Rent Resources for Owners

Rent Resources for Owners

Do you need more hours in the day? Let Living Room’s Property Management and Maintenance Team free you from the most time-consuming landlord duties. Eliminate late-night emergency calls, weekend showings, service repairs, contract drafting, and tenant negotiations.

Living Room Property Management is made up of highly skilled individuals that are injecting professionalism and ethics into landlord services. Using the latest technology and marketing strategies we will help you find and retain qualified renters for your property. We support our owners with property management solutions intended to save time and maximize your investment return.

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, reaching as far as Beaverton, Milwaukie & Lake Oswego. Single-family homes, small plexes, townhomes, and privately owned condos looking for long-term renters are the perfect fit for 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?

Anytime 2 or more units share a utility meter, the utility invoice would remain in the homeowner’s name and forwarded to Living Room for processing. Your Portfolio Manager will help you determine the most appropriate way to recoup those costs. All utilities billed back to the tenant require a predetermined formula based on occupancy and/or square footage in each space.

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 our Forms & Documents section 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?

No. 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, Living Room will follow the rule of, first come first serve. Applications will be processed one at a time, in the order they were received. If a home is considered to be an accessible unit, mobility-disabled applications will be moved to the front of the line. The first applicant processed will have an opportunity to meet the screening criteria before we move on to the next applicant. If an applicant is denied and requests a personal assessment of their application, our attorney would review and make a final decision on the applicant’s approval.

Are there options for the homeowner to take charge of tenant selection?

Yes. If the owner has presented Living Room with a potential renter, prior to publicly marketing the rental we will process their application first. Once approved, Living Room would happily draft lease documents, complete the move-in inspection, collect security deposits 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.

Marketing

Where is the home marketed?

Your listing will syndicate on up to 50 sites through all of our marketing partners such as the Zillow Group, Apartments.com, and Realtor.com. These sites are subject to change as new sites are identified and existing sites change their policies.

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?

Living Room holds the tenant’s security deposit in a designated trust account until the tenants vacate the property. If a property is transferred to Living Room mid-tenancy, the owner must forward the security deposits to Living Room before we will begin management services.

How is the amount of the security deposit determined?

A standard security deposit defaults to an amount equal to one month’s rent. In a competitive market, condo and plex owners may accept a smaller deposit as a way to compete with the low move-in costs offered by surrounding apartment communities. Increased deposits are also offered to qualify folks who meet the screening criteria but come with some additional risk. The tenant’s risk is determined by factors like income, rental history, and credit. For more information, review the Rental Screening Criteria in our Forms & Documents section.

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?

The manner in which security deposit funds can be allocated to tenant damages is controlled by state and local landlord-tenant law. To reduce the chances of litigation set by precedent and legal counsel, Living Room has adopted most of the Portland deposit processing laws to all metro rentals. It is highly encouraged that all landlords familiarize themselves with the laws prior to leasing their rental using this link: https://www.portland.gov/sites/default/files/2022/phb-rso-security-deposits-brochure-august-2022.pdf.

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?

In the City of Portland a Landlord must incorporate an itemized description of any Landlord-provided fixtures, appliances, equipment, or personal property, that the Landlord intends to cover the repair or replacement of by the Tenant Security Deposit. The required form, the Portland Unit Inventory Report, is available in our Forms & Documents section. This form is not required but is highly encouraged for all owners to complete and submit along with their Property Information Form.

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 that Living Room has collected from the tenants?

Owner payments/disbursements are processed on the 15th of each month. On that day you will receive an email confirmation of your disbursement along with a link to your monthly Owner’s Statement. If the tenant pays all or a portion of the rent late, you may not receive the full payment until the following month. The Owner’s Statement will include copies of work orders, processed invoices and a detailed statement of all income and expenses. Please review for accuracy each month. It is safe to anticipate an additional 2-3 business days for the owner distribution to direct deposit into 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?

The response to this question varies based on current market conditions. The renewal process will begin approximately 4.5 months prior to your tenant’s lease expiration date. At this time a Living Room agent will notify you of the upcoming renewal, share relevant market conditions and help determine the appropriate rent for the upcoming lease term. The State of Oregon restricts increases to 7% + CPI and the City of Portland imposes additional fees for annual increases that exceed 9.9%

Landscaping

Will the tenant manage landscaping?

No. We ask that homeowners include lawn care in the monthly rent. The scope of work varies and is difficult to enforce to the standards of most homeowners. Once the home is occupied there are no weekly drive-by visits so it is difficult to monitor conditions. When a landscaper is hired, the tenants assist in our 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. Depending on the court’s availability it can take 2-8 weeks for a 1st appearance date.

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. A 24-hr emergency maintenance line is available to all Living Room Tenants. The following items will be treated and handled as an emergency, weather, and conditions permitting:

  • No heat (when outside temperatures are below 55 degrees)
  • No air conditioning (when outside temperatures are above 85 degrees and AC is provided in the home)
  • No water
  • Overflowing commode
  • Commode not functioning (only when home is limited to one bathroom)
  • Refrigerator/freezer not cooling
  • Kitchen sink backed up
  • Electrical outage/breaker
  • Gas failure of any nature
  • Water: Leaks, 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 occasions
  • Nonfunctioning access gates or garages with vehicles parked inside or inability to secure tenant’s property
  • 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 major role 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 handy services, 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 would require prior bids and applicable deposits.

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 tenant’s privacy and limit inspections to no more than 2× per year. We find that annual inspections are typically sufficient. Living Room inspection reports will include a formatted set of photos and notes allowing you to see each room. The inspection is uploaded to your Owner’s Portal for review. We send out reminders 2–3× per year, reminding homeowners to order inspections. Inspection fees are listed on the Menu of Services.

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 $2,800–4,500 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

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, Documents, and Links

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