4 Key Things Property Managers Need to Know (But Might Not!)

4 Key Things Property Managers Need to Know (But Might Not!)

Posted on 22. Jul, 2010 by in Business

1. Security Deposits
Security deposit
limits are legislated by the state, and can vary widely. For instance, states such as Illinois and Georgia impose no limit to the amount of security deposit a landlord can require a potential tenant to pay. Other states, such as California impose a 2-month’s rent limit for unfurnished apartments, and a 3-month’s rent limit for furnished apartments. On a side note, New Hampshire’s limit is 1-month’s rent, or $100.00, whichever is greater.

2. Do You know the Differences between a Rental Agreement and a Lease Agreement?
There is a major difference between a rental agreement and a lease agreement. Rental agreements are usually used for a shorter time frame, typically one month, and are automatically renewed each month. During that time, either party can choose to terminate the rental agreement with proper notice which is typically 30 days. One advantage of using a rental agreement is that owners/managers can choose to increase rental amounts or change the terms of the rental agreement at any time.

Lease agreements are usually used longer term rent agreements (typically one-year). During that time the lease terms cannot be modified, nor rent increased. However, property owners do maintain the ability to terminate the lease if the tenant does not abide by the original terms of the lease.

Each lease type has it advantages and disadvantages, depending on your market area, your typical renter (and if you spot any potential red flags), and the local economy.

3. Lead-Based Paint – You Must Disclose It
Landlords and property managers must disclose any known lead-based paint that may be found on the property. This law, entitled Title X, applies to all rental properties built prior to 1978. It’s important that this notice be signed and kept with other tenant records, as a hefty fine can be imposed (up to $10,000) on any property owner/landlord that does not properly comply with this requirement.

4. Know the Notice Requirements For Your State
Notice requirements to enter an occupied unit or rental home vary from state to state. Many states contain a 24-hour notice on their statute, but a surprising number of states don’t list any entry requirements at all. These states include AK, CO, GA, ID, IL, LA, MD, MI, MS, MO, NJ, NY, NC, SD, TX, WV, and WY. Of course, establishing your own minimum entry notice requirements can prove beneficial to both your operation, and your tenant’s well-being, so establishing notice requirement guidelines, and communicating these to your tenants upon completion of a rental agreement will eliminate many potential issues down the road.

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