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Tips and Tricks for Advertising Your Rental Property in Lakewood, CO

Susan Melton - Friday, August 16, 2019

Assured Management is an industry leader in property management serving the West side of Denver Metro Area.

Advertising and marketing your rental property is an important part of keeping vacancy rates low and attracting outstanding tenants who will pay rent on time, maintain your home, and follow the terms of your lease agreement.

You have to advertise aggressively so you can get the attention of a large pool of potential renters. These are some of the tips and tricks we use as professional Lakewood property managers.

Make Sure the Property is Rent-Ready

Before you can begin advertising your property, it has to be ready for the rental market. This doesn’t mean almost ready or good enough. We mean move-in ready. Why is this important? Because good tenants are looking for homes that are not going to need a lot of cleaning and work before they begin unpacking. They want to be able to imagine themselves living in your property. So, before you even think about advertising it, make sure the property is empty and clean.

Walk through the home with a critical eye to see if there’s anything that needs fixing or replacing. Look for light bulbs that are burnt out, outlets that don’t work, and sinks that are dripping. Mow the lawn and create some eye-catching curb appeal. Don’t post an ad until you’re positive your home is ready to show to tenants.

Take Excellent Property Photos

A major part of your rental property advertising strategy is photography. Take high quality, professional-type photos of your empty home. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer (although it might help). You can probably take good pictures with your phone as long as you pay attention to the lighting and the spacing. Take pictures from corners so you can maximize the amount of the room you’re showing. Include a photo of any yard space and special amenities such as garden tubs, walk-in closets, or updated kitchens. You want to include as many photos as possibly in your advertising.

Use Online Advertising Resources

The best place to advertise your rental property is online. No one is reading the classifieds in newspapers anymore. Those glossy real estate catalogues that you see in supermarkets are not where tenants are looking for homes. Create an online listing to go with your photographs and get it on as many sites as possible. You’ll attract a large pool of tenants who are actively looking for rental homes.

Social media can help as well. Post your ad on Facebook or Twitter or even Instagram. People know people who are looking for homes, so word can spread fast.

Post a Professional Sign

There’s still room in advertising for professional signage. Post a good-looking sign in front of the property that includes your contact information and pertinent information such as number of bedrooms and amount of rent. This will help you get the attention of people who happen to be walking or driving through the neighborhood.

We love working with owners to advertise their properties. If you’d like to access our tools and resources or you need help with property management in Lakewood, Colorado, please contact us at Assured Management.

Tenant Damage vs. Normal Wear and Tear: Know the Difference in Lakewood, CO

Susan Melton - Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Assured Management is an industry leader in property management serving the West side of Denver Metro Area.

Unless a different time period is specified in the lease, landlords in Lakewood, Colorado are required to return their tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of a tenant moving out. How do you know whether to charge that deposit for damage and repairs?

It’s important to know whether the repairs required at your rental property are due to normal wear and tear or tenant abuse and neglect. Tenants are responsible for any damage they or their guests created. But, the wear and tear items are your responsibility as a landlord. Today, we’re helping you understand the difference.

Conducting and Documenting a Move-Out Inspection

Before you make any decisions about wear and tear or damage, you need to inspect your property thoroughly after your tenant moves out. This gives you the opportunity to compare the condition at the end of the lease to the condition of the home at the beginning of the lease. Make sure you take a lot of photos and include careful notes. You should have conducted a move-in inspection as well, so you’ll have plenty of documentation that can help you determine whether there’s any damage at the property.

Examples of Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear includes any deterioration that occurs in the general use of the property. It occurs no matter who is living there. All of those small nail holes in your walls from where tenants hung pictures are considered normal wear and tear. You might see that the paint in the living room is scuffed a bit from where sofas or other furniture were pushed against the wall. That’s wear and tear. Some worn carpet in high traffic areas is also wear and tear, assuming the condition of the carpet is otherwise intact. These things will need to be addressed before a new tenant moves into the home, and the cost will need to be covered by the landlord.

Examples of Property Damage

Property damage goes beyond what you find that’s normal wear and tear. Broken doors, windows, and appliances are good examples of damage. If you find large stains on the carpets or a tenant’s toddler has used the walls as an art canvas, you can charge the security deposit to repair those items. Gaping holes in the walls from where a large television was mounted could also be considered damage. When pets scratch at surfaces or dig up landscaping, you can consider it damage.

These are things that your tenant is responsible for paying for out of the security deposit. Make sure you document exactly what those charges reflect, and provide the tenant with copies of the invoices or bills that show the costs.

We always recommend that you be reasonable and fair when you’re deciding to deduct for damage. You should hold your tenants accountable, but you don’t want to give them a reason to file a claim against you for an illegal security deposit charge. Most conflicts between landlords and tenants surround the security deposit, so make sure you can back up any claims of damage that you’re making.

We’d be happy to help you if you’re not sure what’s damage and what qualifies as wear and tear. Contact us at Assured Management today.

What Needs to Be Included in My Lakewood, CO Lease Agreement?

Susan Melton - Monday, June 17, 2019

Assured Management is an industry leader in property management serving the West side of Denver Metro Area.

Your lease agreement is the most important document that you’ll sign with your tenant. It’s meant to protect you and your property, and it’s also something that the tenant can use to answer questions during the tenancy. It’s important that you use a lease which is enforceable in Colorado and compliant with all federal, state, and local laws. We don’t recommend that you simply download a sample lease from any website you find on the internet. Get a professional lease from a professional property manager or a real estate attorney.

Every lease will vary depending on the property that’s being rented and the people who are involved. However, there are a few things that you absolutely need to include in your lease agreement.

Contact and Identifying Information

Every lease should include the names of the landlord and the tenant. You’ll want to provide the property address as well, with a description of what the property looks like. For example, you’ll state that it’s a single-family home with two stories or a unit in a fourplex with private parking. List the names and ages of all occupants as well, even if they aren’t old enough to sign the lease. If there are pets, describe the pets and include a copy of your pet policy so the tenants have something in writing regarding responsibilities and expectations.

Lease and Renewal Terms

The lease agreement must include the effective date of the lease and the day that it ends. Most leases are one-year in length, but yours could be 18 months or six months. In addition to the lease term, your agreement should also reference the procedures that each party must follow when the lease is ending. The tenant will have to notify the landlord within 30 or 60 days of their intention to move out, for example. Or, the landlord will have to offer a lease renewal 30 days in advance of the lease ending. Or, the lease could convert to a month-to-month agreement at the end of the term.

Rent and Security Deposit Payments

Note the amount of security deposit that the tenants paid, and specify when it will be returned. Colorado law requires that you return the deposit within 30 days of the tenants moving out, unless your lease specifies otherwise. The maximum amount of time you’ll have is 60 days.

You need to stipulate how much rent is due every month, how it should be paid, and when it’s due. If there’s a grace period, make sure your lease reflects that. If you’re implementing late fees once the rent payment is late, your lease agreement must include that information as well as any other consequences to late or unpaid rent.

Additional Rules and Responsibilities

Beyond the required information, your lease should include everything you want the tenant to know about the expectations you have while they’re living in your property. Many landlords have non-smoking homes, which means tenants are not permitted to smoke anything inside the property. You might want to include limits to how long guests can stay in the property and the number of cars that can be parked in the driveway. Make sure you’re detailed and you cover everything because this is the first place you and your tenants will go if there’s ever a dispute.

We write and negotiate leases for our rental property owners every day. If you have any questions, please contact us at Assured Management. We’d love to be your Lakewood property management resource.

Landlord's Guide to Reducing Vacancies in Your Lakewood, CO Rental Property

Susan Melton - Friday, May 17, 2019

Assured Management is an industry leader in property management serving the West side of Denver Metro Area.

Losing any money on your investment property hurts, but when that loss is due to vacancy, it can be especially painful. Why? Because vacancies represent money you’ll never be able to earn back. And, they’re often avoidable.

We have been managing rental properties in Lakewood since 1987, and we have adopted a few strategies to help our owners avoid long and expensive vacancy periods. Today, we’re sharing them with you.

Price Your Home Correctly

Everyone wants to earn as much rent as possible on their property. However, if you’re stubbornly holding out for a rental price that’s above what the market supports, you’re going to have an empty property for longer. Reduce your vacancy rate by pricing your property competitively so that it’s attractive to good tenants. This will get your rent coming in quicker and it will also increase the chances of placing a high quality tenant who will pay on time, take good care of your home, and renew year after year.

Provide a Property Tenants Want to Rent

When your home is priced according to the Lakewood rental market and you’re still not getting a lot of interest, take an objective look at the condition of your home. No one wants to move into a property with old appliances, chipped paint, and tired floors. A few updates and upgrades will help your home rent faster. They don’t have to be expensive. Instead of repairing appliances over and over again, invest in new ones and make sure they’re energy-efficient. New hardware on sinks and drawers can make a big difference. Make sure your landscaping provides excellent curb appeal. These things will get your property noticed and rented.

Market Your Property Online

Strategic marketing is an important part of avoiding long vacancy periods. Today, most tenants are looking for homes online. You should list your available property on all the popular rental websites, including Zillow and Trulia and Craigslist. Use social media as well. Your Facebook and Twitter followers may not be looking for a home themselves, but they could know someone who is.

Make sure your photographs are numerous and clearly show the best parts of your property. Include a picture of the front and make sure you’re showing off bedrooms, bathrooms, and any outdoor space. The description you write should be detailed and include pertinent information such as the rental amount and when it will be ready for move-in. Always include your contact information.

Retain Your Great Tenants

Turnovers are just as expensive as vacancies and best avoided. When you have a great tenant in place, do everything you can to keep that tenant renewing the lease. This will save you money and reduce the chances that you’ll have an empty house that isn’t earning any income. Respond to your tenants promptly when they have maintenance requests and be attentive to their needs and desires. Whatever you can do to ensure they have a pleasant rental experience will help you keep your vacancy rate down.

These are just a few of the things we do when we’re working to avoid vacancies with the properties we manage. If you have any questions or need any help with Lakewood property management, please contact us at Assured Management.

What Do I Do if My Tenant Stops Paying Rent? Lakewood Eviction Process Explained

Susan Melton - Thursday, July 5, 2018

What is your greatest fear as a landlord? 


It might be that your tenant will stop paying rent. 

When you screen carefully and enforce your lease terms and rent collection policies, you won’t run into this problem very often. But, bad financial things can happen to good tenants, and you may find yourself trying to collect overdue rent from a tenant. 

You need a plan.

Establish Strong Rent Collection Policies

Most Lakewood leases require that rent is paid on the first of the month, and there’s usually a grace period. Your lease must indicate when rent is to be paid, and when it’s considered late. At Assured Management, rent is late if it isn’t paid on the fifth of the month. Our tenants know that the eviction process then starts on the sixth.

Post a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit

The eviction process starts with a proper notice. You’ll need to serve or post a Three day Notice. We do this on the sixth of the month, as soon as rent is officially late. Tenants will usually pay their rent in full by the end of those three days because they don’t want to incur extra costs, and they don’t want the eviction to go any further.

Work with a Legal Expert

If rent is not paid after the three day period has passed, we strongly recommend that you turn the case over to an attorney who understands landlord and tenant law and has handled evictions before. It’s very easy to make a mistake when you’re beginning the court process, and those mistakes will be expensive and time consuming. 

Even after your attorney files the eviction in court, your tenant can still pay what is owed and stop the eviction. We allow this when the tenant pays the late rent, the late fee, and any attorney and court fees.

Proceeding with Eviction

When you don’t hear anything from the tenant, you’ll need to follow through with the eviction. A tenant who isn’t paying rent isn’t following the terms of the rental agreement, so you have the legal right to vacate that lease and remove the tenant from your property. 

But, you have to do it legally. You cannot change the locks or cut off the power. Let your attorney go to court with the necessary documentation. Once you have your eviction, meet the sheriff at the property so you can remove the tenant’s belongings, and you’ll get your property back. 

Lock and ChainIf you’re in a situation where your tenant isn’t paying rent and you’re not sure what to do, contact us at Assured Management, Inc. We would be happy to help you.



3 Tips to Maximize Return on My Lakewood Investment Property

System - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Maximizing the return on your investment property requires you to do two things: 

  • Earn as much rental income as possible; and, 
  • Increase the value of your asset.

This can be challenging, especially when you don’t have control over things like market conditions and tenant behavior. 

But, if you focus on the things you do control, you can effectively increase the profitability of your rental property.

Take Care of Preventative Maintenance

Ignoring or putting off minor repairs will only lead to larger maintenance problems and more expensive fixes. It will also upset your tenants, which means they won’t renew the lease, and you’ll be left with an expensive turnover and unnecessary vacancy days. 

When you’re intentional with a proactive, preventative maintenance strategy, you preserve the condition of your property and show your tenants that you care about the home. When a repair request is submitted, take care of it. Schedule regular system checks and service so you can be sure your heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical equipment are functional, safe, and efficient. 

Unexpected emergencies are sure to happen. But, you can prevent the expensive deterioration of your investment by taking care of small repairs right away, and keeping an eye on how your property’s components are aging and functioning.

Regular Property Inspections and Evaluations

Inspecting your property will also help you increase the return you earn on your investment. 

Why? 

Because you’ll get an idea of how well your tenants are taking care of it. You’ll also have the opportunity to notice and address any maintenance items that have not been reported but need attention. 

It’s critical to inspect your property thoroughly before a tenant moves in. Take pictures, make notes, and document the condition of the home completely. You’ll want to do a similar inspection after a tenant moves out so you can compare the condition and charge the security deposit accordingly. 

We recommend you inspect the interior of the property at least once throughout the tenancy. Schedule a time with the tenant to walk through the property. Take pictures and notes, and if you notice a lease violation, get it rectified immediately. If there’s some deferred maintenance that needs to be taken care of, schedule your vendors right away.

Make Smart Updates and Upgrades

You need to be smart about the improvements you make to your property. Don’t invest thousands of dollars to remodel your kitchen if spending a few hundred dollars on better hardware and new floors will do the job. 

Tenants are looking for a modern, comfortable place to live. They will pay attention to the kitchen and the master bathroom. Make sure the paint is fresh, the floors are clean, and the landscaping is neat and low-maintenance. A property manager can offer advice about your specific market and what you should do to attract quality tenants and higher rents. 

ToolsThese are just a few of the ways you can increase your ROI. If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Assured Management, Inc. We’re here to help you earn more and spend less.



Tips and Best Practices for Rental Property Inspections in Littleton, CO

System - Monday, November 20, 2017

At Assured Management, we are a personalized residential property management company successfully managing homes for rent in Lakewood, Colorado since 1987. Our mission is to provide quality property management services to both rental property owners and their tenants while managing single family homes in Lakewood and the west side of the Denver metro area. Today, we’re talking about tips and best practices for rental property inspections.

Inspect with a Maintenance Survey

An official rental property inspection should be done by a qualified property inspector. However, a properly done maintenance survey is less expensive and will give property owners some valuable information. This tool will help you prioritize maintenance planning and future updates. You can also monitor the tenant’s care of the home and address any lease violations.

Rental Inspection Checklist and Maintenance Reports

We work with savvy property owners whose feedback was used to create our maintenance report. This report is a record of the current condition of the rental home as well as the age of vital systems like roofs, water heaters, and furnaces. Preventative maintenance of these systems is key to extending the usefulness of their lives. An experienced property manager surveying a rental property can spot water where it shouldn’t be. Problems can develop under sinks and showers, around toilet bases, and in lawn watering systems from loose or missing shingles, damaged missing, or clogged gutters, or clogged sewer systems. By catching these problems early, you will experience lower repair costs.

Advise and Inspect: Addressing Maintenance Concerns

A rental property is a tenant’s home, and advance notice should be given prior to any inspection or maintenance survey. A professional property manager will not only provide advance notice, but will calmly and politely address any maintenance concerns a tenant may have.


Tenants can damage a rental home willfully or by not knowing what needs to be done to prevent damage. We work closely with tenants to help them learn how to avoid damage to the home. Rental property owners can face loss of income if updates or repairs are done between tenants while the property is vacant. Our owners use the maintenance survey to plan for updates and repairs to be Christinacompleted while the property is occupied and the rent is being paid each month. This report is also used to set up a preventative maintenance schedule as well as plan for the optimal time to complete important updates or repairs. The maintenance report is most valuable when used to avoid costly emergency repairs.

If you have any questions or you’d like to take advantage of our knowledge and resources, please contact us at Assured Management. We’d be happy to help you with a rental inspection or anything pertaining to Littleton property management.

Tenant Screening: How to Find Good Tenants – Littleton Property Management

System - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

At Assured Management, we are a personalized residential property management company successfully managing homes for rent in Lakewood, Colorado since 1987. Our mission is to provide quality property management services to both rental property owners and their tenants while managing single family homes in Lakewood and the west side of the Denver metro area. Today, we’re sharing tips and best practices as you screen, research, and try to find the best resident for your investment property.


Tenant Screening and Fair Housing

It is very important that you familiarize yourself with federal and state laws regarding fair housing. As you do your homework, be sure to use official government websites while researching both landlord and tenant rights, laws, and protections.

How to Find Good Tenants: Criminal Background Check and Credit History

The Assured Management team keeps up to date on fair housing laws and regulations by attending fair housing workshops and taking advantage of continuing education. There is no guarantee that after doing all you can to screen a prospective resident that they will be the perfect tenant. However, using tools like credit and criminal history reports, verifying income and background history, you’ll increase the likelihood of finding tenants who can take care of the rental home and afford to live there long term.

Technology and the Application Process

By staying up to date on the new technology, the management team at Assured Management is able to offer online rental applications. We can also easily run credit reports and verify rental history. We can access criminal history and verify reported income.

Additional Screening: Pet in Rental Property

Obtaining pet information before a new tenant moves in is very important. You need to know the pet’s breed, age, and size so you can determine if they are a good fit for your rental home. Check with your insurance agent before allowing dangerous breeds into your investment property. 

KarenIf you have any questions, contact us at Assured Management. We’d love to use our Littleton property management knowledge and experience to professionally and efficiently handle any issue, problem, or situation that may occur in your rental home. We look forward to talking to you.








How Legalization of Marijuana Affects Rental Property Owners – Lakewood Management Education

System - Monday, October 2, 2017


 

It seems like everyone knows marijuana is legal in Colorado. Comedians joke about it. Television news reporters mention it, and visiting National Association of Residential Property Managers members know about it. They joke about this at our annual conference.


Colorado Marijuana Laws

Colorado voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2000, and recreational marijuana in 2012. Since then, our state and local governments have done a pretty good job of setting reasonable limits and regulations. They have addressed problems like impaired driving, limiting dispensaries near schools, and restricting pot smoking in public. While rental property owners may allow their properties to be used for marijuana usage, storage, cultivation, and sale, Colorado law also authorizes landlords to prohibit or regulate these activities on their properties if they wish.

Protecting Your Lakewood Property

One big problem for landlords is that under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, and it remains a Class 1 controlled substance. Our policy at Assured Management is to prohibit the use of marijuana in our properties unless the resident qualifies for reasonable accommodation under the federal housing laws. This is straightforward: we have a no smoking policy with our Lakewood tenants in order to minimize property damage and complaints from future residents. Allowing marijuana could contribute to damage from smoke and lead to the usage that evolves into a grow operation, hash oil production, or drug use and trafficking at the property.

Property Management Lakewood

While Assured Management cannot guarantee that illegal or destructive activities will never take place at your property, we do have procedures in place to quickly and efficiently deal with any problems. Our lease agreement is approved by attorneys who specialize in landlord-tenant law and specifically prohibits any criminal activity in the properties we manage. Our team knows what telltale signs to look for when visiting occupied properties, and we will quickly begin Susanthe lease violation eviction process if it becomes necessary. Anyone renting Lakewood property from us will understand the terms of the lease and the responsibilities that come with it. 

If you have any questions about this topic or anything pertaining to Lakewood property management, please contact us at Assured Management. Our mission is to provide quality property management services to Lakewood rental property owners and their tenants.

Best Practices for Lakewood Rental Property Deposit Accounting

System - Wednesday, May 10, 2017


At Assured Management, we have been successfully managing homes for rent in Lakewood, Colorado since 1987. Our mission is to provide quality property management services to rental property owners and their tenants while managing single family homes in Littleton and the west side of the Denver metro area. Today, I’m sharing tips and best practices on rental deposit accounting. 


Property Management Lakewood: Collecting Security Deposits 


Landlords know that collecting additional funds from new Lakewood tenants to be held up front is a good idea. Your lease or rental agreement with the tenant should specify how much you’re collecting, what may be charged at move out, and how the deposit will be returned to the tenant. The most important tip I can give you is to read up on Colorado law regarding the collecting, holding, and dispersing of deposits. It can cost you dearly if you don’t understand the law, and you mishandle a tenant’s deposit. Remember, the deposit belongs to the tenant and any charges to it must be legally documented and accounted for. In Colorado, a full accounting of the deposit must be provided to the tenant within 30 days of that tenant moving out of your Lakewood rental property. It’s a good idea to do this even if there are no charges. 

Renting Lakewood Property: Documentation 


Another important tip is to keep your receipts. Keep a copy of all the expenses you incurred while making the Lakewood property ready for new tenants. Any expenses from repairing tenant-caused damage after move out will be relevant. Photos and videos that reflect the condition of the home before tenants moved in and after tenants moved out can be invaluable. The management team at Assured handles every deposit accounting as if it was being presented as evidence in a court case.  

Property Management Lakewood: Wear and Tear 


Don’t charge for normal wear and tear. It can be upsetting to see the condition of your rental property after a tenant has vacated. Sometimes, it’s difficult toSusan determine what is damage and what is normal wear and tear. Be sure not to charge for damage caused by a tenant using the property for its intended purpose.  

We can handle the entire security deposit accounting process for you. If you have any questions, please access our knowledge and experience, and contact us at Assured Management. We’d love to tell you more about Lakewood property management, and answer any questions you have.

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ASSURED MANAGEMENT INC., CRMC®
1244 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80232

Phone: (303) 985-4670
Fax: (303) 763-8982

Office hours:
Monday-Friday 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm.

Copyright © 2019 Assured Management, Inc. CRMC®. All Rights Reserved.
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