It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re renting out a Las Vegas property. Whether you’re new to being a landlord or an experienced investor who rents out an entire portfolio of homes, mistakes can be expensive. Worse – they can make you rethink whether you should be investing in real estate at all.
While minor mistakes are easy enough to recover from, those large oversights can compromise your cash flow, your return on investment (ROI), and even your reputation as a landlord.
Working with a professional Las Vegas property management company will reduce the likelihood of oversights and errors.
Here are some of the most common oversights we see landlords struggle to overcome, and how we can help prevent them.
Oversights with Vacancy and Pricing
Vacancy is expensive, and you don’t want to leave your home unoccupied on the Las Vegas rental market for long periods. Limit vacancy times with excellent marketing, accurate pricing, and a responsive showing and application process.
You want to provide a high-quality rental home as well.
One oversight we frequently see is owners listing the home before it’s ready. You need a property that’s clean, functional, and appealing to prospective tenants. It has to show well, or you won’t rent it right away.
The right rental value is also important, and your property’s rental value will depend largely on the Las Vegas rental market.
We talk to a lot of landlords who neglect to look at what similar homes are renting for, and they overprice or underprice their property, resulting in lost money.
- A Las Vegas rental home that’s underpriced will not earn you what it could be earning in monthly rent. It will be harder to bring that rental value up to market rates because a huge rental increase at renewal time will only chase away your tenants.
- An overpriced property is also expensive for landlords. It will result in a longer vacancy period, and it might induce you to accept a less-than-qualified tenant who is willing to pay your too-high price.
Property managers know the competition in the market before we price a home. We measure what other homes are renting for against your unique location, property condition, and what your home has to offer that others don’t.
Screening Oversights with Las Vegas Tenants
Choosing the wrong tenant for your rental property is a huge liability.
This is not an oversight that you can afford to make. We’re always surprised at the number of landlords who have lax screening processes or who don’t screen at all. Make sure you’re checking an applicant’s identity, past rental history, criminal and eviction histories, employment and income, and other background details. You want to have an idea of what type of tenant you’re renting to.
Don’t be afraid to call prior landlords and verify rental history.
Choosing and placing a good tenant is going to improve your entire rental experience.
If you’re not careful about who you put into your property, you will spend a lot of time trying to collect late and unpaid rent. You’re going to run into conflicts and disputes, and you may even find yourself with expensive property damage at the end of a lease. Bad tenants often need to be evicted, and it’s hard to hold them accountable or have them removed once they’ve taken possession of your property.
Property managers can be counted on to:
- Put together some standard qualifying rental criteria and document the entire screening process.
- Check national eviction and criminal databases.
- Look at credit and financial stability.
- Verify income and employment.
- Check rental references.
These things are important in placing a qualified, responsible tenant who can be counted on to pay rent and take care of your home. Property managers have a screening process in place, and there’s less of a chance that eviction will be necessary when you’re working with tenants who have been placed by professionals.
Legal Oversights When Renting out Las Vegas Property
There are federal and state laws needing your attention when you rent out a property. Not knowing the laws is a liability. Violating the laws because of an oversight has serious financial implications.
Property managers know the laws. We keep you compliant.
Here are some of the biggest problems that landlords tend to run into. These oversights will not only cost you money, they’ll potentially land you in court.
- Fair Housing Laws
Make sure you’re up to date on the latest fair housing laws. You need to know the federally protected classes, the difference between a pet and a service animal, and what accommodations are required for tenants with disabilities. You need to know these laws and how they’re applied in order to protect your property.
- Las Vegas Lease Agreements
Is your lease both legally enforceable and legally compliant in Nevada? Your lease agreement is the most important document of your tenancy. This will protect you and your tenants and your property. Make sure you have a strong lease in place, and make sure it’s not copied from some generated template that you found online.
Property managers can help you avoid oversights with your lease because we know what’s required and how to enforce your lease. The lease agreement must be thorough, complete, and detailed. Your property manager will provide a lease agreement for tenants to sign that includes a rent collection policy, instructions for maintenance reporting, rules and requirements, and expectations around cleanliness, landscaping, and other situations.
- Security Deposit Oversights
There’s a limit to how much of a security deposit you can collect in Las Vegas. There are timelines that pertain to how and when you return that deposit. You have to know the difference between normal wear and tear and tenant damage when you’re making claims against the deposit. If you’re withholding money from it, you’ll need to send your tenants a list explaining what you’ve deducted and why.
In our experience, most disputes between tenants and landlords happen over the security deposit. Any oversights can be difficult for you to work around, so make sure you have a property manager handling the collection and return of those deposits.
- Eviction Oversights in Las Vegas
Eviction laws are pretty specific. It’s easy for landlords to miss an important step or to take an action that isn’t permitted when you’re trying to remove a tenant from your property. For example, you cannot simply change the locks when a tenant stops paying rent.
If you need to evict a tenant, you have to follow the legal process for evictions. It starts with your notice. Make sure you serve the proper notice and wait the appropriate number of days before you move onto a court filing. Your property manager will have legal resources if it does become necessary to evict, but usually the entire process can be avoided.
One of the worst oversights you can make while evicting your tenants is rushing into the process. While you don’t want to waste time working with a tenant who has no intention to pay, an eviction should always be a last resort. Property managers make this easier by working with tenants on payment arrangements, communicating during periods of temporary financial difficulty, and enforcing a consistent rent collection policy.
Deferred and Unreported Maintenance in a Las Vegas Rental Property
The worst oversights are often maintenance-related.
Most Las Vegas property management companies will have a plan in place to address every type of maintenance, whether it’s preventative maintenance, emergency repairs, or a routine fix. Some of the most expensive oversights involve deferred maintenance and needed repairs that your tenants have not brought to your attention. These things can be avoided with the help of a management team.
If you put off repairs or you don’t hear about a leaking sink for a few months, the repairs you’re called upon to make will always be more expensive and complicated than they would have been if you’d responded right away.
You’ll also face additional deterioration of your entire property. Property managers won’t allow this oversight to happen. We will protect your property and its value and condition by:
- Establishing good relationships with residents, and explaining the importance of reporting repair needs right away. By helping your tenants to understand that everything should be documented and reported right away, we’ll keep a better handle on how and when things are repaired. We won’t let small problems become large catastrophes.
- Maintaining excellent vendor relationships, to ensure all work is high quality and affordable.
- Conducting thorough, well-documented walk-throughs. Property managers will document the condition of your property accurately and with walk-through technology.
- Putting together a preventative maintenance plan so you can have all of your major systems and functions inspected and serviced. Have the heating and cooling system inspected and serviced annually. Get the roof and the gutters cleaned annually. Hire a pest control service to do routine treatments.
Responsive maintenance can help you avoid the oversight and expense of deferred maintenance.
These are some of the most common oversights we see, and the ways in which we might be most helpful. We’d be happy to talk about some of your own personal struggles as a landlord.
Please contact us at New West Property Management. Our team expertly manages residential rental homes in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County, including Henderson and North Las Vegas.