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Alborz Real Estate Co
8480 E Orchard Road, Suite 1100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Property Management Blog

How to Budget for Maintenance on Your Aurora, CO Rental Property

Web Admin - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our topic today at Alborz Real Estate is how much money you as a rental property owner should put aside for your rental property. Perhaps the biggest thing that could go wrong is a maintenance related issue. Whether you own a single family home, a condo or a townhome, the numbers can drastically vary when it comes to maintenance budgeting.

Maintenance is a big responsibility for every Aurora, CO landlord, and you need to take it seriously. In fact, you must pay attention to it on a daily basis. The best way to save money on maintenance costs is through preventative maintenance. There are certain things you should do regularly to the property such as changing the filters on your furnace, winterizing your sprinkler system, landscaping maintenance and other issues like that.

Many times, landlords rely on the tenant to take care of these things. I recommend that you always keep an eye on the property, even if your tenant is responsible about these matters. Stay in close contact with the tenant and ask if the filters are being changed regularly.

The more expensive items in the maintenance arena are your furnace, the water heater, the roof, any siding, sprinkler systems and landscaping. But even in that short list, the furnace is going to be the most expensive repair cost. That’s why it’s important to have the system cleaned and serviced once a year, especially if your property has central air. Use a licensed HVAC contractor who can help you prolong the life of the furnace and tell you how much more life is left in your system. That way, you can be prepared and you’ll know what kind of timeframe to use for your budget. If the furnace breaks down, a new furnace and installation can cost you between $3,000 and $5,000. So keep an eye on it and take care of it every year.

In Colorado, there are habitability laws when items like furnaces and water heaters are broken. The state requires landlords to replace these things immediately to keep the property habitable for tenants. You’ll have a day or a day and a half to react to it and replace it. Be prepared.

Hopefully this information is useful to you as you’re planning for your maintenance needs and budgeting for preventative work. If you have any questions regarding maintenance and the costs associated with it, please contact us at Alborz Real Estate Company.

Aurora, CO Eviction – A Guide for Successful Landlords from a Professional Property Manager

Web Admin - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today, we are talking about the eviction process in the state of Colorado. Of course, this isn’t my favorite topic and I don’t wish for you to ever get to the point where you need to understand eviction. It’s usually necessary for two main reasons; monetary reasons or non-monetary reasons. Not paying rent is a simple example of why you’d evict for monetary reasons. Non-monetary reasons include the tenant engaging in disruptive activities in the neighborhood, association violations or other things that aren’t permitted according to the lease. 


Monetary Evictions 


If a tenant has not paid rent on time, in Colorado you as the landlord are required to serve a Three Day Notice. This notice must be delivered to the property. If someone is there, you can hand deliver it. Just document who you gave it to, what day you delivered it and what time. This is very important information to collect. If no one is there post the notice on the front door. Document the time you posted that notice. We all have smart phones with cameras, so I recommend taking a picture once you post it. 

After the Three Day Notice expires, go to the county court where your property is located. In Aurora, that’s the Arapahoe court. You’ll file at court for the eviction hearing. It will take seven to 10 days for that hearing to occur and at this point, we recommend you consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord and tenant law. Attorneys in this matter are very affordable. You’ll pay $300 or $400, but once your Three Day Notice expires and the tenant hasn’t paid, it’s best to have an attorney take it from there. Your lawyer will show up at the eviction hearing and talk to you about your options. 

In Colorado, monetary evictions happen fast. From the day you post the notice to the court date, there’s a waiting period of just a few weeks. It’s usually over in less than 30 days. 

Non-monetary Eviction 


Evicting a tenant for non-monetary reasons requires several notices. Each notice has a time window that needs to be followed, whether you hand deliver it or post it on the property. You have to wait for the time window to expire. Then there’s another notice. In most cases, three notices are served. It’s very time consuming and these notices are designed to give the tenant the opportunity to correct what is wrong. 

When you have to evict a tenant, following the required steps is essential. Contact us at Alborz Real Estate Company if you need more information about evictions.

5 Simple Ways to Get the Best Aurora, CO Tenant for the Highest Rent in Your Rental Home

Web Admin - Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Today we are talking about the process of renting out your property and what you have to do in order to get the best tenants for the highest rent. 

Pricing 


The process really starts with setting the rental price. Setting the right price is critical in getting a quality, A+-type tenant for your property. In order to set the rental price, you need to study the competition. Find out how many properties similar to yours are available for rent in the area, how much they cost and if there are any rental incentives offered by landlords. Knowing your competition and their prices will help you establish a fair and competitive price for your own home. 

Property Condition 


The condition of your property is essential. It has to be in immaculate condition. Make sure it is clean, ready to go and everything is looking sharp. You don’t want any pending repairs; everything must be in full working condition. The condition of your property has a big impact on attracting the right tenants and charging the highest dollar amount. 

Responsiveness 


Respond to the inquiries expeditiously and take each inquiry seriously. If you miss a call, return it immediately. Remember that someone who is looking to rent is probably at their computer and they have pulled up your listing on Craigslist or Rentals.com or Trulia.com or one of the other sites. They make the call and if you don’t answer, they’ll go to the next listing. As soon as they get a response, they make an appointment, visit the property and if things go well - they take it. So you’ve lost that opportunity by not answering your phone or returning the call. 

Fair Housing 


Act The Fair Housing Act is an important part of finding a tenant. You must know this law and follow it religiously. It’s in place for your benefit and the tenant’s protection. Know what that law is and make sure you don’t violate it. 

Municipality Requirements


Finally, make sure you meet the municipality requirements. For example, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are necessary. Know the requirements and keep those detectors in working condition. Train your tenants on how to use them and how often batteries need to be replaced. 

There is a lot more involved in finding a great tenant, but these items will help you get a great tenant at the highest rent amount possible. If you have any questions or you need help screening your tenants, contact us at Alborz Real Estate Company.

5 Mistakes that Aurora Landlords Make When Renting Their Homes

Web Admin - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Today we’re talking about some of the most common mistakes that landlords make when they are managing their properties. 

Inadequate Screening 


Some property owners may decide not to screen their prospects. This is the biggest mistake you can possibly make. It’s important to screen anyone over the age of 18 who will be renting your property. Screening can be costly, usually between $10 and $50 per applicant. We recommend that you ask the tenant to pay for the cost of the screening, which is called an application fee. Make sure you do a thorough tenant screening without any exceptions. 

Income Requirements 


Have a reasonable financial qualification guideline in place when you’re reviewing your tenant applications. This establishes the amount of money that the tenants will need to earn in order to afford the rent on your property. You need to know your renter’s income level, how they get paid, how frequently they get paid and whether they are hourly, salaried or paid through commissions. Ask this during the screening process and then verify the information you receive. There are also laws in regards to security deposits as well.

Reasons for Moving


It’s important to know why they’re moving. When you’re verifying a rental history, remember that not every landlord is going to give you accurate information. You have to look closely at the application and ask tough questions. Find out why they’re moving and make sure the answer makes sense. You don’t want to make the mistake of ignoring this information or neglecting to find out the tenants’ reason for leaving their current rental. 

Proper Pricing

 
Landlords often make mistakes when they’re pricing their property. Always set the price for your property according to the market and the neighborhood. You should have a fair market rent value for your rental home. Setting the price too high or too low will cause problems when it comes to getting your home rented, and it will cost you money. Know the market so you can set the price correctly to find a qualified A+ tenant. 

Fair Housing Laws 


Making a mistake with fair housing laws can get you into legal trouble. This is a very important law and you need to follow it religiously. That law is in place for your benefit and you should know it. 

There are a number of additional mistakes we can talk about, but these are the most important errors to avoid. If you need any help or you have any questions, contact us at Alborz Real Estate.

Choose Alborz Real Estate – Denver Metro Area Property Management

Web Admin - Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Today we are taking the opportunity to talk about what Alborz Real Estate and its property management division can do for you. 

Managing Capacity 


We are not an imagery driven office. That means we don’t strive to manage 500 properties. Our goal is to keep our portfolio manageable so we can give your property the personal attention it needs. We don’t want to let our portfolio grow to more than 150 properties at any one time. We want to get to know your property inside and out. This is extremely important when it comes to managing your property and finding a qualified Denver tenant

Marketing and Management 


Our strength is in marketing and management. We work hard to get the highest possible rent from the most qualified A+ tenant. It’s also our goal to keep the property’s expenses low so that we’re able to strengthen your cash flow. 

Innovative Technology 


We are technologically savvy. When you work with us, we utilize all methods of technology for communication, marketing and data storage. We use one of the most advanced property management software platforms for operations and accounting. This enables us to provide monthly and yearly accounting reports. 

Market Knowledge 


It’s important to mention that like you, I own rental properties. I know what is really important to the owner of a rental property and we work hard to meet your expectations. We’re only a phone call away. At Alborz Real Estate, we have been managing properties in the Denver metro area for over 17 years. In that time, we have leased and managed over 1,500 properties. We know the market very well and we have seen it when it’s hot and served it when it crashed. We’re a proud member of the Denver Better Business Bureau and we’ve had no complaints. We treat tenants respectfully, and a large percentage of our tenants renew their leases. We have been able to ask for rental increases at every lease renewal. 

There is a lot more we’d like to tell you about the services we provide and the work we do. If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Alborz Real Estate.

How Security Deposits Should Be Handled for your Denver Investment Home

Web Admin - Thursday, February 12, 2015

Today we are talking about some of the most important things you should know about your tenant’s security deposit.


Security Deposit Timeline


Here in the state of Colorado, a landlord must refund a tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of the tenant leaving the property. This can be the termination date which is listed in the lease, or if you evict the tenant then the 30-day clock starts as soon as the tenant leaves the property. In some cases, you have the right to release the deposit within 60 days after the tenant leaves. However, you must state that in the lease if you plan to wait 60 days, otherwise you need to follow the 30-day legal guideline.


Move In Process


There is no such thing as non-refundable security deposits in Colorado. Every security deposit is refundable. Most rental property owners have a hard time with refunds after the tenant leaves the property because they aren’t sure what can be deducted from that deposit given the condition of the property. To help, we recommend that you take a lot of high resolution pictures before turning the property over to the Denver tenant. When the tenant takes the keys from you, do a complete walk through with the tenant and talk about the property’s features. For example, show the tenant where the furnace is, where the shut off valves are and how to change the air filters.


Move Out Process

 

Once the tenant is gone, it’s very important to visit the property as soon as possible. Take another collection of detailed pictures to document the condition of the property. You’ll also need to contact the utility companies to make sure all services are transferred into your name. Make sure the water bill is paid in full and if not, ask for a final reading. You can deduct the final water bill from the tenant’s security deposit. This only applies to water, not the electric and gas companies.


You are permitted to deduct for damages. When you do the repairs, get written invoices and keep in mind you cannot charge a tenant for wear and tear. That’s one item that most property owners have a hard time understanding. Carpet and other items can only be charged a portion of the replacement cost unless it was brand new when the tenants moved in. This does not include having a pet in the house.


Always provide a written security deposit refund report showing what has been deducted so the tenants know why and what it costs. If you have any questions, please contact us at Alborz Real Estate Company.

How to Find the Best Tenants: Denver Property Management Education

Web Admin - Thursday, February 05, 2015

Our topic today is how to screen a prospective tenant who is interested in your property so you know you are getting the best tenants you can find.


Rental Application


The screening process always starts with a detailed rental application. Ask the prospective tenant to provide you with a complete name, including the middle name, a social security number and date of birth, the most recent residential addresses, employment information, any pets, as well as their most current landlord and previous landlord contact information. Anyone in the household over the age of 18 should also fill out a rental application. It doesn’t matter if they have a source of income or will be contributing towards rent. You want that information so you can check their background.


Screening Reports


Once you gather all the necessary information on the application and you collect supporting documents such as copies of driver’s licenses and the most recent pay stubs, take all of that information to a professional screening company. The company will run all the necessary reports and provide the information you’re looking for.


Ask for a complete credit report and credit score. You also want a nationwide criminal search which should include the sex offender list and the homeland security watch list. You will also need a national eviction report so you’ll know if the applicant has ever been evicted from other properties in the U.S.  Ask for a social security verification report so you can confirm the social security number listed belongs to the person who’s applying to rent your property.


Reviewing Reports


You must be aware that the responsibility of securing that person’s sensitive information is on you. The Federal Credit Reporting Act requires you to take strong measures to protect that personal information. Keep all your applications in places such as a locked filing cabinet so no one else has access to information belonging to your applicants.


Carefully review all the reports and if anything doesn’t look right, ask the questions of the applicant directly. Make sure person has clean records and use a financial matrix that qualifies the tenant for the property you’re renting based on verified income.


Many property owners are curious about what it will cost to get all this background information. The rental application costs around $25 to $45 these days and most landlords ask the tenants to pay the application fee.


This is a summary of what’s involved in screening a tenant. If you have any questions, please contact us at Alborz Real Estate Company, and we’d be happy to tell you more.

Pets vs. Service Animals: Do I have to allow Pets in my Denver Rental Property?

Web Admin - Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Today we are talking about a very important topic - pets versus service animals. You may be a rental property owner who does not like to rent to potential tenants who have pets. However, it’s very important for you to know that the Fair Housing Act as well as the American with Disabilities Act requires that tenants with disabilities are provided with the reasonable accommodations needed so they have the opportunity for the full use and enjoyment of their housing. According to the laws, allowing Denver tenants and their guests with disabilities to have access to a service animal is reasonable.


These regulations may seem, at first glance, to be an imposition on the property owner. If you prefer not to allow pets into your rental home, there are a number of good reasons for that. With pets come the possibility of noise, territorial disputes between animals, clean up problems and the list goes on. However, there are benefits to these regulations as well, and you’ll need to consider those.


The first thing you need to understand is the legal definition of a disabled person. Most federal laws consider a person disabled if he or she has a mental or physical condition that substantially limits one or more life activities such as walking, seeing or working. Some people with disabilities use a service animal, which in most cases is a dog or maybe a cat or a bird. Keep in mind a service animal can be of any size, breed or weight. The most important factors you need to know as a rental property owner when it comes to service animals are these:


  • A service animal is not a pet.

  • You cannot ask for a pet deposit from a tenant who has a service animal, which is something different from a security deposit.

  • You cannot impose restrictions on the size, weight or breed of the service animal.

  • Most importantly, you cannot refuse renting to a disabled person who has a service animal.


There is a lot more we can add to this topic, but this is a brief summary of the most essential requirements you should know. We hope it was helpful, and please feel free to contact us at Alborz Real Estate Company for more information on staying within the legal requirements when it comes to service animals in your rental property.

Landscape Maintenance and Rental Properties

Web Admin - Thursday, October 23, 2014
While residents want to rent a nice looking home, they often have no interest, time, or knowledge on how to maintain the property. They may agree to landscape maintenance in the rental contract but it can be difficult for a property manager or owner to enforce. The owner can charge the tenant for maintenance or include landscape maintenance but it is not always practical to increase the rent with the full cost, particularly if the landscaping on the property is extensive.

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Alborz Real Estate Company

Our mission is to increase the quality and effectiveness of managing single family homes, townhomes and condominiums one client at a time with our unique ability to understand the needs of our client's, in-depth knowledge of management and the market as well as cutting edge technology.

Reach Us

Alborz Real Estate Co.
8480 E Orchard Road, Suite 1100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Ph: 720-222-9616