In the Charlotte rental market, the demand for single family homes has been strong, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Condos and apartments with elevators and communal spaces haven’t done as well, and that’s understandable. If you’re renting out a multi-family property, you may need to offer more incentives when you’re trying to attract interested renters.
We have a few tips for how to rent your house during the pandemic. While things are certainly improving, we’re still listening to the public health experts who warn us that masks, social distancing, and other safety protocols are still important.
Here’s what you need to do.
Offer Contactless Self-Showings
With contactless showings that utilize self-showing technology, you don’t need to meet prospective tenants at the property. These showings have been used for years in Charlotte, and we’ve found that tenants are more demanding for these types of showings. It offers them more convenience, and it’s a better process for us.
Rent-Ready Charlotte Properties
Make sure the property is in rent-ready condition and meets local code requirements, rules, and laws. These include smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and even weather stripping. You want to know your plumbing is in good shape and make sure you have paint that will attract high quality tenants. Tenants will come and see the home on their own and you won’t be there to point things out. You’ll want it to look clean, welcoming, and ready for occupancy.
Document everything with photos and videos. When your marketing materials can provide 360 degree photos that show the property in good shape, you’ll generate more interest in the home. This documentation will also give you everything you need during the move-in and move-out processes.
Screen Charlotte Tenants Thoroughly
Rigorous tenant screening has always been important, and now it’s even more important. You want to make sure an applicant has proper revenue sources. You’re looking for secure employment, savings, and good credit. It’s important that prospective tenants can weather the economic storm if the pandemic continues to last longer than expected. This is particularly important when you consider that landlords cannot file evictions until the end of June.
Throughout the screening process, follow all fair housing laws. Sometimes individual homeowners don’t know the details of those laws, and that can put you at risk for violating fair housing standards or discriminating against potential tenants. You have to know the difference between a pet and a service animal, for example.
Sign a Strong Lease Agreement
Once you approve a tenant, get a lease that’s aligned with current laws, rules, and regulations. Many of the online lease templates you find won’t have the latest requirements. One of the most common issues we have recently seen with leases is that they don’t address late fees in a manner that’s consistent with state law. Usually, these lease templates are too brief and they don’t include the protections you require. Get a good lease agreement from a Charlotte property management firm.
Contact-Free Rent Collection
When you collect rent, there is no need to get it from your tenant by making an in-person visit. You don’t need to take cash or a check. It’s better to allow tenants to pay online. Or, they can go to their local Walmart or Cash Express store to pay rent. You’ll get credit immediately for the payment, and they won’t have any information on your bank account.
Charlotte Rental Property Maintenance
Having thorough maintenance systems in place is an important part of renting your home, even during the pandemic. You need trusted and reliable vendors who are licensed and insured going into your properties.
With all these systems already in place, you’ll be in great shape 95 percent of time when you’re renting out a property.
All of this sounds like a lot, but it’s a normal day in the life of a professional Charlotte property manager. We know that individuals can successfully manage their own homes, but it requires a lot of time and knowledge. If you’d like some help, we invite you to contact us at Alarca Realty.