Tenant Repairs

To charge the tenant or to not charge the tenant; that is the question!  Recently we had a local appliance company out to a property we manage in Mesa.  The tenant repair issue was a foul smell from the washer.  The invoice came back and said “washer is working well at this time.  Told tenant to run some citric acid through the washer to help with mildew smell”.  We then charged the tenant for their visit.  The tenant was extremely upset and contacted the appliance vendor directly.  After that conversion suddenly a revised estimate appeared.  The new estimate stated that the cost could be up to $500 to repair.    There was no further explanation so we called the company.  They explained that for this tenant repair they would need to take apart the pump to clean out a build up of soap. We questioned how they had arrived at this diagnosis without going back to take the washer apart.  Turns out Real Property Management Phoenix Valley is one of the only property management companies who will hold a tenant responsible for a repair they cause!  According to the appliance company all of the other companies they work with automatically charge the homeowner.  Here are a few examples of repairs that tenants should pay for:

  1. Putting bones and/or other objects down the garbage disposal that causes it to break
  2. Not aligning garage door sensors thereby the door won’t close
  3. Replacing smoke detector batteries
  4. Replacing air filters
  5. Replace light bulbs
  6. Resetting GFCI outlets and or breakers

If you are unsure if a repair is the tenant’s responsibility you can refer to the AZ Landlord Tenant Act.

 

For all of your Phoenix Property Management & Phoenix Real Estate & Phoenix Property Management Needs Contact:

Real Property Management Phoenix

www.rpmphoenixvalley.com

602-358-8130

info@rpmphoenixvalley.com

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Rental property inspections

Rental Property Inspections

Real Property Management Phoenix Valley has been managing Phoenix rental homes for 14 years.  Through our experience we have created the six successful steps of rental property inspections.  We will share those steps with you in this blog.

Step One: Review your lease agreement.  Note how many occupants should be residing in the home.  List the number of minors vs adults and if there are pets.  Also, make note of the responsibilities.  For example is the tenant responsible for the landscaping?  Who is responsible for the appliances?  Lastly note which appliances belong to you versus the tenants.  All of these notes will make your rental property inspection move smoothly.

Step Two: Use a dedicated inspection form.  Break out the form by room and be sure to include the garage, front & back yards.  The more detailed the form the more thorough the inspection will be.

Step Three: If your tenant is home wear headphones.  Don’t let them distract you from the task at hand.

Step Four: Complete the rental property inspection in an organized manor.  In each room take pictures first and then stop to complete your form.  This will help to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Step Five: Be mindful of things that might be strategically placed to make you miss things.  For example, be sure to move a throw rug even if you just fold it in half because it may reveal stains on the carpet.  Also, try to move back sheets that might be covering up windows because you may find broken blinds underneath.

Step Six: Check ALL ceilings as they may reveal roof and/or plumbing leaks.  Check and change air filters and/or smoke detector batteries if needed.  Check the front AND back of all doors to look for any holes and to see what might be hiding behind the door on the paint and/or baseboard.

For an example of an inspection form please listen to our podcast.

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Phoenix Rental Lease Agreement

Phoenix Rental Lease Agreement
 Phoenix Rental Lease Agreement

One of the most important items a  landlord will have is their Phoenix rental lease agreement.  The more detailed and specific the agreement the better for both the property owner and tenant.  In this blog we will discuss four important components of the lease including occupant names, late fees, legal notice fees & appliances.  The lease agreement should include all property owner names and the full address.  Additionally, it should include all occupant names include minors.  Real Property Management Phoenix Valley suggests listing minors as well as their date of birth.  We also recommend obtaining that information from the lease holder in writing.  This information will be very valuable for when you complete a property inspection.  We suggest taking this information with you to the inspection so you can verify that only the people on the lease are residing in the home.  This will help you to recognize if there are any unauthorized occupants in the property.

Next let’s address late & legal notice fees.  Late fees should be specified as a per day amount versus one lump sum after the due date.  This way the tenant has incentive to pay the rent as close to on time as they can.  The daily late fee amount should be somewhat substantial so that the tenant has incentive to pay on time.  Also, we do encourage a grace period of one to two days but not much longer.  This ties into our next component of legal notice fees.  Spell out in the lease agreement that the tenant is responsible for any legal notice fees.  This way if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent you can charge them back for the cost of serving them with the legal notice of an eviction. The tenant will have between 5-10 additional days to pay rent.  For this reason you do not want the grace period to be longer than two days.

Final for this blog we will address appliances. The lease agreement should list which appliances the home owner is including in the property.  It should also spell out which appliances the landlord will fix and which the tenant is responsible for.  Keep in mind that the landlord will always be responsible for the stove, built in micro and dishwasher.  However very often the tenant is responsible for the fridge, washer & dryer as they tend to be optional appliances.

For more information on our lease “must haves” visit our blog/podcast page to listen to our two additional segments.

For more specifics on our Phoenix rental lease agreement “must haves” tune into our podcast below.

 

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Switching Phoenix Property Management Companies

Switching Phoenix property management companies can seem like an overwhelming task.  Additionally, home owners may be concerned that things like security deposits could get lost in the shuffle.  Real property management phoenix valley has created the following check list to assist with a successful change.  The first part of the check list is for before you terminate your current property management contract.  The first thing is to read the terms and termination clause in your current agreement.  This section will let you know how much notice you need to give your current property management company.  Additionally it will let you know if there are any fees association with cancellation.  We recommend starting the cancellation process when you are within 45 days from your current contract ending.  Prior to submitting your cancellation notice make sure you have all executed lease agreements, renewals and addendum.  Next check your records for paid invoices.  Make sure you have copies for new ACs, water heaters and appliances.  Lastly make sure you have your TPT license number and online logins if applicable.  (TPT stands for Transaction Privileged Tax License).  Be sure to terminate your agreement in writing.

The second part of switching Phoenix property management companies are items needed after notice has been given.  These items include all tenant contact information and keys to your property.  Also, ask how they will handle the transferring of the tenant’s security deposit.  Will they send you a check or the new property management company?  Request a copy of the tenant signed move in inspection.  Lastly ask for a copy of the tenant’s ledger.  The tenant ledger will show how much of a deposit the tenant actually paid and whether they have any prepayments of rent on file.  Any prepayments should be sent back to the tenant.

 

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RPM Phoenix Valley Experiences

Should you rent to a halfway house? RPM Phoenix Valley Experiences
Should you rent to a halfway house? RPM Phoenix Valley Experiences

RPM Phoenix Valley Experiences are very vast since we are property managers specializing in the Phoenix market for over 15 years.  Furthermore unlike other property manager’s in Phoenix we give property owners our honest opinion even if that means we lose business.  About six months ago a property owner with an 8 plex in downtown Phoenix contacted us about our services.  At that time the 8 plex was being completely renovated due to a fire.  The owner had originally rented the property on his own to a single tenant who was using all 8 units.  After two months of discussion the property owner decided to rent the complex to another single tenant.  Since it was a single tenant the owner decided to manage himself.

This past Friday we received a call from the owner needed our help to get rid of the tenant.  The tenant is a half way house.  The occupants just got out of jail.  Turns out the tenant is the same one who lived there when the fire started!  Additionally, the tenant had no insurance so the owner and his insurance paid for all renovations.  The tenant is in a five year lease.  The owner thinks he can force the tenant to move out since they didn’t have insurance.  The owner wants half of the occupants move out so he can rent those units and then once those are full make the rest of the half way house move out.  This way the building will never all be vacant.

Before taking on the project we made a visit to the provide to assess.  We found that the property smelled horrifically of smoke (ironic since there was a fire).  Also the home owner can’t force the tenant to vacate so he will need to pursue a legal eviction.  Market rent for the area is about $200 less than the owner had predicted.  The units are going to need repairs when the occupants move out.

RPM Phoenix Valley’s recommendation;  proceed with the legal eviction; rehab the units and then sell the complex.  From RPM Phoenix Valley experience sometimes it is best to cut your losses and move on!

For information on our property management service click here.

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Phoenix property management newest podcast – how to successfully change phoenix property management companies

On this month’s podcast we discuss how and when to change or bring on a new property management company.  Our slide show presentation also provides a list of items that you will need for a successful change.


For all of your Phoenix Real Estate & Phoenix Property Management Needs Contact:
Real Property Management Phoenix (WV)
www.rpmwvphx.com
info@rpmwvphx.com 


602-358-8130
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5 Top Tips for Organizing Your Phoenix Rental Properties!




By in large, Phoenix landlords have busy lives and often times struggle to maintain organization with all of the different aspects of their worlds.  However being organized can be a key to being a successful Phoenix landlord so here are RPMWV Phoenix’s 5 best tips for Landlord Organization!

1. Create a file for each property you own and be sure to label it clearly with the property address.  Within each folder,store all documents related to the property such as HUD statements, mortgage records, property tax records, insurance documentation, copies of rent payments, expense records, and anything else that pertains to it.

2. Be Meticulous with tax records. Within each property file, have a folder dedicated to tax documents and include every expense receipt, mileage log, cancelled check, and any other instance in which money is involved.  Along with the receipt, keep a log of all activities.

3. Make digital copies Spend some money on a fast and efficient scanner and place it on your desk. Sync it up to your computer and create digital folders for each property (just as you have in your filing cabinet). Each time you get ready to file away a new document, scan it and save it in the accompanying digital folder. For added security, store these folders in the cloud so they’re accessible. 


4. Carry folders in your car. Once you have a folder system setup in your office, it’s pretty easy to stay organized. You just open the folder and drop the document in. The problem is that you aren’t always at your desk. As a landlord, you spend a lot of time in your car driving around from property to property. In the time between getting a document and getting back to the office to file it away, a lot can happen. This is why experienced landlords carry some sort of mobile filing system in their vehicles.  With a mobile filing system, you can give any and all documents temporary storage. 
5. Clear your desk at the end of the day. As a rule of thumb, you should clear your desk at the end of every day. Clutter seems to build on itself and you run the risk of creating piles of documents if you don’t get things filed away each day. If you make it a daily habit, it’ll only take a few minutes. 
6. Make good notes. Nothing is worse than going through a folder, knowing that you have the document you’re looking for, but being unable to locate it. Most of the time, this happens when you forget what a document looks like or what specific file the information is in. One way to avoid these issues is to place sticky notes on thick documents to recap what information is contained within.
RPMWV Phx has been offering full service Phoenix Real Estate & Phoenix Property Management services for over 20 years so let our experience assist you with your Phoenix rental needs.

Follow @rpmwvphoenix

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Top 3 Aspects of Rent Collections, Phoenix Rental Property



When you own rental property, your goal comes down to the amount of rent you collect. It would be nice if you were always paid the rent on time and the check cleared without problems. However, that rarely occurs 100% of the time. Even with careful tenant screening, your tenants can run into unexpected financial situations and your payments are no longer coming in on time or regularly. Your rent collection process should help your cash flow be as regular as possible.
1. Set the Rent Expectations Early
Real Property Management WV Phoenix has been successful in encouraging successful rent collecting when the process starts with the careful screening of your potential tenants.  When you have a vacancy, it is a temptation to rent your home as quickly as possible and not be as careful as you should be with your tenant choices. We are patient and make sure your potential tenant has a high enough credit score and is able to prove an income sufficient enough to be able to pay the rent regularly as well as has sound rental references. An applicant should earn at least three times the amount of the rent for your unit. Then at the lease signing, we let your tenants know Real Property Management WV Phx expectations and policies with regard to rent collection. Good communication from the start makes us strict, but fair, and policies are understood from the beginning of their residency.
2. Technology Payment Process
A rent collecting process that is technologically based is a secure and convenient way for your tenants to pay their rent. Real Property Management WV Phx has an online collection option which lessens any rent collection delays. When the rent is collected, this automated system also works for the property owner giving a direct deposit from the collected rent to the owner. Keeping the rent collection process professional and not personal, with understood expectations, gives us the tools for a more successful renting experience.
3. Automated Collections Process
An aspect of rental property management in Phoenix, AZ that is never pleasant is the business of collections when a tenant doesn’t pay the rent. Even the best screened tenants can have a difficult time in their personal lives that affects their abilities to pay rent on time. With an automatic collection process, the moment rent is not collected; automated notices can be sent to the tenant. These notices can be scheduled easily and speak to your tenants with respect. As soon as the law permits, an eviction process can be started with a non-paying tenant so your days without rent can be as few as possible.
Clear rent policies along with a secure technology platform through Real Property Management WV Phx will help your Phoenixrental property rent collecting run smoothly.
RPMWV Phx offers full service Phoenix Real Estate & Phoenix Property Management services.  For additional information you can contact us at info@rpmwvphx.com or 602-281-2884

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The Top 6 Things to Look for in Screening A Phoenix Rental Applicant

Whether you think of screening as a tool to protect yourself and your Phoenix investment or as a dreaded part of being a property manager, it is absolutely critical for your success and safety.
Here are the top 6 items you need to screen for:
1. Income should equal 3x the monthly rent amount
2. Credit is clear or utility collections & charge offs
3. Positive references from previous third party landlords such as property management companies & apartment complexes
4. Verifiable employment & time on job
5. Criminal history must be screened
6. Screen for previous evictions
Even as a DIY landlord, it is important to establish clear rules for who you will and will not accept and stick to them. Tenants with a rough past often avoid renting from property management companies because of the stricter guidelines for qualification, however, if you are going to be completely fair (and lawful) in your requirements and avoid complaints, you must treat everyone equally by asking the same questions and not bending the rules for one person and not others. Phoenix investment property owners need to remember: it’s not personal, it’s business.
The next time you screen a tenant and are wondering about the screening process, remember that you are allowed to reject tenants with: bad credit history, insufficient income to meet the rent demands, previous damage to other units, consistent late rent payments,  poor job history. You cannot, however, reject an application for discriminatory reasons including: race, religion, nationality, gender, age, disability status, and/or familial status. Acting as a businessman instead of an emotional one will leave you with a better reputation as a Phoenix investment property owner.
The key to successful property management is consistency. Consistency in who you rent to, what questions you ask, and the screening process you put each tenant through will allow you to avoid possible lawsuits and Fair Housing Act laws.
RPMWV Phx offers full service Phoenix Real Estate & Phoenix Property Management services.  For additional information you can contact us at info@rpmwvphx.com or 602-281-2884

Follow @rpmwvphoenix

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The New Look of Tenant Screening for your Phoenix Rental Property


According to Real Property Management West Valley Phoenix, tenant screening for Phoenix is about to take on a whole new look. Whether you think of screening as a tool to protect yourself and your investment or as a dreaded part of being a property manager, it is absolutely critical for your success and safety.

Since background checks are performed for protection, there are several key factors your screening should include:
      Income (after taxes) is 3X the monthly rent
      Credit is clear of collections and evictions
      Positive references from past landlords
      Verifiable employment history
      Criminal history is checked

Even as a Do-it-yourself landlord, it is important to establish clear rules for who you will and will not accept and stick to them. Tenants with a rough past often avoid renting from property management companies because of the stricter guidelines for qualification, however, if you are going to be completely fair (and lawful) in your requirements and avoid complaints, you must treat everyone equally by asking the same questions and not bending the rules for one person and not others. Phoenix investment property owners need to remember: it’s not personal, it’s business.

The next time you screen a tenant and are wondering about the screening process, remember that you are allowed to reject tenants with: bad credit history, insufficient income to meet the rent demands, previous damage to other units, consistent late rent payments,  poor job history. You cannot, however, reject an application for discriminatory reasons including: race, religion, nationality, gender, age, disability status, and/or familial status. Acting as a businessman instead of an emotional one will leave you with a better reputation as a Phoenix investment property owner.

The key to successful property management is consistency. Consistency in who you rent to, what questions you ask, and the screening process you put each tenant through will allow you to avoid possible lawsuits and Fair Housing Act laws.

RPMWV Phx offers full service Phoenix property management.  For additional information please contact us at 602-218-2884 or visit rpmwvphx.com
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