Buying and owning single-family rental properties in Live Oak can be an intriguing and rewarding investment. But unlike other types of investments, there are numerous things you need to understand to effectively move from a property owner to a landlord. For instance, pretend you are a Live Oak rental property owner getting ready to lease for the first time. In that case, you need to ultimately learn the basics of leasing strategies and, even more importantly, the laws which already apply to you and your tenant. To get you started leasing your first property, we have put together a comprehensive guide covering the basics. By following a few straightforward guidelines, you can improve your possibility of having a first sure experience.
Screening Process Basics
One of the first and most essential steps in leasing your rental property is selecting the right renter. And the right approach to do it is to have a good screening process for each applicant. You’ll need to collect a few statistics from your prospective tenant to help you settle whether they are the ones you’re searching for. At a minimum, request that they fill out an application that contains the names and birth dates for all intended occupants of the household, together with those under 18, five years of employment history, and at least three references. You’ll also need to collect Social Security numbers for all adult tenants and run a background check on each one. Then, call and verify the information on their application. If feasible, contact any previous landlords and get information on their renting history. It may necessitate some time, but the more research you do before you sign that lease, the less likely you will face unpleasant surprises someday.
As you advertise for and screen renters, you need to avoid discriminating against potential tenants, even unintentionally. It is illegal to discriminate against a tenant depending on factors like race, sex, color, national origin, religion, handicap, and familial status; note there may be other protected classes dependant on your state’s laws. When writing your rental ads, be sure to avoid using language that might qualify as discrimination, such as stating that you would not rent to people with children or those who live on government assistance. Then, as you collect applications and screen tenants, fairly assess your applicants based on the information they give and not on other criteria. By maintaining professionalism and utilizing an unbiased screening system, you can stay clear of discriminating against any potential renters.
Understanding Reasonable Accommodations
Essentially, it is important not to assume that somebody with a disability is automatically not a good candidate for your rental property. Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, property owners are required to deliver “reasonable accommodations” for their tenants, should they be required. By definition, a reasonable accommodation is “a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” If your prospective tenant otherwise meets the criteria for renting your property, accommodation should not be a factor to turn them down. In certain circumstances, the accommodation a tenant requests may be something they will install and pay for themselves, with the condition that they will return the property to its original condition upon move-out. In certain situations, the tenant may request an accommodation from you that, if it is reasonable, you will need to grant. This incorporates allowing service and emotional support animals in the rental property, though you have a strict policy forbidding pets.
In conclusion, it’s imperative to understand that there may be different and additional Landlord/Tenant laws that apply in other cities or neighborhoods. When leasing your property, it is advisable to research all applicable laws in your location and craft your processes in line with them.
It may be difficult to learn all the laws and best practices of leasing rental properties. So why just not entrust this important task to a Live Oak property manager? At Real Property Management Campanas, we give clear and anti-discriminatory screening and leasing services that help our rental property owners find the best possible tenants for their properties. Contact us today or give us a call at 210-797-8805 to learn more.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.