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How to Find the Best Indianapolis Tenant – Screening Practices for New Landlords

Today we’re talking about how to select the best tenant for your Indianapolis area property. We are assuming you have already done your marketing and now you have a stack of applications waiting for you. How do you determine which tenant is the right one for you and your property to avoid eviction?

Fair Housing

Before you begin your screening, it’s important that you understand the fair housing laws. There are seven protected classes of people that you must be sure you are not discriminating against when you choose a tenant. You cannot approve or reject a tenant based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Disability, including mental and physical disabilities
  • Familial status
  • Religion or lack of religion

Credit and Criminal Checks

You have to run a credit report on all potential tenants. This will tell you what that applicant’s past behavior was when they’ve been obligated to pay someone money. People tend to repeat behavior, so pull the credit report. In addition to reviewing credit, you’ll want to do a criminal background check as well. This will tell you if the person has a history of damaging property or if it’s someone who may pose a threat to other people.

ScreeningReferences

Always check references. This step often gets skipped because it’s time consuming and it can be hard to get people on the phone. However, it’s not a step you want to forget for property management. Check employer references and landlord references. Look into past landlords instead of just the current landlord. It’s possible the current landlord is in a hurry to get rid of that tenant. Ask former landlords how the tenant behaved. Find out what condition the property was left in and if it was kept clean. Ask if all the bills were paid. You really want to get an idea of how that separation process was handled.

Tenant screening is really what separates the professionals from the amateurs. You have to get it right or your asset will be in danger. If you have any questions about tenant screening or you need help finding the best possible tenant for your property, please contact us at Indiana Property Management Group.

 

How Security Deposits Should Be Handled When Renting Out My Indianapolis Home


When you are managing a Central Indiana tenant’s security deposit, there are two important distinctions that you need to make. That distinction involves the difference between wear and tear and damage. Wear and tear is considered a property’s natural deterioration due to common use. Examples might include worn carpet in high traffic areas, furniture marks on the walls or a few nail holes in the walls from where pictures were hung. A court would consider those things normal wear and tear.

Damage is something different. Broken windows, broken doors or doors that are missing and streaks of marker on the wall are all examples of damage. You will be able to keep money out of a tenant’s security deposit to pay for those repairs.

To avoid any disagreements, it’s important to communicate your expectations with the tenants up front. Let them know how you expect them to care for your property and what you want the place to look like when they move out. You should spell out all those details in the lease, so you and your tenants can refer to that written information.

Security depositsIt’s also important to document the condition of the property. Use pictures and videos to prove how the place looked at move in as compared to move out. You should take more pictures than you think you need. For a single family residence, this could mean up to 100 photos. Make sure you do a complete walk through and document everything from the condition of the carpet to the way the floors and ceilings look.

When you’re collecting a security deposit, we always recommend that it’s an amount different from the cost of rent. When tenants know they are moving out, a lot of times they will just think they can apply that security deposit to their last month’s rent. You don’t want them to do this, so make sure your security deposit is not equal to the amount of rent.

Finally, Indiana law regarding tenants requires you to keep those security deposits in a non-interest bearing account that is separate from your other funds. You also need to provide a clear accounting of those funds.


If you have any questions about security deposits and how to handle them, please do not hesitate to contact us at Indiana Property Management Group. We’d be more than happy to help you.

How Do I Evict My Indianapolis Tenants? Indiana Landlord Education


Today we are talking about how to evict that problem Central Indiana tenant who needs to go. Most evictions can really be avoided before the lease is even signed. Do a thorough job screening your tenants. Look for any red flags up front before you hand them the keys to your property. You’ll want to check their credit and their backgrounds. You’ll want to call references and talk to former landlords.

If a tenant does fall behind – and it will happen – it’s important to act very quickly. You want to immediately begin communicating with that tenant. Find out why the tenant fell behind and what the plans are to get caught up. Regardless of their plan, begin the eviction process. You don’t want to delay that and allow them to tie up your asset while they are telling you everything you want to hear.

hot to evictFiling an eviction is not an overly complicated process, but we always recommend consulting with an attorney to ensure your liability is limited. In Central Indiana, the initial process is held in small claims court, in the Township where the property is located.

One thing we do that is a little outside the box but has been successful over the years is what we call Cash for Keys. It’s a type of relocation assistance program for tenants who have stopped paying rent and need to be evicted. We give them a financial incentive to give back the keys to the property by a specific time, and leave it in good, clean condition. A lot of landlords think this sounds crazy, and that’s understandable. However, you’re typically going to get your property back in good condition and a lot sooner than you would if you went through the entire eviction process. It will also cost you a lot less than an eviction.  So, the overall experience can be a lot more favorable for you and your investment property.

 

If you have any questions about evictions or how to remove a tenant who isn’t paying rent, please contact us at Indiana Property Management Group, and we’d be happy to tell you more.

 

5 Reasons to Choose Indiana Property Management for Your Indianapolis Home

In today’s blog, we want to tell you why our company is unique among the many property management companies that are out there.

Experience

I have been licensed in Indiana real estate since 1995, and I know this market very well. My staff and I have managed, maintained and performed successful accounting for thousands of properties around central Indiana. With that experience comes great relationships with contractors and vendors. We also have systems in place that have been developed and perfected over time.

Technology

At Indiana Property Management Group, we use some of the best technology in the industry. Our software system handles everything we need internally, and it also allows tenants and property owners to access the information they need. Prospective tenants can submit applications online and current tenants are able to pay their rent online. We use technology to make payments to you directly and quickly. We do electronic transfers which means you don’t have to wait for a rent check every month, worrying that it will get lost or delayed in the mail.

Why Work w: UsCentury 21 Scheetz

Indiana Property Management Group is part of Century 21 Scheetz. This is the largest, best known and most trusted real estate brand in the world. Your investment property, which is worth $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000, will get a lot more exposure when you partner with such a strong, well-known brand.

Marketing

We do a better job marketing your Indianapolis rental property than anyone else out there. Most tenants begin their property searches online. We will distribute your property to dozens of sites with pictures and videos and detailed descriptions. We will blanket the Internet with your listing so that when renters begin searching, your property will be there. You’ll also get a big Century 21 sign for your yard, which includes an instant info rider on it. This is an exciting feature that allows a person who is driving or walking by to pull up information on the house with their phones. An interested person can access photos, videos and details such as the asking price or when the home is available right there, on the spot.

Century 21 Agents

Because we are part of Century 21 Scheetz, your house will be affiliated with all Century 21 agents in Indiana. These agents get phone calls every day from people looking for houses to buy and rent. Your property will be at their fingertips.

These are just a few of the great reasons to work with us. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact us at Indiana Property Management.

 

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