Owners Vacation Rental Properties—FAQs

FAQs for Property Owners – Vacation Rental Properties

 

What is the Activation Fee?

The $250 Activation Fee covers the cost of the initial consultation and evaluation of your property. It pays for our initial inspection of the property, comparable searches, travel time, photos, entering your property in our computer system, preparing and processing the necessary paperwork, tenant showings and copying of keys.

It also covers limited advertising, such as adding it to our online advertising sites, social media sites, and the benefit of office marketing in yellow pages, area chambers of commerce, the Columbia River Gorge Map, as well as real estate referrals and direct mailing campaigns.

This is a one-time, non-refundable fee due upon signing your management contract with us.

What is the Owner Reserve Fund?

This money is used to keep the property in good working order. It is used for such things as paying utilities, yard and home maintenance or repairs. This money is due upon signing your management contract with us and is returned in full when your contract is terminated.

Funds used from this reserve will be reimbursed from the monthly rent before checks are sent. You will receive an itemized accounting when this money is used.

Can I reserve my vacation property for my own guests?

Certainly. We ask that you notify our office immediately of any additional reservations made by you so that problems do not arise with third party reservations.

Please be aware that your guests will need to comply with the check in and check out times and other guidelines set forth for your property.

Will you make my mortgage payment?

We can pay your mortgage, property taxes, home insurance and utilities. If this is desired, we will require a deposit in the amount equal to one month’s payments upon signing your contract with us.

How often will you inspect my property?

We will complete drive by inspections of the exterior of the home periodically. At this time, we will check for overall cleanliness and upkeep of the landscape.

Interior inspections are performed upon each guest checkout, prior or during the cleaning. Thorough inspections relating to security, major systems operations, appliance and electronic operations and the like are completed regularly, relative to the length of time the property is under contract with our office.

Who performs maintenance and repairs?

We have our own maintenance vehicle and employ a general maintenance staff for minor maintenance issues. If it is necessary to use a commercial vendor, we make sure to only work with licensed and insured contractors and contract for the most competitive commercial rates available.

Will you call me when my house needs repairs?

We will contact you for your approval on all repairs over $300, unless agreed otherwise in your management contact. The exception is in a situation where delay could cause damage to the property or harm to the tenant.

Repairs under $300 will be paid from the owner reserve fund and reimbursed from the next monthly rent.

What if there is an emergency?

Tenants have 24 hour access to our staff in the event of a maintenance emergency. We have a general maintenance staff that can complete the work or determine if services of an outside vendor are needed. All necessary steps will be taken to protect and preserve your property. If a major repair is necessary, our office will notify you within 24 hours.

What kind of deposits do you collect?

We collect a damage deposit from each guest, which varies on the size and condition of the home.

How is rent set for my property?

Rates are based on the rent for comparable properties – meaning similar size and location. Rates are not set to totaling your mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance costs and your expenses. While this may be ideal, keep in mind the rent your property generates may not equal this amount.

What if I want non-smokers in my property?

Non-smoking is strongly recommended. It is difficult to re-rent your home to a non-smoker once it has been smoked in.

What about pets?

The pet policy is up to you. Many families bring their pets with them on extended vacations, and will want to choose a home that will allow it. If you do choose to allow pets, an additional rate is added of $25 per night, per pet.

When do I get paid?

We disburse checks and monthly statements to property owners by the 10th of each month for the preceding month.

We can deposit funds directly into a local bank if you prefer. Simply provide us with the necessary account information.

Do I have any other responsibilities as the owner of the property?

The owner needs to provide our office with an inventory of items left in the home and property. They must also be willing to maintain the property inside and out while it is vacant, unless otherwise agreed upon. It would also be wise to set aside a percentage each month for anticipated future maintenance such as painting, new flooring, re-roofing, etc.

How often will my home be rented?

During the first year a home is available, you can expect occupancy to be low. Occupancy will increase through word of mouth, repeat guests and lengthened exposure of the property. Occupancy can also vary depending on local events and weather conditions and special discounts.

Guests like to stay in homes that are well stocked and furnished. Guests are always looking for the best value for their money.

How will my rental compete with others you manage?

No two houses are exactly alike. In the same way homes differ, so do the needs of each guest. We try to match the guest’s needs to properties available.

Who will clean my property? Who pays for it?

We have put much time into finding cleaners that are reliable, honest and hardworking. The cost to arrange and inspect the cleaning is covered in the monthly management fee. The cost of the actual cleaning is figured based on a point system completed with your contract. The amount calculated is charged with each guest reservation.

Are there risks to renting my home?

No business endeavor is without risk. Major damage or the need for eviction are always possibilities. However, with proper management, the risk in the rental business is low.

How do I get started in renting my home?

Please call our office if you have any questions not answered in this handout. We will be happy to schedule an appointment to meet with you personally.

We look forward to meeting with you and representing you and your property.

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