Today on Ask All-County, we’re talking to our bookkeeper, who handles all things accounting. Whenever we have a financial question, Anna is the one to answer it. She’s sharing her process for dealing with tenants who don’t pay rent.
Rent Drop Box and Rent Direct Deposit
First, have an easy way for tenants to make their rental payments. Have a drop box available for them at your office, or let them make deposits directly. You also must know your lease. You need to know your due dates, your late fee structure, and what you can claim on a notice should you have to pursue the eviction process.
Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit
Serve and post your Three-Day Notice after the tenant is late on rent. It’s important to review the notice carefully before you post it. Make sure all occupants are listed and make sure the entire address is listed, including the unit number. You want to have the county included, and you need to be certain that the amount owed is correct. After you do these things and post your notice, wait the three business days. If there is no contact from the tenant and you don’t receive any money, we recommend you contact an eviction attorney. The attorney will get you through the process without any mistakes, represent you in court, and ensure the entire process is smooth.
Most importantly, do not have any more contact with the tenant once you move forward and enlist the help of an attorney. If your tenant contacts you, advise them to contact your attorney.
You now have the guidelines for what to do if your tenant doesn’t pay rent. Make sure you give your tenants multiple ways to pay rent, understand your lease, and follow the eviction process consistently.
If your tenant doesn’t pay rent and you’re not sure what to do, please don’t hesitate to contact us at All County PPM. We’d be happy to help you.
In Ask All County today, we’re talking to one of our best property managers about how to qualify a tenant. Darlene is telling us about screening tenants, and what to look for. It’s important to screen your tenants and put the best qualified tenant in your property. You are looking for someone who will take good care of your home while they are living there.
Application and Screening
Once we put an available property online and begin to market it, we ask interested tenants to submit an application so we can do a tenant background search. First, we check criminal backgrounds because we have a requirement as far as criminal history. We also pull credit history on all prospective tenants. We don’t eliminate applicants based on a certain score, but we do want to see their credit background.
Employment Verification and Income
Next, we do a rental verification. Our process is to call previous landlords and ask a series of questions to get an idea of how the tenant has performed in the past. We make sure rent was paid on time, that proper notice was given, and that the tenant has a consistent rental history. We also do an employment verification. With the tenant’s permission, we verify that they are currently employed. We also ask for income verification, which can be the last three paycheck stubs. If a tenant doesn’t make three times the monthly rent in income, we’ll allow other sources of income such as social security or alimony. Some tenants receive child support payments or retirement and pensions. Section 8 vouchers are also accepted.
We have a thorough screening process. Not only are we interviewing tenants, but previous landlords as well to get an accurate rental history and find out how they treated the home. These are some of the things you can do to qualify your tenants. If you have any questions about your tenant check or anything pertaining to South Florida property management, please contact us at All County PPM.
Today on Ask All County, we are talking to our excellent maintenance coordinator, who is sharing the maintenance and repair process that we follow.
Communication and the Maintenance Process
Our maintenance and repair process is simple. Tenants have to put their request in writing so we can document it. Then, we communicate, letting them know we received it. We also have a 24 hour line in case we aren’t open or there’s an emergency. Tenants can reach us there as well. When a maintenance request is submitted, we look at what’s going on and send it to one of our preferred vendors. Then, we email the tenant letting them know that a vendor will be contacting them to schedule the repair. We also let the owners know what’s happening. Communication is 100 percent key because we don’t want the tenants to feel like their needs are being ignored.
Handyman Services vs. Licensed Vendor
We do not have maintenance in house, but we do have a preferred vendor list. We have been working with these professionals for quite a while. They are all licensed and insured. Using a good vendor rather than someone you know or a local handyman is always safer. We know that the licensed vendors have insurance protection so if anything goes wrong, their insurance will cover them. We have worked with our vendors and contractors for a long time, and they do great work for affordable prices.
Home Inspection Process
Part of maintaining an asset is protecting it. We recommend doing a quarterly drive by inspection of the property so you can at least get a look at the exterior. It might need some landscaping or paint. So always drive by and see how it looks. You don’t want to see tenants parking on the grass or setting up workshops on the lawn. The interior should be inspected annually, or perhaps bi-annually. Make sure everything looks good, because this is your investment property.
While attending the University of Central Florida, I read a book by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Dad Poor Dad. A lot of investors probably read this book as well, and it had an impact on me. I learned a lot, and within a year of reading it, I purchased my first investment property. The three reasons for investing are the same today as they were back when I read the book.
Equity is the difference between the value of a property and what you owe on that property if you have a loan. Your home equity will increase as your tenants help you pay down the loan, and also with appreciation that you receive from making normal repairs, paying attention to maintenance, and implementing smart upgrades.
Robert Kiyosaki also wrote a book called The Cash Flow Quadrant. It talks about cash flow, or passive income, and the opportunities that rest there. This is the difference between your rental income and your expenses. If you earn more than you spend, you’re net positive, and you’re earning a positive cash flow on your rental properties.
Lots of investors look for opportunities to leverage the bank’s money when they don’t have enough cash to purchase a property outright. So, leveraging is important. You must understand the loan to value ratio, or the LTV. Most banks loan 80 percent, so you’ll need to have 20 percent. When you have a few properties, you can leverage those to buy more.
These are three simple reasons for investing in residential real estate and rental properties. If you have any questions about how to get into real estate or investing in real estate, please contact us at All County PPM.
The rental process is the focus of our Ask All County blog today, and we’re going to give you a brief overview of all the steps we follow with our property sites. We will do a series of videos and blogs that cover each step in detail, but this is our overview. Here’s how we follow the rental process.
Rent Ready Homes and Marketing
Before we list your property, we make sure your home is rent ready. That means the home is clean, painted, and ready for someone to move in. Once we have the green light, we market your property. We list it on the MLS, which is a listing service for Realtors. Then we also post apartments and homes on syndicated websites like MyNewPlace, HotPads, and Zillow. Prospects go to these sites to see your property, and it will ensure your property is not vacant for too long. We look for 30-45 days to get your property occupied if it’s marketed and priced right.
Tenant Screening and Management
Screening tenants is an essential part of the rental process, and we never want to put a tenant in your property who we don’t know. A thorough background check is conducted. Once we find the right tenant, we start collecting rent. If for some reason we don’t get rent on time, we post notices. We also post notices if violations or issues arise, and we make sure the tenants are maintaining the property. If we cannot get the tenant to comply, we proceed with resolving the delinquency. We accomplish this by posting a Three-Day Notice, and pursue the eviction process if necessary.
Maintenance and Inspections
Our team provides 24/7 maintenance. We address any repairs that are needed in the property immediately. We hire licensed and insured vendors to get the work completed quickly and correctly, avoiding any additional issues. Our home inspection services include a quarterly exterior drive by inspection. Every year or bi-annually, we do an interior inspection to make sure the tenant is taking care of the property. If not, we know it’s probably not a good idea to re-rent to that resident.
If our investigation reveals that everything looks good, we renew the tenant and do everything we can to keep that tenant happy and in place for additional years.