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South Carolina Security Deposit Rules | Property Management Company Charleston

Property Management Company Charleston

Security deposits are one thing that every property management company in Charleston has in common. A security deposit is money that a tenant must give in advance of renting that is held by the landlord or property manager until move out. When a tenant moves out, any damages to the property or violations can be deducted from the security deposit. However, there are a lot of rules regarding how these deposits can be handled, stored, and dispersed that investors need to know about. 

Security Deposit Rules for Investors 

Investors in South Carolina can require security deposits on their properties to cover damages that go above and beyond normal wear and tear as well as unpaid rent. 

There are no minimums or maximums on the amount a property management company in Charleston can charge for rent; however, most investors and managers choose to equate the deposit to one month of rent. 

Security deposits must be returned within 30 days of the renter vacating the property. A written statement must be included that itemizes any deductions made to the deposit, and any money still owed that was not covered by the deposit.

Best Practices for Security Deposits

Upon move-in, ask tenants to report any damages to their home within 48 hours of taking possession. Move-in inspection sheets are easy to use for these purposes and can be kept in the lease file to compare when the tenant vacates the property. Similarly, conduct a move-out inspection with the tenant when they return the keys. This way, the property manager and tenant are on the same page with the condition the home is being vacated in. All damages listed on move-in or move-out forms should be documented with photos as well. 

Sometimes, there will be disagreements between the property management company in Charleston and the tenants on the amount that should be returned from the security deposit. Keeping diligent records of all damages, lease violations, and communications with the tenant will be key if legal proceedings need to happen. Luckily, investors can rely on professional property managers to handle these things. 

If you need property management services in Charleston, give Scott Properties of Charleston a call at 843-790-4929

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Charleston Top Rental Market Post-Covid | Property Management Company

charleston property management company

According to the National Association of Realtors, Charleston is one of the top rental markets in a post-Covid world. Charleston was already a fast-growing community before the Covid-19 pandemic because of its reputation for being an affordable alternative to big-city prices and lifestyle. Job growth has been consistent and the local government has focused on economic diversity and expansion which makes the community attractive to investors who want to work with property management companies in Charleston to expand their portfolios. 

Why Buy A Rental Home In Charleston 

Investors who want to get into rental property should buy property in Charleston as soon as possible. Home values are rising every year by as much as 14% with the average single-family home selling for $363,700 according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. The Charleston Regional Business Journal also projected that the housing market in Charleston will continue to remain in the top 10 for the next several years. 

One of the factors driving prices up in Charleston is the shortage of properties available. The Inventory of homes for sale has decreased by nearly 50% as more people decide to stay put in Charleston. Property management companies in Charleston SC are having success in keeping tenants in properties long term as well as filling vacant properties quicker than ever. 

Charleston has over 60 neighborhoods with homes of varying prices and diverse demographics where investors will find a high demand for rental homes. Currently there are an additional 7,500 homes needed to keep pace with population growth, so if investors can purchase a home in Charleston, the risk of not being able to find a high-quality renter is almost non-existent.

If you are interested in Scott Properties managing your rental properties, call us today at 843-790-4929.

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Steps to Take Before Renting Your Property | Property Management Companies in Charleston SC

Property Management Companies in Charleston SC

Many people want to get into rental property investing to earn extra income while they are retired, spend time on other businesses, or keep increasing their assets. However, sometimes people become landlords by accident through inheritance or needing to move without selling the property they already own. However, having an empty home doesn’t mean it is ready to be put on the market for rent. Property management companies in Charleston SC have been able to assist hundreds of owners in getting their properties rent-ready. 

How to Get Rent Ready

There are many different steps to getting a property ready to rent to tenants:

  • Building Code Inspection:

    A property owner should ensure the rental home is up to code and can pass any inspection that would be needed in order to pass for a sale. Properties should be safe before renters move in and safe, up-to-date properties will require less maintenance in the long run. 

  • Renovations and Updates:

    Addressing any code violations and making renovations that will make the home modern and more up-to-date will not only help you rent faster but also be more competitive at the top of the market rent price.

  • Landscaping:

    Muddy yards, dead trees, and broken sidewalks could turn potential renters away. Investing in professional landscaping and lawn care will make your properties stand out and increase curb appeal which will also allow you to be competitive on the rental price. 

  • Property Management Companies Team:

    Before tenants move in, you should be ready to address all facets of being a landlord including rent collection, lease enforcement, maintenance requests, and more. Property management companies in Charleston SC can be great partners in making sure all of your list is checked off before you take the next step. When you work with a property management team, you also have all the professionals you need under one roof including maintenance! 

Getting your rental property ready for tenants to move can be overwhelming, especially if it’s the first time you are renting to someone. Let a property management company like Scott Properties help you get on the right footing so your investments will have the maximum return. 

Contact Scott properties today at 843-790-4929

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Property Management in Charleston | What Should be Included in a Tenant Welcome Letter

Property Management in Charleston

Providing great customer service is what will take property management in Charleston to the next level and help retain tenants longer. There is a lot of advice out there for property managers about how to provide the best service for tenants; however, one thing that is often missed is a tenant welcome letter. These letters should always be friendly, but also set expectations and provide vital information about the community and where to find other information.

If you’re in property management in Charleston, make sure these items are included in your tenant welcome letters:

  • Start the letter off positive, friendly, and welcoming.
  • Reinforce guidelines in the lease that keep the property safe such as policies regarding pets, smoking, renter’s insurance, utilities, smoke detectors, and pest control.
  • Information about the community such as school districts, non-emergency lines for the police and fire departments, closet hospital, grocery stores, and gas stations, special events in the community, and other amenities.
  • How to make maintenance requests
  • How to pay rent
  • How to set up an online tenant account if applicable
  • A change of address form for the post office
  • What maintenance requests constitutes an emergency
  • What to do and who to contact in case of an emergency

Companies offering property management in Charleston, and individual property managers need to have great relationships with tenants in order to increase resident retention. The longer you can keep great tenants happy and, in their homes, the better it is for creating a consistent cash flow for owners. Adding a personal touch such as a tenant welcome letter is a great way to keep channels of communication open and let tenants know you are glad to have them renting from you.  Some property management companies choose to offer their tenants welcome gifts such as plants or a fruit basket to welcome them into their new home as well.

If you need a property manager, call Scott Properties at Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-779-6527.

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Property Management in Charleston | How to Make Moveouts Go Smoother

Property Management in Charleston

One of the most strenuous things employees of property management in Charleston have to deal with is the tenant moveout process. There is always a sense of anxiety and dread when it comes to the final moveout inspection. Property managers never know what to expect when they open the door of a home after a tenant has turned in the keys once and for all. Property managers walk into a lot of different situations after a tenant moves out—homes that are trashed, pets left behind, food left in the fridge or cabinets, overgrown yards, and other disasters. Luckily there are a few ways to make moveouts go much smoother and reduce risk to the owner.

Tips to Make Moveouts Go Smoother

  1. Inspections- Property management in Charleston has a duty to keep the properties of their owners safe, occupied, and well-managed and part of doing this is performing rental property inspections. Walk-throughs should be completed before tenants move their belongings in (when the lease is signed usually), at the six-month or halfway point of the lease, and again before the keys are turned in. Tenants and property managers can sign these inspection forms accepting responsibility to conditions.
  2. Moveout Folder- 30 days before a tenant moves out a property manager can provide them with a moveout folder with checklists for moving out and cleaning, forwarding their mail, and how to schedule their moveout inspection. Tenants often appreciate knowing exactly what they are expected to do for moveout and even if the lease states these provisions already, a moveout folder with checklists will reinforce the expectations.
  3. Hand Deliver Notices or Send Certified Mail- One of the golden rules of property management in Charleston is always to verify the tenant received any communications sent. One of the best ways to do this is to hand-deliver notices or send certified mail. Taping notices to doors is not reliable.

Sometimes, no matter how much a property manager prepares for tenant moveouts, the tenant will still leave the home in a bad condition or not perform the cleaning tasks. This is where property managers on your team can be a lifesaver. Property management companies have connections with vendors that can come in and get the cleanouts done quickly!

If you need a property manager, call Scott Properties at Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-779-6527.

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Property Management in Charleston | How to Turn Your Home into A Rental Property

Many first-time rental home investors get into property management in Charleston by turning their family home into a rental. Retirees who are downsizing often decide to turn their homes into passive income revenue through rentals rather than selling their homes. Getting started with rental properties is not as easy as moving out and letting someone else move into your home and pay rent. There are a few steps property owners need to take to be renting legally.

Steps to Renting Your Home

You want your business to be legitimate and if you are diving into property management in Charleston there are a few steps you will need to take first.

  1. Establish a Business- Research your local business licensing requirements and what you need to do to establish your home as a rental property. There are often zoning restrictions or HOA regulations that govern rental properties as well as city ordinances.
  2. Updates to the Home- There are often regulations on rental homes that require the properties are up to date to city codes and building regulations. Before renting your home, you should ensure that the home is in a good livable condition which can sometimes include renovations.
  3. Hire Property Management- One of the best things you can do to get your rental business off the ground is to hire a company that does property management in Charleston. Property managers can handle all day-to-day duties of being a landlord, help with lease preparation, managing vendor relationships and maintenance, leasing and marketing, late payments, and even evictions. The best property management in Charleston will ensure your properties are always occupied with high-quality tenants that will be long-term renters.

Investors can consult with property management companies about the ins and outs of the rental business before committing to diving into buying homes or renting out their own. Gather as much information as possible to put yourself in the best position to be successful before expanding your portfolio.

If you’re ready to add property management to your team, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Property Management in Charleston | Expanding Your Rental Property Business to Multiple Locations

According to a State of the Industry Report for 2021 by Buildium, more than three-quarters of property investors plan to expand their portfolio within the next few years. Many investors navigating Property Management in Charleston know the value of having properties close to the metropolitan areas of the city, but now is a great time to start expanding into other neighborhoods around Charleston. Some investors don’t know the best practices to make their dream of expansion into other communities a reality; however, we’ve got some tips to share with you!

Here are some Best Practice Tips for Property Management in Charleston:

  1. Research the Market First- When you are looking to expand your rental properties into other communities the first thing you must do is research the market. As an investor, you need to know-how and understand the volatility of the real estate market as well as the market rental rates for comparable homes to what you are looking at purchasing. You want to ensure you will make a good profit off the home and that the rental market is stable.
  2. Research Regulations- There are many things to consider before being able to turn a property into a rental including zoning regulations, HUD guidelines, occupancy laws, landlord and tenant ordinances, and other laws that could impact property management in Charleston.
  3. Hire Property Management- One of the most important things an investor can do when expanding into new communities is hire a company that handles property management in Charleston. Property management companies have the resources and knowledge needed about the communities around Charleston to know exactly the best way to rent and manage your single-family rental investments. Property management in Charleston can give your rental business the professional edge you’ll need to be successful.

In addition to your property management team, investors need to have accountants, lawyers, and other staff to ensure their business interests are best protected. Advisors will help investors understand when their resources are stretched or able to expand, as well as help, understand your risk and return on investment strategies.

If you’re ready to add property management to your team, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

 

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Property Management in Charleston, SC | The Best Upgrades to Make to a Rental Property

Many investors who are getting into property management in Charleston, SC, are looking for homes they can get a great deal on so they can make the best return on their investment. Sometimes to get the best deal on a property, investors pick homes that can be remodeled or renovated easily to increase the value of the home and charge more rent. The hard part is deciding exactly which upgrades will be the most fruitful.

Top Upgrades for Rental Homes

There are many different upgrades that investors can make to single-family rental homes that will increase the value, but some upgrades can end up costing more than you expected. However, our property management company in Charleston, SC knows the best ones for you to invest in.

  • Kitchen Upgrades- Everyone loves a modern kitchen with upgraded, newer appliances. If the rental home is in a high demand area, you do not have to worry about doing a full-scale renovation to get the home rented quick. New appliances, a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, and new flooring when necessary can make a big impression on new tenants.
  • New Carpets or Flooring- When previous tenants have children or pets often the carpets can become beyond cleaning and need to be replaced. New flooring and carpets can greatly improve the look of a rental property and help it stand out to tenants. New flooring or replacing carpeting can usually be done in just one day also!
  • New Landscaping- Tenants looking for rental homes in South Carolina love having a nice yard where they can entertain guests and enjoy time outside. Property management in Charleston, SC always sees that potential tenants love homes with nice yards and show more interest in homes with professional landscaping.
  • Technical Upgrades- One of the easiest upgrades to make to rental homes is technical upgrades such as smart thermostats and lights, Ring doorbells, LED shower heads, energy efficient appliances, keyless entry, and security systems can make tenants feel safer. Younger renters are also tech-savvy and appreciate homes that meet their expectations for modern design and aesthetics.

No matter which upgrades you make, always keep property management in Charleston, SC at the top of your mind. Professionally managed properties always have increased resident retention and you will never have to worry about the day-to-day headaches of being a landlord.

If you are ready to start talking about property managers, call. Scott Properties today at 843-790-4929.

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Property Management in Charleston, SC | Should You Let Tenants Plant Gardens?

Tenants looking for single-family home rentals are in search of a place that will feel like their own. Most tenants look forward to making the inside of the rental feel like home, but some tenants might also want to make changes to the exterior of the home such as planting flowers, landscaping, yard decorations, painting the shutters or siding, adding yard games or vegetable gardens, or even planting their own trees. Making sure that the lease is specific regarding what tenants can do should be a high priority for leasing agents working in property management in Charleston, SC.

Property Management in Charleston, SC | Pros and Cons of Tenant Gardens

South Carolina weather is perfect for enjoying flowers, having gardens, and growing vegetables all year round, and many tenants renting through property management in Charleston, SC want to live on beautiful properties. There are many things to consider before letting tenants make substantial changes to the property such as flower beds and vegetable gardens.

  • The opinion of the property owner
  • Are there existing flower beds around the home from previous landscaping that tenants can fill-in?
  • Does the lease already include lawn maintenance?
  • Are there considerations that can be made for the size of flower beds or gardens?

The largest risk to allowing tenants to start their own gardens is the cost and time involved with returning the gardens to lawns when tenants move out. Some companies in property management in Charleston, SC choose to provide professional landscaping for their rental homes. Some property managers will also allow tenants to have greenhouses or raised beds rather than digging into the lawn when they want to start a garden.

Another risk a property manager takes in allowing tenant gardens is the gardens becoming overgrown and unsightly in the tenants do not keep up with taking care of the beds. Depending on neighborhood and city ordinances, the property management company may be forced to make the necessary changes to the property.

If you are looking for professional property management in Charleston, SC, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Property Manager | Should You Let Tenants Do Their Own Landscaping?

Charleston Property Management

One of the best parts of living in a house is being able to plant flowers, trees, beautiful landscaping, and enjoying your backyard. While homeowners can do what they want freely with their yard space (with exceptions of city ordinances or HOA regulations), families renting their homes might not get to enjoy this perk of single-family home living. If your tenants ask you about planting a garden, adding or changing the landscaping, or upgrading the backyard, there are a few considerations you can make as a property manager before deciding.

  1. The Owner-At the end of the day, the property owner will decide what kind of landscaping or improvements/upgrades can be made to the property. As the property manager, you might just have to explain to tenants that the decision is out of your hands if owners don’t agree with what the tenant would like to do.
  2. Lease-The lease is a legally binding agreement, and the rules about gardening and landscaping or changes to the existing property may already be outlined in the lease. Making exceptions for tenants and bending the rules is frowned upon and can get you into a tricky situation when other tenants ask for exceptions to be made for them as well.
  3. Cost-One thing a property manager must keep in mind is the cost of the improvements or landscaping. While the tenant may offer to pay for and maintain the landscaping themselves, what happens when the tenant decides to move out in the future? Will they want to dig up all the plants and take them when they move, leaving a mess of dirt and holes in the yard? Is the property owner willing to have the landscaping maintained after the tenants move out?
  4. Curb Appeal-Landscaping can significantly improve curb appeal and add value to the home or attract new renters quickly. However, complicated and intricate landscaping and garden beds could be challenging to maintain or unappealing to other renters.

If you do decide to allow tenants to change or add landscaping, make sure that you are working together to come up with the best plan and design. There’s nothing wrong with limiting the tenant’s options as long as all parties are following the terms of the lease. Coming up with a plan together is a great way for a property manager to increase resident satisfaction and retention as well.

Contact a Charleston Property Manager

If you’re looking for a property manager you can trust, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.