When you have a lot of different people all living together in the same place, it’s hard to expect everyone to get along perfectly fine.
For the most part, all of your tenants have different lifestyles and routines, which could may end up causing between them. Consider two separate sets of tenants in different units; you may have a family with a newborn baby living next to someone who’s in a rock band and practices constantly. It’s easy to see how a problem may arise from a situation like this, and why your tenants may end up having some issues with each other. What can you do to fix problems between tenants?
If your tenants come to you with any complaints about other tenants, your first piece of advice to them should be to talk to whoever they are having the issue with. If your tenants don’t tell one another that when they have a problem with something, there’s no way of knowing the problem even exists. If your tenants have already discussed the issue and it has continued, you may want to suggest that they try working with a mediator. The mediator can step in and help them resolve the problem in an organized and fair manner, and can help you avoid getting caught up in all of it.
Like many words in the English language, sublease and relet tend to be used interchangeably, even though they are two different things. Though they both are methods of renting out property to a tenant, and involve a third party, reletting and subleasing are totally separate understandings.
Well, where to begin?
Reletting is pretty much the process of voiding the original lease with a tenant and bringing in someone new. The new tenant is now the lease holder and the old tenant is no longer responsible for the property. There are various reasons properties may be reletted, be it because of the tenant, landlord, or both. If someone has a special circumstance, maybe a new job, that requires them to move from their rental, the landlord can come in and relet it so that the initial agreement will no longer stand. This is also an option if a tenant is evicted from their property prior to their lease ending.
Subleasing, on the other hand, is a bit different. Subleasing is when the tenant who initially signed the lease rents out the property to another person. The new tenant is responsible for paying rent (this may be less or more than what the original tenant pays) as well as following the terms of the lease. Despite this, the overall responsibility of the lease still falls on the original tenant. If the new tenant damages something in the property, they won’t be liable, the initial tenant will be. With subleases, there is usually an agreement drawn up that states the terms that the new tenant must abide by (i.e. when to move out, how much rent they need to pay, etc.). Sometimes a fee is charged to sublease the property, with the initial tenant being the one liable for paying it.
Should you be working with a property manager?
If you’re looking into real estate and rentals, hiring a property manager, or property management company, is definitely something you should consider. Property managers basically serve as the middlemen between you and your tenants, keeping up with rent, tenant issues, and maintaining the property. Also, property manager can also work with you if you’re investing in commercial real estate!
Property managers are well equipped to deal with tenants and issues they may have so that you won’t have to. If this is your first real estate venture, you’re already going to have a lot of different duties as far as getting everything situated and ready; do you really want to figure out property management on top of that?! I don’t think so. If your tenant has a maintenance problem, your property manager can find and hire a contractor so that you don’t have to. If a system for rent needs to be set up, it won’t be your duty, it’ll be something that the property manager handles. With a property manager, you won’t have to invest tons of your own time into your property; they’ll handle the work
Property managers also know all the rules and regulations that you must abide by, and what kind of protocol needs to be used. Their jobs are to manage properties, so they know what they’re doing.
In any lease agreement, probably one of the most important things is the issue of rent. How much rent will you be collecting? When will you collect it? How will you collect it?
As we’ve talked about in the past, pricing is relative, so that part of your lease doesn’t require as much of your own personal preference as do the other parts. Once you’ve set the perfect monthly rent, you need to set up a date with your tenant when it’s due. Usually, this date falls at the beginning, middle, or end of the month, not just any random date. Choose this date and tell your tenant to make sure that they are financially prepared for it. As a sort of safety blanket, you can give your tenants a 2 or 3 day grace period to pay without being subject to a late fee.
After figuring out how much your tenant is paying you, and when, it’s time to figure out how they will be paying you. At this day in age we have all sorts of ways to pay people instantly, allowing you to have lots of options and choose what’s best for you. We all know the classic payment method: checks. Checks are easy because mobile banking now allows you to cash them instantly, but they still require your tenant to bring them to you. Online payments are great because they’re pretty quick for both you, and your tenant. An online system works well when you have a lot of tenants. Another way that people transfer money that’s becoming quite popular is via mobile apps. Mobile apps like Venmo and Square Cash have made it possible for people to transfer money to each other almost instantly. Though this is still fairly new, it may be something you want to consider.
When you’re going through the process of making a lease agreement with a new tenant, it’s imperative to be clear on who will be living in your property. Many times people will sign a lease without telling their new landlord that their family member or significant other will also be living with them, which can later cause problems. When writing up your lease, make it known whether or not your tenant is allowed to have roommates, and what rules they have to follow as well as any additional financial obligations that may come up.
If you’re okay with more than one person living in the property (which is typically the case), make sure you’re aware of how many people it’ll be so the lease can be based off of that. You may also want to make the lease so that all of the tenants sign it, so that you know that they’re aware of the rules and guidelines they need to follow while living in your property.
In the event that your tenant doesn’t tell you about their secret roommate, it’s up to you to reach out to them and tell them that they’re going against the terms stated in the lease, and what the next steps are to better the situation. If you’re okay with your tenants roommate, you have the opportunity to add more to the lease as well as increase the price of rent. This may seem unfair to your tenant, but it’s the best way to guarantee any problems arising in the future.
Yesterday, on the Tenant File blog we talked about pricing tactics for choosing the right amount to charge your tenant for rent. When you’ve set the perfect cost of rent, you need to also think about how much you want to charge for the security deposit.
Some may think the security deposit isn’t necessary in cases where your tenant is someone you know from before, or if the lease is only for a short period of time, but the security deposit is something you should always require of your tenant. Just because it’s your friend or family member living in your property doesn’t mean that it’ll stay completely intact the entire time; life happensyour property for six months doesn’t mean that things won’t need to be repaired once they move out.
The point at which you decide that you’re not requiring a security deposit from your tenant is the point where you’re making yourself accountable for the cost of repairs that may be incurred when they move out. The security deposit covers (at least some of ) the repairs and maintenance that need to be done once your tenant leaves, so in requiring it you’re removing some of the financial burden from yourself.
Earlier today, Sears decided to change up the nature of its business and dabble in the real estate game. Sears, which has had retail locations all over the United States since 1925, is now selling some of these locations, along with Kmart locations to balance out their finances. Sears plans on selling some of its best properties (a whopping 254 stores!) and leasing them back. The department store chain is working out the deal with Seritage Growth Properties, who will buy the properties lease them back to Sears. Sears is also working out a real estate joint venture with General Growth Properties, the number 2 mall owner in the United States. The joint venture involves Sears receiving $165 million dollars and fifty percent ownership of the venture, in exchange for 12 of their locations in General Growth Properties’ malls.
Some think that Sears isn’t making the right move in its new real estate venture, but it seems like it could definitely help them. We all know that real estate has definitely grown since the economic slump in 2009, and commercial real estate is no exception. Sears isn’t putting its name or brand at stake, its just restructuring its assets (both internally and externally) through effective real estate. It’s interesting to think that such a huge company is using real estate to turn itself around; could it be possible that other companies will follow in Sears’ footsteps?
What do you want to look for in a vacation home?
With summer slowly approaching, the clock is ticking for people who are trying to find the perfect vacation home. Here at Tenant File, we’ve compiled a checklist of the top 5 things you should look for when trying to find your summer rental.
1. Good price – Look around the area where you’re thinking about renting and compare prices before jumping the gun on the first home you see. You want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and not paying too much.
2. Location, location, location! – Once you know what kind of area you want to spend your summer in (suburb, city, beach town, etc.) do some research to select the perfect area. You want to make sure the place you’re living in fits the description of where you want to spend your time.
3. Furnished – Unless you have an entire furniture set ready for your summer rental, make sure you look for a place that comes furnished and ready to move in. Having to buy and move furniture into the home is just another large expense that can be avoided.
4. Lease time – Do you want a week-to-week lease or month-to-month lease? It’s important to know what time frame you’re looking at so you and your landlord can create a solid agreement.
5. Comfort – Comfort is key! Your vacation home is where you’ll be spending a decent amount of time so you want to make sure that you feel comfortable in it and know you’ll be comfortable living there.