Tenant Screening: Questions To Ask

by Administrator 25. October 2016 03:52

Every landlord aims at securing good tenants for his property. There are many reasons to justify this demand. A good tenant takes good care of the property, maintains cleanliness, and most importantly pays the rent on time. It is important to have least troublesome tenants so you do not need to make frequent trips to deal with the hassles of being a landlord.

Many landlords wonder about ‘how to decide which tenant is the best?’ There is a simple solution to this problem- Tenant Screening.

Tenant screening involves a set of questions you can ask the prospective tenants that will help you know them better. It is as simple as a telephonic interview. If he/she does not sound fit for renting your property, you can save your time by not meeting him/her in person and showing the property. It is important to keep in mind that you ask the same questions to every tenant in order to maintain your professional reputation and to avoid discrimination. Here are some possible and relevant questions you can ask the tenant-to-be:

Why do you want to rent the property?

This question should the foundation of your decision to hire the tenant. Be very careful and look for any change in voice, any reason that sounds fishy. You might not want to ignore things like ‘had a dispute with the previous landlord or the neighbors’. Look for valid reasons such as ‘found a new job’, ‘the area has good schools for my kids’, ‘it is closer to work’, ‘I needed more room’ or ‘the neighborhood is safer to live’.

When are you planning to move-in?

This question will clear the air about the tenant’s idea about responsibility. If he plans to move-in right away, you can get an idea that he prefers to do things at the last moment. This can also be his attitude while paying rent. Also if he was renting previously, he needs to send prior notice to the previous landlord. If he fails to do that, you need a background check. But of course you should not make quick judgments. You should make sure if he started searching much before he met you, or he had a pay cut, a sudden transfer or other valid reasons.

Can you pay the security deposit and First Month’s rent up on moving-in?

You need to make sure you never negotiate or compromise with the rent. If the tenant asks for a week’s time to pay the rent or to pay in two or three installments, you need to be firm. The rent pattern describes a lot about the tenant’s financial conditions. You need not start a tenant-owner relationship with a compromise. Make sure you hire people who can afford the place. Note it down that security deposit is essential in case the tenant causes problems.

How many people will be moving in with you?

It is important to note that according to municipalities and fire departments, overcrowding can be hazardous, both for health and safety. It is advised to limit the number of people that rent and live in an apartment.

Landlords should stick to a ‘two people, one bedroom’ rule. Fewer the people, less wear and tear you have to deal with.

Can you provide references from your previous landlord and employer?

In case the tenant hesitates in providing you with the references, you can understand he has something to hide. A reference from the employer can get you an idea about the tenant’s income and financial stability. On the other hand, a reference from the previous landlord will speak the truth about his rent paying habits. The current landlord might just want to get rid of the tenant and might refrain from telling you what you want to know.

Do I have your consent to a background check?

If you wish to have a background check and the tenant does not give you his consent, it will no longer make them a prospective tenant. A prospective tenant shall sign a form giving you permission to have background checks on them. There has to be complete transparency regarding the information they provide you.

Have you been evicted in the past?

There is no denying that most people lie about their past eviction. But asking them for the same causes no harm. Some people may tell you the truth and explain you the unfortunate situations that led to the eviction. Some noisy and damaging people, will always refrain and lie.

Do you have any questions?

It is important for landlords to end the dialogue with this. Tenants have several questions while renting a property and they should be allowed to both have as well as clear these questions.

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Tips For First Time Home Renters In Killeen

by Administrator 19. October 2016 07:22

Shifting to a new place can be a different experience altogether. For the ones who are renting a home for the first time, it is beneficial to do a thorough research before moving in. If you plan to rent an apartment or a house in Killeen, TX, you need to keep the following factors in mind before going ahead.

Chalk Out A Budget

The foremost step is to decide on the budget. You must consider your requirements as well as monthly expenses and decide the type of property accordingly. You can choose from furnished, semi furnished or unfurnished homes. If your budget allows, you can also opt for a rental home with additional features such as lawn, swimming pool, patio/deck, etc. Make sure you consider your monthly income, taxes, mortgages (if any), insurance premiums and other expenses before deciding on the budget. Else, you may have to face unnecessary financial burden later on.

Create A Wish List

In accordance with your budget, you need to create a list of all the basic amenities that you require in the rental home.  These may include security systems, safe neighborhood, access to nearby facilities, water supply, working of electrical fixtures, etc. You may visit the property to check if it has all the features mentioned in the list. Also, if you own a pet, make sure that the rental home you choose is pet-friendly.

Get Professional Help

Renting a house or an apartment requires comprehensive planning and research. Hiring a real estate agent can be a good way to shortlist suitable properties while saving your time as well as money. An agent can handle all tasks of a rental process, right from shortlisting homes to signing the lease agreement. He will also make sure that the selected properties meet all your requirements and you do not face any sort of inconvenience during the stay.

Perform A Thorough Home Inspection

Inspect a rental home inside out to make sure it doesn’t have any defect or issues. Making a checklist of all amenities, fixtures and appliances is a good way to start with the process. Check each room, back yard, deck, patio and lawn (if any) and note down if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. You can ask the landlord to handle all the repair work before you move in. Also, make sure the windows and doors are in proper working condition. Security should be a major concern when moving to a new rental home.

Be Prepared

The next step is to be ready with all the relevant documents required for the rental process. It is very important that you handle all the paperwork carefully and read all the terms and conditions mentioned in the lease. You must provide complete information in the rental application. All the important clauses like maintenance fee, due date for rent, pet policy etc., should be included in the agreement and signed by the landlord.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

When renting a home in Killeen, it is important to be honest with the landlord. You must provide him with the correct information regarding your job, financial status or any particular habit you may have. For instance, some tenants may have a habit of playing drums or hosting late night parties, which may cause inconvenience to the landlord. Similarly, the landlord needs to be informed if you work night shifts.

In addition to the above mentioned tips, you may also consider asking some questions from your landlord before moving in.

  • If renting with roommates is allowed. If yes, how many?
  • What are the rules regarding trash and recycling?
  • What are the quiet hours?
  • Is there enough space to store extra things?
  • Whom to call if in case of emergencies?

We, at John Reider Properties, provide a wide range of rental homes in Killeen, TX. The agents provide complete assistance in the rental process. For more information you can call at (254) 699 - 8300 or visit 455 E. Central Texas Expwy, Suite 101, Harker Heights, TX 76548.

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When Should A Landlord Hire A Property Management Company?

by Administrator 23. September 2016 11:46

Hiring a property management company in Harker Heights, TX can be a plus point for landlords in many ways. It can save a lot of your precious time by doing the marketing for your rental property, dealing with tenant issues, handling maintenance/repairs, inspecting the property, collecting rent etc. You can be relaxed that your property is in safe hands and will be managed without any hassles.

Listed below are some of the reasons why you should hire a property management company:

  • You have more than a single property: If you own multiple rental properties in Harker Heights, it is best to hire professional services to manage them all. There are various tasks such as tenant screening, property maintenance, repair work etc. that need to be taken care of on a regular basis. Managing multiple properties on your own can lead to confusion and difficulties. An experienced property manager can help you out in this regard.
  • You live far away from your rental property: If you reside away from Harker Heights, it may be difficult to manage the property on your own. For instance, your tenant may contact you regarding a maintenance issue, but you may not be able to drive far away to your rental property every time a problem arises. This is where a property management company can prove to be useful. The team will take all the responsibilities associated with your property and handle every aspect without bothering you.
  • You have limited time: In many instances, landlords are not able to devote requisite time to manage their rental home in Harker Heights. This is particularly true for landlords who have a different full-time job as well. A property management firm will search new properties for investment as well as recommend repair and renovation work in existing properties.
  • You don’t want to take the responsibility of any employee: In case you are managing your rental property on your own, there are chances that you may need to hire a resident manager. However, when you become an employer, you will have to manage a lot of issues that can become burdensome in the longer run. Therefore, it is better that you hire a property management company so that you do not have to deal with any unnecessary stress.

If you need the best property management services in Harker Heights, TX, feel free to contact John Reider Properties at (254) 699 – 8300.

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Guide To Preparing Your Harker Heights Home For Rent

by Administrator 13. September 2016 07:18

A vacant rental home in Harker Heights, TX can be a huge burden for landlords. It not only decreases the returns on investment, but also creates stress, particularly if it is the peak rental season.  Thus, before putting the ‘to let’ sign on your home, prepare it well to attract maximum potential tenants. You should leave no stone unturned to make your property beautiful, cozy and welcoming.

Below is a guide that may help you in setting up your Harker Heights home for rent:

  • Safety should be priority: Every tenant wants to feel safe in a rental property. Thus, you need to ensure that you install fire alarms, burglar alarms, smoke detectors and other security systems in your home. Add fire extinguishers in the kitchen as well as in the hallways on each floor.
  • Conduct home inspection: As soon as the home becomes vacant, conduct a thorough home inspection to note down the repairs required. There could be some defective electrical points or a leaky roof that need your attention. Check every nook and corner of your home including faucets, pipes, gutters, electrical appliances etc.
  • Clean all the spaces thoroughly: A clean house attracts maximum potential tenants. It is thus imperative to clean all the rooms, windows, doors, blinds, carpets etc. Get your carpet dry cleaned from professionals and apply a fresh coat of paint on the interior/exterior walls of your home to lend it a gleaming touch.
  • De-clutter: The furnishings and appliances provided in the rental home should be in top notch condition. It is also essential that you do not keep any unnecessary items in the property. Check if there are any unused or unwanted furnishings or appliances that can be discarded away. De-cluttering will make your home look more spacious.
  • Screen potential tenants: In order to eliminate any kind of risk in the future, you need to conduct a careful screening of potential tenants. Each probable tenant must be asked to fill out a rental application form providing information such as his name, occupation, employer details, eviction details, financial background etc. You should also ask for references along with the Social Security Number (SSN) in order to verify the information provided in the form.
  • Get the services of a property management company: A property management company can handle everything related to the rental property. The property managers specialize in providing tenant screening, conducting repairs, dealing with maintenance issues, addressing to tenant problems etc.

 We, at John Reider Properties, provide comprehensive property management services in Harker Heights. For more information, call us at (254) 699 – 8300.

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Tips To Keep Your Harker Heights Property Secure

by Administrator 20. August 2016 13:25

One of the biggest challenges that come along with renting a property is to ensure its security. Keeping your home’s structure and the tenants safe is not only ethically important but a legal liability for the landlords. Even if your rental home is not occupied, proper security measures can help to protect it against theft, fire and vandalism.

If you own a rental home in Harker Heights, TX, given below are some factors you should consider to keep your property secure:

Rent To The Right People

First and foremost, it is important that you find reliable and quality tenants for your property. You must be sure that the people whom you are handing over the keys to your rental home will not damage it in any way. Conduct thorough background checks, verify criminal records and screen every applicant meticulously before choosing any one.

Secure The Main Entrances

The main door of your rental home should be sturdy and made of high quality material, preferably, solid wood or metal. Deadbolt should be installed to prevent the thieves from breaking in to the home. Also, it is recommended to change the locks or get them rekeyed for every new tenancy, particularly if you have evicted a bad tenant in the past.

Provide Ample Lighting

You should install outdoor lighting to improve the security of your rental home during nighttime. Make sure the pathways, driveways, garage, main gate and any hideous area is well-lit. You can also install motion-sensor lights to deter the intruders from entering your home. Be prompt in replacing any burnt out lightbulbs or other fixtures. Outdoor lighting will not only help to secure your home, but also increase its rentability.

Trim Overgrown Bushes

Overgrown bushes and shrubs can turn to be potential hiding places for the burglars. Therefore, you should get them trimmed or renovated regularly. If your property is occupied, ask the tenants to keep the grass and bushes properly trimmed. All the windows and doors of your home should be clearly visible from the street.

Install Basic Security Features

You can consider installing some security features in your rental home, such as CCTV camera, smoke detector, fire sprinklers, theft alarm etc. swimming pools should be properly fenced, particularly if the tenants have small kids. Educate your tenants about the best safety practices to avoid any unfortunate accident in the home.

For more tips on increasing the security of your rental home in Harker Heights, contact John Reider Properties at (254) 699 – 8300 or visit 455 E. Central Texas Expwy, Suite 101, Harker Heights, TX 76548.

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How To Be A Successful Landlord In Killeen, TX

by Administrator 12. August 2016 14:31

Being a landlord is a huge responsibility as you not only have to only make your rental business profitable but also make sure that your tenants stay for a longer period of time. In order to ensure that all the tenancy goes smoothly and efficiently, you need to keep some important things in mind. Listed below are some guidelines that can help you in becoming a successful landlord in Killeen, TX:

  • Screen the tenants: Letting your property to a wrong person can be a huge mistake. A bad tenant may be late with his rent payments or cause damage to your rental property. Therefore, it is important that you thoroughly screen all the prospective tenants to find the most suitable one for your property. Check out the applicant’s background, history of evictions, financial stability and general conduct. Always abide by the fair housing laws when rejecting a particular tenant or you may end up facing a lawsuit.
  • Have a clearly written lease agreement: A lease agreement is one of the most crucial aspects of any landlord-tenant affiliation. It is necessary to have a written lease agreement that specifies all the terms and conditions to be followed during the tenancy period. Get this agreement duly signed by your tenants and make sure they fully understand all the clauses mentioned in the document.
  • Stay in touch with your tenants: You should meet your tenants on a regular basis to know if they are facing any problems. Ask about any repair or renovation issues and get them resolved as soon as possible. Apart from this, it is also essential that you treat every tenant in a fair and respectful manner. This will earn you reputation and attract high-quality tenants in the future as well.
  • Take your business seriously: Renting a home comes with a lot of responsibilities and you should understand them well. You need to have an organized set-up and follow the regulations in a systematic manner to ensure good returns on your investment property. You should keep yourself updated with the latest real estate trends to have an idea of how you can improve your prospects in this field. Also, you need to develop a strategy to deal with any tenant issues well on time.
  • Handle renewals effectively: Renewing a lease agreement can guarantee a steady flow of income from your rental property in Killeen. However, if you are going to increase the rent after renewing the agreement, make sure you provide something in return to your tenants. For instance, you can get a fresh coat of paint to the rental property or lower the maintenance charges.

Contact John Reider Properties for assistance in renting your home in Killeen, TX. To know more, you can call us at (254) 699 – 8300.

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Renting Out Your Home In Killeen, TX: What To Expect

by Administrator 25. July 2016 07:13

Every landlord wants to get maximum profits out of his rental property. Killeen, being a military town in Texas, offers rewarding opportunities if you want to rent your home. As most people tend to stay only for a period of 3-5 years, they are likely to look for a rental property instead of buying. So, you need to plan out and take the right steps to make money out of your rental property in Killeen.

Below are some of the things that you can expect when renting out your home:

  • The time taken to rent out: If you have a big and expensive home, it will take more time to rent out. Not everyone can afford a luxurious home, so you may have to wait a little longer to get the right tenant. On the other hand, small homes with the basic amenities tend to be rented out much easily and quickly.
  • Best time to rent out: The perfect time to rent out your home in Killeen is when soldiers move in or out of the Fort Hood area. This is the best time to tap into the rental market and get the best tenants for your property. Get in touch with an experienced property management company in your area to know more details about the best time to rent out and prevalent rental rates.
  • The best areas to own a rental property: The rent prices may vary according to the location of your home in Killeen. As a landlord, you need to look for owing a property in one of the prominent and most sought-after localities. Some of the areas have seen a lot of commercialization in the recent past that has led to an increase in the number of rental properties. However, this also increases competition and eventually brings down the rent.
  • Determining the correct rent amount: Experienced property managers can assist you in determining the correct rental price for your property. They can tell you about the current rent trends in the market, find and screen suitable tenants as well as get all the requisite maintenance work done to make your property look attractive.
  • Make note of additional charges: Before renting out your property and deciding on the rent amount, make sure you include additional charges such as property management fees and maintenance as well as repair charges that you will have to incur. Chalk out all the expenses to ensure you do fetch enough income to accommodate these costs while making profit at the same time.

We, at John Reider Properties, can help you rent out your home in Killeen, TX. For details about the services provided, you can call at (254) 699 – 8300.

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Rental Property Management In Harker Heights, TX

by Administrator 16. July 2016 15:01

Renting out a property brings along numerous rewards for the landlord. However, in order to capitalize on your investment, the landlord also needs to fulfill a lot of responsibilities to minimize vacancies and ensure consistent rental income. Choosing the right tenants, maintaining the rental property, handling finances, carrying out legal processes etc. may seem to be easy initially but can be quite difficult, specifically if you have other important accountabilities. These challenges often trigger hiring rental property management services. It can not only save a lot of time and money, but also maximize benefits from your investment property.

Listed below are the benefits of hiring property management services for your rental home in Harker Heights, TX:

Find Quality Tenants

As a landlord, it is important to ensure that you rent out your property to quality tenants who will pay their rent on time and keep your home in an optimal condition. Property managers have extensive experience in screening applicants so that you are able to find the most suitable tenant. They will carry out a thorough background check and verify their income, credit history, criminal background, past rental records as well as other important details to rule out any potential risks.

Well Maintained Property

Once you have rented your property, regular maintenance is essential to make sure that the tenants are not facing any problem. It also helps to preserve the value of your rental home. A property manager will conduct frequent inspections to identify any maintenance and repair issues as well as perform the task as soon as possible. They have a network of qualified and licensed contractors who can perform high quality repairs at the most reasonable price.

Tighter Rent Collection Process

When you hire a property management company, you can be assured of a consistent cash flow due to its stringent rent collection policies. The property managers are responsible for collecting rent from the tenants before the due date and depositing it to your bank account. If the tenants consistently fail pay the rent as stipulated in the lease agreement, the property manager has the authority to take the necessary steps to deal with the, including the issuance of eviction notice, if required.

Assistance With Legal Aspects

The property managers are updated with the landlord tenant laws in Harker Heights to make sure that you are fully compliant. Therefore, they know how to avoid the common problems that may arise due to errors in lease preparation, property inspections, eviction, rent collection etc. They will also let you know about the tax deductions you can claim on your rental income.

If you are looking for a property management company in Harker Heights, TX, consider John Reider Properties. For details about the services provided, you can call at (254) 699 – 8300 or visit 455 E. Central Texas Expwy, Suite 101, Harker Heights, TX 76548.

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Tips For First Time Landlords In Killeen

by Administrator 23. June 2016 13:21

If you are planning to rent out your property in Killeen, TX, it is important to know about the current market trends. You also need to make sure that your rental home is beautifully staged to attract suitable tenants. Whether you have an apartment, single-family home or a condo, you need to follow a set of guidelines to have a profitable rental business.

  • Make a list amenities that you plan to provide: Prepare a list of basic as well as add-on features that you will be providing to your tenants. These may include furniture, appliances, air conditioning system, room heaters etc. Additional facilities such as Wi-Fi connection, child-gates on stairs, security alarms, well-maintained lawn etc. can help you stand out from the herd.
  • Stage your home: Inspect your house thoroughly to check if anything requires repair or replacement. It is important to deal with all repairs beforehand so that the tenants do not face any inconvenience during the rental tenure. Keeping the property in top-notch condition also helps you set a higher rental price. The appliances should be working in optimum condition and all the old fixtures should be replaced with new ones. If the property has a lawn or backyard, make sure it is clean and well-lit.
  • Get your home insured: It is imperative to get home insurance as it will provide financial protection to your property as well as the contents in case of any unforeseen circumstances. The insurance rate may vary with the location, property type and amenities included in the property. It is recommended to consult your real estate agent to decide on coverage required for your rental home in Killeen.
  • Perform comprehensive tenant screening: In order to find a good quality tenant, it is important to check his financial background, credit history and employment status.  You must also make sure that the tenant does not have a criminal record. You can get references from employer as well as previous landlords to rest assured that you are renting your home to the right tenant.
  • State all the terms and conditions in the agreement: Specify all the terms and conditions in the lease agreement. You should include details such as rent, tenancy duration, type of occupancy, deposits and provision for pets etc. Also, mention all the eviction policies unambiguously and be prepared for negotiation with the tenants on any of the conditions set by you.

For assistance in renting your home in Killeen, TX, feel free to contact John Reider Properties at (254) 699 – 8300.

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Benefits Of Hiring A Harker Heights Rental Company

by Administrator 18. June 2016 06:52

Hiring a rental company is one of the most crucial decisions that you need to make while renting out your home in Harker Heights, TX.  Seeking professional help can prove to be of great help and save a lot of your time. Right from collecting rent to dealing with tenant issues and handling repair work, the rental company can perform all the tasks on your behalf.

Listed below are some benefits of hiring a rental company in Harker Heights:

  • Save your money and time:  If you do not live close to the location of the rental property, you may find it difficult to manage it. Carrying out maintenance work, inspecting the property and collecting rents. The agents at a rental company help you save time and money by avoiding frequent visits to the property. They will keep your property in an optimal condition whether it is occupied or vacant.
  • Can get higher quality tenants: An experienced property management company can assist you in analyzing and screening tenants for the rental home. The agents will conduct a thorough screening of the credit history, previous rental records, criminal background and current income of the prospective tenant. They will help you get the most suitable tenant who will pay rent on time and keep your property well-maintained.
  • Property managers are aware of laws:  The property managers are well-versed with all the tenant-landlord laws and make sure that they go about the entire process as per the law. Also, they will handle an eviction in an efficient manner keeping in mind what is stated by the law.
  • Serve as a link between tenants and landlords: Renting out your property is a professional agreement and any issues should be dealt by a property manager. He can serve as a link between the tenant and landlord, while working towards their best interests in mind.
  • Can conduct home inspection: Before renting out your property, it is essential to do a thorough inspection of your home to identify and fix any loopholes. A property manager can conduct a thorough home inspection to point out any flaws and suggest the requisite repair work before actually letting in tenants.  He will also suggest ways to stage your house that can attract a larger pool of prospective tenants.

John Reider Properties is a Harker Heights, TX based rental company offering comprehensive services to the clients. For more information, you can call us at (254) 699 – 8300 or visit 455 E. Central Texas Expwy, Suite 101, Harker Heights, TX 76548.

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