What are the do’s and don’ts when renting out your condo or townhome? As a homeowner, you are still just as responsible for your tenant’s behavior and actions as you would be if you were still within the community association. I am pleased to publish this article that was recently written by a guest contributor, Stacy Karel, from @Properties.
If you own a condo that you want to rent out, as a landlord for your condo you need to:
- Screen tenants. Even if you are using a Realtor to procure a tenant, it is your responsibility to follow up and check the information provided in applications. Check with references, previous landlords and employers. In addition to a credit check, it is a good practice to do an eviction and criminal check including sex offenders on all tenants before signing a lease.
- Make sure that your tenant receives and understands the rules and regulations of the condo association. The owner is usually responsible for fines- if you expect your tenant to pay, you need to have that provision in your lease.
- Be familiar with the City of Chicago Landlord laws. These include information on how to handle security deposits, tenants rights, and remedies. http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dcd/general/housing/RLTOEnglish.pdf
- Be aware of the new City Bed Bug Ordinance and make sure your tenant agrees to comply. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/bed_bug_information.html
- It is good practice to use the ABOMA standard lease for condo association rentals, as it includes standard language that most declarations/bylaws require. Request any move in packets from the management company to get them properly filled out and fees paid.
- Provide a clean, safe and functional condo for your tenant- set expectations about who changes the light bulbs, smoke detector batteries and furnace filters, your thoughts about painting, etc.
Here is a sample of additional terms I use or modify with leases I have written for clients:
- No Smoking
- No Pets or modify to what is agreed ie. 1 dog allowed with additional $200 security deposit
- Tenant must abide by the rules and regulations of the condo association and will be responsible for any fines
- Tenant will put all utilities in their name including- Com Ed, Peoples Gas, etc.
- Unit will be professionally cleaned upon move in, Unit to be professionally cleaned upon exit
- Tenant will procure renters insurance for their belongings.
- Rental payments to be made by bank transfer- account information to be provided
- 60 days prior to lease expiration, agent may show unit for sale or rent given 24 hour notice of showing.
- Tenant responsible for move in fees and deposits required by condo management
Bottom line, the better the communication of expectations from Landlord to Tenant up front will result in a better working relationship during tenancy.
Stacy Karel is a real estate broker with @properties in the Bucktown office. You can search the MLS on her website at www.CONDOChicago.com, join her Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CONDOChicago and if you are curious about the market where you live, you are invited to visit www.AtPropertiesMarketReport.com