Looking to Rent your property? Thinking about hiring a Phoenix Property Management Company? Noel Pulanco from HomeQwik talks about what you’ll need to know first before you rent your property.

Question: What is the tenant screening process?

Noel: When we’re looking at screening a new tenant for one of our properties, there are really three things we want to consider: Their background, which will include their credit history and the accounts that they pay on, their residential history – where they’ve been living for the past few years, and number is their income; we want to make sure that they make three times the required rent as a minimum. So once we can decipher that and prove that their income is valid, we can move on to the next steps.

On the background, I’m really just looking at the last two years. I want to know what accounts they’ve been paying on and what they haven’t. I’m not too concerned with a school loan, maybe a medical bill, or even these days – a short sale or foreclosure. What I’m more concerned about is: Are they paying their cell phone bill? Their vehicle? Their utilities? That’s the kind of stuff I know they are taking care of day to day which will lead me to believe that they will take care of the rent.

The last is their residential history. Really, again, I want to look at the last two years. If they owned a place, I want to know. If they were renting an apartment or house from somebody else, I’d love to talk with that landlord or at the very least get them to sign off on the fact that they paid well and took relatively good care of the property.

So again the three things we’re looking at: background, residential history, and income. The most important one for me is always – Do the make enough money to pay me rent?

Question: Should I allow pets?

Noel: Pets or no pets: That is the question. Obviously most landlords would prefer not to have a pet; however I have to tell you about 75% of every prospective tenant that’s looking a house or an apartment is going to have at least one pet. So what you really want to do is protect yourself and make sure that you discriminate and make a good decision if you’re going to allow pets.

Here at HomeQwik we get a non-refundable deposit. That’s guaranteed money you’re going to get per animal. We don’t allow dangerous breeds, and we want to limit the number and sometimes size of the pet we’re allowing. If they have kids or if you have a three or four bedroom house that’s got some pretty good square footage and a yard, I can almost guarantee they’ll have a pet. So you just have to get yourself over that. Shutting off the pets really shuts off a huge percentage of the population that’s looking for a house. And guys, a lot of times the pet is part of the family. So that can sometimes turn into a good, long term tenant that renews several times.

So really take a look at what kind of pet it is, what you’re comfortable with, and make sure you and your property manager are on the same page.

Question: Who is responsible for repairs/maintenance?

Noel: So another great reason to have a property manager is to make sure that when a repair comes a long, we know who’s responsible and who’s not. We’ll stick to Arizona as far as the legalities go, however you’ll want to know what you’re getting into and what the lease dictates as far as repairs and who is responsible. In Arizona, the landlord is responsible for a few items – hot and cold water, hot and cool air, and a general safe condition. There’s a lot of gray in there’s a lot of stuff that could potentially be left on the tenant.

I always encourage my landlords to take care of the major stuff. Although you may not be covering under warranty the refrigerator, if that goes out I would say to fix it. If the closet doors are sticky or the toilet needs a good plunge, maybe that’s something that the tenant could fix on their own.

We don’t want a tenant going above their pay grade per se, so we don’t want them fixing something that they aren’t capable of. However we do want to encourage them to take some pride and ownership in the house and to take care of the minor stuff on their own. There’s nothing worse than a tenant that nitpicks ever little thing and calls you for everything. If you take care of the good stuff, most tenants will take good care of the house and only bug you when they think they need to.