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Screening Options without Social Security Numbers

Property Management Companies in Charleston

The main way that property management companies in Charleston screen tenants is through a credit and background check. However, background check only produces what the applicant has done in the United States and social security numbers are needed to establish credit. When people from other countries are moving to the United States, they might not have a social security number or any background in the country that can be checked.

How to Credit Check Without A Social Security Number

When a potential tenant wants to apply for a rental home the property management companies in Charleston usually require the social security numbers for everyone over 18 years old. Foreign born tenants may not have social security numbers or may not have credit established under their temporary numbers. So, how can you determine their credit worthiness?

One of the ways you can establish if a tenant is credit worthy is to ask for current utility bills from their last known address showing that there is no balance due on the account. You can also ask for multiple months of income statements rather than the standard 30 days that is usually required by property management companies in Charleston.

You can also request a copy of their VISA or permit to be in the country. Immigrants must go through a rigorous process to enter the United States legally and those who are issued a VISA or have resident status have been thoroughly vetted by the United States government.

Other Options for Tenants without Social Security Numbers

The standard lease term on a single-family home is one year. When potential tenants lack social security numbers and you are worried about their credit worthiness, consider offering a shorter lease term.

You can also consider if the tenant has a co-signer that is willing to take responsibility in the lease. Some employers that bring workers from overseas to work for their companies will often lease apartments for their workers that do not have social security numbers.

A good rule of thumb for property management companies in Charleston is to ensure they have a policy in writing for how they screen tenants without social security numbers so that they are not discriminating accidentally.

If you would like a professional property manager in Charleston to handle renting your single-family home, call Scott Properties at 843-790-0148.

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The Move Out Process for Landlords

Property management companies in Charleston

Some landlords think that the move out process is as easy as getting the keys back and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint between tenants, but property management companies in Charleston know better. The move out process is one of the most vital parts of leasing a home and one of the most tedious. Without following the proper move out plan, landlords can end up losing money, having property damage to deal with or home that is dirty and disgusting. Some landlords even end up with home still full of tenant belongings because the tenant skips out the last month.

Fortunately, property management companies in Charleston are professionals when it comes to the processes of renting and can provide you with an overview of the move out process.

  1. Intent to Vacate- The first part of the moveout process that all property management companies in Charleston should be sure to include in the lease is a mandatory intent to vacate. Tenants should submit a letter of intent to vacate within 60 days of the end of their lease, or other terms set forth by the property owner or company. An intent to vacate gives landlords notice that they will need to schedule move out procedures and market the property for rent.
  2. Pre-Move Out Inspection- Scheduling a pre-move out inspection 30 days before the move out date helps the tenant know what is expected of them to end the lease on good terms. Property management companies in Charleston should be sure to include move out procedures in the lease and then go over these rules with the tenant. A pre-move out inspection also gives landlords a peek into the possible condition of the home. You will be able to start scheduling appointments for carpet cleaning, repainting, or other maintenance issues.
  3. Move-Out Inspection- Turning in the keys to a home should always be done in person whenever possible. Meet the tenant at the home and do a walk-through using a move-out checklist. You will be able to tell the tenant what to expect about getting their deposit back and what they will be charged for. Tenants can sign the move out inspection form when they turn in their keys acknowledging and final charges or monies owed.

After the final move-out inspection and the keys to the home are turned in, the home is back in possession of the landlord. Property management companies in Charleston need to ensure a prompt turnaround time because homes for rent are in hot demand!

If you would like a professional team to manage your move-out process and the other burdens of property management, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Rentals: Best Odor Elimination Methods

Property Management Companies in Charleston

One thing that property management companies in Charleston often run in to when getting a home ready for a new tenant is the need for odor removal. When people have lived in a home for a long time, the smells of spices they cook with, cigarettes, products and fragrances used in the home, pets, and sometimes dirt and mold, can permeate the walls and carpet. When you are showing a rental home to new tenants, you want the house to be fresh and smell as good and new as possible, otherwise renters will be turned off.

Luckily, property management companies in Charleston have been dealing with odor removal problems for a long time and we have some tips and tricks for you!

  1. Air it Out- When renovating a home after a moveout, keep the windows open and fans circulating as much as possible. One of the main reasons a home might smell musty is because of dirt and stale air. Circulation will draw the smelly air out and fresh air in.
  2. Deodorizing- Sometimes smells linger in the carpet fibers, especially if there’s been pets in the home or cigarette smokers. Sprinkling baking soda on the carpets and then vacuuming, cleaning hard surfaces like counters and walls with a vinegar solution are inexpensive ways of getting smells out of a home, although they do take some elbow grease.
  3. Carpet Cleaning- If you want to remove stains and smells from the carpets you will need to do a professional carpet cleaning. Most property management companies in Charleston use professional cleaning services to shampoo carpets between tenants as part of their routine. In worst case scenarios, some carpets need to be replaced to remove the smell. Carpet replacement is often what must happen if there has been flooding or mold issues in the home.
  4. Drape/Curtain Cleaning- Like carpets, the fibers in drapers and curtains can hold onto smells. Many property management companies in Charleston choose not to provide drapes for home and stick with blinds. If there are drapes in the rental home however, they can be taken down and professionally dry cleaned to remove odors.
  5. Duct Cleaning- Smells often get circulated through HVAC systems and remain trapped in the ducts and filters. Make sure to change the air filters between tenants and schedule professional duct cleaning at least once per year or as needed to remove odors.

One of the best ways to successfully rent a home is to ensure that home is always looking and smelling its best which is why you must be diligent in odor removal between tenants.

If you need a professional property manager to help you market and rent your single-family home, contact Scott Properties at 843-790-0148.

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Charleston Property Company | How to Create A Successful Online Rental Ad

Charleston Property Company

Few people use the newspaper to find rental properties, which have made the classified ads obsolete for any Charleston property company. Instead, nearly every person looking for a rental in Charleston is going to look online to find the perfect home.  In a market as competitive as Charleston, property managers must make advertising and marketing online a priority.

5 Steps for Listing A Rental Property Online

There are five basic steps to creating a successful online rental ad that will get your property rented quickly to the perfect tenants.

  1. Choose Your Platform- There are several online platforms where rental homes are advertised. The best Charleston property management company will post across several, including Zillow, rent.com, Trulia, Relator.com, DoorSteps, Craigslist, and others.
  2. Click Worthy Title- The title of your advertisement is what makes them click. Be sure to include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the neighborhood in your title.
  3. Detailed Description- There is nothing worse than tenants viewing a property only to find out it lacks what they need. Make sure your descriptions are detailed with pet policy, deposit, rent, and fees. It would help if you also mentioned neighborhood highlights and amenities, school district, and date available.
  4. List Tenant Requirements- Taking time to show prospective tenants around to discover they aren’t going to qualify is a waste of time. Make sure tenants know the application requirements before the showing by listing in the ad.
  5. Photos: The best Charleston property company understands that pictures are worth 1000 words. Make sure you include clear photos taken while the home was clean and well-lit. If you can, stage the rental home with furniture and artwork for your marketing photos, this will help tenants envision themselves there.

Following these steps will help ensure potential renters see your advertisements. If you need a Charleston property company to help you manage your single-family rental home marketing, call Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-790-4929.

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Property Management Company in Charleston | How to Make Sure Tenants Pay Rent on Time

Property Management Company in Charleston

Even the best property management company in Charleston can struggle to make sure tenants pay their rent on time each month. Getting rent payments on time is one of the most important tasks a property manager must perform for owners. When a property manager is consistently depositing rents late, the owner can have a large financial burden and the property manager may end up losing their job as a result.

There are a few ways that every property management company in Charleston can help to ensure rent is paid on time each month.

  1. Rent Is Clear- Your lease needs to clearly say the rental amount and when it is due, as well as any grace periods offered.
  2. Screen Tenants- Your tenants should have an income of three times the rent amount to be able to afford living there. When you are screening tenants request at least three back paystubs and make sure to verify by calling the employer. You should also consider the amount of time they have been employed by their current job.
  3. Online Rent Portal- When a property management company in Charleston can offer tenants online rent payments, they are more likely to be paid on time because of the ease and convenience. Online tenant portals can also be set up to deliver maintenance requests, communicate with the property manager, and receive notifications about events, neighborhood alerts and more.
  4. Reminders- When a tenant is a day late, make sure to send them a friendly reminder. If the office is going to be closed the day rent is due, or for a long holiday weekend, make sure a drop box is available for rent payments. Reminders can be sent via text, email, or through the online rent portal. However, a paper copy that is signed and dated by the property management company in Charleston also needs to be delivered.

If you are tired of dealing with late rent and tenants that do not pay consistently, call Scott Properties in Charleston and see how we can help manage your rental properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Company | Top Features of a Successful Rental Property

charleston property company

When you are investing in rental properties or starting a Charleston property company, you’re most concerned with how to have the most successful rental property possible. How can you make sure your property is always rented out and taken great care of so that you make the most profits? These are the number one thing you are thinking about when making a purchasing decision on a home.

Once you start shopping, make sure that the rental properties you are interested in have these top features and you’ll be set up for success.

  1. Great Neighborhood- The most successful rental properties are found in the best Charleston neighborhoods where the standard of living is high, but the cost of living is lower. If you plan to rent to students, make sure you are near campuses. If you plan to market to families, make sure you are in the best school district. If you want to rent to young professionals, make sure you are near the business district or downtown.
  2. Crime- Invest in homes where the crime rate is low. You’ll get the best rental value and have an easier time selling for a great price if you ever offload your portfolio.
  3. Amenities in the Neighborhood- Charleston neighborhoods are exceptionally large, so when starting your Charleston property company, you should look for homes where there are great amenities within walking distance such as parks, gas stations, grocery stores, entertainment and more if you are trying to attract families. Depending on your target demographics, the amenities might change, but these amenities will attract the right tenants.
  4. Average Rent- A Charleston property company will do a lot of market research into the average rental rates of a neighborhood to ensure they will make the best return on investment when comparing the monthly mortgage to the rent.

One trick to knowing if a neighborhood is worth investing in for rental property is to check out home many vacancies are currently in the area. Homes that sit empty for extended periods of time are indicators of an undesirable area.

If you’re ready to hand the reins of your Charleston property company to an experience property manager that can take your investment to the next level, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management | What Style House Should I Invest In?

Charleston Property Management

One of the best parts of Charleston property management is finding the perfect house to invest in. You might wonder what are the trendiest style of houses that people are looking to rent in Charleston? Some of the most popular styles of architecture found around Charleston include:

  • Georgian
  • Federal
  • Greek Revival
  • Italianate
  • Queen Anne
  • Charleston Single House
  • Art Deco

One thing all these houses have in common is they are multi-story homes. They also have lots of personality and charm. Newer homes built after the 1950’s, are commonly more modern with attached garages. There are also beautiful ranch houses around Charleston.

Features of A Desirable Rental Property

The style and architecture of a home are less important than the features that renters are most looking for from a Charleston property management company. Some of the requests renters most often have include:

  • Off street parking
  • Porches
  • Yards
  • Central air
  • 2+ bedrooms
  • 2+ bathrooms
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen with all appliances
  • Washer and dryer hookups or included
  • Large master bedroom
  • Walk in closets
  • Overhead lighting and ceiling fans

The more features you can include with your rental home, the more desirable the property will be. When you start adding in luxury amenities such as whirlpool bathtubs, hot tubs or swimming pools, beach access, and other such features, the rental rate can be higher than less desirable properties in the same area. You will have a competitive edge over the other Charleston property management companies and see your single-family homes always occupied.

Services Offered by The Best Charleston Property Managers

Not only do property features drive the rental value, so do the services you offer as a property manager from lawn and garden maintenance to online rental portals and request forms, the more you can offer your tenant from a customer service standpoint, the more likely they will be to renew their lease, not complain about rent increases, and stay satisfied.

If you are looking for a Charleston property management company that can do it all, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management | How Much Should You Charge for Rent

Charleston Property Management

One of the struggles of Charleston property management is determining how much a property owner should charge for rent on a single-family home. You don’t want to charge too much because it will be hard to rent out. On the other hand, charging too little means you’ll make fewer profits. Luckily, there are some standard ways that Charleston property management companies use to set rent on a single-family home.

  1. Home’s Value- The great thing about investing is that you can purchase a home for much less than it’s worth. Rent should be based on what your property is valued, not what you paid for it. Most property managers charge between .8% and 1.1% of what the home is appraised for. If the home value is $250, 000 you can charge anywhere from $2,000 per month to $2,750 per month. Rule of thumb is to charge less on the more expensive homes and closer to the one percent mark on the more inexpensive homes.
  2. Market Value- Charleston property management companies do research on what other comparable properties are renting for in the same neighborhood. You should keep your rent price within a few hundred dollars of the average.
  3. Mortgage- Though it may seem like a no brainer, Charleston property management companies must ensure that the rent will cover the costs of the mortgage, property insurance, property taxes, and costs of maintenance on the home.

An experienced Charleston property management team understands the market rent in the various neighborhoods around Charleston and can help you decide the best price point for your single-family rental home. Teaming up with a professional property manager takes a lot of the burden of research and evaluation off your shoulders and into the hands of someone that knows the market better than anyone.

If you’re ready to work with a qualified Charleston property management team, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management in SC | Licensing Requirements for South Carolina Property Managers

Charleston property management in SC

You might think all it takes to start in Charleston property management in SC is to purchase a house, then turn around and rent it to a single-family, but there is a little more to becoming a property manager than being an owner. In fact, in South Carolina, there are laws that govern what someone must do to become a property manager.

Charleston property management in SC companies don’t need real estate broker licenses, but they do need to be licensed as a property manager or broker-in-charge. If you own the property, and also plan to manage it, you may be exempt from this law; however, if you plan to hire a property manager, you will want to ensure they have the proper certifications and

How to Get A License for Charleston Property Management in SC

South Carolina property manager licensing requirements include:

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old to be a property manager, and 21 to be a property manager in charge
  • Applicants must be a high school graduate or equivalent
  • Education: must complete a real estate commission approved course (30 hours) in property management fundamentals. You can bypass this requirement with a law degree or B.A. with a major in real estate will also qualify although college degrees are not required for becoming licensed.
  • Testing: Applicants must pass the property management exam and apply for the property manager or property manager in charge license within 12 months of passing the exam.

Hiring a property manager is always a great choice for investors who want to rent single-family homes. A qualified property manager will be able to get you top market rent value on the property you own, find excellent tenants quickly, and be able to effectively manage the tenants and properties with limited contact from you, the owner.

If you’re interested in hiring a property manager that will take the burden off your shoulders, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

 

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Charleston Property Management | What To Do If A Tenant Leaves A Broke Down Car Behind

North Charleston - James Island

Tenant moveouts are always a surprise. When you work in Charleston property management, you never know what state to expect the home to be in when a family moves out. Most renters are great and will follow the moveout checklist and do all the cleaning and replacing that is requested. However, sometimes, tenants leave behind personal property when they can’t take it with them and don’t have storage. When this property is broken down vehicles, the rules about removing the property is a bit different than if they left behind a couch, however.

When is a Vehicle Considered Abandoned?

When a vehicle remains on public or private for longer than seven days without the permission of the property owner, Charleston property management can start the process of having the vehicle removed. The tenant loses their permission to have the car parked on the property of the rental house as soon as the home is deemed abandoned. If the property is abandoned, the manager must all the police and report the vehicle abandoned. The police will then contact a tow company and handle the rest from there.

Many landlords have provisions in their lease that state vehicles not running, not registered, or not on wheels cannot be stored on rental property. If the lease has this provision, Charleston property management will be able to have the vehicle towed without notifying the police or the tenant, although it is a good idea to give the tenant a lease violation warning first, giving the tenant a chance to relocate the vehicle.

When is a Property Considered Abandoned?

South Carolina law says that rental properties can be considered abandoned when the rent payment is more than 15 days past due and the tenant has not been onsite or reachable. If the rent payment is late, and the utilities have been turned off by the tenant before the end of the lease, the property may be considered abandoned immediately, however.

Contact Scott Properties, Charleston Property Management

If you’re looking for Charleston property management that can deal with any tenant situations, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.