Getting started with rental property can be confusing, but if you’re a new landlord, you might not know that your potential tenants probably have just as many or more questions than you do. If you haven’t already hired a professional Bellevue property management company, then there are probably a few thing that your tenants want to know, even if you haven’t thought of them.

How Long Does it Take for Rental Applications to Be Processed

Most renters do want to know how long you are going to take to process but the length of time usually does vary depending on them and you. If you have a lot to do then you might want to leave a longer quote. Or, if you are checking a lot of information, they are coming from another state and it might be harder to check their details, then you do want to give a longer quote. The best idea is to offer a maximum time, such as two weeks, or 90 days, depending on how long you think you will take to complete the process.

When is Rent Due?

Make sure that you outline a specific time and date for when the tenants have to pay the rent. You can and should include this in the rental contract. Consider the first of the month, or the thirtieth of the month. Alternately, you can create a window in which to pay, such as from the 25th to the 30th of the month.

How Do I pay the Rent?

Outlining this to your tenant is very important if you want to be paid. Make sure the tenant knows which payment types you accept, and where to send the money. For example, if you only accept checks, make sure that you tell the tenant that, and tell them where to mail the check. If you accept bank transfers, make sure they have your information, and so on.

How Do I Request Normal Maintenance?

It is always a good idea to provide maintenance information for urgent and non-urgent problems. Make sure you provide the tenants with a phone number they can call in case of minor issues, as well as a separate emergency number.

Can I be Charged for Property Maintenance

It is also important to outline in the rental agreement which maintenance issues the tenant is responsible for. By law, it is the landlords responsibility to handle normal wear and tear, faulty machinery, and etcetera. Tenants are usually responsible for damages caused by neglect, vandalism, or other purposeful damage. Outline this in your tenant contract to avoid any issues.

What is Your Pet Policy

Clearly and politely outline whether you do or do not accept pets on your property. There is no legal requirement to explain why you don’t accept pets so you don’t have to. You are not allowed to decline service animals, so make sure that you point out the exception in the tenant contract.

When And How Should I Give a Notice to Vacate

If your tenant has to leave then it is important that they know how to do so legally. Writing up a policy for tenants who leave early can save you a lot of trouble. For example, most landlords keep the deposit if the tenant leaves early. Others write into their policy that the tenant has to pay rent for the agreed amount of time, even if they are not living there. You can choose the option that you want based on your preferences.

How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back After the Lease Ends?

Finally, it is important to outline how and when the tenant will get their security deposit back after the termination of the lease contract. Make sure that you outline that any damages to the apartment will be taken out of the deposit first, and whether or not you want to use the deposit as the thirteenth month of rent or not.

There are hundreds of things that your tenants might want to know before they move in, so make sure that you’re prepared to ask questions. If you want to save time and skip the hassle, hire a professional Bellevue property management company like SJA to help instead.

Disclaimer

The discussion herein is of a general nature only and is not to be construed as specific legal advice, which requires the establishment of an attorney-client relationship and fee agreement. SJA Property Management does not provide legal services.