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Why Renters’ Insurance Must Be Mandatory

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One way to start building wealth and having a stream of residual income is to rent your home in Charleston. Housing is an ever present and growing need in Charleston and all over South Carolina. Property owners and investors have a great chance to increase their profits while also providing a vital service for residents. It’s imperative to protect your investment and keep properties in great condition to get the best return. One of the best ways to protect your investment is requiring tenants to have renters’ insurance.

Why Renters’ Insurance is Important | Property Management in Charleston

When you rent your home in Charleston, it can be nerve-racking to put your trust in tenants to keep your property maintained. Your property insurance will cover major disasters, but won’t cover your tenants’ belongings. Tenants often believe that the investor’s insurance will cover their belongings, but this is a myth that often leaves renters and landlords in a terrible predicament. While renters’ insurance isn’t required by law in South Carolina, it can still be added as mandatory in the lease agreement.

If you rent your home in Charleston, your insurance policy will cover structural damages to property, liability if renters make claims against you, rental income losses, and sometimes the investor’s property such as appliances being provided in the home. 

Tenants with renters’ insurance are less likely to have conflict when damages occur due to fire, flooding, break-in, or other circumstances that could result in a loss of property. Renters’ insurance can also cover damages from pets the renter may have in the home. With renters’ insurance, both the tenant and the investor can be protected. 

Before you let the tenant sign the lease, make sure to get a copy of their renters’ insurance policy. You should also ask for a new copy of the renters’ insurance policy during every lease renewal. Partnering with a property manager can help make the leasing process and all the administrative tasks go smoother. 

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

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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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Avoid These Property Investment Mistakes | Property Management Company

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Purchasing rental property is a great way to build wealth that can maximize your profits for generations. Housing will always be needed so the investment is likely to be a good one. However, investors who are new to rental homes can easily fall into a few pitfalls that can set them back on their investments. A good property management company in Charleston can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes investors make, but knowing them ahead of time can save you a lot of money and hassle. 

Most Common Mistakes Investors Make

  1. Violating Housing and Building Codes: When you invest in real estate, it is imperative to know the ins and outs of building and housing codes. When homes are not compliant with building and housing codes or ordinances, fines can be issued. Homes can also be deemed uninhabitable with renters being displaced which can cause legal troubles for an investor and property management company in Charleston.
  2. Charging the Wrong Rent: Some investors price rent too high while others go way too low. The rental market in Charleston is huge, and market rent can quickly fluctuate. Working with a property management company in Charleston can help investors charge a rent amount that turns a profit and keeps residents releasing. 
  3. Underestimating Costs: When choosing a property to invest in, you must consider additional costs to have a home ready to rent. Many first time investors purchase fixer-uppers with the intentions of renting or selling with a huge profit, but underestimate the repair costs. Investing too much money upfront makes the time to become profitable much longer.

There are many nuances to investing, portfolio building, and providing quality housing for tenants. Once you’re ready to start moving tenants in, a property management company in Charleston can step in to get your profits rolling. Property managers will take over the day-to-day operations of your rental including leasing, communicating with tenants, and scheduling maintenance. Don’t let the do-it-yourself mindset stand in the way of operating an efficient rental company, hire property management today!

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

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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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When Carpet Cleaning be Scheduled for Rentals? | Property Management Company

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One of the things that never ends for property management companies in Charleston SC is the supply of maintenance requests from tenants of rental properties. Keeping homes in good condition is a big job, especially when you get the occasional tenant who has little regard for the property. 

Property management companies in Charleston SC make owning rental property easy because they handle all the day-to-day tenant calls for maintenance and other issues. Not only that, but a property manager can inspect the rental, schedule updates, and make sure the property is made good as new between tenants. 

Carpet Cleaning Requests

Carpets are generally so torn up between tenants that it is best to replace the carpet before showing the rental home to new, potential renters. However, professional carpet cleaning is one of the most frequently asked for maintenance requests. Some property management companies in Charleston SC offer a free, professional carpet cleaning once per year when tenants renew their lease. Sometimes, property managers can schedule carpet cleanings on as needed basis for tenants who request them. 

Sometimes, if a professional carpet cleaning service is not an option, maintenance technicians can use a carpet cleaning machine to complete a DIY cleaning for tenants. It is not uncommon for property management companies in Charleston SC to only schedule professional carpet cleaning when tenants move out if the carpet does not need to be replaced. Some property managers will extend carpet cleaning to encourage tenant retention, but a rental company will work with the property owner to create a plan that works for everyone. 

Fees for carpet cleaning are usually applied to the deposit if carpets are soiled and stained after the tenant moves out. Some property management leases require tenants to have the carpets cleaned as part of the moveout process with an inspection to verify. For best practices, ensure all leases outline procedures around carpet cleaning and other maintenance requests. 

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 Companies in Charleston SC | 2022 Property Management Trends

Property Management Companies in Charleston SC

The last few years have been nothing short of a roller coaster for property management companies in Charleston SC and everywhere else around the world. Many companies had to quickly transfer most of the operations to digital formats, including showing rental homes, meeting with investors and vendors, and leasing properties during the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, in 2022 property managers and property owners are now in a place where they know everywhere they need to invest to move forward successfully in their businesses. 

The top trends for property management companies in Charleston SC are the following in 2022:

  • Investing in Legal Services:

    The covid-19 pandemic has opened up investors’ and property managers’ eyes to the need to prioritize legal services. When eviction moratoriums are put into place, rental property owners and managers need to know what recourse they have to protect their investment. Having a legal advisor on staff is a trend every property management company should invest in.

  • Digital Property Management Tools:

    Most professional property management companies in Charleston SC have been using digital tools in their business for some time. The last few years have shown a need for more detailed reporting and communication which has made owner portals more popular than ever. Resident portals are also a super convenient way for tenants to make maintenance requests, pay rent online, make referrals, or send messages to management. Property management companies are also upgrading their websites to include virtual tours and online application processes.

  • Digital Marketing:

    Almost everyone has a smartphone and digital access to so much has created an expectation that that access will always be there. Most property management companies in Charleston SC have found success in keeping properties full by investing in digital marketing strategists. 

These property trends are important to keep informed on when working in property management. If you own rental properties, partnering with a property management company that understands the business trends that will make you successful is vital to getting the best return on your investments. 

If you are ready to partner with a property management company in Charleston, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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What You Need to Know About Rental Income and Taxes | Property Management Companies in Charleston Sc

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Taxes are complicated for everyone, but investors with rental homes have a lot to account for that can make tax time confusing. Luckily, Property management companies in Charleston SC can help ease the burden on investors. While these companies cannot file your taxes for you, property managers provide a lot of administrative services to clients that will help your accountant get the best tax outcomes. 

What is Rental Income?

The IRS defines rental income as any payment received for the use or occupation of a property. These payments include:

  • Rent payments
  • Advance payments
  • Nonreturned security deposits
  • Cancellation fees charged to the renter
  • Lease violation fees charged to the renter
  • Services received in lieu of rent

The IRS treats rental income similarly to how they treat independent contractors, sole proprietors, and small business owners. You will pay taxes at the same rate as your income tax bracket; however, investors are able to claim many deductions to reduce the taxes they owe. 

Deductions Rental Property Owners Can Make on Taxes

Some of the deductions that rental property owners can make on their income taxes include:

  • Interest on the mortgage or loans
  • Property taxes
  • Updates, renovations, repairs
  • Utility expenses
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Advertising costs
  • Fees for property management
  • Maintenance fees
  • Cleaning fees
  • Vendor fees
  • HOA or condominium fees
  • Deductions for depreciation

One of the best things rental property companies in Charleston SC can do for their clients is provide monthly financial statements, year-end statements, and other information owners can use to make tax filing smooth and efficient.

When you use property management companies in Charleston SC your rental income is passive which means any loss relating to your rental investments can offset income you have from other sources. This could lower your tax bill. 

Investors need to report their rental income on a Form 1040 or 1040-SR and Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss. If you have questions about some of the boxes you will have to fill in on these forms your property manager can help you know where to look to find the answers!

If you are ready to explore a partnership with a top property management company, call Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-202-4274.

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Are Property Management Companies a Scam? | Property Management Companies in Charleston SC

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Property management companies in Charleston Sc have heard it plenty of times—property management companies are scam, aren’t they? Property owners are sometimes nervous about hiring someone else to manage their properties; after all, being a landlord is easy, right? 

Investors who are buying their first homes for rent and have never worked with property management companies in Charleston SC may not see the benefits that come with hiring a property manager; however, these companies are definitely not scams. While hiring property management may be another investment to make, the return will be worth every penny. 

What Do Property Management Companies in Charleston SC Do?

Landlords must wear lots of hats from maintenance to marketing, leasing, and even legal proceedings. One of the top things a property management company will do for you is take all the weight of these various jobs off your shoulders and hand them off to the experts in those areas. 

One of the top advantages of using property management companies in Charleston SC is being able to sit back, relax, and know professionals are keeping your home maintained at a top standard, rent is profitable, and the tenants living in your home are the most qualified.

Some of the most valuable tasks property management companies in Charleston SC handle for clients include:

  • Rent collection
  • Tenant account management 
  • Reporting of property financial, occupancy, leasing, and maintenance status
  • Marketing of the property 
  • Showing potential renters unoccupied properties
  • Leasing 
  • Inspecting properties
  • Handling tenant communications
  • Handling legal matters
  • Handling maintenance requests
  • Investigating complaints and leasing violations
  • Working with vendors
  • Conducting background and credit checks

These tasks take a lot of time to complete and managing properties is a full-time job. Investors typically already have a full-time job or are looking to enjoy retirement in peace. Property manager partnerships can make an investor’s life easier, your homes will build more equity, and residual income is certain. 

If you are ready to explore a partnership with a top property management company, call Scott Properties of Charleston at 843-202-4274.

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Property Management Services in Charleston | What Upgrades to Single Family Homes are Worth It?

Property Management Services in Charleston

Property investing can be a tricky business and it is all about balancing the numbers and making good choices on which properties are best to buy, and how to upgrade those properties to make the most of them. Property management services in Charleston have a lot of expertise when it comes to knowing what renters are looking for in single-family housing. We talk to tenants every single day who are asking for upgrades at renewal time and new prospects who expect only the best when living in Charleston. However, not every upgrade is worth it, and we will tell you what trends you can skip, as well as which are worth it.

Upgrades Worth Doing on Single-Family Rentals

There are many upgrades that will have tenants choosing to renew their leases without a second thought, and new tenants will appreciate. Some of these upgrades will even make it possible for you to charge more rent and make the property more competitive.

  • Upgrading the bathroom
  • Upgrading the Kitchen Appliances
  • Brand new carpet installation
  • Fresh paint
  • New cabinets and fixtures
  • A deck or patio
  • Hardwood floors to replace linoleum or vinyl.
  • Roof replacement
  • Siding Replacement

Property management services in Charleston see many tenants falling in love with properties that are newly renovated. Brand new roofs are also a great selling point that help renters feel safe and secure in the home.

Upgrades You Can Skip on Single-Family Rentals

Some upgrades are very costly and might not be worth it in the end. These are the upgrades you can skip, especially if budgeting is a concern.

  • Professional landscaping, especially if you are renting to families with kids or who may not be able to help with the upkeep.
  • Smart Home features may seem cool, but they do not add much value to the rental price. There are many wireless electronics that can turn your home into a smart home that tenants can use without the hassle and take to their future homes as well. Let them handle the technology.

Property management services in Charleston can work with investors to help create upgrade plans that add value to the home and be a reason to increase the rent at lease renewal time or for new tenants.

If you are looking for professional property managers to help you make the most of your rental property investments, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.