlord of your tenants, it is your responsibility to maintain their surrounding peace and quiet. And, if noise is something your tenants complain about consistently, it is your job to handle it.

One renovation that helps keep noise at bay, and your tenants satisfied, is carpeting the floors.

Though not always the number one option when it comes to your rental property’s flooring, it helps keeps noise under control, especially in apartments.

This is especially true if you budget in a noise-blocking carpet underlay.

In addition, you can install some high quality carpet choices in your rental if you are looking to rake in higher rent rates. No one ever said the carpet in your rental had to be cheap.

If, by chance, you are not a fan of carpet, there is always the option of installing cork in your rental property. Cork floors absorb sound since they are soft and dense, much like carpet is.

This flooring type will do wonders for controlling outside noise, and look great in your rental property, which is something all property owners aim for.

 

3. New Windows

New Windows Keep Owings Mills Tenants Happy

If your Owings Mills rental property is near a busy area that conducts a lot of excess noise (think New York City during morning rush hour), your tenants may start to voice their problems with this.

What many property owners don’t realize is that the windows on their property have a tendency to exacerbate outside noise.

This means children playing in the street, cars honking, or nearby construction zones may project noise directly into your property, disrupting your tenant’s peace and quiet.

This is because windows conduct light, heat, and noise, and can make all three things worse if not installed properly.

One renovation you can make on your rental property to lower the chances your tenants will complain of outside noise is to install double or triple paned windows.

You can also provide thick, noise projecting window treatments such as drapes to keep out the light, heat, and noise.

Lastly, it is important you make sure your window seals are not cracking, as these tiny gaps have the potential to allow unwanted noise inside the property, without you even realizing it.

 

4. Landscaping

If noise complaints are still something you are receiving from tenants, you can always take your renovations outside to help eliminate some of the problem.

Landscaping your backyard with large trees and shrubs can help block noise from the surrounding businesses and street traffic.

In addition, this renovation will create a backyard oasis for tenants to enjoy, help reduce energy bills thanks to the shade they provide, and help keep drafts out during the cold winters.

 

In Closing

It is impossible to eliminate all tenant complaints with renovations to your rental property.

And, while there are some decent options for helping to reduce tenant complaints, especially when it comes to appliances and noise, there is much more to keeping your tenants satisfied and complaint-free.

If you own rental property and want help boosting tenant satisfaction through not only renovations, but also exceptional customer service, contact the leader in Owings Mills property management − Bay Management Group.

We provide superior customer service when it comes to tenant complaints we receive. With years of experience dealing with every type of tenant issue you could possibly imagine, we know the best way to alleviate problems, provide excellent maintenance and repair services whenever there is even a minor issue, and can help advise tenants of the best ways to make their residency in your rental property one that they enjoy.


5 Expert Property Management Tips to Write a Strong Lease Agreement

Expert Property Management Tips for Writing a Strong Lease Agreement

The way you structure your lease agreement is going to set the tone for the entire term of your Potomac tenants’ stay.

In fact, the lease is often considered the crux of your entire rental property business.

However, drafting your own lease agreement from scratch can be challenging if you self-manage your rental properties and don’t know what to include.

Lease agreements need to have a lot of information built into them to make sure they’re strong enough to enforce with your tenants and in court, should a landlord-tenant dispute ensue.

That’s why knowing the basic steps for creating a strong lease agreement is crucial for maintaining a successful rental property business.

If you are wondering how to create an airtight lease agreement that addresses all of your needs, and protects yourself, your investment property, and your tenants, keep reading for pro tips.

 

1. Hire an Attorney

Hire An Attorney to Write a Strong Lease Agreement

If you are not using Potomac property management to help you draft a solid lease agreement, the next best thing to do is enlist the help of a local, experienced real estate attorney.

Having a lawyer on hand to help you draft your lease agreement is a good idea.

Why?

Because in addition to federal rental property laws you must follow, every state and city has their own specific landlord-tenants laws that you also must abide by in your written lease agreements.

The last thing you want to do is include something in your self-drafted lease agreement that violates a law.

Worse yet, you don’t want to have such a loosely stated lease agreement that clauses you have included can be used against you by knowledgeable tenants looking to take advantage of those not well-versed in the law.

Having an attorney look over a finalized lease agreement is not going to break the bank, and can end up save you lots of time, money, and hassle in the long run.

It is always a good idea to educate yourself about the rules and regulations that apply to you and your rental properties, so that you can always protect your own interests, whether you have a property management company or real estate attorney helping you out.

 

2. Have Multiple Copies of Your Lease

The beauty of modern technology and digital bookkeeping is a bonus for keeping your business organized and secure.

However, digital lease agreements have the potential to be altered, whether by accident or on purpose, by either the tenant or the software.

It is critical you have a paper copy of the lease agreement kept on file at all times to refer to in the case of a dispute. This way your tenant cannot make the claim that a clause in the lease agreement says something entirely different from what you originally drafted.

It is important to have your Potomac property manager discuss this paper copy lease agreement with your tenant at the time of move-in, as well as have them sign the document so you have hard proof that everyone involved knew exactly what was expected of them at all times throughout the lease term.

 

3. Address Lease Changes

Address Lease Changes With An Addendum For Your Rental Property

Sometimes lease agreements change during the course of a tenancy.

However, in order to create a strong lease agreement that prevents changes of all kinds from sneaking into the lease agreement, you must include a clause stating that any changes to the lease agreement will only be considered valid if in writing.

Do not give your tenants the power to “add” lease changes to the original lease agreement from verbal conversations you or your property manager have with them. This can lead to a lot of miscommunication, and changes to the lease you did not approve.

For example, your tenants may have moved into your rental without any pets. And, the lease agreement may clearly state no pets are allowed.

However, perhaps halfway through the lease your tenants approach you or your property manager with a request to get a puppy. And, you agree to this.

Make sure to add a pet policy provision into the lease agreement and have your tenants sign it so they know the rules regarding this new lease clause. Include things like breed and size restrictions, pet deposits and fees, and the consequences if the pet damages your property during their lease term.

If you don’t do this, you could end up with 10 dogs roaming your rental property damaging everything from the interior of your property to the exterior landscaping, all because you verbally said to your tenants that they could have a dog.

The pet policy is just one example of how your written lease agreement can falter if you allow verbal changes to change it.

Protect yourself and your investment by only allowing written changes to be incorporated into the original lease agreement.

 

4. Make Your Writing Clear

Your lease agreement should be extremely clear for anyone that reads it.

Use simple terminology, make it short and to the point, and never leave any open-ended clauses that allow room for interpretation.

If things are not clear, and your tenant can poke holes in each lease provision, chances are the written document you thought was in place to protect all parties will actually be used against you.

Some of the most important provisions to outline clearly in each lease agreement you draft include:

  • Security deposit collection, use, and return procedures
  • The rent amount, when it is due, and the consequences for late or non-payment
  • Maintenance and repair procedures, what will and won’t be covered by you, and what the tenants are responsible for
  • Whether temporary alterations are allowed, and which ones
  • What to do in the case of an early lease termination
  • Your right of entry procedures, complete with notice information
  • Roommate, use of property, and code of conduct rules
  • What happens should any lease provision be breached throughout the lease term

 

This is not a comprehensive list of the important lease clauses to include in your lease agreement.

Rather, it is a list of some of the most important ones that have the potential to create many legal problems for you, should they not be addressed correctly.

 

5. Customize Your Template

Customize The Template For Your Lease Agreement

Using a lease agreement template is okay, especially if you self-manage your rental property. However, you should be aware that lease agreement templates are not one-size-fits-all forms that apply to every landlord in the country.

Both Maryland and Potomac have specific rules and regulations you must follow when it comes to lease drafting. That’s why customizing your template to fit your individual needs, and address the state and local laws is a must.

 

In Closing

If you are looking for a high-quality property management company in Potomac, MD to help you write a strong lease agreement for your rental properties, contact Bay Management Group now.

We have the knowledge to make sure your lease agreements are legally compliant. We will take the time to address every personal provision you want to include in your agreements, and make sure that your tenants understand exactly what is expected of them at all times during their tenancy.


Top 4 Reasons Why Detailed Move-In Inspections Are Essential

Why Move-In Inspections Are Essential For Your Rental Property

Any time you place a new tenant into your Bel Air rental property, you must conduct a thorough move-in inspection – even if you think that your rental is in tip-top shape.

But you and your property management company tirelessly prepared your rental for new tenants, made sure that everything was clean, in good working order, and was visually appealing – that’s enough, right?

Wrong.

In an effort to protect both you and your tenants, as well as the investment property itself, a move-in inspection documenting the original condition of the rental at the time your tenants move in is absolutely necessary, despite how “perfect” the condition of the rental may seem.

To learn more about what a move-in inspection is, and why they are the key to starting a satisfying your renters (as well as one of the best ways to protect your rental property business), keep reading.

 

What is a Move-In Inspection?

Before physically moving into your Bel Air rental property, your tenants, alongside you and your property manager, must take part in what is called a move-in inspection.

Move-in inspections are designed to document, in both writing and visual proof such as photographs or video, the original condition of your rental property at the time your tenants move in.

This way, any existing damages will not become the responsibility of your tenants come the end of their lease term.

In addition, any new damages that do appear at the end of the lease term can be attributed to your tenants, should the damages extend beyond that of normal wear and tear.

The most important part of the move-in inspection is the signature section, where both the landlord and tenants sign in agreement to the original state of the property at the time the tenant takes possession.

 

4 Reasons Why the Move-In Inspection is Important

According to Maryland law, the move-in inspection should be performed with both the property owner and tenants present. This way any damages found in the property at the time the tenant takes possession are seen and agreed to by both parties.

There are very specific reasons why you and your property manager should conduct move-in inspections every time a new tenant moves in.

Let’s take a look.

 

1. Easily Recover Repair Costs

Move-In Inspections Easily Recover Repair Costs Of Your Rental Property

Your Bel Air property management company is going to recommend you collect a security deposit from your new tenants at the start of their lease term.

This is to cover any costs associated with damages to the property, an early lease termination, and any unpaid rent on the part of your tenants.

However, in order to use your tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of damages that go beyond normal wear and tear, you will need to have proof those damages didn’t exist at the time your tenants moved in.

This is where a detailed move-in inspection checklist comes into play.

If you and your tenants sign a document agreeing to the original state of the property at the beginning of the lease term, and the property looks very different from that original state at the end of the lease term, you now have legal proof that you can collect from your tenant’s security deposit to make necessary repairs.

 

2. Maryland Law Requires It

Every landlord needs to follow all federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws when it comes to disclosing specific information to tenants at the time they move in.

These disclosures either need to appear in the lease agreement itself, or be attached to the lease agreement as a separate document. Either way, the original state of the property must be revealed to those moving in.

One of the most important things to disclose to your Maryland tenants, which may end up on your move-in inspection checklist, is the certification that your property is free of any lead paint hazards.

According to Maryland’s Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law, all properties built before 1978 must be registered as having potential lead paint hazards. In addition, landlords must distribute educational materials regarding lead paint hazards, and meet specific inspection requirements that certify the property is safe for living.

As a rental property owner, it is your legal duty to include this information in the move-in inspection so that your tenants are fully aware of what type of rental property they are about to reside in.

This not only protects them from the hazards of lead paint (since your property must be certified as safe to live in), it also protects you from a lawsuit at the end of the lease term should your tenant make the claim you failed to disclose this information to them.

Make sure that you and your Bel Air property management keep your rental property updated with its lead paint certifications. At any time, your tenants may request a copy of your most recent passing lead paint risk reduction inspection certificate that is on file with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

If you do not have this on file, you may find yourself in some legal trouble that you and your property manager may not be able to get out of without paying a hefty amount of fees and fines.

3. It Holds Parties Responsible

Move-In Inspection Holds Parties Responsible In Your Rental Property

Move-in inspections are designed to hold all parties – the landlord, property manager, and tenants – responsible for the condition of the rental property at the time of move in, during the lease term, and at the end when the tenant moves out.

By having your tenants sign the move-in inspection, you set a very clear message that you expect them to care for your property in a certain way, and that if they fail to do so, they will be held accountable.

On the other hand, the move-in inspection, as well as the lease agreement, holds you responsible for detailing the damages at the end of the lease term as an itemized list of security deposit deductions. This ensures that you do not wrongfully take your tenant’s security deposits to fix things in the property that are considered normal wear and tear items.

 

4. It Protects Your Property, Business, and Bottom Line

Here are some of the biggest complications that can arise from not conducting a move-in inspection of your rental property before the tenant moves in:

  • If you wait until after your tenant has moved in to ask them to complete a move-in inspection, you may have trouble compelling them to finish it properly
  • Once a tenant starts to move-in, the original condition of the property has become altered, perhaps even damaged, with no proof of when the damage occurred
  • If you let your tenant complete the inspection without you or your property manager, you run the risk of additional things being added to the list that are not there
  • Simply failing to complete a move-in inspection altogether (or failing to have the tenant sign the inspection) makes collecting the security deposit for repairs nearly impossible

 

These are just some of the scenarios you face if you don’t have a detailed move-in inspection process in place when new tenants move into your rental.

 

In Closing

If you own an investment property in the Bel Air region, and want help ensuring that all parties are fully protected from the start of any tenancy, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

We can help draft legally compliant lease agreements addressing the issue of both move-in and move-out inspections and security deposits, set up time to thoroughly inspect your rental with both you and your tenants at the start of the lease term, and make sure your property is well cared for throughout the tenancy.

And, in the case excessive damage has been incurred during the lease term, we make sure you collect on your tenant’s security deposit to make proper repairs, so that the next tenants that move in have a pristine rental to call home.


How Often Should You Schedule Rental Property Inspections?

How Often You Should Schedule Rental Property Inspections

Conducting routine inspections of your rental property throughout your tenant’s lease term is an excellent way to ensure your property is being well maintained.

Plus, it offers you a chance to address small maintenance and repair issues before they become bigger, as well as the chance to make sure your tenants are satisfied.

It is important to know, however, how often you can inspect your rental property so that you don’t disrupt your tenant’s living experience and don’t risk violating any tenant-landlord laws.

 

When Can You Inspect Your Chevy Chase Rental Property?

In short, you are legally allowed to inspect your rental property whenever you want, so long as you don’t violate your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

In fact, landlords are allowed to drive by, walk by, or bike to their property anytime they want and inspect the exterior to make sure everything looks okay.

That said, your tenants are afforded certain rights when they move into your rental property that ensure you don’t intrude on their day-to-day living.

Tenants have the right to enjoy a peaceful and quiet living experience while leasing from you. This includes the right to a reasonable amount of privacy, freedom from disturbance, and the ability to use any common areas without any significant interference by you.

This means that, despite your pressing concerns about your rental property, you cannot intrude on your tenant’s right to enjoy the property throughout the lease term whenever you want.

And if you do, know that your tenant will then have the right to discontinue paying their monthly rent and leave the premises as they please, with no consequences for breaking the lease early.

 

The Best Times to Inspect Your Rental Property

Despite being able to inspect your rental property whenever you please with proper notice and a legitimate reason, it is best to so you do not become a bother to your tenants.

Below are some crucial times during a tenancy that you should make sure to inspect your property.

 

Move-in and Move-Out Time

Conduct Inspections During Move-In and Move-Out

Your Chevy Chase property management company will have you inspect your property at the time your tenants move in, as well as when they move out at the end of their lease term.

When your tenant moves in, your property manager will inspect the original condition of the property. This way, come the end of the lease term, you are able to determine what damages your tenant may have caused the property while residing there.

Looking beyond what is considered normal wear and tear, any damages found that can be attributed to tenant abuse or neglect are then covered by the tenant’s security deposit, which should have been collected at the time the tenant moved in.

It is important your tenant is aware these inspections will occur. This way they know you will be looking for instances where they may have damaged your property, and that their security deposit is on the line if damages are found.

Lastly, your tenants are likely to take better care of your property knowing you will be combing the property thoroughly at both the beginning and end of the lease term.

 

Check for Unauthorized Tenants

Sometimes you may feel there are unauthorized tenants living in your rental property.

This is common when a tenant begins to house a boyfriend or girlfriend, when a friend needs a new place to live, or when a family member overstays at your property.

Unfortunately, these instances easily turn into a roommate situation that, unless authorized by you, becomes a breach of the lease agreement.

You and your Chevy Chase property manager should have drafted the lease agreement to outline the rules regarding roommates. Some of those rules include:

  • Any roommate wanting to stay at your property must be screened and authorized by you and your property manager
  • The new tenant must sign the new lease agreement ensuring that they will pay their portion of the rent
  • The new lease agreement should have a joint and several liability clause protecting you and your investment property
  • Consequences for housing unauthorized tenants, including eviction, should be outlined so tenants know what can happen if they try to cheat the system

This is all assuming you even allow roommates, which you very well may not.

In any case, should you suspect that your tenants are housing unauthorized tenants, you might want to consider a quick inspection of the property to see if any extra rooms are being used, furniture has been added to the property, or additional people are actually present that are overstaying.

 

Check On Maintenance Needs

Check on Maintenance Needs in Your Rental Property Inspection

Checking your rental property regularly for small maintenance and repair issues is always a good idea.

Sometimes your tenants may fail to inform you about small issues such as leaky faucets. Other times, they may not even be aware there is an issue at all.

Either way, staying on top of small maintenance needs is a great way to keep your tenants satisfied and avoid large repairs costs for neglected repairs.

Conducting these types of inspections during the season changes is a great way to make sure they happen consistently, and do not bother your tenants too much.

When it comes time to winterize your property, do a quick run-through of the entire property, complete with a rental property safety checklist, and make sure everything is in pristine condition.

Do the same during spring when you want to spruce up the landscaping, during summer when it comes time to prepare your property for the colder months, and of course, during fall when things like rain gutters and pipes need checking.

While you’re at it, during these seasonal inspections you should take the time to make sure your tenants are following through on their obligations such as changing the air filters, maintaining major appliances, and keeping up on the landscaping, should these things be their responsibilities.

 

When a Tenant Misses Rent

When Your Tenant Misses Rent, Conduct a Property Inspection

When it comes to running a successful rental property business, you must make sure your lease agreement is drafted to ensure prompt rent collection procedures that your tenant understands from the very beginning.

If at any time your tenant misses a rent payment, you might consider stopping by to see what is going on.

This proactive approach may be able to solve a small issue, and help prevent a bigger issue such as an eviction and a vacant property in need of new tenants.

Find out why the tenant has missed their rent payment, issue proper notice that they need to pay up immediately, or enlist the help of your Chevy Chase property management company to start the eviction process if necessary.

No matter what steps you need to take, know that inspecting your property at a time like this may save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Whatever you do, however, do not take matters into your own hands after inspecting your property and noticing that your property is being poorly maintained or the rent is not being paid on time. This can lead to lots of legal trouble and make things much worse for you.

 

In Closing

It is your job as a landlord to inspect your rental property to make sure your tenants are fulfilling their roles, paying on time, and caring for your property. In addition, it is your job to maintain the property to the highest standards possible so your tenants are satisfied, and want to renew their lease with you come the end of the tenancy.

If you want help with regularly inspecting your investment property, contact Bay Management Group today to connect with our experienced property managers in Chevy Chase, MD.  We can help draft lease agreements that outline the inspection process and responsibilities of all parties involved.

In addition, we can conduct the actual inspections of your rental property so that you know everything is being handled properly, and that both you and your tenant’s rights are being honored.


What to Do When It’s Time to Renew Your Bowie Tenant’s Lease

What to Do to Renew Your Bowie Tenant's Lease

Though there are always exceptions, your typical lease agreement will probably last for one year.

After that, you and your tenants will have the choice to sign a new lease agreement for another lease term.

If you have high quality tenants living in your rental property, and you seek to build a successful rental property business, it is a good idea to consider inviting them to renew their lease with you.

After all, it costs more to acquire new tenants for your property than it does to retain the same ones, and renewing leases with existing tenants helps to lower your tenant turnover rates.

Plus, as a landlord, your goal is to keep your tenants leasing from you as long as possible so that you can continue to collect a consistent rent payment each month.

That said, let’s take a look at what you should do when it comes time to renew your tenant.

 

How to Approach Lease Renewals with Your Tenants in Bowie, MD

1. Ask Yourself If You Want to Offer a Lease Renewal

Keeping your current tenants in your rental property is (almost) always a good thing – that is, if they pay their rent on time, get along with the neighbors, don’t cause you any issues, and care for your property the way you want them to

However, if they cannot pay their rent on time, or always have an excuse for being late, are disruptive to others in nearby properties, constantly contact you or your Bowie property management company with complaints and are difficult to reason with, or have damaged your property in any way, you should cut your losses and look for higher quality tenants.

When it comes time to consider offering your current tenants a lease renewal, think about what kind of tenant they have been over the course of their tenancy, and make your decision accordingly.

 

2. Decide a Lease Term Length

Decide the Length of the Lease Term

Once you have decided you will offer your current tenants a lease renewal come the end of their lease term, you must decide on the new lease term’s length. You have several options:

  • One-Year Lease. Invite your tenants to stay another full lease term with you. This is typically one year (though some landlords allow for longer lease terms to ensure lower tenant turnover rates).
  • Short Term Lease. If you know you want your tenants to renew a lease with you, but are unsure whether you want them to stay for an entire term, consider offering shorter lease terms such as 6 or 8 months.
  • Month-to-Month Lease. You may find out that your tenant is interested in renewing a lease with you, but on a month-to-month basis. This can be a temporary solution to a vacant property, however, keep in mind that either you or your tenants can break month-to-month leases at any time (usually with a 30 days’ notice). This leaves very little time for you to prepare your rental and place new tenants without experiencing a vacancy.

 

Deciding how long you want to extend tenancy to your existing tenants is largely personal. It will also depend on what you plan to do with your property long-term.

However, if you can secure another full lease term with a good tenant, it’s definitely recommended.

 

3. Draft a New Lease Agreement

When you decide that you want to extend a lease renewal to your existing tenants, you need to draft an entirely new lease agreement with the help of your Bowie property management company.

This way you can designate the new lease start and end dates, as well as make any changes to existing lease provisions that you want.

For example, you may consider raising the rent in response to booming market trends.

On the other hand, you may want to offer a discounted rent rate as an added bonus for renewing with you another term.

You will also need to omit things such as security deposit clauses and first and last month’s rent collections, as these provisions do not apply to the next lease term.

Lastly, you may want to make changes to some of the more specific clauses you had initially placed in the original lease agreement.

For instance, maybe you will lift the no-pet policy and let your good-standing tenants get a dog.

Or, perhaps you will allow them to make minor interior changes that are temporary in nature so they feel even more at home in your rental.

Whatever the case may be, now is the time to make any changes you want.

Once the lease is offered to your tenants, and they agree, this new lease agreement will be the official document used in any disputes that may arise.

 

4. Invite Your Tenant to Renew

Invite Your Bowie Tenant to Renew The Lease

If you have decided to offer your existing tenant a chance to renew their lease with you, extend the offer with plenty of time for them to decide.

In fact, it is suggested you offer tenants a lease renewal option 90 days before their current lease is about to expire, complete with a requirement that they respond within 30 days of receiving the offer.

Giving your tenants plenty of time to decide whether they want to renew or not will help them plan a long-term strategy, should they decide to decline your offer.

In addition, should your tenant decline your offer, you will have approximately 60 days to get the tenant screening process underway so your property does not remain vacant for long after they move out.

You may wonder why a great tenant that is satisfied with you and your Bowie property manager might decline the offer to renew a lease with you. Just remember: it is not always personal.

For example, your tenants may not want to renew with you because:

  • They are moving out of state
  • A rental closer to their workplace is available
  • An unexpected life change has occurred such as marriage, divorce, a new baby, losing a job, etc.

In the end, there are many reasons why people move, and it may not always be because they don’t enjoy leasing from you.

5. Review and Sign

Last but not least, after you and your tenants have agreed to the new lease agreement, it is time you and your property manager go over the lease agreement line by line to make sure everyone understands what is expected of them.

Then, all that is left to do is gather a few signatures, and your tenants are on their way to leasing your rental property for another lease term.

 

Lease renewals are an integral part of the rental property business. They help reduce tenant turnover rates, keep vacancies at bay, and best of all, save you time and money.

Plus, if your current tenants are willing to sign on for another lease term, they must be satisfied with the services you are providing them.

If you are looking for a way to boost lease renewals, and give your current tenants even more of a reason to continue to lease from you, contact Bay Management Group today.

We are dedicated to providing both our property owners and tenants superior customer service. In fact, we do everything we can to ensure that your property is well cared for, rent is collected, and your tenants are happy living in your property.


4 Ways To Wisely Spend Time Between Philadelphia Tenants

Ways to Spend Time Between Philly Tenants

Finding out your rental property is about to be vacant is not something you want to hear.

However, vacancies are a reality that all property owners must contend with, even if you have enlisted the help of the best property management company in Philadelphia.

That said, vacancies don’t have to be seen as the worst thing that can happen.

In fact, if you utilize your time between tenants wisely, you may actually do yourself some favors and make your rental property business that much more successful in the process.

Here’s a look at some of the best ways you can spend your time between tenants in order to make your property more appealing and valuable for the next tenants that sign a lease agreement with you.

 

Things to Do With Your Time Between Tenants

If your Philadelphia rental has gone vacant, take advantage of the time that has been afforded to you.

1. Transfer the Utilities

Transfer Utilities Between Philly Tenants

Once your tenants leave your rental property, they will be turning off all utilities such as the water, gas, and electric.

It is in your best interest to have those utilities immediately transferred into your name to avoid any reactivation fees the state or county may charge you.

Make sure you know the exact date your tenants are leaving so that you don’t end up paying their last bill.

In addition, make sure the new tenants place the utilities in their name on move-in day so that you don’t end up overpaying on the other end of your vacancy.

 

2. Start Cleaning

Whether your property management company handles the cleaning of your vacant properties, you hire a cleaning service to do it for you, or you like to take care of it yourself, you should get to cleaning right away.

Your previous tenants may not have cleaned your property as you would have liked, and there’s no better time than the present to get it back in shape.

Starting the cleaning process early will benefit you in several ways.

To start, it will ensure that your property is ready to go once you find new tenants.

Underestimating the amount of time it takes to clean an entire rental property from top to bottom can leave you scrambling, which may mean your property is not ready for your new tenants come move-in day.

In addition, the longer you leave dirt and grime, the more build-up you’re likely to see. By jumping on cleaning quickly, you avoid spending even more time down the line scrubbing through those extra layers of filth.

Lastly, performing a thorough deep cleaning of your rental property will reveal any maintenance or repair issues that need tending to that you may have otherwise missed.

This will keep you ahead of the game, since finding these issues early will afford you time to get them properly resolved.

 

3. Perform Upgrades

Perform Upgrades to Your Philly Rental Between Tenants

After you have cleaned your rental, you will be able to take a step back and evaluate it as a whole, with no distractions.

This is the perfect time for you to assess where your property could use some upgrades.

Upgrading your property, especially if you haven’t done so in a few years, can add a lot of value to it, and help garner you higher rent rates that your property manager will be able to help you determine.

Here are some great suggestions:

Patch and Paint

With no tenants residing in your property, no furniture in the way, and no pictures hanging up, you have the time to care for the walls properly.

Patch any holes you find – even the small ones left behind from nails.

In addition, consider giving your walls a fresh coat of paint.

Maybe even change up the color if it hasn’t been changed in a while. Choose a light, neutral color that will appeal to a large tenant pool, and will make your property feel inviting.

 

Flooring

Now is also a great time to repair, refinish, or replace any old, damaged flooring in your property. You don’t want worn out carpet with stains to discourage high quality tenants from leasing your property from you.

You also don’t want to have an unappealing house that doesn’t fit modern times.

With so many flooring options available to meet all budget needs, there is bound to be a great choice for you.

 

Landscaping

Don’t forget that the exterior of your rental property is the first thing prospective tenants will see when they check out your property.

Your previous tenants may not have tended to the landscaping as well as you wanted them to while they leased from you.

That’s why jumping in and taking care of this now, while no one is living in your property, is so helpful.

This is also a perfect time to upgrade your backyard oasis so that you can have yet another reason to entice a high quality tenant to lease from you.

 

4. Seek Out New Tenants

Seek Out New Tenants Philly Rental

Once you find out your current tenants will be leaving your rental, you and your Philadelphia property manager should begin the tenant screening process.

Although it may seem early to start, you don’t want to spend your time transferring utilities, cleaning your property from top to bottom, making repairs, and renovating it for added value, only to have it sit empty for a few more months afterwards, all because you don’t have a new tenant.

Starting the screening process early is a proactive use of your time.

In fact, even if you find a tenant before the property is ready for move-in, you can easily let potential tenants know when the property will be ready, and have them move in then.

 

Though rental property vacancies are definitely an inconvenience for any property owner, there is a way to turn them into a positive time. You cannot avoid the fact that at some point, your rental will be empty, so why not make the best of it?

Employing Philadelphia’s best property management company, Bay Management Group, to help you manage your property vacancies is yet another way you can spend your time wisely between tenants.

We have highly qualified contractors on-hand to help you with any repairs or upgrades you want to make. We also have a strict tenant screening process in place so that only the best tenants move in and pay you the highest rent rate possible.

So, if you have rental property in the Philadelphia area, contact Bay Management Group today. We can help you prepare for property vacancies and provide advice as to how to best utilize your time while your property is empty.


5 Aberdeen Rental Property Repairs That You Should Not DIY

Rental Property Repairs Do Not DIY

These days it may feel like any do-it-yourself projects is possible to undertake.

With internet videos showing you step-by-step how to complete even the most complicated home repairs, it all looks so easy, not to mention more affordable than enlisting the help of a professional.

While the thought of saving money is definitely tempting, the truth is, there are certain DIY rental property repair jobs that are too complicated, too dangerous, and oftentimes just as pricey (if not more) to do yourself.

And, while you are responsible for most of your Aberdeen rental property’s maintenance repairs, that doesn’t mean you actually have to do the work yourself.

Let’s take a look at some common do-it-yourself home repairs that should not be handled by inexperienced DIY-ers.

Rather, the below projects should be left to those that, without a doubt, know what they are doing.

 

5 DIY Projects Better Left to Professionals

DIY Projects to Leave to Professionals

Your Aberdeen property manager is sure to tell you there are some DIY repairs that any successful rental property owner should know how to do.

For example, repairing a hole in the wall, being able to fix your property’s gutters, and even being able to handle common toilet issues are all good skills to have as a landlord.

That said, there are some property repairs that are better left to the professionals because they are typically more than you can handle, and dangerous to both you and your tenants if done incorrectly.

1. Electrical Issues

Small DIY projects, such as installing a ceiling fan and changing out a light switch, are typically okay for the average DIY-er.

Just make sure to always turn the power off before starting an electrical repair to avoid shocking yourself.

However, when you get into electrical repairs that require extending circuits, or running new electrical cables, you face some serious issues if you don’t know what you are doing.

With electrical projects, the safety risks heighten.

You can easily start a fire instantly, create a fire hazard that may spark later and threaten the safety of your tenants, or even electrocute yourself in the process of completing the work.

You may also be performing electrical work that requires a permit. Without the proper permit, not only do you face severe penalties and fines that will affect your rental property business, you become liable for performing work not completed by a professional.

Lastly, trying to carry out electrical work in your Aberdeen rental without truly knowing what you are doing can be trickier than you might expect.

You can easily overload your power outlets and create more electrical issues throughout the property, or even wire something incorrectly, adding to the fire and safety concerns.

The Electrical Safety Foundation reports that 140,000 electrical fires happen each year, with 400 deaths resulting from electrical issues.

Therefore, as tempting as those do-it-yourself YouTube videos can be, it is not recommended you attempt to handle any major electrical repairs in your rental property without the help of a certified electrician.

 

2. Roof Repairs

Roof Repairs Are Better Left to Professionals

In the past, we have discussed the necessary steps to take, should your rental property need roofing repairs.

And if you recall, we recommended enlisting the help of your property manager and professional roofing contractor when it comes to dealing with significant roof damage.

Repairing your rental’s roof takes a lot of experience and knowledge that the average person just doesn’t have.

In fact, what seems like a simple roof leak may actually be more serious than you originally thought.

You need to identify the source of the roof leak; repair the shingles, flashing, and vents; match materials to your existing roof; and utilize expensive equipment to get the job done.

In addition, you need to avoid creating more damage in the process, which will lead to more repairs, more expenses, and more time to get the roof repaired.

And don’t forget the danger that working on the roof of your rental property poses, especially to a novice DIY-er.

One small misstep or slip, and you might come tumbling down off your roof, with roofing materials and tools following.

The injuries you can expect to sustain from a roof fall are just not worth the risk.

 

3. Floor Refinishing

Leave The Floor Refinishing To The Professionals

Improving your Aberdeen rental property’s existing hardwood flooring is always a good idea, especially if it has been a while since you gave your property’s flooring some TLC.

Plus, tenants love the thought of having beautiful, sturdy, and long-lasting hardwood flooring in the property they are leasing.

You may think that sanding your property’s wood flooring is a simple process: Rent the sanding machine, get to sanding, and voila, good as new, right?

Wrong.

There are licensed carpenters that won’t go near even their own home’s hardwood floors with a sander, preferring to leave it to the flooring professionals.

All it takes is a little extra sanding on one spot to create a severe divot in your stunning hardwood flooring.

These divots are nearly impossible to fill, and if you do this in several spots across the floor, you are looking at having to re-do the entire space with new flooring.

 

4. Wall Removal

It may seem like a fun weekend project to knock out an existing wall in your rental property in order to open up the living space, combine two rooms to create one bigger one, or even get rid of an awkwardly placed wall that makes your rental seemed cramped.

However, removing a wall in your rental property is anything but a simple DIY weekend project.

If you don’t know what you are doing, and you attempt to take out a wall in your rental property, you could bring your entire rental property down instantly.

Worse yet, you may unknowingly create an unstable foundation that can come crashing down later, perhaps on your tenants.

Not only can removing a wall on your own ruin the framework of your property, but you also risk tapping into a water or gas line, which adds to the danger – and expensive renovation bill – you will face.

 

5. Tree Cutting and Trimming

Tree Cutting and Trimming Is Better for Professionals To Do

Do-it-yourself home repairs are not limited to the interior of your rental property.

In fact, tree cutting and trimming is something that many DIY-ers attempt to master themselves.

Although it is tempting to forgo hiring a professional landscaper to handle your rental property’s tree growth, there are several reasons to rethink this DIY project before even getting started.

To start, the equipment needed to bring down large trees and branches is expensive to rent if you don’t already own it.

And then there’s the element of danger.

The fact that you will need to climb up a large ladder to reach the areas that need pruning poses a serious fall risk.

A small misstep, slip, or branch firing back at you with a vengeance can land you in the hospital with serious injuries.

A professional landscaper experienced in tree pruning should handle any tree that requires cutting or trimming. This is especially true if the trees exceed 20’, or are near roads, other properties, or electrical wires.

 

If you have a repair that seems like too much to handle, even for an experienced DIY-er, it probably is.

That’s why it is best to enlist the help of an experienced professional.

Professionals are liable for their work and any additional damage they cause, and are prepared to make the end result look flawless, so your Aberdeen rental property only benefits from the repairs.

It is also a good idea to receive help from a property management company, such as Bay Management Group, for all your maintenance needs.

We handle issues ranging from minor property repairs to serious emergencies, such as floods or electrical issues. And, we do so using our 24/7 maintenance crew.

Benefiting from our licensed and insured contractors, you can rest assured any rental property repairs you need performed will be done safely, timely, and affordably.

Contact Bay Management Group today so you and your tenants don’t have to worry about costly maintenance problems, safety, or health issues.


10 Words To Avoid Using In Your Rental Property Listing

Top Words to Avoid In Your Anne Arundel Rental Property Listing

Facing the fact that your Anne Arundel rental property has recently become vacant is never fun.

However, vacancies are a part of being in the rental property business, and must be dealt with swiftly.

We have previously discussed on our blog some of the best advertising tips for filling your vacant rental property.

First of all, you should always use catchy headlines that describe your property in a unique way. In addition, you should include clear images that portray your rental in its best light, and always make sure that you accurately describe your property so interested tenants know exactly what you are offering.

However, when it comes to advertising your vacant property, you should also pay close attention to the words you use to describe your vacancy.

You don’t want to use words that are overly dramatic, but you also don’t want to find your vacancy ad lumped together with all of the other ads using words like “charming” and “nice.”

That’s why today we are going to take look at the most common words to avoid in your Anne Arundel rental property listing, in hopes that you garner the right kind of attention from high quality tenants interested in leasing your rental.

 

Vacancy Ad Words and Shortcuts to Avoid

There is more to a vacancy ad than simply describing the general specifications of your rental – square footage, location, number of bedrooms, etc.

In fact, writing an advertisement takes some skill if you want to attract the right people.

Thus, taking care to avoid using this list of words in your vacancy ad is going to help you fill your vacant property that much quicker.

 

1. Quality

Whether good or bad, everything holds a measure of quality.

Ultimately, what type of quality your rental property has – no matter how you phrase it – all comes down to what the prospective tenant thinks.

For example, if you state your rental has “high quality appliances,” what exactly does that mean?

Perhaps you mean they are all matching, they are energy efficient, or maybe they are just new, regardless of how they operate.

Avoid this word to avoid confusion, and instead use more specific words to describe your rental.

 

2. Abbreviations

Avoid Using Abbreviations For Your Rental Property Listings

As tempting as it can be, try to avoid using any kind of abbreviations.

This can confuse someone that is unfamiliar with them, and cause them look elsewhere for a rental that interests them.

Here are some of the most common abbreviations that relate to the rental property business that should not find their way into your vacancy ad:

  • Util: Utilities
  • Appl: Appliances
  • Sec: Security Deposit
  • Nwly Ren: Newly renovated
  • D/W: Dish washer
  • Balc: Balcony
  • FMR: First month’s rent

 

As you can see, all of these abbreviations closely relate to descriptions you might include in your rental property’s vacancy ad.

However, for the average person not in the property management business, some of these might be downright confusing.

If potential tenants don’t understand the lingo you are using, and don’t know what they will be getting out of your rental property, chances are high they will move on to the next ad they do understand, no matter how great your rental is.

 

3. Clean

Of course, your rental property is clean.

Why wouldn’t it be?

If this is the strongest descriptive word you have for your vacant property, you need to take a step back and wonder why that is.

Find something unique to say that expresses how your property is well taken care of.

 

4. Needs Repair

Never Use "Needs Repair" In Rental Property Listing

It is never a good thing to lie to potential tenants about the true status of your rental property.

Nor is it a good thing to come right out and say your rental “needs work.”

Before advertising your rental property as available, you should invest in repairing anything that needs repair. No high quality tenant is going to agree to move into a rental that needs a lot of fixing.

And, if you have an experienced property management group on hand helping you with your vacancy ad, they are likely to advise you to fix everything before advertising.

 

5. Cheap

This word immediately downgrades the quality of your rental.

If you are aiming to make your Anne Arundel rental seem like something more than a money pit, avoid using the word “cheap.”

If you are looking to promote the fact that your rent rates fall below that of your competition, consider using a gentler word such as “affordable.”

 

6. Unique

Avoid Using The Word "Unique" In Your Rental Property Listings

There is nothing inherently wrong with your rental property being described as “unique.”

In fact, it very well may be the most unique rental on the block.

However, this word is overused, and leaves much to the imagination.

Rather than state that your rental is “unique,” explain using more concise terms what makes it unique.

Your prospective tenants will appreciate the detail, and will become more interested once they find out why your rental is different from all of the rest.

 

7. Modern

This term is also overused in modern day rental listings, and as a result has lost a lot of its meaning.

If you are using the word “modern” to describe newly renovated sections of your rental’s kitchen or bathroom, instead say your rental’s kitchen or bathroom has been recently renovated.

Then go on to explain what makes your rental modern, according to you.

Using the word “modern” and leaving the details out is subjective, and may turn some interested tenants away unintentionally – their idea of what “modern” is may not be what your idea of it is.

And, if they don’t like “modern” things, your vacancy ad will be quickly dismissed.

 

8. Original

Do Not Use Word "Original" in Rental Property Listing

Just as you shouldn’t use the term “modern” to explain that your rental has been recently upgraded or renovated, you should not use the term “original” either.

Using a word like “original” has the potential to make interested tenants think your rental has never been updated, is likely falling apart at the seams, and is just plain old.

 

9. Fair Housing Act Terms

This is a touchy subject and can land you in some hot water if someone, somewhere becomes angered by the terms you use in your rental property ad.

Many advertisement platforms, such as Craigslist, have specific rules about the types of terms you are allowed to use in listings of any kind. And, your vacancy ads are no different.

In order to steer clear of violating the Fair Housing Act, avoid using these terms in your advertisements:

  • Walking Distance. This can be considered discriminatory to those who are unable to walk. If you are describing popular hotspots that are within walking distance of your rental, consider using terms such as “nearby” or “close to.”
  • There are many different types of people looking to lease your rental property. Some are groups of friends, others are students that just met and are trying to save on housing costs. And yes, some consist of a mother, father, and two children. Don’t alienate an entire population of people (and possibly discriminate against them) by using the term “family home” when describing your available rental property.

 

When it comes to drafting up a vacancy ad for your Maryland investment property, it is critical you don’t break the law in doing so, even if unknowingly.

This is where a knowledgeable Anne Arundel property management company comes in handy. They will understand the Fair Housing Act as it relates to rental properties, and know how to avoid illegally discriminating against a protected class.

 

10. Cozy

Stay Away From Using the Word "Cozy" In Your Rental Property Listing

“Cozy” emits a feeling of tiny and small, which many tenants are not interested in when it comes to their home.

This is especially true if the rent rate for your “cozy” rental property is not small.

Include the dimensions of your rental in square feet, and let interested tenants decide if the property is the right size for their needs.

In the meantime, come up with some other descriptive words to enhance your rental, not bring it down in size.

 

There is a lot that goes into drafting the perfect vacancy ad for your Anne Arundel rental property.

And, with a property management company like Bay Management Group helping you, your chances of placing a tenant in your property sooner rather than later increase dramatically.

We can help draw up an exciting vacancy ad that gets the right tenant pool interested in seeing your property. In addition, we advertise across multiple platforms – Craigslist, MLS, online classifieds, direct mail, and more – and boast an average tenant placement within 30 days or less of making your property available.

Contact Bay Management Group today and forget about the stress your vacant property has placed on you.

True, vacancies are a part of the rental property business, but at Bay Management Group, our aim is to lessen that stress as much as possible by promoting your vacant property and placing a good tenant in it as soon as possible.


4 Ways To Avoid Losing Good Tenants In Your Rental Property

Ways to Avoid Losing Good Tenants in Your Parkville Rental

With top notch tenants in your rental property and Parkville’s best property management company to do most of the work for you, you can enjoy sitting back, relaxing, and watching the rental income roll in.

However, that doesn’t mean you can get rid of the thought of vacant rental properties in the back of your mind.

Why is keeping your mind on that important?

Because high turnover rates and long rental property vacancies can cost you a lot of money.

Each tenant turnover that you experience comes with expenses related to advertising your now vacant property, cleaning and repairing the property for new tenants, tenant screening and lease drafting, and of course, any utilities you pay to have on between tenants.

That’s why today we are going to share with you some simple ways to avoid losing your good tenants, so that you truly can sit back, relax, and enjoy being a property owner.

 

Great Ways to Prevent Losing Your High Quality Parkville Tenant

In the past, we have given you some excellent tips for lowering turnover rates and improving profitability on your rental property.

But today, we are going to continue exploring how to hang onto good tenants that you want to keep in your rental property as long as possible.

 

1. Maintain a Friendly Relationship

Maintain A Friendly Relationship With Your Parkville Tenants

Whether you self-manage your rental, or enlist the help of a Parkville property management company, customer service should be a priority.

One of the best ways to forge a solid relationship with your tenant is to partake in person-to-person contact with your tenants throughout their lease term.

Your tenant does not want to feel you or your Parkville property manager are the type to lease a rental, and forget about them until lease renewal time.

Here are some great ways you can pop in and say “hello,” without crossing the professional boundary that should stay intact throughout your tenant’s lease term:

  • Be the one to personally deliver the tenant welcome package at the start of the lease term, even if your property management company handles the move-in process
  • Periodically ask your tenant for feedback via phone (or in person if they have time) to find out what would make them happier, and what (if anything) needs improvement
  • Show up to a scheduled maintenance or repair call, and observe how your maintenance crew handles their responsibilities while chatting with your tenant
  • Tag along with your property manager to all seasonal inspections to make sure your property is being well cared for, and that your tenants are satisfied

 

Stopping by every now and then will let your tenants know you really care, especially if you have entrusted your investment property to a property management company.

Putting a face to a name is a great way to build a solid relationship with your tenant, which come lease renewal time, will go a long way.

 

2. Don’t Violate Your Tenant’s Privacy

Though we just mentioned the importance of regularly interacting with your tenant in an effort to build a good relationship with them, it is equally important you do not violate your tenant’s right to privacy.

Just because you own the rental property your tenant resides in, does not mean you can come and go as you please.

In fact, if you show up unannounced, save for an emergency, you may find yourself guilty of trespassing.

Not to mention, your tenants will not be happy and will not want to stay living in your rental property if they feel like you are watching their every move.

If you are going to pop in for a legitimate reason to your rental property, make sure you provide proper notice to your tenant so they know you, or your property manager, are coming by.

Trust us, your tenants will appreciate this and feel more comfortable continuing to lease from you if you don’t bother them for every little thing.

 

3. Be Proactive When it Comes to Lease Renewals

Be Proactive In Your Lease Agreement Renewals

If you and your Parkville property management company did things correctly at the beginning of your tenant’s lease term, they should know the process for renewing a lease with you.

However, as time goes by, your tenant may forget when to expect a lease renewal notice, and may begin to feel antsy about whether they will be invited to renew with you or not.

Unfortunately, if your tenants are unsure as to whether they will be invited to sign a lease renewal with you, they may begin to look elsewhere for a place to live, as a backup plan.

And you never know, they might find a place they love just as much as your rental, and decide not to renew with you once the lease renewal comes their way.

The solution to this problem, and one of the best ways to keep ahold of your high quality tenant, is to stay proactive about the lease renewal process. This means giving them ample notice that you wish for them to stay another lease term.

Not only does this give them the assurance you want them to continue leasing your rental property, if they decline you may have enough time to convince them stay.

If your current tenant is a good one, and you want them to stay, despite their declining to sign a lease renewal, ask them what you can to do to get them to change their mind about leaving.

While there may be nothing you can do, this at least opens up the dialogue and can boost your chances of catering to a small need you never knew your tenant had.

Holding onto a good tenant may be worth a small rent decrease, an upgraded appliance, or a bend in a lease provision such as the no pets policy.

 

4. Offer a Longer Lease Term

Another great way to avoid losing a good tenant is to offer a longer lease term come lease renewal time.

Sometimes your tenant may know they want to continue leasing from you for a long period of time, but fear the dreaded rent increase that is a possibility every time the lease renews.

By offering a longer lease term at a fixed rent rate, you ensure a consistent monthly cash flow, and your tenant benefits from not having to pay more rent every single year.

It’s a win-win situation for both you and your tenant.

 

There are plenty of ways to cater to your good tenants, and encourage them to continue leasing from you time and again.

It is just a matter of doing your job well, utilizing the help of an experienced property management company such as Bay Management Group, and making sure your tenant is happy throughout their lease term.

If you own rental property in the Parkville area, and want help managing your investment in an effort to decrease the workload of self-managing your property, as well as increase the chances your current tenants will renew their lease from you, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

We can help place high quality tenants in your rental property from the start by implementing our strict tenant screening process and only accepting the very best tenants from the list of those interested in your property.