Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the rental process like at Rent Source?
A: Once you submit your listing, we’ll be in touch with any other follow up items (access info, keys, lease addenda) to make sure it’s in our database accurately. After that, it’ll be syndicated to over 50 advertising sources including Craigslist, Zillow, HotPads, etc. Once we have interested parties, we’ll coordinate the showings and take them through. If they would like to apply, we’ll take care of the screening and deliver you a lease package with applications, financials, credit, and references for you to make a decision to move forward or not. If all looks good, we’ll draft up a lease to your specifications and have all parties sign and deliver to you all required deposits. Come move in, we can assist with key facilitation if desired.
Q: How do I maximize rent for my unit?
A: You should aim to have your unit available for either a June 1st or September 1st move in. Most landlords are on these turns because there is the most demand in the marketplace which increases rents during these times. What’s almost more important is how quickly you get your unit on the market. Your leases should have at least a 90 day renewal notification, but we are currently recommending a 120 day notice with renters starting their searches earlier every year, to market and show your unit. This gives us flexibility to adjust prices and strategies to generate the most accurate market value. Listing, say, a month before the lease is up doesn’t allow us that flexibility and could lead to vacancy, that’s why it’s imperative to check in with your tenants about renewal and list ASAP. We can also swing by to offer you constructive feedback on affordable improvements you can make to increase value. A lot of times, simple projects like painting your cabinets or woodwork, updating door hardware, or putting a new vanity in the bathroom can result in surprising rental rate bumps.
Q: Should I accept pets?
A: It’s completely up to you, but in our experience it’s a great way to attract attention and maximize value as most landlords do not take them. Due to this, you can charge premium rents for tenants with pets which generally outweighs the risk that the pet will cause damage. To further reduce this risk, we suggest checking references and making sure that the animal isn’t aggressive or disruptive – you can even request to meet the pet in person. We’ve heard that there’s increased liability by accepting pets for safety reasons, but the court in fact considers cats and dogs “as ordinarily harmless animals”, so as long as the landlord performs due diligence to confirm there were no reports of aggressive behavior or breed type, they shouldn’t be liable if there is an issue, but we recommend checking with a lawyer to be completely clear on the subject. Additionally, the landlord always has the right to revoke the right to have the pet if the behavior warrants it (i.e. puppy grows up and starts demonstrating aggressive behavior).
Q: Will it cost me anything to list with you?
A: No, unless you elect to pay some of our fee. We charge a broker’s fee equal to one month’s rent for a our services, which the tenant almost always pays in this market since demand for housing is so high. However, in off season months (generally Oct – Feb) demand drops off greatly making it a bit more difficult for us to pass this expense along to the renter. Due to this, we encourage landlords to subsidize the fees to provide more incentive to potential tenants. If you’re a landlord that’s listed with us before, we may be able to offer discounted fees to tenants so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Our policies are flexible and we’ll try to work with you as best as possible!
Q: Do you ask for exclusive right-to-rent agreements?
A: Never, in fact, we believe these types of agreements are counter-productive for rentals because they lock a landlord into only using one agency. If that office is ineffective the landlord can be left with vacancy and a sour relationship. More so, these agreements demotivate agents because they need to split their commission with the listing agent. This method works for home sales, but there’s just not enough commission involved in rentals to justify it. We’re confident in our abilities to rent your unit whether you just list with us or use multiple agencies, so feel free to diversify your renting strategy anyway you’d like.
Q: Can you help landlords buy and sell, too?
A: We’re a fully licensed brokerage so can engage in any and all real estate transactions. While we’re mostly rental based, we do have sales experience to assist with a potential purchase or sale. We prefer to work with investors, so if you’re looking for a personal property we can refer you to some great residential salespeople in the area if they would be a better fit.