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Landlord Frequently Asked Questions


  • Q: Are annual “inspections” done?

    A: Yes, prior to move-in and at move-out. If a tenant renews their lease, the interior of the property is evaluated prior to signing the lease renewal. If any damaged is noted, the damage must be repaired before the lease is executed. As part of the Sport Fisher and Big Kahuna management programs, Salefish Properties goes by all properties on a periodic basis and provides the Landlord with a written report and photo images.
  • Q: Can I do my own maintenance?

    A: No. There are several reasons for this policy. In Florida, if a tenant is not compliant with the lease, the Landlord or Property Manager must take immediate action, otherwise it is considered a waiver (automatic approval) if rent is collected when there is a known violation in existence. Landlords tend to want to become friends of their tenants and exchange telephone numbers. When this happens, they may change the terms of the rental agreement, unknowingly. They may also cause tenant/landlord issues that Salefish Properties may not be able to resolve. It can get into a “He said, she said” issue. Salefish Properties will not be held liable for these actions by the Landlord and will terminate the Management Agreement; it is a violation of the Management Agreement to communicate with the tenant.
  • Q: Can the resident get my personal information?

    A: Our office staff is trained to protect your confidentiality. We will not release any information about you to anyone without your approval but your name is on the rental agreement. Be aware that anyone can access county tax records. If your address is on the tax rolls, you may be contacted. If you are contacted and the tenant is currently residing in your property, please do not respond or communicate with them. Please refer them back to Salefish Properties or forward the correspondence to Salefish Properties for resolution.
  • Q: Do I get to see the rental application and credit report?

    A: No. As agent of the Landlord we are granted permission by the prospective tenant to run credit. We are not allowed to provide the credit report or application to the Landlord without permission from the applicant and the credit bureau that provides the credit report. The increase in Identity Theft and requirements imposed by credit bureaus has caused Salefish Properties to view all credit and criminal reports on-line only; nothing is printed out any longer. We follow the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; if an applicant is denied, we must send them an Adverse Action letter.
  • Q: Do I have to accept a Section 8 applicant?

    A: No, not at this time. It is the Landlord’s decision as to whether they want to accept Section 8 applicants or not. It is not a requirement of the law. But, if you do, we would screen the applicant just like any other applicant. There is a bit more paperwork involved but it is not overwhelming. This program helps many good people find and live in quality housing who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of living in Palm Beach County. We currently have Section 8 tenants and are familiar with the process required by the Housing Authorities.
  • Q: Do you evict tenants?

    A: Yes, if necessary we have an attorney who handles evictions. Thankfully, our applicant screening process eliminates most problem tenants from even applying to reside in our managed properties. However, things do happen and on a few occasions we have had to evict a tenant. We have not had an eviction since 2007. Most tenants who have lost their jobs or have other crises contact Salefish Properties to discuss their options. We do our best to work with tenants to get them back on track or they choose to leave peacefully. The Landlord is notified when this situation arises.
  • Q: Do you get more than one bid?

    A: Salefish Properties gets bids for all work to be done and will email you with this information. If additional bids are asked for, there may be a service charge added to your account for the additional bids. After many years in the business and dealing with hundred of vendors, we know the best prices and we have reliable, licensed vendors that give us the best price and guarantee their work. To seek out other bids from vendors that we do not know, takes administration time to qualify them and get all the information needed. Landlords must realize that vendors give bids, at no charge, hoping to get the job, if the Landlords select another vendor, the preferred vendors may decide it is too risky to work with Salefish Properties or they will begin to charge to bids. This charge will be passed on to you. Vendors that have bid many jobs eventually won’t respond to our requests which affects our reputation and makes it harder to provide every Landlord with the same high quality you can expect.
  • Q: Do you provide Market Analysis for rents/sales?

    A: Yes. Salefish Properties is a full-service real estate brokerage offering the best to our clients. Upon request, a Market Analysis of your area for sale or rent will be supplied.
  • Q: Habitability – do I have to meet the requirements??

    A: Rental property must adhere to habitability requirement of the State of Florida. They are enforceable by the local city or county building department. Failure to maintain your property to these standards may subject you to fines and lawsuits. Salefish Properties will not manage a home that does not meet habitability standards per Florida Statute 83.51.
  • Q: How are maintenance requests handled?

    A: The Management Agreement allows Salefish Properties to spend up to $500.00 a month for repairs, however this rarely occurs. Salefish Properties does their best to notify the Landlord for approval of most maintenance or repairs unless it is an emergency. Salefish Properties will contact the Landlord by phone if an emergency, like fire or flood occurs. Regular requests for maintenance will be emailed. Salefish Properties will use a preferred vendor to handle all maintenance and repairs. The Property Manager will use their best judgment in approving the work to be done. Salefish Properties understands that most Landlords do not have deep pockets and many are struggling to meet all their property-related expenses.
  • Q: How long will it take to rent my property?

    A: Our goal: To Rent Your Property as quickly as possible! It normally takes 30-45 days from listing to move-in when a property is located in a Homeowner’s Association (or Condominium Owner’s Association). If the property is occupied, we start marketing your property about 30 days prior to the end of the lease; however, showings require at least a 12-hour notice to the resident, which can be a deterrent to some prospective tenants who may not want to wait. If the monthly rental amount is higher than the market will bear at the time, it will take longer – possibly months. The rental market “peaks and valleys” very quickly and we don’t want you caught, which is why we provide the Landlord with a snapshot of comparable properties that have rented recently and recommend a starting price at our initial meeting with a Landlord.
  • Q: How much should the Pet Deposit be?

    A: Pet deposits are more flexible, they can be as little or as much as a Landlord is comfortable with allowing a domestic animal into the property. The amount can vary depending on the type of pet or breed of pet.
  • Q: How much should the Security Deposit be?

    A: Security deposits can be less than one month’s rent, but it is not advised. Normally security deposits equal one month’s rent and may be increased due to certain issues identified during the application screening process.
  • Q: How should the property be prepared for a Tenant?

    A:
    • A fresh coat of paint is the best start, no holes in the walls present
    • Clean carpeting – replace if large stained areas, wrinkles, snags
    • General cleaning
    • Fresh air filter installed
    • Fresh smoke detector batteries installed
    • Clean stove, hood, burner pans
    • Dust light fixtures, all bulbs working
    • Wash window treatments, remove dirt, grime, dust
    • Dust window sills
    • Window and Patio screens in good condition
    • Replace poor caulking around all water sources
    • Bathroom accessories securely anchored to the wall
    • Fresh clean cabinet fronts and interiors
    • Clean drawers
    • Empty closets
    • Door stops installed to protect walls
    • Doors and window locks functional, replace between tenants
    • Fire Extinguisher – 2-pound or 5-pound size, depending on size of property
    • Yearly interior/exterior maintenance
    • Yard trimmed and bushes/trees maintained
    • Legal compliance with state, county and city laws.
    • Salefish Properties can suggest vendors to clean and make repairs to the property.
  • Q: Is an “inspection” done before and after the tenant vacates?

    A: Salefish Properties prefers not to call it an “inspection” since we are not trained as inspectors. For managed homes, we prepare a very detailed Property Condition Report prior to the tenant move-in date. This report is initialed and signed by the tenant at the move-in appointment and the Landlord receives a copy of this Move-in report. Digital images and videos are also taken prior to move-in to visually identify the condition of the property. The tenant is given four (4) days from move-in to identify any other significant issues. When the tenant vacates, a move-out Property Condition report is completed. The condition reports are then compared. If the property is to be managed by the Landlord, the Landlord will need to document the condition with pictures and written description. Salefish Properties can provide this service to the Landlord for an additional fee.
  • Q: Security deposit, what happens when the tenant moves out?

    A: Salefish Properties retains the last month’s rent in order to quickly handle all the normal repairs and maintenance that is needed to prepare the property for the next tenant. If the tenant has damaged the property, Salefish Properties obtains a separate vendor bill to charge the tenant for the damage. Tenants receive copies of any invoices to verify the deduction from their security and/or pet deposit.

    State compliance of the handling the Security Deposit refund is done in an efficient manner. According to Florida Statute 83.49, a Landlord must return the full security deposit within 15 days from the move-out date if the Landlord intends to return the full security deposit to the tenant. If a Landlord intends to put a claim on any portion of the security deposit, the Landlord must notify the tenant within 30 days of move-out.
  • Q: What about Pets?

    A: It is standard practice to add to a Security Deposit for pets. A separate Pet Addendum is executed with the tenant; this document informs them the ability to keep a pet is a privilege and can be revoked if the pet disturbs others, etc. Only dogs that are not on the list of aggressive animals are allowed, if the Landlord approves of pets in the property. Although small dogs bite more often, bigger dogs do more damage. All Landlords have the right to forbid pets but a large number of renters do have pets. Renter’s Insurance is also suggested or can be required by the Landlord. Pet rent may be added on an individual pet basis, but is generally not accepted in our area of Florida. Based on our history with tenants and their pets, we are very strict about pets. There is a fine identified in the lease if ANY pet comes on the property for ANY amount of time. Salefish Properties charges a non-refundable pet fee to the Tenant due to the additional work required when a pet is in residence.
  • Q: What about the invoices for maintenance done?

    A: All invoices for routine maintenance and repairs are kept in your folder in our office. The services and an explanation are listed on your monthly statement.
  • Q: What does “Rent Ready” maintenance mean?

    A: Maintenance that is required for re-renting the property is overseen by Salefish Properties. This includes painting, installation of new flooring, minor plumbing repairs such as leaky faucets, and the replacement of window blinds or screens. There is a cost to prepare a property for leasing. It is the best time to do major replacements, if needed. It is always hoped that your tenant will stay a long time so that these costs are kept to the normal repairs costs of the year. Many of our tenants do stay in residence longer than a year.

    Occasionally, the replacement of appliances is required such as a stove, fridge, or dishwasher etc. We will get one bid from our trusted vendors and convey the price to the Landlord for approval.

    Large projects such as new roofs, remodeling of a house, or preparing the house to sell, and/or coordination of contractors through an insurance company if is a claim, an hourly charge will be added to oversee the project.
  • Q: What happens if the tenant pays the rent late?

    A: All rents are due on the first day of each month and late after the next business day of the month. Salefish Properties sends a “Friendly Reminder” to all tenants who have not paid by the close of business on the first. Often the tenant will notify Salefish Properties if they are going to be late and state when a payment can be expected. The late fee is retained by Salefish Properties for the extra work that the tenant is causing in administration of the issue so that the cost is not transferred to you. However, if the tenant pays after the monthly disbursement to the Landlord, the late fees will be split equally by Salefish Properties and the Landlord. If the rent is to be received after the seventh or eighth of the month, a 3-Day Notice is served to the tenant’s residence. If the tenant does not pay by the end of the 3rd business day following a 3-Day Notice, the Landlord is contacted regarding options.
  • Q: What happens with a maintenance emergency?

    A: Salefish Properties is available almost 24 hours a day. During business hours, a vendor is sent out immediately. The tenants are provided with the property manager’s mobile phone for after hours emergencies. After assessing the emergency, action is immediate or in the morning when vendors are open. If it can be delayed with no damage to your property, it is best to have vendors work during regular hours.
  • Q: What happens with damage caused by the tenant?

    A: Damage to the residence must be documented. It must be proven that the tenant or tenant’s guests or family or pet caused the damage. If it is clearly tenant damage then costs for repair/replacement may be deducted from the Security Deposit. Please keep in mind, if the carpeting or other capital improvements were damaged and require repair or replacement, there may only be a pro-rated amount that can be deducted, even if it was in good condition or brand new when the tenant moved in. Salefish Properties has been educated in what is acceptable regarding deductions; we have a legal and ethical responsibility to follow the Florida Statutes. Salefish Properties obtains a separate vendor bill to charge the tenant for the damage. All damage is identified and itemized on the Security Deposit Claim prepared by Salefish Properties.
  • Q: What insurance liabilities do I have with investment property and how can I protect myself?

    A: Owners of any property could be held liable for known and some unknown conditions at their properties, vacant or occupied. You must carry the normal fire/liability insurance policy to cover your investment property adequately, per the Management Agreement. Discuss with your insurance agent what is necessary for your property, listen to them about the amounts and recommended limits for you. Our management agreement has an indemnity clause that places basic liability for all acts on the Landlord; this is a standard property management clause. Your Insurance company should add Salefish Properties, the property manager, as either additional insured, additionally interested or name the manager as an interested party to the policy at no extra cost. This addition will protect us both in the unlikely event of a lawsuit. Some insurance companies will not list property managers as additional insured or interested party, when this occurs, you may change companies or accept the liability personally.
  • Q: What insurance policy is required for Landlords?

    A: There are several insurance options available to Landlords, depending on the amount of risk a Landlord is willing to accept. The policy type must be a “Landlord Policy” and not a “Homeowner Policy” or a claim may be denied by the insurance company.
  • Q: What is a Pet Fee And What does it include?

    A: There is additional work for Salefish Properties when a pet is in residence. It is not a “junk” fee.

    Paperwork/Documentation – rarely does the Tenant have current vet records for the pet so they do not submit them with the application. Salefish Properties must follow up several times in order to get the vet records prior to the lease signing. We verify the information about the pet and then prepare a Pet Addendum.

    On-site Visits – Salefish Properties makes 3 additional visits to the property when there is a pet. The first is prior to the Tenant move in. We go to the property after dark and perform a UV light test. A special UV light is used to identify and map any existing issues with the carpet (i.e. stains). When the tenant moves out, we return to the property after dark and perform another UV test and then compare any major stain differences to the move-in report. The final visit is to remove the foggers and clean up the fogger cans and newspaper. (The foggers are set-off when we leave the home after performing the move-out Property Condition Survey.)
  • Q: What is a Section 8 Housing Voucher?

    A: There are several Housing Authorities in Palm Beach County that provide Housing Vouchers to low income people (working poor, single parents, seniors, and disabled) who qualify. The program is funded by the government. The program subsidizes the tenant’s rent. The Housing Authority decides what the reimbursable amount will be and the tenant pays the difference. This may be market rent or below market rent, depending on the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority will inspect the residence prior to occupancy and will do an annual inspection for health and safety issues. Salefish Properties attends all inspections performed by a Housing Authority.
  • Q: What is the Applicant screening process?

    A: Every person over the age of 18 years must complete an application. A detailed credit and criminal report is run, income and employment are verified, and previous Landlord history is checked, along with recent evictions or bankruptcies. Our rental criterion serves to help find the best tenant for your property.
  • Q: What is the Repair Account?

    A: All Landlords are required to maintain a Repair Account as a reserve. This amount is held in the Landlord’s property management account within the Salefish Properties escrow bank account. It is used to cover any charges that might be incurred when rents do not cover the cost of maintenance or after the Landlord has been provided with the monthly rent disbursement. The Repair Account amount varies depending on the property type and the expenses that are paid by Salefish Properties for the benefit of the owner.
  • Q: What services are offered through Salefish Properties?

    A: Salefish Properties is a full service real estate brokerage: real estate sales, rentals and leasing, property management.

    All agents are licensed by the State of Florida, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate.

    Agents and staff stay informed on current trends, legal updates, industry and fair housing knowledge. Additional education through advanced designations such as the Residential Management Professional (RMP) from the National Association of Residential Property Managers plus Continuing Education classes keep us informed on industry changes and needs.
  • Q: What’s better – annual lease or month-to-month?

    A:

    A lease protects the owner as rent is contractually for a specific period of time. If the tenant breaks the lease, our lease agreement protects the Landlord. The tenant that is breaching the lease is required to pay all costs associated with getting a new tenant including leasing fees, advertising costs, utilities, rent and possible cleaning costs. Depending on the time of the year, the lease period is usually a year. Salefish Properties does not advise a lease longer than one year at a time, laws change and Landlord’s plans can also change. A month-to-month rental period is just that, a 30-day agreement. The tenant may vacate within 15 – 30 days of giving notice, depending on what day of the month the tenant gives notice. There is no contract that keeps the tenant any longer. This type of agreement is only good for certain properties and certain times of the year, after the tenant has fulfilled their one year commitment.

  • Q: When the vendor completes the work requested do you inspect the property?

    A: Salefish Properties assesses this need on a case-by-case basis as we have trusted vendors. If work is done on the outside of the home, we will drive by to check the completion. If the unit is occupied, the tenant is contacted to make sure that the work is done, return trips are not needed and that our vendor has again left the property clean and the workmen were courteous.

    When a maintenance request is received, the vendor is selected and a work order is emailed to the vendor. If the repair has more issues than first expected, the vendor calls before going over the contract amount. If the item is not worth repairing due to age or parts available, you are sent an email or called to review the issue and item. Always remember that if the items worked when the tenant rented the property and is not left as a courtesy, such as washer and dryer, the item must be repaired or replaced by the Landlord. The cost to use these items are included with the rent and cannot just be left nonfunctional. The tenant must notify Salefish Properties if an item has failed or fails again after repair. We use licensed and insured vendors who we trust for professional opinions and work, they are experts in their field. As property managers we have working knowledge of repairs but we are not experts.
  • Q: Who does the repairs?

    A: Salefish Properties uses only licensed, insured trusted vendors. If a Landlord has their own vendors to handle the repairs, we can’t guarantee the work. The Landlord will have to work directly with the vendor from start to finish.
  • Q: Who holds the Security Deposit?

    A: The security deposit is regulated by the State of Florida. If Salefish Properties is hired to manage the property, the security deposit, pet deposit and any advanced rents that may be collected are held in the Salefish Properties escrow bank account. The security deposit belongs to the tenant and must remain intact during the entire term of the lease. If the Landlord will be managing the property, the security deposit is turned over to the Landlord shortly after the tenant moves in. The Landlord is required to maintain the full amount of the security deposit in a Florida banking institution.
  • Q: Who signs the lease or rental agreement?

    A: Leasing and Property management by Salefish Properties: Salefish Properties acts on the Landlord’s behalf as their agent and signs the lease agreement. The Landlord and manager work together as one. The lease agreement has been prepared by an attorney and protects both the Landlord and Salefish Properties.

    Leasing only and Landlord self-manages: The Landlord signs the lease agreement since they will be managing their own property. Salefish Properties fills in the blanks of a lease template provided by the Florida Realtor Association.
  • Q: Who will choose the tenant?

    A:

    Salefish Properties has many years of experience qualifying the best tenants for hundreds of Landlords. Salefish Properties complies with the strictly-monitored Federal Fair Housing guidelines and applies consistent Residential Screening Criteria to each prospective tenant. Salefish Properties will select the tenant based on the most qualified applicant. Salefish Properties is unable to share the credit report with a Landlord or a prospective tenant due to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. If a Landlord suggests the Federal Fair Housing laws not be followed, we will help them to understand the laws. If a Landlord will not abide by the Federal Laws, Salefish Properties will not manage or cooperate with a violating property owner; non-compliance of these laws is very serious and a federal offense.

  • Q: Will I receive a copy of the lease or tenant rental agreement?

    A: Yes. Once the tenant has been approved, the lease is prepared shortly thereafter. The broker of Salefish Properties meets with the tenants to review and sign the lease with the tenants. Once the lease is executed, you will be sent a copy via email. You will also receive a copy of all renewal leases via email.

Salefish Properties

1375 Gateway Blvd.
Boynton Beach, FL 33426

Phone: (561) 738-0922






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Salefish Properties

1375 Gateway Blvd.
Boynton Beach, FL 33426

Phone: (561) 738-0922
Fax: (561) 533-5458