The lease lifecycle is the regular cycle that occurs when a renter resides on your South Florida rental property. The property starts as a vacant real estate investment, that is eventually repaired and then put on the market. Then, once you’ve partnered with a property management company to find the ideal tenants, you can now move your new tenants in. The renters occupy the property, pay their rent, and care for the property as if it were their own until they are ready to move out.
It’s worth mentioning that the lease lifecycle is what every real estate investor hopes to happen. Of course, evictions can also occur.
In this article, you’ll find all of the steps it takes to successfully rent out a South Florida rental property. This can be particularly helpful for first-time rental property owners.
1st Stage: Vacancy
Every rental property starts as a vacant property. This is when you have the opportunity to prepare the property for its occupants – that involves investing your time (and money) in repairs, replacements, and more. It’s also when you need to determine what your ideal tenant’s needs are. If your tenants are student tenants, they’d probably want the property to be furnished so they won’t need to buy brand-new furniture.
Generally, your goal at this stage is to get the property “rent-ready” so that it attracts your target tenants.
This stage also involves staging the property. Prior to posting the property online, you or your property management agent should partner with a photographer who will be able to show the property in its best light.
The final part of this stage is to put up your property on listing sites. Be sure to describe the property well by elaborating on its top features, such as its stainless-steel appliances, pool, and so on. Apart from listing your property online, you can also print out flyers. But in order to get more people interested in your property, it would be best to partner with a property management company.
2nd Stage: Tenant Screening
Now that you’ve got your listing up, it won’t be long before you’ll get inquiries about your rental property. During this stage, you will need to schedule showings as well as screen potential tenants. Note that doing both at the same time can be time-consuming, so partner with a property management agency that can lend you a helping hand. They’ll have their own tried-and-tested tenant screening process, too, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
By working with a property management agent, you’ll be able to “weed out” the irresponsible tenants. Plus, they will know what screening-related laws to follow, such as the Fair Housing Ac, so you won’t get in legal trouble.
Bear in mind that who you rent to will be the basis for the future of your rental property, so it’s critical to get it right from the get-go.
3rd Stage: Move-in and Leasing
Once you’ve found the “perfect” tenant, you can officially enter into a lease agreement. This stage involves preparing a fool-proof lease agreement that states what tenants can and can’t do, as well as what each party’s obligations are (e.g. cleaning the property, collecting rent, conducting repairs, etc.).
An important part of this step is the property inspection. As tenants move in, don’t forget to document the property’s condition and prepare an inspection report. This will be your point of comparison for the regular property inspections that you or your property management agent will conduct.
It’s also property management’s best practice to go through the terms of the lease agreement together with your tenant. Prior to move-in day, sit down with your tenant to go over the rules and regulations, particularly if your rental is in a property that you do not own (e.g. a condominium unit), or if your property is in an HOA-regulated community.
4th Stage: Occupancy
This is where the core of the work occurs. The moment your tenant’s lease starts, be prepared to deal with a wide range of problems, such as complaints, non-payment of rent, and more. To make the process easier, consider adopting cutting-edge property management tools such as tenant portals. A tenant portal will allow you to conveniently collect rent and maintain accurate records of all complaints, repair reports, and more.
The bulk of the work, however, will likely involve maintenance. Your tenants will inevitably complain about one or two things, which you will have to deal with as the real estate investor. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of a property management company that can oversee all regular rental repairs.
5th Stage: Move-out
At the end of the lease period, your tenant can either choose to end or renew their lease. If they choose the former, you will have to initiate the formal move-out process. This involves providing your tenant with specific instructions, generally to restore the property to its original condition.
Similar to the move-in process, you will also have to conduct a property inspection. That way, you can check if the property’s condition meets your standards, as the tenant was always expected to maintain it, anyway. In case the property needs repairs, you can deduct the cost from your tenant’s security deposit. But be sure to return the unused amount, or else you will be in trouble with the law.
However, if they choose to renew, you can simply sign a new lease agreement. It can be the same contract, or you can choose to apply incentives as a way to “reward” your tenant. For instance, you can lower their first month’s rent by a certain percentage. By doing so, you’ll be able to encourage your tenant to renew again and again.
Navigate the Lease Lifecycle With Luxury Property Care
It’s important to note that the lease lifecycle won’t always be in this exact order. In property management, things can be unpredictable, and you will inevitably have to deal with tenant-related problems that will get in your way. Fortunately, you can partner with a property management company to mitigate those issues.
The real estate experts at Luxury Property Care are here to help you put property management on autopilot. We’ll stay on top of your to-dos, so you can sit back, and wait for your cash to flow into your bank account.