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Landlord FAQs

LANDLORD FAQs

Q: Why would I want to use an agent?

Q: What landlord service can I expect from Trio?

Q: What if I don’t want to pay a fee?

Q: What steps do you take to screen tenants?

Q: Can I meet the applicant(s) before accepting them and committing to a lease agreement?

Q: What is Section 8?

Q: What is Lead Paint and what does it mean for me as a landlord?

Q: What if I rent to a tenant that stops paying their rent?

Q: Can I still look for tenants on my own?

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Q: Why would I want to use an agent?
A: Every landlord has their own unique reason for using the services of an agency, but in each case that reason boils down to 3 things: Time, Money & Quality.

Agents liberate landlords from the time consuming process of marketing and showing their properties, thus maximizing the likelihood of getting their properties rented in a timely fashion while decreasing the risk of costly vacancies. You never know when the right tenant is going to be conducting an apartment search or when they’re going to be available to view them. Therefore, getting your property rented quickly and avoiding missed opportunities to show your property to the right tenant requires a constant presence on various advertising mediums and full-time availability for showings. Having an agency that’s working for you 7 days a week increases the probability that your property will get rented in a timely fashion and allows you to save time, manage risk more effectively, and, in many cases, saves you considerable amounts of money. We also follow a strict screening process to reduce the possibilities of having trouble tenants down the road.

Q: What services can I expect from Trio?
A:

Marketing:

1. Market analysis to maximize marketability
2. Create online presence w/ custom ads
3. Shared database of clients among our team

Screening:

1. Pre-qualify general inquiries
2. Conduct showings
3. Collect applications and verify E.R.I.C. for approval, (employment, references, income, credit)
4. Collect initial deposit

Administrative:

1. Use of the latest GBREB approved forms
2. Collect final deposits
3. Lease creation Custom addendums with Lessor benefits
4. Mandatory disclosure statements

Q: What if I don’t want to pay a fee?
A: No problem. In many cases tenants are willing to pay the agency’s fees for the right apartment they want. While this is not a hard and fast rule, we have found that for the right place in the right neighborhood and for the right price tenants are often willing to pay the fee associated with our service. If you’re concerned that your apartment may not rent this way, we can always set up a plan to market it for a fixed period of time, gauge the response from our showings and provide you with feedback. If we think the fee is impairing our ability to get your property rented in a timely fashion we can discuss alternative fee options from there, but only after we’ve collected enough data to justify such a conversation.

Q: What steps do you take to screen tenants?
A: A chief concern of among landlords is the risk of renting to tenants that are incapable of honoring the terms of their lease agreement. To mitigate that risk Trio employs the use of every available tenant screening method to vet the qualifications of prospective tenants before bringing you an offer. These methods include:

1. Phone interviews to prequalify general inquiries prior to showings
2. Employment verification
3. Income verifications using the 1/3 rule
4. Credit checks on all parties
5. Checking previous landlord references
6. Use of MA approved forms and disclosures
7. Custom addendums

Additionally, we are happy to facilitate an opportunity to meet with anyone who expresses interest in your property before moving forward with the process. Finding a qualified applicant for you is our chief concern because we want your business in the future!

Q: Can I meet the applicant(s) before accepting them and committing to a lease agreement?
A: Of course. When we discuss the other details of your other requirements, just let us know that you would need to meet the applicants before making a decision and we’ll facilitate the meeting.

Q: What is Section 8?

A: Section 8 is a federal assistance program provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that administers subsidies to low-income families and individuals who are unable to afford housing at fair market rates. These subsidies are administered in the form of a voucher that covers a percentage of the tenants’ rent, making the out-of-pocket expense of housing more manageable for people and families in financial distress. Every landlord should educate themselves regarding the rules of Section 8 and a great source of information is the “Landlord’s Guide to Section 8”, which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: http://www.massresources.org/pages.cfm?contentID=3&pageID=2&subpages=yes&dynamicID=753

Q: What is Lead Paint and what does it mean for me as a landlord?
A: Lead paint is a form of paint that that contains lead, which in addition to improving the performance of paint is also highly toxic. If lead paint chips or dust are ingested it can cause a variety of health problems, particularly in children under 6 years old. Consequently, lead paint was banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1977. If you’re a landlord renting a property that may contain lead paint it is important to familiarize yourself MA Lead Law. For more information click on the following link: http://www.mass.gov/dph/clppp

Q: What if I rent to a tenant that stops paying their rent?

A: If your tenant stops paying their rent they are in violation of the terms of the lease agreement and you are entitled to enforce those terms accordingly. In the event that the standard lease doesn’t address this scenario specifically enough for you, you are free to include an addendum to your lease that outlines specific protocols and penalties associated with delinquent rent payments. As an agency we have vast experience drafting lease addendums and would be more than happy to help you to create an addendum that meets your unique needs and concerns. There is also an eviction process for demanding payment or forcing the tenant to move out for non compliance.

Q: Can I still look for tenants on my own?

A: Absolutely. We can market your property either non-contractually or contractually. If you want to be able to get extra exposure for you property AND have the option of potentially getting it rented on your own, thus avoiding having to pay the fee, then we can market you property non-contractually.

Alternatively, some landlords find that the contractual relationship, which grants our agency the exclusive right to rent for a period of time, works better for them. Giving our agency the exclusive right to rent allows us to market your property through MLS, which is a listing database used by all real estate agencies in MA, making your property listing accessible to every agency out there. Additionally, it allows you to have a specific agent that is dedicated to renting your property and with whom you can have a consistent point of contact and can provide ongoing feedback around how to maximize the likelihood of renting your place in a timely fashion. If you would like to discuss what kind of representation would best meet your needs please feel free to contact us directly.

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