Our first step in renting a property is advertising its availability. We provide yard signs that attract interest from drive-by traffic. We receive many referrals and unsolicited inquiries because of our long-standing presence in the community. We also display listings at dmhouserentals.com, Apartments.com, Zillow, Trulia and Craigslist.
Screening of each prospective tenant is of primary importance. After we show the property to an interested party, an application for tenancy is completed. Processing the application includes verifying employment, talking to at least the past two landlords, and obtaining a criminal background check. Normally applicants with poor history are not accepted as tenants.
After establishing an acceptable history and verifications, a lease agreement is executed. Leases are normally written for one year and the first months rent is collected along with a security, damage, and cleaning deposit in an amount equal to the rent. The deposit, in accordance with Iowa State law, is held in a trust account. Usually, we do not require last month's rent. In cases where an owner has allowed a pet on the premises, a pet deposit is also collected and the tenant signs a pet agreement.
The lease agreement specifies the tenant's responsibilities during the term of the lease and upon vacating the premises. A move in/move out report is completed by the tenant and management at the onset of each lease. This report becomes part of the lease and is used to compare the condition of the unit at the time of vacancy.
Vacating the premises prior to the termination date of the lease results in the forfeiture of the tenant's entire deposit to the owner. In addition, the tenant is also charged for any cleaning or repair costs that may be required to return the unit to the same condition as at the time of possession.
Maintenance and repairs are taken care of promptly. In the event of a major repair, the owner is contacted prior to the contracting of the work.
Utility bills, such as electric or gas are billed directly to the tenant, where applicable.