Managing Pets and Properties

Many renters and families include more than just people, as often a four-legged friend, whether a dog or a cat, is a part of their home life. This presents a question that each property owner who rents their home or apartments must decide: whether or not to allow tenants to keep pets.

There are many different approaches that an owner can take when it comes to tenants with pets. In Indianapolis, there are no restrictions about how a lease must handle pets, which means that the owner can make their own determination on what the most appropriate option is for their property. One common choice is for tenants to put down a separate security deposit that is intended to cover any damages that occur from keeping a pet. This can be used to repair scratches or tears in floors or carpets or to clean pet wastes from lawns at the end of a rental period.

Family With DogAnother option – and one that is sometimes used in tandem with a pet deposit – is requiring an additional amount of rent for the pet. Some owners choose this route in lieu of a pet deposit, with the thought being that the extra rental money taken during the period of the lease equals the pet deposit. This fee is up to the owner, and can be per pet or for any and all pets in the home.

Some owners also choose to require a nonrefundable pet deposit, also known as a pet fee. This one-time payment is generally due at the start of the lease or at the time that a tenant gets a pet if they decide to adopt an animal while living at the rental property. This amount is akin to a security deposit, however it is not returned to the tenant at the end of the lease. Many owners who go this route keep this fee aside and use it to perform maintenance or repair work that may be needed after tenants move out.

Each owner can also set specific rules for pet owners in their lease or as an addendum to the lease. Common clauses include instructions on the disposal of pet waste, restrictions on specific pet breeds, weight limits for pets or clear cleaning policies that require a tenant have the whole home’s carpeted areas steam cleaned before vacating the property. These sorts of additional conditions provide both the owner and occupant with clear directions, expectations and guidelines to maintain a fair and equal understanding of both sides’ rights and responsibilities when it comes to pet ownership.

While some owners choose to forgo allowing pets altogether, if handled properly and respectfully from the start, owners and tenants can reach an understanding that allows pets without unduly burdening either party. At AMG Property Management, we have plenty of experience working with property owners and renters alike to make sure that pets – whether allowed or not – are handled appropriately. This is just one of the many aspects that an effective property manager can handle for you. Find out more about our full range of property management services by calling us at 317-252-5830 or contact us online today!

Improvements to Rental Properties with the Best Return

After several tenant cycles or even after a longtime resident departs, your rental property may not be looking as fresh and appealing as it once did. There are a number of potential areas that may need some TLC or modernization, but how do you decide what improvements are worth making? While there are many differing opinions, here’s a look at three investments that typically provide the best return for rental property owners.

Rental Property ImprovementsKick up the kitchen

With many people preferring to save money and calories by eating at home, time spent in the kitchen is on the rise. A fresh and inviting kitchen provides your residents with the perfect space for their food preparation. Counter space and cabinet storage are both often at a premium in kitchens, and if you have the space or ability to add or improve either, you’re sure to create a more premium experience, which will result in more interest and potentially a greater willingness to pay a premium price.

Blow out the bathroom

The next greatest area to invest in is the bathroom. As Landlordology points out, tenants aren’t looking necessarily for an executive bathroom experience, but are certainly looking for a clean and fresh looking space. In older homes, especially, bathrooms can be run down, but a bit of work can often bring them a brand new look. Whether a whole renovation from floor to ceiling or even simple fixture replacements to provide a sparkling and shiny new appeal, investing in the washroom will often give you more room to negotiate higher rents or longer lease terms.

Look at the windows

Another great investment is the windows in your rental home or apartment. If you have older windows, making a change to newer styles with double-paned glass or other energy efficient improvements will increase the value of your space while decreasing the utility costs. This can be a great incentive for renters to pursue your property for their next home and, if you pay for heat or air conditioning as part of your rental fee structure, can lead to substantial savings for you.

Regardless of the investment you make, there is a good chance that making improvements will help keep your property rented and limit any vacancy period. Plus, in many situations, you may be able to write off some or even all of your expenses or the depreciation of your work when it comes to filing your taxes. There are also even some incentive programs that you may be eligible for that may help pay for installing energy efficient fixtures, appliances and windows. The Indiana Energy Association offers tips and links to some efficiency programs on its website.

How Can Using a Property Manager Benefit Me?

Taking care of the day-to-day operation of your rental home or business properties can be a full-time job in its own way. Searching for and screening tenants, scheduling any necessary maintenance, handling rent collection or lease renewals – there’s so much to do, and it only amplifies if you have multiple properties. That’s where property management comes in, taking care of the regular duties and leaving you with less stress and more time. Here are a few key advantages of using a property management service.

Rental HomeFinding and screening tenants

The first step in any rental agreement is finding the right people to occupy your space. This includes employing a comprehensive advertising strategy, using both digital and traditional media to locate prospective tenants. The next part in the process is performing background and credit checks to verify the applicant’s documentation is in order and can afford the rental. Lastly, once approved, a lease agreement must be completed, both to protect your property and the tenant’s rights during the term. With a property manager, all of these time-consuming and paperwork-intensive steps are done for you. With our online database of homes and businesses, we can match up prospective renters to your property that meets exactly what they are looking for. Plus, with our years of experience, you can trust that our lease agreements and background checks with be thorough, providing you with additional security and confidence in your renters.

Day-to-day affairs

When a water line breaks in the middle of the night, who would you rather your tenant call: You or a property manager who can contact emergency repair technicians and manage any problem? These sort of issues can and do happen, and using a property management service allows you to rest soundly knowing that if there’s anything that needs immediate care, we’re standing by. Your tenants receive additional peace of mind knowing that they can call and speak to one of our representatives at any time, whether it’s an emergency issue or just to check on the status of a lease renewal. Adkin Management Group also takes care of rent collection and maintenance, making arrangements to make sure that any needs you or your tenants have are covered.

Secure and easy access

With AMG Property Management, both you and your tenants have a wealth of easy-to-access amenities available. For tenants, we offer free ADT Home Security installation, which helps to not only protect your occupants and their belongings, but also your property from would-be burglars. We also provide customers with convenient payment options at both our physical office in the Broad Ripple Village or online using our securely accessed Resident Portal. We also maintain a fully trackable, web-based software platform for owners that provides a look at the numbers – cash flow, payee history, lease term dates, and much more. This allows you to see the historic costs and income, helping you to keep track of all earnings and easily prepare your details for taxes or for your own information.

Let AMG Property Management reduce your stress and keep your property occupied, protected and profitable. Give us a call today at 317-252-5830 or email us at to find out all that property management can do for you.