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When a tenant leaves a property, it is common for them to leave behind some things that landlords have to dispose of. Cleaning up after them, fixing damage they have caused, and handling personal property are common. However, what is the law pertaining personal property? How quickly can you dispose of the property? 

Is the Property Abandoned?

The property needs to be walked through to make sure it is actually abandoned. Normally a tenant that is abandoning the property will stop paying rent, or they have told you they want to move in the past. If someone seems that they have been trying to end their lease, and they are suddenly gone, it could mean it is abandoned. 

Notification to Tenants

Landlords need to provide notification to tenant. If you can tell the property is abandoned, you will need to send the letter to their last known address. Some of the things you need to have on the notice include:

  • Landlord name and address
  • Location where all the property is being stored 
  • Statement related to when the property will be disposed if it is not claimed
  • Statement of how much the former tenant must pay in storage costs to claim their property

Property that is valued less than $250 needs a seven day waiting period after the letter has been sent. Property valued over $250 will need to be held for at least 45 days prior to disposing of it. 

Do the Items Have Value?

Certain things people leave behind are simply garbage, but what about other things that do have a perceived level of value? Getting rid of belongings is one of the concerns landlords often face. Washington does have laws discussing when landlords need to store the items and give notice or if they can toss the items. 

Disposing of Tenant Property

When the time period passes and the former tenant has not claimed the property, landlords can sell or dispose of the property. Some landlords sell the property and use the money from the sale of the items to pay for the costs of needing to store the items. However, if there is money left over from paying for repairs and all the costs, that money needs to be held for at least a year before it can be claimed. 
Keyrenter Property Management McAllen specializes in handling tenant concerns like evictions and disposing of tenant property. Contacting legal experts is recommended for property managers who are new to understanding tenant law and other property legalities.

The post What to Do With Renter’s Abandoned Property appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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How Best to Handle Them

When the Fair Housing Act was amended in 1988, one of the changes involved the requirement of landlords to make reasonable accommodations requests from tenants. The act allows individuals with disabilities the right to have and enjoy housing on equal terms as everyone else. Some of the reasonable accommodation requests include:

  • Service animals
  • Transfer to a different unit
  • Caregiver assistance
  • Rental costs

Service Animals

Some landlords do not want animals on or in the property. While the no pet policy is standard for most places, someone submitting a reasonable request is different. Tenants who do require a service animal or emotional support animal are entitled to have them according to the Fair Housing Act.

Transfer to a Different Unit

A tenant with disabilities can submit a request to transfer to a different unit of the same value for medical necessity. Common examples include a tenant that needs a first-floor apartment and is currently on the fourth-floor. Ground level apartments limit the need to climb stairs to get to their home.

Caregivers

Certain tenants will need 24-hour care, which often requires a caregiver to move in. Housing providers normally do not require caregivers to be added to a lease.

Rental Costs

A tenant can submit a reasonable accommodation request if they are currently receiving social security or disability as their primary income. As the payment dates and rental payment dates normally do not correlate, many individuals ask for a due date chance to better accommodate the deposit of funds.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodation in Housing

Who can submit a reasonable request accommodation? The individual must be disabled or considered disabled due to impairments, and have record of the impairment. As this area can become confusing for many landlords, it is wise to consider hiring a property management company to provide assistance in this matter.

How to Request Reasonable Accommodation

The request for reasonable accommodation needs to be submitted in writing for the safety and protection of both parties. Depending upon the company policy, tenants may need to fill out a specific form.

Keyrenter Property Management in McAllen can provide assistance to both tenants and landlords when it comes to understanding reasonable accommodation requests.

The post Reasonable Accommodation Requests From Tenants appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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Bed bugs quickly lead to extreme problems for property owners if they are not contained quickly. Bed bugs spread fast as they attach to clothing, backpacks, and luggage. Since it’s hard to determine where bed bugs arrived on the property, most landlords spend their time dealing with the treatment and then prevention. Here are some tips to follow if you suspect bed bugs.

  1. Create a Policy that is Compliant with Texas Law
    • One of the best things to do is create a policy so your tenants know how to react if there are bed bugs. Inform tenants to call immediately if they suspect any type of pest.
    • Inform tenants that an exterminator will be called immediately to professionally diagnose the problem. Tenants need to be aware that the inspector will need to examine all mattresses, bedding, couches, and possibly within the drawers of dressers. Since the inspector needs to go through a lot of areas, it is vital that tenants understand how quickly these bugs spread and what they do.
  2. Who Pays for Bed Bugs?
    • The responsibility of who pays for the bed bugs will fall upon the person that brought the bed bugs into the building. Identifying who brought the bed bugs can be hard, so many landlords choose to include an insurance policy that covers bed bug costs.
    • Landlords commonly pay for bed bug remediation, especially if the bed bugs were present before the tenant moved in. Failure to have the area treated prior to them moving in could leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit.
  3. Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
    • Once you know you have a bed bug problem, act quickly to get rid of them. Professionals will normally aid in the majority of treatment, but there are some things that can be done prior to the treatment. Here are some tips to give to tenants:
      • Remove as much clutter from the home as possible.
      • All bedding, blankets, and such need to be washed in hot water and placed in a dryer. Have them place the washed items in sealed plastic to keep them from getting infected.
      • The home should be vacuumed and the waste should be disposed of outside the home.
      • If bed bugs were found in a mattress, it should be encased in treated plastic for at least a year for the bugs to be completely destroyed.
    • Inspectors will do several things including disassembling furniture, using heat and steam to sanitize and clean. Infested furniture needs to be sealed in plastic encasements until the bed bugs have died.

Bed bugs are no joking manner. If you have a report of bed bugs, take this threat seriously. At Keyrenter, we focus on making sue both tenants and landlords are protected. Contact Keyrenter in McAllen, TX to discuss bed bugs and other landlord responsibilities.

The post What To Do When You Suspect Bed Bugs appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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Your personal style may not account for the hottest design trends, but when renovating a McAllen rental property, what’s trending is very important. Make sure you have the pulse of current design trends before you renovate your rental. If your rental property fails to account for popular opinion, it will be more difficult to find renters, and you may wonder why you renovated at all. Don’t worry we’re here to help with all of the hottest renovation design trends of 2018.

Cool Colors and Dark Accent Walls

Renovations don’t have to be full gut-jobs. Sometimes all you need to make your rental look like new is a fresh coat of paint. The most popular wall colors are the cool colors. In case you haven’t brushed up on your color theory in a few years, cool colors include blues, purples, and greens. In this case, we are also including gray. Gray is quite possibly the most popular paint color of 2018. To spice up the gray, many home and property owners are adding dark accent walls. The most popular accent wall color is navy blue, though other blues are also popular choices.

Hardwood Floors

While many trends come and go, hardwood floors seem to be somewhat timeless. The exact color and style of choice does change from year to year, though. In 2018, the choice renovating design trend seems to be dark, wide-planked hardwood. Hardwood is expensive to install and difficult to maintain, though, so many buyers are opting for synthetic options that look like hardwood. This is a great idea if you are renovating your rental. Not only does vinyl flooring that is made to look like hardwood hold up better than genuine hardwood, it looks just as good!

Windows and Lights

Windows and lights are never out, but in 2018 renters want more windows and lights than ever before! The brighter a room is the more satisfied renters seem to be. If you can install more windows and more light fixtures, do it. Your future tenants will love the brightness in your property.

The Full Remodel

If you are gutting absolutely everything inside of a property and starting from scratch, here are some trends you should consider when you start putting all the pieces together again. Renters value open concept floor plans. If you can walk from the kitchen to the living room without encountering a wall, renters will be pleased. Open spaces make a property feel larger and more inviting. Master suites are also trending. While most of these include just a bedroom and a large, luxurious bathroom, in 2018 master suites are growing to include massive closets, dressing rooms, and additional office space or workout rooms. Consider designing your new layout to include some iteration of a master suite.

Ready for Renters

Once you have your property looking better than ever before, Keyrenter McAllen will help you find renters who are worth their weight in gold! With our tried and true tenant screening process, we will help find you the perfect tenants and keep your property occupied. Call us today if you want to find out what we can do for you.

The post Renovating Your Rental? Design Trends for 2018 appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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It is common for tenants to have some guests come and stay from time to time. While most landlords do not require tenants to provide them with notice of their guests, there is a concern over a guest moving into the property. How long can a tenant have a guest? Understanding when it goes from a visit into a person living there can be tricky. Here is a guide to help you understand the difference between a guest and a new tenant.

Guests and Tenants

The main issue that arises is when you notice the guest starts acting like your tenant. Are they asking you to do certain things for their property? Do they use the facilities and other things you provide only for your tenants? A guest can be a concern if they begin to act like a tenant as they could cause issues that cause problems for other tenants. For example, what happens if they are home in the middle of the day and accidentally start a fire that burns down several homes? Is the guest listed on your insurance policy? There is a good chance that you could end up dealing with expensive costs as the insurance company may not cover all of the costs because they were not considered a “legal” tenant. Any adult that is living in the property needs to be on the lease or else you have no legal accountability for this individual.

Examples of a Guest
  • Someone staying on the weekends once and awhile with family members or friends
  • A friend, family member, or worker who is visiting or a few days or weeks
  • A partner that visits during daytime hours
  • Daytime only Nanny (or worker that visits during daytime but never resides overnight)
Examples of a Tenant
  • Someone that lives on the property for several weeks or months
  • Someone that moves in with the tenant (elderly parents and college-aged children commonly fall into this category)
  • A live-in Nanny or Au Pair
When Does a Guest Become a Tenant?

While we have discussed several examples of tenants and guests, it can be hard to identify when this shift occurs. If you notice the guest starts paying rent, or they begin dropping off a check, you may want to ask them if they have moved in permanently. Some landlords charge more for new tenants, while others simply need to know so they can place them on the lease and insurance forms.

A guest that starts receiving mail at the property is another one that shows you need to discuss their situation with them. If you notice their vehicle is always there or they stay overnight often, you need to discuss their living arrangements for the lease or rental agreement. Guests that bring their pets and move them into the property or guests that start moving furniture in are considered a tenant.

What Should You Do?

If you feel that a guest is now living there with your tenant, you need to make the decision to talk to them and add the new person to the lease. It is best to do this in a timely manner so you do not have issues with any insurance claims that could occur.

Some landlords are hesitant to confront their tenants about their guests. While it can be uncomfortable, the lease agreement needs to indicate the new tenant. Some landlords will increase the rent rate to accommodate the new tenant. If you do not allow new tenants, you will need to contact your original tenant to discuss the situation. You can send them a lease violation notice and threaten to terminate the lease at this point.

How long can a tenant have a guest? It is up to your professional judgment to determine what you believe is correct. Have candid conversations with your tenants when they sign their lease agreement so they clearly know what is not allowed with guests. If they do not want to increase their rent, you do need to let them know the new individual will need to pay for the additional costs or you will need to terminate the lease.

The post How Long Can A Tenant Have a Guest? appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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Not everyone that invests in property wants the responsibility of managing the property. Keyrenter of McAllen specializes in providing property management services. We focus on helping our clients maintain a steady rental income without a headache and stress that comes with managing the property. So how does property management work?

Dealing with Tenants

One of the largest hassles can be dealing with the tenants. Getting people to pay rent on time, or having to evict someone can be extremely difficult. Property management services are designed to deal with unpredictable situations and handle emergencies any time of the day or night. Many landlords prefer property managers as they do handle so many of the day-to-day needs of owning a property. Property managers are the main point of contact for a renter, which is great for a landlord as they will not be bothered in the middle of the night if a pipe burst or something else occurs.

Finding Tenants

Not only will property managers handle all issues with current tenants, they are responsible for finding new tenants. Marketing and advertising for open properties are much easier with property managers as they normally have access to discounted printing rates, and can often get in with some of the top websites. Property managers have a proven system when it comes to finding and maintaining tenants.

Managing Finances

When a property manager is hired, they will take over all the financial necessities of the property. They will be responsible for rent collection, property fees, upgrade costs, and more. They essentially manage all the finances and charge landlords a fee for this monthly service. When you compare the costs and determine how much time it can take to deal with most of the issues, it is easy to see why people turn to property managers to help with their investment property.

Emergency Response

A great reason to hire a property manager is to deal with all of the issues you cannot handle. Property managers normally have plumbers on call to help with emergency needs. Instead of being a landlord woken up in the middle of the night, you can rest easy knowing the property management firm will take care of everything.

Communication

Property managers will be in contact with the tenants often. From weekly update emails to face-to-face communication, property managers will be the main point of contact for tenants. The goal of the property manager is to get the landlord out of the picture so they are no longer dealing with all the little issues and frustrations of managing a property. Property managers need to have excellent communication if they are going to succeed.

Evictions, Rent Collection, and more

The hard part of owning a property is dealing with bad tenants. Tenants that do not pay on time or tenants that continue to dodge phone calls and communication about past-due rent are those that can be the biggest hassle. Property management is designed to work with these individuals to help them pay, or evict them so the manager can attract new tenants that will pay. Property managers deal with everything, so you can rest easy knowing they will evict the people that do not belong and replace them with good tenants.

If you want to learn more about how does property management work, call Keyrenter of McAllen today!

The post How Does Property Management Work appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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How Much Should I Charge for Rent? Mission, TX Property Management Education - YouTube

Whether you are renting out a single family home, a fourplex, or units in a larger apartment building, you need to know what you can rent that property for. Today, we’re talking about finding the best price for your rental property.

How Much Can I Charge for Rent?

We come up with a market analysis that accounts for your property’s square footage, number of bedrooms, list of amenities in the area, and whether you have a pool or allow pets. There are a lot of details that go into determining the best price. We’ll get a low range and a high range, and then we’ll visit your property. Seeing your property in person is crucial. We need to know how it feels. The price will depend on how it feels and whether it smells bad or looks inviting. The house might feel huge and brand new, and that will impact the price. When someone walks into the property, they will either fall in love with it or put it at the bottom of their list. So, you want to represent that property well.

How Much Should I Rent My House for?

If you’re not using a professional property management company, and you don’t have access to a rental analysis, there are other things you can do to accurately price your home. Check sites like Craigslist and Zillow and see what other rentals are going for. You won’t get a detailed comparison, but you will at least have an idea. If you know a Realtor, you can pull up some current rentals online. As property managers, this is what we do every day. We have the best technology to help us efficiently price your home. We know the market and its prices, and we’ll know pretty quickly what your home will rent for. This will ensure you get the best tenants for the highest price.

If you have any questions about how much rent to charge, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Keyrenter McAllen. We’d be happy to help you out.

The post How Much Should I Charge for Rent? Mission, TX Property Management Education appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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How to Find and Screen the Best Tenants | Mission TX - YouTube

Placing great tenants will help you be a successful landlord. Whether you’re using a professional management company or doing it yourself, finding the best tenants starts with marketing and advertising.

Property Management Mission TX: Photos and Videos

Your marketing plan must include excellent photos, and we recommend you take at least 11 to go with your listing. People need something to look at online. Over 90 percent of prospective tenants begin their search for a rental online, so advertising there is critical. In addition to photos, you need a good video. Zillow now allows you to post videos with your ad, and you should use that feature. People are more likely to click on a video than scroll through pictures. We utilize a drone and take pictures of the outside of the property. We make aerial videos of the exterior, and we also do a video tour of the inside of the home. This allows people to feel like they are seeing the home when they happen to be browsing online, even if it’s 2:00 a.m. They might drive by the property during the day, and then do the video tour later. This gives prospective tenants the information they want as quickly and easily as possible, without them having to pick up the phone and ask questions.

Property Management Mission TX: How to Screen Tenants

Ultimately, once you have enough interest in a property, you have to start screening. We have a 14-point screening process so we really know who our applicants are. Don’t just pick someone you think you like. You want credit reports and employment verifications. You’re handing over an asset that’s probably worth more than $100,000. Make sure the people you’re putting in there can and will take care of it. Once you effectively screen a tenant, you need to develop a rental contract that benefits and protects both parties.

If you have any questions about how to find tenants or advertising a rental property, we offer lease-only services as well as full management. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Keyrenter McAllen.

The post How to Find and Screen the Best Tenants | Mission TX appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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Can I Manage My Own Rental Property? DIY or Property Management Mission, TX - YouTube

We meet with a lot of rental property owners who wonder why they should hire a property management company. So today, we’re talking about what it’s like to be a DIY landlord versus hiring the pros. We will tell you about the services we provide, and you can decide if it’s beneficial to you and your investment.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

From the beginning, we make sure your property is rent ready. We will walk through the home with our maintenance team, determine if any work needs to be done, and then take some pictures and videos. We do the marketing and advertising of the property, as well as the pre-screening when interested tenants call. We will handle the showings, and eventually we’ll screen the prospective tenants who apply. We have a 14-point screening process to ensure we place good tenants in your property.

Property Management Mission, TX

Property management for landlords includes a rental contract that protects you as the owner as well as the tenant. We make sure everything is outlined and explained. Once the tenant is placed, we have a maintenance team who is ready 24/7 to help tenants any time they have a repair or an emergency. Being at the forefront of technology, we know how to set up the systems and procedures so everything is taken care of for you.

DIY vs. Professional Property Management

These are some examples of what a professional company can do for you so that you don’t have to do these things yourself. If you decide to go the DIY route, you’ll be getting those phone calls and dealing with stress. You’ll also be at risk for placing bad tenants. The wrong tenants can lead to financial loss, property damage, and potential evictions. It’s not a pleasant process.

Work with people who focus on property management. You don’t just want a Realtor who does property management on the side. At Keyrenter McAllen, we want to be with you and your property for the long term. We don’t get paid until you get paid, and our goal is to make the relationship beneficial for both of us.
If you’d like to hear more about our professional property management services, please contact us at Keyrenter McAllen.

The post Can I Manage My Own Rental Property? DIY or Property Management Mission, TX appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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Many modern rental apartments have patios and gardens. A garden and patio can be a great way to spend time outdoors in a protected and enjoyable space. When it comes to decorating a modern garden, it’s a good idea to think about patio landscaping ideas that can help bring it to life. Any garden, no matter how small, benefits from careful consideration to each area of the space. All areas of the garden and patio space should be decorated in accordance with the renter’s taste and the needs of the entire family. A well decorated outdoor space is one that will help complement the entire rental and provide enjoyable spaces all year round. It’s a good idea to think about how the space will be used. It’s also a good idea to think specifics such as the kind of plants that will flourish in the space during the warmer months and the colder part of the year. Each planting should help the space come alive with and scent that pleases all the senses. Any other details such as a choice of furniture also help make the space both usable and pleasing to the eyes at the same time.

The Size of the Patio

One of the most important considerations when it comes to patio landscaping ideas is the size of the garden and patio. A small patio can serve as an intimate space that helps encourage outdoor conversation in a private space. In that case, it’s a good idea to think about the flow of the patio from the other spaces in the house. If the space lacks privacy, it can be helpful to add a trellis to help frame the space. A large patio and garden can benefit from patio landscaping ideas that take this into account. Larger patios should be divided into specific areas with specific functions. For example, one area might be used for snacks, meals and other outdoor picnics. Another area might be used for the kids complete with a wading pool and a basketball net. Still another area can be used for storage. A storage shed can be helpfully placed in the corner of the patio and garden, enabling the renter to place items like a lawnmower and snow shovels in a safe space that is protected from the elements.

All Year Long

When thinking about patio landscaping ideas, it’s a good idea to remember the seasons. Many renters want to use the patio and garden as much as possible even when it’s colder or very hot. A good design will take this into account. For example, modern plantings can be created that bloom during the summer and help keep parts of the patio shaded from the heat. During the fall and even winter, contemporary plantings can be added that will still add color and withstand the colder weather. Small details are perfect in this space. For example, a vine can be trained to grow over metal columns or wood railings to add movement. Many renters opt for a combination of perennials and annuals. Perennials bloom once and then stop. Annuals bloom once a season and then again at the same time each year. Each type of planting can be used during different seasons. For example, a series of pastel flowers like tulips can help the patio come alive with color during the spring. As the weather gets hotter, it’s a good idea to plant flowers, bushes, and trees that are tolerant of heat and less water. Many plantings can be later removed from the soil if the renter then decides not to renew their rental contract on the property.

Patio Furniture

Furniture is an integral part of any outdoor space. Just as any door space should have the right kind of furniture, so should the patio and garden. A beautiful wooden table with matching chairs makes the ideal space for an outdoor meal with friends and family and allows them to enjoy the modern garden. Benches in a corner help offer a space to rest and see the rest of the patio and garden at the same time. Many patio landscaping ideas help people pick out the right kind of furniture. Many renters look for pieces that work all year long without a problem. For example, furniture made from metal can withstand high heat and cold. Many people find it helpful to use other kinds of items in their patio that can withstand varied temperature changes. Look for cushions that can stand up to rain and dry out quickly. Furniture should also be easy to move inside in the event the weather changes or the renter needs to move somewhere else. Modern design often makes this possible easily. Today’s outdoor fabrics are designed to be lightweight and easy to move as well as durable.

Creating a Coherent Space

An effective and pleasing patio and garden design should, above all, be coherent and full of life. A modern patio space and garden is all about the proper use of the space. Look for ways to use modern ideas well. For example, many new watering methods allow for the use of lush plantings without the need for constant watering. Modern grasses can be planted to give an extra layer of privacy often at little cost. Such grasses can also be placed close to the house or apartment to help reduce heating and cooling costs. Many other kinds of flowers have been improved with modern agricultural developments. Roses have been developed that add color and bloom longer. Contemporary plantings can be incorporated with modern fabric and furniture ideas that help make the entire space feel inviting. Renters can also take advantage of faster-growing plants and flowers to help fill up all corners of the outdoor space quickly. This allows them to get the look they want often at little cost. It also helps any renter create an outdoor space in their home that is entirely and fully their own.

The post Patio Landscaping Ideas to Get a Modern Garden appeared first on Keyrenter Property Management McAllen.

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