Henderson and Las Vegas Residential Property Management Articles

Hand trucks with household and kitchen appliances in warehouse

In previous articles, we discussed the importance of having a clean and maintained property to attract a qualified tenant. In addition, what should you include to help maximize your rent and make your rental attractive?

Some landlord’s don’t want to add anything more than the basic necessities, working to limit expenses. And that is understandable. Owning a rental property is about generating rent income and cost prevention. Nonetheless, there are some items that add value and make a property attractive to qualified tenants, allowing it to rent quicker. Those items are appliances.

When it comes to appliances, most tenants typically need them. Granted, some may have their own refrigerator, washer or dryer. However, most don’t typically carry those around. Therefore, it is best to have a property equipped with them. A refrigerator, range/oven, microwave/vent hood, dishwasher, washer and dryer are typical appliances that are expected and can lead to the property leasing faster at a competitive rent.

When you purchase an investment property, you may notice that the range/oven, microwave and dishwasher are already in, however, the refrigerator, washer and dryer are not. What can you do? You may be able to wait on those until you find a qualified tenant. If a tenant happens to have their own and wishes to use them, you can choose to allow that. Otherwise, be prepared to place an order at your local home improvement store. Don’t forget to allow time for delivery so that the appliances can get in on time. Not having them on the day the tenants take possession can postpone a move in and/or reduce your rent income, adding cost, lost rent and a stressful situation. Since most tenants will request them, you may choose to get ahead of the curve.

Be a proactive landlord. View your rental property as an investment rather than a quick buck to be made. Have the essentials to make a rental property successful and profitable.

A single family home illustrated

Is real estate a good investment? With many seasoned investors looking for a place to invest their money, real estate has always been at the top of the board. Or perhaps it’s a real estate enthusiast, first time potential investor looking at their options. The simple answer is: As with any investment, there are variables and there are risks. In this article, we’ll discuss residential rental investments.

Why do many investors decide on residential rentals?

For some, it’s where they will get the most return for their investment. If an investor has cash saved, they may realize that keeping it in a savings account or even higher yield CD (certificate of deposit) will only give them a limited return. However, investing that into a rental property may generate considerably more income and the investment has the potential for appreciation and profit. As a result, a rental property looks appealing.

What are the risks?

Of course, the risks have to be evaluated as well. Many rental owners put down minimal down payments and as a result, end up with a higher mortgage payment and PMI (private mortgage insurance). As a result, the rent they generate may not cover the monthly expenses, which would also include taxes, insurance and possibly HOA dues. As a result, they may be unprepared to cover the difference. A 20 or 25% down payment can eliminate PMI insurance and lower the monthly mortgage payment as well. Of course, in the end, it is best to confer with a property manager to see what rent potential a property has to be better prepared to absorb the costs.

Finding the right property

The type of property will also determine the profitability/cash flow of a property. For example, an older property may have a number of components nearing the end of their life expectancy. HVAC systems, hot water heaters, roofing and appliances can add a significant price tag to the operation of a rental property. Of course, once replaced, those items can last for many years. However, can an investor absorb those expenses since they will be real, cash expenses, even if the property is priced to reflect updates needed? On the other hand, a newer – or brand new – property may ask a higher purchase price. However, there may be limited maintenance expenses in the first few years of operation. These are things to consider when embarking on a purchase.

Be prepared for vacancies

Finally, as an investor of rental property, there will be times when a vacancy occurs and repairs have to be made. As a result, not only will there will be a lack of income but repairs that will cost money. Is this something that you will be able to absorb? Will you be able to save enough each month when generating income to cover those periods of time? Those are difficult but necessary questions to ask yourself. Additionally, market conditions fluctuate and real estate and rental values change. Some rental property owners have had to keep their rental properties for an extended period of time because of that, waiting for values to rebuild perhaps to sell their investment. Other long term investors, who had no plans of selling, had to be patient to see rental rates rise.

When planned correctly, a rental property can be a great investment – and has been for countless property owners. However, calculating the cost and type of investment is an integral part before embarking on being a rental property owner.

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 wonder 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, 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

Tenant handshaking after renting a home

If your a rental property owner, you know all too well the importance of finding a quality tenant for your property. A well qualified tenant will take care of your home and pay their rent on time – ideal qualities for a landlord! But how can you find a tenant like that? And what should you do to ensure a successful tenancy? Here are 3 ways!

1. Be patient. While most landlords want little to no vacancy understandably, patience is sometimes necessary in order to find a qualified tenant. Feeling rushed to fill a vacancy can lead to accepting a tenant who may not be very qualified and sacrificing on qualifications, such as credit and rental history. While limited vacancy is preferred, a well qualified tenant can lead to a successful investment.

2. Screening. Screening is an important step to find a qualified tenant. Why? Because proper screening can shed light on a prospective tenants history of paying bills, upkeep of homes they have rented before, evictions and paying their rent on time. This history can provide you with crucial information to see how a prospective tenant, who is interested in living in your home, will treat you and your home. Finding a tenant who has a solid history of maintaining homes, paying their rent on time and keeping up with other obligations is a good indicator of what to expect. On the other hand, if a tenant has poor credit, unpaid bills, evictions and late rent payments , what will motivate them to now pay you rent on time? What will motivate them to upkeep your home? These are important factors to consider.

3. Sign a lease! Believe it or not, many properties do not have executed leases. In order to have a successful tenancy, a lease will go along way. A lease will spell out your expectations to a tenant, which can include the rental amount, maintenance handling, non payment of rent procedures and other pertinent details. This way, there won’t be any surprises should situations arise at the home.

So, find a great tenant for your property by being a proactive landlord.