full service solutions for owners and investors.
Preparing to rent the property
When prospective tenants view your vacancy, Legends Realty wants the property to look its best and compete with area rentals. A property maintenance report and rental market survey is completed. The Legends Realty management team will contact you to discuss the details of your vacant property and any necessary maintenance.
Setting the rent
Supply and demand determines rent. If there are multiple rentals available in the area of your property, it is necessary to be very competitive. If very few are “for rent” in the same area, it can make it easier to rent the property. Markets change and Legends Realty advises owners on the “current rental market.”
Continue to analyze the property and price during the vacancy process
To help you determine the correct course to take next, together we must evaluate the following. If the showings along with phone calls, emails and website views seem too few, this usually means the asking rental price needs to be reduced. If the prospective tenant’s feedback complains about a specific concern then we recommend these areas be addressed as soon as possible.
Example: If the property is being shown a lot but has not rented the problem is usually something in regards to the condition of the property. However, if showings are few that is a good indicator that the price needs to be adjusted.
This is the most commonly asked question Legends Realty receives from owners.
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how long a property will remain on the market, even in the best market conditions. However, Legends Realty works diligently to rent the property as quickly as possible. What is important to remember is that the most important objective is to have “a quality tenant.”
Legends Realty or any other property management company can rent properties “quickly” if they do not have standards for obtaining good tenancy. However, bad tenants will only create more expense and another unwanted vacancy; therefore, waiting for the “right tenant” is worth the additional time it can take to rent the property.
Legends Realty has found that the Internet and the Legends Realty website, www.CentralFLRentals.com receives tremendous exposure, as well as using www.rentals.com, www.rentalhomepros.com, www. Freerentalsite.com, www.homerentals.net, Google, yahoo, Craigslist, MLS, www.realtor.com, www.homes-orl.com, www.rentlist.com, www.rent2buy.com and many more.
Legends Realty displays “For Rent” signs prominently (if permitted by the Home Owner’s Association), and each sign carries the office phone number and website. Signs promote calls. The caller can immediately access the property information and can schedule a time to view the property.
Showings and applications
The Legends Realty property managers conduct showings for each vacant unit. We arrange showing times for your property, and appointments by contacting the Legends Realty office directly. When prospective tenants see the property, the management team answers questions and distributes applications. Applications are also available in the Legends Realty office, at the property showings, and www.CentralFLRentals.com.
Thorough screening is crucial to successful Property Management. Legends Realty requires all applicants to fill out a detailed application and submit it for processing/approval. A credit check is NOT enough! Our company conducts a careful review of their credit, income, social security search, check writing ability and tenant history or ownership.
All applicants must submit verifiable information on their income to show they can support the property. Rental history or previous home ownership is carefully checked. Cross-referencing all three areas – credit, tenant history, and income - provides the answers to qualify or disqualify prospective applicants. If a pet is allowed on the property, the screening includes the pet.
Legends Realty normally does not accept cosigners. Legends Realty policy is that the applicants should have the ability to rent on their own merits. However, there are sometimes conditions that may warrant taking a cosigner on a property. If this is the case Legends Realty will notify the owner, discuss the reasons, and obtain owner authorization.
If an owner authorizes a pet, Legends Realty requires a non-refundable pet fee. Legends Realty does not use the term “pet deposit.” By avoiding this terminology, Legends Realty can use the amount of the entire security deposit and pet fee when there is animal/pet damage.
Many tenants have or want pets. It is legal for property owners to discriminate against pets. You may wish to do so. However, whether you have or have not decided to allow a pet in your property, the Legends Realty application has a place for prospective tenants to list pets and how many. It is important NOT to discourage full disclosure on pets while taking an application. If you do allow a pet, Legends Realty does not place inappropriate pets in a property.
Legends Realty recommends to owners that when the property is on the market, that pets are “negotiable.” This can solve two problems.
Special note: “Service animals” for handicapped/disabled persons are NOT pets by Federal law, and owners cannot discriminate against handicapped/disabled persons with a service animal. Fair Housing legislation does NOT allow owners or property managers to collect deposits of any kind for service animals.
However, Landlords can still process applicants who are handicapped or disabled on the same criteria as other applicants: income, credit, and tenant history. If they fail to qualify in these areas, the landlord/manager can still deny the application, handicapped or not.
Rent and security deposits
Legends Realty does not accept personal checks prior to renting the property and does not allow “payments” on security deposits – we require all funds paid in full prior to renting the property. This eliminates prospective tenants who really do NOT have the necessary funds for renting.
Once approved, all applicants must pay in full, the first month’s rent, and a security deposit equal to the first month’s rent, in certified funds. Legends Realty does not exceed the maximum security deposit allowed by the Florida landlord/tenant laws.
Once Legends Realty receives funds, a thorough rental/lease agreement with the applicant is completed. The Legends Realty maintenance addendum and all necessary addendums are included with this documentation.
All persons 18 and over, including adult children, are required to read and sign all rental/lease agreements. If the accepted applicants are a foreign nationality and cannot read and understand the documentation, they must supply an interpreter of legal age for signing the rental/lease agreements.
A vital part of the rental agreement is a detailed walk-through video performed by the Management Team and a move-in condition sheet provided to the tenants, documenting the condition of the property when they move in. Unless extenuating circumstances prevail, the Legends Realty team completes the video before the tenant takes possession of the property.
The video documents the condition of the property. When the tenant moves out of the property, there is a sound basis for the security deposit refund.
In the event the monthly rent amount falls below $800.00, digital pictures will be taken prior to the lease start date in lieu of a video.
Tenants immediately receive the “Legends Realty Tenant Handbook.” This detailed booklet gives them additional information on how to care for the property, report repairs, maintain the property, make timely payments, how to give proper notice to vacate, leave the property in good condition, and more.
Tenant education and preparation
Taking the time to prepare tenants for their Legends Realty residency is another step toward a successful tenant/landlord relationship. Additional forms that the tenants may need are included with the “Legends Realty Tenant Handbook.” Legends Realty wants both owners and tenants well informed.
Rents are due on the first (1st) day of the month and late if not received in the Legends Realty office by close of business on the fourth (4th) of the month.
Legends Realty recognizes that many things can happen where it concerns rent; rent can really be lost “in the mail”; employers can delay the tenant’s paycheck, there are real tenant emergencies, and more. Therefore, we make a serious effort to determine why the tenant is having a problem. If Legends Realty receives the rent prior to issuing owner funds Legends Realty does not contact the owner unless the Legends Realty management team determines there is an ongoing rent issue.
Notice to pay or quit
If LEGENDS REALTY does not receive rent by the due date, Legends Realty prepares and delivers a timely notice to pay or quit, as the law allows. Legends Realty makes every effort to mail and post notices properly should legal action be required. Legends Realty determines the tenant is not going to pay the rent during the notice to pay or quit period, or shortly thereafter, Legends Realty contacts the property owner and works out a plan of action.
There are notices that may be involved with tenants. Legends Realty serves notices as situations warrant, such as a notice to clean up the landscape, a notice to enter the property, a notice to perform property review, a notice regarding an illegal pet, illegal tenants, etc. These tenant violations may be in the form of a letter or a legal Notice “form.” Often, these notices are simply to correct minor tenant problems and most tenants comply. However, if necessary, Legends Realty may contact the owner with the information to discuss the situation.
Legends Realty has years of experience handling the myriad of tenant difficulties that can occur. The Legends Realty policy is to obtain good tenants, eliminating many tenant problems.
However, even good tenants have problems. Legends Realty treats each problem with common sense approach, follows landlord/tenant law, and uses the appropriate documentation. If the situation is serious, Legends Realty may contact the owner, and will work to find a solution for the problem.
Our company policy is to take a “what if” approach. Legends Realty documents tenant problems in the event that it becomes a legal problem. One of the reasons you hired a property manager is for “peace of mind.” This is what Legends Realty recognizes and works to prevent legal issues from arising.
Although Legends Realty works diligently to avoid the necessity to begin an action, such as an unlawful detainer or eviction proceeding, it can happen. In the event any legal action is required, Legends Realty will begin the process in a timely manner.
The best approach to maintenance is “preventative maintenance,” and this is the Legends Realty policy.
First, Legends Realty has already started with educating the tenant by:
We want the tenant to know from the beginning of their tenancy that the Legends Realty /landlord expectations are to “care for the property.” This approach can prevent costly maintenance.
Next, we use “preventative maintenance” techniques when work is required and utilize Licensed and insured contractors. Often the minor expenditures save the most money such as doorstops, new filters, checking appliances, testing smoke alarms, adjusting doors, window latches, deadbolts, and more. Many small repair items can prevent maintenance that is more expensive.
Consider the cost of repairs like holes behind doors, clogged heaters and air-conditioners, appliance problems, dry rot, safety issue and more. Then of course, there are the major issues in a home such as the roof, the exterior condition of the building, carpeting, interior, and exterior paint, etc. When left to deteriorate, it usually means the owner will have to spend more in the future.
It is equally important to keep up with maintenance while the tenant occupies the property. Often people think no news is good news; this can be just the opposite. Instead, “delayed news can become very bad news.”
This is why, in our tenant instructions, we require them to report maintenance. For example, what is worse than finding out dry rot could have been prevented or discoloration of the linoleum if the tenant had reported the leaking toilet in the bathroom? Avoiding major maintenance costs are certainly more favorable in such cases.
The Legends Realty management teams contact owners regarding maintenance above the $350.00 minimum that is listed in the Legends Realty Management contract, unless the situation is an emergency.
When an emergency and/or disaster strikes, Legends Realty has policies in place for the property and tenants. Legends Realty notifies the property owner as soon as practical. The nature of the emergency and/or disaster determines the action needed by Legends Realty.
There are times when a property manager must “act” in order to prevent great financial risk to the owner. For example, when a property is flooding this is handled as an emergency.
Notice to vacate
When there is a notice to vacate, the move out procedures with tenants are as critical as when Legends Realty moves in a tenant. The preparation for this really began when the tenant moved in with a detailed rental agreement, maintenance addendum, walk-through video, and Legends Realty Tenant Handbook. All of these documents gave instructions to the tenant on how to move out.
Communication with owners and tenants
Legends Realty notifies the owner giving details on how they will proceed with the tenant and re-renting the property. Legends Realty immediately places the property on the market to rent unless the owner notifies Legends Realty to take other measures.
Legends Realty also responds to the tenant notice with a detailed Move-Out Packet detailing the steps to complete a successful move. Rent is required until the end of the notice unless otherwise stated in the rental/lease agreement.
Tenant move out
Legends Realty conducts a walk-through property review similar to the one performed when the tenant moved into the property. Legends Realty records any maintenance required and discloses a list of damages to the vacating tenant. Digital photographs or video are taken when the tenant moves out to document the condition of the property and support any deductions from the security deposit.
Security deposit refunds
Proper handling of the security deposit refund is crucial. Any tenant deductions are determined in a timely manner, and a security deposit transmittal is prepared in accordance with state laws. Upon vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the LANDLORD shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together, or the LANDLORD shall have 30 days to give TENANT written notice by certified mail to the TENANT last known mailing address and the reason for imposing the claim. Owners receive a copy of the transmittal with their monthly statement, showing any deductions and monies refunded.
The following are “additional services” offered by Legends Realty to each property owner. They are not included in the fees for managing and/or leasing the property.
Do you know someone who is looking for management services in the Central Florida area? If so, then notify your management team. Legends Realty values their client business and believes in rewarding referrals from clients. Please call for more details and a referral form.
Legends Realty Maintenance Department schedules Bi-Annual Property Reviews with your tenant. We will prepare a written report to include digital pictures that will be emailed during the month the review is completed. The report will contain recommendations to preserve the value of your property.
Supervision of extraordinary maintenance
Legends Realty charges a percentage of the repair not to exceed $1000.00 for supervising work requiring extraordinary maintenance and the definition of extraordinary maintenance is as follows:
The definition of extraordinary maintenance is rehabilitation work to included, but not limited to, insurance claims, preparing new listings to accomplish rent ready status, if needed and major systems replacements. (Examples are roof replacement, major tree work, exterior painting, vandalism, etc.).
The Legends Realty policy is to consult licensed contractors for bids and solutions. Then Legends Realty contacts the property owner for authorization and/or decision regarding the maintenance.
Managing/Evicting an Owner Procured Tenant
Legends Realty charges a fee to list a property with a Tenant in Duress in addition to the cost of the Eviction. This fee is assessed when a property is listed Tenant Occupied and the tenant is delinquent with the rent. Legends Realty will serve the appropriate notices in an attempt to collect any rent that becomes due after the start of our Management Agreement. If the tenant remains delinquent Legends Realty will file the required documents to begin Eviction Proceedings. The cost of the Eviction would be an Owner expense, Eviction Protection is not offered for Owner Procured Tenants.
Eviction protection plan
Many owners worry about the financial burden of evicting a tenant and paying the legal fees. The Legends Realty Eviction Protection Plan is available to you with our Professional Services.
Our screening process reduces this possibility, but evictions can happen. Should this occur, this plan covers the cost of to be determined. If you are interested, ask your management team for more information.
Real Estate services
The Legends Realty Sales Division is available to assist you in buying more investment property or selling your property when ready, including those requiring 1031 exchanges. A free market analysis is available at any time with no obligation. Please contact your property management team or one of our sales team to provide you with the information or services you need.
When you entered into a management agreement, Legends Realty established an account for you and your property. Legends Realty recognizes the importance of accurately collecting and disbursing funds. The bookkeeping program used by Legends Realty is specialized software designed to handle the many facets of property management and accurate record keeping, and complies with the requirements of the Florida Real Estate Commission.
Legends Realty holds your account in a trust fund mandated by the state of Florida. This account does not earn interest. Legends Realty accounts for each owner’s funds separately in the trust account and does not co-mingle funds with broker monies, following the Florida Real Estate Commission requirements.
Legends Realty sends monthly statements to owners via their owner portal. If you have difficulty reading your monthly statement, please contact your management team. We are happy to assist you and answer your questions.
Disbursement of monthly funds
Legends Realty disburses available funds to owners on the 10th of each month UNLESS either day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday, in which case disbursements are processed on the following Tuesday. A calendar of scheduled payout process dates is available on our website www.centralflrentals.com. Legends Realty does not disburse funds on weekends and holidays. Legends Realty does NOT issue owner checks unless there are sufficient funds in the owner’s account. It is vital to accurately post rents, pay vendors, and disburse funds for your account. Therefore, it is vital that Legends Realty adhere to this schedule to ensure servicing every owner’s account.
Legends Realty distributes owner funds in two ways:
End of year procedures
At the end of each year, Legends Realty is required to file 1099’s for income received over $600. Please note that this amount is for “total income received,” and not the yearly total of owner disbursements. The Internal Revenue Service dictates the “total income received” requirement. Please note that security deposits are not included in this amount.
It is necessary that you supply Legends Realty with the necessary Social Security/Tax ID information so the 1099 is accurate. Legends Realty will send the 1099 for the rent by January 31 for the previous tax year. If there is a change in your tax information such as a new trust or address, please notify us with the Owner Change of Information form. If you need another change form, please contact us.
Legends Realty also issues 1099s for disbursements to vendors for work over $600.00. Therefore, owners do not have to issue 1099s for work completed and paid through the Legends Realty trust account. Owners are responsible for issuing 1099s to any vendor paid through the owner’s personal account.
Additionally, owners will receive an income and expenses report to reflect what had transpired throughout the year, such as management fees, leasing fees, landscape, utilities, repairs and maintenance, etc. The amounts will not reflect any funds issued through the owners personal account. Owners can submit the income and expense report to their tax person along with other information for income tax reporting. Legends Realty does not issue statements to the owner’s tax preparers.