Property Management Blog
Why Get Renter’s Insurance: It’s AffordableRenter’s insurance is extremely affordable. The national average is around $187 a year for a policy, and that comes out to less than $16 per month. There’s no reason not to have it. The coverage is cheap and worth every penny.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?Renter’s insurance covers all loss of personal property. If there’s a fire, or a lightning strike that takes out a television or a computer, or a rain storm that causes a roof leak, your personal property is covered. Whether you suffer a loss due to snow, ice, theft, or vandalism, your damage is covered. A renter’s insurance policy will cover all your personal possessions.
Landlord RequirementsWe do require renter’s insurance, and many landlords and property managers will need tenants to have it before moving in. Proof of rental insurance could be a requirement of the lease. As landlords and owners, we will hold insurance that only covers the building. That insurance does not cover a tenant’s personal possessions in the property. If you don’t have renter’s insurance and there’s a leak that damages your electronics, the owner will cover the structure, but not your property. Rental insurance does cover it. If you’re a landlord looking for a property management company, it’s a good idea to ask if they require tenants to have this policy in place.
How Does Renter’s Insurance Work for Liability?A renter’s insurance policy also provides liability coverage. If someone is injured in your home, that will be covered under your policy. It can also help cover tenants for any damage they might cause. For example, if there’s a fire that the tenant caused, the renter’s insurance will cover it.
Complete Landlord Solutions is a full service property management company in Terre Haute, Indiana. If you are a property owner wondering how to hire a property manager, there are a few key questions to ask while you’re interviewing potential managers. Here is some insight on how I would structure an interview. This should set you up to be successful in getting the right property manager and having your questions answered when you’re deciding who to hire.
LicensingAsk if the manager is licensed to practice property management. You can verify this online through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. If you’re talking to someone who is not licensed, you can end the conversation. You need to entrust your property or properties to someone licensed to provide this service. Marketing and Screening You’ll need to know how they determine rental rates, and if they do a market analysis. Ask if the management company has other properties similar to yours that are currently rented out. They can show you comparables so you’ll know what your property could rent for. Ask about the tools they use for marketing and advertising. Find out if they perform credit, criminal and eviction history checks. What are the minimum requirements to be approved for a property?
Repairs and MaintenanceDo they provide in-house maintenance or third party vendors or a combination? Ask about the cost of maintenance, and if you’ll have to pay extra for markups on materials and services. You need to know about their emergency repair plans, and if someone is available 24 hours a day. Find out if there is an additional cost when repairs are needed over the weekend or during holidays.
Eviction and Debt CollectionHow do the managers handle debt or delinquent rent? You should ask how they communicate with tenants and get rent paid. If a tenant is behind, you’ll want to know at what point is eviction is filed. Talk about the process and what your costs will be if there’s an eviction. Ask if the management company works with collection attorneys when tenants leave owing a balance, or if this is handled in the office.
Financial Bookkeeping and Online SystemsProperty management companies need a financial bookkeeping tool like Appfolio, Buildium, or QuickBooks. Find out what they use and how your financials are tracked. You’ll also want to know if you have access to the information. Is there an owner’s portal, which is like a bank account where you can check what’s happening with your property? You’ll be able to see if a tenant has paid rent or if there are maintenance invoices outstanding. Ask if the tenant has access to the system for requesting maintenance or paying rent. You’ll also need to know what kind of reporting is provided. Is it on demand, filtered, or on a monthly and quarterly basis? Maybe you’ll be able to look at specific weeks within the year. Be sure you’re in touch with what’s going on with your property. On demand reporting is a great tool.
CommunicationCommunication is a big area and key in any relationship. Ask about response time when you contact them via email or text or phone. You want to know how your questions will be answered and your problems handled. See if they have a sense of pride in communication and delivering up on a solid process.
Management ContractIs there a written contract, and can you see a copy to review it? Maybe you can review it with any other of their corporate documents. Take a look at everything and ask any questions after reviewing the contract. Find out what the length of the contract is – monthly or a year? Is there a 30 day opt out notice? Know the requirements if the relationship doesn’t work; you need to know how to get out of the contract.
Property Management CostsHow much does property management cost? This is the big one – and you may wonder why I suggest waiting until the end to ask this. Through my experience, you want to get the inside view out. If I am looking for a property manager, I would want to know everything I could before asking that question about costs. You want to know what you’re paying for. You don’t want a management fee to immediately end the conversation. You will be comparing management companies, so make sure you’re getting the same services first.
If you are looking for a Terre Haute property manager, use these subject areas to ask additional questions. We’re happy to help you or provide more information, so please contact us at Complete Landlord Solutions.
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