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Why Your Property Manager Needs Move-Out Addendums

Today I’ll go over how to present a tenant with what to expect when they move out.

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Here at Hawaii Property Management, we have all of our tenants sign a move-out addendum. This 15-point document states what the buyer must do when they decide to move out of one of our properties. By signing the addendum, tenants are required to do things like getting the carpets professionally cleaned and generally making sure the property is in the exact condition determined by the property condition form as when they moved in.

The property condition form is filled out and completed by a property manager prior to the tenant moving in. That way, we have a good basis for what the unit’s conditions were like at the time it was passed into the care of the tenant upon moving in.

We also do a 10-day walkthrough with the tenant after they move in to make sure the property condition form, the move-out addendum, and all the other documents filled out leave no room for surprises on the tenant’s part.

“Our goal is to prevent any sort of confusion in the process as a measure to protect the owners of the properties.”

We’ve been in a couple situations where we’ve taken over a tenant from another property manager, only to find that there were no addendums signed and no property condition forms filled out—there was only the five-page Hawaii Association of Realtors lease. That’s it.

If you have a property manager who doesn’t do a move-out addendum and a property condition form, you’ll have no way of knowing what the unit looks like when the tenant moves out.

Our goal is to prevent any sort of confusion in the process as a measure to protect the owners of the properties.

If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help and advise you.

Our Eviction Guarantee & How Much of a Difference-Maker It Can Be for You

Evicting a tenant can be such a hassle, but the eviction guarantee we offer to you, the owner, lifts that financial burden off your shoulders.

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Property management companies can be distinguished by the services they offer. One additional service we offer owners is the “eviction guarantee.” You aren’t likely to find this service offered through other management companies.

If you’re unfamiliar with how this guarantee works, allow me to explain: If we put a tenant in your property, and they must be legally evicted by way of Hawaii’s landlord-tenant code, we promise to pay all legal fees.

This puts a check on us and ensures that we don’t become complacent in our selection of tenant applicants. In fact, this is a chief reason why I got into this business—I could never find a property manager that could be held responsible for this painstaking process.

“If we put a tenant in your property, and they must be legally evicted by way of Hawaii’s landlord-tenant code, we promise to pay all legal fees.”

It’s our job to be diligent in conducting background checks and to make the necessary calls up front. Otherwise, we risk letting in a tenant that is evasive about rent payments or worse. Ask yourself: Who pays for that? If you’re with any other property manager, you’ll be on the hook for legal costs relating to the eviction, and I’ve seen that run anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000.

What will you get with us?

We’ll run checks on their background, credit, income statements, LES statement, their job contract, and we’ll also check with their last two landlords. These sorts of checks are all very important, and, along with our eviction guarantee, they’re part of the package when you work with us.

If you have any questions regarding the eviction guarantee and what we can do for you, as an owner, please give us a call at 808-445-9223. I look forward to speaking with you and answering your questions directly!

How Monster Homes Can Adversely Affect You

Local officials are getting ready to drop the hammer on so-called ‘monster homes.’ Here’s what you need to know.

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Our city government has passed laws, changed laws, and done everything else in their power to discourage developers from building what some call ‘monster homes,’ which are huge homes that can have upward of 20 rooms inside.

In fact, a home that was featured on the front page of our local paper has 28 rooms in it! Where do these people park? What are they doing to the sewer system? What if someone leaves a burner on and the whole house catches fire?

These monster homes are changing the face of the rental market. If one of these homes is next door to you, it will affect many things, including the ingress and egress of your own residential street. These developers often are doing things that are illegal. If you’ve been following this issue like I have, you’ll know that even people who are trying to abide by the law are having issues getting their permits approved—including myself.

“If you’re in contact with a councilmember or senator, it might be a good idea to share with them your opinion on the subject.”

This is a very sore subject for me. The building department holds people like me to the same standard as they do for developers building monster homes, but those developers don’t get fined.

However, they’re now going to levy $25,000 to $100,000 fines per day on these developers, who may eventually have to knock down the monster houses they’re building. It’s a big deal.

If you’re in contact with a councilmember or senator, it might be a good idea to share with them your opinion on the subject.

If you have any questions about this or other real estate issues in Hawaii, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to further educate you.

When Can the Security Deposit Be Retained?

When does a property owner have the right to keep the security deposit and when don’t they? I’ll answer that question in detail today.

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The topic of the security deposit is one I’ve previously covered, but it warrants further discussion. From my experience, nothing is more hotly contested or talked about in property management than security deposits, and problems often arise on both the tenant and owner sides.

When and for what reason can a security deposit be kept? This is often a source of contention between tenants and owners, and I’d like to shed some light on this for owners: Security deposits can only be retained for damages or a broken lease.

Let’s first consider a situation where damage might be involved. Say a tenant is moving out of the unit in a timely fashion, but there is damage left behind. The onus lies with the owner to give notice and quotes for repair costs to that tenant within 14 calendar days.

“Security deposits can only be retained for damages or a broken lease. “

We as property managers hold the security deposits, so if an owner is not letting us know what’s going on and not acting within that 14-day window allowed by law, it’s punishable in civil court by up to three times the penalty. That two-week window takes effect the day the tenants turn in their keys.

Now, what if a tenant breaks their lease? If, for any reason, a tenant decides to leave the property prior to the lease’s end, property management reserves the right to retain the security deposit.

For any questions about what I covered today, whether you’re an owner or a tenant, go ahead and give your HI Pacific property manager a call. They’d be happy to share their knowledge of the 29-page landlord-tenant code with you.

Our Pest Control Policy Explained

Our pet deposits ensure that your property stays in good condition.

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When our team notices a pest problem in a property under our care, this immediately indicates two things:

1. The unit wasn’t properly cleaned
2. It’s time to call a professional pest controller

No tenant wants to pay rent on a property that has a pest problem, so such issues must be resolved immediately.

“No tenant wants to pay rent on a property that has a pest problem.”

When we identify a pest problem within the first 10 days following our initial walkthrough, we ask the owner to handle the initial treatment. If a problem arises at any point after this window, though, the tenant is responsible.

We recommend contacting a local pest professional if you have any additional questions about pest control.

As always, if you have any questions for us or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

How Our Pet Deposits Protect Your Property

Our pet deposits ensure that your property stays in good condition.

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At Hawaii Property Management, our pet deposits are an important part of how we make sure your property stays in good condition. What does that deposit look like?

Most of the pets we deal with are dogs, so the deposit amount we ask for in this case depends on the size of the dog (and in some cases, its breed). For example, if the dog weighs 25 pounds or less, we ask for a $400 deposit. If they weigh between 25 and 50 pounds, we ask for a $500 deposit. For anything heavier than that, we go on a case-by-case basis. If the dog is considered a dangerous breed, we ask for a $1,000 deposit. In addition, we ask the owner of the pet to get a liability policy.

“Our pet deposits are an important part of how we make sure your property stays in good condition.”

Keep in mind that our pet deposits are for pet damage only. We can’t use them for anything other than pet damage assessment. Aside from our deposit, we also do four-month walkthroughs for any homes with pets. After the walkthrough is done, the property manager will send you a full report with pictures included.

If you have any more questions about our pet deposits or any other kind of security deposits we require to protect your property, don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help you.

Is Yard Service Worth It?

Hiring a company to do yard work on your rental property might seem like an unnecessary expense. Here are a few reasons why it’s not.

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Today we’re going to discuss yard service. Owners often ask us if they should include yard service in their, let’s say, $900,000 home. The answer is yes. For just $100 per month, you can guarantee that the yard will be in the exact same condition as it was when you bought the property.

Most of the time, houses come with a yard service already attached to it. Whoever has been the yard man, continue to use them. If you can afford it, it’s a great investment.

“If you can afford it, it’s a great investment.”

Your yard has a lot to do with how your home looks from the outside. Why wouldn’t you preserve the yard? Why would you risk having the tenant take care of the yard? Tenants either love yard work or hate yard work. If you get a tenant that hates yard work, how would you deal with that? You can cancel the lease, but that process will take months. If you can afford to pay $100 to $150 a month for someone to come and take care of your yard, you should do it. They’ll cut the grass, trim the trees, and de-weed the beds and you won’t have to worry about it at all.

If you have any questions about yard service at your property, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email today. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

How Does Our Walkthrough Policy Protect Your Property?

We have a walkthrough policy in place to make sure your property stays in top condition.

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At Hawaii Property Management, we have a walkthrough policy in place to protect your rental property. Here’s how it works.

Between the start and end date of every lease, we do either a four- or six-month walkthrough of your property. If there are no pets in the home, we do a six-month walkthrough. If there are pets in the home, we do a four-month walkthrough.

 

“There are two reasons we do these walkthroughs: To put money in your account and to protect your home.”

 

During these walkthroughs, we inspect the overall condition of the property—the roof, the flooring, the landscaping, etc. If we see a property that’s extremely dirty, we give that tenant a 10-day notice to clean it up. After those 10 days are up, we go back to the property and check it. We want to make sure the condition of the home is the same when a tenant moves out as it was when they moved in.

At the end of the day, there are two reasons we do these walkthroughs: To put money in your account and to protect your home.

That’s why you hire a team like us—to look out for your best interests.

As always, if you have any questions for us or you have a property you’d like us to manage, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help you.

 

How to Prepare For Renting a Shared Residence

Renting out a second home unit can lead to disaster if you’re not prepared. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this.

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In Hawaii, we can have a second “Ohana” home on our property.

Ohana means family, and it also means that only relatives are allowed to live in the second home unit.

Sometimes, owners will simply rent out the unused unit to whoever’s interested. However, problems can arise without concrete arrangements.

Tenants need certain things, such as parking areas, water and electric bills, and mailboxes. There are many of these problems to go through, so I don’t normally extend our eviction or rent guarantee for shared residences.

“Problems can arise without concrete arrangements.”

Potential issues need to be worked out before they arise and before we agree to rent out a shared home for you.

I can help you navigate this process as well as answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me if you’d like my help or need further information. I look forward to hearing from you.

How Do We Check Your Property’s Hurricane Readiness?

If your property’s located in a low-lying area, I certainly recommend checking its flood-readiness.

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As you know, we recently had to deal with Hurricane Lane, and as of today, we have two more storms predicted to come through the islands back to back. Most of the time, these storms will just drop a lot of rain, but Hurricane Lane also brought 60 mph winds along with it.

How do we protect your property in the event of an incoming storm or a hurricane?

If your property’s vacant, we go out to it and move everything from the outside to the inside. If there are tenants in your unit, we call, email, or text them to confirm that they’re storm-ready. There are also other preparations we can make for you down the road, such as boarding up your windows.

“If there are tenants in your unit, we call, email, or text them to confirm that they’re storm-ready.”

If your property’s located in a low-lying area, I certainly recommend checking its flood-readiness because, again, Hurricane Lane dumped a lot of rain on us.

Any storm-readiness can be worked through in a rental home, so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get started with yours. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as well. We’d be glad to help you.

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