If you are thinking of buying a rental property and renting to tenants, it’s important that you take the time to understand what being a landlord really means. Renting any property is a major undertaking, which is why it can be so beneficial to hire a property management company to handle the day-to-day details on your behalf. Here is what you should know before you begin renting a single family home in Mesa, AZ.
Finding the right tenants can be challenging. The biggest challenge any property owner faces is finding the best possible tenants. This means interviewing each applicant, showing them the rental property, doing a background check and credit check, contacting their past landlords and current employer, and weighing the positive points of one prospective tenant against all the others. This can be extremely time-consuming, which is one of the reasons it’s smart to find a property manager to take care of the task of finding and interviewing tenants.
Landlords have to do maintenance. If your tenants experience any problems with your rental property—whether it’s a plumbing emergency, a blown fuse, or a broken window—they are going to call you for help. If you don’t have a property manager working with your tenants, you’re likely to find yourself spending a lot of your spare time finding contractors to do repair work on your properties—or even doing the work yourself.
It pays to learn the laws. Before you become a landlord, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with all of the relevant zoning laws, fire codes, insurance requirements, and regulations of landlord-tenant issues. Remember that the rules may differ depending on the state, city, and even neighborhood your property is in. Keeping track of all of these rules can be overwhelming, and it can be helpful to have a property management company handling these issues for you.
If you’re a landlord or a prospective tenant who is about to enter into a legally binding agreement, it’s important to fully understand each clause in that agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities of each party under Arizona law. This is one of the points at which working with a property manager in Mesa, AZ, is invaluable. Property management services usually include drafting legally compliant lease agreements, screening tenants, collecting rent payments, and enforcing the lease agreement when necessary. Both landlords and tenants can turn to their property managers when they have questions about rent payments.
Every lease agreement should specify a date on which rent is due. Usually, rent payments must be received on the first day of each month. Arizona law allows landlords or their property managers to begin charging late fees as soon as the rent is late, provided these late fees are explained in the lease agreement and are reasonable. If the tenant does pay rent on time, but the check bounces, landlords can collect a service fee of up to $25 on top of the amount charged by the bank for check processing.
When a tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement, any increases in rent payments cannot take place until at least 30 days after the landlord provides written notification of that increase. The same applies to modifications of any other conditions of the lease. Landlords who have long-term leases cannot raise the rent until the lease period expires. An exception to this is if the lease agreement specifies that rent may be increased at a time before the lease expires. Arizona law prohibits the increase of rent for retaliatory or discriminatory purposes. For example, rent cannot be increased because a tenant complained about a rodent infestation and it cannot be raised on the basis of a tenant’s protected class, such as race or religion.
Arizona law allows for swift eviction actions for nonpayment of the rent. The day after rent is due and has not been received the landlord or property manager can send the tenant a written notice. The notice must give the tenant five days to pay the rent or to move out. If neither action occurs at the deadline, the landlord can initiate legal proceedings to evict the tenant.
Connecting with rental management companies in Mesa, AZ, is often the first step toward finding the right apartment to rent . But before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand every word in the lease agreement. Property managers can and will make sure that this legally binding document is enforced, so be sure that you understand what your responsibilities are.
As you watch this video, take note of the importance of the pre-rental inspection. Apartments that are taken care of by rental management companies are generally well maintained, but you might notice some signs of damage. Write a detailed list of all existing problems and take pictures. The property manager should agree in writing that the damage existed before you moved in. This helpful video also offers advice on making cosmetic changes to rentals and bringing pets with you.
If you plan to hire a property manager in Mesa, AZ, to take care of your property management needs, you’ll need to make a few decisions about the conditions of residency. Rental management companies strongly recommend that landlords prohibit smoking in all of their units and in fact, some property managers may have an established no smoking policy. There are many good reasons for this. For landlords, getting the most value out of their properties is among the top considerations and smoking in an apartment is a surefire way to significantly reduce its value and increase tenant turnover.
When a tenant is actively smoking inside a rental unit, the smoke readily drifts under doorways and through the ventilation systems to reach other apartments in the building. This jeopardizes the health of all of the other residents as well as their quality of life. Even if a tenant goes outside to smoke, it’s inevitable that the smoke will drift back into the building when a door or window is open. Quite simply, smoke cannot be contained to one area. Furthermore, long after the smoker is gone, the carcinogenic residue remains. It is extremely difficult to remove this residue, known as thirdhand smoke, from furnishings, walls, ceilings, and elsewhere. Not only does this leave a lasting and unpleasant odor, but studies show that thirdhand smoke is just as dangerous as secondhand and first-hand smoke.