VOLUME VINote from the EditorIn a perfect world, when a tenant moves out of a rental, the Realtor already has another client lined up to move in. In the real world, landlords should be ready for anything when a tenant leaves. Some repairs and upgrades are bound to happen over time (i.e., aging roof, windows wearing down, electricity problems) while others could’ve been avoided (i.e., pet violations, pests and vermin, mold, wall and floor damage).

There’s a reason third-party inspection companies are highly recommended by Go4Rent. These organizations can come in and see what is the fault of the tenant, what is the fault of the owner and who should be responsible for paying what. If you’re not sure of all the things to look for during a walk-through and why a third-party inspector could help, check out “Determining Inspections and Violations.”

They can examine everything from hoarder tenants to long-term upgrades, making the rental that much more appealing to the next person. Having a go-to contract list can help property owners be a step ahead of the rest with a lineup to resolve any repair (and upgrade) issues needed.

Speaking of upgrades, sometimes renters are just looking for the best way to maximize space, including in the kitchen. That’s why this month’s “Quick Take” is a must-read. Are old fads the “new” home office? Read “Are Breakfast Nooks Practical In Today’s Homes?” to find out.

But what happens when that rental that a landlord needs to fix up is a foreclosed home—with someone still living there? That’s an added layer of responsibility, not only to make sure that the place is in working order but also to make sure that the current tenant and new landlord can have a healthy business relationship. Are you not sure what to do in that situation? Read “Foreclosures and Existing Tenants” for assistance.

It may be easier to find a new tenant instead of dealing with one that’s already there. But who knows? You may like those tenants already and hope they’ll hang around another year or two. If not, be careful with how you vet new tenants. As mentioned in “Social Media Vetting From Landlords: Is It Ethical?,” you may find yourself in hot water for taking your renter sleuthing a little too far. Organize the best way to legally vet tenants with a Tenant Selection Criteria list, along with following tips from the “5 Ways Realtors Can Secure Lease Listings.”

But let’s say a landlord or Realtor found a potential candidate already. The problem is you two can’t effectively communicate. Is it OK to bypass a tenant who doesn’t speak your primary language? Read “Correcting Miscommunications: Language Barriers With Tenants and Landlords” to learn how to handle this communication obstacle. In addition to inspectors, this is yet another situation in which third parties can really help both parties. While dressing the part and arriving in a timely manner are a given with prospective clients, effective and clear communication will always be at the top of the list—no matter the language.

Last but not least, for Realtors who are feeling overwhelmed by getting organized with prospective renters, perhaps “16 Tech Tools in the Realtor Toolbox” can improve the process. Which of these tools do you already have? Which ones would make life a lot easier? Hopefully, a few of these will. In our latest “Conversation In Real Estate” podcast with Cathy Romano, she has a few ideas of how to make a Realtor’s life easier as well. Make sure to check our site for the full podcast interview too!

We hope this issue answers questions you may already have and some you didn’t even know to ask. Is there a topic you’d like us to talk about? Contact me at shamontiel.vaughn@go4rent.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Shamontiel L. Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief
About Shamontiel:Shamontiel L. Vaughn has been in the publishing industry for 17 years as a newspaper reporter, a web editor, social media specialist and a print editor. Her areas of expertise include K-12 and adult education textbooks; local and nationwide news; and health news. She's also completed approximately 235 interviews in a variety of areas, including business management; entertainment; internet technology; law (entertainment, business and real estate); nursing; and travel. Some of her bylines can be found in the Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune and CBS Chicago.

The unapologetic dog lover also owned two prior dogs (German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever mix) before becoming a two-year dog walker (510 walks with 89 different dogs) and adopting a third dog of her own on Juneteenth 2021: a Hound mix named Junee. When she's not writing, editing or playing with her dog, she can usually be found scoping out vegetarian and Thai restaurants, daydreaming at a beach, or practicing her next Toastmasters speech.

Repairs: Who Pays for What?

For a landlord, a rental property is an uphill battle against mishaps, calamities, the hands of time and sometimes nature itself. To guard their investment, property owners must plan ahead, maneuver tactfully and sometimes be prepared to cut their losses.


Can Pet-Friendly Homes Bring Better Tenants?

“Do you have a pet-friendly policy?” It’s a common question that landlords receive before attempting to rent a single-family home.


Tenant Modifications That Make a Happy Home

Although some modifications cannot be considered such as replacing all the flooring or repainting the entire home, allowing minor modifications helps tenants feel like a rental property is indeed “home."


Rekey for Tenant Safety

Each state will exhibit different property code requirements for rekeying rentals. This is partially due to the demographics and population needs of individual landlords and tenants.


How To Protect Yourself From Marginal Applicants

Property managers and landlords are often faced with uncomfortable choices: to rent to the well-meaning but credit-challenged tenants or wait until the ideal candidates pop up.