Landlord FAQ

For your convenience, we've compiled a list of questions frequently asked by Landlords. If you have a question not listed below, please contact our office directly and we'd be happy to assist you.

Q: How much will my property rent for?

       A:  We'd love the opportunity to provide you with a complementary Rental Price Analysis specifically for your property. This will require some research, and to get started we'll need some information about your property. Feel free to contact us to get the process started!

Q: What do I need to do in order to make my home rent ready?

       A:  We recommend making sure all holes are patched, and the paint has been touched up on the walls, ceilings, and trim. You will need to have the carpets professionally cleaned and have the house professionally cleaned. You will also need to ensure the yard is in good order. Remember, the condition of the property at the time the Tenants move in will set the tone for how the property is to be kept during their tenancy.

Q: How long will it take to rent my property?

       A:  While we can't predict exactly how long it will take to find a qualified tenant to rent your home, we are very proactive and employ strategic marketing in order to minimize the amount of time your home is vacant. The size, location, and condition of your home all play a role, as does the rent amount that we are seeking.

Q: How do you collect rent?

       A:  All Tenants are required to pay their rent online through our Tenant Portal, via either EFT (bank account draft) or credit card payment.

Q: What happens if the Tenant is late to pay their rent?

       A:  Rent is due and payable on the 1st of each month, and considered late after 5:00pm on the 4th. If rent is not paid in full by 5:00pm on the 4th, a $50 late fee will be charged. If rent has not been paid in full by the 10th, Tenants will be subject to eviction proceedings.

Q: What happens if a Tenant breaks their Lease?

       A:  We understand that sometimes life circumstances change, and a Tenant may wish to seek an early termination of their Lease. Here are the steps that must be adhered to for an early termination: (1) Tenant must provide a written 60-day notice to vacate and must continue to pay all rent, charges, and utilities through the end of the following 60-day period; (2) Prior to moving out, the Tenant must pay an Early Termination Fee equal to two month's rent; (3) We will amend the Lease to reflect the early termination at the end of the 60-day period, assuming all charges have been paid in full.

Q: How do you decide the rent amount when re-leasing a property?

       A:  Whether renewing a Lease for an existing Tenant or advertising a vacancy, we will perform an updated Rental Price Analysis. This involves researching what similar properties in the area have recently rented for, and making adjustments based on differences in location, level of finishes, size, and other factors. Our goal is to determine the fair market rent and maximize your income and ROI, without pricing the home out of the market which could result in an extended vacancy.

Q: How do you handle Security Deposits?

       A:  We hold all Security Deposits in our Trust Account until the Lease has ended, the property has been inspected, and actual charges for cleaning and damages in excess of normal wear and tear have been calculated. We disburse all Security Deposits minus charges to the Tenant within 30 days from the end of the Lease.

Q: Should I allow pets?

       A:  We leave the decision of whether or not to allow pets is up to each individual Landlord. Although pets are not a protected class and can sometimes cause additional wear and tear on a home, we've found that homes that do not allow pets can take much longer to rent. In addition to potentially finding a great tenant much quicker, choosing to allow pets could also help to increase the income of your property as we charge a non-refundable Pet Fee, along with additional monthly Pet Rent.

Q: What is your Smoking Policy?

       A:  We do not allow smoking or vaping of any kind inside the property or anywhere on the rental grounds. Tenants violating this term of the Lease may be subject to eviction proceedings.

Q: Can you help me if I already have a tenant?

       A:  Yes, we can take over management of a property with a tenant already in place. If the Tenant is in good standing, we will simply reach out to the Tenant to introduce ourselves, and explain how we operate. If the Tenant is behind on their rent or currently violating another term of the Lease, we will immediately begin taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the Lease or start eviction filings if necessary. Often a difficult or non-paying Tenant will find a way to get caught up or move when a professional property management company has been secured to take over and ensure compliance with the Lease.

Q: How do you advertise properties available for rent?

       A:  Rather than simply putting a sign in the yard and advertising your property in the Multiple Listing Service, we take a much more proactive approach. Depending on which Management Package you select, we may also utilize professional photography, drone footage, video walk-throughs and Matterport 3-D virtual tours. We make sure our listings are syndicated out to Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Craigslist, and hundreds of other local and national website. We also advertise on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to ensure your home gets maximum exposure.

Q: How do you facilitate showings of my property?

       A:  While many property management companies allow prospective Tenants to check out a key and view the home unsupervised, we guarantee that 100% of our showings will be conducted by a licensed agent. This helps reduce risk for our Clients, and can also make a big difference in finding the right Tenant much quicker. Not only does this give us an opportunity to highlight the features of your home, but meeting the prospective Tenants face-to-face at the property can give us the opportunity to do some "pre-screening," and encourage applications.

Q: How do you screen prospective Tenants?

       A:  We believe that carefully screening prospective tenants is one of the most important keys to the long-term financial performance of your real estate investment. We require all potential occupants who are 18 years of age or older to submit a complete application so we can verify income, check references from previous Landlords, review credit history, perform a criminal background check, and check for any prior evictions or judgments. We have very strict Rental Application Requirements and Qualification Standards, and focus on finding the most qualified Tenants for your property. We are committed to equal housing and we fully comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act, and with all state and local fair housing laws. We do not discriminate against anyone because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Q: Can I see the applications and select the tenants?

       A:  We screen and approve applicants based on our pre-set list of Rental Application Requirements and Qualification Standards that we go over with you ahead of time. Our team members are trained in reference checking, income verification, credit screening, and Fair Housing guidelines to ensure we find the most qualified Tenants in a timely manner. Because applications contain personal information such as Social Security Numbers for each prospective Tenant, we do not share these with our Landlords. You've hired us to operate as a Fiduciary and utilize our skills and expertise in this area, so we reserve the exclusive right to screen, deny, or approve Tenants.

Q: What type of insurance do I need for my property?

       A:  It is very important that your Insurance carrier is made aware of your intent to rent the property, so that the proper type of policy and coverage can be selected. If the property was previously used as your primary or secondary residence and there are no changes made to your homeowner's insurance policy before placing a Tenant, you might have the wrong type of policy which could potentially give your insurance company a reason to deny a claim. It is also very important to maintain a reasonable amount of liability coverage as part of your policy. We strongly recommend that our Landlords to consult directly with their insurance agent to make sure they understand the type and amount of coverage that is adequate for their needs. Bluefield Realty Group requires proof of current insurance to be on record with our office, and we also require that our brokerage be named as an additional insured on the policy.

Q: How are utilities handled?

       A:  Typically the Tenant is responsible for all utiltites. For units in a multifamily building, the Landlord may provide certain utilities. These terms will be specified in the Lease. All new Tenants must show proof that any utilities that will be their responsibility have been turned on in their name prior to obtaining keys and moving in.

Q: Who pays for lawn maintenance?

       A:  Typically the Tenant is responsible for lawn maintenance. For units in a multifamily building, the Landlord typically provides lawn maintenance for common areas. This will be specified in the Lease.

Q: Do I have to provide pest control?

       A:  Our Leases state that the Landlord will be responsible for the cost of curing any evidence of a pest problem found within the first 7 days of the tenancy. Any future pest control would be the responsibility of the Tenant.

Q: Who is responsible for changing air filters?

       A:  Tenants are responsible for changing the air filters in the property at least once every 90 days.

Q: What if the Tenant is not taking care of my property?

       A:  If it is discovered during an inspection that the Tenant is not adequately taking care of the property as is required in the Lease, we will take immediate action to rectify the situation by serving the Tenant with a Notice to Comply. They will have 10 days to resolve the issues, or be faced with an eviction. We take this very seriously, and are passionate about protecting your real estate assets to ensure long-term performance.

Q: What if there is an emergency outside of normal business hours?

       A:  We have a dedicated 24/7 Emergency Hotline that is available to our Tenants in the event of a legitimate maintenance emergency. We understand that some issues are urgent and have to be addressed outside of normal business hours in order to ensure that Tenants receive the vital services they are legally entitled to, and to help mitigate damage to your property.

Q: Do I need to maintain a reserve fund for emergency repairs?

       A:  We currently do not require that our Landlords maintain an emergency reserve balance on deposit in our Trust Account. If we receive an invoice on your behalf for repairs or maintenance that is due before the next regularly scheduled Disbursement, or that exceeds the amount available to be disbursed to you or on your behalf, we will forward the invoice for you to pay directly to the third-party.

Q: Do you always consult with Owners for necessary repairs?

       A:  In order to maintain effeciency our Management Agreements provide us with the authority to make minor repairs and conduct regular maintenance on your property at our discretion, provided those expenses don't exceed $500. We also reserve the authority to make emergency repairs in excess of $500 in instances where failure to act immediate could cause considerable damage to your property or deprive the Tenants of vital services they are legally entitled to. We will always consult with our Landlords to obtain approval prior to authorizing non-emergency repairs or maintenance that would cost more than $500.

Q: Can I select my own vendors for repairs?

       A:  It is incredibly important to us that all maintenance issues are resolved in a timely and efficient manner. Our high standards help provide a more enjoyable experience for our Tenants, which increases the likelihood that they will renew their Lease. Happy Tenants leads to fewer vacancies, which is one of the most important factors in maximizing the ROI of your investment property. For these reasons, we do not allow our Landlords to coordinate repairs and maintenance. However, if you have a relationship with a vendor who provides quality work at a fair price, who is responsive and courteous, and who is fully licensed and insured we would welcome to opportunity to speak with them and potentially add them to our approved vendor list. Please note that even if this vendor meets all of our criteria and is added to our list, we cannot guarantee that this is the vendor who will always be used for work at your property. We always seek to balance the needs for expediency and cost savings when scheduling repairs and maintenance.

Q: How often do you visit the property?

       A:  We will visit the property and conduct an inspection each time a Tenant moves in, moves out, or renews their Lease. We may also visit the property more frequently to conduct additional inspections depending on which Management Package you select. We are also happy to conduct as many additional inspections as you may request at any time, above and beyond the number of inspections outlined in your Management Package at a cost of $99 per trip. Each time we visit the property and perform an inspection, we will provide you with a detailed report including photographs of the entire property, and a written description of the observable condition.

Q: What kind of records do you provide to Owners and how often?

       A:  Financial reports are available online 24/7 through our Landlord Portal. Because your account is connected directly to our payment processing and accounting software, you can login and access real-time financial data for your property whenever you wish. In addition, we will email you a report each month when we send out Owner Disbursements.

Q: Will the tenant have my name or contact information?

       A:  We make sure that Owners remain anonymous to the Tenants in all of our paperwork. We will never provide your name or contact informaton to any Tenant. However, please keep in mind that the deed to your property is recorded in public records, and a savvy Tenant may be able to obtain some of your information through online research. For privacy reasons, we strongly recommend that our Owners consult with an Attorney to discuss holding property in a Trust.

Q: Do you charge for vacant units?

       A:  No, we only earn our management fee if the property is occupied and the Tenant is paying.

Q: I own the property with a business partner. Can we receive separate disbursements?

       A:  Yes, we can easily set up disbursements to multiple Partners based on pre-determined percentages of ownership.

Q: What types of properties do you manage?

       A:  We currently only manage residential rental properties, including single family homes, condos, townhomes, duplex, triplexes, and smaller apartment complexes. We do not currently manage HOAs, commercial properties, or large apartment complexes.

Q: Why should I choose Bluefield Realty Group?

       A:  Our mission is to love and serve our neighbors by building a better real estate experience. Our team is passionate about finding new ways to go above and beyond, because we truly believe our Clients deserve it. We encourage you read more about our company, our culture, and our values; and to see what our other Clients have said by reading through our Testimonials.

Q: How soon can you start managing my property?

       A:  We can get the process started as soon as we have a signed Management Agreement and keys. If the home is vacant but ready for placement, we'll go ahead and schedule photography and can usually have the home listed within one or two days. If there is already a Tenant in place, we can take over management responsibilities right away and will immediately reach out to the Tenant to introduce ourselves and explain our we operate.

Q: I'm ready to hire Bluefield Realty Group. What's the next step?

       A:  We're excited to talk with you about next steps! Please call (864) 626-7296 or email [email protected] for a free, no-obligation consultation!