This list comprises the questions most often asked of our current and potential clients. Questions that apply to both our “Tenant Placement” and “Full Management” programs are in black. The questions that apply only to our “Full Management” program are in blue. More questions? contact us - thank you!
How much rent will my property bring?
Truckee Meadows Property Management performs ongoing rent surveys of the Reno/Sparks market to stay abreast of changes in the marketplace. We will recommend a rental rate based on a number of factors, including how quickly you need to rent the property, and how the property stacks up against the competition in the local market. Our recommendation is just that – a recommendation. You will have the final say as to rental rate.
How long will it take to find a qualified tenant for my property?
A well-priced rental property in today’s market should rent within 30 to 45 days. During the time your property is vacant, we will update you on a weekly basis. If we’re not seeing the rental activity (inquiries and showings) that we expect, we’ll tell you, and we’ll recommend ways to bolster that activity (i.e. rent adjustments, property improvements, flexible tenant screening criteria…)
What kind of condition does my property need to be in, in order to find a quality tenant:
This is one of the most important aspects of marketing a vacant rental property. Properties that are not “Rent Ready” when they’re placed on the rental market tend to be slower to rent, and attract renters who are not only willing to settle for less than top quality, but who treat their rental properties with less care and concern than we want to achieve for our owners. Furthermore, quality renters typically can’t envision what the property will look like after we do this or that… telling the prospect we’re going to be painting, or going to be replacing carpets is virtually useless. The first impression of a vacant property is the lasting impression of that property. That’s why we urge our owners to take care of the basics – fresh paint, new floor coverings (or, those that look new), nice window coverings, and everything in good working order – before they put us to the task of marketing the rental home. The results are always much better, when we approach the marketing process with a Rent Ready home!
How do you screen prospective residents, and how can I be sure we’re getting a good tenant?
Although there are never any guarantees as to the tenants’ performance once they’re in the home, we use a state-of-the-art resident screening process that looks at such things as income, credit, rent payment history, employment history, and other factors that indicate the likelihood the tenant we place in the home will perform according to his/her obligations under the rental contract.
Do you allow pets in our rental property?
The final decision as to whether or not to allow a pet (or pets) is always the owner’s. However, we strongly recommend you allow us to market the property as a “pet friendly” rental, one that allows pets on a case-by-case basis. Approximately 62% of the households in the U.S. have pets. By eliminating the ability to permit pets on a case-by-case basis, we’re essentially eliminating over half the pool of qualified renters for your property. When considering pets, we look at such factors as the breed of the animal, the animal’s age, and the prospect’s history in renting with a pet. We also recommend significantly higher security deposits when a pet is approved, thereby giving you added assurance that, should there be any damage to the property, the tenant has enough at stake to make it right when they vacate.
How do you market our property for rent?
A yard sign is still the #1 way in which new tenants are found – people tend to drive the neighborhoods in which they’d like to live. Your property will have a yard sign placed in a prominent location on the property, showing both our website and phone number. Our updated vacancy list will be featured on our website. Each vacant property has its own dedicated page on our site with details and photographs. We also advertise vacancies on CraigsList which has become the primary source for rental information in our local market. In addition, our rental ads appear on numerous websites such as Trulia, Zillow, and others. We take rental calls and show vacant properties 7 days a week. Unlike most of our competitors, we understand the importance of being available when the prospect has the time to look. The prospect who is told they can look at a property a few days later, is the prospect who is lost to a competing property.
Will my property be rented on a month-to-month or long- term basis?
This is another decision which is made with the owner’s goals in mind. If you’re planning to move back into the property in a few months, or perhaps list the property for sale, we’ll be going for a shorter-term tenant. Otherwise, we recommend a minimum of a one-year lease. Why? Because a prospective tenant who is willing to commit for a year is more likely to stay long-term, than the tenant who does not want to make such a commitment. Turnovers cost money, and we want to do everything we can to keep your property occupied, and rent coming in.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
If you are contracted with us under our “Full Management” program, we’re not going to bother you with the little stuff – a leaky faucet or a broken sprinkler head are the types of routine maintenance items that we’ll contract out for repair on your behalf, and you’ll get the paid invoice with your next monthly statement. The bigger stuff – water heater replacement, roof leak, appliance replacement – will be done as you instruct. Many maintenance calls are routine in nature. Many times, we can simply talk a resident through a routine maintenance issue, solving it over the phone. We do this at no charge to you. If it’s necessary to send a maintenance technician or contractor out, we maintain relationships with a number of independent vendors who are ready to respond quickly and proficiently to the needs of the properties we manage. We do not employ our own maintenance staff, and we do NOT profit from any maintenance work done on your property. We’ve also written a blog post detailing our vendor requirements.
What happens if my tenant has an after-hours emergency?
We maintain a 24-hour hotline for emergency maintenance calls. A member of our staff is always available to take these calls, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (“Full Management” service.)
What about utilities – do they stay in my name?
Most of our properties require the tenant to pay all utilities. In order to receive keys to the property, we require our renters to produce proof that they have switched over electricity, gas (or oil, or propane), and water to their name, effective on the move-in date. Services such as sewer and trash pick-up can become liens against the property, if not paid. Therefore, we recommend those services stay in the owner’s name during tenancy. All you’ll need to do is change the mailing address for sewer and trash billings to our address. We’ll pay those bills on your behalf when they come in, and then charge back those amounts to the renter, which will then be due with the next rental payment. We do not charge extra for this service. Please be sure to keep all utilities on in your name, until our new tenant takes possession of the property.
What happens if my tenant doesn’t pay the rent?
Although we screen carefully to be sure we’re only placing qualified renters in your property, there is always the possibility that the tenant loses his/her job, or faces unforeseen circumstances and can’t make the rent payment as promised. Truckee Meadows Property Management enforces a very strict rent collection policy to protect our owners’ interests. All rent payments are due on the first (1st) of every month, and late on the 2nd day. If unpaid after the 3rd day of the month, we make contact with the tenant, and a late charge is assessed. The late charge is cumulative; in other words, the longer the tenant goes without paying the rent, the higher the late charge is. (We do not profit from late fees collected from your tenant – if late fees are charged, they become income to you.) If the rent remains unpaid by the 6th day of the month (or, next business day, if the 6th falls on a weekend or holiday), we may prepare and cause to be served an eviction notice for non-payment of rent. We do not charge you extra for this service, under our “Full Management” program; you pay only the costs of filing and serving the notice. Under Nevada law, the tenant then has 5 business days to pay the rent or vacate the property. In our experience, most tenants will pay before the expiration of the notice. If the tenant does not pay or vacate within the 5 days prescribed, the next step is a court order for lockout. This is a process we can handle for you (additional fees apply), or you can handle yourself. Again, it is very rare for a lockout to become necessary.
What happens if my tenant’s rent check bounces?
We believe that the ability to pay rent by personal check is a privilege, not a right. If a tenant’s rent payment check is returned unpaid by the bank, for whatever reason, the tenant is assessed all bank charges, as well as a handling fee payable to Truckee Meadows Property Management. Our standard late payment policy applies. If the tenant bounces a check twice, they no longer have the privilege of paying rent by check – all future payments must be made via bank transfer or certified funds.
What happens if our tenant vacates, and leaves the property dirty or needing repairs?
Truckee Meadows Property Management will conduct a move-out inspection of the property, once it becomes vacant. We then compare the move-in inspection with the move-out, to determine what items are chargeable to the tenant. Repairs and cleaning that are the tenant’s responsibility are charged against the tenant’s security deposit. If the charges exceed the deposit, we will recommend either small claims action or collection action to collect the difference.
What property expenses can you pay on our behalf?
We can utilize your funds to pay all expenses associated with the property, including maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, and mortgage. We do not advance our own funds on your behalf.
Do you hold any of my funds in reserve?
Yes. We maintain a minimum reserve balance of $200 in your account. This allows us the ability to handle incidental expenses between the time we release your funds to you, and the time the next rent payment comes in.
How often will I receive my rent proceeds and operating statement?
Truckee Meadows Property Management operates on a “full month” accounting system. In other words, we do not close our books ½ way through the month. Here’s how it works: Let’s say, for example, we collect your April rent on 4/1. From that rent payment, we pay all expenses authorized by our contract with you. We then close our books on April 30, and release the balance of funds (leaving a $200 contingency balance in your account) to you on or about May 1st. Your operating statement for April will be emailed to you at the same time we disburse your funds. Via your “Owner Portal” to our accounting website, you will have online access to a variety of accounting statements and documents associated with your property, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Why do you “hold” our rent income until the end of the month, before disbursing it to us?
By Nevada law, property management income/expenses are handled out of a trust account. This trust account combines funds of many different owners, although each owner’s property activity is accounted for separately. All too often, when owner proceeds are released a mid-month, a tenant’s check will be returned by the bank after the proceeds have already been released to the owner. This event throws that one owner’s account into a negative balance status. Do you want your funds to cover the shortage in another owner’s account? We don’t think so. That’s why we are conservative in our accounting, and render month-end statements and proceeds, rather than mid-month.
There’s another advantage to this accounting method, too. In the event your tenant is late in the rent, you will know way in advance of the time you’re expecting the proceeds. If you’re depending on the rent proceeds to make your mortgage payment, with our system you’ll have about 3 weeks advance notice before you have to come up with the mortgage payment by other means. If you were hoping to make April’s mortgage payment with April’s proceeds, you would be stuck with only a few days advance warning before having to come up with that money yourself. (NOTE: For clients willing to maintain a larger reserve balance (equal to one month’s rent) in their accounts, proceeds will be distributed within three (3) business days of the date your tenant pays rent.)
Who holds my tenant’s security deposit?
Nevada law requires us to hold tenant security deposits in a trust account separately from owner funds.
How often do you check on my rental property?
We perform annual inspections of all occupied properties. Additionally, we drive by the property a minimum of once monthly. We also notify neighbors of our “full management” properties how to reach us, if they have a concern about the property. If we have reason to believe there may be a problem (a call from a neighbor, repeated late rent, or other indicator), we’ll perform an interior inspection on a minimum 24 hours’ notice. If your property is vacant, and you’re using our service to find a tenant for the home, we’ll be inside the property at least once a week.
Have additional questions?