The Right Stuff
Rental property management is an interesting mixture of work-a-day tasks such as fulfilling maintenance tickets and collecting rent, while also being called on to make judgment calls regarding which person or persons is the right fit for our townhome or apartment.
As property managers, we all have our own ideas about what makes an ideal candidate for tenancy. Naturally, we want someone who will respect the property, respect their neighbors, and respect the rental agreement but it can sometimes be discouraging to have to wade through a myriad of rental applications to find the right tenant.
It is here where the rental application must be well put together — on the part of both parties, the landlords and the tenants — that we might have all the assistance we may need to make the correct choice.
Writing a Good Application
With the housing market being what it is — that is to say, a large chorus of eager buyers looking to grab the relatively few homes currently for sale, creating a seller’s paradise — property management in Utah has become more important than ever. As houses and apartments skyrocket in value, many people are choosing to turn their new or existing home into a rental property where they can start making some stable secondary income.
This means that there are scores of new landlords having to write a rental application for potential tenants to follow, all for the very first time. There are a few key items to include in every application, which we will discuss in more detail below. In short, they consist of:
- Relevant personal information
- Maximum occupancy
- Rent agreement
- Common rules
From the outset, it’s important to acknowledge that hiring an experienced and well-versed rental property management company like Rhino can be advantageous to every landlord who could use more resources. Not only will we help with the aforementioned daily tasks but we will also advertise the space, clean it, and on the flip side, manage complaints and deal with evictions.
Getting Relevant Information
Both you and your prospective tenants will want all the information you can get before making any major decisions. On your part, you’ll be providing the necessary details about the property, including address, size, and pictures on the listing. But you’ll also need to provide space for them to give you their information on the application. This includes:
- Full legal name, date of birth, and social security number of each tenant.
- Copies of their pay stubs.
- Driver’s license and car information.
- Contact information, including cell phone numbers and email addresses.
- Previous living arrangements.
You may also want to include space for them to tell about why they moved from their previous apartments as well as include any references that you will want to check.
It is the right of the landlord to specify how many people and animals get to stay in the house. There are a few methods when trying to determine just how many people make up the occupancy limit:
- The number of people per number of bedrooms (historically, landlords have agreed on two renters to a bedroom).
- Square footage (The Building Officials and Code Administrators have outlined how much square footage equals one tenant).
- Local laws have a say as well. It is worth educating yourself on the latest statutes.
The trick with including rent stipulations is twofold: being clear in your expectations and including accountability language. In general, accountability covers more than simply what happens if the renters are late with the money but that’s a good place to start.
Here you can include details like when you would like to be paid and how you’ll accept the money. Generally speaking, your rental application should comply with the law at every turn, especially where money is concerned.
House Rules and Fees
Connected with accountability are the house rules and associated fees with non-compliance. Rules can cover anything from forbidding any major changes to the structure of the building to cleaning up after your pets.
Fees, likewise, can cover a wide range of purposes. You may want to mention:
- Security deposits
- Early contract termination
- Rent late fees
- Pet care
Once again, clarity will be your ally in drawing up this application, as it is for everyone in rental property management.
At Rhino Property Management in Utah, we understand the importance of writing a good rental application. In many ways, it’s the first step in what everyone hopes will be a successful relationship for all parties involved. We encourage you to give us a call and make use of our expertise in this matter and in every other regarding the upkeep of your property. We’re ready to help you.