Tenant Screening Questions | Orlando Property Management Company

Tenant Screening Questions To Ask Before You Show A Vacancy

Showing vacancies to prospective tenants can be a huge time investment for owners of rental properties. By establishing a set of pre-qualifying questions, publishing them on your website, and consistently asking them of every prospective tenant, you can cut down the amount of time you spend on prospects that will never pan out. By publishing these questions and regularly asking them, you add a layer of protection against allegations of discrimination, right up front.

  • Move-In Date – You know how long you’re willing to hold a vacancy for the right tenant. Maybe it’s two weeks, or maybe as much as a month. Whatever it is, don’t agree to show your property to people who want to move after that time period, and asking a prospect’s move-date up front also allows you to screen out people who need to move before your property will be ready.
  • How Many Occupants Will There Be? – This is one that can generate discrimination complaints if you don’t have a strict policy in place, and you can demonstrate that you follow it. For many rental property owners, two people per bedroom is a maximum they’re comfortable with. Whatever your maximum, per room and per unit, set it, publish it, and stick to it!
  • How Long Of A Lease Do You Want? Most property owners hope to see longer leases, as opposed to shorter ones, though in certain market conditions, signing leases that are too long can be a negative. Make sure your prospects’ expectations are a match for your best interest.
  • Do You Have Pets? – Knowing how many and what type of pets a prospect has up front allows you to offer lease terms that factor having those pets as residents.
  • Do You Know Your Approximate Credit Score? – Not every prospect will know their exact FICO score, but they should at least have an idea of their score range. If you have a hard minimum score, tell them what it is and that it’s non-negotiable before you set an appointment. 
  • Have you viewed the property online/driven by? – It’s amazing how many people will call for a viewing of a place they’ve never driven by or taken a virtual tour of. It’s a simple way to spare everyone’s time, if it’s not a match.

Professional Rental Property Management: The Ultimate Time-Saver

Whether your rental properties are in Winter Park or Orlando, or spread out in between, working with a rental property manager will help free up a great deal of your time. Belmont Management Group provides tenant screening and showing along with maintenance and repairs, inspections, collections, and even evictions. Call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Rental Property Management With 24/7 Property Maintenance & Repairs

Rental Property Management With 24/7 Property Maintenance & Repairs

If you own rental property in the Orlando area, management can be a serious drain on your time and energy. Especially when it comes to keeping on top of property maintenance and repairs, and fielding emergency calls from tenants at 3:00 a.m. When you work with a rental property management company like Belmont Management Group in Winter Park, you can forget about answering those middle-of-the-night calls. We provide 24/7 maintenance and repairs, and better still, we take an active role in keeping your property maintained, so there are fewer repair calls overall.

A Pound Of Prevention 

Because we systematically inspect each of our clients’ rental properties and deal with maintenance issues as they begin, we’re able to prevent small problems from becoming big emergencies. This proactive approach also ensures that each property is in best-possible condition at all times, so tenants are happier and tend to stay longer. Well-maintained properties are also easier to turn around faster between tenants, because there is only a short list of issues to take care of before your property is ready for new tenants to start paying rent.

An Ounce Of Cure

Of course, there are times and circumstances (we’re looking at you, hurricanes) where no amount of property maintenance will prevent the need for emergency repairs. When those situations arise, our maintenance team is on call 24 hours a day to take care of problems immediately, so your property damage is minimized, the property remains habitable in all but the most severe cases, and your tenants see that you take their welfare seriously. When things go wrong, we’ll be there to make them right again as quickly as possible.

Choose Proactive Rental Property Management

From Winter Park condos to Maitland houses, if you own rental property in the greater Orlando area, you can run that property more efficiently and cost-effectively by working with a proactive rental property management company. Belmont Management Group provides full-service management and property maintenance that keeps hassles and costs to a minimum for our clients. Call or contact us online for a consultation, and we’ll explain how rental property management helps you realize a better return on your property investment.

Effective Tenant Screening Heads Off Future Problems

Effective Tenant Screening Heads Off Future Problems

Tenant screening is one area that many owners who manage their own residential rental properties struggle with. If you own a single property or only a couple of properties, you may find it cost-prohibitive to run full background checks on every applicant, and certain services like rental history verification may not be available at all to you as an individual. You know that it’s important to gather all the information you can to make informed decisions about tenants, and yet, getting that information is expensive and time-consuming, if you can get it at all.

Better Marketing Strategies Bring Better Prospects

Another area that presents significant challenges for owners is marketing. There are lots of places to advertise rental properties free, but they’re often riddled with irrelevant ads and they’re not where the responsible tenants you want to attract naturally go looking. Finding good tenants starts as early in the process as choosing where to market your property, and the best outlets usually cost money for individuals to place a listing or ad. Property management companies that run many listings each month typically get a reduced rate, making it more affordable to place their listings in the most desirable outlets.

Professional Property Managers Have Better Screening Tools

Professional property managers like the team at Belmont Management Group run a high volume of tenant screenings, so makes sense for them to pay for more powerful tools to help them do more effective screenings, faster. When your property is managed through a professional management service, you get the benefit of better information at a lower cost, which ultimately means you’re likely to have longer-term tenancies with fewer problems, and less chance of needing to evict tenants. We’ll not only pull a credit report on each prospective tenant, but also run a background check, verify their employment and income, and review their rental history and rent payment history. Vacancies are filled faster, and turnover rates are significantly lower, which ultimately saves you money.

Better Returns On You Investment, Less Hassle

 Owning investment property is never going to bring completely passive income, but working with a professional property management company will definitely help shift the balance toward “less time, better income” for you, the owner. The Belmont Management Group delivers better results for their clients, throughout the leasing and property management process. Call or contact us online for a consultation and we’ll tell you more about how professional property management brings you a better return.

Orlando’s Hot Rental Market Is Good News For Owners

Orlando’s Hot Rental Market Is Good News For Owners

The residential rental market boom continues in central Florida, which is great news for Orlando area property owners. As home purchase prices continue rising and wages stay nearly flat, more low- and middle-income people find themselves unable to purchase a house, which means that they’ll be competing for well-managed, well-maintained rentals. For people who already own income property, or are in a position to purchase, this represents a significant opportunity because this trend is likely to continue for some time.

Rent On The Rise

Though rents and rates of increase vary by city and neighborhood, the overall trend in central Florida is up. In Orlando, apartment rents at the end of August 2018 had climbed to an average of $1,256: one bedrooms averaging $1,109 and two bedrooms averaging $1,339. Rents on single family homes, duplexes, and condos tend to rise even more quickly, because the people renting them are those who would, in a different economic time, be purchasing a house.

Owning & Managing Rental Property Is Real Work

Of course, if making money in rental property was effortless, there would be a lot more people doing it. It’s definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme. Keeping track of leases, insurance, maintenance, scheduled repairs and renovations, and tenant issues is a time-consuming proposition, under the best circumstances. If you’re considering purchasing income property, it’s important to understand that there are real demands on your time, and those demands are ongoing.

If you’ve already had experience managing your own residential rental property, you’ve probably discovered all of this, and you may have also learned how much more challenging things can get when you have tenants who are behind on rent, or require eviction. Property management is far more complicated than it seems at first.

Professional Property Management Will Help 

The professional property managers at Belmont Management Group help you reap the benefits of owning income property without sacrificing all your spare time (and maybe sometime that wasn’t spare, too!) by finding the right tenants, staying on top of the financials, managing maintenance and repairs, and taking care of matters like late fees or evictions, should the need ever arise. Call or contact us online for a consultation.

Condominium Leak? Who is responsible?

Leaks represent one of the most common issues affecting condominium unit owners.  If you’ve experienced a leak in your condominium, you know there (unfortunately) is almost never a straightforward or consistent process. “What steps should I take?” “Who is responsible for paying for the repairs?” “Is it the leak-er, the leak-ee, or even the association?” These are just some of the questions that come up during a situation involving water damage.

What steps should I take?

If you experience a leak, the first step is to shut off the main water supply to your unit. It is important to always know where the shut-off valve is located. If you are using a property management company, make sure they’re also aware of it’s location. Immediately shutting off the water could be the difference between a few small spots of water damage or extensive drywall damage and sopping wet carpets. Shutting off your water will help you figure out if the leak is coming from your unit or your neighbors.

Once the water is shut off, assess the area. If the leak stops, this means you are the leak-er. If the leak continues, you are the leak-ee. Immediately contact the surrounding units – above, behind, and beside. At this time, you should also contact the Association’s office. They are able to provide assistance in contacting your neighbors and even recommending a licensed plumber.

Common leaks for you and your neighbors to look out for include, but are not limited to, pin-holes in copper pipes, tub or toilet seals, decaying tile grout, hot water heaters, washing machines, and clogged A/C condensation drain lines. We recommend that you contact a licensed plumber to help you identify the source of the problem.

Who is responsible for paying for the repairs?

Once the source is determined, it is important to carefully review the documents that govern your Condominium Association.  Certain documents provide for the Association to only be responsible for water lines up to the point where they ‘split’ to service individual units. To further explain, if the leaking water line ONLY services your unit, it is your responsibility to address the repair.  In some Associations, the documents are not as specific and provide that The Association is responsible for any water pipe contained inside the walls of the condominium structure.

The repair of the leaky pipe is usually relatively straightforward. The question becomes: “who is responsible for the damage in the unit?” (furniture, drywall, cabinets, floors, etc).  As a general disclaimer, we recommend that you contact your insurance company and attorney for specifics related to your situation.  However, the standard procedure affirms each individual unit owner is responsible for damages within their unit (from the drywall in). In simpler terms, if the unit above yours experienced a water break, and your unit was unfortunately damaged due to the leak, you would still be responsible for the interior damage of your unit.  The same would apply to others affected by the issue.  The association is typically responsible for repairing/replacing the drywall. However, individual unit owners are responsible for the paint and texture once the new drywall is in place.

leak

An exception to the scenario described above would include negligence on the part of an owner to maintain the components within their individual units.  If negligence is found, it is possible the owner of the unit responsible for the leak could be responsible for the damages caused to other units.

As a general rule, once you identify the issue, and depending on the extent of the damage, you should consult with your attorney and insurance company right away.

Lastly, as a homeowner, it is important to familiarize yourself with Florida Statute 718.111, Condominiums – The Association, as well as your Association’s governing documents. These documents can be requested from your condominium’s management company.

 

Garbage Disposal Tips – Cleaning, Repair, & Care

A garbage disposal is a handy appliance primarily used to shred food waste into smaller pieces that won’t clog pipes. As such, only biodegradable items should be places in the disposal.

Many homeowners and/or tenants take for granted the practicality of this appliance as well as the continuous upkeep it requires. When was the last time you placed small pieces of lemon or orange peels in your disposal? If you’re thinking to yourself “you shouldn’t put citrus rinds down your disposal”, think again!

Once a month, small pieces of lemon or orange peels should be ground in the machine. This will not only keep the disposal smelling fresh, but the natural acidity of the fruit peels will help suppress the growth of bacteria. For stubborn odors, try sprinkling baking soda and let it sit for several hours before running the water. Who knew!

Now you may be thinking, “I’ll just stick to my routine of bleach or other household cleaning products”. Stop right there! Bleach or other harsh chemicals will damage the blades and pipes in your garbage disposal.




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Speaking of damaging the blades and pipes, there are a few biodegradable items that just aren’t a good idea to put in your disposal. These items include large bones and starchy foods such as potato peels, pasta, and rice. Although biodegradable, these items expand when soaked with water and can clog your pipes. While we are on the subject of clogging your pipes, don’t even think about putting grease or anything too fatty down the disposal! This is a huge pipe-clogger.

If you find that your disposal is not functioning properly, don’t worry just yet.  We may have a quick fix for you!

If your disposal is not making any nose at all, this means it needs to be reset. There is a red button on the bottom of the disposal; just push!

If your disposal makes a humming sound, this means the disposal is stuck. If you have an allen key, you’re in luck! Just insert the allen key into the hole at the bottom of the disposal. If you turn it back and forth, it will unstick the disposal.

 

 

 

If neither repair method works, please contact a handyman for further assessment.

For a full list of Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts, please click here.

How to Find the Best Tenants for your Orlando Rental Home

At Belmont Management Group, we believe the tenant screening process to be one of the most important rental management procedures we have available, and we are both thorough and vigilant prior placing tenants in our Central Florida homes. Read more