Tips For Landlords

The rental market is fizzing along in Scottsdale and surrounding areas at the moment, some rental units are getting multiple applications within days of listing.

Just because there is high demand for rental units doesn’t mean landlords should be complacent, here’s some tips for getting great tenants fast.

Pets: A lot of people calling me about rentals have pets. Similarly a lot of rental properties are listed as “Assistive Animals Only”. I understand that pets may cause some additional cleaning issues but that can easily be addressed for landlords by collecting either a refundable or non-refundable pet fee. I rented a unit to a single woman with one non shedding cat recently, as a landlord don’t over rule a tenant such as this, it’s much better to judge on a case by case basis. So have your REALTOR select the “Call Lessor” field instead.

Photography: Pictures are as important to prospective tenants as the are to prospective home buyers so make sure  the photography on your rental MLS listing is up to par. If it’s not ask your real estate agent to fix this issue.

Commissions: When buying or selling a house in Arizona the commissions are fairly standard across the board, 6% total commission paid by the seller and that is in most cases split by the buying and selling agents equally. In rentals there is not much standardization but I think it’s worth checking with your REALTOR exactly how much of the commission they will be offering to the agent representing tenants.

To illustrate the point I saw two listings in the MLS today for rentals offered at $2,400 per month. One offered agents bringing a tenant a flat $250 commission and one offered a more normal 4% of gross rent as commission. That’s $250 versus $1,1532 in commissions. Ask your REALTOR what their standard practice is because you want agents representing possible tenants to be working hard to get your property rented.

Cleaning Fee: Make use of the cleaning fee to deal with issues such as steam cleaning carpets. Unless carpets are very heavily soiled normal wear and tear would mean tenants should not have money deducted for steam cleaning carpets on move out. A non refundable cleaning fee is very clear but any amounts you hold back from the security deposit can be challenged in small claims court and you can be held liable to return double the amount.

Treat Your Tenants Well: There are many many people buying investment properties without even visiting the state of Arizona. Often they buy through companies that specialize in securing properties from trustee sales. The properties are then turned around and rented without anyone really taking stock of what’s there. If this is the situation you are in ask your REALTOR to look at the property from the eyes of a prospective tenant. Sometimes a small change like replacing an old appliance will make a big difference to tenants and subsequently they will show more love to your property over the course of their tenancy.