Tag Archives: rental

Should you be insured?

A couple of days ago we brought you some awesome tips for making your property hurricane safe, check them out here.  One of the things we touched on briefly was hurricane insurance. Hurricane insurance can come in handy if your property is located in an area where hurricanes are likely to hit, but it’s important to assess whether or not it’s right for you.

So, what exactly is hurricane insurance? 

Well, the deductible works a bit differently than it does with most other insurances. With hurricane insurance, the deductible is typically a percentage of the home’s cost (usually between 3 and 5 percent), but this will depend on your state and homeowner’s insurance policy. The state you’re in also determines the kind of coverage that you’ll get as far as hurricane insurance, because of the fact that not all states offer extensive hurricane coverage in homeowner’s insurance policies. Hurricane insurance will typically cover damage caused by wind and rain, not flooding.

Time to talk about flood insurance! Flood insurance can be useful if your property is in an area susceptible to hurricaneinsurances, and is also in a flood zone. There are different kinds of flood insurance you can get, depending on the type of property you manage. For commercial properties, look into building policies; building policies cover damage done to the structure of the building, like foundation and exterior, as well as some indoor things like paneling, air systems, and flooring. The coverage is usually up to $250,000. If you manage a personal property, a personal policy is better suited for you; a personal policy covers things like furniture, clothing, appliances, etc. Usually this covers up to $100,000.

So, now that you know a bit about the different kinds of insurance available to you, do some research and figure out what’s best for your property.

On To The Next One – Prepping Your Home

Prepping your home for your new tenant!

Your tenant has officially moved out and it’s time for you to prepare your property (and yourself) to find a new one. What do you need to do as far as the prepping process?

  1. Clean! Make sure your place is all cleaned up from your last tenant so that you’ll have a fresh canvas to work on.
  2. Paint. A fresh coat of paint makes all the difference in a room. Choose a standard color, maybe a beige shade, that will make the room look bigger and brighter.
  3. Take care of the floors. Once the painting in all done, make sure the floors are spotless. If the carpet has stains, get it steamed. If your wood floor looks dull, it may be time for a wax.
  4. Take pictures! You should take pictures of the home while it’s empty so you can document the exact state that you’ll be handing it over to your tenant in. You’ll end up taking pictures again when you’re staging, but these pictures won’t show the home completely empty.
  5. Staging. Staging is a very important step! Make sure your home looks awesome so that people will want to live there. We have some great staging tips here. Once your home is staged, take pictures so you can put it on the market.
  6. Listing. Having a good listing is one the biggest things that will affect your tenant search. Mention all the big things your home has to offer (pool, new kitchen, etc.) so that you can catch people’s attention.

These are pretty standpreppingard, but if you skip a step you may not be as successful in finding a tenant as you’d like.  Good luck!


Security Deposits: Securing yourself from debt

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.

Pricing: It’s All Relative

So, you’ve fixed up your property and now it’s time to put in on the market and find a tenant to rent it out to, the only question is: what pricing strategy should you use to maximize your income?

Pricing is relative, meaning that you should set your rental price according to the area, type of property, and the cost of investment. It’s important to do research on what similar properties in your area are being rented out for to make sure that the price you have in mind isn’t too high or too low based on what you have to offer. You also need to consider the income level of the people living in the area where your property it; you can’t set a crazy high price if most people in the area have low incomes, because you won’t find tenants. The cost of investment you incurred is also an important factor in determining how much to charge for rent because you want to make sure that you’re not selling yourself short and that you’re actually maximizing the income potential for the property.

Once you’ve done the research and have a general idea about how much you want to charge for rent you can employ a few other tactics to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your property. You should always make sure to set the price a bit higher than the desired amount you want to leave a little wiggle room for negotiation (people will always want to go lower, not higher). You should also consider ending the price with with an odd number instead of with ‘.00’. People would rather pay $3,995 instead of $4,000 even though the difference is tiny. This also helps when people are searching for properties and want to search for a property under ‘X’ amount because it’ll allow your property to fall under that window.

When should you start looking for a new tenant?

If you’re having problems with your current tenant, you have to ask yourself, at what point is it time to have them move out and find a new tenant?

Finding a good tenant is hard, and keeping a good tenant is even more difficult. Sometimes a tenant that may

new tenant, eviction

have been the best thing since sliced bread can turn sour, leaving you with a mess. At some point, you need to start considering finding a new tenant that you know you’ll be at peace with.

Now, you can’t just decide to evict your tenant out because they’re bothering you, but you can evict them if you

have a reason. While actual eviction laws vary from state to state, if you have a valid reason to ask your tenant to leave, it’s typically justified. If your tenant remains in your property beyond the date stated in the lease, you can evict them. You can also evict them if they fail to pay rent. Property damage, and rule breaking

are also justifiable reasons for to ask your tenant to leave the property. Basically, at the first sign of any of these, or if you feel that your tenant is putting you or your property in danger, you should ask them to leave to avoid further problems.


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!