Property Management Blog
Renting a single-family home will require a complete application and the ability to meet the homeowner’s tenant qualifications. Homes are financial investments for the owner and consequently owners want tenants who will take good care of a property. The only way to establish whether a person is a good potential tenant is to delve into their history.
Whether you’re working with a property management company or directly with a homeowner, the rental application process is likely to involve these items:
- Credit Check - Applicants who pay their bills on time usually fly right through this requirement. It makes sense that a landlord will want to make sure you make enough money to pay your rent on time. An unresolved or ongoing financial situation, including a series of late payments or a personal bankruptcy, can disqualify you.
- Criminal Background Checks - A history of violent behavior or child abuse can disqualify an applicant. Pending court cases and past convictions may also cause an applicant to be disqualified.
- Rental History Verification - Previous landlords are contacted and asked about the applicant’s rental history. Information about whether or not rent was paid on time, a tenant’s behavior, the duration of the former lease and the cost of monthly rent paid can be requested.
- Income Verification - Current income information may be requested to establish the ability to pay your rent. You’ll probably be asked to provide your last three months of payment stubs or invoices.
- Security Deposit - Property management companies and homeowners who manage their own rental properties will ask you for a security deposit during the lease signing process. Security deposits are usually equal to a month’s rent. You may be asked to pay more if your rental or financial history doesn’t meet the lease requirements.
Keep in mind when renting a home that you’re accepting responsibility for its upkeep during your tenancy. A rental application is typically required of each adult living in a home. Businesses renting family homes may be asked for additional information and deposits.
These things may sound unrelated, but each of these items can be used to keep a home smelling fresh without the chemical smell we’ve come to associate with cleaning.
Home cleaning products that have a strong chemical smell or have added fragrance can be dangerous for your health. According to testing conducted by the University of Washington in Seattle, many cleaning and freshening products on the market contain VOCs – volatile organic compounds. These compounds can be considered toxic or hazardous by US federal law.
The study team tested 25 common products, including air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, and laundry detergents.
GETTING IT CLEAN WITHOUT CHEMICALS
You can get your home clean without using store bought products that release VOCs. In fact, you want to give this a try if you have family members with allergies and chemical sensitivities.
Baking soda can help eliminate odors in the refrigerator and the garbage disposal for starters. Arm and Hammer has some great ideas for cleaning your home with baking soda.
- Place baking soda in a small bowl or open container at put the bowl inside at the back of your fridge. Replace every 10 -14 days.
- Use baking soda in the garbage disposal. Place several spoonfuls of baking soda into the disposal. Run the disposal.
If you love the smell of freshly brewed coffee, how about using freshly ground coffee to freshen up the smell in closets and tight spaces? Fill a sock or muslin bag with a great smelling ground coffee and then hang the sock/bag in a closet. It will help eliminate that odd stale air smell.
Spray and wipe down grout and countertop crevices with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to get rid of mildew. Hydrogen Peroxide is inexpensive and can be found at drug stores and grocery stores. This is the same ingredient used in many teeth whitening products, so make sure you aren’t wearing your favorite shirt when you apply this.
This is your workhorse alternative to store bought cleaning products. Vinegar can kill bacteria and it’s what many of our grandparents and great grandparent used to get their homes clean. This article from the Better Homes & Gardens website outlines numerous ways to use white vinegar to remove dirty messes and smells.
Not responding promptly to an emergency could cause injury and end up costing you money in repairs, too. When you rent a home, you’re responsible for the care of the home, and that includes items within the home, so it makes it even more important to be as prepared as possible before a problem occurs. See our infographic at the end of this article.
First-Time or Long-time Renter?
If you’ve never rented a single-family home before, tell your property manager and he will make you aware of your responsibilities as a tenant. Tenants should always read their lease documents before signing.
First, you’ll need to read through your lease to see exactly what you pay for and what the property owner pays for when a repair is required. Flooding, fire, and wind damage can happen while you’re in the home, and your fast response can save you from being held liable for damage. Burglaries and vandalism can also cause damage to the home. Calling the appropriate authorities and filing a report with them can help prevent you from being charged for any damage incurred.
Prevent Broken Appliances
Appliances and equipment in the home can breakdown due to normal use, but can also fail because of improper use. Tenants can be charged to replace appliances and equipment that they’ve damaged, but they can’t be charged for the normal end of life for these items. Everyone in your home who will be using an appliance should be trained in its use. Often landlords and property managers will walk a tenant through the use of certain appliances if the tenant asks, but they are not responsible for the tenant knowing how to use them. Renters should always reference equipment manuals for correct information. Many manufacturers place their product manuals online for easy access.
Addressing safety when you first move in is a good way to begin your life in a new property. In this infographic, we’ve identified four ways to promote safety within your home.
Courtesy of: Tyson Properties - Albuquerque, NM
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- Renter's Safety Tips for Single-Family Home Rentals - Infographic
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- Melissa LaRose