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Preventing Eviction By Paying Someone To Leave

Talley Properties
This is a concept which is heavily contested around property investment circles, however we wanted to introduce you to this idea. The whole point of what is known as "cash for keys" is to avoid the lengthy and expensive process of an eviction. Not only are you losing money by having to pay an attorney to evict your tenant, but you are not able to move anyone else into the apartment until they have left which means you are likely losing out on money hand over fist. This is how this process works.
The first thing you would do in this situation is explain to your tenant what is happening. Let them know that you want them to move out and if they do not, you will evict them. Educate them on how an eviction can harm them and explain that it will likely be expensive for both of you. This is why you will pay them a certain amount to move out now. This amount can be whatever you decide, however it is often suggested that somewhere around $400 or $500 will do the trick.
Next, explain that you want the apartment cleaned and any repairs done at least have them pay you for them by the time they are ready to leave. Let them know when you want them to vacate the property. Make sure that you give them enough time to get everything out, but not too much so that they could do more damage. Often thirty days is given, much like in any other process. Make sure that you have a written notice that you have kept a copy of. Once they have moved their things out and cleaned, go in to inspect the property with them to make sure it is in the condition you asked just as you would with any other tenant. Take pictures of how it looks. Now all you need to do is have them sign paperwork that states that they are officially moved out and you can hand over whatever amount of money you agreed to pay them.
While it may seem strange to pay someone to leave, it often does work out in your favor as they pay for repairs and such. Let us know what you think of this process and whether you would ever use it.

Filling Vacancies Part I

Charlotte Properties
The main thing that you want to be able to do as a landlord is fill the vacancies that you may have. This is the easiest expense to avoid as a property owner. Making sure that you have little time in tenant turnover is something that you can work towards in multiple ways. Here are a few things that you need to think about in order to get people into your apartment as soon as possible.
1. Price. Price is always going to be the main sticking point of people looking for a place to live. It is always important to take things like location, amenities, and condition into consideration when it comes to placing a price on your rental property. Ask around or look online and see what other people in your area are charging for something comparable to your apartment. Tenants will often do the same to make sure that they are getting a fair price, so make sure that you don't try and charge too much or your listing will sit there for months.
2. Upfront Fees. Fees that are required upfront are always one of the most difficult things for tenants to pay. While it is standard in many locations to ask for a month of rent and a security deposit along with a pet deposit depending upon the landlord, some listings are shown as requiring a month and a half of rent for a security deposit, the realtor fees, as well as two months of rent upfront. If possible, it may be better for you to work with your tenant and come up with a solution that works for both of you in regards to the fees that are due upon the signing of the lease.
Filling a vacancy in your rental property doesn't have to be a difficult thing, but sometimes no one seems to be coming along that fits with your space. This is a large source of annoyance for many landlords, but you can't let it get the best of you. Sometimes it is best to remember that getting the right tenant can be more important than having someone quickly set into your apartment that you don't really like. Keep reading to see some other ideas that may help you get the right person into your rental space.

Pet Policies

Charlotte Properties
If there is one bit of truth that I can write to you today, it is that Americans love their pets. For many people, myself included, pets are family members no matter what anyone else says. Although my current apartment does not allow pets, I would not want to move anywhere else with a no animal policy. I also know that I am not alone in this. I was speaking to a woman recently who stated that she would rather be homeless than have to give up her dog and this is not an abnormal attitude. So where does that leave you as a rental property owner? Well, it certainly isn't a simple decision.
The good thing for you is that you have options. You may put your foot down and say no pets what so ever. Other landlords say that they will allow pets as long as they are under a certain size. Some landlords will only allow fish or small lizards but nothing with fur or that will get out of a cage. I saw a listing recently that would allow any animal as long as it fit in a bag that you could carry. While I am sure that some people will take advantage of that to allow animals through that the poster did not intend, it is certainly an interesting way of putting the pet policy. At the end of the day, you do have the final decision but how should you prepare to make it?
One of the most important things to think about is the type of flooring that you have in your apartment. Many landlords will not allow animals with fur if they have carpet in their property. While some people may think this is ridiculous, they will still have to respect your decision. Hard wood flooring is a bit more forgiving with some things than carpet, but this can also be said of human residents as well. This is especially true if the humans have a baby.
At the end of the day, you get to make the decision about having a pet in your apartment. Think to yourself though, if you are a pet owner, whether or not you would want to be somewhere without your cat or dog or snake or whatever it is you own. I think that is the best way to make your decision.

Basic Maintenance

Charlotte Properties
There are many things that can be done to help prevent trouble for both you and your tenants. If you are the landlord of a rental property, you want to present yourself as someone who is caring and has their tenant's safety at heart. Although there is no way a single person can think of everything, there are some simple things that you can do to make your tenant feel more at ease.
One of the first things you can do is so simple, many renters forget it: install and check smoke detectors. Make sure that you put smoke detectors the building according to your local fire department's suggestions. If the building already has smoke detectors in it, make sure to test them every month. If you have new tenants moving in, replace the batteries and test the detectors before they settle down in the building. Encourage them to test them when they change their clocks for daylight savings time.
Another simple thing that you can do is to supply a couple of fire extinguishers for your rental property. Although these are a little more expensive than other items on this list, they will still only run you an average of $40 to $50 which is a small price to pay for safety. Simply check to make sure the pressure gauge is in the green and there are no breaks or cracks in the hose to be sure that it is functional. Often, landlords will put one in the kitchen and one at the other end of the apartment, perhaps in a closet.
Another thing that you can do before a tenant moves in is purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector. Although carbon monoxide is less common, it still accounts for an average of 430 unintentional deaths annually in this country alone. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it is likely to go unnoticed unless there is a detector in the building. They cost around $20 to $25 on average and may also be mandated by your town. There are even some that are smoke detectors at the same time.
These are only a couple of ideas, but they are some of the easiest and quickest to do in order to keep your residents safe. Make sure that everything is functional before they move in, though.

Hurricanes

Talley Properties
With all of the coverage on the news and the computer, I am sure by now that you have heard of the devastation that Harvey and Irma brought. While places like North Carolina do not often get hit directly with these severe storms, there was a point in time that some models thought Irma would do just that. With Jose and Katia coming in right behind Irma, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the well-being of your rental property and those who live in there.
One of the first things that I will suggest to you is making sure that you have storm grade windows in your apartments. If winds are severe enough, or trees nearby are dead, you run a high risk of having at least one window broken. While this can happen no matter what level of thickness your windows are, it is always better to have storm windows in. These seal better and are sturdier than normal windows and you will want all of the protection you have.
Making sure that your tenant has renters insurance that covers flood damage is something that is imperative. Even if you are not in a place that normally floods, you never know what can happen when Mother Nature decides to hit. Having protection yourself against flooding or downed trees is something that you should double check with your insurance agent. Many things are not covered in basic coverage packages, but it is well worth the extra money to make sure that you are fully protected against whatever may be thrown at you.
Having your tenants figure out an emergency plan is another thing that is certainly worth the time it will take. This way, they will be able to alert you if something goes wrong. One issue many people in Texas are having is the fact that the tenants and landlords did not effectively communicate through the issues before or after the storm hit.
The final thing that we want to remind you of in regards to hurricanes is that your tenants are human the same as you. If something happens, they have also lost their living space. The main thing is that you band together in order to help each other through the destruction. We hope you won't need to worry about any of these things, but you simply never know what will happen next.

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