Answers to your common questions
Do you collect first and last month’s rent?
The most common move-in costs are:
- the Security Deposit;
- the first month's rent.
While you can collect first and last month’s rent, TEC prefers to collect the first month's rent plus a security deposit as a security deposit can be used for any owner costs while a last month rent can only be used for rent. The security deposit is refundable and is generally equal to approximately one month's rent and held in a Trust Account as mandated by law.
As well as first month's rent, TEC requires a non-refundable Pet Fee, if pets are applicable to the lease, sufficient to cover any damages or maintenance performed or required due to pets during tenancy. Additionally, TEC properties are professionally cleaned between each tenant.
How am I protected if the tenant damages the property?
A security deposit is taken at move-in in an effort to minimize the risk of tenant damage. Tenants who pass our screening criteria generally do not create any damages over the amount of the security deposit. Our screening process checks criminal, credit and eviction records as well as current and previous employment and former landlords/owners.
Should the tenants vacate the property owing more than is covered by the security deposit, the tenant will be billed. If the tenant does not pay, the account will be turned over to a collection agency.
How will you find tenants for my house? How long will it take?
Your property will be advertised on our website, as well as several other local and national third party websites. Homes are also posted to Craigslist regularly--which TEC views as a very effective marketing tool. A Property Information Sheet will be prepared for your property with all the necessary information and pictures. This information is given to anyone who sees the property, and is provided to interested parties.
We are in frequent contact with many real estate agents in the Triangle area who may have interested clients as well. Showings are typically scheduled by appointment during the week and weekends. Open Houses are held as necessary.
Vacancies generally last about two to four weeks from the time of availability. However, TEC takes great pride in its “hands on” approach to Marketing and locating a responsible tenant in a timely manner, often within a few short weeks from the time a property comes to market for rent. A property is considered available as soon as we receive notice from the existing tenant and permission from the owner to re-rent.
Q: Can I say that I do not want any pets or smokers in the house? How about children?
Pet owners are not a protected class. However, by eliminating them you are probably eliminating 75% of the people in the market for a rental house. Being open to pets does make your property available to more potential renters. TEC requires additional Pet Fees for pets ranging from $250.00 to $500.00. However, if you feel very strongly about this issue, TEC will agree not to show your property to anyone with a pet.
All of our properties prohibit smoking, in the interest of protecting your investment, as well as the health of the neighborhood.
Children come under the protected class of "familial status" and it is not possible to discriminate in this way. Our application forms do not ask number or ages of any children.
What happens if the tenant does not pay rent on time?
The rent is due on the first of each month and considered late after the fifth. More than 95% of the tenants pay their rent by the fifth of the month. If not paid by the eighth of the month, TEC will take the first step in the eviction process, which is to send to the tenant a "72 Hour Notice" to pay the rent or vacate.
If rent has not been paid by the end of the notice period, TEC would notify the owner and file at the courthouse for a FED (eviction) hearing, which will be within ten days.
What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
The tenant is responsible for the rent for the term of the lease. If they are forced or choose to leave prior to the termination date, they will be charged for the rent until the property is re-rented to acceptable persons under the same terms and conditions of the original lease. The tenant is also responsible for the cost of re-renting the property and the advertising cost.
The owner and TEC are responsible for attempting to re-rent the property as soon as possible in order to minimize the tenant's costs.
What needs to be done to my house before it is ready for rent?
The better the condition of a home, the better quality tenant that it will attract. Your home must be left in a professionally cleaned condition. TEC prefers to arrange this cleaning to ensure that the cleaning guidelines are strictly followed. The carpets must be freshly cleaned and all debris and personal belonging removed from the house. It is not always necessary to perform a full re-paint to a residence, but you should consider painting any room that has dirty or marred walls. A neutral color is best. TEC will be happy to discuss any necessary repairs or painting with you. Neutral window coverings such as blinds should be left, but not curtains that match a particular bedspread or couch. Tenants moving into a rental property do expect some sort of window coverings to be provided for privacy and safety.
As TEC maintains high standards for the condition of the lawn at each property, the tenants are typically required to maintain the yard in the condition it is provided to them during the term of the lease. Therefore, the yard should be freshly mowed, weeded, trimmed and the leaves and debris removed.
You may also choose to use TEC to maintain your lawn if you so desire. This charge can be passed on to the tenant and can benefit you when it comes to remarketing the property for rent as the lawn stays in good shape throughout the year.
When do I get my money each month?
The rents are due on the first of the month and late after the fifth. The rental funds must have cleared their banks before TEC can begin disbursing funds and statements provided to owners. Your contract will have a detailed date that your rents will be disbursed to you each month. The statement will summarize all activity on the account for that month.
Who does the repairs on the properties you manage? Can I use my own contractors?
TEC utilizes our in-house Edwards Property Maintenance team as well as outside contractors depending on the type of repairs and maintenance required. Many of our contractors and vendors have a long-standing relationship with our company and are available 24 hours a day for emergencies. They work at competitive rates and are licensed and bonded as appropriate. Owners are billed for the amount invoiced plus a minimal 10% fee for coordination and supervision of such work.
Will I get called in the middle of the night with emergencies?
TEC will handle all emergency and non-emergency repairs. Our team rotates responsibility for incoming emergency calls. You would never be called in the middle of the night.