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Charleston Property Management Company | How to Prevent Squatters in Empty Rentals

Charleston Property Management Company

Although single-family homes managed by our Charleston property management company are always full, there are many other property managers who must deal with the problem of squatters in the rental homes. You might think that getting people out of a home that do not live there would be as easy as calling the police, but most states, including South Carolina, have laws that protect squatters in some cases. There are no laws regarding removing squatters, but all property owners will need to go through the judicial process to have squatters removed. The best thing a property manager can do is prevent squatters from occupying empty rental in the first place.

Tips to Preventing Squatters

If your Charleston property management company wants to avoid dealing with squatters in rental properties, there are a few precautions you can take.

  1. Proper Tenant Screening- Squatters do not always come from people breaking into a home and occupying it without permission. Some people become squatters by overstaying their lease without signing a new one, letting friends or family stay in the home after they have moved out, or unauthorized subletting. Proper and rigorous tenant screening is the best way to avoid these problematic tenants.
  2. Move Out Inspection- Every Charleston property management company should be conducting move out inspections. These not only look for damages and lease violations, but also make sure there is no one else still in the home, that all locks have been changed, and the home is properly secured before the property manager leaves.
  3. Security- Having lights on timers, proper locks on doors and windows, and even security cameras can help prevent squatters from occupying empty homes after moveouts. Property managers should be showing the empty home regularly through marketing which also discourages break-ins and squatters from trying to enter.

If you are a long-distance real estate investor, the need for property management is even more important because you are not onsite to ensure your investments are protected when they are empty. Do not let squatters take advantage of you. Hire our qualified Charleston property management company to manage your homes today.

Scott Properties is here to help manage your investment homes. Call us for a consultation today at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management Company | Who You Need on Your Real Estate Investing Team

Charleston Property Management Company

One of the best ways to be successful in real estate investing is to have a solid team of people to help you achieve that success before you ever buy your first investment property. When investors first start to become interested in buying and renting out their homes, the common misconception is that running a Charleston property management company on top of real estate investing will be easy. Trying to do it all yourself is a plan that will backfire on you every single time. In fact, there are 7 people who need on your team is you want to make the most of your investment.

  1. Mentor- Never go into investing blind. Most investors have a mentor in the industry who helps them become established, give advice, and help with leads.
  2. Real Estate Agent- Our Charleston property management company can provide leads on the best real estate agents for investors. Agents are vital to finding properties that are great deals and perfect for single-family rentals.
  3. CPA- Having a CPA working on your team is important, especially if you own multiple properties. Tax laws vary widely across the country and if you are doing long distance investing, they are vital to making sure your properties are legal.
  4. Attorney- Having an attorney who understands the real estate investing industry is imperative because they can ensure your leases protect you, the property deals are legit, and your business is structured in accordance with state, local, and federal business guidelines.
  5. Banker- Do not bounce around between mortgage brokers or bankers when securing deals on homes. Let the same banker handle all your financing to get the best rates and benefits.
  6. Insurance Agent- You will need insurance on your properties and your business once you start purchasing and you need investment, not homeowner policies. An experienced insurance agent will ensure you get the best policies for your properties and business.
  7. Charleston property Management Company- You need a Charleston property management company that can handle the marketing, tenant screening, leasing, maintenance, and other duties of a landlord so you can focus on growing your investments.

Building a trusted real estate investing team can take time, but that time is worth it. When an investor has a professional team around them, their returns will always be greater than expected.

If you are ready to discuss opportunities with a professional property manager, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.



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Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC | Avoiding Fraud in Single-Family Housing

Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC

Many people that jump into Charleston property management in Charleston SC do not realize the vast amount of fraud that happens in the rental industry. Tenants will lie on their applications to try to get past background and credit checks, but there is fraud that can happen after the tenant moves in as well. Luckily, there are a few red flags property managers can be aware of to avoid being scammed by con artist tenants.

How Tenants Scam Property Managers

Property managers who work in Charleston property management in Charleston SC are pros at looking for the red flags that pop up during the application process for a property. However, knowing the signs of being swindled after move-in are vital to keeping owners protected.

One of the most common ways tenants will defraud a property owner or property manager is by subleasing the home without authorization. Some tenants will try to sublease the home for more than the rental amount so that they can make a profit. Other tenants will rent out the home for short term rentals like air bnb, or will let others move into bedrooms they are not using without adding them to the lease.

Another way that tenants scam Charleston property management in Charleston SC is to take out a mortgage against the property. This scam is more complicated than unauthorized subleasing, but professional con artists have pulled it off numerous times by tracking down personal data and public records of the property owner and pretending to be them. These tenants will mortgage the property, take out an equity loan, or other monies against the property, cash the check and disappear. These scammers use fake names during leasing.

Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC Spot Scammers

The best way to spot a scammer is to conduct very thorough background checks and credit checks on every tenant. You should also do routine property inspections to ensure that the tenant named in the lease is still living in the home and unauthorized roommates have not moved in. Charleston property management in Charleston SC should also encourage property owners to closely monitor their credit.

The best way to avoid fraud and being scammed is to hire a property management company that knows how to spot the red flags of scammers. Let Scott Properties work with you to rent out your home to qualified tenants today by calling 843-779-6527.

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Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC | Questions Landlords Must Avoid Asking

One of the most important parts of being involved in Charleston property management in Charleston SC is understanding fair housing laws. In South Carolina, discriminating against tenants based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, handicaps, and familiar status is illegal. One thing property managers and landlords must be careful of is asking questions that would lead to discriminatory behavior.

Questions Landlords Cannot Ask Tenants in South Carolina

There are many questions that cannot be asked by Charleston property management in Charleston SC. Landlords and property managers should be sure never to ask any questions centered around the protected classes. Some examples include:

Questions about their sexuality or gender

Questions about their family status or children

Questions about where their family comes from (national origin)

Questions about accessibility, health, or handicaps

There are a few exceptions to the Fair Housing Act that people who work in Charleston property management in Charleston SC can make including if the housing is classified for senior living only. Property managers can also put limitations in the lease on how many individuals can reside in one single-family home. Typically, two people per bedroom is the accepted rule of thumb.

Is Anyone Exempt from Fair Housing Laws?

There are a couple of rental situations where landlords are exempt from having to follow Fair Housing Law in addition to homes specifically designed for senior living.

  • When the owner lives in the building and there are no more than four units total
  • Single-family houses that are rented without the use of an agent such as Charleston property management in Charleston SC companies.
  • Private housing managed by religious affiliations or clubs that only allow members to occupy the housing.

Property owners who utilize third party property management services must follow all Fair Housing Act guidelines. However, property owners that are also the landlords have less stringent restrictions.

If you want to ensure you are complying with Fair Housing Act laws and regulations, hire our property managers to take the burden off your shoulders by calling Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC | The Lead to Lease Process

Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC

One of the most vital parts of Charleston property management in Charleston SC is the lead to lease process. Property managers must be able to capture the best tenants and turn those prospects into tenants quickly to ensure their homes remain full and there are no vacancies. Although you want your properties to be full, you also want to have quality tenants you can trust. You will want to optimize your lead to lease process to be efficient and effective.

How to Optimize Your Lead to Lease Process

The best way to optimize your lead to lease process is to use software for Charleston property management in Charleston SC. Leasing software can track your inquiries, send you alerts to follow up, and create profiles for each lead that comes in. Property managers and leasing agents can easily track leads and make their lead to lease process run smoothly.

However, even if a property manager does not have access to leasing software, there are a couple of things they must keep in mind about the lead to lease process if they want to be successful.

  1. Respond as quickly as possible to inquiries. The quicker you get back to tenants the more likely they are to visit the home and fill out an application.
  2. Qualify leads ahead of time. During the first inquiry make sure the home will be a good fit for the prospect and that they meet the application guidelines before booking a showing of the home.
  3. Onsite leasing is vital to an efficient lead to lease process. Handing off applications to sending leads to their current home to fill out applications online is a substantial risk. You never know if a potentially perfect tenant will forget to bring back an application or decide to commit to another property instead.
  4. Follow up is the key to getting leases and should be done even if the lead decides not to rent that particular property. Charleston property management in Charleston SC is constantly changing with new investments happening all the time.

Your property never has to sit vacant for long when you rely on the best Charleston property management in Charleston SC to manage your homes. They make the lead to lease process easy and uncomplicated.

If you are ready to discuss your next investment move, call Scott Properties today at 843-790-4929.