Owning a rental property in Denver has many benefits, but management can be hard work. You will have many responsibilities, from advertising your property to finding quality tenants and dealing with maintenance issues. Here are some tips to help you cope with managing your rental property.
Advertise your property
To advertise your property, you will need quality photographs of each room. Your listing should include everything a potential tenant needs to know to inform their choice, such as price, size, and location. Before writing your listing, think about the following.
- What rental price will you charge?
- What will you charge as a security deposit?
- What length do you want the lease term to be?
- What aspects of the property can you feature to help your listing stand out?
- Will you allow pets or smoking?
Your listing should state clearly how you wish to be contacted. There are many places where you can advertise your property, from classified ads to property websites and social media. Boulder, Co property management companies, such as Evernest, APM and Roberts & Sons, will assist you in advertising your rental property in the right places and help you to find qualified tenants in Denver.
Follow rent-ready standards
Before you even start looking for tenants, it is important that your property is rent-ready. This will involve thoroughly cleaning the property. Major repairs you may need to make are usually those that could affect the health and safety of tenants. Minor repairs may include changing light bulbs, fixing door knobs etc. All the appliances should be in good working order. Upgrades to the kitchen or bathroom often offer the best return on your investment. The better the condition of your property, the more it will appeal to good tenants.
Have a thorough applicant screening process
Prospective tenants will fill in a rental application so you can do a thorough applicant screening process. A rental application will give you a prospective tenant’s contact information, employment history, income, credit information, rental history and references. You can review this information to decide whether the tenant is suitable or not. A stable income and good credit score indicate that they are financially responsible and earn enough to pay the rent.
Speaking to previous landlords can help you to find out if they paid rent on time and in full. You can establish whether they took care of a property and were respectful of neighbors etc. Knowing this can save you from issues down the road.
When screening tenants, you need to be conscious of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits you from discriminating based on race, religion, sex, etc.
Sign a lease agreement
Once you have decided on a tenant, you will need to sign a lease agreement. It is helpful to go through the terms together before signing. The lease agreement will protect your rights and the rights of your tenants. It can prevent conflicts from arising due to misunderstandings.
Most rental agreements in Colorado require a security deposit. This is usually one month’s rental, and there are rules on how to use a deposit and when to return it. There is no limit on a security deposit at the state level, but under Colorado law, you must return it within one month.
Have maintenance standards
Cutting back on regular maintenance, such as skipping annual maintenance of electrical, water and heating infrastructure, may cut your expenses over the short term, but you run the risk of having to make more expensive repairs down the line.
You have a duty to conduct any repairs the tenants request in a timely manner. Outdoor maintenance, such as removing debris, cutting lawn and shoveling walkways, is also important.
It can be very helpful to use property management services as you can rely on them to take care of all the maintenance and repairs on the property.
Learn about service animals
You can create your own pet policies, but what if a tenant has a service animal? If the tenant qualifies for reasonable accommodation and has a verifiable need for a service animal, you have to allow this. Service animals are not considered pets, and you can’t charge a pet fee. There are also no breed restrictions or weight limits for service animals. You can require written verification that the service animal is medically necessary. If a service animal poses a threat to others or causes considerable property damage, you can give a tenant a warning and even evict someone if necessary.
As you can see from the above tips, managing a rental property in Denver or anywhere else can be a huge responsibility. This should not deter you from wanting to own one. Anticipating the realities means you will be better equipped to face them. You can also use a property management company to make the process much easier for you.