Tag Archives for " Decatur property management "

Emory Area/DruidHills – Home for Rent

Lease a Classic 3 Bedroom/2 Bath Older Home located in Druid Hills Historic District within walking distance to Emory University.

Features include a spacious Living Room with Fireplace and built-in Bookshelves, large formal Dining Room, cozy Den with French Doors to covered patio; Custom Kitchen with glass-front cabinets, ample pot drawers, stainless steel appliances, pull-out Pantry and Granite Counters.

The property has a main floor Bedroom and Full Bath.  The upper level addition includes a Master Bedroom with Sitting Area and French Doors to Deck, Master Bath with Double Sinks, separate Tub and Shower, Walk-in Closet plus additional Bedroom/Office and Full Bath with Washer/Dryer.

Other features include Hardwood Floors throughout,  High Ceilings, Screened Porch, Large Lot, Patio, Offstreet Parking with easy turnaround for 2-3 cars.​

Contact Atlanta Decatur Homes for availability and further details.​

Decatur Property Management – Attracting Good Tenants

Young man and woman with baby

Preparing Your Decatur Rental Property

Renting your Investment Home in Decatur is important, but attracting good, long-term tenants is vital.

Before you begin marketing your Decatur property for lease, take a critical look at the overall condition of your home.  Renters have certain expectations when they are searching for a place and Condition matters!   

Here are a few essential preparations that will help attract good, qualified tenants :

  • Curb Appeal - The exterior appearance of your investment property is your first chance to make a great First Impression.  Make sure that shrubs are trimmed, lawn mowed, flower beds cleaned.  Paint or pressure wash the exterior if necessary.
  • Door Locks/Garage - It's always a good idea to change the locks after each tenant vacates.  Check all locks and windows to make sure they operate properly.  Make sure all Garage Openers or Gate Keys are working properly. 
  • Appliances - Make sure the Stove, Refrigerator and Dishwasher are clean and in working order.  Move the Washer/Dryer and make sure it is clean behind and underneath.  Check the Dryer filters and outside vents.
  • HVAC/Plumbing - Have a reputable HVAC contractor service your heating system. Leave some extra furnace filters for the tenants to change.  Check for any plumbing leaks under sinks and replace any defective parts. 
  • Paint or Wash Walls - The interior of your Decatur property should be as inviting as the exterior.  Re-paint walls and baseboards if necessary and check particularly for dirt around light switches and door frames.
  • Bathrooms/Kitchens - Bathrooms and kitchens should be spotless and all fixtures should shine.Check if bathroom caulk needs to be redone or towel racks tightened.   
  • Smoke Detectors/Lightbulbs - Replace all smoke detector batteries and check they are active.  Wash all chandeliers and light fixtures and make sure all lightbulbs are in working order
  • Clean and Vacuum - Wash hardwood floors and clean all baseboards and window sills, vacuum carpets or have them steam-cleaned.  Clean all exterior windows, inside and out.
  • Chimneys/Fireplace- If you have a working fireplace, have a reputable chimney sweep clean after each tenant vacates.

Checklist for Prospective Tenants

Small house representing Emory rental property

If you plan to lease a property in the Emory Area or in Decatur, you should know what may be expected before you complete an application to rent a home.

Finding the right home in the Emory Area where you want to live is an obvious first step, but prospective tenants often have to pass stringent credit and background checks. In popular neighborhoods where rental properties are at a premium, there may be tough competition for a desirable home. It's best to be prepared in advance:

  • Check your credit - most credit companies allow you to have one free credit check per year.  Here are the phone numbers for the major credit card companies:
  • While it is always advisable to see a rental property before you decide to lease, this may not be possible if you live out of town.  In this case, arrange to have a colleague or friend view it for you.
  • Don't lie on the Application - if you have had bankruptcy, credit issues, or disputes with previous landlords, discuss these with your Decatur Property Manager.  Some landlords are more lenient than others.
  • If you have Pets, let the Property Manager know before you fill out the Application. Many landlords do not accept pets, or may require a Pet Deposit if they do accept them.
  • If you want to be in a certain School District, check with the School yourself to make sure the property you want to lease is located in that District.
  • If you are concerned about safety in the neighborhood of the rental property, call the local Police Department.
  • You will be required to complete a Rental Application for most properties.  Some Property Managers also require a copy of your Driver's License, recent pay stubs, or bank statements if you are self-employed. Check with your Decatur Property Manager for more specific details.
  • Be aware of money requirements - Most Property Managers require a Security Deposit of one month, plus the first month's rent. Some  landlords  require a Security Deposit plus first and last month's rent.  In addition, if the landlord accepts Pets, there will be an additional Pet Deposit.

Atlanta Property Management Background Checks

Computer and phone in process of screening rental applicants

Emory Decatur Property Management always recommends that prospective tenants be thoroughly screened through credit, criminal and prior landlord reference checks.

It's easier to prevent a potential problem from occurring when considering a new tenant than it is to try to evict them later.  Because property managers represent investors who trust them to obtain qualified tenants for their properties, extreme care must be utilized during the screening process.

Screening begins with an Application completed by the applicant, giving written permission to obtain a credit report, criminal background, and former landlord reference information.  Here are a few good policies to follow when dealing with applicants:

  • ​Never accept a credit report provided by an applicant, as some credit reports have been sucessfully altered
  • Always check Landlord References, two references are better than one

While many applicants look promising on paper, a thorough check might show previous late rent payments, bad credit, eviction proceedings, or criminal activity.  It's important to evaluate every aspect of the appliant's ability to pay the rent and to be a viable tenant, without violating any provision of the Fair Housing Act.

In fact, ​a recent U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidance policy recommends exercising caution when  considering criminal history for prospective applicants. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) publication, the guidance suggests "housing providers should create thoughtful policies and practices that are tailored to serve a substantial, legitimate and nondiscrimatory interest of the housing provider, such as resident safety and the protection of property".

Black Front Door of rental property with Fall Leaves

Atlanta Rental Property

Careful review of the prospective tenant's credit, ability to pay, criminal history, and past landlord references should be made in every case.

With appropriate due diligence during the screening process, the ultimate goal will be​ achieved - a new tenant who pays their rent on time and maintains the property.

Removing Tenant Property Could Be Illegal!

Gavel and Legal Court Order

What happens if a tenant who owes you money moves out of your Decatur rental property in the dead of night?

​You happen to stop by your rental property in Decatur shortly thereafter and discover an unoccupied home.  The place is in terrible condition with debris on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink and on the counters,  a filthy refrigerator with food inside.  Clothes and other items are strewn about.  The tenants also left numerous personal property items behind - some of value and some obviously trash.  Your tenants have definitely abandoned the premises and are long gone!

After you've calmed down, your first impulse might be to start clearing the property, disposing of items, and cleaning it up for the next tenants.

Before you fill up the trash cans, you may need to consider filing an Eviction Order with the Court to be safe, as there are eviction laws in most states that protect the personal property of tenants, even if it appears they have abandoned their personal property.

Once you have a Court Order giving you back possession of the rental unit, you​ can lawfully remove the tenant's belongings, according to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook published by the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs.  

If you have questions regarding the legality or eviction process, contact a qualified real estate attorney.​