Rental policies reflect your lease terms, and should always be included in the lease. They explain how you will handle situations that come up during a tenancy. It’s like a collection of Frequently Asked Questions that are written into the lease.
Documenting Your Rental Policies
Your rental policies will include pet policies, guest policies, and other answers to questions that tenants will need after they have moved into your property. A good reason to have your rental policies in a separate document is that you don’t want your tenants to have to go through a long lease to find some information that is needed. Leases are confusing, even when you’re in the business of providing Seattle rental property services. So, writing out the main takeaways of the lease in simple language and discussing those policies with your tenants at move-in can make a big difference. I recommend an online version of your rental policies so tenants can access them any time.
Rental Policies to Include
Your rental policies should address anything you get questions about all the time. At Olympic View, we have a whole list that covers the following rental policies:
- Rent payment and late fees, including the consequences when rent is late.
- Utilities, and who sets them up, how they are paid, and how to close them down.
- Maintenance requests and how to submit them and what kind of turnaround time to expect.
- Pet policies, renter’s insurance, parking, and vehicle policies. We don’t allow major work in the garage. Changing a tire, a battery, and even the oil is fine, but that’s where we draw the line.
- Occupancy polices. We allow two people per bedroom plus one additional person. So, four people cannot move into a one-bedroom property.
- Lease terms and exceptions.
- Quiet hours, barbeques, and smoking policies.
- Property alterations; the most common requests are painting the unit and installing satellite dishes.
- Garbage, cleanliness, and mold. We’re specific about standards of cleanliness and who decides what is clean (we do, as the property managers).
- Notice to vacate process and what to do if you need to break your lease or terminate it early.
- Move in and move out condition reports and what they mean.
All this information can prevent questions from coming in via phone or email. Tenants can look up the information themselves. It also protects you because your policies are in writing and consistently applied for all your tenants.
If you have any questions about rental policies, lease terms, or anything pertaining to Seattle rental management, please contact us at Olympic View Property Services.