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.

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

In this situation the utilities with the shared meter would remain in the homeowner’s name. We can add a flat fee utility charge to the rent or it can be billed back at actual rates based on the occupancy in each space. If you’d like to have the utilities billed back at actual rates, bills must be directed and paid through the LRR

Am I notified if the utilities are shut off for non-payment?

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 LivingRoomRentals.com and follow the Application menu. At the bottom of the webpage you will find a link to the tenant’s Screening Criteria.

Once the home is marketed, will I get to choose the tenant?

The homeowner does not have a say in who rents the home. Applications are processed one at a time, in the order they were received. The first application processed will have an opportunity to meet the screening criteria before we move onto the next applicant. The first approved applicant will pay a deposit and be required to take possession within 2 weeks of their approval or on the date the home is made ready whichever is further out. 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”. If you know someone interested in leasing the home, encourage them to apply right away to secure their place in line. A standard 3-bedroom home could be occupied by a set of 6 college roommates. A handful of those roommates may come with emotional support/service animals that we are not able 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 me to take charge of tenant selection?

A homeowner can control the tenant selection process as long as they are willing to do all the marketing, touring and screening of the tenants. For liability reasons, Living Room will not place our name on any marketing or signage until the applicant has been approved for move in. 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.

What if I don’t want to allow pets in the home?

Pet owners make up 70% of the people in the market for a rental house. Being open to allowing pets will make your property available to more potential renters. An additional $300 deposit will be collected for each pet. However, if you you feel strongly about this issue, we will agree not show your property to prospective tenants with 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 deposits 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.

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 Tenant Screening Criteria located on LivingRoomRentals.com.

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 should be expected and is not considered damage. Paint and carpet replacements/cleaning are 2 of the most costly expenses to homeowners that often fall under “wear and tear.” For more information on what can and cannot be deducted from the deposit please ask the management team for a copy of the Homeowner’s Move Out Instructions

Rents

When is the rent transfered to my account?

We process owner payments/distributions on the 15th of each month. If the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday the processing will happen the business day before. You will receive an email once the payment has been processed along with a Owner’s Statement shortly after. If the tenant pays all or a portion of their 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 the owner distribution to hit your bank account.

How is the monthly rental amount set?

We set the rent with you! We’ll compare recently leased properties in your neighborhood to give you a good idea of rates. From there we can set the price based on your real estate goals. Rents will not be adjusted without the owner’s input.

How much do rents change at the end of a lease?

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. Here in the city of Portland rent increases over 9.9% will be subject to Relocation Assistance Fees due to the tenants.

What is pet rent and will my tenant’s pay it?

Pet rent is a monthly fee some landlords charge their tenants who have pets to recoup costs associated with managing a community with numerous pets. The fee is typically an additional $10 - $50/month. We do not charge pet rent here at Living Room because in our opinion, it is not appropriate outside of multifamily housing. Large apartment complexes that hire maintenance teams to pick up after pets, change out dog waste stations, replace plants regularly due to high amounts of dog urine or maintain pet amenities get away with charging pet rent. Most single family/plex units don't have these monthly expenses and therefore there is no need to upcharge the tenants.

Landscaping

Should I include landscaping with the rental?

Unfortunately, we've had more bad than good experiences with tenant's managing the lawn care. Mowing and trimming become a low priority for tenants with busy lives. The lack of attention leaves homeowners upset with the overgrowth and large bill for clean up. Keep in mind, most tenants do not have lawnmowers. If you provide a lawnmower there is an extra ounce of liability. If the equipment malfunctioned or hurt someone it could be on the owner to file an insurance claim for damages. If the lawnmower breaks, we would treat it like any other appliance and request a repair or replacement. Most importantly, tenants often times have very different ideas about what is considered "reasonable" lawn maintenance. Once the home is occupied there are no weekly or even monthly drive-by visits so it's difficult to monitor to conditions. When a landscaper is hired, tenants are more apt to stay on top of the contractor.

Owner Access to thhe Home/Tenants

Can I contact my tenants to share helpful information about the home?

We do not share tenant contact information with the homeowners. There is actually a clause written into the management agreement that prohibits direct communication between the owner and the tenants during the duration of our management agreement. It sounds harsh but I promise it is for your benefit! We want to ensure you are not put in the tough position of overly accommodating or overpromising. We also want to make sure the tenants are going through the proper channels of communication (online workorders and forms). Documentation is the key to successful property management and something we take very seriously. I have too many stories of tenants asking to break a lease, asking for permission to pay rent late or performing undocumented work orders through the homeowners. You pay us to respond to these calls and we are happy to communicate work orders and tenant requests that require your input. We will take good care of you 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.

Owner Access to thhe Home/Tenants

What happens if the tenant moves out early?

If a tenant needs to break their lease, they are automatically billed a Lease Buyout Fee of 1.5x the monthly rent. This fee is delivered in full as a credit to the owner’s account and covers one month of lost rent along with the 50% placement fee you’ll pay Living Room to find a replacement tenant. The tenant is encouraged but not required to give written notice before breaking their lease. If the tenant breaks the lease within the first 90-days of their tenancy, the outgoing tenant would be responsible for the full 1.5x but LRPM’s re-placement fee would be reduced to 25%.

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 encourage your neighbors to reach out to us if they are experiencing frustrations that cannot be handled with the tenant directly. Each of your neighbors will receive a letter from our team during the onboarding process to ensure they have proper contact information.

Maintenance

What if I want you to use my own plumber, handyman, etc?

We’re happy to use your contractors as long as they are available and properly licensed/insured. Each vendor must produce a W-9, Contractor’s License and scheduled for any job on a Living Room Rental. There are some exceptions if the vendor or homeowner would like to complete work on a vacant home. If your desired contractor is unresponsive, unavailable or has not produced the proper documentation, your management agreement does give us permission to move on to a more qualified/available vendor. That being said, some our favorite contractors were homeowner referrals whom we now have long lasting relationships with.

Will you call me in the middle of the night with emergencies?

Absolutely not! This is the main reason many homeowners choose to hire a management company. Maintenance emergencies will be handled quickly and without approvals. The homeowner would be copied on work orders but not bothered to make a decision. This is especially important in situations that could cause additional damage if untreated. The following items will be treated and handled as an emergency:

  • No air conditioning (whenoutside temperatures are above 85 degrees and AC is provided in the home).
  • No heat (when outside temperatures are below 55 degrees) Except with 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
  • No electricity in whole home
  • Gas failure of any nature
  • Major water problems-leaks, broken pipes
  • Unsecured entry points into home
  • Non functioning access gates or garages with vehicles parked inside
  • Any threatening situation: fire, flood, police action

What happens if the neighbors complain about the tenants?

We encourage your neighbors to reach out to us if they are experiencing frustrations that cannot be handled with the tenant directly. Each of your neighbors will receive a letter from our team during the onboarding process to ensure they have proper contact information.

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

The condition of the home plays a huge part of 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. Unless there is noted reason, 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.

Plans to Moving Back or Sell the Home

Is it true that relocation assistance costs landlords thousands of dollars?

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, refusing to resign a new lease or increasing rents by 10% or more. 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.

Insurance Requirements

My insurance provider will not list the management company as additionally insured

The additional insured, it’s a pretty standard requirement for property managers and only applies to the general liability part of the owners’ 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. If the management company is properly listed as Additional Insured, the coverage will automatically be extended to both parties as needed. 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

Forms and Documents

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.

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