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4 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Credit screening plays a role in many major investments, whether it be a new home or a new automobile. When landlords and property managers are choosing between potential renters, credit score is almost always a factor. When you’re buying a car or home, a few points’ difference in a credit score can translate to thousands of dollars difference in price. When you’re renting, it can spell the difference between being chosen to rent the property or not.

Want advice on how to improve your credit score? Here are 4 things you can do to up your score and increase your chances of securing the property you’re interested in renting:

Check for Accuracy

Obtain a copy of your current credit score report and check it carefully for any errors. Wrong information may include accounts that aren’t yours, late payments you actually paid on time, debts still listed that you already paid off, etc. Taking the time to correct these errors can have a positive impact on your credit score — and, in some cases, help you detect fraud or identity theft.

Pay it Off

This one is obvious and straightforward: improve your credit score by paying off your credit and getting out of debt. At the very least, pay the minimum balances required on each of your credit accounts. Outstanding balances will reflect poorly on your credit score and certainly have a negative impact on your rental application. If you have one account with a debt much larger than other accounts, consider transferring funds between accounts to even things out. Shifting credit to eliminate any grossly overdue accounts can positively affect your credit score.

Pay it Quickly

The easiest thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. If you habitually forget to make payments, consider setting up automatic monthly payments so you don’t have to remember to manually make a payment every month. Whatever works to keep it from slipping your mind, do it — late payments are terrible for your credit score.

Actually Use Your Credit

This advice comes with a few caveats — when it comes down to it, you should aim to only use credit when you absolutely need to. Using cash for most day-to-day purchases will help you avoid the mess of debt altogether. However, you can’t have a good credit score if you never use credit — in fact, you won’t have a credit score at all. If you’re wary of obtaining a credit card, pick something small and consistent — such as putting gas in your car — that you can buy on credit. Then, easily and quickly pay it off and you’re good to go. And when you get a credit card, choose a major credit card company — the type of credit plays a role in determining your credit score, and having a Visa or American Express account will look better than a no-name card from a random retail establishment.

What it all comes down to is responsibility — be responsible with your credit management, and property management companies won’t feel compelled to turn down your rental applications.

Encouraging Your Tenants to Get Renters Insurance

As a property manager, you’re invested in taking care of not only your properties but your tenants as well. While obtaining homeowners insurance is a common practice among those who own their properties, few renters give a second thought to getting renters insurance.

Millions of renters remain uninsured, mistakenly assuming their landlords will have them covered if disaster should strike. As a property manager, you have a great opportunity to build a trusting relationship with your tenants, including educating them on the need to obtain renters insurance.

What Renters Insurance Covers

For a small monthly payment, renters insurance can protect your tenants from damages caused by fire, theft, vandalism, etc. In addition to coverage for damaged items, renters insurance also reimburses tenants for any loss-of-use costs — e.g. hotel and restaurant costs if a flood or fire renders the living space temporarily unusable. Renters insurance can also protect renters from liability if anyone is injured while on the property.

Renters can either be covered under a replacement cost policy or actual cash value. Either way, they should begin by making a list of all valuables — electronics, appliances, furniture, clothing, music and DVD collections, etc. Then, they will meet with an insurance agent to select a policy and deductible that best meets their needs. The Internet is an incredibly useful resource for finding competitive insurance-rate quotes.

flood and disaster renters insurance

What It Doesn’t Do

Most renters insurance policies do not include coverage for earthquakes and flooding. However, if your tenants live in areas where these types of disasters are a viable risk, they can purchase extra coverage. Certain expensive valuables, such as jewelry, antiques and furs, will not fall under most basic policies either. Again, renters can opt to purchase additional coverage to protect these belongings.

Whatever policy best serves your tenants, the primary idea is that they at least have basic coverage. As a property manager, you will be able to rest easy knowing you have done your best to take care of your clients.


The Importance of Tenant Rental History

Turning a spare room or property into a rental unit is a great way to make some extra income every month. Before you fill your rental with new tenants, however, you want to make sure you know what kind of tenants they are. Chances are your new tenant will be someone that you’ve never met before and if you’re going trust them to live in your house you want to be positive that they will take good care of it. That is why it is so important to do a rental history check on all potential applicants.

When you are looking to fill your property with new tenants, it is absolutely crucial that you perform a thorough tenant screening. A complete tenant screening will give you a look at their rental history, credit and criminal background, along with verifying their current employment. With all of this information you will be able to make the decision as to whether or not they are the type of renter you want in your property.

Although tenant screenings do a great job at weeding out bad tenants you can never be 100% sure that tenants will take good care of the property. As a property manager, one thing that you can do to maintain the property is perform regular inspections. When you create your lease agreement you will want to state that you will do periodic inspections to assure that all house rules are being followed. For example, you may have a no pet clause in your agreement and come to find out that they have had 2 dogs living with them, and those dogs have caused a bit of damage to the unit.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities that come with property management then you may want to consider hiring a property management agency to take care of the work for you. Most people find that doing the work themselves isn’t worth the time and effort that it takes. With a property management company, you can sit back, relax, and watch the checks roll in. They’ll work hard so that you don’t have to.

Real Property Management East Valley has over 20 years experience in property management in Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, and many other East Valley cities. Call us today for a free estimate and to discuss your property management needs. (480) 719-1243