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 7 Ways to Guarantee Success in Your First Investment Property

Ways to Guarantee Success in Your First Investment Property

Investing in rental property is a great way to boost supplemental income, or even replace your traditional 9-5 day job.

In fact, getting into the rental property business can be extremely lucrative, if approached the right way.

However, it’s important to note that many first-time investors can mistakenly get caught up in the excitement of buying a rental property – and this excitement can easily get in the way of making sound financial and business decisions.

Taking the step from the decision to invest in Abingdon rental property to actually doing it is a big one that warrants a lot of thought.

It comes with risks that you may not be aware of – ones that have the potential to affect the success of your rental property business for years to come. This is a decision to take very seriously.

If you want to avoid major mistakes when you set out to invest in your first piece of rental property, read on to find some helpful tips that are designed to guide new investors in the right direction, right from the start.

 

Helpful Tips for Investing in Your First Rental Property

1. Have a Plan

Before you jump into investing in your first rental property, you should take the time to devise a solid plan of action.

This will help prevent many unexpected issues that tend to pop up during the purchasing process.

Here are some things experienced property management companies suggest:

  • Pay Down Your Debt. Paying down your existing debt does more than help you qualify for a loan. It also creates a buffer once you own the rental property for things such as emergency maintenance issues, unexpected vacancies, and times when your tenant fails to pay rent.
  • Create a Budget. This is something any experienced property owner will tell you. Making a strict budget, before you invest in a rental property, will prevent you from getting in over your head. Factor in purchase price, maintenance and renovations, an emergency fund, and the cost of placing a tenant in your property.
  • Save for a Down Payment. Even if you have purchased a home in the past, it is important to realize that investing in rental property is much different. You will typically need at least 20% when it comes to a down payment, because there is no PMI available to protect the banks in case you default on the loan.
  • Watch the Market. Knowing when to invest is almost as important as having enough money to invest. You should take care to watch the market and see what interest rates are doing at the time you want to invest. Remember, investment property loans will usually have higher interest rates than traditional homes, which can kill your bottom line, even if you warrant high rent rates from quality tenants.

Making a plan before you get into the excitement of purchasing a rental property will help keep you on track during the investment process.

 

2. Take Your Time Choosing an Investment Property

Take Your Time Choosing an Investment Property

Again, closing on your first investment property is an exciting time that can cloud your judgement if you are not careful.

Avoid buyer’s remorse by taking your time to find the rental that will work best for your pre-defined budget. Check out any property you are interested in buying before entertaining any negotiations, and don’t take the previous homeowner or real estate agent’s word for it.

Ensure that the property has all the amenities you wish to offer to your tenants. Find out what makes this property stand out from others in the area that are being leased, and take note of all the things you may need to renovate before placing a tenant to make sure it fits into your overall budget.

In any business deal, jumping in too soon harbors room for problems that can have lasting effects on your rental property business.

Give yourself time to find the right one; it will be worth it in the long run.

 

3. Avoid Fixer Uppers

In the past, we have discussed how investing in a fixer-upper rental property can be a good idea. However, for those that are new to investing in real estate, this may not always be the best idea.

A great purchase deal on the surface often indicates that there is a lot of work needing to be done after you purchase the property in order to make it rent ready.

And, unless you have budgeted this into your overall plan, and are handy when it comes to repairs, chances are a fixer upper is not what you are looking for in your first investment property.

 

4. Choose a Reliable Real Estate Agent

Choose a Reliable Real Estate Agent For Your First Investment Property

The real estate agent you choose to help you with your property purchase can make or break your longtime success.

To avoid getting mixed up with a less-than-stellar real estate agent, take note of these helpful tips:

  • Don’t get caught up in negotiations with other interested buyers if the purchase price or other details begin to extend beyond what you originally planned for
  • Choose an agent that you trust, that has a reliable reputation, is patient and understands your needs, and is communicative throughout the process
  • Never let an agent rush your purchase decision, even if that means you lose out on a deal
  • Try to get referrals from those close to you that have had success with a real estate agent in the past

If at any time you begin to feel your agent is not being helpful, simply walk away and get a new one.

 

5. Decrease Expenses

Being successful with your first investment property does not stop after you finalize your purchase.

In fact, closing on a property is only the beginning.

From the start, think of ways you can decease expenses and boost your positive cash flow once you place tenants in your property.

For example:

  • Make sure all utilities are the tenant’s responsibility
  • Build extra costs, such as HOA fees, into the rent rate if you can
  • Shop around for homeowners insurance, and require your tenants to get renters insurance
  • Make your rental eco-friendly, especially when it comes to major appliances
  • Challenge your property taxes if you feel they are too high
  • Interview property managers to make sure you are getting the best deal for the services they offer

These small considerations have the potential to save you a lot of money as you lease your rental property, and are easy for new investors to handle.

 

6. Learn the Laws

Learn The Laws For Your First Investment Property

Whether you self-manage your rental or employ Abingdon’s best property management team, it is ultimately your responsibility to know and understand the federal, state, and local laws surrounding the landlord-tenant relationship.

Even if something illegal happens under the care of your property manager, you could find yourself in a lot of hot water.

Court fees and fines, a ding on your reputation as a property owner, and the loss of your property if your bottom line is damaged enough, can all result from not knowing the laws.

Educate yourself so that you know how to properly handle any legal situation that comes your way. And, if you have a knowledgeable property management company backing you, think of that as an added bonus.

7. Consider Hiring an Abingdon Property Manager

Getting into real estate and leasing your first investment property can be daunting at first.

You may not know what to do after you have purchased your property, or maybe you are not keen on the idea of self-managing your rental.

No matter the case, the solution resides in hiring a trusted property manager to help you out with everything from advertising your available property to tenant placement; tenant complaints to the lease renewal process.

If you are looking to invest in your first rental property in Abingdon, consider getting in touch with Bay Management Group from day one. With years of experience in the rental property industry, Bay Management Group has the staff on hand to answer all of your questions about being a successful rental property owner.

This way, once you invest in your first rental property, you will already have a qualified property manager in Abingdon ready to help you with setting rent rates, conducting inspections, providing 24/7 maintenance and repair services, and more.


Expert Ways To Make Your Rental Property Landscaping More Manageable

How to Make Your Rental Property Landscaping More Manageable

First impressions are everything in life.

In order to make new friends, get hired for a new position, and yes, even to land a new tenant in your Elkridge rental property, first impressions are important.

As a landlord, you may not be too keen on the idea of investing your hard earned money into landscaping your rental property, if you are not going to be the one that enjoys it.

However, it is a widely accepted fact that curb appeal (how attractive the exterior of your property looks, including both your front and back yards), makes all the difference to prospective tenants.

That’s why today we are going to take a look at some easy ways you can make your Elkridge rental property landscaping stand out to potential tenants, without adding a great deal of hassle to your life.

 

How to Easily Manage Your Rental Property Landscaping

Whether you decide to tend to your rental property’s landscaping yourself, outsource to a reliable landscaping company, or enlist your tenants to lend a hand, having a solid foundation is the key to great looking yards that last all year long.

 

1. Fake It

Use Fake Grass to Make Rental Landscaping Manageable

We are not talking about faking the fact that you are investing time and money into your landscaping efforts.

What we mean is that if you really want an easy-to-manage solution to having green grass in your rental property’s yard that lasts year round, consider installing synthetic (fake) grass.

While the debate behind whether synthetic grass is a good idea or not still stands, the truth is, fake grass is easy to manage and comes with plenty of advantages.

In fact, according to HouseLogic, there are some key reasons synthetic grass is gaining popularity:

  • The upfront cost is recovered quickly after installment
  • It saves water which is not only eco-friendly, it helps save your tenants money
  • There is no maintenance when it comes to mowing, watering, seeding, edging, and fertilizing
  • The weather will not kill it (though you should take care if your property is in a hot region)

In addition, synthetic grass simply looks good.

Your rental property’s yards, especially the backyard, should be an oasis escape for your tenants to enjoy all the time. Fake grass has the ability to look and feel very much like real grass, which can be very inviting.

 

2. Go Native

Plants that are native to Maryland are going to be the easiest to manage throughout the year, regardless of who is in charge of that task.

Here are some of the most popular Maryland native plants that will suit all of your landscaping needs:

  • Groundcover. Pussytoes and Golden Groundsel are great for covering large sections of yard with an easy to manage plant. Plus, they work well to keep weeds at bay.
  • Ferns. For a lush, green look, add Sensitive and Christmas Ferns to your yard.
  • Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes. If you decide to forgo the synthetic grass for your rental’s landscaping, use Blue Sedge, Wool Grass, Little Bluestem, or Yellow Indiangrass instead.
  • Wildflowers. There is nothing more beautiful than flowers in an array of colors spanning your property’s backyard. Use Cardinal Flowers, Foxglove Beardtongues, Butterfly Weeds, or New York Ironweeds to add pops of color to your garden.
  • Shrubs. For the places in your yard that need a little extra coverage, consider Rose Mallow or Hillside Blueberry shrubs.
  • Trees. Maintaining trees can be a major hassle if you use non-native ones. That’s why Blackgun and White Oaks are going to be your best bet.

This is just a sampling of the types of native plants that will fare well in Maryland.

They are naturally occurring in the region (which is why they can withstand the elements), and are easy to take care of no matter your skill level.

 

3. Add Patio Space

Add Patio Space to Make Your Rental Property Landscaping More Manageable

If you are really looking to decrease the amount of time needed to maintain your Elkridge rental property’s landscaping, try adding a sizeable patio section to the backyard.

An excellent selling point when it comes to placing a new tenant in your rental, large patio spaces can serve multiple functions.

This area makes hosting family and friends a cinch for tenants that like to have get togethers. Patios are also great places to store equipment for the different seasons (such as your ski gear for winter, and your boating accessories for summer).

Lastly, there is little to no maintenance required when it comes to well-designed patios, save for a little sweep or watering down every now and again.

And, if you are really looking to impress prospective tenants, consider investing in some outdoor patio furniture, lighting, and even a BBQ with a food prep station so your tenants can get the most out your property’s backyard area.

Just don’t forget to add storage space for your tenants to store things like patio cushions during the rainy season or during times of non-use. This way the furniture textiles you have invested in do not become ruined (because replacing these things often will become costly).

 

4. Consider Water Use

While adding native Maryland plants is a great idea, and they typically do not require a lot of water, it is still crucial you think of overall water use when you design your rental’s outdoor space.

Maintaining a fully functioning sprinkler system opens you up to regular maintenance and repairs, especially when winter arrives and pipes have a tendency to freeze.

And, if you choose to water your yard by hand (or require your tenant to do so), the easy to maintain yard quickly becomes a hassle that is not easy to manage.

By using lots of groundcovers, as mentioned above, you reduce the amount of watering that your yard needs. In addition, these groundcovers will help keep other plants from overgrowing, will protect the soil from the elements (such as extreme hot or cold), and will only require an occasional rake here and there.

In fact, a region such as Elkridge experiences a lot of annual rain, even during the “dry season,” which means there is very little watering you will need to do with a large groundcover such as Golden Groundsel.

 

In Closing

When it comes to your rental property landscaping, there are a few factors to consider before jumping in and designing a tropical jungle.

You must consider what role each party will play in the maintenance of your property’s yards, how much work you want those tasked with landscaping to do, and how much money you want invested in the overall project.

If you are looking for an excellent property manager in Elkridge to help with tasks such as maintaining landscaping, lease drafting, rent collection, and seasonal inspections, contact Bay Management Group today.

Not only can we advise you on how to maximize the outdoor space your investment property has, we can assure you that your tenants fully understand their responsibilities when it comes to the maintenance of your yards, no matter how easy it is.

Our goal is to garner you high quality tenants that will care for and appreciate your rental’s landscaping, while collecting the highest rent rates possible as a reward for all your hard work in creating the perfect outdoor space.


Top 5 Renovations To Improve Your Income Property’s ROI

Top Renovations to Improve Your Rental Property's ROI

Part of becoming a successful landlord in Annapolis is making your rental property more valuable through renovations and upgrades.

This will not only help you justify asking for higher monthly rent rates, but allow your property management company to place higher quality tenants in your property.

Adding to that, renovations are known to increase your property’s resale value should you decide to sell your property in the future.

Lastly, performing the right renovations on your rental property will increase your overall return on investment (ROI), so you can profit more, and possibly pay off your mortgage quicker.

Understanding your rental property’s ROI will help you understand how well your property portfolio is working for you. That’s why it is crucial to know which renovations will generate a high ROI.

Knowing this will keep you from dipping into your profits and renovating something that will end up hurting you financially in the long run.

Today we are going to look at what ROI is, how to calculate it for your Annapolis rental property, and the ways in which the most common property renovations can help boost your ROI.

 

What is ROI?

Return on investment (ROI) is a metric used by real estate professionals to estimate the performance of an investment property.

In short, your property’s ROI will reveal how profitable your property is.

ROI is calculated by dividing the net profit of your investment by the amount of money invested thus far. The end result is then expressed as a percentage or ratio of how much return on your original investment you are making as a profit.

 

Calculating Your Annapolis Rental Property’s ROI

How to Calculate Your Annapolis Rental Property's ROI

To calculate your rental property’s ROI, follow these simple steps:

  • Calculate your rental property’s total annual rental income
  • Subtract all expenses (this is considered your annual cash flow)
  • Add any equity you have to build your annual cash flow (this is considered your net income)
  • Divide your net income by your total investment to get the ROI

For instance, let’s say you purchase an Annapolis investment property for $100,000. You charge $800 a month in rent, spend $200 a month on expenses, and have zero equity built up.

Here’s the calculation:

$800 rent – $200 in expenses = $600/month cash flow ($7,200 annually).

With zero equity built in, your ROI becomes $7,200/$100,000 = .072, or 7.2%.

Of course, things become more complex when you have built up equity, and you have financed your rental. Luckily, there are plenty of online ROI calculators to help you with the calculations.

Though there is no exact number to aim for, in general you should hope for an ROI between 6% – 10% (or higher) to truly know your investment is working for you, not against you.

 

Ways to Increase Your Rental Property ROI

If you are looking to boost your rental property’s ROI (and thus your positive cash flow), consider investing in some of the following renovations.

1. New Roof

Increase Your Rental Property's ROI By Putting In a New Roof

In the past, we have discussed the importance of having a basic understanding about your rental property’s roof, including how to assess it for damage and make the appropriate repairs.

This is not only for the safety and convenience of your current tenants, but for aesthetic appeal as well.

One of the first things anyone will notice when they visit your property is the exterior of the property, and that includes the roof.

Curb appeal is one of the best ways to entice potential tenants to lease from you. The better the exterior of your property looks, the higher you can charge when it comes to the monthly rent.

 

2. Landscaping

Speaking of exterior appeal, the way both the front and back yards of your rental property are landscaped will significantly influence how much you can ask for in monthly rent rates.

If you are looking to increase the value of your property’s landscaping, in an effort to boost ROI, consider the following renovations:

  • Add flowers, shrubs, and trees for added visual appeal and shade
  • Install a custom walkway, deck, or porch
  • Consider investing in a pool or hot tub
  • Design an outside kitchen area, complete with BBQ and food prep station
  • Include outside furniture such as lawn chairs and a table set
  • Add exterior lighting so tenants can enjoy the evenings outside

Many prospective tenants place a lot of emphasis on what they want to see in a rental property’s landscaping, whether it be in the front or back yards.

And, since some of these upgrades are relatively inexpensive, most landlords will have no problem adding a few exterior landscaping renovations to their rental property in an effort to get more return on their investment.

 

3. Flooring Upgrades

Improve Your Rental Property's ROI by Updating Flooring

The flooring in your rental property is the one thing your tenants will make the most use out of while leasing from you.

And, while it can be tempting to place the cheapest carpet possible throughout your rental as a way to reduce costs due to natural wear and tear, there are some affordable and much more effective options that will also add to the value of your rental.

Take the time to research what kind of flooring you want to upgrade to – hardwood, tile, higher quality carpet, laminate, concrete, or vinyl – before spending any money.

But remember, no matter which style you go with, a newly upgraded floor throughout your rental is sure to garner you a higher ROI immediately.

New floors are sturdier, better looking, more functional, and more appealing to anyone looking to lease a rental home.

 

4. Additional Square Footage

Adding more space to your Annapolis rental property is one of the best ways to increase the value of your investment.

This is especially true if you own property in a competitive housing market.

Consider adding an additional bedroom, sunroom, basement or attic, or even just opening up an existing room by removing a wall that is taking up space.

Additional square footage can help in a variety of ways. It makes for a larger living space, allows for additional family members or roommates to live with your tenants, and even gives those that work from home a way to enjoy a dedicated workspace.

No matter what you do, expect the value of your property to jump and your rent rates to increase accordingly if you renovate your property to have additional square footage.

 

5. Green Appliances

Improve Your Rental Property's ROI By Installing Eco-Friendly Appliances

With more people looking to do their part when it comes to helping the environment, renovating your rental property to be more eco-friendly is an excellent way to increase the value of your property.

Things such as green appliances are not only appealing to those looking to make a difference in the world (which drives tenant competition up), they also help lower your tenant’s power bills – which is always a bonus amongst those looking to rent.

What’s better, there are plenty of incentives offered by states and cities to help offset the cost of going green in your rental.

This means even more savings for you, happier tenants, and a higher ROI.

 

Renovating your Annapolis income property to increase your return on investment is always a good idea if your budget allows for it. Especially because after the upgrades are successfully finished, you will be able to instantly recover all of the costs you put into them.

If you are in need of a high quality property management in Annapolis company to help you with things like rent rates, good renovation ideas, and placing high quality tenants in your property that will pay what your investment is worth, contact Bay Management Group today.

We can help you determine which renovations will generate a ROI boost, steer you clear of upgrades that do not make financial sense, and make sure you keep your rent at a reasonable and competitive rate.


The Top 10 Flooring Companies in The Philadelphia Area

Dealing with the upkeep, repair, and cleaning of your rental property flooring is challenging if you don’t know what you are doing.

That’s why enlisting the help of a professional is often your best option for keeping your property’s floor visually appealing, durable, and affordable.

To help, we have searched high and low for Philadelphia’s top 10 flooring companies – complete with high reviews, plenty of awards, and of course a variety of services – so that when it comes time for you to give your property’s floor a little TLC, you will know where to look.

 

10 Flooring Companies You Can Count on for Your Rental

Top Flooring Companies in Philadelphia

1. Victor Hardwood Floors

Victor Hardwood Floors is licensed and insured to perform floor installations, refinishes, repairs, and restorations. Specializing in hardwood flooring and laminate for 20 years, this floor company comes highly rated, and even boasts the official Home Advisor seal of approval.

With Victor Hardwood Floors, you can expect:

  • Implementation of the cutting-edge dust containment system
  • Guaranteed quality workmanship
  • The best prices around, as well as a promise to beat any competitor’s estimate

The hand-selected team at Victor Hardwood Floors is so convinced you will be satisfied with their flooring services, that they have an exclusive Referral Rewards Program that allows you to reap the benefits of spreading the good word about them to your friends and family.

 

2. Hudson Hardwood Floors

Flooring Companies in Philly

Hudson Hardwood Floors is dedicated to providing their customers top-notch craftsmanship and affordable pricing. Thanks to Hudson, you can get your wood floors refinished, buffed, coated, or even cleaned by experts in the flooring industry. Better yet, you can get wood floors installed and add that extra visual appeal to your home.

Hudson Hardwood Floors is proud to say that:

  • They come highly rated on top review sites such as Yelp and Google
  • Dust and sand-free work environments are something they guarantee 99.9% of the time
  • There are two hardwood flooring installations available – one saving you time and money, the other creating a fully customized look

As members of the National Wood Flooring Association, you can rest assured that the experts at Hudson Hardwood Floors know floors well.

 

3. LP Flooring

LP Flooring is a family owned and operated hardwood flooring company that not only performs floor installations and refinishes, but also can help you install stairs, handrails, baseboards, and custom moldings to meet your individual property needs.

LP Flooring boasts:

  • Experience working with a variety of wood species
  • The ability to stain your flooring any color with smooth, finished looks
  • Warranties for all workmanship and installations

Customer satisfaction is LP Flooring’s ultimate goal, and is verified in their portfolio of beautiful floor installations, their highly reviewed services on Home Advisor, and their competitive pricing.

 

4. MJC Floor Finishing

New Flooring For Your Philly Rental Property

While MJC Floor Finishing is a relatively new flooring contractor, they offer up service you will value for years. Established in 2016, their highly trained floor specialists strive to take care of all of your flooring needs – repairs, stripping, installs, upgrades, and more.

Features that make MJC Floor Finishing unique include:

  • 24/7 operating hours
  • The capacity to travel throughout Philly and surrounding areas
  • 100% referral rate on RateABiz

If you are looking to spruce up your rental property’s current flooring, or make the switch from carpet to a more durable, easily cleaned surface such as hardwood or laminate, MJC Floor Finishing comes highly recommended.

 

5. Tran’s Hardwood Floor Co.

As a family owned business, Tran’s Hardwood Floor Co. serves a whole host of areas within the larger Philadelphia area. Their team, available 7 days a week, is highly trained in hardwood floor projects, the installation of steps, and even laminate flooring installs.

Tran’s Hardwood Floor Co. will:

  • Remove your rental property’s carpet, and help you upgrade the flooring
  • Offer free estimates and seek 100% customer satisfaction with affordable pricing
  • Help you create a unique look in your home using baseboards and moldings

This experienced flooring company has the skill you look for when trying to decide which flooring contractor to employ for your property.

6. Floor Coverings International of Cherry Hill

Top Picks for Flooring in Your Philly Rental

Floor Coverings International of Cherry Hill has been in business for 25 years and is proud to say they have serviced residential and commercial customers not only in the Philly area, but also across North America. From floor selection to installation, they have you covered.

With Floor Coverings International of Cherry Hill, you get the following:

  • A free in-home consultation by a specially-trained Design Associate who will help you plan your entire project from start to finish
  • Options such as carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile, and even vinyl, with the option of restoration services as well
  • 12-month no-interest financing, as well as regular promotions on popular flooring

This highly qualified flooring contractor can cover all of your rental property flooring needs.

 

7. Do’s Hardwood Floor Sanding

Do’s Hardwood Floor Sanding, established in 2010, is a comprehensive flooring company dedicated to analyzing your project needs and suggesting products and services that cater to those needs in the best way possible.

At Do’s Hardwood Floor Sanding, you get more than hardwood services:

  • Specialty flooring such as concrete, stone, bamboo, Terrazzo, and even engineered wood
  • Free quotes on any of their long-lasting flooring solutions
  • Patch repairs that match seamlessly, as well as staining services

This efficient flooring company is there for your rental property needs, especially if you want to add one-of-a-kind flooring to your property.

 

8. BJ Kitchen Floor Inc.

BJ Kitchen Floor Inc. has over a decade of experience in traditional and exotic hardwood flooring, as well as other home improvement projects such as cabinetry, countertops, and walls/backsplashes. Perfect as your one-stop home renovation company, the experts at BJ Kitchen Floor Inc. can get you a great price on an exceptional project.

BJ Kitchen Floor Inc. offers the following:

  • Major wholesale distribution pricing for large renovation jobs
  • A variety of wood species, styles, colors, edges, and textures when it comes to your perfect flooring, as well as custom work
  • Trusted brands such as Bruce, Armstrong, and Mullican

BJ Hardwood Floor Inc. deals with both residential and commercial hardwood flooring options, and also offers laminate and vinyl options should you be on a more limited budget.

 

9. Philly Hardwood Floors

Best Companies For Your Philly Rental's Flooring

Philly Hardwood Floors is a fully-licensed and insured flooring business that is happy to provide you long-lasting, visually appealing, and eco-friendly wood floors to help boost the value of your property. Specializing in installations, repairs, and restorations, they also have staircase services available for those in need.

With Philly Hardwood Floors, you also receive things like:

  • Free estimates and moldings
  • Extensive operating hours (7am – 10pm), 7 days a week
  • Affordable pricing, timely project completion, open communication, and top quality workmanship, as stated in several Yelp reviews

If you choose to go with Philly Hardwood Floors, you will not be disappointed in how attractive your property flooring looks when the project is completed.

 

10. Philadelphia Flooring Solutions

Philadelphia Flooring Solutions works with all types of flooring options – carpet, laminate, hardwood, ceramic tiles, vinyl, and more. And, with trained experts on hand to discuss your project needs, you will be able to renovate your rental property’s flooring, while still meeting your allotted budget.

In addition, expect the following from Philadelphia Flooring Solutions:

  • Top-notch brands such as Pergo, Mohawk, and Shaw
  • Resources to help you measure your floor space and determine which flooring solution is best based on room type
  • A Home Advisor seal of approval prompting you to trust their brand

This flooring company is proud to say they have experts on hand to meet your flooring needs, and the know-how for using up-to-date products on your low budget rental flooring project, all the way up to your customized luxury project.

 

In Closing

Educating yourself about the different types of flooring available will prove beneficial to you in the long run.

Luckily, Philly has some exceptional flooring specialists that can help you choose the perfect flooring option for your rental property. Consider factors such as ease of cleaning, durability, visual appeal, and cost – then pick a flooring professional to make it all happen.


How Do I Find a Good Property Management Company Near Me?

How to Find a Good Property Management Company Near Me

Hiring a property management company for your Philadelphia rental property is a big decision.

A good property manager has the potential to ensure your tenants are satisfied, that you receive a monthly positive cash flow, and that your property is properly cared for.

In a property management company, you are going to need qualities like:

  • Solid tenant screening procedures
  • Secure rent payment collection
  • Routine inspections of your rental property
  • Maintenance and repair policy that satisfies tenants at all hours of the day and night

As a property owner, you will also need competitive management fees, superior communication between your tenants, property managers, and yourself, and of course, will need to rely on your property management company to properly document all of your rental property’s paperwork.

If you are looking to hire a high quality property management company near you, keep reading to learn how to find one nearby that will meet all of your of your property management needs.

 

Finding a Property Management Company Near You

1. Search Online

Search Online to Find Good Property Management Company in Philadelphia

One of the best places to get started in your search for an experienced Philadelphia property management company is online.

Start with a simple Google search. After you have narrowed down prospective property management companies near you in your search results, you should further your investigation.

 

Online Reviews

To start, Google the exact property management company’s name and see what pops up. Generally, any reviews that have been left about the company will appear on the first page of the search results. Make sure to look closely at highly reputable review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Zillow.

In addition, you might want to give Glassdoor.com a look as well. This website offers insight into what it is like to work for a specific company. If the property management company you are interested in is listed on Glassdoor.com, check out what previous and current employees are saying about the interviewing process, overall experience, salary, and work environment. If the company treats their employees poorly, chances are they’d do the same to their property owners.

Disgruntled property managers are not the type you or your Philadelphia tenants want to deal with. Based on the company reviews left on Glassdoor.com, you will be able to better gauge which property management companies to move forward with and which to cross off your list.

 

Company Websites

In addition to seeing what other people have to say about a property management company you are considering hiring, take a look at the company’s own website.

Here are some things to look for while exploring the property management company’s website:

  • A comprehensive list of services they provide including, but not limited to: tenant screening, vacancy advertising, rent collection, maintenance procedures, financial reports, and property inspections
  • Management fees and fee schedule
  • Warranties or guarantees provided to property owners
  • Information regarding the owner/president, property managers, and administrative staff
  • Areas the property managers serve
  • A property owner and tenant portal
  • Testimonials from satisfied property owners
  • Contact information

 

Although some of this information may seem obvious to have on a business website, the truth is not all Philadelphia property management companies are the same.

The way a company represents itself online can lend insight into what type of company they are. A good property management company will provide as much information as possible online for property owners to see.

Not only does this transparency help establish the company as reliable, it helps property owners make educated decisions when it comes to choosing the property management company they feel comfortable entrusting their investment properties to.

Lastly, you can check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure the property managers you are interested in are in good standing. Here you will find any issues or complaints filed against the property management company you are interested in, and help you weed out the ones that seem problematic before you even hire them.

 

2. Get a Local Referral

Word of Mouth Great Way to Find Good Property Management Company in Philly

Many experienced property management companies in Philadelphia have strong relationships with industry professionals in the nearby region.

If you are not sure which property management company to go with, and have ties to a local real estate agency, title company, or investor, consider asking them for their professional opinion.

Another idea is to ask your friends or acquaintances that also lease rental property in the Philadelphia area. Perhaps they use a property management company they love and have convincing reasons you too should entrust your investment property to that company. Nothing is better than receiving a referral from someone you know personally.

Word of mouth is very powerful when it comes to home services, especially when it comes to income properties. If a property management company has a bad reputation, you can bet word of it has spread amongst other property owners and industry professionals.

The same can also be said for exceptional property managers: Those with a good reputation will find referrals being sent their way regularly by those who have had good experiences.

 

3. Check Out Local Ads

Find Good Property Management Company in Philly Using Local Ads

Property management companies do a great deal of advertising when it comes to finding tenants for their clients’ vacant rental properties.

This is also a great way to find local property managers.

Simply check out the local newspaper, online classifieds, and hotspots like Craigslist. These resources are often utilized by local property management companies as a way to share that a rental property they manage is available for rent.

Following the advertisement trail may lead you to some exceptional property management companies near you. Just be sure you conduct further research about each company you find to know whether they are the right fit for you.

In addition to finding out which property management companies are near you, doing this affords you the opportunity to check out how they advertise vacancies, what their ads look like, and whether you would feel comfortable advertising your rental property in the way that they advertise their clients’ rentals.

You want to make sure their advertisements are free of discriminatory statements, include detailed descriptions of the available property, and have high-quality images of the available rental.

It’s a good idea to also see whether they advertise across a variety of channels, giving the vacant property a chance to be seen by a wide tenant pool.

 

4. Talk to Current Renters

Talk to Current Renters to Find Good Property Management Company in Philly

Currently, renters occupy 37% of United States households.

This means that there is a good chance you know someone that currently rents a home.

Try asking tenants that they know personally about their landlord, and whether a property management company is used to manage the property.

Again, word of mouth is very powerful in these situations. There is no way a tenant is going to sugarcoat any experience they have had with a property manager. This is especially true if they know you are looking to employ one for your own rental property.

Finding a local property management company is not the hard part – it’s finding one that has high standards, competitive management fees, and a good reputation in the community that can be challenging.

Do your research before you jump in and hire the first local property manager you find. There are plenty of options out there designed to meet a variety of needs.

For those who own rental property in Philadelphia, Bay Management Group has all the qualities of an exceptional property management company.

With strong community ties, a far-reaching network of professional relationships, and a dedication to managing your rental property at competitive rates, we at Bay Management Group work to provide you with everything you need – from advertising your property to managing the move-out process – and more, beyond what you would expect from a standard property management company.

So, get in touch with Bay Management Group today and let us manage your rental property, keep your tenants satisfied, and generate you the consistent rental property income you’re looking for.


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.


The Top 5 Ways to Collect Rent From Your Bowie Tenants

Top 5 Ways to Collect Rent From Your Bowie Tenant

Collecting rent from your tenants in Bowie, MD is one of the most important tasks assigned to your property management company.

After all, once rent is collected from your tenants, you get paid.

Today, we are going to look at some of the steps required to collect rent from your tenants, as well as some ways to go about collecting rent.

But first, we will review the more traditional ways of collecting rent, for a quick refresher.

 

How to Collect Rent From your Tenants

How to Collect Rent From Your Bowie Tenant

Here is a look at some of the best ways to collect rent from your tenants:

  1. Online. Allowing tenants to access an online portal to pay their monthly rent is typically considered the best way. It is convenient for your tenant, is secure, and it guarantees that the funds submitted are going to be deposited into your bank account.
  2. Check or Money Order. Though some Bowie property managers prefer not to accept personal checks (unless mailed in), a large majority of tenants still prefer to pay with paper checks. If you do not accept paper checks, money orders are a safe and simple alternative.
  3. Direct Deposit. There may be instances where you want your tenant to transfer their rent from their bank account directly into your bank account. Though not very common, it is definitely secure.
  4. Mail-in Payments. You can always go the more traditional route, and allow your tenants to mail their rent to either you or your property management company. However, the risk of your tenant’s check getting lost in the mail exists, and can cause a delay in your getting paid.
  5. In Person. There is also the option of having your tenants drop their rent off in person at your house (which is always risky) or at your property management company’s office. Again, this requires a personal check, a money order, or cash (which is never recommended).

 

As you can see, there are a number of ways to collect rent from your tenants.

But the question still remains: what are the steps to collecting rent from your tenants?

 

The Rent Collection Process

Rent Collection Process in Bowie, Maryland

The process of collecting rent from your tenants is rather simple if you employ Bowie’s top property management company to do it for you.

Here is a rundown of how your property manager should approach collecting rent from your tenants:

  1. Draft an airtight lease agreement outlining the rent rate, due date, and consequences for paying late
  2. Inform the tenant prior to move-in of the rent collection procedures, including the methods for submitting payment
  3. Collect rent each month through the approved methods
  4. Properly document all rent payments collected each month for tenants, property owners, and the IRS to see
  5. If a rent payment is late, begin the eviction process immediately – serve proper notice, file eviction paperwork, and prepare for legal proceedings if necessary

 

Although the process for collecting rent from your tenants is relatively simple, it is critical to not underestimate its importance.

This is especially true when it comes to dealing with late rent payments.

If, by chance, your tenants fail to pay their rent on time, your property management company should step in and handle the situation right away. You should not let your tenants feel that they can get away with paying their rent late.

After all, this is your rental property business, and you should treat it as such.

 

Additional Rent Collection Methods

Pay Rent Online Via ACH

There are several ways you can collect rent from your tenants during the course of their tenancy.

And, while some ways are recommended, such as collecting payments online, there are additional options that you can provide your tenants, if the situation arises.

 

Local Drop Box

This method is similar to allowing your tenants to drop their rent payments off in person to your property management company. However, this method affords both your property manager and tenant some convenience when it comes to the actual time of day that the payment is dropped off.

Rather than hand in a rent payment in person during regular business hours, having a drop box available makes dropping off rent at any time of the day possible.

Many of your tenants may work during the day and may need to drop rent off after-hours. Allowing them this option of a drop box may reduce late or delayed payments.

 

ACH Payments

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, and involves the automatic collection of rent payments online.

Using an ACH payment service allows you to collect payments from your tenants electronically either as one-time payments, or as recurring payments by directly debiting your tenant’s savings or checking account.

This method is secure and prevents your tenants from having to use e-checks or credit/debit cards.

In addition, this method can be more cost effective than collecting payments via credit or debit card.

Why is that?

Because accepting credit and debit cards usually involves additional transaction fees in exchange for using the online rent collection service.

Lastly, collecting rent using the ACH payment method is typically faster than any online method, because payment is directly debited from your tenant’s bank account.

Processing this type of transaction is quick and easy.

 

PayNearMe

If your tenant does not have access to a computer, or prefers to pay in person but your property management company does not accept drop-off rent payments or does not have a drop box available, you can always consider offering them a PayNearMe option.

PayNearMe is a way to let your tenants pay their rent in cash to a local 7-Eleven or other business that collaborates with the PayNearMe program.

Using a unique card assigned to them for making rent payments, your tenant simply goes to the local PayNearMe business, pays their rent at the counter, and receives a receipt for payment. In response, you are immediately notified that your tenant has paid their rent in full.

This option is often much easier than getting a money order and delivering it, or mailing a check (complete with envelope, address, and stamp), and is a great solution for those that do not have online payment access.

 

Collecting rent from your tenants is one of the most important things you will do as a property owner.

And, if you enlist the help of Bowie’s best property management company, you will be placing the responsibility of rent collection in your property manager’s hands, which is a big weight off of your back.

If you own rental property and need a reliable property management company to aid you in the collection of rent from your tenants, contact Bay Management Group today.

We can help you with every step of collecting rent – from the drafting of the lease agreement, complete with rent payment details to the eviction process (if need be) – so that you don’t have to worry about any of the stresses involved in collecting money from your tenants.


How Can a Catonsville Landlord Break a Tenant’s Lease?

How Can a Cantonsville Landlord Break a Lease?

In the past, we have discussed the various reasons why your Maryland tenants maybe able to legally break their lease agreement with you.

Things such as being called to active military duty, being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and even things you do such as harassing your tenant, or failing to provide a safe and habitable place of living, are all legitimate reasons your tenant may initiate an early lease termination.

But have you ever thought about it the other way around, with landlords as the ones to break the lease agreement?

Today we are going to discuss the legal reasons a Catonsville landlord may break the binding contract they agreed to with their tenants at the start of their tenancy.

 

3 Legal Reasons a Catonsville Landlord May Break a Lease

Catonsville landlords should seek advisement from their property management company if they want to terminate a lease agreement early.

Since every state has their own set of rules and regulations, in addition to the federal landlord-tenant laws all property owners must abide by, it is important to consult with your property manager before quitting a lease agreement early, in order to avoid legal troubles.

That said, there are some general reasons why you may be able to initiate an early lease termination in Maryland that apply whether you own property in Catonsville or not.

 

1. Violations of the Lease Agreement

If your tenant repeatedly violates any terms of their lease agreement, you may legally terminate the lease with proper notice.

Here are the major violations that tend to force landlords to initiate an early lease termination:

 

Failure to Pay Rent

Failure to Pay Rent Allows Landlord to Break The Lease

If you use an experienced Maryland property management company, you should know by now that failure to pay rent on time, every time, is a major breach of the lease agreement.

And, if your property manager cares about the status of your rental property business, they will begin the eviction process as soon as your tenant fails to pay on time.

This not only reminds your tenants that you are serious when it comes to paying rent; it also protects you from losing too much rent income.

In addition, the minute a tenant feels you will not enforce the rules, they will begin to take advantage of you. That’s why administering the consequences, regardless of the reason rent is late, is so crucial to your success as a rental property owner.

 

Lease Provision Violation

There is a reason you and your property manager go through every line of the lease agreement with your tenant prior to move-in day.

This way, all involved parties fully understand what is expected of them throughout the lease term.

Lease provisions include things such as:

  • Rent collection
  • Pet policies
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Rules regarding a tenant’s ability to alter the interior of the property
  • And more

If your tenant signs the lease agreement understanding the rules, and breaches that agreement, you have grounds to terminate the lease early.

 

Breaking the Law

Another common reason you may feel the need to terminate your Catonsville tenant’s lease agreement early is if they break the law on the property they lease from you.

Though your property manager should have included terms in the lease agreement addressing your zero-tolerance policy for things such as illegal drug use or any other criminal activity, you can still consider early termination without those provisions.

Again, consult with your property manager to ensure state and local laws support your reason for wanting to break the lease.

 

2. Property Damage

Tenant Damaging Property Allows Landlord to Break Lease

If your tenant damages your rental property, you may have the right to break the lease agreement with them early. However, be sure that the type of damage inflicted is grounds for an early lease break.

You cannot terminate a lease agreement for just any type of property damage.

Tenants are not responsible for damage to your property that is a result of normal wear and tear.

However, whether by accident or on purpose, any excessive damage, such as broken windows or flooded flooring due to negligence, is the responsibility of your tenant.

And, depending on the circumstances surrounding the damage, you might want to break the lease early with your tenant if the damage is serious enough.

 

3. To Sell the Property or Move-in

The Landlord Can Break the Lease to Sell or Move In

There are times when a landlord feels they need to sell their rental property, or move back into it and make it their primary residence.

But what if these feelings happen halfway through a tenant’s lease term? 

The only way you can break a lease early with your Catonsville tenant to sell your property or move back in, is to have this outlined in the lease agreement you both signed.

So long as your tenants agree to all of the lease provisions, and sign on the dotted line, you are legally able to enforce those provisions throughout the lease term.

This can apply to your wanting to sell the property mid-tenancy.

However, as mentioned before, it is important you know exactly what you are doing before initiating this process. The last thing you want to do is illegally break the lease term and reap the consequences of it.

 

Breaking the Lease the Legal Way

If you run into a situation where you want to initiate an early lease termination with your Catonsville tenant, make sure you have the help of your Maryland property management company so it is done properly.

Breaking a lease with your tenants is a process. And, it typically begins with proper notice of termination:

  • Pay Rent or Quit. For those times when your tenant refuses to pay rent on time, you can send them notice to pay rent within a certain period of time, (usually 3-5 days) or ask them to vacate the premises.
  • Cure or Quit. When your tenant is breaking a lease provision outlined in the lease agreement, and you want to break the lease early, you must first send them a notice with the option to cure the problem, or vacate the premises.
  • Unconditional Quit. This means there are no options for your tenant to pay up or fix the problem they are causing. Instead, they simply must vacate the premises within a certain period of time.

If you are a Catonsville landlord looking to break a lease early, chances are you will want to use an Unconditional Quit notice. That way, you can break the lease immediately, and move forward with finding new tenants to lease your rental.

In Maryland, the following amount of notice is required when delivering an Unconditional Quit notice to your tenants:

  • 14 days’ notice is required for tenants that breach the lease in a way that is dangerous to themselves, others, the landlord, or the property
  • 30 days’ notice is required for tenants that pay rent late 3 times in a 12-month period (though you must have won an eviction lawsuit for each instance of nonpayment)

 

As you can see, breaking the lease with your Catonsville tenants is possible, but there are things to consider before initiating the process.

If you own a rental property in the Catonsville region, and need help drafting a legally compliant lease agreement that addresses things such as early lease termination, both on the part of your tenants, and yourself, contact Bay Management Group today.

We can help you create a lease agreement that touches on all of the policies you want in place, help guide your tenants through the lease during the signing, and even offer tenant welcome packages to remind tenants of what they are responsible for while leasing your investment property.

When hiring Bay Management Group, you will know that your property is being well cared for, and that you have the legal backing to end a lease early, just in case.


What You Should Know Before Investing in a Rental Property

Things to Know Before Investing in a Rental Property in Owings Mills

The current state of real estate purchases in the United States is showing that the trend to invest in rental properties is still going strong.

According to the National Association of Realtors, despite a recent dip in vacation home investments, investor sales in 2016 remained at 19%.

Buying a rental property, especially in the coveted region of Owings Mills, can be extremely lucrative. With a high livability score, plenty of entertainment and shopping, and relatively high-income residents, the chances of you scoring a high-quality tenant are good.

However, before you invest in an Owings Mills rental property, you should know a few things.

Investing in rental property can be extremely profitable, but that profit doesn’t come without its share of risks.

 

4 Things to Know Before Investing in an Owings Mills Rental Property

 

1. Whether You Can Financially Handle an Investment Property

Determine Whether You Can Financially Handle an Investment Property In Owings Mills

Purchasing a rental property is no small feat.

Not only do you have to finance the funds to finalize a property purchase, you need to have enough money to continue paying for your primary residence, and all associated costs of living.

In addition, you should have extra cash on hand to take care of any repairs or upgrades your investment property will need, as well as have an emergency fund stashed away that is to be used for your rental property business only.

Here are some key property management tips to becoming financially secure, and beginning the process of investing in a rental property:

  • Maintain a steady stream of income, even if your goal is to replace your 9-5 job with being a landlord
  • Save for a sizeable down payment, and factor in paying the mortgage for a certain length of time until you place tenants in your property
  • Lower all of your high interest debt, including credit cards and school loans
  • Enlist the help of a reliable financial planner to get your affairs in order
  • Have short and long term financial goals in mind, such as whether you will quit your day job, fund your retirement, or just earn extra cash on the side with your investment property

 

Understanding the state of your finances before investing in a rental property will prevent a lot of stress that results from an emergency happening, and finding you are strapped for cash.

 

2. How Much Rent You Can Expect to Garner

Before deciding to purchase the “perfect” rental property, experienced Owings Mills property managers suggest you research how much rent you can expect to ask from tenants you plan to lease your rental to.

In line with being financially stable before buying something as major as an investment property, this knowledge will help you understand what you can expect your financials to look like after you have purchased your property.

Consider the following as you conduct your research:

  • The location of your property
  • The local amenities you can advertise to prospective tenants
  • What similar properties are asking for in terms of monthly rent rates
  • The state of your property in terms of renovations and upgrades
  • The demographics of the region you are investing in

 

Knowing all of this beforehand will give you insight into whether your purchase price is reasonable as far as positive cash flow is concerned. After all, the whole point of investing in rental property is to make money.

 

3. The Value of the Investment Property

Know the Value of The Rental Property Before Investing in Owings Mills

There are many tips out there regarding the value of the investment for property owners looking to invest in rental property.

For example, some say that if one month’s rent is equal to or greater than 1% of the property’s value, it’s probably a good deal.

Others say that as long as the rental income is high enough to pay off the mortgage, and all property related expenses within 15 years, the property is valued at a reasonable price and you should invest in it.

However, what it all boils down to is how much income you can expect to collect each month in relation to the mortgage value.

Here are some key things to ask yourself about property value and income expectations:

  • How much monthly cash flow can you expect each month?
  • What can you expect to spend each month on the mortgage and expenses?
  • How much in excess fees can you expect to pay out – HOA fees, insurance, utility costs you are covering, landscaping services, etc.
  • If a tenant were to move out of your property, how long do you suspect you’ll have to cover the mortgage until a new tenant is placed?

 

Planning for the future will help you avoid costly expenses down the road.

After you determine the answers to all of the above questions, you will have a firm grasp on whether to move forward with your investment decision.

 

4. The Benefits of Using a Property Manager

Knowing before you invest in an Owings Mills rental property the advantages of enlisting the help of Maryland’s leading property management company is crucial to living a stress-free landlord life.

By employing an experienced, reliable property manager to handle the day-to-day tasks of managing your rental property, you will avoid the following costly mistakes:

  • Paying to advertise your vacant rental on poorly trafficked sites that garner interest amongst the wrong tenant pool
  • Legal issues that could cost thousands in court and attorney’s fees, as well as settlements
  • Placement of low quality, problem tenants that break the rules, don’t pay on time, and damage your property
  • Attempting to handle all maintenance and repair issues yourself, which could result in more costly issues, as well as a loss in personal time
  • Loss of security deposit because of improper collection, documentation, or use
  • High turnover rates because of a lack in communication and customer service
  • Missing rent payments because of unorganized collection procedures

 

Having a property management company, such as Bay Management Group, handle all of your property management needs, such as vacancy advertisement, lease drafting, rent collection, and tenant screening, can help significantly reduce your chances of losing money on your investment.

In addition, at Bay Management Group, we help with things like routine inspections to ensure your property is being cared for properly, around-the-clock maintenance and repair issues, complete with our own maintenance crew and list of reliable contractors, and even eviction proceedings should the unthinkable happen and you land in court facing your tenant.

So, contact us today and see how we can help you with your Owings Mills rental property.