Tag Archives: landlord

Holiday in the Sun: How to Find the Perfect Vacation Home

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.


Keeping Good Tenants – Top 5 Tips for Tenant Retention

At Tenant File Property Management Software, we recently covered the importance of tenant screening. But once you have a good person chosen and moved in, how do you ensure tenant retention? We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 tips for keeping good tenants that you should be sure to use if you want to guarantee a low tenant turnover.

1. Allow pets.

It’s very difficult for pet owners to find a rental home that will let them bring their four-legged friends, so if they find a home that does allow pets they are likely to stay there for a long time. A tenant with a pet is also responsible (they have to take care of themselves and their pet!), so they’ll be responsible enough to take care of your home

2. Listen to your tenants.

Listening to your tenant is key in being able to keep them as your tenant! If your tenant has a request, like painting a wall, or changing an appliance, hear them out and try to take care of it as best as you can. It’s important that you and your tenant listen to each other and voice any concerns or requests either of you may have.

3. Offer discounted leases.

If you have a tenant who’s lived with you for an extended period of time (over a couple of years or so), you can offer them discounted or reduced rent. This gives them an incentive to keep living with you and makes it clear that you like having them as your tenant.

4. Take care of issues promptly.

If something breaks, fix it quickly! Don’t make your tenant wait a long time for things to be fixed, because they’re going to think that you don’t care about taking care of them or the property.

5. Treat your tenant right.

It’s important to talk to your tenant and be able to develop a relationship with them. If they’re having issues that may prevent them from paying rent, or may require them to leave for a period, your tenant should feel comfortable enough with you to be able to talk to you about these things. Sending cards for birthdays and other holidays are also great because they give your tenant a nice reminder that you’re thinking about them.

Do you have any tips you recommend for keeping a good tenant?

landlord and tenant

Life’s A Stage: The Importance of Staging

Staging your way to success!

Recently at Tenant File, we read a BuzzFeed article about the importance of using good photos when posting real estate listings. Making sure your real estate listing looks good is crucial because its the first image that people see of the property, and creates an idea in their heads of what to expect. These photos would be nothing if the home doesn’t have anything in it, simply blank walls and emptiness; this brings up why staging is so important in renting or selling your property.

Staging involves setting up your home to have it shown to potential tenants or buyers. The home is fixed and decorated to appeal to those who are interested in possibly living there, making them feel comfortable and welcome. You want your property to be staged in a way that makes the person seeing it feel at home; you want them to feel comfortable with the idea of living there themselves and making it their own home.

Effective staging involves using the right paint colors, furniture, decor, and overall ambiance. Use warm and light colors to make the room seem bigger and have a nice calm feel. Make sure that the furniture you choose also goes with the overall design of the house; you wouldn’t furnish an old Victorian home with very modern furniture. As far as decor, have pillows on couches, to exude a look of comfort, and paintings and wall decor to be able to draw people into the room. Another great tip is to have candles lit throughout the home with a nice, calm scent (vanilla is a great choice) because it makes people associate the home with nice, warm, positive thoughts.



Do you have any great staging tips that you always use? Tell us about them today!


Taking Care of a Home That’s Not Really Yours: Why Tenants Should Take Care of their Rental Home



It is no secret that homeowners are very keen on taking care of their homes; there is a constant desire to make sure one’s home is always in a perfect state. For a homeowner living in their own home, there is no question about who needs to be maintaining the homes condition, the responsibility falls on themselves. But where does someone who lives in a rental home stand? Is it solely the job of the landlord to maintain the home, or is the tenant also responsible?

In any lease agreement there are certain conditions set that both the landlord and tenant must abide by. Typically, these are things pertaining to payments, general rules, and maintenance, etc. Maintenance standards are set in order to determine what falls under the landlords responsibility and what doesn’t. Though these agreements are set so that the tenant does not have to deal with the problems that a homeowner would have to deal with (since they’re just renting), they should not brush off the notion that a tenant should also make it a point to take care of their rental home. This does not necessarily mean that a tenant should be responsible for paying for a handyman, or trimming the tress; this means that the tenant should make it a point to keep things in good shape and ensure that any problems that they have are brought to the attention of the landlord. If a landlord pressure cleans a tenant’s driveway, the tenant should make it a point to keep it clean and looking nice. Simple things like that are what keep the property looking good and both the tenant and landlord happy. Being timely with maintenance requests is also very important! It is entirely up to the tenant to make sure the landlord is quickly notified if something needs to be repaired, as this ensures that things are being taken care of effectively before they get worse.

Aside from living in a well kept home, there are other benefits of tenants helping in their property being taken care of. The cooperation of the tenant definitely fosters the growth of the relationship with the landlord making the rental process significantly easier. Also, if a landlord sees that a tenant is very good about keeping the house clean, or even notifying them of repairs, they will be more inclined to write a good recommendation letter for this tenant.


Pets and Rental Properties: The Great Debate

Should your property be pet friendly?


A while back on the Tenant File Property Management Software Blog we covered the things you need to be aware of when you’re screening pet owners as potential tenants (check it out here). Now, don’t think that making your property pet friendly is going to cause you problems! There are quite a few benefits to allowing your tenants to bring their furry friends as roommates.

Landlords constantly question whether or not they should make rental properties pet friendly. Though many agree that this just opens the door for destruction of property, there are benefits that come with allowing tenants to have pets. If you limit yourself to only allowing people with no dogs or cats, your pool of possible tenants is significantly smaller. It is no secret that most pet owners are very fond of their four-legged friends; they become like children to them, feeding and loving them, and most importantly giving them a home. Because the owners also act as parents in a sense, you know that they’re responsible and capable of taking your home. You won’t have to worry about the house being destroyed. This also brings up the issue of the security deposit, something that definitely works to the landlords advantage. If you allow pets you’re entitled to asking for a bigger security deposit (kind of like a pet fee) or even ask for a bit more monthly rent.

The question of pets or no pets becomes a huge ultimatum for potential tenants- they aren’t going to make the move if their pet can’t too. Being a pet-friendly rental property gives you a huge advantage in the market because many properties do not allow pets so they’re automatically written off as an option to those looking to move. Though it is a big decision to make, making your property pet friendly is definitely you should consider!

Avoiding Losses: Top 3 Tips That Will Help You Prevent a Huge Financial Loss When Your Tenant Moves Out

  1. Always screen tenants before they move in.

The first step in making sure that your property is being taken care of is to make sure that you have a reliable tenant. A good way to make sure that you’ve made the right choice is to ask for a reference letter from their previous landlord. A reference letter is more personal than a background check or credit history check (though these are also very important, you can check out a software to look into these here) and it allows the previous landlord to tell you any specific issues that they may have had with the tenant. If your tenant has a history of being reliable you know that they’ll take care of your property and make the rental process easy for you.


  1. Make sure the security deposit fits the property.

If you want to avoid spending your own money on repairs once your tenant moves out, make sure your security deposit is sufficient for the property. A property’s security deposit should be based on the size of the property and nature of the repairs that may be needed; a tiny apartment that won’t have a lot of repairs shouldn’t have the same security deposit as a five bedroom house with a pool. If you base the deposit on the nature of repairs you may need to make, you won’t have to dish out as much of your own money once your tenant moves out and it’s time to fix the place up. A larger deposit also gives the tenant the incentive to take care of your property- they’ll be careful so that they can get their deposit back.

  1. Fix things as they break.

When a tenant moves out, a lot of time and money will be invested into fixing your property for the next person. If things are fixed as they break, instead of leaving all repairs for when the tenant moves out, you’ll lighten both your financial and work loads. In fixing things as they break there is less risk of the problem worsening and the financial impact will be significantly lower because you’re not doing all of the repairs at once. Fixing things as they break will also keep tenants happy because they know that you care about the property and about keeping them happy.