Tip of the Day
Here you will find an archive of all our "Tips of the Day"
1. Tip of the Day: Being a landlord requires you to find qualified
tenants, collect rent and evict tenants when they won’t pay or
they don’t obey the lease. You want to be courteous and friendly
with tenants, however you don’t want or need to be their best
2. Tip of the Day: To own is to maintain.
3. Tip of the Day: Being a landlord may require you to take care of your
basic maintenance and repair problems. Don’t wait until you have a
leak to understand how to fix a leak. Problems on properties need to be
handled promptly. If you don’t have the time or desire to take
care of the basic maintenance have the number of a qualified handyperson
4. Tip of the Day: Keep a utility log for water, sewer, electricity and
gas. Each month, enter the information from each bill, by account or
meter number on the log. This is a simple way to spot any unusual
increases in usage, such as a broken under-ground water pipe that
can’t be seen.
5. Tip of the Day: If the tenant moving out is a good one, ask them if
you can provide them with a letter of recommendation when you send back
the security deposit. This offer may make the tenant work extra-hard to
ensure the unit is clean and undamaged.
6. Tip of the Day: You must have authorization in writing from a
prospective tenant to run a credit report. Make sure your rental
application has a place for a signature.
7. Tip of the Day: Landlords have the right to do a maintenance
inspection of their rental property but must give proper notice as
outlined in Washington State Laws. Discuss with tenants any concerns you
have and address their concerns as well. Make agreements to remedy any
problems then repair what needs to be fixed.
8. Tip of the Day: Make Sure You Are Using A Good Lease - If you make a
mistake on the lease, you will find it more difficult to litigate if a
tenant violates the terms.
9. Tip of the Day: If you choose to become a landlord recognize that it
is a lot of work and the only appreciation you will receive will be a
10. Tip of the Day: Run a criminal report on your tenant at least once
every two years. You may be surprised.
11. Tip of the Day: Landlords need to consider getting as many of their
residents as possible on some type of automatic rent payment plan. When
economic times are tight, tenants that pay rent automatically (without
them having to think about it) have a much longer payment success
12. Tip of the Day: Most people take action at the speed and level of
their expectation. If you expect a vacancy to last longer, you will
probably move at a slower and less determined pace to get it rented.
However, if your expectation is to fill the vacancy within 72 hours, you
will likely take more effective action to accomplish what you
13. Tip of the Day: Driving by your property is one of the easiest ways
to "inspect" a property without having to hassle with sending notice to
the tenant and this provides a great clue that if something is amiss
outside, it may be time to post a notice to enter and inspect the inside
14. Tip of the Day: Convey a professional demeanor to your tenants. You
want them to see someone who is competent and capable.
15. Tip of the Day: CASH FLOW + PROPERTY APPRECIATION = SUCCESSFUL
16. Tip of the Day: It is a common misconception that law enforcement
agencies can evict tenants involved in illegal activity. In fact, only
the landlord has the authority to evict. The police may arrest people
for criminal activity. But arrest, by itself, has no bearing on a
tenant’s right to possess your property.
17. Tip of the Day: To help increase the likelihood of timely rental
payments, you may want to provide your tenants with addressed and
stamped envelopes so they just have to put the payment in the mail.
18. Tip of the Day: There are many successful property management
companies who can provide service to ensure owning rental property will
be a great investment.
19. Tip of the Day: Belong to an organization which will protect your
right to own and operate rental property as well educate you on how to
be a responsible owner. Join the Rental Housing Association of Puget
20. Tip of the Day: As a landlord, you may choose to delegate some of
the responsibilities for operating rental property. Look at your own set
of skills in order to determine which items you should delegate.
21. Tip of the Day: Log how many hours you spend managing your rental
property. You will probably be shocked at how hard you work.
22. Tip of the Day: When doing your routine maintenance on a rental unit
don’t forget to change the furnace filters for forced air
23. Tip of the Day: If you properly screen your tenants and make a good
tenant selection, you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend
managing your rental property.
24. Tip of the Day: Stay away from cheap sign boards. They leave a bad
impression to potential tenants. Instead, use a bold “For
Rent” sign. Choose one with attached flyer compartment where you
can add information on the rental.
25. Tip of the Day: Review your files and forms for each rental unit you
own yearly. This will allow you to stay up-to-date with any law changes
as well as ensure you have the paperwork you need.
26. Tip of the Day: Focus your advertising online. Print advertising can
be very costly and the majority of renters look online to find their
27. Tip of the Day: Research local rent prices. If you are finding that
your tenants are not staying past their lease, you may be charging too
much rent or raising rent costs too much at the end of the lease term.
Find out what your competitors are charging before increasing rent.
28. Tip of the Day: Do you have a current rent roll listing? A rent roll
lists all rental units with information on the tenant: tenant’s
name, telephone number, move-in date, move-out date, date rent is due,
last rent increase, current rent amount, and security deposit
29. Tip of the Day: If you own a building put timers on common area
lighting. This will lower utility costs.
30. Tip of the Day: Call References and Run Credit Checks - Too many
landlords rush to fill a vacancy rather than taking the time to make
sure the prospective tenant is a better option than an empty property.
Use RHA Tenant Screening to get the job done right.
31. Tip of the Day: Before purchasing rental property, take a look at
the cities website to understand local laws. Some cities require a
business license, registration, participation in crime free programs,
etc. Often these governmental entities have stiff penalties if you fail
to notify them of a change in ownership in a timely manner or
don’t obey the law.
32. Tip of the Day: Color is the first thing a tenant notices when they
drive by a property they are considering calling home. Submitted By:
33. Tip of the Day: Have a current copy of State laws that affect your
rental property always close by. You can purchase one through the Rental
Housing Association of Puget Sound.
34. Tip of the Day: Who pays for the utility service to the property
makes a big difference in cash flow. Get copies of all bills, whether
the tenant is paying for the service or you are.
35. Tip of the Day: As soon as you purchase a property, provide tenants
with a letter of introduction. The letter should at least include your
contact information, where they should send rent and the status of their
36. Tip of the Day: You must give proper notice to enter a
tenant’s unit unless the tenant voluntarily lets you inside the
37. Tip of the Day: You must document the condition of the rental unit
at the time the tenant takes possession of the unit when collecting a
security deposit. Do the walk through of the unit first then sign the
38. Tip of the Day: When you purchase a property with tenants, your
legal and business relationship has already been established by whatever
agreement the tenants had with the former owner.
39. Tip of the Day: Establish uniform policies at all your rentals so
the terms and policies are consistent for each tenant. Use the same
lease form and update those forms on an annual basis as the market and
laws change. RHA forms respond to the marketplace and are updated
40. Tip of the Day: A poor first impression is hard to reverse. If a
property does not look inviting a prospective tenant will not want the
41. Tip of the Day: One of the keys to making money with rental property
is to avoid changing tenants often.
42. Tip of the Day: If you show a loss on your rental property, where
your expenses exceed your income, you might be able to deduct the loss
on your tax return. The only way that you can deduct the loss is to be
an active participant in the management of the property. You can hire a
property manager to perform the day-to-day tasks, but you need to be
actively participating in approving terms of contracts, interviewing
potential tenants, and approving expenditures that go toward maintaining
43. Tip of the Day: Create an Emergency Fund - This is essentially money
earmarked for unexpected expenses that are not covered by insurance.
There is no set amount for an emergency fund, some say 20% of the value
of the property, but anything is better than nothing.
44. Tip of the Day: As a small independent rental property owner you are
the asset manager, property supervisor, on-site manger, leasing agent,
bookkeeper, administrative assistant and maintenance supervisor.
45. Tip of the Day: The exterior of a property must have “curb
appeal” This means: paint should be attractive, doors, windows,
screens and trim should be in good repair, landscaping should be
inviting and have a positive effect on the property.
46. Tip of the Day: The smell of a unit is important. The source of an
unpleasant odor should be eradicated not masked.
47. Tip of the Day: The most important factor to consider when
purchasing rental property is: “LOCATION, LOCATION,
LOCATION.” Rental housing tends to be along transportation
corridors making various kinds of mass transportation feasible.
48. Tip of the Day: Writing an ad for Craig’s List. Grab the
reader’s attention, generate interest by explaining the basic
features of the property, create desire by the WIIFM (What’s In It
For Me)statement, then close the deal by requiring an action step.
49. Tip of the Day: Put a “For Rent” sign up on the property
as soon as you know of a vacancy. Many people simply drive around
looking in the general area where they want to live.
50. Tip of the Day: Fliers allow you to tell more about the property.
Include photos and tell the whole story of the property, listing all the
advantages, facts and emotional appeals.
51. Tip of the Day: Finding the right tenant is exactly like hiring the
right employee. You are only required to take the most qualified person
not the first person who shows up.
52. Tip of the Day: A highly visible form of advertising is at a bus
53. Tip of the Day: When showing the property create an image as you
demonstrate the value of the property. You must sell the benefits.
54. Tip of the Day: Show appreciation to your tenant. This can be done
by a simple telephone call or a card.
55. Tip of the Day: Word of mouth advertising from existing tenants is
often the best advertisement.
56. Tip of the Day: When a tenant moves out and leaves a mess, the
landlord cries, cleans, repairs and repaints. Then they try to do a
better job screening their next tenant.
57. Tip of the Day: Which advertising venue works best often depends on
the type of property, location, and current market conditions. In many
markets, a sign in the front yard often provides the best results, and
it’s low cost.
58. Tip of the Day: Before you renovate do a market analysis to ensure
you can get your money back from your investment.
59. Tip of the Day: If you are replacing appliances, try to standardize
the brand and model whenever possible. This allows you to have
replacement parts in the future.
60. Tip of the Day: Many rental prospects won’t be able to
envision the end product. Don’t show your rental unit until it is
61. Tip of the Day: Never allow a tenant to use any portion of their
security deposit as their last month’s rent. There will then be no
incentive to leave the unit in good condition.
62. Tip of the Day: If the Statement of Deposit is retuned via mail to
you. Keep the envelope, that way the former tenant can not allege you
did not comply with state law.
63. Tip of the Day: Tenants in the Puget Sound area are going green. If
you install water-saving fixtures, pilot-less ignition gas stoves and
water heaters, weatherproofing, insulated windows and doors, or energy
efficient appliances, you’ll have a competitive edge in the
64. Tip of the Day: When a unit becomes vacant it is the perfect
opportunity to do capital improvements.
65. Tip of the Day: Providing a tenant with a small fire extinguisher
may be a good idea.
66. Tip of the Day: Know the Rules – Federal, state, county and
city laws outline your responsibilities and liabilities, so you
can’t claim ignorance when something happens. You will have to do
some reading; nevertheless, it is better to spend some time taking
seminars at RHA rather than in the courtroom.
67. Tip of the Day: Understand how to do a market analysis. Setting the
rent is the most important decision you will make as a rental property
68. Tip of the Day: Reality is… the amount you need or want to
collect in rent is subject to market conditions.
69. Tip of the Day: Security deposits are the best insurance policy for
getting your rental unit back in decent condition.
70. Tip of the Day: Create a strategic renewal process. Offer renewing
residents an incentive to want to stay. Submitted By: Kim Faust, ETICO
71. Tip of the Day: The majority of renters relocate within the same
geographic area, unless they are faced with a major change in
employment, school or another significant factor that requires a distant
72. Tip of the Day: Have several rental applications and pens available
at the property.
73. Tip of the Day: In order to have the best results in selecting
tenants develop a statement of rental policy. A written statement
explaining your screening criteria.
74. Tip of the Day: There are two important traits a landlord should
look for in a tenant: someone who is fiscally responsible and will pay
the rent on time and someone who will maintain the premises in the same
condition they received it.
75. Tip of the Day: Always contact the rental applicant’s current
landlord and ask a few basic questions.
76. Tip of the Day: Consistency is the key to all tenant screening
77. Tip of the Day: Notify a rental applicant promptly when the decision
is made to accept or reject them.
78. Tip of the Day: Do not keep an applicant’s consumer credit
report on file. Only keep their application either for 5 years
(according to the law) or for as long as the tenant lives in the unit
whichever is the longest period of time.
79. Tip of the Day: When you meet with your new tenant, go over the
rules for the property before signing the lease.
80. Tip of the Day: Spend the time reviewing the lease or rental
agreement with a new tenant. Be sure that the tenant understands this is
a legal and binding agreement that provides rights and responsibilities
for both parties.
81. Tip of the Day: For most landlords and tenants, the most popular way
to remit the rent payment is via mail. Use a PO Box for your rent checks
to be delivered to.
82. Tip of the Day: If you have not received the rent on time, you
should always issue a three day notice to pay or vacate. Even if you
agree upon a date when you would accept rent late. For instance: Rent
due on the 3rd, tenant losses job and can’t pay until the 15th.
Issue a three day notice on the 12th that way you can still move through
the legal process if the tenant doesn’t pay on the date agreed
83. Tip of the Day: If you receive a late payment by mail, always keep
the envelope with the postmark in case the tenant disputes the late
84. Tip of the Day: If you receive a bounced check, require all future
payments be made only with a cahier’s check or money order.
85. Tip of the Day: Treating your tenants as important customers can be
the best decision you ever make.
86. Tip of the Day: When working with a tenant concern or complaint, ask
yourself how you would want to be treated.
87. Tip of the Day: One of the biggest mistakes rental housing owners
make is that they are unwilling to maintain or upgrade their rental unit
for the current tenant. Don’t wait until the tenant moves out.
88. Tip of the Day: By quickly and professionally addressing
tenant’s problems, you will improve your tenant relations.
89. Tip of the Day: Good tenants actually want and appreciate fair and
reasonable policies and rules.
90. Tip of the Day: Unless you agreed for the lease agreement to go to a
month to month agreement, it will expire on the date specified. If you
want your tenant to stay, approach the tenant at least 60 days prior to
the lease expiration asking the tenant to sign another lease (effective
when the current one expires).
91. Tip of the Day: If a tenant moves out, you will incur turnover costs
for maintenance and painting plus you’ll lose some rent. So why
not make a few upgrades to the rental unit a couple months before the
tenant’s lease expires, just as a reminder that you care about the
tenant to entice the tenant to stay.
92. Tip of the Day: Do not let a tenant move in who can not pay you the
1st month rent and security deposit.
93. Tip of the Day: Make it a priority to keep your bookkeeping in
order; this will help at tax time.
94. Tip of the Day: A well-written stipulation agreement when the tenant
doesn’t pay rent on time could resolve the issue that won’t
cost you the amount of an unlawful detainer.
95. Tip of the Day: By updating your floor covering and using a little
design flair, you can have that “Wow” when you show a unit
and make the landlord down the street wonder why you are full and he has
vacancies. Submitted By: Contract Furnishings Mart
96. Tip of the Day: Always use a Crime Free/Drug Free Housing
97. Tip of the Day: If you are aware of an unsupervised child at your
rental property, immediately take the child home to the parents. If the
problem happens again, send a letter to the tenant stating the
seriousness of the matter. If the notice isn’t effective, call the
police or social services while advising your tenant in writing that an
eviction may be warranted.
98. Tip of the Day: Use an attorney to handle your evictions. They know
the rules regarding filing and serving eviction actions. The smallest
mistake can delay or cause you to lose the case and your right to
collect legal fees.
99. Tip of the Day: In a tax emergency, would you be ready?
Well–organized records not only help you prepare your tax return,
they also help you answer questions if your return is selected for
examination or prepare a response if you are billed for additional
100. Tip of the Day: You may recognize mold by: Sight – Are the
walls and ceiling discolored, or do they show signs of mold growth or
water damage? Smell – Do you smell a bad odor, such as a musty,
earthy smell or foul stench?
101. Tip of the Day: Make sure your interest rate will allow for a
positive cash flow when you rent the property. While you will hopefully
make equity over time, cash flow is often a make or break
102. Tip of the Day: Housing that looks cared for will not only attract
good tenants – it will also discourage problem tenants.
Maintaining housing standards is important to the public welfare and it
protects against lost property values.
103. Tip of the Day: Landlords are sometimes confused over how much
right they have to turn down applicants. Fair Housing Laws are designed
to protect the way applicants are screened and to make sure all
applicants feel equally invited to apply. Nothing in the law forbids you
from setting fair screening guidelines and applying them to all
applicants. RHA recommends a landlord run a credit report, plus a
criminal and civil record background check.
104. Tip of the Day: A key to active management of your property is
demonstrating your commitment to your rental agreement and to
landlord/tenant law compliance. Once you set your rules, enforce
105. Tip of the Day: As a landlord meet, your responsibilities and hold
your tenants accountable for meeting theirs. Lease agreements typically
spell out various responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant.
Also Washington State Landlord Tenant Laws clearly defines each
106. Tip of the Day: A cornerstone of active management is the regular
property inspection. Unless you inspect, you can’t be sure you are
meeting your responsibility to provide safe and habitable housing. Set
an inspection schedule and follow it, at a minimum once a year.
107. Tip of the Day: Landlords of single-family residential housing
usually don’t hear of dangerous or damaging activity on their
property until neighbors have contacted the police. Quite often the
situation could have been prevented if the landlord and area neighbors
had established a relationship. Get the names and phone numbers of the
neighbors and check in periodically.
108. Tip of the Day: Are you having a tough time finding qualified
tenants? Modest upgrades to your property could be the best return on
your investment to attract the first class tenant you have been renting
to in the past.
109. Tip of the Day: The advantages of going smoke-free includes:
reducing fire risk, eliminating the turnover costs associated with smoke
damage, protecting the resale value of your property and creating a
safer and healthier environment for residents.
110. Tip of the Day: Educate yourself about being a rental property
owner. A lot of people buy property and then begin the education
111. Tip of the Day: As soon as you decide you are going to own rental
property - read books, take seminars, learn State, County and City
laws,- including Fair Housing Laws, understand the process of renting
and vacating a unit – how to screen potential tenants, fill out
the lease agreement, inspection check list, notices, etc. The Rental
Housing Association of Puget Sound is here to provide you with the tools
you need to be successful in the rental housing industry.
112. Tip of the Day: Only 24% of Realtors consider commercial or income
generating properties their primary specialty. A trustworthy, informed
Realtor can make all the difference between a positive and negative
113. Tip of the Day: It is best to select an agent who is familiar with
the area(s) in which you are looking to buy your rental property in. Any
agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) but only a well
informed Realtor can bring the insight and perspective needed to make a
decision as important as buying a rental property.
114. Tip of the Day: When you find a property you might be interested
in, get your insurance agent involved. Your agent can pull a report on
the property to see if any types of insurance claims have been
presented. It is important for you to know if the property has had a
claim for flooding, fire damage, etc. Your agent will also be able to
tell you if the property is a high insurance risk and therefore a higher
115. Tip of the Day: A good way to motivate tenants during the move-out
process is to send a reminder that they will receive the full return of
their security deposit if they leave the rental unit in clean condition,
with no damage beyond ordinary wear and tear. Include a check list so
that they can see exactly what needs to be done to get their money
116. Tip of the Day: When a tenant gives you a verbal notice about
moving out, go ahead and honor the date but still ask the tenant to send
the notice in writing. If you don’t have it in writing,
opportunity for misunderstanding may arise.
117. Tip of the Day: Encourage tenants to earn the return of their full
security deposit. Do a walk through of the property prior to move out to
help the tenant understand what is required of them.
118. Tip of the Day: Understand ordinary wear and tear versus actual
damage to the property. Damage to the property: crayon marks on walls,
large holes in walls or doors, dirty or scuffed painted walls, carpet
stained, bent or missing blinds. Ordinary wear and tear: faded, peeling
or cracked paint, carpet worn that is from normal use, a few small tack
or nail holes, minor marks on the walls or door.
119. Tip of the Day: If you make deductions from the security deposit,
be sure that your paperwork is accurate and detailed. Indicate the
specific item damaged, type and extent of damage, what type of repair
120. Tip of the Day: One of the most common reasons that dissatisfied
tenants leave a rental property is the failure of the rental owner to
respond to the tenant’s basic requests for maintenance.
121. Tip of the Day: Take a proactive approach to maintenance. At least
once a year, conduct an annual rental unit safety inspection
122. Tip of the Day: Your tenant has a responsibility to maintain the
premises in a clean and sanitary manner and to properly use the premises
in a usual and customary fashion.
123. Tip of the Day: Always be on the property and provide access to the
unit for contractors.
124. Tip of the Day: Always inspect and test the smoke detector during
every inspection of the property.
125. Tip of the Day: Make sure to treat all tenants fairly. If you want
to check ID cards at the time of signing the lease or applying,
that’s fine, but do it for all potential tenants.
126. Tip of the Day: Be sure to interview and select a qualified
insurance broker or agent who understands rental housing and your unique
127. Tip of the Day: Umbrella coverage is a very cost-effective way to
decrease your liability exposure.
128. Tip of the Day: Keep a written log of your mileage when you go to
your rental property include the odometer reading in the log.
129. Tip of the Day: Be the sort of landlord that your tenant can
contact with problems and pay attention to their complaints. Sometimes
quick action on small problems can prevent huge property damage in the
future, i.e. a leaky faucet could be a clue to larger plumbing
130. Tip of the Day: Don’t forget the value of non-rent revenue
such as laundry machines, storage, parking, furnished rentals.
131. Tip of the Day: In today’s rental market, one of the most
effective strategies to keep your rental units occupied with stable,
paying tenants is to allow pets.
132. Tip of the Day: Here are some ways to increase cash flow in
today’s economy: ask your tenant to pay for utilities, appeal your
property taxes, and reduce turnover.
133. Tip of the Day: If you have a vacancy be readily available to show
134. Tip of the Day: Before letting a prospective tenant into the
rental, view their proof of identification. If you are by yourself, call
your home answering machine with the information on the identification
and the date and time as a security precaution.
135. Tip of the Day: Always screen anyone over 18 years of age who will
be living in the rental.
136. Tip of the Day: You must conduct a prompt investigation into any
complaint regarding tenant v. tenant harassment. If harassment did occur
you must follow up with some type of action i.e. 10 day notice to comply
with the rules, eviction, etc.
137. Tip of the Day: If you allow residents to own their own appliances,
do you have in your lease: “Lessee owns XXX, brand name XXX, model
number XXX which will be used on the premises. Lessee is responsible for
all maintenance and repair of the machine.”
138. Tip of the Day: When showing your rental turn on all the lights and
open all the drapes letting natural light in.
139. Tip of the Day: Buy newer buildings to keep your insurance rate
lower. Sprinkler equipped buildings have the lowest rates of all.
Submitted by: Stacey Scott Odem, Madison Avenue Insurance Group
140. Tip of the Day: When working in a vacant rental keep the doors
locked. You do not want someone being able to just walk in.
141. Tip of the Day: Be consistent, if you are issuing 3 Day Pay Rent
notices, issue them to ALL tenants who owe rent.
142. Tip of the Day: If you are issuing a notice. Knock on the door, if
there is no answer, tack or tape the notice in a visible place then mail
the notice by regular mail.
143. Tip of the Day: Use the same color of paint in all of your rentals.
It makes touch ups easier and turnover painting quicker.
144. Tip of the Day: Take pictures of your unit at the time of the walk
through, before your tenant moves in and after your tenant moves
145. Tip of the Day: Take very precise notes of the unit’s
condition during the walk through. Avoid using words such as good, poor,
excellent as they are subjective. Use descriptive phrases such as
“1 inch black mark on upper right side of kitchen sink”,
146. Tip of the Day: Always contact your applicant’s previous
landlord in addition to their current one. They will be more forthcoming
of problem tenants as they are not worrying about getting them out of
147. Tip of the Day: If you are purchasing a property that already has a
tenant living in it, make sure to get all of the required documentation:
leases, inspection reports, move-in/out checklists, etc. Get a copy of
the rent roll and make sure deposits are transferred along with the
property. Understand that any non-refundable fee paid to the previous
owner will not be carried over. Figure that into your costs.
148. Tip of the Day: When you take ownership of a new property that
already has a tenant, schedule a walk-through with them to inspect the
place. Give them all of the required documentation (mold information,
lead paint pamphlet and disclosure, etc.).
149. Tip of the Day: Be available to your tenant. If you are going to be
unavailable, make sure they have another contact person in case of
150. Tip of the Day: If you deny an applicant tenancy after running a
credit check on them, make sure to issue them an Adverse Action Notice.
This is only required if you pull a consumer report, not if they just
turned in an application.
151. Tip of the Day: Keep Your Expectations Reasonable - Have the goal
of positive cash flow, but don’t expect to be retiring soon. If
you keep your expectations in check, you won’t be tempted to raise
rents unreasonably and push out good tenants.
152. Tip of the Day: Be demanding. Don’t let tenants fall more
than two weeks behind in the rent, because many who fall behind will
never be able to catch up.
153. Tip of the Day: Resolve disputes. Try to resolve disputes with your
tenants without lawyers and lawsuits. If you have a conflict with a
tenant over rent, repairs, your access to the rental unit, noise, or
some other issue that doesn’t immediately warrant an eviction,
meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally.
If that doesn’t work, consider mediation by a neutral third party
through the King County Resolution Center.
154. Tip of the Day: The best way to prevent problems is to put
everything in writing. Obviously you want to keep a copy of the rental
application, the lease, inspection walk through checklist, rental
agreement, termination notice and the security deposit check for each
tenant. Any of these can be used in court if needed to support your side
of a case.
155. Tip of the Day: If you allow a tenant to provide their own
appliances, it is best to make sure that they have renters insurance and
that they sign a statement of responsibility for any damage caused by
their appliance use.
156. Tip of the Day: When meeting someone at a property for a tour,
arrive at least 15 minutes early to do some quick curb appeal extras.
Open windows and flushing toilets can help give a vacant unit a fresher
feel to a prospective tenant.
157. Tip of the Day: Consistent and congruent communication will help
improve landlord/tenant relations, because everyone understands the
expectations. It is when exceptions are made periodically that tenants
feel like “If I don’t ask I won’t get” and
landlords feel like “This tenant is always asking for
158. Tip of the Day: When a tenant moves out you must send the
“Statement of Deposit Refund” and any money owed to the
tenant within 14 days of your regaining possession of the property.
159. Tip of the Day: When purchasing a new property, that has a tenant
in place ask to see all documentation on the tenant. Make sure that
“No changes can be made to the lease in place during the sale
160. Tip of the Day: When purchasing a new property, with a current
tenant, make sure that you have a properly completed inspection report
or you will not be able to hold or keep the deposits, or charge for
damages upon move-out.
161. Tip of the Day: When renting to people that are roommates, make
sure that all parties understand they are each 100% liable for the whole
162. Tip of the Day: When a tenant wants to help find a new renter for
you make sure you approve any steps that they are taking. Remember you
have a lot of risk when allowing anyone to act on your behalf if they
violate Fair Housing Law or get hurt.
163. Tip of the Day: When returning a deposit, the most common procedure
is to issue one check made payable to all parties named in the lease. It
is the tenants responsibility to get together to sign the check and
divide the proceeds.
164. Tip of the Day: When dealing with pet odor in a move-out, there are
products that will neutralize the enzyme that causes the odor. Simple
cleaning and deodorizing will not last as long as your next rental.
165. Tip of the Day: When a home has a strong odor, remove the source of
the odor and clean all surfaces that may hold it. If this is not enough
to cure the problem, you may want to use an ozone machine.
166. Tip of the Day: When prepping walls for paint that have soot and
nicotine damage, you need to use a cleaning product like
“TSP”(tri sodium phosphate) to wash the walls and then you a
primer to seal them. This can all be billed as damage even though paint
may be “wear & tear”.
167. Tip of the Day: Fair Housing Law protects people that have a need
for a service animal. If the tenant or prospect provides the proper
documentation you are not allowed to deny to rent or charge a pet
deposit regardless of your pet policy.
168. Tip of the Day: When a person terminates a lease early the Landlord
is still able to bill rent and possibly costs incurred to re-rent if
they follow proper procedures as per RCW 59.18.310.
169. Tip of the Day: When a tenant owes you rent and wants to make a
payment arrangement, and they can provide you with a reasonable
explanation of how they can pay in the future, consider using a
170. Tip of the Day: When a tenant leaves owing you money, you should
consider working out a payment arrangement and then have them sign a
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