Can I sit and wait?

I often get asked when marginal applications are submitted for rental houses if the owners can wait and/or delay approving until they see if a better application gets submitted… the answer is maybe!  The time frame for applications is 7 days from when they are submitted, if they are not approved or declined within 7 days they automatically become declined. The application fees are non-refundable  but any deposits that have been submitted must be refunded upon application denial.

No more SMOKE detectors!

Our Texas legislature changed the rules for all LANDLORDS, not just those properties manged by professionals. House Bill 1168 officially changed the requirements of all leased properties from requiring smoke detectors to smoke alarms.  This change also included a location addition for smoke alarms to be placed into every bedroom, in each hallway that services multiple bedrooms and on each level of a dwelling.  This change is required to be implemented by Jan 1, 2013 and can not be waived by landlords.

Video on smoke alarm requirements.

#1 Mistake by Renters

Our office handles hundreds of rental properties and every single day we receive calls from prospective tenants.  I have discovered the #1 mistake  is not using one REALTOR to find their rental home.  Most tenants find properties on the Internet and spend hours and hours calling office after office inquiring on rental properties.  In some cases these tenants attempt to set up showing appointments with multiple real estate agents to see various properties.  This process is frustrating for the tenants as well as the agents.  In our market the professional property managers list their available rentals on the MLS (multiple listing service).  In order to enhance the leasing process tenants should contact ONE agent who can narrow and find available properties that meet their criteria. This ONE agent can show all of the available properties to the tenant.  This would dramatically improve the tenants leasing experience by streamlining their leasing process and would correct the #1 Mistake by Renters.

Sell the Fridge

To leave a fridge with a property or not – the answer lately is SELL THE FRIDGE!  Our experience has shown that about 50% of renters have their own fridge, the owners that include a fridge with the lease have us list these items as as-is in the lease, this causes HUGE problems for both tenants and owners. Once the fridge leaks the tenant starts wanting the owner to fix it, if the tenant ends up fixing it does the fridge stay with the property? If the fridge totally breaks who hauls off the old fridge? In our latest cases the fridge failed, the food spoiled and the kitchen flooded, then the tenant was told the as-is fridge would not be fixed, obviously this resulted in an unhappy tenant.  We have other cases where the tenant brings their own fridge and the owner leaves a fridge – does the owner fridge go in the garage?  if it sits there for over 3 years –  will it still work?  My best advice for owners – SELL THE FRIDGE, Take it with you, give it to charity, do anything but leave it in the rental.