THE Brokerage does not accept cash or personal checks as “payments” at any time; we require all funds paid in full prior to taking possession of the property. It is company policy to collect one month’s rent as the security deposit for an unfurnished unit. This deposit can be increased based on the tenant screening. We require an automatic double deposit (2x monthly rent) for out of state moves or tenants who have not been at their job for at least 2 years (this does not apply if the income is “retirement income” or a military service member that received a Permanent Change of Station Order).
At the execution of the lease, THE Brokerage will collect all move-in deposits and rents via Cashier’s Check. All persons 18 and over, including adult children, are required to complete an application and to read and sign all lease agreements, addendum, and disclosures. If the accepted applicants are a foreign nationality and cannot read and understand the documentation, they must supply an interpreter of legal age for signing the lease agreements.
A vital part of the rental agreement is a detailed walk- through documenting the condition of the property when they move-in. Unless extenuating circumstances prevail, your Property (or their assigned) completes the walk-through before the tenant takes possession of the property. Photos are taken to document the condition of the rental and any damage to the property.
Rents are due on the 1st of the month and late if not received in the THE Brokerage office by the 4th of the month. THE Brokerage recognizes that many things can happen where it concerns timely payment of rent: rent can really be lost in the mail; employers can delay the tenant’s paycheck; there are real tenant emergencies, and more. Therefore, we do make a serious concerted e ort to determine the reason the tenant is having a problem.
If THE Brokerage does not receive rent by the due date (typically the 5th of the month), we prepare and deliver a 7-Day Notice to Pay or Quit, as the law allows. THE Brokerage makes every e ort, through our 3rd Party Process Server, to post notices properly should legal action be required. If THE Brokerage determines the tenant is not going to pay rent during the notice to pay or quit period, or shortly thereafter, we will pursue eviction. These costs are paid by the tenant if they get caught up and redeem themselves or taken from their deposits if they are evicted.
There are other notices that may be involved with the tenants. THE Brokerage serves notices as situations warrant, such as a notice to comply with the rules and regulations of a homeowner’s association, a notice to enter the property, a notice to perform inspection or a notice to allow vendors access for necessary repairs. These tenant violations may be in the form of a certified letter or a legal notice “form.” Often these notices are simply to correct minor tenant problems and most tenants quickly comply. However, if necessary, THE Brokerage may contact the owner with the information to discuss the situation.
THE Brokerage has years of experience handling the myriad of tenant difficulties that may occur. Our policy is to obtain good tenants which eliminates many tenant problems, however, even the most responsible tenants have problems. THE Brokerage treats each problem with a common-sense approach, follows all property owner and tenant laws, and uses the appropriate documentation. If the situation turns serious, we will contact the owner and work to find a solution to the problem.
Although THE Brokerage works diligently to avoid legal action, such as an unlawful detainer or eviction proceeding, it does happen sometimes. In the event any legal action is required, THE Brokerage will contact the owner prior to engaging attorney fees beyond the normal “notice” and “eviction” process, to discuss the situation and obtain owner authorization.
The best approach to maintenance is “preventative maintenance,” and this is the THE Brokerage policy. First, THE Brokerage has already started educating the tenant by:
We want the tenant to know from the beginning of their tenancy that the THE Brokerage property owner expectations are to “care for the property.” This approach can prevent costly maintenance. Next, we use “preventative maintenance” techniques when work is required and utilize competent contractors. Often the minor expenditures save the most money such as doorstops, new filters, checking appliances, testing smoke alarms, adjusting doors, window latches deadbolts and more. Many small repair items can prevent maintenance that is more expensive.
Consider the cost of repairs like holes behind doors clogged heaters and airconditioners, appliance problems, dry rot, safety issues and more. Then of course, there are the key issues in a home such as the roof, the exterior condition of the building, carpeting, interior and exterior paint, etc. When left to deteriorate, it usually means the owner will have to spend more in the future.
It is equally important to keep up with maintenance while the tenant occupies the property. Often people think no news is good news; this can be just the opposite. Instead, “delayed news” can become “bad and expensive news.” THE Brokerage’s maintenance team contacts owners regarding maintenance above the minimum that is listed in the management contract, unless the situation is an emergency.
When an emergency and/or disaster strikes, THE Brokerage has policies in place for the property and tenants. We notify the property owner as soon as practical. The nature of the emergency and/or disaster determines the action needed by THE Brokerage.
There are times when a property manager must “act” quickly to prevent great financial risk to the owner or safety/habitability issues for the tenant. For example, when a property is flooding, appropriate action is necessary. Insurance companies require that we take immediate steps to mitigate damage to the home without obtaining prior authorization from the insurance company.
When there is a notice to vacate, the move out procedures with tenants are as critical as when THE Brokerage moves in a tenant. The preparation for this really began when the tenant moved in with a detailed lease agreement, Move-Out Instructions, and walk-through. All these documents gave instructions to the tenant on how to move out. We believe that in setting our tenants up for success in receiving their deposits back in full, we are really setting our owners up for a quick turn time to get back on the market for a new tenant!
It is critical that THE Brokerage follow a standardized renewal and/or notice to vacate, so here is the process:
– Does the owner want to keep rents as-is or do they want to increase rents based on the comparable data we provide?
– We evaluate the tenant cooperation, cleanliness, timely payment of rents, etc. to determine f they are eligible for renewal
– Is the property in adequate condition and merits allowing the tenant to renew the lease? and;
– Is the tenant interested in renewingthe lease?
Once the owner decides to secure a new tenant, THE Brokerage will immediately
place the property on the market to rent unless the owner notifies us to take other measures. THE Brokerage also responds to
the tenant notice with a move-out check list to complete a successful move. Rent is required until the end of the notice unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement.
THE Brokerage conducts a walk-through like the one performed when the tenant moved into the property. We record any maintenance required and disclose a list of damages to the vacating tenant. Photographs are taken when the tenant moves out to document the condition of the property and support any deductions from the security deposit. After assessment of the tenant move out, THE Brokerage advises owners of any tenant damages, or any maintenance required to re-rent the property.
Proper handling of the security deposit is crucial. Any tenant deductions are determined in a timely manner, and a security deposit transmittal is prepared in accordance with state laws. Charges assessed against the tenant deposits are paid out by our o ice directly to the vendor that completed the appropriate repairs.
If collecting damages is required, THE Brokerage will refer the matter to a qualified consumer collection service at the instruction and authorization of the owner. Your agreement with THE Brokerage doesnot include recovering tenant damages but leaves this to companies with expertise in debt collection. THE Brokerage will supply consumer collection companies with the necessary documentation needed.