The Risks of Leaving Your Champaign-Urbana Rental Property Vacant

The Risks of Leaving Your Champaign-Urbana Rental Property Vacant

Leaving a rental property vacant is a big risk for investors. Not only is it expensive, it also leaves you open to vandalism, theft, and squatting. There’s also the risk of unreported maintenance issues. When tenants are living in your property, they’re quick to notice leaks, electric issues, and other potential problems. With no one in the property, it could be weeks or months before you notice there’s something that needs repairing.

You want to avoid a vacant property, for the good of your investment home and to get your income flowing and your ROI stabilized.

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Everything You Need to Know About Landlord and Renters Insurance | Champaign-Urbana Property Management

Everything You Need to Know About Landlord and Renters Insurance | Champaign-Urbana Property Management

Insuring your investment property is a critical component in keeping it protected. The right insurance will also protect your own financial interests. Investing in Champaign-Urbana rental real estate can be an excellent opportunity, but it also comes with a lot of risk and a lot of liability.

Both a landlord insurance policy and a renter insurance policy will be required to protect your investment. Don’t wait until a claim needs to be filed to find out you’re under-insured or uninsured. Make insurance check-ins a part of your annual Urbana-Champaign property management plan.

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Allowing Service Animals vs. Pets in Your Champaign Urbana Rental Property

Allowing Service Animals vs. Pets in Your Champaign Urbana Rental Property


Dogs are pets except when they’re service animals. Cats are pets except when they’re emotional support animals or therapy animals.

If you’re renting out a property in the Champaign-Urbana rental market or anywhere in the U.S., it’s important to understand the housing laws that protect people with disabilities. It’s easy to make an expensive mistake by telling prospective or current tenants that pets aren’t allowed in your property under any circumstances. You have the right to your own no-pet policy. But, if that tenant has a service or support animal, it ceases to be a pet, and you legally have to allow it.

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How to Collect Rent from Residents | Advice for Champaign-Urbana Landlords


As straightforward as rent collection might sound, there’s a lot to consider. A landlord and a tenant sign a rental agreement in which the tenant promises to pay a specific amount of rent on the first day of each month. This area can cause tension between landlords and their residents, especially if the information is unclear or inconsistent.

As professional Champaign-Urbana property managers, we have automated and systematic rent collection policies in place. We know it can be both frustrating to chase down late rent and disruptive to your own financial planning. We have advice, and always recommend that you work with a local property management company if you have any problems with your tenants or your rental home.

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Tips for an Annual Rental Inspection Checklist for Landlords | Champaign-Urbana Property Management

Tips for an Annual Rental Inspection Checklist for Landlords

Annual rental inspections are an important part of protecting your investment property. Whether you want to inspect halfway through the leasing period or right before the lease is scheduled to renew, make sure you get into your property at least one time during the tenancy to make sure there aren’t any deferred or unreported maintenance issues lurking, and to check in with your tenants and make sure they’re following the lease requirements and enjoying where they live.

A local property management company can help you manage this process if you’re unsure about how to conduct it, live out of town or state, or if you lack the time and the systems to effectively inspect your rental units. As an experienced team of Champaign-Urbana property managers, we have the inspection process down to a science, and today we’re sharing some of our checklist items with you.

Inspect with Preventative Maintenance In Mind

One of the reasons that a professional property management company will conduct inspections annually is to follow a program of preventative maintenance. Most rental homes have a lot of small issues that are easy to miss and potentially unnoticed by residents. When you’re conducting annual inspections, make sure you’re checking:

  • Faucets and sinks for potential leaks
  • Roofs and outdoor spaces for tree branches and debris
  • HVAC systems, especially heaters, furnaces, and air conditioning units
  • Water heaters for rust and deterioration
  • Appliances

It’s a good time to look for evidence of pests or water intrusion. Tenants who do not complain frequently may think they’re being considerate when they don’t report every minor issue. But, you don’t want to let small repairs turn into larger and expensive repairs. Use this annual inspection to get an idea of what your property needs. Preventative maintenance is always more cost effective.

Champaign – Urbana Property Management and Lease Enforcement

Another item for your annual inspection checklist is lease enforcement. When your tenants sign their lease agreement, they’re promising to follow the rules and meet your expectations. Most residents do this, but some will get away with whatever they can. Use the annual inspection to look for:

  • Unauthorized pets
  • Unauthorized people
  • Lack of cleanliness or upkeep
  • Criminal activity
  • Smoking

If something needs to be addressed, talk to the tenant about it and then put in writing what needs to be done in order to come into lease compliance. It’s also a good time to talk to your tenants about how they like their unit, and whether there’s anything that would make their experience better. This will help with tenant retention.

Provide Plenty of Notice Before Inspecting

Provide Plenty of Notice Before InspectingYou must keep in mind that you cannot simply go to the property without notice in order to perform an inspection. You shouldn’t stop by just for the sake of looking around. You have to have a specific reason, and you have to respect the tenants’ rights when it comes to entering their home. So, be sure you are checking for something specific. Your lease agreement could mention your annual inspection so tenants aren’t surprised.

Annual inspections protect your property and ensure your tenants are performing the way you expect them to. Make sure you get them done on a regular basis.

If you need a local property management company to help, please contact us at Ramshaw Real Estate. We’d love to be your resource for Urbana and Champaign property management.