How much does Acorn charge for their management services?
The charge for our property management services is negotiable and is based on the gross monthly rent collected. If your property is vacant, and you’re not getting rent, then Acorn isn’t getting paid either! Property managers actually perform more duties during a vacancy than when the unit is occupied. However, we won’t charge you when you’re receiving zero rent!
For the property management fee, Acorn will advertise the property, show the unit to prospective applicants, screen applicants, enter into an Acorn rental agreement, perform monthly rent collection, coordinate maintenance when needed, take care of all tenant issues including notices if necessary, and send you a monthly accounting statement with a check for rental proceeds or an electronic automatic deposit (ACH).
How will Acorn advertise my property?
Acorn’s number one choice for advertising is Craigslist. Craigslist (along with several other posting websites like Zillow, Hotpads, etc.) is free and we are a member of a Craigslist support site that allows us to create ads that stand-out from the rest. Also, on Acorn’s website there is a page solely dedicated to vacant properties. We have found great success with Craigslist and other websites so if we can save you the cost of advertising in the newspaper, that’s what we’re going to do.
How much rent can I get for my property?
The quick-and-easy answer to this is: as much as the market will bear. Setting the rent is a collaborative effort between you the owner and us the property managers. Factors to consider when setting the rent are extensive. Some of these factors include: the time of year, the size and location of the property, any special features the unit may have, and the current rental market.
Should I allow pets?
85% of tenants say they have pets, while only 25% of landlords say they allow them. What does this tell us? Tenants bring pets into rental properties. We can use this to our advantage. Allowing pets and securing increased security deposits up front dramatically increases the pool of qualified renters, which translates to filling vacancies sooner and saving you money. Tenants with pets often stay longer, as other property available to them is limited. Establishing a “pet-friendly” rental can even expand our referral network from satisfied tenants who have pets. We believe the best way to protect your investment is to allow pets while collecting additional security deposits up front and charging tenants increased rent each month.
What deposits can I collect? How does each benefit my investment?
Oregon Landlord-Tenant does not set a limit on the security deposit we can charge. A security deposit may be used for anything your tenant leaves owing you – cleaning charges, damage beyond normal wear and tear, back due rent, expenses billed. In other words, if your tenant owes you money this fund is available to cover your losses.
Do I have to accept Section 8?
The Housing Choice Act of 2013, otherwise known as the “Section 8 Bill,” became effective on July 1, 2014. This law includes federal rent subsidies and other local, state, and federal assistance (including Section 8) under the state’s source of income protections. Although no landlord will be forced to accept Section 8 under this law, no landlord will be able to refuse to rent to someone solely because their income is a Section 8 voucher. What this means to Oregon landlords is that you do not have to change who you rent to. You are not required to change your screening criteria, including your income threshold required to rent your properties. If you would not have rented to someone who did not meet your screening criteria before this law goes into effect, chances are you will not have to rent to them now. How you view their Section 8 voucher as income is the real difference here. And there are some distinct benefits to the Section 8 program. You receive a portion of the month’s rent as guaranteed income. There is also another set of eyes on your property. Section 8 helps monitor who is there and can help enforce penalties for bad behavior. If the Housing Authority sees a problem with the property that could result in damage, they let you know. And finally, one of the best benefits to Oregon landlords is the Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee Program. This is a fund for landlords who sustain damages to their rental properties by Section 8 tenants after July 1, 2014. Landlords may make a claim to be reimbursed for the cost of damages from this fund as long as the damages exceeded normal wear and tear, the landlord obtains a court judgment for the damages, and the cost of damages was more than $500 and less than $5,000. (Landlords may still pursue tenants for damages over $5,000 – they just can’t recover that additional money from the guarantee fund.)
Do you rent on a month-to-month basis or by fixed-term lease?
Acorn Property Management almost always recommends a month-to-month rental agreement. That way you retain your legal right to serve a No Cause Notice of Termination whereby you can ask your tenants to leave with 30 days written notice (60 days if they have been there longer than a year) for any reason that’s legal (no retaliation or discrimination, of course). This is a huge benefit if, say, your tenants pay late every month, never mow the lawn or are just not caring for the property in the manner you desire. The one exception is rentals near college campuses, where we often recommend a school-year lease for the benefit of the owners and tenants.
What happens if the tenants don’t pay their rent?
No matter how well your tenants are screened, sometimes the unexpected happens. Roommates move out and the remaining tenants can’t cover the whole rent. Someone loses a job. Someone gets a major illness. Some just don’t pay.
With Acorn Property Management, you can rest easy that we take immediate and effective action to enforce payment. We serve the Non-Payment Notices and stay in close contact with the tenants. And if the worst happens, we file the eviction paperwork and even attend the initial eviction hearing for you. We can then, at your request, initiate a collection process or assist in filing a Small Claims Court action for you.
What do I have to worry about?
Nothing! Advertising, screening your tenants, executing rental agreements, monthly rent collection, routine inspections and maintenance, damage repairs, service of notices, move-out inspections, final accounting and security deposit refunds. The list goes on and on. We’ve got you covered.