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Tips for Renting to First-Time Tenants

first-time-tenant-montgomery-countyMore than ever, especially in areas such as Montgomery County, leasing rental properties has become an important part of how people live.  One such is example of this is seen in the millennial generation.  With housing costs that continue to remain high, millennials are choosing to put off having families and purchasing homes. Couple that with the rising cost of student debt, and leasing a home has become the norm for many people.

If you own a rental home in the Montgomery County area, or better yet, employ a property management company to help you care for your investment properties, it is crucial you do everything in your power to appeal to quality tenants and keep them in your property for long lease terms.

As the competition increases in the rental property business, it can be difficult to cater to every type of renter.  However, knowing how to deal with first-time renters can solidify a long-term relationship with those most likely to lease a home for long periods.

Today we are going to provide you with some tips for renting to first-time renters.  Since first-time renters don’t typically have the experience a seasoned renter has, remaining proactive when it comes to the move-in process will help ensure a successful lease term and lower turnover rates.


How to Help Your First-Time Renter

Here is a list of some of the most vital tips for renting to first-time renters.  However, it is a good idea to keep these tips in mind and apply them to all tenants you place in your Montgomery County rentals.  Regardless of a tenant’s leasing experience, tips like the following will have a positive impact on the overall leasing experience.


1. Basic Maintenance Versus Maintenance Requests

basic-maintenance-first-time-tenant-montgomery-countyMany first-time renters are not sure how to care for a home of their own.  In fact, many first-time renters are fresh out of their parents’ houses and may not have any experience maintaining a household.

Make sure to outline clearly your first-time renter’s basic maintenance responsibilities in the lease agreement.  This can include things such as changing the light bulbs, replacing air-conditioner filters, and even maintaining the landscaping in both the front and back yards.  This way there is no confusion about how a tenant is supposed to care for your investment property.

Defining maintenance issues that do not fall upon the shoulders of your tenant are equally as important to explain.  It’s a good idea to provide your tenant with information regarding how to submit a maintenance request and what to do in the case of a real emergency.  You also ought to inform your renter that things such as leaky faucets must be reported upon noticing the issue to prevent further damage and to keep them from becoming partially responsible for the damages incurred.


2. Appliance Use

A number of first-time renters have no experience working with major appliances such as the heating and cooling system, the washer and dryer units, the dishwasher, or even the garbage disposal.  And, in the event that they do have experience, they may not be familiar with how to operate the specific models you have in your rental.

It is helpful to explain the proper use and maintenance of each major appliance in your rental home.  This not only helps a first-time renter with basic duties such as doing laundry and cleaning dishes, it helps protect your appliances from misuse.


3. Contact Information

provide-first-time-renters-contact-information-utility-informationLeasing a home in Montgomery County for the first time can be an overwhelming experience.  It’s hard enough to understand the application and approval process for the home itself, let alone which utilities to have turned on, who to contact to complete that process, and how to pay those respective bills.

Providing your tenant a list of local utility companies to contact demonstrates a genuine concern for them.  This level of customer experience can go a long way when it comes time to renew the lease agreement.  In addition, it makes sure your home has the appropriate utilities connected so that if your tenant does decide to move out at the end of the lease term, the transfer of utilities from their name into yours is smooth.

More so, make sure your tenant has all of your contact information or that of your Montgomery County property management company.  A first-time renter may not know who to call when there is a problem.  Giving them that information upfront will save both your tenant and you many headaches down the road.


4. Explain the Rent Process

First-time renters have likely never paid rent before.  If you want to ensure that you are paid on time, it is in your best interest to explain the entire process to your tenant.  Make sure they understand exactly how much the monthly rent is, which payment methods are accepted, and how to submit their rent each month.


5. Take the Move-in Inspection Seriously

 perform-thorough-move-in-inspection-first-time-renter-montgomery-countyFor many first-time renters, having to take responsibility for things such as holes in the wall, carpet stains, and broken appliances may not be something they are used to.  It is imperative you conduct a thorough move-in inspection, complete with a checklist and photos if possible, to prevent having to pay for damages incurred by your tenant.  After all, if there is no proof the damages did not exist at the time of move-in, your tenant may refuse to pay up.  This can lead to costly battles that may even land you in court.

In addition, it is a good idea to explain to your first time renter that what exceeds normal wear and tear will be their financial responsibility at the end of the lease term.  By doing this you prevent any confusion.  Your goal should be to be proactive, informative, and upfront so both parties are fully aware of their responsibilities.


6. A Few More Quick Tips

Leasing your Montgomery County investment property to first-time renters does not need to be a harrowing experience.  Here are some more things to relay to your tenants upon move-in to help make the entire leasing experience a success:

  • Encourage renter’s insurance. If you don’t require it in your lease agreement, the least you can do is explain to your tenants what renter’s insurance is and why it is a good thing to have.  Don’t forget to mention how cost effective it is, especially in the case of an actual emergency.
  • Try to forge a good relationship from the start. First-time renters may not know what to expect when it comes to landlords or property managers.  If you treat them with respect and kindness from the start, chances are higher that at the end of the lease term they will agree to stay.  Avoiding constant turnover is the goal of every property owner and there is no reason your first-time renter cannot turn into a long-term renter.
  • Share the local area amenities with them. Being out on your own for the first time can be a scary ordeal.  This is especially true if the area is new to you.  Share local restaurants, shopping areas, and entertainment spots with your tenants so they feel more comfortable with the location.  Again, this extra bit of customer service can go a long way when it comes to keeping a long-term tenant.


Managing your own Montgomery County property can be a large undertaking.  Especially when dealing with first-time renters that are not familiar with the process of leasing a home.  If you are looking for some help with managing your investment properties, and want everything done with the highest of integrity and care, contact Bay Management Group to help you today.

Bay Management Group has some of the best property managers in Maryland.  We understand the complexities that come with leasing an investment property to first-time renters and can help every step of the way.  Our exceptional knowledge about the rental property business allows us to handle issues quickly and efficiently, thus lowering turnover rates and creating happier tenants.  So, contact us today and let us handle any first-time renters that come your way.  We make it easy for you!