How to Deal With Pets in a Home

Should you allow your tenants to bring pets into your rental property? I think it’s a no-brainer, and here’s why.

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If you’re a single-family homeowner/investor and are wondering whether you should allow your tenants to have pets or not, I’ve got some advice for you today. Pet deposits can be taken in addition to your security deposit and it can be up to one month of rent. You can’t take a child deposit or a spousal deposit, but you can take a pet deposit.

“More damage is done by termites and house guests than pets.”

I would say that seven out of every 10 applicants that are looking for a home to rent today have a pet. I will also tell you that pet owners are more conscious about their pets these days. A lot of times, more damage is done by guests, termites, and people other than by pets. The pet damage we’ve seen is actually very minimal, and if something does happen, you can just keep the deposit. A majority of the time, these dogs are 20 lbs or less.

Offering pet-negotiable living is one great way to increase the number of eyeballs, showings, and applications for your property. It really speeds up the process and the reward far outweighs the risk.

If you have any other questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear from you soon.

Should I Include Electric, Water, and Cable in my Rental?

If you’re a rental property owner, should you include the electric, water, and cable bill in your rent? Here are my thoughts.

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One of the common things we discuss with our owners is whether or not they should include electric, water, and cable in their rental.

Now, there are some instances where you can’t avoid it. If you’re in an HOA, townhome, or planned unit community and all of that is wrapped up in your maintenance fees, you can’t help that. It’s almost impossible to do this with a shared unit.

“We have a lot of experience helping owners work through this problem.”

However, for single-family homeowners who rent out their units separately, you have a decision. You can always separate parking and mailboxes. Electric and water will be difficult, though.

We have a lot of experience with this kind of thing and know the kinds of solutions needed to work around it. If you have any questions for me about this topic or anything else related to your rental property, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

What Makes a Great Tenant?

 

When someone asks me how a great tenant is defined, I could respond with about 20 questions of my own, but today I’ll give a summarized answer.

To determine if someone is a good tenant for our property, we first do a background check and a credit check on them. If their background is free of any disturbing information and they have a credit score of 700, we’ll request that they send in a copy of their pay stub or LES statement.

“A good tenant is also one who pays the rent on time, won’t deter us from doing walkthroughs, and will invite us in when we have repair questions about the property.”

A good tenant is also one who pays the rent on time, won’t deter us from doing walkthroughs, and will invite us in when we have repair questions about the property. Good tenants will also look for warranty information and do their best to keep the house in the exact condition as when they moved in.

We have tenants who will often call us and inform us of any potential issues, like if there was a strong windstorm that tipped a tree; if they found termite droppings in the garage; or they have a dryer that rattles, and so on. Knowing about these issues helps with the team effort to protect the property.

In the end, there are two reasons you’d need a property manager to help with your property: to protect your home and to put money into your account.

If you have any questions about tenants or about property management services, reach out to us today. We look forward to hearing from you. Aloha!

The True Cost of Renting Out Your Home’s Space Separately

Rent is far from the only factor to consider when you’re thinking about renting out multiple rooms in your home to different tenants.

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A homeowner recently called me wanting to know, “How can I rent all five rooms out separately in my home?” This wasn’t the first time this question has been posed to me, so I decided it’d be a good topic to cover today.

Whenever I’m asked this question, I’m quick to point out one of the biggest problems that could arise: Oftentimes, roommates simply don’t get along and aren’t cooperative.

“The fact is when you bring five strangers with diverse personalities into one setting as tenants, it’s very tough to manage and keep the peace.”

Further, the more tenants you have in your space, the greater the chances that this will occur, and I can promise you that all of them will be operating on a different schedule. Having five tenants share the expenses for water, electricity, cable, internet, garbage, and mail, and so on is a definite recipe for conflict.

People in Hawaii have a tendency to cite the supposed success that their family members have experienced in doing this in their home. The fact is when you bring five strangers with diverse personalities into one setting as tenants, it’s very tough to manage and keep the peace.

If you want my opinion, renting out your space in this fashion is a bad idea. Verbal conflict is one thing, but it can sometimes lead to physical conflict, at which point the police will have to get involved. This is something that’s actually happened at one of our own units. I don’t like dealing with these types of situations, and I don’t think you want to either.

If you have any questions or you’d like some advice on some alternative solutions to renting out space in your property, please reach out by calling us at 808-445-9223, emailing us at Info@HIPacific.com, or by visiting us online at HIPacific.com. We’ll talk to you soon!

Why You Should Always Offer Parking With Your Rental Properties

If you’re going to rent a home out here in Hawaii, you’re going to need parking. Here’s why.

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One issue that people often ask me about is whether or not they need to offer parking. Sometimes, investors can get a huge discount on a unit by not offering parking. On the rest of the island, however, there’s no parking unless you pay for it. There’s a parking shortage, as I’m sure most of you are aware.

If you don’t have a parking space for your unit, however, you can forget about renting that unit out. Where is your tenant or their guests going to park? Where will we park when we go to service the unit with a plumber or electrician?

“If you have a parking space, you have options.”

If you have an investment question about a parking space and if it’s worth it to add one, that’s a good idea. If you have a parking space, you have options. If you don’t, I probably won’t manage your unit because it will be so hard to show and find a tenant for your unit. The bottom line is that you need to have parking and no much is too much. Our island doesn’t have enough parking as it is. Do what you can to add more and you’ll reap the benefits.

If you have any questions for me in the meantime about your parking situation or anything else related to the management of your investment property, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The 2 Reasons You Would Hire a Property Manager

If you truly want to protect your rental and make money off of it, you need to hire a property manager.

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As I always say, there are two reasons why you would hire a property manager:

1. To protect your home

2. To make you money

How does a property manager accomplish these things for you? Let me tell you how we at HI Pacific Property Management do the same thing for our clients.

“We take these responsibilities very seriously, which is why we have rent guarantees, eviction guarantees, and communication guarantees.”

To protect your home, we do thorough four- and six-month inspections. If you have tenants moving into your home who have pets, we also make them sign a property condition form.

How do we put money in your account? We set up an automatic payment system with your tenants so that you get paid on the fifth of each month—unlike most other states, Hawaii does not have a five-day grace period. The only exceptions are Labor Day and the Fourth of July weekend.

We take these responsibilities very seriously, which is why we have rent guarantees, eviction guarantees, and communication guarantees.

On that note, if you have any questions about the benefits of hiring a property manager or the way we do business, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

How to Make More Money on Your Investment With Pets

Should you allow your tenants to bring pets into your rental property? If you’re charging a pet deposit, I think it’s a no-brainer.

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If you’re a single-family homeowner/investor and are wondering whether you should allow your tenants to have pets or not, I’ve got some advice for you today. Pet deposits can be taken in addition to your security deposit and it can be up to one month of rent. You can’t take a child deposit or a spousal deposit, but you can take a pet deposit.

“More damage is done by termites and house guests than pets.”

I would say that seven out of every 10 applicants that are looking for a home to rent today have a pet. I will also tell you that pet owners are more conscious about their pets these days. A lot of times, more damage is done by guests, termites, and people other than by pets. The pet damage we’ve seen is actually very minimal, and if something does happen, you can just keep the deposit.

If you have any questions about this topic or about anything else related to the management of your property, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Why Loss-of-Rent Coverage Is a Must

Loss-of-rent coverage is an essential for property owners, especially here in Hawaii. Here’s how it works.

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Did you know that there is insurance you can get that will cover you in the loss of a tenant or in the loss of your rental home? It’s called loss-of-rent coverage, and here’s how it works.

Insurance companies will give you coverage for liability, loss of property in your home, and more. For just a few dollars every year, they will pick up the face value of your lease in the event that your home becomes uninhabitable due to fire, flood, or another catastrophe. Make sure you get no-cap coverage, because the company will probably only give you three months of it otherwise.

“Make sure to get no-cap coverage.”

This is an important step in protecting your investment and your lease income. If you have any questions about this type of coverage, call your insurance specialist today.

If you have any other questions for me, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Hammer Is Coming Down on Vacation Rentals

They’re cracking down on vacation rental properties. Here’s what that means for you.

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I get a lot of calls and questions about vacation rentals. They ask me, “Can I make my home on Kailua a vacation rental?”

Regardless of what you’ve seen your neighbors do, the answer is no. The question about vacation rentals is about to end; it’s been up for a vote and on the city council’s docket for the last two sessions, and they’re trying to end it. And recently, we found out the mayor is going to end the question for good.

There are three main areas of Honolulu that allow vacation rentals:

  1. Waikiki, which has a zone for mixed-use rentals.
  2. Ko Olina, which is zoned as a vacation rental, mixed-use housing area.
  3. Turtle Bay, which has grandfathered-in transit accommodation units.

If you’re in a residential area, there are fines coming down the pipeline. These will be anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per day, which will be levied against the homeowner. If you’re considering vacation rentals, you have to decide if it’s worth it. Personally, I don’t even get involved because I don’t want to bring bad news to owners about fines.

“If you’re currently in the vacation rental business, things are about to get scary. “

They’re saying there are currently 8,000 illegal vacation homes—only 800 are legal.

If you’re currently in the vacation rental business, things are about to get scary. You should ask your property manager what’s going to happen in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

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.