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Property Management and Pets

Property Management and Pets

There are over 71 million households in America with pets. This amounts to 63% of households. Half of renters have pets and 35% of people don’t have pets solely because their landlords will not allow them. Property Management Companies often love dogs, cats and other pets personally, but they have to ensure that having pets on properties is not a greater liability that it is worth for them as far as insurance is concerned. There are also many local ordinances that control the number and breed of pets that renters and homeowners alike are allowed to have. Here are the things a property management company has to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to allow pets.

Cost and Profit

Many renters are willing to pay more money in rent to be allowed to have their pets. Property management can decide to have some rentals be pet-friendly rentals which come with a higher rent, and other be non-pet friendly rentals. Pet rent and pet deposits can also be charged which can add income for a property owner and cover any damage the pet may cause. Pet-friendly properties usually rent twice as fast as others and the retention rate is also much higher.

Property management can also require that all tenants carry renters’ insurance and that people with pets have to have a clause covering injuries and damage done by the pet. Property owners also have to check their home owner’s insurance. Many insurance companies will not allow for certain breeds or weight and sizes of pets. In these cases, unless the property management company changes insurance companies, their hands are tied when it comes to pets. Sometimes, allowing dogs on the property can make insurance costs increase which will mean possibly higher rent or deposits for future and present tenants.

Service Animals

Service animals are not pets and there are federal laws in place that require property management companies to allow for registered service animals. Emotional support animals are not covered under these laws.

If you have questions about the pet policy with Scott Properties, Contact us today!

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Questions to Ask Yourself When Hiring a Property Management Firm

Becoming a landlord is easy today. Anyone with a decent credit score can buy an old house, fix it up and flip it or rent it. Many investors choose to rent those fixer uppers to bring in disposable income every month. However, once an investor gets on a role of buying and sprucing up homes, they may find themselves in over their heads with trying to be a landlord and also an investor. This is where a property management firm can come in handy. If you are trying to determine whether or not you should go with a property management company such as Scott Properties, ask yourself these questions:

  1. 1. Do You Live Near the Property? 
  2. The further away you live from the property the more time and money it will take to travel there frequently for maintenance issues inspections,
  3. showing and marketing the property and much more.
  1. 2. Are You Good with Stress? 
  3. It takes a special kind of person to deal with the constantly phone ringing, tenant issues, and collections that come with leasing a home to someone.
  4. Can you handle a confrontation with or between tenants? Sometimes, in order to live our best lives, we must leave the stress to a professional.
  5. 3. Are You Feeling Overwhelmed? 
  7. Sometimes people jump into things quickly without realizing what they are in for and can get overwhelmed. If you are already feeling this way about your property(s) the extra help in managing your rentals may be what you need to bring your blood pressure down.
  8. 4. Are you Good with Record Keeping and Accounting? 
  9. There are a lot of numbers involved in renting. A property management company has accountants that will handle your taxes, rent collection, debt collection, payroll, and invoicing. This can be a huge burden off of a property owner’s shoulders.

Hiring a property management company is usually the best choice for people who own multiple properties, live in another state than the property, or just don’t have the time or energy to deal with the stressors of renters. Scott Properties has years of experience in the industry and may be the right choice for your property needs.

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Getting Ready for Summer in Your Rental

Renting an apartment or house is convenient because you have someone to call whenever an appliance breaks or the HVAC stops working, or the roof gets a leak. What’s even better is that most of the maintenance of your rental is never charged to you! However, when summer approaches, maintenance staff are generally up to their ears in requests and can sometimes get backlogged. There are a few steps you can take as a tenant, to help minimize maintenance requests for your property manager, and create faster response times for issues being resolved.

  1. Try the A/C Before Summer: A/C’s blowing hot air or the fan not coming on at all is one of the most common maintenance issues for rentals in the summer time. Check you’re a/c to ensure it is working ahead of summer, such as in early March. If something isn’t working, put in a request now. While it may not be top priority, you definitely won’t be dealing with hot blowing air by summer like your neighbors who waited might. Your property manager will also appreciate that you aren’t on the back logs of HVAC issues needing to be addressed.
  2. Window Screen: Are you missing a window screen? Make sure to put in a maintenance request for a new one. Opening your windows in the spring or summer without a screen will invite in bugs and other potentially pesky critters creating more maintenance issues. Property Managers usually have a pest control company on speed dial, but sometimes it can take several treatments to get rid of insects.
  3. Bad Smells: Another common maintenance request is bad smells coming from the garbage disposal or dishwasher. Even if you don’t use them, you should run your dishwasher at least once a month and flush your garbage disposal with hot water while turning it on to minimize clogs. Your dishwasher should also be cleaned out and dishes with stuck on food should be washed by hand.

If you have any concerns about the maintenance and summer readiness of your home, don’t be afraid to contact your property manager. If you are looking for a new home before summer, give Scott Properties a call to make an appointment.

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What Property Managers Need to Know About Lead Paint Disclosure

If you work in Charleston property management, chances are you rent homes that were built before 1978. Homes that were built before lead paint regulations went into effect are those constructed before 1978, and lead paint disclosure laws require landlords and property managers to make their tenants aware, even if the home has non lead paint that has been painted on top of the lead paint.

Why is Lead Paint Harmful?

Lead paint was banned in 1978 because lead was proven to be especially harmful to small children. Anemia, kidney and brain damage, and weakened muscles were all consequences of lead poisoning. Lead paint that is still in good shape (not chipping or peeling) is usually safe, however, lead paint that is deteriorating releases lead into dust particles or even into ground soil that can contaminate the earth and water around the home.

What are the Chances Lead Paint is in Your Home

According to the EPA lead paint is still present in millions of American homes, hidden underneath layers of new paint. Homes built before 1940 have an 87% chance of having lead paint. If the home was built between 1940-1959, the chances are 69% positive for lead and between 1960-1977 your home has a 24% chance. For Charleston property management this means that many of the homes in the area may have a high risk of lead paint presence.

When Does a Landlord Need to Disclose Lead Paint?

All property managers must, by law, disclose the presence of known lead in homes or rentals that were built before January 1, 1978. Landlords are required to disclose the existence of lead paint in any areas of the building accessible to tenants including common areas, provide a lead disclosure in the lease, let the tenant know you’ve complied with all disclosure requirements, and provide an EPA approved brochure on how to identify and control lead paint hazards.

Charleston property management that owns buildings that have been certified lead free by a state-certified inspector do not need to worry about lead disclosure.

If you have questions on how a Charleston property management firm can help you with lead paint disclosure, contact Scott Properties of Charleston today!