Building Bridges, Not Barriers: How to Foster Positive Landlord-Tenant Relationships

The Importance of Positive Landlord-Tenant Relationships

Positive landlord-tenant relationships are essential for both parties involved. For landlords, maintaining a positive relationship with tenants can have several benefits. Firstly, it leads to increased tenant satisfaction, which in turn can result in longer lease agreements and reduced turnover rates. A satisfied tenant is more likely to renew their lease and recommend the property to others, ultimately leading to higher rental income. Additionally, a positive relationship with tenants can make the landlord’s job easier, as tenants are more likely to communicate issues promptly and work together to resolve them.

On the other hand, tenants also benefit greatly from having a positive relationship with their landlords. A good rapport with the landlord ensures a hassle-free living experience, with timely responses to maintenance requests and efficient problem-solving. Moreover, tenants who have positive relationships with their landlords are likely to feel more secure and comfortable in their homes, leading to improved overall well-being.

In summary, positive landlord-tenant relationships are a win-win situation for both parties. Landlords benefit from increased tenant satisfaction, reduced turnover rates, and higher rental income, while tenants enjoy a hassle-free living experience and timely resolutions to any issues that may arise.

Common Challenges in Landlord-Tenant Relationships

Despite the importance of positive relationships, there are common challenges that can strain the landlord-tenant dynamic. One of the main challenges is miscommunication or a lack of communication altogether. Both parties may have different expectations and assumptions, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. Additionally, disputes over repairs, rent increases, or lease terms can create tension between landlords and tenants.

Another challenge is the lack of trust and mutual respect. Landlords may view tenants as merely a source of income, while tenants may feel that their needs are not being prioritized. This lack of trust can lead to strained relationships and an unpleasant living experience for tenants.

Finally, the maintenance and upkeep of the rental property can also be a challenge. Landlords who neglect their responsibilities or fail to address maintenance issues in a timely manner can cause frustration and dissatisfaction for tenants.

Communication as the Key to Fostering Positive Relationships

Effective communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and the landlord-tenant dynamic is no exception. Open and honest communication is key to building trust, resolving conflicts, and setting clear expectations from the beginning.

As a landlord, it is important to establish open lines of communication with your tenants. Provide multiple channels for communication, such as phone, email, or a dedicated online portal. Encourage tenants to reach out with any questions, concerns, or maintenance requests and respond promptly. Regularly check in with your tenants to ensure their needs are being met and address any issues that may arise.

Tenants, on the other hand, should also make an effort to communicate effectively with their landlords. Clearly communicate any concerns or issues, and provide all necessary information in a timely manner. Be respectful and courteous in your communication, even if you are unhappy with a situation. Remember, effective communication is a two-way street, and both parties need to actively participate for it to be successful.

Setting Clear Expectations from the Beginning

One of the most effective ways to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts is to set clear expectations from the beginning of the landlord-tenant relationship. This starts with a well-drafted and comprehensive lease agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The lease agreement should cover important details such as rent amount, due date, late fees, maintenance responsibilities, and rules regarding pets and noise.

In addition to the lease agreement, it is important for landlords to provide tenants with a thorough move-in checklist. This checklist should document the condition of the property at the time of move-in, noting any existing damages or issues. By providing a clear record of the property’s condition, both parties can avoid disputes over damages during the move-out process.

Equally important is the need for landlords to clearly communicate their expectations regarding rent payment, maintenance requests, and any policies specific to the property. Tenants should also be encouraged to ask questions and seek clarification if they are unsure about any aspect of the lease agreement or property rules.

By setting clear expectations from the beginning, both landlords and tenants can avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smoother and more harmonious relationship.

Resolving Conflicts and Disputes Effectively

Conflicts and disputes are inevitable in any relationship, including those between landlords and tenants. However, it is how these conflicts are resolved that determines the overall health of the relationship.

When conflicts arise, it is important for both parties to remain calm and approach the situation with empathy and open-mindedness. Listen to each other’s perspectives and try to find common ground. Avoid making accusations or becoming defensive, as this can escalate the situation further.

In many cases, conflicts can be resolved through open and honest communication. Encourage both landlords and tenants to express their concerns and work together to find a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation can also be a helpful tool in resolving conflicts, especially in more complex or contentious situations.

If all else fails, it may be necessary to involve legal professionals or seek guidance from local housing authorities. However, it is important to remember that legal action should always be a last resort and should be pursued only when all other avenues have been exhausted.

Building Trust and Mutual Respect

Trust and mutual respect are the pillars of any successful relationship, and the landlord-tenant relationship is no different. Landlords should strive to be transparent and honest in their dealings with tenants. Keep promises and follow through on commitments. Respect tenants’ privacy and rights, and ensure that their concerns are taken seriously.

Tenants, on the other hand, should also respect the property and the landlord’s rules. Pay rent on time, report issues promptly, and adhere to the lease agreement. Treat the property with care and respect, and communicate any concerns or issues in a respectful and constructive manner.

Building trust and mutual respect takes time and effort from both parties, but the rewards are well worth it. A positive and respectful relationship between landlords and tenants creates a harmonious living environment and sets the foundation for a successful and mutually beneficial partnership.

Providing a Safe and Comfortable Living Environment

In addition to effective communication and trust-building, landlords have a responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable living environment for their tenants. This includes regular maintenance and prompt resolution of any issues that may arise.

Landlords should conduct regular inspections to identify and address any potential hazards or maintenance needs. This could include checking for leaks, ensuring proper ventilation, and inspecting electrical systems. Promptly address any repairs or maintenance requests to ensure the safety and well-being of your tenants.

Additionally, landlords should make an effort to create a comfortable and pleasant living environment. This could include providing amenities such as well-maintained common areas, landscaping, and recreational facilities. Regularly clean and maintain shared spaces, and address any concerns raised by tenants regarding the property’s cleanliness or upkeep.

By providing a safe and comfortable living environment, landlords demonstrate their commitment to their tenants’ well-being and satisfaction.

Going Above and Beyond: Extra Steps to Enhance the Relationship

To truly foster a positive landlord-tenant relationship, it often requires going above and beyond the basic responsibilities. Small gestures and acts of kindness can go a long way in building rapport and showing tenants that their well-being is valued.

For landlords, this could include providing welcome packages or small gifts to new tenants, organizing community events or gatherings, or offering incentives for long-term lease agreements. Respond promptly to maintenance requests and ensure repairs are carried out efficiently and professionally. Consider implementing regular property upgrades or improvements to enhance the living experience for tenants.

Tenants, on the other hand, can also contribute to a positive relationship by being respectful and considerate of the property and their neighbors. Keep the property clean and well-maintained, follow the rules and guidelines set by the landlord, and report any issues or concerns promptly.

By going the extra mile, both landlords and tenants can create a relationship based on mutual support, respect, and appreciation.

The Role of Technology in Improving Landlord-Tenant Relationships

In today’s digital age, technology plays an increasingly important role in improving landlord-tenant relationships. It offers convenience, efficiency, and enhanced communication between both parties.

One way technology can improve relationships is through the use of online portals or apps that enable tenants to submit maintenance requests, pay rent, and communicate with their landlords. These platforms provide a streamlined and efficient way for tenants to address their needs, while also ensuring that landlords receive and respond to requests promptly.

Technology can also be utilized to automate rent collection and lease management, reducing administrative burdens for landlords and providing tenants with a convenient and secure way to make payments.

Additionally, social media and online review platforms have become powerful tools for both landlords and tenants. Landlords can leverage these platforms to showcase their properties, respond to feedback, and build their reputation. Tenants, on the other hand, can use online reviews to share their experiences and provide feedback to landlords, ultimately holding them accountable for their actions.

In conclusion, technology offers numerous opportunities to improve landlord-tenant relationships, providing convenience, efficiency, and enhanced communication.

Conclusion: The Benefits and Rewards of Fostering Positive Relationships

Building bridges, not barriers, between landlords and tenants is essential for fostering positive and mutually beneficial relationships in the world of real estate. By prioritizing effective communication, setting clear expectations, resolving conflicts, and building trust and mutual respect, both landlords and tenants can create a harmonious and successful partnership.

The benefits of positive landlord-tenant relationships are vast. For landlords, it leads to increased tenant satisfaction, reduced turnover rates, and higher rental income. Tenants, on the other hand, enjoy a hassle-free living experience, timely resolutions to any issues, and an overall improved well-being.

By providing a safe and comfortable living environment, going above and beyond basic responsibilities, utilizing technology, and maintaining open lines of communication, landlords and tenants can build the foundation for a successful and mutually beneficial relationship.

So whether you’re a landlord looking to improve tenant relations or a tenant seeking a more pleasant renting experience, remember that building bridges, not barriers, is the key to fostering positive landlord-tenant relationships in the world of real estate

5 Steps to Finding Good Tenants

Finding good tenants can be difficult. It’s time-consuming and finding new prospects is stressful. Maybe you have no idea what steps to take in order to find the best occupants for your property. We will go over the key steps landlords should take to achieve the happiest tenants and a low-stress living situation for everyone involved. Even in areas with high property demands, that is no guarantee you will have an easy time finding the ideal resident.Read More

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Staging For Success: Get Poised to Sell Your Home

Staging For Success:  Get Poised to Sell Your Home

There are a few basic rules in life and one that can be carried into almost any situation is the old saying, “if you fail to plan, plan to fail”.  No one likes to fail, but failing to plan could be a sure way to not see success. This is especially true in real estate when it comes to placing your home up for sale.   Preparing your home for new buyers requires a lot of planning, thought, and attention to detail.  One way that gets your home ready for a quick sale is with home staging. 

What is Home Staging

You see it every time you turn on HGTV or some other house-flipping show.  Home staging has quickly become recognized as a necessity to highlight your home for its maximum potential.  A norm for almost any home at any price point, home staging can set the stage for a quick real-estate sale. Overall, the goal is to help prospective home buyers emotionally connect with a property that hopefully leads to an offer to buy.

Who Hires Home Stagers?

Staging may seem like an additional hassle and expense, but the investment can really pay off in the end and possibly lead to an above-asking price offer for your home. Overall, anyone selling or buying property may benefit from home staging. Homeowners selling single-family homes, condos, and townhouses make up the greatest percentage of those hiring home stagers. Even property developers selling new construction, and real estate agents and property managers also are in the mix. While home staging was created primarily to benefit the seller, seeing prospective properties staged and organized also can be advantageous to buyers because it can cut down on their search time.

Benefits of Home Staging

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Most people have trouble visualizing a space’s potential.  Whether it’s figuring out how to place furniture in an empty room or trying to ignore clutter or decor that’s clearly not their style. Realizing that the majority of home buyers can’t easily look past what’s in front of them to appreciate a room’s potential, it’s easy to see that home staging could be beneficial to the home selling process.  Staging helps buyers see what might get lost in an otherwise cluttered or unorganized home.  As reported by the National Association of Realtors,  44% of buyers’ agents say that home staging can increase the dollar value offered.  And 83% say that staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visualize the property as their dream home!  And less time on the market means less taxes, less mortgage payments, and less time you have to keep the house staged.

Does it Matter Which Rooms Are Staged?

While every room in the house could benefit from home staging, that might not be in your budget.  So if you must choose a room, or rooms, it would be best to focus on the higher priority rooms including kitchen, living room then master bedroom followed by the guest bathroom.  And don’t overlook those empty nooks or spaces, they could easily be turned into a small desk/office space to handle all of the daily mail clutter. 

You can certainly attempt to stage your home on your own.  It will save some money, but it is much harder to stage your own home and will likely take a lot of time out of your already busy schedule.   Something key to remember is that when you’re selling your home, it is not about you anymore.  It’s about the buyers and making your home as appealing as possible to attract the right buyer in the least amount of time.  It’s important that your home reflects all of its potential so the future home-buyer can see your home as move-in-ready.  

We have lots of tips and tricks that we can help you with when it comes to preparing homes for the real estate market.  Even if you plan to rent your home, home staging is ideal to attract the right tenants to your property. Tradewind Properties is here to help you in selling your home and with home staging.

Contact us!

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Insights on Owning Rental Property During the Pandemic

Insights on Owning Rental Property During the Pandemic

The pandemic has certainly impacted all areas of our lives. What has remained relatively strong amidst the uncertainty has been the housing market. Mortgage interest rates are at record lows. Inventory of homes for sale remains low, resulting in sellers routinely receiving multiple offers on homes quickly after listing. 

The rental market has been a different beast altogether. Mortgage protections are not available to landlords in the same way they are to homeowners. Many rental property owners have tried to get creative with their property management style in order to stay afloat while also working with tenants impacted by the pandemic. 

Given the unknowns of the months ahead of us, these factors will be worth keeping a close eye on in the coming months if you own a rental property:

  1. Changes in government protections for renters. Whether its payroll protections, rent subsidies or a local eviction moratorium, many renters have been supported through the recent hard times when it comes to their monthly financial obligations. While this attempt at stability has been good for many renters, some of these protections may be coming to an end soon, and many renters will face the struggles of disproportionate cost burden in the COVID-19 economy. With all the movement in local and temporary regulations due to the pandemic, it can save a lot of headaches to seek the help of a property management company, so you know you’re a compliant landlord while focusing on your own day-to-day priorities.
  2. Changes in the labor market, and its effect on renters. Job growth is one of the key factors of rental market health in any city. Today’s rental market has been served a major blow by the pandemic, leaving the unemployment rate at record highs. While protections for renters have temporarily provided relief for those who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed by their companies, landlords have absorbed the impact. Additionally, while homeowners have experienced some relief around their mortgage obligations, those same measures have not applied to commercial property owners.

While protections are short for landlords and rental property owners, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of resources that have your interests at heart during the pandemic uncertainty. The professional property managers at Tradewinds Properties can relieve a great deal of the stress of managing rental property through the pandemic.

Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of managing your rental property. As a Tradewind client, your most difficult task is checking your monthly statement. Contact us!

 

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6 Common Lease Violations

6 Common Lease Violations

While renting is a rewarding enterprise, you won’t always have model tenants.  Leases are put in place for a reason – whether it is to maintain the value of a property or keep people safe. When renters decide to break the terms of their contract, landlords may be forced to take action.

In order to learn how to handle lease violations, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the most common violations.

1. Unauthorized Pets

Four-legged friends can be an important part of the family – but they can also be quite a hassle. This is why many landlords prohibit pets to some degree. Pets can cause damage to the property and annoy neighboring tenants.

2. HOA Conflicts

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If your property falls under the jurisdiction of an HOA, renters must stay up to code. These often involve things such as making sure the property is free of trash and limit your external storage.

3. Smoking Indoors

Indoor smoking can be a damaging and dangerous habit. It can discolor home interiors, lead to burns, and leave a lingering odor. 

4. Noise Disturbances

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While being noisy doesn’t lead to structural damage, it can damage the atmosphere of your living complex. Loud tenants can lead to unhappy neighbors and visits from law enforcement.

5. Long-term Guests

Especially if you offer a flat rate for utilities in your rental agreement, unauthorized, long-term guests can be bad for business. It’s not unusual for a non-renting guest to be overstaying their welcome. Some renters may even take it upon themselves to sublet without your permission. The popularity of services such as Airbnb has made this even more common.

6. Damaging Decorations

While there is nothing wrong with making a living space more personal, some decorating can lead to damage. Something as simple as hanging up a couple of pictures can cause countless holes in the wall.

What to do if a renter breaks a clause in the lease agreement?

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The moment a tenant violates a lease, you should begin taking measures to protect yourself. There are different approaches you can take depending on the severity of the violation.

If you notice the violation during the renting period;

  1.       Keep Evidence: Always be sure to save original copies of all of your contracts and get proof of any relevant information. This includes taking photographs of the property before tenants arrived.
  2.       Notify the Tenant: Send a letter to your tenant alerting them of their violation and offer them time (minimum a week) to correct the problem. This is a legal obligation if you decide to take matters further.
  3.       Eviction: When violations aren’t corrected or are continuously repeated, you are within legal grounds to file for an eviction.

If you only recognize the violation (or failure to correct the violation) during the inspection following the end of a contract, you may withhold all or a portion of the security deposit. If the amount is not enough to cover damages, you can consider taking your case to small claims court. 

Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of managing your rental property. As a Tradewind client, your most difficult task is checking your monthly statement. Contact us!

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Finding Utility In Your Utilities. Monitoring And Managing Utility Usage.

Monitoring and managing utility usage.

If you own a property, you know that managing utility usage can feel like nothing short of a headache at times. Owning an income-based property might make this headache feel like a full-on migraine. With a little bit of planning, knowledge and know-how you don’t have to let utility expenditures balloon out of control.

Troubleshooting a water leak

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Water leak
  • A water or plumbing leak is something no one wants to experience; however, they happen. Train yourself, maintenance staff and tenants alike to identify and report things like a dripping faucet or running toilet. Additionally, be on the lookout for paint that is peeling or a musty/wet smell in an area that should be dry. Finally, a spike in the water bill is a pretty good sign there’s a potential leak.
  • If you suspect a leak, it’s time to call a professional, but you can potentially confirm a hidden leak by turning off every water fixture, faucet and appliance that uses water (for say six hours or so) and noting whether or not the property’s water meter readings rise during the time these are turned off.

Smart thermostats

  • Living in Minnesota means your heating system is probably working overtime for at least six months of the year, then of course your cooling system has got to kick it into gear. A smart thermostat can be a worthy investment. They are designed to make temperature adjustments based on a resident’s detectable patterns, that way you’re not paying to heat an unoccupied property. Further, you can always fine-tune manually and monitor as necessary so you or your tenants are not surprised with a huge bill.

Efficiencies with energy consumption

  • Whether you’re renting your property or not, the efficiency of your utility usage should be high on your priority lists to improve costs. Fortunately, there are both quick and easy ways to reduce costs as well as those that require a little more initial investment.

Installing LED fixtures

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LED Lightbulb
  • Want an easy win, win? Consider changing old, incandescent lightbulbs to LED. Not only can they cut the electric bill by almost 25 percent, they last almost 10 years requiring much less maintenance.

Upgrading to Energy Star appliances

  • If your appliances are old, it might be time for an upgrade. Initial costs of replacing these appliances (think refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers) might seem high, but you’ll save on energy costs and new appliances could help drive more potential renters to your door.

Consider air leaks

  • You can probably guess that air leaks are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to energy inefficiencies, but how do you find them? While a visual and physical inspection can easily tell you where your building is leaking air, you can hire a professional to do a thermographic test that uses an infrared camera to locate those more invisible areas of air leaks. 

Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of your rental property utility management, Contact Tradewind Properties. We are here to help!

Rental Property Management Solutions

Rental property management taking over your life? Time for a rental resolution!

There’s a chill in the air, holiday decorations are up in stores, and you are thinking about what resolution to make this year. Anything from losing weight, a better work-life balance, or saving more money for retirement. With the income from your property, you already are investing in your retirement future. However, do you feel like these investments are taking over your life and leaving you with little to no time for relaxation with family and friends?

It’s easy to think the best person to care for your rental properties is yourself. But the truth is, while owning income-based property can be tremendously rewarding, it’s also stressful and incredibly time-consuming. It seems like those maintenance phone calls always happen at 2:00 a.m. and they are starting to wear on you–especially if you have multiple rental properties.

For many income property owners, the thought of giving up control of their properties can be difficult. However, Tradewind Properties Rental Property Management Services could give you the balance you desire.

Tradewind Properties makes life easier by helping rental property owners to achieve their goals. Working with our professional property managers means less stress and more life balance. Here are several practical services that Tradewind Properties offers to deal with common rental owner property stresses.

Reducing rental turnover

Tradewind Properties can help to reduce tenant turnover by providing these services.

  • 24/7 maintenance coordination
  • Routine maintenance inspections
  • Supervising all tenant relations
  • Comprehensive rental screening
  • Owner’s assurance program
  • Free lease renewals

Helping to fill vacancies

Tradewind Properties can help fill vacancies fast by providing these services.

  • Property evaluation & market analysis
  • Aggressive marketing, MLS listing, and rental showing
  • Move-in inspection reports with photos
  • Final move-out inspection

Keeping compliance with the law

Tradewind Properties stays up-to-date on local, state, and federal law and ensures your rental properties are compliant by providing these services.

  • Negotiation & execution of lease
  • Preparation of CRP and MISC-1099
  • Tenant applications and rental agreements applications
  • Collection of 1st month’s rent and deposit(s)
  • Collection and disbursements of monthly rents
  • Enforcing rental and lease agreements

Tradewind Properties would like to help you reach your work-life balance resolution in 2020 and beyond. Learn more about our comprehensive rental management plan including all the services listed above.

5 Small Changes to Your Rental Property that Appeal to Every Potential Tenant

Considering renting out your property? When it’s time to spruce up your rental, attract potential tenants with these quick, simple improvements.

  1. Focus on that Kitchen
    Today’s renters are putting a lot of emphasis on one room in the house: the kitchen. The layout, details, and functionality of the kitchen can make or break a property. While you don’t have to do a complete remodel or change the layout of your existing kitchen, there are a few quick improvements that can make the kitchen wow your tenants.Install new cupboard hardware, a shiny new retractable faucet, and a hidden space for the trash can. Repaint the walls if they’re looking dim, and spend some time thinking of smart storage solutions for the kitchen. Making the kitchen inviting, clean, and modern will help potential tenants imagine themselves in this important space.
  2. In-Home Laundry
    Carrying around loads of laundry is a pain, and in-home laundry is one of those items that shows up on most tenants’ wish lists. Even if it is a small washer and dryer, stacking or side-by-side, see if you can fit in these appliances to make your tenants’ lives easier.
  3. Allow Pets
    There are pros and cons to allowing pets or not allowing them, but being open to dogs and cats can open up your rental pool significantly. Read more on this subject.
  4. Clean It Up
    This may seem obvious, but deep cleaning all parts of your rental space is crucial. Don’t skimp on washing windows, floorboards, door frames, blinds, and every inch of the bathrooms. Hire a carpet cleaning service to make sure your carpets are fresh. Although most people won’t notice that your place is spic-n-span, they will notice if it’s not.
  5. Improve Your Curb Appeal
    Taking time to amp up your exterior can range from repainting the entire façade, to planting flowers or putting an afternoon’s time into the lawn. Try any of these simple ideas to make your property more inviting: spray for weeds, scatter grass seed on bald spots, plant shrubs or flowers, repair cracks in the sidewalks or driveway, and repaint trim or shutters.

For more assistance with renting out your property―including vetting and finding tenants or conducting a Home Rental Analysis, contact the real estate experts at Tradewind Properties: 763-657-1957. We are here to help!

Upgrade or Ugly? What Landlords Should Allow Renters to Change in the Property, and When to Say No

As a landlord, you have two major concerns: keeping your rental property occupied, and keeping it in good shape so it appeals to tenants. Tradewind Properties takes care of the first concern for you, so let’s focus on the second.

Each tenant will have ways to make your rental property feel like home to them, as they should. But as the landlord, what changes should you allow and when should you say no?

To put it simply, think about which changes will be either reversible when current renters move out, or a clear upgrade that will improve the value of the property.

 

For example, changes that will make tenants happy, but are reversible, could include:

  • Changing the blinds.
  • Swapping out light-switch covers.
  • Painting the walls. This one can be a triumph or a disaster. It is best to either approve any colors the tenants are suggesting, or arrange a fee for the walls to be painted back to original upon them moving out.
  • Replacing shower heads, specialty light bulbs, or other easy swaps.
  • Light fixtures, although it is recommended that a licensed electrician be hired for this job.
  • Custom built-ins for the closets.
  • Any baby-proofing.

Generally-speaking, most major upgrades should come out of your wallet, as the owner of the property. But small changes to the rental can be the tenants’ choosing (and on their dime), and will help give them a say in how their living space feels. Assuming they gain your permission and that the upgrades improve the value of the property, consider giving a thumbs up to these:

  • Replacing drawer pulls and other hardware.
  • Deep cleaning the carpets, power spraying the deck, or other major cleaning endeavors.
  • Painting walls or cabinets (see above).
  • Installing shelving in the garage, mud room, laundry room, etc.
  • Upgrading the kitchen sink to include a retractable kitchen faucet, an in-sink soap dispenser, or adding a garbage disposal.
  • Bringing in their own appliances that they will leave behind (assuming they’re a step above what you currently have).
  • Bathroom upgrades like towel rods, towel hooks, or a medicine cabinet.
  • Installing ceiling fans (again, with the help of a professional).
  • Planting herbs, bulbs or flowers in garden.

 

When to Say No

Sometimes what seems like a fabulous idea to some is either too permanent, too hazardous, or too ugly to allow in your rental property.

  • Cut-outs for an A/C unit.
  • Fire pits or other fire hazards.
  • Waterbeds.
  • Basketball hoops installed on the exterior. Chances are good the next tenants might not be as keen on a game of hoops.
  • Anything that diminishes the functionality or character of a place, such as painting over original brick, closing off a fireplace, or adding an awning which only keeps light from getting in the windows, etc.
  • Changing the locks or security system. Unless you mutually agree to change the locks, and the landlord takes the lead, this is obviously a big no-no.

Please note that safety issues, repairs and major upgrades are part of a landlord’s responsibilities. The staff at Tradewind Properties can help you manage all of these, including emergency handyman visits for repairs.

Final Tip:

Keep an open line of communication with your tenants, and be open to suggestions for how they can make your property feel like home. It’s beneficial to both parties if tenants and landlord are satisfied and in agreement.

If you have any questions about becoming a landlord, or renting out your property, Contact Tradewind Properties. We are here to help!

Allow Pets or Don’t Allow Pets? A Landlord’s Guide to The Pet Question


If you’re a pet owner, you know how difficult it can be to find a rental home that allows pets, and how out-of-the-question it would be to leave them behind. But as a landlord, should you allow pets in your rental property or just say no? Consider these points when deciding whether you’d accept dogs, cats, other pets, or none at all.

 

Pros to Allowing Pets

  • Higher Rent: If you’re open to allowing pets, increase your rent/month or establish a monthly pet fee. Pet owners are usually asked to pay more per month in rent than non-pet owners due to the probability of extra clean-up or property damage.
  • Higher or Additional Deposit: Similarly, landlords should require an additional or increased deposit to cover any pet-related costs.
  • Appeal to Pet Owners: Opening your property to pet-owners widens your pool of potential renters, many of whom may be having trouble finding a place for their whole household.
  • You’ve Been There: If you’re a pet owner yourself, you know how it feels to have your animals be a part of your family. You would be helping a similar family find a home that suits their needs.

 

Cons to Allowing Pets

  • High Risk of Damage: Between claws, teeth, and the habit of urinating inside, pets can bring a whole range of damage to your property. Young puppies, kittens, and older pets who have trouble with incontinence can be especially risky.
  • That Smell: Dog and Cat smell is nearly impossible to avoid, and even harder to get out of a home. Especially if they’re having accidents on the carpet or spraying like male cats can do, ridding your rental of that odor can be difficult and can make it hard to rent out again.
  • Barking or other Nuisances to Neighbors: If your renters’ pet is being noisy, roaming into others’ yards, or worse, being aggressive or a danger to others, you as the landlord will have to deal with it. It is much harder to tell a family they have to move out or get rid of their pet than just saying no to pets in the beginning.
  • Taking someone’s word for it: Experience says that even though renters will promise that their pet doesn’t bark, doesn’t bite, doesn’t have accidents, and is an absolute angel, they may just be trying to get into your rental. As a property management company, Tradewind Properties vets your potential renters to be sure that you know what you’re getting into. We ask for updated veterinarian records on the pet’s health and behavior and request a detailed pet rental reference from a current and/or past landlord.

 

If you are going to allow pets, consider these tips:

  1. Add a monthly pet fee or an additional pet deposit. The experienced agents at Tradewind Properties will help you determine the right deposit or pet rent to ask for based on the individual home and market.
  2. Check with your city ordinances, HOA, and landlord’s insurance to see if certain breeds are not allowed or not covered by insurance.
  3. Landlords may want to require dogs and cats to be over one year old, potty-trained, and up to date on all shots. Puppies and kittens can do significantly more damage than trained adult pets.
  4. If you’ve decided not to allow dogs and cats, what about birds, reptiles, or small pets like hamsters, rabbits, or guinea pigs? Think of the above pros and cons, but on a smaller scale.

 

When you work with Tradewind Properties, we will help you set your preferred pet policy (within the guidelines of your HOA). At a minimum, we require all pets to be 1 year or older, be up-to-date on all shots, and be licensed within the city (if applicable). When a potential renter applies, we will verify the vet records and behavior of the pet for you, and will perform a routine inspection of the property 1-2 months after a new tenant moves in to ensure no lease violations are occurring.
Generally, we at Tradewind Properties have found that allowing pets is beneficial as it broadens your pool of potential renters, and we’d love to help you prepare for renting out your property, pets or no pets!

**Please note that the above tips are strictly related to pets and do not pertain to the laws governing service animals.

If you have any questions about becoming a landlord, or renting out your property, Contact Tradewind Properties. We are here to help!