Owner – FAQ Owner’s most frequently asked questions, answered.
1. What needs to be done to my property before it is ready for rent?
2. How will you find tenants for my property? How long will it take?
3. What do you require from the tenants in the way of deposits, fees and rents prior to leasing?
4. How do you screen tenants?
5. Can I say that I do not want any pets or smoking in the property? What about children?
6. When do I get my money each month?
7. What happens if the tenant does not pay rent on time?
8. What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
9. How is the maintenance handled? Can I use my own contractors?
10. What if I have a Home Warranty?
11. When is your office open?
12. Who do I contact?
The better condition that a property is in, the better quality tenant it will attract. Your property must be offered in a professionally cleaned condition, as the tenants will be paying a non-refundable cleaning fee. Your property manger prefers to arrange this cleaning to ensure that the cleaning guidelines are strictly followed. 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. Paint is decided on a case by case basis, 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. It is typical in our area for all kitchen appliances, including stove and refrigerator, to be provided. We also recommend that the locks be re-keyed prior to new tenants taking occupancy.
Your property will be put on our list of available properties. This list is updated weekly. In addition, this list is shared with the relocation departments of real estate companies, corporations and employers in the Lexington area. Your property will also be listed on our Huber Real Estate website and other popular internet websites for rental properties. The initial set-up charge for taking the pictures and downloading the information, writing the text, entering information on the websites, etc. is $100. In addition, there will be a $160 charge per property per month for these listings. This will include the fees for the sites, making any changes or updates that are necessary and placing a sign in the yard of your property (upon your request). If you choose to also run an individual ad in the Sunday Lexington Herald, we can do this for you; however, you will pay the additional advertising fees associated with this. There will be a brief description of the property, plus a voice mail number for further information. The cost to you varies per length of the ad, but generally is in the $50-$70 range per ad. 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.
When a prospective tenant submits an application, the prospect must also submit an application fee, which is used to process the application through a credit verification service. In addition, the prospect is required to submit a deposit, which is typically equal to approximately fifty percent of one month’s rent. Once the application is approved and the lease is signed, the deposit becomes part of the security deposit. At the time the tenant moves in, one month’s rent is paid in advance. Even if the tenant moves in the property mid-month, one month’s rent is required, and we will then pro-rate the second month’s rent. A portion of the security deposit is earmarked for a non-refundable cleaning fee to have the property cleaned prior to the next tenant. The property is professionally cleaned between each tenant. The cleaning fee should cover most, if not all, of the general cleaning costs. The security deposit is held in an interest bearing Security Deposit Trust Account. This interest is retained by Huber Real Estate, LLC..
We want to secure good tenants for you; therefore, we use a service to secure a thorough 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 would 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. The service we use does a social security trace to determine and confirm address history.
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 $200 non-refundable pet fee. 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 as “no pets allowed” or “non-smoking”, it is not possible for this to be monitored on a daily basis. 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. Huber Real Estate, LLC 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.
The statements to the owners, along with the checks, go out by the end of each month. We generate these statements only once a month. Because rents are typically due on the first of the month and The Kentucky 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. You have the option of having your check automatically deposited in your account once you have signed up for direct deposit if you prefer this over receiving a paper check.
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 Kentucky Landlord Tenant Law. Most tenants pay their rent by the sixth of the month. If the rent is not paid by the sixth, 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 less than $200 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 $200 to start the process.
If the tenants must vacate the property prior to the end of the lease term, per the Huber Real Estate, LLC, 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 month’s rent. Huber Real Estate will then try to find another tenant to rent the property as quickly as possible.
We use a variety of outside contractors or vendors depending on what needs to be done. We have a long list of requirements and expectations for our contractors. Our repair vendors have been with us for years and offer quality work at competitive prices. Under most routine and emergency situations, we will use our own vendors to complete the work. We require work requests for all non-emergency items (online, faxing, or office). If it is a repair essential to the maintenance or safety of the property and less than $200, 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 $200, 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. You are billed exactly the amount of the vendor’s invoice; we do not charge anything extra for the supervision of these repairs. Most vendors give us a reduction in their rates because of the volume of work they receive from us. We pass the savings on to you. If a repair is over $200 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 service.
Managing the number of properties that we do, it is not possible for us to have different guidelines as to how to handle maintenance on each property. The general guidelines that apply to all the properties that we manage are stated above. The Home Warranty requirements typically do not fit within our guidelines. If you wish to keep your Home Warranty in place, you may want to consider our Leasing Only service.
We have licensed, trained real estate agents/managers who provide professional leasing assistance. Our lockbox system allows licensed professionals other than those in our office to show our properties. Our offices are open 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When a new owner signs up with Huber Real Estate, LLC, he/she is assigned a property manager. This property manager is responsible for the day to day management of the property or properties. The property manager will also have an assistant who can help to answer any immediate questions or concerns, if the property manager is out of the office.