Answers to your common questions
Is it possible to refuse to rent to families with children?
The Fair Housing Act protects 7 classes of people, and this includes children. You cannot refuse to rent to families with children, and cannot even ask if they have children before their application is approved.
Should we allow pets in our rental?
The subject of pets in rental properties is an interesting topic, and I often get asked whether people should allow pets in their homes. My answer is: it’s complicated.
For most property owners, it seems there are two major risks to allowing pets in your home. First, if you rent your home to a family with a dog or a cat, the pet might make a mess of the house and cause damage. The second problem is one of potential liability. If a dog bites a neighbor’s child, you have a serious potential legal issue.
However, there are other factors to consider. Remember that over 70 percent of today’s families have a pet. So if you don’t allow pets into your property, it will take you longer to rent your house – possibly two to three times longer. Be prepared for the expense of that vacancy when you decide to avoid pets.
The other factor to remember is that humans actually cause far more damage to homes than pets do. Children, in particular, can cause a lot of damage to homes. However, it’s illegal to refuse to rent to families with children because it’s considered discrimination. So pets are not as dangerous as people when it comes to taking care of your property.
We recommend you allow pets and our lease is full with rules about them and an addendum covering all the pets in your property. If you have any questions about pets or anything pertaining to managing your property, please contact us at Collins Property Managers.
What happens if the tenant breaks the lease?
If the tenant vacates the property within the first six months of occupancy, we do not charge you any fee for our tenant placement fees for the new replacement tenant. The tenant normally forfeits the security deposit and is still liable to pay rent until we find a new tenant and the new tenant pays rent. There are some exceptions, such as military transfer, which are covered by state and federal law. The tenant is also responsible for any damages they may have caused.
What happens if the tenant is late with the rent?
At Collins Property Managers, a series of events take place, and includes logged calls, State of FL and local County Court Approved Late Notices delivered to the property, and eviction if necessary. We rarely need to proceed with eviction.
What happens if there is a maintenance emergency?
We have 24/7 phone service for emergency repairs, and licensed and insured contractors, including our own Jax Home Maintenance available to perform repairs. Our owners usually save 10-20% by using our contractors when compared to other licensed contractors. Due to our large size, we are able to negotiate lower rates, especially on weekends.
We urge tenants to go through Do It Yourself checklists, including viewing our maintenance Troubleshooting YouTube blogs, before calling for help. Many times they can solve simple problems themselves and save you money. You can see our blogs on this website.
What is the Security Deposit used for?
The Security Deposit is the tenant’s money held in an escrow account of a FL bank by the Landlord’s Licensed Real Estate Broker. It is held to cover any damages caused by the tenant. The Broker is the sole judge when determining what is actual damage as opposed to normal wear and tear. Tenants are provided with a specific explanation of the above. While the Broker works for the Landlord, the Broker is required to be objective when assessing damages.
For more information about Jacksonville Property Management, please visit our educational blog page.