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Seeking advice in preparing a 'house rules' for rental property
Old 09-26-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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Seeking advice in preparing a 'house rules' for rental property

We'd love to sell a house we have, used the last 20 years by my m.i.l. -- but of course its impossible these days....so we're going to try renting it out. A property mgt. co. will be screening tenants for us...and have asked us to provide a 'house rules' list. Would really appreciate any advice, resources, etc. for doing this. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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No pets or guest that say more than 14 days. No people not on the lease. They must mow the lawn so it is less than 5 inches tall. No old motorcycles and tires in the yard and only cars that run in the driveway, none on the grass. No remodeling or painting without your consent in writing with choice of color approval. No cutting the trees.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:15 PM   #4
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Who is managing/maintaining the property? If it's you, then add the right to inspect the property at least twice during the year.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:45 PM   #6
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Pet clean-up

Proof of home insurance
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:17 PM   #7
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No pets, no smoking ANY WHERE on the property, and any problem caused by the renters negligence is their responsibility. Radon and lead paint not your problem, even if it was built last week. 15 days for inspection before security deposit refund. All damage beyond normal wear is repaired and deducted from security deposit. Number of people who can occupy.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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If you're in a community association then you should equip the tenants with a copy of the HOA rules on "neighborly conduct", car parking, pets, and so forth.

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No pets or guest that say more than 14 days.
Geez the tenants you guys must've had.

We encourage pets in our rental home. The homeowner's association limits the size and number, and we just tell the tenants that any pet damage will be taken out of their security deposit.

Otherwise a tenant will have a pet anyway and will try to hide it from you.

It's amazing how quickly you get responses when you advertise "PET FRIENDLY!", and nobody minds that the carpet is getting a bit spotty...
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:09 PM   #9
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Geez the tenants you guys must've had.

We encourage pets in our rental home. The homeowner's association limits the size and number, and we just tell the tenants that any pet damage will be taken out of their security deposit.

Otherwise a tenant will have a pet anyway and will try to hide it from you.

It's amazing how quickly you get responses when you advertise "PET FRIENDLY!", and nobody minds that the carpet is getting a bit spotty...
This week we'll be replacing a carpet and pad in an apartment that was installed 12/07 - an authorized cat did it ill. And that is after paying to have the carpet patched thanks to a prior tenants unauthorized dog eating/clawing up the edges. I think it isn't too much to ask that a carpet last five years... no, the deposits did not cover the damage. Carpet/pad/installation will run about $1000 - it's a very small place.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki

This week we'll be replacing a carpet and pad in an apartment that was installed 12/07 - an authorized cat did it ill. And that is after paying to have the carpet patched thanks to a prior tenants unauthorized dog eating/clawing up the edges. I think it isn't too much to ask that a carpet last five years... no, the deposits did not cover the damage. Carpet/pad/installation will run about $1000 - it's a very small place.
You aren't going to charge them for the damage above and beyond whatever their pet deposit + regular security deposit didn't cover?
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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If it was me renting out the house:

No pets
No smoking
No drinking
No drugs
No more than three vehicles, all licensed, insured and on all four tires, parked only in the driveway.
No tenants under the age of 50
No persons admitted under the age of 25, ever.
All tenants must be gainfully employed or independently wealthy.

Maybe that's why I don't own a rental house....
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:51 AM   #12
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Radon and lead paint not your problem, even if it was built last week.
This will be illegal in many states. It's your house ... you have SOME liability. So get liability coverage ... it's cheap.

I've found the "rules" are useless with the wrong tenant. Go to the house they live in now. If you like what you see ... rent to them. Don't expect them to change because of your "rules".
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:15 AM   #13
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We rented for many years in many different locations and were excellent tenants. We kept up the landscaping, were prompt in payments, and carried out minor repair without complaint. Without exception we returned a property in better condition than when we received it.

We expected a competitive rent and I always negotiated a discount. It was amazing what a few minutes of conversation with the owner could accomplish. Most states have pro-forma rental contracts, and we always used those. An owner with a unique multi-page contract and many restrictions was a warning sign for us. More than once we reached an agreement with a realtor but walked away once the paperwork was put on the table.

We also looked for pet friendly. That usually translated into owner friendly.

I think when you try too hard to weed out the bad tenants you also drive away the good ones.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #14
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You aren't going to charge them for the damage above and beyond whatever their pet deposit + regular security deposit didn't cover?
Sending a bill is a far cry from collecting it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:08 AM   #15
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It is not impossible to sell a house these days, only impossible to sell it for its 2006 value.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:35 AM   #16
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My rental agreement also says no holes in the walls, no swimming pool, change central a/c filter monthly. If you have a septic tank you can require them to put in septic treatment monthly (Ridex ) also.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:51 AM   #17
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My son lives in an apartment complex that allows pets but there is a $25/month fee added to your rent. No additional security deposit, just the added rent.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:28 PM   #18
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I am trying to understand what recourse the owner thinks he has if these "rules" are broken. Security deposit ... ok. They'll stay a month later wo paying rent ... then move (hopefully).

Is an owner really going to incur 3-4 months rent loss and legal fees to evict a tenant over some broken rule. Good luck with that.

You turned a positive cashflow into a negative one over Fifi the cat. AND good luck getting a judge to put them out.

I sat in court while a judge refused to evict a family to facilitate the sale of a home. Posession is 9/10's of the law.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #19
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Thanks all for your input. I've come up with a bunch of houserules...but am thinking of paring them down. None are out of line....but agree that too many may give the wrong impression to the right people!! I've been a renter as well in the past...and was good...but have had some experience as a landlord many years ago with a condo I rented out, and none of the renters were good....I was always left with a terrible mess and missing rent! We are 'animal lovers'....and as we all know its not the animals that are at fault, but the owners. We're going to try this with cat's only. Our main reason is not the damage that can be done by dogs...but we don't want the long term neighbors of the property bothered by barking dogs. Am always afraid too that complains will result in harm being done to the animals. Boy, this landlord stuff 'sucks' ... and we don't even have renters yet!! At the moment we're thinking we'll try it for a year and see how things go....then if its not working out too well...put it on the market and try to get rid of it.
Thanks again for all your input....I've incorporated alot of it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:43 PM   #20
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I am trying to understand what recourse the owner thinks he has if these "rules" are broken. Security deposit ... ok. They'll stay a month later wo paying rent ... then move (hopefully).

Is an owner really going to incur 3-4 months rent loss and legal fees to evict a tenant over some broken rule. Good luck with that.

You turned a positive cashflow into a negative one over Fifi the cat. AND good luck getting a judge to put them out.

I sat in court while a judge refused to evict a family to facilitate the sale of a home. Posession is 9/10's of the law.
I agree the whole situation is 'iffy'. The company that will do the tenant screening for us and who provide the rental agreement were the ones who said we should have house rules. Haven't yet seen the rental agreement (will do today)...but apparently it states in there and will in the house rules that a violation of house rules is a violation of the rental agreement and grounds for eviction. But...as you pointed out...nothing is that easy...nor if there's a 'breaking of some rule' can I say we'd want to get rid of a tenant. I guess its just to try to scare the bad ones into behaving...and we all know how well that works!!
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