- What needs to be done to my property to make it “Rent Ready”?
The likelihood of attracting a higher quality Tenant is improved if your property is in very good condition. Since most rental homes are not “new” they are not expected to be in “perfect condition” but should be safe, in reasonably good repair, have working appliances, and most importantly very clean.
Carpets should be professionally cleaned and all debris and personal belongings removed from the home. Neutral window coverings, such as blinds should be left, preferably not curtains. Tenants generally expect some sort of window coverings to be provided for safety and privacy.
As part of our services, T-Square Properties will conduct a property evaluation and make recommendations as to what may need to be done to make the home more marketable. We can also arrange for vendors to conduct the initial work if you are not available to arrange for this on your own. If you do elect to handle the initial cleaning on your own, we can provide you with a cleaning checklist to use as a guide.
- How will you find tenants for my property? How long will it take?
We routinely post attractive yard signs, and utilize high traffic sites such as Craig’s List, Zillow, homerentals.net, mynewplace.com, hotpads.com, and our website. We also offer an array of other volume discounted web advertising packages as an option to our clients. Our leasing team will take pictures, write the ad copy, publish, post, and refresh the ads as necessary.
The length of time is it takes to find a qualified tenant can vary greatly depending on a number of variables including the season, advertised rental rate, condition of the home, and general market conditions. On average, it takes around two to four weeks to secure a qualified Tenant but can vary widely depending on these variables.
While your home is vacant, our Leasing team will provide you with activity updates as well as recommendations to make the home more attractive to potential tenants.
- Can I say that I do not want pets or smokers in my property?
Since almost 75% of households have a pet, it is advisable to consider your options carefully. We can advertise the property as “pets allowed”, “pets negotiable”, or specify certain allowable pets such as, “dogs under 25 lbs allowed”, or “no pets”. If you opt for the latter, you may be significantly reducing the universe of potential tenants.
In any case, T-Square Properties does not allow certain “vicious” breeds of dog for liability reasons. If pets are allowed, past landlord references are queried for any past pet problems and an additional refundable deposit is collected prior to move-in.
As a policy, we do not allow smoking in any property managed by T-Square Properties to protect your investment.
- What happens if the tenant does not pay rent on time?
Rent is due on the first of each month. We extend a four day grace period on late fees. While most of our tenants pay their rent by the fifth of the month, there is occasionally a late paying Tenant. After the fifth of the month late charges begin to accrue daily until rent is paid in full.
If the rent is not forthcoming, we begin the eviction/collection process usually by serving a “3-day pay or vacate” notice. If still not in compliance, the next step is to file a summons and complaint at the county courthouse to pursue the eviction.
Full evictions are very rare and can usually be avoided or eliminated through proper communication with the tenant.
- How and when do I get my money each month?
The rental checks must have cleared the bank before we can begin disbursing funds. Funds are direct deposited in to your designated bank account generally by the 15th of each month. Around this same time, you will receive a financial statement recapping all income and expenses for the month.
- How am I protected if the tenant damages the property?
The security deposit collected at move-in is intended to cover tenant damage, if the tenants leave the property owing more than is covered by the security deposit, they will be billed. If they do not pay, they can be turned over to a collection agency.
- Do you collect first and last month’s rent?
Commonly, move-in costs in the Puget Sound area are equal to about two month’s rent. We typically collect a pro-rated first month’s rent plus a refundable security deposit based on the screening report prior to move-in. The security deposit is intended to cover any damages and/or cleaning necessary to restore the property to its condition at lease inception. This security deposit is held in a Trust account as mandated by Washington State Landlord-Tenant law.
- How are tenant applicants screened?
Every applicant over the age of 18 will be screened. Our screening criteria is applied consistently by a third party screening company to all applicants and is based on a combination of credit history, criminal background, income verification, and past landlord references. Our specific screening criteria can be found on this website under the “Prospective Tenants” tab.
- How do Fair Housing Laws impact me?
Fair Housing Laws were enacted to protect against illegal housing discrimination based on “protected class status”. The intention of federal, state, and local fair housing laws is to require that all individuals be given the same treatment, the same services, and offered an equal opportunity to live in a home of their choice. In other words, the same rights as everyone else—realize that all of us fall within one or more protected classes and are all, therefore, protected under the law! Our consistent screening policies help ensure that Fair Housing Laws are fully adhered to.
Federally protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, and disability.
State and Local Protected classes: Washington’s fair housing laws include the following protected classes: marital status, legal sources of income, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
- Will I get maintenance related calls at all hours of the day/night?
All emergency and non-emergency calls are arranged to be handled by our team of highly qualified personnel. True emergencies will be responded to 24/7/365.
- Does T-Square Properties inspect the property after the tenant has moved in?
In addition to the move-in and move-out inspections conducted at tenant transitions, we also routinely conduct an intermittent property survey at approximately the half-way point of a twelve month lease. The objective of this survey is to assess any deferred maintenance items that may be putting your property at risk. This sometimes includes slow and unreported water leaks, inoperable smoke detectors, dirty furnace filters, unauthorized pets, or other lease violations.