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Leasing 101: A Comprehensive Guide For Property Investors

Landlord and Tenant Discussing Lease AgreementBuying and owning single-family rental properties in Blackfoot can be a joyful and rewarding investment. However, unlike other types of investments, there are various factors you must understand to properly transition from a property owner to a landlord. Pretend you are a Blackfoot rental property owner who is getting ready to lease your property for the first time. In that situation, it is critical to first completely comprehend the basics of leasing strategies and, more crucially, the laws that already apply to you and your tenant. To get you started on leasing your first property, we’ve arranged a comprehensive guide that involves the basics. By following some basic guidelines, you can improve the probability of having a pleasant first experience.

Screening Process Basics

Probably the initial and most essential aspect in leasing your rental property is choosing the perfect renter. And the best way to accomplish this is to have a good screening process for each applicant. You’ll need to obtain the necessary data from your prospective tenant to help you decide if they are the ones you’re looking for. At the very least, request that they fill out an application that involves the names and birth dates for all intended occupants of the house, including those under 18, five years of employment history, and at least three references. You’ll also need to get Social Security numbers for all adult tenants and run a background check on each one. Then, call and verify the information on their application. Ideally, contact any previous landlords and inquire about their renting history. It may take a while, but the more research you do before you sign that lease, the less likely you will face unpleasant surprises afterward.

Avoiding Discrimination

As you advertise for and screen renters, it’s necessary to avoid discriminating against potential tenants, even unintentionally. It is illegal to discriminate against a tenant based on qualities such as race, sex, color, national origin, religion, handicap, and familial status; be aware there may be other protected classes depending on your state’s laws. When making rental ads, be careful to avoid using language that might qualify as discrimination, such as indicating 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 based 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

Likewise, it is vital not to expect that someone with a disability is automatically not a good candidate for your rental property. Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, property owners must make “reasonable accommodations” for their tenants, should they be required to do so. In other words, 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 meets that criteria for renting your property, accommodation should not be an excuse to turn them down. In certain scenarios, the accommodation a tenant requests may be something they will install and pay for themselves, with the agreement that they will return the property to its original condition upon move-out. In some situations, the tenant may request an accommodation from you that, if determined reasonable, you will need to grant. This incorporates allowing service and emotional support animals in the rental property, even if you have a strict policy forbidding pets.

Lastly, it’s necessary to understand that there may be various and extra Landlord/Tenant laws that apply in other cities or neighborhoods. Before leasing your property, you need to thoroughly research all applicable laws in your location and craft your processes in line with them.

Understanding all the laws and best practices of leasing rental properties might be difficult. Then why don’t you entrust this important task to a Blackfoot property manager? At Real Property Management Pocatello, we deliver 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 208-234-1000 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.

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