Thursday, 17 August, 2017

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Why use Rent-A-Home?

Finding the right tenant for your house is important and keeping up with your responsibilities as landlord equally so. Rent-A-Home's application process helps identify whether an applicant is a good fit for your property, and our marketing strategies help grab their attention. If you use our management services, Rent-A-Home will handle rent collection and maintenance requests, removing some of the stress of keeping up with a property.

How does Rent-A-Home advertise my property?

With 25 years of property management experience, Rent-A-Home knows how to successfully market your property. Our website provides prospective tenants with detailed information about your property, including:

  • · Market competitive rent;
  • · Number of bedrooms and bathrooms;
  • · Amenities; and
  • · Exterior and interior pictures.

In addition to placing your property on our website, our property management software will post the same information to Craigslist, Zillow, and other property listing services. This ensures maximum exposure for your property. Prospective tenants may also call our office and speak with a showing agent or representative for additional information.

Although more than 75% of our applicants are referred through our site, Rent-A-Home still engages in traditional rental marketing and places a “For Rent” sign prominently in your yard (if applicable).

How does Rent-A-Home show my property?

Rent-A-Home provides a unique service for owners in our marketing and management programs by sending our agents to personally show your property.

Other property management companies in the Triad utilize a key deposit system, where the prospective tenant picks up a key and views the house with no one to answer questions and no supervision.

Rent-A-Home schedules showings of your property with prospective tenants to make sure all questions are answered at every viewing. Any interested parties are provided with an application on the spot. Furthermore, you can speak with the agent who showed your property to ask how the showing went and whether they have any recommendations to help the property show better. Communication is essential to successfully renting your property.

What does your application process consist of?

Whether you choose our property management or marketing program, the most important aspect of renting your property is finding a good tenant. Rent-A-Home's application process provides the owner with as much information as possible by running a credit check, criminal check, and rental reference check, as well as requiring proof of income and acceptable forms of identification.

  • Credit check: Our property management software runs a prospective tenant’s information through Experian, a recognized leader in the credit industry. You will be notified of their score and given advice from our applications specialist about what their score indicates.
  • Criminal check: Every prospective tenant has their criminal background checked through our application process. Our applications specialist will notify you if the prospective tenant has a criminal background and if so, what charges are listed on it.
  • Eviction history: A new database provided through our property management software can show whether a prospective tenant has previously been evicted from a property. If any prior evictions appear on their report, you will be notified of the number of evictions on their history and date of evictions. Please note that not all prospective tenants will be included in this database and that the lack of an eviction history does not mean the prospective tenant has never been evicted.
  • Rental references: Sometimes the easiest way to determine whether a prospective tenant is right for you is hearing from their previous landlord. Rent-A-Home requests all applicants to provide the name and number of their landlord(s) over the previous two years. Our application specialist contacts the previous landlord(s) to determine whether the tenant paid timely, the condition the property was left in at the time it was vacated, and ask other questions pertaining to their viability.
  • Income verification: Rent-A-Home requires our applicants to make at least three times the monthly rent in order to qualify for the property. By requesting proof of income, our office verifies the tenants will be able to afford to pay the rent barring a change in their circumstances.

Who determines whether an applicant is qualified?

You do. Rent-A-Home will never approve an application without the consent of an owner, nor will we push you into choosing an applicant. We simply provide you with the best information available to make your decision. Although we are happy to provide our advice and input into your selection, you have final say over who rents your property.

What is the North Carolina Residential Rental Contract?

The North Carolina Board of Realtors, in collaboration with the North Carolina Bar Association, created a default lease agreement called the Residential Rental Contract. This is the contract all applicants sign. This contract explains rights and responsibilities in great detail. A sample copy of this document can be found here.

What is required of a tenant at the time they sign the Residential Rental Contract?

The tenant is required to pay their security deposit in certified funds when the Residential Rental Contract is signed. After the contract is signed and the deposit paid, the property will be taken off the market for rent and our sign will be taken down. You will be notified after the tenant comes in to sign and pay their deposit. If the tenant intends to move in on the same day as the signing, they must also pay their pro-rated rent in certified funds to pick up keys.

How does Rent-A-Home digitally document the condition of my property?

Owners using our property management service will have a Rent-A-Home employee go out to your property prior to tenant move-in and perform a detailed inspection of the current condition of the property. Pictures will be taken of each room and of any noticeable damages and stored in Rent-A-Home’s archives.

After the tenant turns in keys, an employee goes back out to the property to perform a move-out inspection. Pictures of each room and any damages are taken at that time. Our office then compares the two inspections to determine if there were any tenant damages beyond normal wear and tear during their occupancy.

Will Rent-A-Home inspect my property?

Rent-A-Home will inspect properties annually at a minimum. If we have reason to believe there are problems or other issues at the property, we inspect accordingly. We attempt to be as mindful as possible of the tenant’s privacy during an inspection and generally will not take interior pictures unless a serious issue exists at the property. The employee performing the inspection notes the general condition of the floors, walls, and exterior of the property.

How does Rent-A-Home disburse tenant rent payments?

Rent-A-Home usually disburses rent payments once a month after all rent has been collected. If you have signed up for direct deposit your payment will be disbursed into your selected account; otherwise, our office will mail you a check. Generally, disbursements are made within 5 business days of receipt of payment; however, this time may vary depending on the method of tenant payment and bank holidays.

Because tenants may pay late or pay partially during any given month, Rent-A-Home cannot guarantee disbursement will be made by a specific date. However, Rent-A-Home will work diligently to disburse your payment after it is received.

What happens if my tenant pays late?

Rent is due on the 1st and a late fee may be charged after the 6th of the month. If the tenant does not pay by the 6th they are sent a late fee letter and charged of 5% of the monthly rent or $15.00, whichever is greater. They are notified that they have until the end of the day on the 10th to pay or make acceptable payment arrangements. An employee will notify you of the delinquency and whether the tenant has set up a date to pay.

If the tenant fails to pay or make payment arrangements by the end of the day on the 10th, our office files summary ejectment (eviction) papers unless we are notified by you to do otherwise.

How does the eviction process work?

Under North Carolina law, a property management company may appear in small claims court for a summary ejectment action if the company is managing the property for the owner. Although there is no set timeline for an eviction proceeding, a hearing is usually set within 10 – 14 business days of filing with the court. If, after the hearing, the court decides in favor of the property owner, then the tenants shall have 10 days to vacate or make acceptable payment arrangements.

If the tenant fails to make acceptable payment arrangements or vacate within the 10 day period, a writ of possession may be filed to have the sheriff remove the tenant from the premises. The sheriff will set up a time and date to perform the padlocking, and a Rent-A-Home employee and locksmith will meet the sheriff at the premises to change the locks at that time.

Please note that this is the only lawfully prescribed method to evict a tenant in the state of North Carolina.

How does Rent-A-Home handle maintenance issues?

Part of our property management responsibilities includes oversight of repair requests. When a tenant calls in with a repair request our office contacts a vendor to fix the issue. If the estimated repair cost is greater than $500.00, our office will contact you for approval before the work is performed.

As owner, you are responsible for the cost of repairs at the property. If you prefer to have complete oversight over all repairs, Rent-A-Home strongly recommends using its marketing program.

What happens if the tenant breaks something at the property?

If Rent-A-Home determines the tenant is responsible for the cost of a repair at the property, the invoice will be added to their account balance. However, vendors must be paid promptly for work performed. Therefore you may see a deduction from your usual rent intake even if the tenant is responsible for the cost of the repair if the tenant does not promptly pay the invoice.

I have a home warranty that covers the cost of some repairs. Will you contact them prior to making repairs?

If possible, Rent-A-Home will contact your home warranty provider prior to repairs being performed. However, some repairs require immediate action (such as no heat). In these circumstances it may not be possible to contact your home warranty provider first.

Pricing?

For marketing services, Rent-A-Home charges you a fee equal to one month’s rent at the property. This is paid at the time the property is leased, no upfront cost is required.  For property management services, Rent-A-Home charges you a fee equal to one half of one month’s rent, then 10% of the monthly rent each month the property is being managed.

Will Rent-A-Home manage a property that is currently tenant occupied?

Rent-A-Home offers property management services to owners of vacant and occupied properties and would be happy to discuss managing your tenant occupied property.

 

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