A Proper Lease Up Saves Headaches In Long Run
By Matt Fonk
Selecting a tenant who is qualified to take care of a rental property in Tampa is one of the prime responsibilities of the Tampa property manager.
Small apartment or luxury beachfront home, it matters not to a good property manager in Tampa. All tenants need to be thoroughly vetted before the lease is signed and the keys are handed over.
A number of companies will provide the proper background checks and credit reports while also looking for records of evictions and verifying an applicant’s identity.
Some unscrupulous applicants have tried to fool us by giving a false name and ID so don’t forget to check ID’s and request a copy of an applicant’s Social Security card for review purposes during the process.
It’s also important to verify steady employment, confirm the applicant’s take-home income is about 3 times the monthly rent and talk to any former landlords to ensure the applicant has a good record as a tenant.
However, we are not just qualifying a tenant to pay the rent on time. We are also looking for someone who will take care of the property. We are looking for a caretaker of the home.
This caretaker should be willing and able to cut the grass and keep the grounds in order and be able to perform basic maintenance on their own. They should also be friendly and respectful to neighbors.
Once you have selected a tenant, it’s time to lease them the house. This is called the “lease up.” It can be done in two ways.
The first option is to hand the tenant the lease and say “sign here, bottom copy is yours.” If that works, let me know, because in my mind that’s poor business practice.
I prefer to do the following: Set up a meeting at the office or local coffee shop and agree to meet for about 90 minutes. Spend some time getting to know your new tenant and then read the lease with them.
Going over every paragraph is important; this helps the tenant understand your lease. A Tampa property manager knows his lease in and out but the tenant isn’t accustomed to reading leases every day and will appreciate this added courtesy.
Getting the information and expectations out on the table in the beginning is the best time to determine if the tenant can adhere to your lease. I’ve cleared many things up during the lease up. I’ve also heard stories of old landlords who don’t even read leases, or entered a tenant’s home while they were sleeping.
We have a very unique leasing system and it takes time to explain it to our applicants. Once we do, and potential tenants realize what we expect of them and what they can expect from us, the response is positive.
It’s even more positive when tenants realize they can earn performance bonuses, holiday packages and renewal discounts with our system.
If you have systems in place you really can be a successful Tampa Bay property manager with less turn over.
Tampa Bay Property Manager