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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BLOG

7 Things That Raise Red Flags When Buying a Rental Property

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2021

Purchasing a commercial property is a viable way to maximize income and achieve financial freedom. This explains why many people are investing in rental properties. However, in any competitive market, you’ve got to be careful when making a purchase. You should establish the viability of the investment you are about to make. Thus, before buying a rental property, it is advisable to visit it to understand how it looks. These are the red flags to look out for before making your final decision:

1. Mold and Water Damages

Water-related damages are a sure indication that the property does require major repairs. Watch out for ceilings that seem to have fresh random paint. Some sellers will try to hide molds and stains on the ceiling by painting the marred areas instead of remediating the problem correctly. They will also try other tactics like air fresheners to cover up bad smells from rotten wood and mold. Examine underneath the drawers, kitchen countertops, sinks, and bathrooms for signs of water damage or molds.

2. Limited Viewing, Especially The Interiors

Property sellers should allow interested buyers to see a house on sale with no limitation. Thus, situations where a seller limits your freedom to view the house interior should be worrying. Such restrictions indicate underlying issues, and the seller does not want them exposed before the deal is closed. Before purchasing a property hire a 3rd party inspector to do a thorough inspection.

3. HVAC Issues

Don’t be deceived about HVAC systems.  Request agents to provide maintenance records and perform a maintenance check on the system. Before purchasing a property analyze the offer to determine if the seller has factored in the cost you will incur replacing or repairing the HVAC. Where HVAC is in good working condition, consider the repair costs and frequency of these repairs before making your offer.

4. Absence of Permits for Work Done

Some things do not require permits, like remodeling the kitchen. Nevertheless, examine to ensure the job is done professionally and correctly. Make sure to ask for permits for any major structural modifications done on the property.

5. Noticeable Structural Issues

Cracks on the walls and unevenness of the floor of any property on sale mean there are underlying foundation or structure issues. If you ever notice these flaws on a rental property you are planning to purchase, think through your decision. Remember, fixing such problems is costly and will consume a lot of your time.

6. Location, Location, Location 

While you can improve a rental property to match the standards you want, you can’t fix the reputation of the place it is located. Consider looking in sought out neighborhoods and research why it is location of choice for so many.
Be sure to ask if the property is located in a flood zone. This should caution you of a possibility of a natural disaster striking or even having to deal with unending repairs due to mold or water damages.

7. The Property Has Been On Sale for a Long Time

It’s good to inquire about the duration that the property has stayed on the market. Appealing and great looking houses sell fast. Thus, if you find one sitting in the market for a longer time, seek to know the reason. If others have viewed and examined the property, why haven’t they bought it? Perhaps it’s overpriced, or there are legal disputes. It would be best first to establish the cause before you make a purchase.

While the issues above are a wake-up call to a property buyer, they are not a deal-breaker. However, they are indisputable factors that can add risk to your potential investment. Moreover, fixing them is neither cheap nor easy. Therefore, gather all your information, educate yourself on the area and property and then you can make an informed decision on whether it is good investment.

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5 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Rental Property

Posted on Saturday, January 9, 2021

Do you want to maximize the value of your rental property? We recommend doing anything you can to increase what your tenants are willing to pay. That way, you get the most out of your investment. Luckily, there are plenty of methods you can follow to improve the value of your rental.

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How Much Does It Cost To Evict a Tenant?

Posted on Monday, December 28, 2020

As a landlord, there's a good chance that you'll have to go through the evictions process at some point. However, there can be expenses associated with doing this, and it's important to be aware of them. Here are some of the expenses that you can expect to pay if you take a tenant to court:

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Is It Smart To Offer Deals To Attract New Tenants for Your Rental Property?

Posted on Monday, December 21, 2020
As a rental property owner, your top priority is to find quality tenants. Doing so ensures that your home or apartment complex will generate consistent revenue each month. If you are struggling to attract the right people to your properties, it may be necessary to offer flexible lease terms or other perks to pique their interest.

Offer Lease Terms That Can't Be Found Elsewhere

Let's say that all the landlords in your town or city offer leases that last for 12 months. You can make your property more attractive to renters by offering leases that expire after six months or that remain in effect indefinitely.

Offering these and other terms can help to build a rapport with your tenants and give them a level of control over their living arrangements. It also shows a high level of confidence in your ability to provide quality housing regardless of your location or current economic conditions.

Waive Application Fees

The monthly rent isn't the only cost that renters contend with when searching for a home or apartment to lease. It isn't uncommon for prospective tenants to pay application and background check fees. In some cases, these fees are nonrefundable, which means that a person could pay $40 or more with no guarantee that his or her application will be approved. Reducing the tenants first month rent to half the cost may be worthwhile. Waiving application or background check fees may increase the number of people who inquire about an available unit because they have nothing to lose by doing so.

Consider Giving Tenants More for Their Money

In some cases, it may not be possible to lower the rent on a unit and still make a profit. However, it may be possible to attract tenants at the current rental rate by making improvements to a given property. For instance, a person may be willing to pay more for a unit that has new floors or appliances. Adding extra storage space or repainting interior walls can make a living space more functional or inviting. In addition to making a property more attractive, making these and other upgrades can increase its market value as well.

Offer a Month of Free Rent

A person who is moving to a new apartment might need to pay for a moving truck, buy furniture or take time off of work to get settled. Allowing an incoming tenant to skip the first month's rent payment may make it easier to cover those costs without causing a financial hardship. You can also make a rental unit more affordable by offering to pay for cable, internet or other expenses that a tenant is likely to incur.

If you are having trouble attracting tenants, it may be tempting to react to the problem by reducing your rental rates. However, it is important to understand that there are many different ways to provide value to your tenants without charging less. In most cases, charging less for a unit simply undermines your ability to generate a consistent profit. At Walker Rentals, we strategically determine the rental prices and handle every aspect from start to finish so there's no reason to ever worry about offering the perfect deal.
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Everything You Need To Know About Renting To Military Families

Posted on Sunday, December 13, 2020

The most difficult thing about being a landlord is finding quality tenants. The quality of your tenants will determine how hard your job is as a landlord. One commonly overlooked group of people that make ideal candidates are military families. Military families exemplified many of America's most honored virtues. Once you think about it, it makes perfect sense why they are such great tenants.

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We'll Take Care of The COVID Headaches For You

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Pandemics are a natural part of human existence. Even though we have not had a pandemic in our lifetimes, that does not mean it is unusual. Unfortunately, that means that we must deal with the situation at hand. We have several methods of assisting homeowners with their tenants during this Covid era.

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7 Reasons You Should Seriously Consider a Property Management Company

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2020

Knowing how to allocate resources wisely is essential for creating a robust, profitable rental portfolio. This is true whether you've just bought your first property or you're managing dozens of units. In that same vein, anyone who has been successful with property rentals knows that a good strategy for property management is the key to long-term success. If you're trying to understand how to create a polished, professional rental business, take a look at 7 reasons you should seriously consider a property management company.

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What You Should Do If Tenants Miss Rent & Become Unreachable

Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

It’s the nightmare scenario every landlord has faced over time: A tenant disappears off the earth after missing one or more rent payments. Logic requires you to try calling and, if there’s no response or call back, drop by to see what’s up. 

Why does this happen? You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand that most renters are sincere about their financial obligations when they sign a lease, but over time, myriad reasons can trigger this act of property abandonment.

The current Covid-19 epidemic is just the latest on a long list of reasons rent isn’t paid and tenants vanish. Psychologists say that shame is a big motivator. It’s easier to disappear than to have to admit to losing a job, a relationship or another catastrophic event that starts the downward spiral.

Compassion aside, you’re in the business of renting properties and making sure rents arrive in a timely manner, so whether you are new to this situation or you’ve been around the block, we can help you navigate the waters.

What you should do if tenants miss rent payments and their unit is abandoned? Follow these 7-steps to cover your bases and you will be prepared to deal with another such situation, should it occur down the road.

1. Include specific property abandonment language in your lease that explains the ins and outs of not paying rent and stipulates steps you will take should a tenant abandon their residence without notice.

2. Contact utility companies servicing the unit in question to find out whether or not your tenant has stiffed them, too.

3. Peruse the unit to see if possessions have been left behind, a potential indicator that fleeing was the final act of desperation, just in case you’re still trying to figure out why the tenant disappeared.

4. Contact neighbors, references cited on the lease and the post office in the unit’s zip code to ascertain whether a forwarding address has been filed.

5. Notify the tenant of your intent to declare the unit abandoned by mail, in accordance with state or municipal laws. Explain your intent to terminate the lease once you've done your best to locate him or her.

6. Having taken steps to establish a legal case for unit abandonment, it's time to begin the eviction process that follows state and federal guidelines.

7. If possessions have been left behind, your state may require you to inventory and store for a specific time period. When that deadline arrives, items become the property of the landlord and can be sold to offset storage costs.

The amount of money, stress, time and inconvenience associated with a thoughtless tenant flaunting his or her legal obligation can be daunting. You’ve read the aforementioned 7 post-abandonment actions, yet they don’t begin to describe the inconvenience of running this gauntlet when you could be generating revenue for the building by leasing units and servicing residents who play by the rules.

Is there a less labor-intense, time consuming and money saving way to deal with renters who walk out on their leases and fail to make rent payments? The most logical, practical and stress-free answer is to retain an experienced property management firm to tackle everything from legalities to logistics.

In fact, researchers have proven that hiring a property management company to handle everything from eviction and property abandonment to marketing, tenant qualification, background checks, reduced maintenance costs, tighter rent collection processes and legal expenses saves a fortune in time, money and stress.

Turning to a single resource to handle evictions is the wisest move you can make. By turning to us, everything included on that 7-point list is taken care of expertly and efficiently. Your job at that point? Do what you were hired to do: Rent units and go about the tasks that make your building the most well-run property in the community.

Got questions? We’ve got answers – and you’re going to like what you hear the moment you give us a call!

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Homeowners: Here's What To Expect During Tax Season

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2020

If you are a first-time homeowner, you may not know what to expect when it is time for tax season. Even if you are an experienced homeowner, it can be confusing to understand all of the tax jargon. There are so many different pieces of terminology, including words such as deduction, itemized versus standard and more. This can be overwhelming, leading to missing out on a much larger refund each year after filing your taxes without the necessary deductions. Thankfully, you can understand answers to many of your questions and more below for what to expect during tax season.

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5 Things You Should Factor When Setting Rental Prices

Posted on Sunday, November 8, 2020

The art of setting rental prices Is a skill that can be learned. However, it will require some commitment from your end. In our experience, five factors impact the pricing of the property the most. We recommend working with an experienced real estate professional if this is your first time trying to rent a property. They will be able to answer any questions that you may have. You do not want to make any mistakes when it comes to renting your property. You worked hard to purchase the property, so you want to make sure that everything goes perfectly. The following advice should help you get started in the real estate industry. That way, you can begin to build your rental property portfolio effectively.

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