FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS?
What needs to be done to my property before it is ready for rent?
The better condition that a property is in, the better quality tenant it will attract. The carpets must be freshly and professionally cleaned and all debris and personal belongings removed from the house. There should be no items stored in the property, including attics, basements, storage areas, etc.
It is not necessary to paint automatically, but it is necessary to paint any room that has dirty or marred walls, ceilings, or trim. A neutral color for paint, wall coverings and carpet is best. In addition, neutral window coverings should be placed on the windows for privacy. We recommend that you do not leave a washer and dryer unless it is a stack unit or an unusual size. It is typical in our area for all kitchen appliances, including stove and refrigerator, to be provided. We also rekey all locks prior to a new tenant taking possession.
How will you find tenants for my property? How long will it take?
Your property will be put on our list of available properties. This list is updated weekly.
Your property will also be listed on our Greyhaven Realty Management website and other popular internet websites for rental properties. Our software syndicates to over 75 different rental websites and we follow up on all leads that come to our offices.
There are no guarantees as to how long it will take a property to lease. Many factors should be considered such as condition and location of the property, school districts, time of the year, rent range, etc.
What do you require from the tenants in the way of deposits, fees and rents prior to leasing?
We have prospective tenants submit an application; the prospect must also submit an application fee, which is used to process the application through a credit verification service. Once the application is approved the approved tenant has 24 hours to bring in their security deposit. No property is taken off the market until we receive the security deposit. Once we receive the deposit, the tenant must move in within 2 weeks. We prorate rent if the tenant moves in during the month, however, if the tenant moves in the last week of the month, we collect the prorated rent plus the next months rent. The property is professionally cleaned between each tenant. The security deposit is held in a non-interest bearing security deposit trust account.
How do you screen tenants?
We want to secure good tenants for you; therefore, we use a service to secure a through credit check before each lease is signed. This includes checking credit history, past rental history, salary, employment and public records for bankruptcies, judgments and liens. A criminal history check is also run on each applicant; however, please know that we are told there is no database available that will necessarily reveal all criminal history. We use good faith in attempting to use information from sources deemed reliable, but cannot guarantee the accuracy of information reported by the services. We do check on Hamilton County site for local criminal activity as well as the state meth website and sex offenders.
Can I say that I do not want any pets or smoking in the property? What about children?
Pets and smoking are not protected classes under the Federal Fair Housing Law. However, by eliminating these you are also eliminating a good percentage of the people in the market looking for rental property. For our owners who do allow pets, we collect a $350.00 non-refundable pet fee per pet, the tenant signs a separate Pet Agreement, and we require renters insurance. The $300.00 pet fee will be paid to you upon the completion of the tenants lease. The $50.00 is used to have the property sprayed for fleas. Under no circumstances do we allow Pit Bills, Rottweiler or Doberman Pinchers. Your insurance will not cover these pets since they are considered aggressive breeds. We also limit the number of pets to two and the pet size. Additional non refundable fees or refundable deposits may also be charged. For owners who do not want pets, we will advertise and lease the house with a no pets allowed provision. Please also be aware that while we can classify a property as “no pets allowed” or “non-smoking” it is not possible for this to be monitored on a daily basis.
Please be aware that if a tenant has a service animal, the no pet clause is out the door. Service animals are protected by Federal Law and we cannot charge a pet fee for these animals. We can, however, charge for any damage to the property caused by the service animal.
The Federal Fair Housing Law states that there shall be no discrimination against any applicant for housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, familial status or handicapped status. Greyhaven Realty Management co., Inc supports and promotes this Fair Housing Doctrine to its fullest extent. Children are under the protected class of familial status and it is not possible to discriminate in this way.
When do I get my money each month?
Our statements generally are mailed by the 6th of the month however; we do allow ourselves until the 10th due to holidays etc. Please be aware that you are being paid in arrears. (Example – January rent will be sent to you by the 10th of February). We generate these statements only once a month. Because rents are typically due on the first of the month and The Tennessee Real Estate Commission does not allow us to have a negative balance in your account, it is necessary for us to always have money in your account from which to pay bills relating to your property. Therefore, if your rent is not received prior to the statement, you will see the rent credits on your statement the following month. If there is an error or question on your statement we do ask that you contact us within 15 days so that we may handle the problem right away.
What happens if the tenant does not pay rent on time?
The rent is due on the first of each month and considered late after the sixth. The five extra days allowed are required by the Tennessee Landlord and Tenant Act. Most tenants pay their rent by the 6th of the month. If the rent is not paid by the 6th tenants are sent a late notice reminder on the seventh of the month. If the tenant doesn’t pay or does not contact us with an acceptable payment plan, we will send a final late notice on the seventeenth of the month. If the tenant still does not pay toward the end of the month, we will contact you and ask for approval to begin eviction proceedings.
You pay the initial filing fees and court costs usually totaling approximately $350 to start the process. This will generally be the only cost you incur. If the rents are collected, the attorney fees, which are typically a percentage of the amount being collected, will be added to the amount we are seeking for collection. So the tenant pays the attorney fees, other than the initial fee of approximately $350 to start the process.
What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
If the tenants must vacate the property prior to the end of the lease term, per the Greyhaven Realty Management Co., Inc. lease they are responsible for a thirty (30) day paid advance written notice, the forfeit of their security deposit, plus a termination penalty equal to two (2) month rent if during the first 6 months of the lease and a penalty equal to one (1) month rent if during the last 6 months of the lease. Greyhaven Realty Management Co., Inc. will then try to find another tenant to rent the property as quickly as possible.
How is the maintenance handled? Can I use my own contractors?
We use a variety of outside contractors and vendors depending on what needs to be done. We have a long list of requirements and expectations for our contractors. Most of our repair vendors have been with us for years and offer quality work a competitive price. Under most routine and emergency situations we will use our own vendors to complete the work.
We require written work request for all non-emergency items. If it is a repair essential to the maintenance or safety of the property and less than $250.00, the repair will be ordered and you will see an entry for the payment of that bill on your next statement. If it is more than $250.00 the property manager will call you for direction and/or approval, unless it is an emergency call or a safety issue which requires immediate action.
We do charge a 10% up charge on repairs over the $250.00 if it is for anything other than routine maintenance. We work hard to make sure our owners are getting the best price with quality work. Getting competitive bids, coordinating with tenants, owners and vendors can be very time consuming and is above our normal management.
If a repair is over $250.00 and you wish to have your own contractor to do the work, you may use your contractor at this time. However, you will need to be responsible for scheduling and supervising the work and for direct payment to the vendor. If you prefer to do all the maintenance, you may want to ask us about our leasing only services.
Who will show my property to prospective tenants?
We have a full time leasing agent who provides professional leasing assistance. Our lockbox system allows licensed professionals other than those in our office to show our properties. Our offices are open 9:00 am – 5: 00 pm Monday through Friday.
Who will be my contact person?
When a new owner signs up with Greyhaven Realty Management Co., Inc. he/she is assigned a property manager. This property manager is responsible for the day to day management of the property or properties.
It is important to realize that in the property management business, we are in and out of the office all day long. We strive to return all phone calls within the same day when at all possible, but definitely within the next business day. If you have an issue that needs to be discussed in person, please call to make an appointment. As we are in and out of the office on such a frequent basis, if you arrive at our office without an appointment, you may be disappointed when the person you are wanting to speak with is not available or your may feel rushed as the person is on the way to an appointment that had already been scheduled. If you have a true concern, we want to make sure that we set aside the time to talk with you.