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Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

Bellevue property management can be difficult if you don’t know local laws and regulations.

For example, you might not know that if someone is renting property, you are legally obliged to give them notice before entering. Or that you are legally obliged to disclose any and all problems with the property before renting? Here are a couple of property tips to get you started.

Keep up on Repairs

No matter what the repairs are, you are legally bound to take care of them. Legally, your tenant can refuse to pay you and not be removed from the building until any repairs are made on the building. A tenant can also move out if repairs are not made, even if their contract says that they must stay for some time into the future. If you want to keep your tenants and your income it is important that you set aside money for making repairs. If you are not sure how to repair property, don’t know who to hire, or how, your best bet is to hire a local property management company to help you out.

Check Notice Requirements

Did you know that even if your tenant is renting a storage shed, you have to let them know before you enter their property? In Bellevue that notice time is usually a minimum of 48 hours. You also have to notify a tenant in writing a minimum of 60 days in advance for a rent increase of 10% or more over a 12 month period.

Read up on Permissions

Washington state ordinance 59.20.070 includes a list of items that you may and may not do while someone is renting your property. A short list includes changing and tampering with locks, doors, or windows, evict a tenant without good cause. You are also prohibited from prohibiting the posting of flyers or information bulletins, inhibiting communication between tenants, or preventing tenants from filing a rebuttal against you should you infringe on their rights. You should read up on all of the information before accepting tenants.

Screen Tenants

Whether you are renting out one or two hundred units, screening your tenants can save you a lot of trouble. Usually a background check and a credit check will give you all of the information you need to make a decision. Importantly, it is illegal to discriminate against some offenders unless you believe they will not pay the rent. Check with the city hall for a list of regulations pertaining screening your tenants, or have a property management company do it for you.

Use Contracts

While it is okay to rent to family and friends without a contract, a standard tenant should have a signed contract. Without the contract they are not legally bound to pay rent which can go against you in a court of law. Hire someone to write up a professional contract, have each new tenant sign it, and then file it safely. Using proper paperwork is probably one of the most important Bellevue property management tips around, so make sure you utilize it. A property management company will be able to help you with writing up, filing, and managing all of your paperwork.

Property management can be difficult, time consuming, and confusing if you don’t know the rules. Probably the biggest tip for new landlords is that if you do not know what you are doing, you might be better off simply hiring a property management company for temporary or full time work while you learn the ropes. Poor management can be costly, and a good property management company like SJA Property Management can actually earn you money by quickly finding and screening great tenants for your units.

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