Balancing Utilities, Rent Payments, and Tenant Background Checks

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Balancing Utilities, Rent Payments, and Tenant Background Checks

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Expert Advice on Utilities, Checks, and Verification

Renting properties is more than just finding the right tenant and collecting the rent. It comes with its set of intricacies and challenges.

Henderson Properties often encounters a considerable amount of questions from landlords seeking to optimize their operations and ensure a seamless experience for their tenants.

In this article, we explore landlords’ three prominent questions: the handling of utilities between tenants, the procedure when faced with returned checks, and the importance of verifying a tenant’s rental history.

1) How Can Landlords Handle Utilities Between Tenancies?

Essential services like electricity, water, and gas need an uninterrupted flow, especially between tenancies. Some landlords choose to integrate these costs into the monthly rent, ensuring continuous service. Others might expect their tenants to tackle these bills.

For those in the latter category, the “Revert to Owner Agreement,” also known as the Landlord Interim Billing Agreement, comes as a boon.

This arrangement ensures that when a tenant moves out, the responsibility for utilities doesn’t hang in limbo but automatically shifts back to the landlord. Such a system not only promises cost efficiency by preventing service disruptions (like frozen pipes) but also offers unparalleled convenience, especially during tenant transitions.

For those managing multiple properties, the agreement consolidates all utility responsibilities into one straightforward monthly statement, offering clarity and peace of mind.

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2) What Should Landlords Do When Faced With Returned Checks?

Dealing with bounced checks is an unfortunate aspect of property management that every landlord hopes to avoid. However, when it happens, it’s essential to address it efficiently and fairly to maintain a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. Keep in mind:

  • A bounced check means the tenant’s bank account didn’t cover the rent amount, and you must promptly inform them of this discrepancy.
  • Document these incidents by sending a formal notice about the unpaid rent and the returned check, preferably within 24 hours of discovery.
  • To prevent future issues, request future payments as a certified check or money order, and consider imposing a late fee based on your lease agreement.

Remember, not all tenants intentionally default on rent. If a reliable tenant makes a one-time mistake, a friendly reminder might be all that’s needed. However, habitual defaulters may require more stringent measures. Remember:

  • Clear communication is vital; set clear expectations and consequences for repeated defaults.
  • For a more seamless rent collection process, think about shifting to online payments, offering both you and the tenant a convenient and reliable solution.

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3) Why is Verifying a Tenant’s Rental History Critical?

While a credit score provides a snapshot of their financial behavior, rental verification goes a step further, painting a holistic picture of the tenant’s past rental behaviors and habits.

This verification process can reveal patterns, such as habitual delayed payments or a history of property neglect, which might not be evident from a simple financial check. The process usually involves obtaining details from the tenant’s application and securing their consent for further checks.

The next step is reaching out to previous landlords to discuss the tenant’s track record. However, discrepancies can arise. In such cases, it’s prudent to cross-verify details with the potential tenant, ensuring all facts are on the table before making a decision.

Modern technology has simplified this verification process. Digital rental history forms and online databases streamline tenant screenings, making it easier and more efficient for landlords.

Need Help?

While property rental comes with challenges, a proactive and informed approach ensures a smooth experience for both landlords and tenants. With expert guidance from Henderson Properties, landlords can be assured of navigating the world of property rentals with confidence.

Need professional help managing your property? Give our team a call, 704-970-4145, or fill out a rental property management proposal request!

Shelly Henderson
Shelly Henderson
Shelly calls herself a “Charlottean” because her family has been there since her elementary school days. She serves as Henderson Properties’ co-founder, along with her husband Phil, managing the day-to-day operations, social media branding and leadership development. Her different life experiences, both positive and challenging, earned the title to her first book Starting From Scratch. Shelly has a servant’s heart and leads her company with purpose and passion. She is mom to two sons who continue as young adults to make her heart swell.