Buying and owning single-family rental properties in West Lebanon can be a satisfying and rewarding investment. However, unlike other types of investments, a few things should be known to successfully shift from a property owner to a landlord. Assume you are a West Lebanon rental property owner preparing to lease for the first time. In this instance, at first, you need to comprehend the basics of leasing strategies and, even more critically, the laws that now apply to you and your tenant. To help you start leasing your first property, we’ve accumulated a comprehensive guide that contains the basics. By following some simple guidelines, you are more likely to make your first experience a positive one.
Screening Process Basics
One of the essential things in leasing your rental property is picking the right renter. The method for accomplishing that is to have a good screening process for every applicant. In the first place, you’ll need to get significant data from your prospective tenant to help you decide whether they are the ones you’re searching for. At a minimum, request that they fill out an application that comprises of the names and birth dates for all intended occupants of the house, incorporating those under 18, five years of employment history, and at least three references. It is also imperative to collect the Social Security numbers for all adult tenants and run a background check on every one of them. At that moment, call and verify the information on their application. If possible, contact any previous landlords and ask for information about their renting history. It may take some time, but the more research you do before you sign that lease, the less likely that unpleasant surprises will happen later on.
As you advertise for and screen renters, it’s essential to avoid discriminating against potential tenants, even unintentionally. It is illegal to discriminate against a tenant based on factors like race, sex, color, national origin, religion, handicap, and familial status; note there may be other protected classes dependant on your state’s laws. When creating your rental ads, make sure to avoid using language that might qualify as discrimination, such as saying that you will not rent to people with children or those who live on government assistance. Then, as you collect applications and screen tenants, fairly assess your applicants depending on the information they present and not on other criteria. By maintaining professionalism and implementing an unbiased screening system, you can stay clear of discriminating against any potential renters.
Understanding Reasonable Accommodations
Similarly, it would help if you did not think that an individual with a disability is automatically not a good candidate for your rental property. Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, property owners are needed to make “reasonable accommodations” for their tenants, should they be demanded. By definition, a reasonable accommodation is “a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” If your prospective tenant otherwise passes the criteria for renting your property, they should not be turned down for accommodation. In a few cases, the accommodation a tenant requests may be something they will install and pay for themselves, with the understanding that they will return the property to its original condition upon move-out. In other situations, the tenant may request an accommodation from you that, if considered reasonable, you will need to provide. This involves allowing service and emotional support animals in the rental property, despite having a strict policy forbidding pets.
Ultimately, it’s important to bear in mind that there may be various and additional Landlord/Tenant laws that apply in other cities or neighborhoods. Before leasing your property, you need to invest some time to research all applicable laws in your area and craft your processes in line with them.
It might also be challenging to cope with all the laws and best practices of leasing rental properties. Therefore why not entrust this important task to a West Lebanon property manager? At Real Property Management Beacon, we provide clear and anti-discriminatory screening and leasing services that help our rental property owners find the best possible tenants for their properties. Contact us today or give us a call at 603-448-8808 to learn more.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.