Get Your Property Rental Ready

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18 Mar 2016
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Property Management Expert Series

Spring is a great time for the long-term rental market! The long-term rental season ramps up during the spring and peaks during the summer; that’s when a lot of families move due to the school year.  Young professionals are also moving around this time because many of them are still on the leasing cycle from their college years.

When is a good time to put a home on the rental market?

Now! It typically takes a month to get a home rent ready, from owner move-out, if applicable, to tenant move-in. And some properties take more steps to get ready. 

Important information for a homeowner to gather first:

Think about the time period when you would like to have the home rented, the market and neighborhood is pulling in for rent, and if they want to hire a property management company or self-manage. Overall it is good decision to evaluate if the rental income is line with their monthly expenses on the home. This is especially true when the owners are renting their primary residence, and moving to a rental property, or purchasing another property intended for primary residence. Rental income can be a better option in some situations, while selling a home could provide a larger cash payout, depending on the property condition/location, owner’s situation, and purchase/ rental/ sales price.

Pros and Cons of Self-Management vs. Hiring a Property Management Company? 

The advantage to self-management is that the homeowner would keep the fee that would be paid to the property manager. The downfall is that it can be a very time consuming process. On average, an owner who self -manages their property 10 + hours per month handling deposits, tenant communication, and maintenance. A larger time commitment is required during the advertising and tenant selection process. A professional property manager saves owners 90% of their time, making the proportion to the management fee, an excellent return on time vs. cost.  In addition, unique situations always occur in property management that an owner is probably not experienced in dealing with the protocol with handling issues.

Professional Property Managers can Navigate Unknown Territory for Owners

Homeowners usually don't know how long a tenant has to legally pay rent and how to initiate the eviction process. They usually don't have the knowledge of the 7 protected classes under Fair Housing Laws are either. 

The advantages to hiring a professional property manager is that all property managers must be licensed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and we are all very familiar with the laws specified in the South Carolina Landlord Tenant Act. Also, licensed property managers have many tools available to us that assist in managing homes; such as the ability to do a thorough credit and background check. Also professional property managers have business relationships with vendors and local magistrates, which will save the owner money in the long run.)

Your Rent-Ready Checklist

1. All personal belongings of the owners should be removed from the property.

2. All the appliances in the home should be in good working order

3. The yard should be trimmed and neat.

4. If the walls are scuffed and dinged up, they should be painted with a neutral color and if the carpet is severely stained, it should be replaced with new carpet or laminate hardwood.

5. The home and appliances should be deep cleaned and the carpets professionally steam cleaned.