Owner FAQ

Owner Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you charge?

Rates can vary depending on the number of properties you own, but generally speaking we charge a flat fee for monthly management, and a percentage of the first month’s rent to place tenants. Click here for your FREE rental analysis.

What’s included in the leasing fee?

The leasing fee covers all advertising, property preparation, showings, tenant screening and whatever else is required prior to a tenant moving in.

How do you advertise properties?

First, we utilize special software to build a profile for each property. Beyond a description of the property, this profile includes information concerning the area, school district, or other positive factors. We then send the profile to more than 200 major property websites.

How do you screen tenants?

We use a multi-step process to screen tenants, beginning with a pre-screening to make sure they meet our criteria:

  • Clean criminal record with no felonies
  • No eviction or poor rental history
  • Income of at least three times the rental amount

If a potential applicant meets these criteria, we then invite them to formally apply, and set up a showing of the property. Once we’ve performed credit, criminal and rental history checks, we’ll bring the applicant to you for final approval.

Who sets the rental amount?

We’ll do a FREE rental analysis of your property and tell you what we think you should charge for rent, but the final decision is up to you.

What happens if you can’t find any tenants?

As we continue to advertise the property, we’ll check in with you every week to let you know how many showings we’ve had, how many have applied, etc. If finding applicants becomes an issue, we may suggest other steps to help get your property rented.

I’m in! What happens next?

Before signing anything, we like to meet with every property owner to make sure we meet each other’s requirements. Once we agree to move forward, we’ll send you an electronic agreement, which can also be signed and returned electronically. We will then send you an onboarding document to fill out, which provides us with all necessary information concerning the property. We take it from there!

Should I speak with you before licensing a rental property?

Absolutely. Depending on the city, licensing a rental property can cost up to $1,000, but as a registered property manager, we may be able to save you some of those fees.

How will I receive payment?

Rent is due by the first of each month, and must be paid by the fifth. Once that money clears, we’ll send it along – usually by the 15th.

Can I do my own repairs, or hire my own contractors?

Yes, within reason. We set a dollar limit of your choosing in the contract; only repairs or maintenance below that amount are performed without approval. Regardless of the issue, though, you will always be notified when maintenance has been requested by a tenant.

In the event that emergency repairs are needed (such as a burst water pipe), we will immediately inform you of the problem, perform repairs to the point where damage is no longer ongoing, and then seek approval before continuing.

Will tenants ever contact me directly?

We always try to maintain our client’s privacy when it comes to tenants. We will never give out your private information, and always ask that tenants come to us with any questions or concerns.

Who is responsible for utility payments?

If the rental property is a single family home, we always recommend putting utilities in the tenants’ name. If the property contains several units and only one meter for a particular utility, we legally cannot put them in the name of the tenants, and instead suggest putting the utility in our name and slightly increasing rent to cover the added expense.

Regardless of month-to-month responsibility, MSP Home Rental always contacts utilities at the end of a lease to ensure that tenants have paid and full and there is no outstanding balance against them or your property.

When do evictions happen, and how do they work?

To start, you will never have to go to court or take any additional action in the event of an eviction. If a tenant has failed to pay rent or otherwise broken their lease agreement (and we can’t find a way to resolve the situation), we have a lawyer on staff who will pursue eviction. The tenant is responsible for all eviction costs, and the process is fairly efficient: if a tenant hasn’t paid rent by the morning of the 6th and the situation isn’t resolved by the 15th, we can potentially have them removed by the first week of the following month.

What about your tenant guarantee?

We guarantee all tenants for 12 months. So if a tenant leaves or the eviction process is begun prior to that 12 month mark, we will find you a new tenant without requiring an additional leasing fee.

Can I increase rent at any time?

It is almost always illegal to increase rent during the term of a lease. Once that lease is up, however, you may choose to increase rent.

Can I remodel the property while I have tenants?

Yes, but if the performed construction is very intrusive or disruptive to your tenants, we may recommend waiting until the property/unit is vacant (or offer a one-month discount in rent while the work is being performed).

Can I sell the property with tenants still living there?

Yes, but Minnesota law requires that you honor any existing lease. So while you may sell the property, neither you nor the new owner may remove the tenant until the end of the lease.

Who holds on to security deposits?

We prefer to hold onto deposits and keep them in an escrow account, but you have the right to hold onto them as well. If you sell a property before a security deposit is returned, that deposit would pass to the new owner.

Can I get copies of all documents or correspondences pertaining to my property?

Your Owner Portal contains a digital copy of all documents and correspondences pertaining to your property.

How often do you inspect properties?

We perform in-depth move-in and move-out inspections where we take up to 200 pictures of the property, including every room, in order to document the state of the property at that time. During a tenants stay, we perform additional inspections every six months. (Though if we need to enter a property to do repairs or maintenance and have not performed an inspection in the last four months or so, we generally do an inspection at that time out of courtesy for the tenant).

You will always receive a copy of the inspection report, along with any photos taken during the inspection. A copy will also be stored in your Owner Portal.

How much can I deduct from my taxes for renting a property?

Every situation is different, but we’re happy to help you find the answer.