Who pays for advertising?
Internet advertising is included in the management fee. We utilize both our Clark Realty website and Craigslist and have found that this is usually sufficient, considering the pace at which properties are rented in the current market. However, if additional print advertising is needed, Clark Realty does have preferred rates with local publications and can provide more information about ad rates upon request. Costs for print ads are passed on to owners on the monthly statement.
How much security deposit do you collect?
Hawaii’s Landlord-Tenant Code allows us to collect only the equivalent of one month’s rent as a security/damage deposit as well as a pet deposit that can equal up to one month’s rent. (This deposit would not apply to tenants with service animals.) We are prohibited from collecting additional deposits for any purpose.
How do you screen prospective tenants?
We require a written application from each adult in the household, a good credit history, good references from present and past landlords, and good reports from present and past employer. With this information in hand, we can make a reasonable decision about the likelihood that an applicant will comply with the terms of the rental agreement.
Because of our tenant screening procedures and quick response to any irregularity, our property management program has few late rents or eviction problems.
In the event a tenant fails to comply with the terms of the rental agreement, our procedures are very specific. We act immediately when there’s evidence of a problem. Whether it’s non-compliance with lease terms, non-payment of rent or anything else inappropriate, the tenant is served with legal notice of the breach and he either cures the problem or leaves. If that doesn’t work, we assist the owner in initiating legal eviction proceedings. We also follow up by reporting any money owed to the national credit reporting services until it is paid off.
Should we furnish our residence or leave it unfurnished?
Unfurnished homes (with major appliances only) generally rent as easily as furnished properties and present less of a maintenance problem for the owner. Many tenants who plan to rent long-term prefer unfurnished homes.
Occasionally, however, tenants who are new to the island need a furnished place to live until they can get settled in. Our property managers will discuss what works best in your neighborhood during your first consultation. If you do decide to furnish, be sure you don’t leave behind anything that you are especially fond of. With rental property, there is always the possibility of damage.
Can we prohibit pets or smoking at our property?
Yes, you can choose to prohibit smoking and prohibit pets; however, service animals or assistance animals are not considered pets and may not be prohibited.
How do you handle tenants who are using illegal drugs?
Clark Realty has a “no tolerance” policy for any kind of illegal drug use. All tenants sign our “Illegal Activity” Addendum at the same time they sign the rental agreement, prior to moving in. This document gives us the right to cancel a lease if the tenant OR HIS GUESTS use drugs, cause a disturbance or are involved in any illegal activities.
As the rental agent, who do you represent – the landlord or the tenant?
Without question, we represent the landlord. Our contract is with the property owner and it designates us as the landlord’s legal agent. We make sure that the owner is in compliance with Federal and State laws, including Fair Housing Laws and the Landlord-Tenant Code of Hawaii. We also have a responsibility to be fair to the tenant and strive to maintain a good relationship with our tenants. This makes things work well all around and we take pride in providing excellent service to both landlord and tenant.