One thing that gets most real estate agents and landlords is a failure to be candid. When it comes to putting your condo up for lease, transparency is always the best approach. Not being honest about what could go wrong can lead you to lose a potential tenant. Once word gets out, you’ll have a difficult time finding future clients and, worse, a damaged reputation. Sometimes not disclosing the smallest things can already be counted against you.
Mike, a 30-year old call center agent living at a township by Megaworld at The Fort, recounts his past difficulties with condo leasing, “The first time I leased out a condo was two years ago,” he says. “I remember that there was a busted light bulb in the kitchen that tended to flicker from time to time. I chose not to bring it up since I didn’t think it would be an issue.” Unfortunately, the future tenants spotted the errant light and it cost Mike the contract. “From now on, I make it a point to be up-front about these things,” he adds.
If you ever decide to put your condo up for lease, walk a mile in your tenant’s shoes. You would want to get your money’s worth too. Here are a few things you’ll want to be upfront about from day one.
Damages & Necessary Repairs
The number one bit of information that tenants will want to know about is if there are any existing damages. Exposed wiring, peeling paint, and the like should all be part of the grand tour. Hiding these facts can make you seem a bit too eager to cop that sale and potential tenants won’t like it one bit. Keep in mind that everything eventually comes out into the open. Contrary to popular belief, these types of things don’t always chase investors away. It’s more the cost of repairs that makes them balk at actually renting your place out. You can also maximize the chances for a sale by fixing your place up any way you can.
Condo Fees & Monthly Dues
Be clear about whether you or the tenant will be shouldering the condo fees and monthly dues. Remember that these are expenses on top of what they will be paying you for renting the space. Don’t wait for them to come home to a surprise bill in the mailbox. Keep them informed about what to expect and how much more they’ll need to put out. If you’re shouldering the payment, make sure to have the bills delivered straight to you instead of to the condo mailbox.
Potential Health Hazards
Complaints regarding lead-based paint and other threats to safety require disclosure. If you know about these issues, make sure your tenants know about it too. This is especially important when renting out to families with children and the elderly. Legal disputes can arise out of a failure to let people know about possible health and safety threats. Avoid a long drawn out battle in court or, worse, someone actually getting injured. The sooner you tell them about these things, the sooner they can be resolved.
Due to the nature of Philippine climate, flooding has become a big issue for many residents all over the country. If you’re condo is located in an area that’s prone to rising water, make sure that your tenants are well informed. Do your part, as well, in letting them know about nearby emergency facilities and easy access to evacuation centers. You’ll want to make them feel safe by letting them know that there are easy ways out of this common dilemma.
Some places will have a less than savory history attached to them. This is also something you’ll want to be upfront about with your potential tenants. No one wants to wake up to apparitions and bumps in the night, superstitions aside. Telling them also shows that you respect people who actually take these matters seriously. Living in such a place can actually go against their religion and personal beliefs and you’ll want to cause them as little distress as possible, none if you can help it.
Both first-time and long-term landlords should avoid deception at any cost. You might get away with it once, but when you get found out, that little lie can cost you more than you thought.
What are the things you think landlords should tell you when leasing a condo? Let us know in the comments!