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Get professional help when renting home

Q: How do you find a good renter for your home? What are the general qualifications you should look for in seeking a renter? Is there someone who can help me and my family with this? — Chuck J., Las Vegas

A: I hear similar questions from homeowners looking to move, those who own multiple homes and those waiting for home prices to start appreciating again before selling.

At the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, we see signs that the local housing market is bouncing back and becoming more balanced. If you’re not in a hurry to sell your home, and if you can afford to carry the mortgage, your decision to rent your home may work for you.

As the landlord, you obviously want to find a prospective renter who will take good care of your home and can afford to rent your home.

At GLVAR, we suggest working with a professional, licensed and permitted property manager.

Although many homeowners still try to rent their own properties, I don’t recommend it. For what is usually a modest monthly fee, hiring a good property manager can help avoid potential pitfalls, save time and give you peace of mind.

By hiring a property manager, you may not even need to meet your prospective renters, much less find them. That’s potentially a good thing, since initial meetings between landlords and tenants can invite fair housing violations.

One of the most helpful services provided by a professional property manager is helping homeowners find and screen potential renters. The screening process for finding a good tenant includes examining their rental, credit and criminal history and reviewing other public records, including any record of owning a home.

Knowing how to interpret these reports requires some expertise. A tenant’s employment history and debt ratios are important, in addition to determining how they derive their income and how long they have been employed in Southern Nevada.

After the tenants move in, a professional property manager can help by creating and finalizing a lease and enforcing all of the terms.

There’s more to it than just collecting the monthly rent, though that in itself is a valuable service. A good property manager can also help mitigate and handle any maintenance problems and make sure everything goes smoothly in the ongoing relationship between landlord and tenant.

For more information on finding a property manager, contact GLVAR at lasvegasrealtor.com or call 784-5000. You also may call the Nevada Real Estate Division at 486-4033, or visit red.state.nv.us. For a fee of $25, the Real Estate Division will provide a list of licensed property managers in Nevada.

Call the licensing department within the Real Estate Division to determine if a local property manager has any complaints filed against him or her.

Patty Kelley is the president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and has worked in the real estate industry for more than 30 years. To ask Kelley a question, e-mail her at ask@glvar.org.

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