Landlord Questions and Answers
1.How does the process work?
Start with a call or email our offices, or click here to submit a listing online. We will be in touch to make arrangements to pick-up keys and take photos. Once we have pre-qualified tenants interested in the apartment, we will make the application review process simple and complete so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to accept. We handle the preparation and execution of all the lease paperwork.
2. How much do you charge?
We don’t charge you an up-front fee to list, preview, photograph, produce marketing pieces, advertise, pre-screen tenants, or show your apartment. We do have a fee equal to one month’s rent, but how this fee is paid varies and is at the discretion of the landlord – either the parties will split the fee, or the tenant will pay the whole fee.
3. What is your verification process?
We run detailed credit checks, obtain written verification of both income and identity, obtain personal references as well as those from current and former landlords, and verify all information about the tenant.
4. Why do more landlords choose Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc.?
We create maximum exposure for the property and are very detailed and thorough in our process to ensure high quality results. 3D tours, professional photography, demographic digital marketing, and professional graphic designers are just some of our resources. We have a highly sophisticated process to not just get you a tenant, but the BEST tenant.
5. Why should I only list with Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc?
Some landlords think they will get the best tenants if they list with lots of companies for maximum exposure to the market. If a firm knows that a landlord lists only with them, the listing will be a primary focus. At Cosmopolitan Real Estate, we walk our talk, and we deliver time after time. At your request, your rental will be publicized in the MLS and available to every agent in the market – our process remains the same, and the tenants will be put through our detailed verification process. We provide 3D tours and floor plans only on our exclusive listings.
6. How does your Team Concept benefit me?
At Cosmopolitan Real Estate, every property owner has a “listing agent,” making sure your needs are met and that the information is updated in our central database, keeping our team up-to-date! From day 1 through lease signing, the whole CRE team is working for you, but you only have to deal with one person!
7. How can I obtain the BEST tenants in the market at top dollar?
At Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc. we always recommend what we call “prime pricing.” Your unit needs to be priced properly in order to get top rent but have enough interest in order to be selective on the tenant you choose. You want a high quality, intelligent tenant with good character that will pay the rent and take care of your property, right? People of that quality do not overpay for housing and they don’t expect to see a unit in disrepair. They are knowledgeable and will pay fair market value. We have a long reach in our advertising and our ads are created to draw interest to your property. The more lead time you have the better your options. If you can get us the listing with access 45-60 days ahead of time, then you are in an excellent position.
8. What can I do to increase the income on my property?
- Make whatever repairs need to be made. Offer fresh paint and a professional cleaning prior to move in. You want quality tenants right?
- People LOVE hardwood floors – remove any carpets you can.
- Appliances – have a refrigerator & dishwasher, and on-site laundry – at least a hook up.
- Keep the building’s common areas and grounds clean and tidy.
- Consider taking pets – some tenants will pay more if you will accept their friendly, quiet, and non-aggressive dog – many are even willing to take out a liability policy. Sometimes, a pet can be a better tenant than an additional human.
- Access is key! Our prime showing times are 10-3 Monday-Friday. People are choosing a new home, and want to see it during daylight hours. Sometimes, we have a day’s notice, but other times, they walk in off the street. If we have tenant phone numbers & permission to use a key, we NEVER miss an opportunity to show your property.
- Property that is already deleaded prior to being offered for lease will always gain a higher price.
9. Can I charge for water usage?
Massachusetts does allow landlords to charge tenants for water IF: there is a separate meter, and IF the plumbing fixtures are water saving devices. We do have a water addendum and you can read it to see what you need to do or you can contact your attorney for legal advice.
10. Do I have to give the tenant notice before I show their unit?
Yes. The lease we use at Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc. has a clause that states the tenant will allow showings. That being, said no one likes people just walking into their home. Our professionals will always confirm showings with your tenant, and if it is a bad time, we will work with them to find a better time. We are very good communicators and negotiators, and will work with your tenant to make the process pleasant for all.
11. What are the requirements for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors?
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors: You need one installed on each level of the property. You need to check the batteries every year. Check with your local fire department
on their requirements.
- Smoke Detectors: You need to have one in the basement, one near both the front and rear door of the property, one on each landing of a multi-level unit, and one within 8 feet of each bedroom. Older properties can use battery units, but newer or renovated properties have to use hardwired detectors. Any building with 3 units or more, regardless of age, must have hardwired detectors in the hallways. Check with your local fire department on their requirements.
12. What must I do about lead paint?
The lead paint law is provided in every lease packet from Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc. You can read more about Massachusetts lead paint law and how it affects you here. In essence, the law states if a child under six is going to live in the property, then you must have it inspected for lead paint hazards. The inspector may determine that you must delead immediately, or that the levels are not so high to be of immediate danger and precautionary measures can be taken and a letter of interim control issues. A letter of interim control is good for a year and can be renewed for a second year. Check with your local board of Health and Community Development in your city. There may be local block grant funds available to assist in the expense.
13. My tenant is relocating, and they want to break their lease. What are my options?
Technically, their lease is legally binding. You could pull a hard line and hold them to it – however that just makes you and them miserable! Many times a tenant will call us before telling you that they need to move. They already understand you can chase them for the dollar value of the lease, and what they are seeking is a way of solving the problem. Here is what we suggest to you and them:
- They give you as much notice as possible.
- They pay our broker fee.
- They pay the rent until the property is re-rented.
This solution makes you whole and you suffer no damages. They understand you are only going to accept quality tenants. They want it rented quickly so will do everything possible to accommodate our showings, including keeping the apartment clean and accessible. Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc. has resolved this type of situation for many landlords. We are great communicators and negotiators.
14. I need to send a notice to quit or evict a tenant – can you help?
Everything needs to be in writing. There is a standard form that is available, or you can hire a constable for short money (this is the best idea!) They will prepare and serve the notice.
15. The lease ended, but the tenants are still paying the rent?
Basically, they become a tenant at-will and as long as they pay and you accept payment, either party would give 30 days notice to the other party to end the tenancy.
16. I want to renew my tenant’s lease, where I can get the forms?
Cosmopolitan Real Estate Inc. does offer ancillary services such as preparing new leases. The cost is low, the solution easy!
Our Terms of Service and Fee Disclosure in the “forms” section.
Please consult your attorney if you need legal advice.