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Charleston Property Management | Where To Begin With Your New Rental Property Purchase (Scott Properties)

Charleston Property Management | Where To Begin With Your New Rental Property Purchase

Charleston Property Management | Purchasing rental property is an excellent investment in your future income that can provide a safety net for your family or passive income for travel and leisure. Finding the perfect rental property to purchase can be exciting. Some owners even decide to buy land and build houses specifically to have single-family rental properties. There’s a lot that goes into getting your new rental property off the ground though, and our rental property management in Charleston tips will have you getting the hang of things quick. 

  1. Get Insured- You should get insurance as soon as you have the signed contract for the home in your hand. The last thing you want is your investment to go up in the smoke, flood, or get broken into before you even have tenants to worry about. It’s smart to get liability coverage as well. Once you have tenants, you can enforce a policy of tenants having rental insurance to cover their personal belongings. 
  2. Inspect the Property- Although you probably had a home inspection done during the purchase negotiations, rental property management in Charleston always send out property managers to the new rental home locations to do their own inspection. You’ll need to decide on any upgrades you want to make to the home or things you need to fix before you start advertising to tenants. 
  3. Become Familiar with Landlord-Tenant Laws- You’ll need to know at least the basics of landlord-tenant laws in Charleston, SC before you start renting your home to tenants. These laws can be super confusing and hard to understand, but you’ve got to know the rules to ensure you don’t overstep or break the law. 
  4. Hire a Company for Rental Property Management in Charleston- Investing and making significant financial decisions might be your greatest strength, but when it comes to the day-to-day running of the property, communicating with tenants, contractors, staff, and vendors, you’ll want to hire someone with experience like Scott Properties where they specialize in rental property management in Charleston. 

If you’re ready to make the leap and hire a property manager in Charleston, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Rental Property Management Charleston | What You Need to Know About Landlord Harassment (Scott Properties)

Rental Property Management Charleston | What You Need to Know About Landlord Harassment 

Rental Property Management Charleston | Every property manager has horror stories to tell about stressful tensions between themselves and their tenants. No property manager wants to have a conflict with the people renting from them, but sometimes confrontation with tenants is unavoidable if they are committing lease violations. There’s a fine line to cross before property manager actions cross over into landlord harassment. Here’s what you need to know about landlord harassment and what your rights as a property manager are:

  1. What is Landlord Harassment? When a landlord is trying to pressure or intimidate a tenant, or using aggressive methods of communication towards the tenant, this is considered landlord harassment. To prove a property manager is committing landlord harassment the behavior usually must be ongoing. 
  2. What Constitutes Landlord Harassment? There are many different ways a landlord could be harassing a tenant. Some of the most common forms of harassment towards tenants include:
  • Illegal entry
  • Turning off utilities
  • Taking away services or amenities that are included in the lease
  • Refusing maintenance requests
  • Changing the locks
  • Taking personal possessions out of the rental home 
  • Increasing rent
  • Not giving proper notice for entry, eviction, or lease violations
  • Trying to buyout a tenant
  • Threatening a tenant verbally 
  • Threatening a tenant physically 
  • Refusing rent payments
  • Filing false charges against tenants
  • Serving fake eviction notices to the tenant
  • Sexual harassment 

This list is not exhaustive of everything a landlord can do that is considered harassment. If you’re a property manager concerned about harassment allegations, the best way to protect yourself is to follow the rules in the lease precisely as written. 

  1. What Isn’t Harassment? Landlords do have legal rights to the properties they are managing. Some things that are not landlord harassment include:
  • Emergency entry into a home
  • Filing evictions in accordance with the rules outlined in the lease
  • Raising rent with proper notice for all units or to increase the value of a unit to match others in the area
  • Sending notifications of legitimate lease violations
  • Turning off Utilities for nonpayment per lease terms
  • Sending a buyout request to a tenant
  • Changing locks for victims of domestic violence

If you’re looking for a property manager that has no risk of committing landlord harassment, contact Scot Properties of Charleston at 843-790-4929.

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Rental Property Management Charleston | What Owners Should Know About Property Management Fees (Scott Properties)

Rental Property Management Charleston | What Owners Should Know About Property Management Fees

Rental Property Management Charleston | The best way to invest in your rental property is to hire a Charleston property management company to manage your single-family home. Charleston property management companies, will do everything a landlord would do plus more, leaving investors and owners time to enjoy their lives and collect a passive income that doesn’t need much hands-on work from them. One thing owners and investors must be aware of however, before hiring Charleston property management is that they all charge a fee for their service.  

Here’s what you need to know about property management fees:

  1. You Get What You Pay For- Cheap Charleston property management fees usually equal cheap, low-quality service that won’t yield you a high return on your investment. Some companies offer low fees to amass many owner clients but then get stuck trying to divide their time between all the properties efficiently. This will end up costing you more than you’re paying in Charleston property management fees. 
  2. Compare Fees- Shop around to different Charleston property management companies and compare the fee schedule for what you as the owner receive in return. You also need to understand the differences between companies and check out reviews for the various companies as well. Sometimes you can negotiate the price with property management companies also. 
  3. Understand the Fee Schedule- Included with your Charleston property management fee may many different things such as the management fee, set-up, leasing, and advertising fees, a maintenance account with money available, reserve fund fee, eviction processing fees, and much more. You need to ensure that when you are signing a contract with a Charleston property management company you understand precisely what you are paying for. Don’t be afraid to ask for further explanation or for terms you aren’t comfortable with to be reconsidered. 

If you’re ready to invest in single-family rentals and are looking for the best Charleston property management team, call Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-790-4929. 

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Charleston Property Management | Tips for Telling Tenants About Rent Increases (Scott Properties)

Charleston Property Management | Tips for Telling Tenants About Rent Increases

Charleston Property Management | One of the most challenging things a property manager has to do is notify long term tenants about rent increases. Property in Charleston has been rising in value for years, and there’s no reason why the rent shouldn’t be increasing as well, especially if the home has been updated and maintained by the property manager. Still, rent increases often cause tension and conflict between the property manager and tenants which can be uncomfortable. Follow our tips for dealing with rental increases to decrease the stress and get that lease renewal signed. 

  1. Know the Rent Increase Guidelines in Your State- There are different laws in every state dealing with landlord-tenant relations and rent. Before you increase rent ensure that you are familiar with the rules in your state, the rules in the homeowner’s association if the property is in one, and the rules of the lease. You may find restrictions on how often and by how much you can raise rent or maximum caps on rent prices. 
  2. Send A Letter- You should never wait until the tenant is in your office to sign their new lease to inform them of a rent increase. Putting someone on the spot is never a good idea for anything. You should make sure to send a polite letter that officially documents the communication and informs the tenant of the increase at least 60 days in advance of their lease renewal. 
  3. What You Include in Your Letter- A property manager needs to include the tenant’s full name, address of the property, date the letter was written, date the increase goes into effect, the amount of the rise, and the current cost of rent; along with the property manager information. 
  4. Ask For Response- Include a letter or a tear-off portion at the end of the message you send that the tenant can drop off with their next rental payment or sooner where they can choose whether they accept the rent increase and will be in to sign their renewal; or that they reject the increase and will vacate by the last day of the lease agreement. 

If you’re looking for a property manager that can help you navigate the problematic landlord processes, call Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-790-4929.  

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Property Manager | Tenants Screening Scams Property Manager Needs Beware (Scott Properties)

Property Manager | Tenants Screening Scams Property Manager Needs Beware

Property Manager | Being a property manager is a rewarding career, but sometimes you have to deal with less than honest people with potentially harmful intentions. Knowing the warning signs of a tenant screening scam is vital for a property manager to ensure they are protecting the property and owners from future conflict. Here are some of the most common scams that tenants try to pull during the screening process:

  1. Requesting a Quick Move-in with Cash Upfront- A tenant who comes with cash for the deposit and move-in fees and requests to move in immediately is a huge red flag for a property manager. Tenants may also entice you to skip the background and credit check by offering to pay several months upfront or even the entire term of the lease. While this may sound good as far as rental payment goes, your tents can be trying to buy you off to leave them alone while they are conducting illegal businesses on site. 
  2. False Credit Reports- Some tenants might drop off a credit report with their application, claiming to want to save you the time and hassle of running it yourself. A busy property manager can be tempted by such a proposition but 99.9% of the time these tenants provided credit and background checks are fake. 
  3. The Sublease Scammer- Some tenants will move in and then try to sublease the home as though they were the owner. The original tenant will usually require an excessive move-in fee or several months of rent upfront, pocket the money, and skip town. This scams the new tenant as well as the property manager because the tenant is now broke and living somewhere illegally while the property manager has no way of recovering the rent money. 
  4. Fake Paystubs- Most property management companies recommend that tenants as a household make at least three times the rent in monthly income. If you require paystubs for verification from prospective tenants, make sure to verify those pay stubs or earnings reports with their company. 
  5. Fake References- Everyone has a friend willing to lie for them, and tenants will often ask their friends and family to pose as former employers or landlords to get a good reference. Rather than call the employer phone number on the application, search the business name and call the business directly then, ask for the name on the application. 

A great property manager can see a scammer from a mile away. If you want the best property manager for your rental home, call Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-790-4929.