Rent Resources for Owners

Rent Resources for Owners

We’ll take care of you and your investment so you have time to do what you do best. Our knowledge, experience, and integrity—along with reasonable prices and pride in a job well done—mean you can relax knowing your investment is working for you.

We’re pragmatic, highly skilled professionals who deliver professional management service like no other. We use the latest technology and marketing strategies to find and keep qualified renters for your property. We get it. We support our owners with property management solutions intended to save time and money. Whether you are a Professional Real Estate Investor or an Accidental Landlord, we can help. We specialize in servicing high-quality homes here in the beautiful City of Portland, West of 122nd Ave. Single-family homes, plexes, townhomes, and privately owned condos looking for long-term renters fit nicely into Living Room’s portfolio. Our commitment to excellence, education, and technology, as well as our ability to respond and adapt to market forces, means we can confidently provide the highest caliber of service. We invite you to get connected and join our unique network of professionals for a long and lasting business relationship. Call us. We want to talk to you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Utilities

In most cases the tenant will be required to contact the provider and place all utility accounts in their name. In the City of Portland, garbage will remain in the homeowner’s name and be paid by the homeowner.

How are utilities billed if the home is a split rental with shared utility meters?

Any time 2 or more units share a utility meter, the billing would remain in the homeowner’s name. Utilities can be included with the rent or charged back based on actual usage. In order to charge back actual usage, Living Room must be set up to receive and process the invoice. The chargeback formula would be based on the occupancy or square footage in each space (whichever makes more sense).

Will the owner be notified if the utilities are disconnected?

It’s important to contact each utility provider and ask them to flag your account as a rental. The provider will help you process the paperwork required to ensure we are notified of disconnections and your home never goes without service. This is especially important between tenants.

Tenant Selection

How are tenants qualified?

Visit https://www.livingroomre.com/rent/tenants/#forms-and-documents and view a copy of the Rental Screening Criteria. There are 3 separate versions of the form depending on the location of the property. The City of Portland requires a special set of screening criteria including an option for additional tenants to self select at “non-financially responsible.” We use the same set of criteria for each set of tenants, for each home we manage.

Once the home is marketed, will the homeowner get to choose or approve the tenant?

Once the home is marketed, Living Room will follow the first come first serve guidelines set by the City of Portland. Applications will be processed one at a time, in the order they were received. In the City of Portland, the home must be listed for 72 hours before applications are processed. If a home is considered to be an accessible unit, mobility disabled applications will be moved to the front of the line.

The first application processed will have an opportunity to meet the screening criteria before we move onto the next applicant. If an applicant is denied and requests a personal assessment of their application, an attorney would be brought in to review and make a final decision on the applicant’s approval.

The first approved applicant will pay a security deposit and be required to take possession within 2 weeks of their approval. Unlike the process of selling your home, Fair Housing Laws prohibit us from presenting a homeowner with multiple approved applicants and choosing the “best one.” Once the home is marketed, the homeowner does not have a say in who rents the home.

Truth Bomb–A standard 3-bedroom home could be occupied by a set of 6 unrelated roommates. A handful of those roommates may come with emotional support/service animals that we are unable to collect pet deposits for. If the possibility of this makes you nervous, professional property management may not be the route you want to take.

Is there any option for the homeowner to take charge of tenant selection?

If you know someone interested in leasing the home, send their information to our team and we’ll begin the application process prior to marketing the home. Once approved, Living Room would happily draft lease documents, complete the move in inspection and process the rent payments. In this situation, the placement fee is reduced to only 25% of one month’s rent.

Does the homeowner have to accept pets?

Pet owners make up almost 70% of the rental pool. The more restrictions you place on pets, the smaller your rental pool becomes. In the City of Portland, monthly pet rent will be charged for each approved pet. Monthly pet rent ranges from $25/pet – $75/pet depending on the monthly rental price of the home. For properties outside the City of Portland, an additional $300 deposit will be collected for each pet in lieu of pet rent. If you feel strongly about this issue, we will agree to hold out for a tenant without pets. Please note: Verified service animals are not considered pets and must be accepted even in those situations where pets are prohibited. It is illegal to collect an additional deposit for service/emotional support animals.

How many people can live in the home?

Two people per legal bedroom. Children under the age of 2 are not included in the count.

Marketing

Where is the home marketed?

The home is marketed on 36 listing sites including Zillow, Apartments.com, Hotpads, Realtor.com and our Website.

When is the home listed?

The home will be marketed as soon as it is vacant and ready to tour. This will ensure prospective tenants are seeing a nice clean space and experiencing the home at it’s best. Additionally, this timing eliminates confusion as it relates to the move – showing the home in a condition they can expect. It also eliminates the need to bother the current tenants during the chaos and clutter of moving. We’ve found that listing the home prior to vacancy results in lost momentum and more days on the market.

Security Deposits

Who holds the security deposit?

LRPM holds the tenant’s security deposit in a designated security deposit trust account until they move out. If we take over management of a property which is already rented, the owner must forward the security deposits to LRPM right away.

How is the amount of the security deposit determined?

LRPM’s standard security deposit defaults to an amount equal to one month’s rent. Many condo and plex owner’s accept smaller deposits ($300 – 800) to compete with the large apartment communities that offer low move-in costs. Deposits are increased by 25-50% based on the tenant’s risk level. The tenant’s risk is determined by factors like income, rental history and credit. For more information, review the Rental Screening Criteria located at https://www.livingroomre.com/rent/tenants/#forms-and-documents.

Do you collect last month’s rent?

No, it is no longer standard practice to accept any more than first month’s rent and a security deposit from a new tenant.

What happens if the tenant damages the property?

Tenant damage can be deducted from the security deposit…for the most part. Wear and tear, including non-damage painting should be expected and is not considered damage. The City of Portland has assigned a Depreciation Schedule to damaged fixtures, appliances, personal property and flooring. Homeowners should not expect to collect full replacement costs for these items. In the City of Portland, homeowner’s must complete a copy of the Unit Inventory Report prior to the tenant’s move in if they would like to withhold any portion of the tenant’s deposit for damage to fixtures, appliances, personal property and flooring. Follow this link to review additional information on the Security Deposit Rules and the Depreciation Schedule put out by the Portland Housing Bureau.

If a City of Portland Homeowner does not complete the Unit Inventory Report prior to the tenant’s move in, what can be withheld from a security deposit when the tenant vacates?

If the property owner does not complete an in-depth inventory of fixtures, appliances, flooring and personal property prior to move in, we are legally only allowed to withhold the following from the tenant’s deposit. Anything additional would need to be billed to the tenant through separate invoicing.

  • Unpaid rents
  • Late fees/NSF fees/Non-compliance fees
  • Hauling of tenant’s abandoned property
  • Cleaning fees
  • Pest treatment
  • Odor treatments (ozone machines)
  • Lawn repairs (some restrictions apply)
  • Labor (some restrictions apply)

How does the Unit Inventory form work? What can I do to ensure the security deposit can be allocated to fixtures, appliances, flooring and personal property damage?

A copy of Portland’s new Unit Inventory Report is available on the Living Room Owner Forms website. Any item you would like to chargeback to the tenant, through security deposit withholdings must be listed here. The purchase date and purchase price must be included. You are not required to provide proof of purchase upon completion of the form but you will be required to produce receipts or evidence upon billing the tenant for said damage. Your Living Room team will enter the information provided by you into the system and calculate the depreciation cost. Due to the administrative labor needed to enter, calculate and store this information a $100 administrative fee will be charged for each itemized inventory report with more than 10 items logged. This form is not required but is available for homeowners should they decide to document the information in advance.

If I opt out of the Portland Unit Inventory Form (do not fill it out), how will I collect funds for the damages the tenants could potentially do to the home?

There are two options:

  1. Hire Living Room to complete 1-4 annual inspections each year. If damage is noted in the home during an inspection we can require the tenant to pay for the repairs to avoid a mid-lease eviction. We have a tool called the With Cause Notice of Termination that can be used to collect funds and begin the eviction process if necessary. Repairs will still be billed at the cost determined by the depreciation schedule (applies to all homes including those that moved in before 3/1/2020).
  2. If the damages are not noted until move out or the tenant is evicted before the repairs are funded, the tenant will receive an invoice within 31 days of vacating for the balance due. The tenants would receive an additional 34-days to pay the balance due before they were sent to collections. Once an account is sent to collections we are at the mercy of the tenant to care enough about their credit report to take care of the balance due (applies only to tenants that moved in on or after 3/1/2020.)

Will Living Room keep a percentage of the security deposit?

100% of the monies withheld from the tenant’s security deposit is credited to the homeowner’s ledger.

Rents

When do homeowners receive the rent LRPM collected from the tenants?

We process owner payments/disbursements on the 15th of each month. You will receive an email once the payment has been processed along with an Owner’s Statement shortly thereafter. If the tenant pays all or a portion of the rent late, you may not receive the payment until the following month. The Owner’s Statement will include copies of work orders, processed invoices and a ledger of income and expenses. Please review for accuracy each month. Much of the accounting is automated….we all know how that goes. Please expect an additional 2-3 business days for the owner distribution to hit your bank account.

How is the monthly rental amount set?

Our team will work with you to set the rent for each rental property. We’ll compare recently leased properties in your neighborhood to give you a good idea of rates and offer our suggestions. While the home is vacant you can expect to work with an agent on a rental marketing plan.

How much of a rent increase can the homeowner expect upon renewal?

It all depends on the market. You will receive a rent assessment about 4 months before your tenant’s lease expires to help you determine the appropriate amount to raise rents upon renewal should you decide to do so. The State of Oregon restricts increases to 9.9%.

Landscaping

Will the tenant manage landscaping?

No. We ask each of our homeowners to include lawn care in the monthly rent. Mowing and trimming become a low priority for tenants with busy lives. The lack of attention leaves homeowners upset with the overgrowth and large bills for cleanup. Keep in mind, most tenants do not have lawnmowers, and providing the equipment adds liability and another item to repair. Most importantly, tenants often have very different ideas about what is considered “reasonable” lawn maintenance and the law does not offer landlords clarity for enforcement of care. Once the home is occupied there are no weekly drive-by visits so it’s difficult to monitor conditions. When a landscaper is hired, we have the ability to hold the landscaper responsible.

Tenant Communications

Is it appropriate for the homeowner to reach out to the tenant directly?

No. If you are looking for direct contact with your tenants, full-service property management may not be ideal for your situation. Once you’ve hired LRPM to manage your rental property we ask that all tenant communications go through our office, no direct contact. We want to ensure the homeowner is not placed in the tough position of over accommodating or over promising. We also want to make sure the tenants are going through the proper channels of communication (online work orders and forms). Documentation is the key to successful property management and something we take very seriously. We will take good care of your tenants, promise!

Tenant manual

If there are special instructions that would help the tenant more comfortably live in the home, you might consider creating a “Tenant Manual.” A simple 3 ring binder or laminated sheet on the refrigerator works great for this. I’ve also seen homeowners leave notes strategically placed around the home. One of the most common is a reminder to leave the front loading washer open to prevent mildew.

Management Contract

What happens if I’m not happy with your service?

Let us know! If we can’t change your mind in 30 days, we’ll release you from the contract at the end of the following month.

How long is a management contract?

12 months. At the end of the 12 months, it automatically converts to a month-to-month agreement.

What if the homeowner wants to place the property in an LLC or Trust?

If the LLC/Trust is listed on the deed, we are happy to draw up the contract and prepare all tax documents in the LLC/Trust as well. Please note, the insurance policy must also be listed in the LLC/Trust.

Lease Violations

What happens if the tenant moves out early?

If a tenant needs to break their lease, they are automatically billed a Lease Buyout Fee equal to 1.5 times the monthly rent. This fee is delivered in full as a credit to the homeowner’s account and covers one month of lost rent along with the 50% placement fee you’ve paid Living Room to move them in. The tenant is encouraged, but not required to give written notice before breaking their lease.

What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent?

Here in Oregon, the earliest we can begin the collection process for late rent is the 8th of the month. If the tenant has an outstanding rent balance of $100 or more on the 8th of the month, we will issue a 72-hour rent demand notice (extended by 4 days for mailing). If they are responsive, we will work with the tenant to generate a formal payment agreement. If they are unresponsive or violate the terms of the payment agreement we will begin the eviction process. Eviction processing fees start at $150. Eviction fees are paid by the homeowner and later collected from the tenant through the security deposit or collection efforts if the tenant is unable to pay prior to moving out.

What happens if the neighbors complain about the tenants?

We’d encourage your neighbors to reach out to us if they are experiencing frustrations that cannot be handled with the tenant directly. Feel free to share our direct contact information with the neighbors so they know how to get a hold of us. In order for us to issue a formal violation to the tenant they must be violating a section of the rental agreement and we need specific dates and times of the violations. Photos/video can also be very helpful should the situation escalate.

Maintenance

Will LRPM use the homeowner’s preferred vendor?

We’re happy to use your contractors and always appreciate adding quality vendors to our toolbox. Each vendor must sign a Living Room Vendor Agreement, produce a W-9, Contractor’s License and Insurance Policy before they are scheduled for any job on a Living Room Rental. If your desired contractor is unresponsive, unavailable or has not produced the proper documentation, we will default to a LRPM approved vendor.

How are emergency maintenance calls handled?

Maintenance emergencies will be handled quickly and without homeowner approvals. To avoid bothering or pestering the homeowner, we will fill you in on emergent calls once it’s been handled. The following items will be treated and handled as an emergency:

  • No air conditioning (when outside temperatures are above 85 degrees and AC is provided in the home).
  • No heat (when outside temperatures are below 55 degrees). Except when weather conditions prohibit service.
  • No water
  • Overflowing commode
  • Commode not functioning (when only one in a home)
  • Refrigerator/freezer not cooling
  • Kitchen sink backed up
  • Electrical outage/breaker
  • Gas failure of any nature
  • Water: Lleaks, broken pipes, running water, intrusion
  • Unsecured entry points into the home
  • Tree/landscaping repair that is causing damage to the rental or neighboring property
  • Pest control- only on extreme occassions
  • Non functioning access gates or garages with vehicles parked inside
  • Any threatening situation: fire, flood, police action

How much will it cost the homeowner to hire Living Room to prep the home for a new tenant?

The condition of the home plays a huge part in determining the cost. If we walk into a well-maintained home in need of a standard paint job, cleaning and carpet cleaning, we’ll typically ask the owner to make a $1500 – $3000 maintenance deposit. If we need to add a handyman, chimney sweep, gutter cleaning, yard clean up, etc., you may be required to place a deposit of $3000 – $5000. Capital projects that include major repairs, flooring replacements, moisture/lead/asbestos mediation, and safety improvements should be handled before hiring a property manager.

How often is the home inspected?

As the homeowner you have the option to request an inspection at any time. We encourage homeowners to respect the privacy of the tenant and limit inspections to no more than 2x per year. We find that annual inspections are typically sufficient. Living Room inspections reports are $95 each and will include a set of organized photos and notes. The inspection is uploaded to your Owner’s Portal for review. We send out reminders 2-3x per year, reminding homeowners to order inspections.

Plans to Move Back or Sell the Home

Is it true that relocation assistance costs landlords thousands of dollars to move back into their own house?

In March of 2018 the City of Portland adopted a new ordinance that requires homeowners to cut a check to their tenants when issuing a no cause eviction. Relocation assistance fees range between $2800 – $4500 depending on the size of the home. Homeowners may apply for one of twelve exemptions should they desire to take possession of the home. Many of the exemptions require the homeowner to apply for and disclose their exemption prior to signing a lease with a new set of tenants. For more information, and a link to the exemption application visit the Portland Housing Bureau website.

https://beta.portland.gov/phb/rental-services/mandatory-renter-relocation-assistance

Insurance Requirements

Why is LRPM required to be listed as additionally insured on the Homeowner’s insurance policy?

This is a standard requirement for property managers and only applies to the general liability part of the policy. Since the owner has to indemnify the property manager for anything that could go wrong (except for professional negligence and other similar facts), having the additional insured would streamline the defense process. While Living Room carries General Liability Insurance as well as Professional Liability Insurance, which protects from a financial loss caused by a mistake or wrongful act by the property manager, those policies generally don’t provide protection against matters concerning the home itself. This leaves the property manager vulnerable to claims regarding someone injuring themselves at the property, burglary, fire, water leaks, etc. Without the additional insured endorsement, Living Room could have to defend itself and then seek reimbursement from the owner directly (or their insurance) for any losses under the indemnification clause (so the end result is the same, it’s just more streamlined when Living Room is an additional insured)

Forms and Documents

Menu of ServicesDownload
Owner Onboarding ChecklistDownload
Rental PreplistDownload
City of Portland Application Screening RulesDownload
City of Portland Security Deposit RulesDownload
City of Portland Unit Inventory FormDownload
Depreciation ScheduleDownload
Sample Property Management AgreementDownload

Portal Login

Our cloud-based property management software allows our team to manage your properties with ease and better serve owners and residents.

Process And Respond To Maintenance Requests More Quickly.

We can quickly resolve issues by accessing vendor information and using electronic work orders for more efficient communication. All records are stored for future access.

Pay You Even Faster Every Month.

Deposits can go directly into your bank account using ACH (electronic payments).

Save Time And Paper By Using Email To Send Monthly Owner Statements.

The statements are organized in a concise and easy to read format that details the performance of your property for the previous month. We can also post these monthly statements on a secure Owners Portal.

Contact Living Room Property Management

Looking for a rental? Need help with the dashboard? Whatever you need, we’re committed to providing superior service to our owners and tenants alike. Below you’ll find a form to request more information or to submit a support ticket. A member of our team will review your request and get back to you within 24 business hours.

Living Room Property Management