Henderson and Las Vegas Residential Property Management Articles

Being a mediator can be one of the most challenging aspects of property management. Avoiding disagreements is key to good management.

Running a property management company is not the easiest job out there. Yes, there are a number of moving pieces. For those familiar with property management, you know all too well that when managing a house, your involved in the advertising and leasing process but also the day to day management – the inspections, the unexpected maintenance, HOA violations, insurance claims, bookkeeping and accounting. There is a lot to do.

The challenge

But you also have to be a mediator – and that’s challenging at times. Figuring out who’s responsible for a repair, for example. Is it the owner or tenant? Addressing disputes is perhaps the most challenging aspect of being a property manager and requires know how. Opinions from vendors are necessary. What did they observe? In their professional opinion, do they believe wear and tear contributed to an issue – or was it neglect. What condition was the item in question before? And this is where it can get tricky at times.

How does a property manager or Landlord handle this?

It takes skill and many times reasonableness.

Since property managers are not technicians or contractors, the opinion of a vendor is important. As a homeowner with a rental property, detailed reports are very helpful. A vendor can many times evaluate the age of an item and determine if the wear and tear was the leading cause of failure. For example, if, as a Landlord, you get a call that the dishwasher is leaking, you might wander if its a pump, seal or something else. A qualified repairman can provide you with a report addressing the specifics – was it a seal on a 15 year old dishwasher? Was it a newly dented door? Those are key details to determine if a Landlord will pay for the repair of if it was caused by a tenant – perhaps due to an accident – and become their responsibility. The same can be applied to air conditioning issues, landscape problems, blinds, flooring issues, other appliances, etc.

While this may seem like a simple concept and full of logic, many times, those details are not provided. And so, this leads to disputes and hard feelings between tenant and Landlord. So, take the extra step. It might require talking with vendors to get those details documented. Documentation is key. And remember, pictures are worth a thousand words. If you plan on assessing a charge, back it up.

This article discusses the eviction process generally and does not include COVID-19 directives. For details related to COVID-19 directives, visit What You Need to Know About Owning a Rental Property During COVID-19

Nevada has long been known as a state where evictions can be completed relatively quickly. In the last couple of years, however, certain provisions changed some. Nonetheless, the eviction process is still shorter and less complicated than other states.

For non payment of rent, for example, it all starts with a 7 day notice to pay rent or quit, which effectively puts a tenant on notice that rent is due. This step leads to a filing for an eviction with the courts which in turn leads to a constable evicting a tenant from the property. On average, the entire process can take about 30 days.

Of course, there are certain things that can prolong the process and call for additional court appearances. For example, a tenant may file a response with the court. They may object to the eviction for various reasons. That in turn will prolong the process and the case will need to be heard by a judge.

So, what is good practice to avoid complications with evictions?

1. Have a proper lease agreement. A lease that is in accordance with Nevada law will stipulate the requirements of leasing the home. This in turn will prove beneficial when having to deal with an eviction.

2. Ensure that as a landlord, your in compliance with Nevada law as well. Ensuring your property is in habitable condition, for example, can prevent an eviction all together. It is important to realize that as a landlord, you have obligations related to the property also that that can contribute to an eviction.

3. Don’t take an eviction into your own hands. Follow the proper procedure in accordance with Nevada law and know that you cannot complete an eviction on your own.

By having a maintained property, well written lease that complies with Nevada law and a good relationship with your tenants, many evictions can be avoided all together.

An effective property manager is a risk manager for your most valuable investment

What is a property manager? Is it:

1. Someone who collects rent?

2. Someone who leases your home?

3. Someone who manages your rental property?

Anyone of the above answers is correct, however, all three combined really describe what the job description of a property manager involve. Even more so, a property manager can be described as your risk manager for a rental property. How so?

Property managers are usually hired because a property owner either doesn’t have time, know how or resources to effectively manage their property. So, they hire a property manager. But, not all property managers are created equal. Not all are effective risk managers – minimizing the risk that exists in the property management world. For example, not all property managers screen tenants thoroughly. What can this mean? An unqualified tenant can lead to unpaid rent, property damage and evictions. Proper risk management will mean evaluating a tenants qualifications and looking after the owners interests, advising the owner of the risks and looking for a qualified tenant.

Even after a qualified tenant is found, risk management continues. For example, move in and move out walk through inspections allow you to hold a tenant responsible for damages that may have occurred. Periodic property inspections help gauge how a property is being maintained during a tenancy and action can be taken for issues or problems, even if it is normal wear and tear since small problems can become costly ones without proper oversight. And effective bookkeeping and accounting can keep rent payments flowing on time without any issues.

It is clear to see that a property manager is more than a rent collector or a leasing agent. They are an integral part of your most costly investment. So, it is best to choose wisely and to look for more than the least expensive one. It is best to have a property manager that has the skills and expertise to keep your investment occupied, maintained and preserved.

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management

Las Vegas, Henderson Property Management

It almost feels like summer in mid spring. Temperatures are soaring and everyone is feeling the effect! What should you know as we deal with an early heat pattern?

1. Drink plenty of water! Since we just recently came out of a cool season, we may not be accustomed to drinking a lot. However, this is important now more than ever before. Dehydration and heat stroke can result without having plenty of fluids inside. Carry water with you. Cars often times get much hotter than the temperatures outside, so perhaps keep a cooler handy with ice packs and bottled water.

2. Take care of your pets! If your pets tend to stay outside a lot, make sure they also have plenty of water and shelter. Keep a covered area or dog house available for them to take shelter. In extreme temperatures it would also be advisable to limit your pets outdoor activity. Pets can also get dehydrated and succumb to heat.

3. Ensure your landscaping is getting adequate water. During spring, watering restriction only allow you to water your plants 3 times a week. Make sure that your sprinkler system is set up to water during your assigned days. Additionally, ensure that all of your drippers and sprinklers are working property. Replace any that are not. If you notice some plants or grass still struggling, hand watering is best to stay compliant with watering restrictions.

Stay safe and stay cool!

This time of the year, with warmer weather and additional rain, weeds are taking root!  As you drive through the valley, you may notice yards overtaken by them.  Grass that has turned into crabgrass with many bare areas due to weeds.  Rock landscaping engulfed with them.  What can you do to effectively keep them at bay?

With desert landscaping, where no grass is present, the goal is to do regular landscape maintenance.  30 minutes of weed pulling  per week can go a long way!  Always be sure to wear gloves since some weeds have small thorns that can give you a run for your money.  For stubborn weeds that like to spread, you can invest in a small bottle of weed killer that kills dandelions and clover.  Of course, do your research as to choose the right one.  Always wear protection, such as gloves, mask and safety glasses when applying it.

When it comes to grass, the goal is to maintain the grass well.  A thick lawn will repel weeds on its own – not allowing them to take root very easily.  However, if you have a few weeds, it is best to simply pull them.  For weeds that take over a lawn, such as crab grass or other type of grass weeds, you may need to invest in a weed killer that is designated for your specific grass – Bermuda, fescue or something else.  And be sure to figure out what kind of weeds you have since weed killer sprays are usually designed for specific types.  A general grass weed killer may treat most.  However, for some, you will need something different.  A nursery or home improvement store can offer suggestions.

So, keep your yard looking clean and weed free.  Your home will be presentable and your HOA will thank you.

It’s no surprise that emergency measures have been implemented across many industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including real estate. As a rental property owner, what should you know so you can keep yourself compliant? Here are 3 top things!

1. Rent – Some tenants may not be able to make their rent payments. If so, under current emergency mandates, you cannot issue a non payment notice (7 day pay or quit), file an eviction or charge late fees. The goal is to prevent disruption in the rental market and have mounting evictions.

Landlords cannot and should not change the locks or put notices on their tenants’ doors or mailboxes to scare them into moving out.

What can you do? You have two options: Forgive some or all of the rent, depending on your tenant’s circumstances. Forgiveness is not obligatory under the new mandates. Or you can defer some or all of the rent, making it due later on. A payment plan can be initiated to collect the deferred rent.  The key is communication by both tenant and landlord.

2. Home maintenance – Even though rent may be suspended, the home must still be maintained properly. Homeowners are required to address habitability and other maintenance related issues.

3. Non compliance of lease by tenant – If a tenant poses a danger to other tenants or the public, is engaging in criminal activity or is damaging the property, eviction proceedings may move forward.

It is highly important to keep up to date on new directives issued by the State of Nevada Governor’s office or extensions to previously issued ones.

Together, we can make this situation easier by working together. Nicklin is doing its part to minimize the impact for both tenants and homeowners and we will continue to keep our clients well informed of any new changes.  Be sure to visit our up to date COVID-19 response for any changes or updates along with helpful resources for rent payment.