By GoldenWest Management, Inc
Phoenix, Arizona – Are you just getting started with owning Phoenix Rental Property? If so, here are 5 tips you can use to manage your portfolio of income properties efficiently and grow your business.
Tip #1 – Always Screen Your Tenants
Never go with your “gut instinct” when it comes to your tenants, you should always screen your tenants by checking their credit, background history, references and work references. Don’t make it an emotional decision, it will protect your home as well as keep HUD (Fair housing) away from any type of discrimination complaints. If you don’t have a set approval process (heuristic of some sort) you run a high chance of having a case brought against you…and it doesn’t require a lawyer for a jilted prospect to make your life miserable.
The tenant screening process is a vital part of owning any rental because it will give you the best opportunity to protect yourself. We have a great saying in our office, “once they are in, their in.”
Tip #2 – Get Everything in Writing
Always document your relationship with your tenants including if they complain about different issues, or have complaints made against them, because, a written history will only protect you if you need to one day face your tenant in court. Demand that they provide a move-in inspection report. Don’t think that because they don’t send a condition statement, that when they move out, you will be in the clear. The onus is on YOU, the landlord, to give them every opportunity to note any issues with the property.
Tip #3 – Use Your Head with Security Deposits
When it comes to security deposits you never want to do things on the fly. You must have a clear system for collecting, settling and holding security deposits because, return of the security deposit is one of the top reasons why most property owners find themselves in a dispute after a tenant moves out when they could have avoided disputes by being clear from the very beginning.
In Arizona, a private owner can commingle the security deposit in a personal account, just so long as you maintain proper accounting records.
But when it comes time to move out, you have (14) business days to send a deposit disposition, including any remaining balance left over (depending on deductions) to the Tenant. We recommend certified return receipt if you mail the refund.
Most important, the Tenant’s security deposit is not your slush fund to remodel your home…for those landlords who think that you can hit the tenant for all repairs (full paint job, brand new floors) you are in for a surprise in Maricopa County small claims court.
Tip #4 – Keep Your Word about Repairs
Things will break down over time at your Phoenix Rental Property and it’s important to always keep your word with tenants about when they can expect to have repairs made since some tenants may consider withholding rent or moving out without notice if they classify your rental as not habitable.
You have 48hrs to address habitability issues – think about when the AC goes out on a Saturday in July. After that the Tenant has the right to fix the problem and deduct it from the rent or go get a hotel and deduct the accommodations from the rent. Make sure you have contractors that will respond or you will have issues.
Tip #5 – Don’t just show up at your rental home.
I hate to break it to many landlords, but you have the right to “reasonable” inspections…which I have personally seen the court say anything less than quarterly is not going to fly. In addition you have to give written 48hr notice prior to stepping foot on the property unless its an emergency repair. The court will not let you “disturb” the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property, regardless of whether you think you were had a right to be at the home or not.
Get Phoenix Rental Property
Review the above items…if you don’t live close to the home, there is no reason for you as individual to ever roll the dice of managing a property on your own. Even if you live right down the street, if you don’t aren’t an expert in landlord-tenant law, you absolutely should consider hiring a property manager. Those (5) tips are just small samples of what professional property managers in phoenix like the staff at GoldenWest Management deal with every day, for hundreds of properties.
For more information about Phoenix or Scottsdale Property management contact GoldenWest Management, Inc today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.