Owner Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your common questions

What needs to be done to prepare a property for rent?
The property should be presented in the best possible condition to attract the highest- quality tenant. The tenants are required to leave the property in the condition they received it, normal wear and tear excepted, so it makes sense to start with it in top condition. Backus Properties can help you with property preparation and will also be responsible for putting it back into that condition when the tenant leaves and charging the tenant as appropriate.

All debris and personal belongings, including washer and dryer and lawnmower, should be removed. Neutral window coverings should remain.

As tenants are required to maintain the yard in the condition provided to them at move -in, the yard should be freshly mowed, weeded, trimmed and leaves and debris removed.

How will the property be marketed for rent?
Internet advertising is a major factor in finding new tenants. We still do a limited amount of newspaper advertising, but mostly to refer prospective tenants to the website. Your home will be advertised at the following websites:

Multiple photographs on a variety of websites, generally 6-10.

Your costs will be $250 per vacancy.

What are the polices regarding pets and smokers?
You make the call here!

Statistics indicate that 75% of renters of single family homes own pets, a smaller number in duplexes or apartments. Restricting pets may reduce the number of qualified applicants. It is often preferable to consider allowing pets with an additional security deposit in the range of $300.00 to $500.00.

It is common to restrict smoking inside the property. This does not significantly reduce the marketability of the property.

Is first and last month's rent collected at move- in?
It is generally preferable to collect a refundable security deposit rather than call it last month's rent. The total amount collected is generally slightly over the equivalent of one month's rent, depending on the current market. You can determine the amount collected if you choose. The security deposit is held by Backus Properties in the Client non-interest bearing Trust Account.

What happens if the tenant does not pay rent on time?
The rent is due on the first of each month and is considered late if not received by the fifth. At that point a 3-day, pay or quit notice is delivered. If tenants have not paid by the end of the notice period, appropriate action is taken as directed by the owner. 

When are monthly funds distributed to the owner?
Statements, electronic transfers and checks usually go out between the 15th and 22nd of each month, depending on your needs.

How do I receive my proceeds?
Most of our owners choose to have their funds electronically transferred to their account. You may also request a check or to have us hold all funds.

How are repairs handled?
You can customize how repairs on your property will be handled. Choices include calling you with all repairs, or calling you with repairs over a certain amount. You're the boss!

We have competent repair vendors to handle any problem that may arise. You always pay the exact amount of the bill; nothing is added for supervision. Tenants are charged for supervision of repairs required after they vacate.

Backus Properties does not make any money from vendors input.

What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
The tenant is responsible for the rent for the term of the lease. If tenants are forced or choose to leave prior to the termination date, they will be charged rent until the property is re-rented to persons acceptable under the original terms and conditions. They are also responsible for the expense of re-renting the property, the lease fee (if any), advertising costs, and keeping utilities on until re-rented.

The owner and agent are responsible to attempt to re-rent the property as soon as possible in order to minimize the tenant's costs.

How is the owner protected if the tenant damages the property?
The refundable security deposit taken at move-in is usually sufficient to handle the minor damages and necessary cleaning. Tenants with excellent credit and references seldom cause significant damage and rarely in excess of the security deposit.

Should the tenants leave the property owing more than is covered by the security deposit, they will be billed. If they do not pay, the matter may be turned over to a collection agency.