Tenant Information and Owners Blog

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Sierra Vista Home Rental Offers Affordable Homes in Cochise County, Arizona

Tenant Information (Terms and Conditions)

1. Pre-Rental process

  • Initial property showings will be unaccompanied (done on your own, owner not present) and will be exterior/look in the windows only
  • If, after doing the “drive by showing”, the prospective tenant wishes to access the interior, the owners will arrange for entry, by appointment.  To secure an appointment, a $20 deposit must be prepaid in cash (by electronic payment such as cashapp or PayPal).  This “showing deposit” will be refunded as long as prospects show up for their appointment.
  • All occupants 18 years or older are considered to be applicants, and all must be included on the rental application (download the rental application HERE).
  • There is a $40 per applicant fee (subject to change) for online credit/civil/criminal screenings, which applicants pay directly to the screening service.  Applicants must provide the owners a unique email address for each applicant, and must have and provide a SSN, which will be provided to the screening service at the time the screening is paid.
  • If you have any evictions or civil judgments in the last 10 years, you are disqualified from renting with us.
  • If your income is less than 3 times the rent, you are disqualified from renting with us.
  • Proof of income/employment will be needed, but can wait until the screening is completed, reviewed, and deemed acceptable.

2. Rental/Leasing Process

  • Lease will consist of a standard avail.co or AAR form (which complies with state law), an owner-provided addendum, and a move-in/move-out form.  All applicants must sign the lease.
  • All deposits and first month’s rent must be paid prior to receiving keys.
  • All utilities must be placed in applicant’s name, with proof of turn-on provided, prior to receiving keys.
  • Tenants will receive 1 set of keys.  Tenants are encouraged to obtain a duplicate set, in case of loss.  Tenants will be responsible for any costs associated with key loss or lockout.
  • Tenants with pets (if approved) are required to carry renter’s insurance that includes “bite” liability coverage, naming the owners as “additional interest”.  All other tenants should get renter’s insurance to protect themselves and their stuff.

 

Move-in Move-Out Form (posted April 2021)

 

Please review the move-in checklist and complete the indicated tasks (as needed, and through Avail.co).
  • Review and sign lease
  • Set up to pay rents online through Avail.co (using checking account, debit, or credit card)
  • Confirm proof of renters insurance (required if tenants have dogs, and recommended for all tenants)
  • Confirm utility transfer into tenants names (utilities should be turned on at least 3 days prior to occupancy, so landlord can do a check of all mechanical systems)
  • Coordinate key exchange and move-in with landlord and/or landlord’s agents
  • Complete and submit the move-in/move-out condition checklist (should be downloadable from tenant’s Avail dashboard)

 

Periodic Inspections (posted April 2021)

 

Dear Tenants:
We will be performing occasional unit inspections.  These will include:
  • Spot checks (when our handyman/vendors are in the unit for repairs),
  • In-depth reviews on a semi-annual basis (our plan is to do these at the same time we do the evaporative cooler maintenance visits, which should be spring and fall).
For the in-depth/cooler maintenance visits, we intend to provide you with 2 days’ written notice, which may be by email, if you are agreeable.  Please expect the inspections and cooler service to take 2 hours, but this may vary.
Tenants:
– Don’t need to present for the inspection.  Due to Covid concerns and risks, we suggest you consider leaving the property while inspection staff are inside.
– If you stay in the unit, you accept all infection risks, and we will expect everyone will wear masks and maintain distancing
– Are advised to take these opportunities to provide a written list of issues you want us to address.
Our desire is to accomplish the following, in more or less this priority order:
1. Ensure you are taking care of the property.  Unit needs to be clean and maintained inside and out.  No illegal activities, no unpermitted animals, no long-term guests who are not on the lease.  Furnace and window AC filters are being regularly changed and/or cleaned.  Smoke and CO detectors are in place and have working batteries.  All light fixtures are working/fully bulbed.  Appliances, sinks, toilets, and tubs are clean.
2. Identify property preservation needs.  Leaks, holes, weak floors, evidence of termites, anything that hastens deterioration or allows weather/elements or vectors into the unit.   This would be both inside and outside the home.  Please read the attached “rodent prevention” brochure for some useful ideas.
3. General repairs (to protect tenants’ health, safety, and welfare).  Things that are broken or worn out and may be hazardous.  Like window cracks, missing locks, missing switch/receptacle covers, evaporative cooler/heat non-functional or needs cleaning/filter.
4. General maintenance.  Things that need to be repaired or replaced, but are more in the form of cosmetic issues than functionality or safety problems.
5. Replacements or upgrades.  Things that are at or past their useful lives, and need to be replaced (or will need it, soon).  Could also include things a tenant says “would be nice to have/if you did …”  This would help us build a “to do” list that we could implement as time and funds allow, or to be accomplished between tenancies because they would be disruptive to the tenant (examples include replacing floor coverings or new paint).
Cooler maintenance work is happening now, so we will be in touch soon.
Thank you.

 

Bank Account Set-up Errors on avail.co (posted April 2021)

 

Some of you are having difficulty getting your bank information accepted on Avail.co in order to pay rents.  Please read the attached help article to see if it helps resolve issues.  Thanks.

 

Curtain Call (posted May 2021)

 

Hi Everyone
Under our “new management”, landlord-provided curtains and rods in all bedrooms will (gradually and eventually) become a standard feature at all of our rental properties.
We are helping tenants by offering to install rods and drapes in bedrooms only.  You are responsible for drapes or blinds in other rooms, if desired, as well as for proper installation and repairing any damage from installing or uninstalling your own window coverings.
We realize that most of you have been in your homes for a while, so you probably already have window coverings.  You don’t have to accept ours if you don’t want or need them.
If you want the curtain or rods, we will need these measurements: window width, window height, and how far above the floor is the top of the window.  We ask that you take down and launder our curtains twice a year, as well as when you clean the house at the end of the lease (so the next person can enjoy fresh, clean drapes).
Thank you.

 

Got Furnace Filters? (posted May 2021)

 

Special offer!
If you want some “free” furnace filters, respond to this email by Wednesday May 26 with the size needed (example 20×25).  You’ll need to check the filter for size or measure the opening where the filter goes.
Thank you.

 

“Pest” Management (posted May 2021)

 

Hi Everyone
As we are coming into warmer weather, all manner of pests are back and hard at work.
For the purpose of this email, the broad definition of pests include:
– Grass
– Weeds
– “Wild” trees and shrubs, such as mesquite, acacia, desert broom
– Ants
– Roaches
– Scorpions
– Bees/wasps
– Bed bugs
Tenants are required to maintain the property in a “clean, healthy, and good working order” condition.  This includes keeping the yard neat and treating for bugs as needed.
Let’s hit these pests one at a time.
Grass, you’ll need a lawnmower or to hire a lawn care service to cut the grass.
Weeds, we recommend purchasing a handheld pump sprayer (or 2) and concentrated weed killer.  Follow label directions.  It can take a week or 2, and sometimes 2 or 3 sprayings, for tough weeds (like tumbleweeds) to give up.  Good sources for sprayers and weed killers are Walmart, Lowes, Tractor Supply, Home Depot, or Ace.  Be sure to cut the grass and spray the weeds along street and alley edges, and fence lines, as well (because this is required by city/county/homeowners association ordinances and rules).
Trees and shrubs.  All trees and shrubs must be managed or removed/killed.  If a tree/shrub was planted, is a desirable ornamental, and isn’t causing some problem, it can simply be trimmed back once or twice a year.  Invasive trees and shrubs, like desert brooms, tumbleweeds, mesquites, acacias, and olives, usually should be killed or removed.  That said, it may be difficult to kill these unwanted plants.  The most effective way to kill the larger ones (besides digging them up) is to treat the cut stems with an herbicide and diesel fuel mix.  Mix 1 part Triclopyr (61% strength, aka Garlon) with 4 parts diesel fuel in a bucket (so, normally you’d mix a quart of Triclopyr with a gallon of diesel), then paint the mix onto the plant stems IMMEDIATELY AFTER CUTTING.  You must paint the mix on the stems within an hour or so, or the stems will seal off and the poison won’t work.  Over the next month or so, you may need to cut back new growth, and paint on the mix a couple times, to finally kill the roots.  The mix seems to be fairly stable, so if you have an old covered bucket or pail, you can save the mix and store it for a little while.  You can buy 1/2 gallons of Triclopyr at Tractor Supply (Brushtox brand), or for a little bit more money, gallons from Amazon (Alligare brand).
Ants: Yard ants mostly are harmless, useful members of the local ecosystem.  They eat plant material and won’t come into the house.  You can leave them alone, unless their nest is close to the house/in your way.  The exception is the tiny “sugar ants”.  They can suddenly appear inside, and in droves.  You may need to follow their track back to their nest and spot spray it or flood them out.  Termites might also be present.  If you see wood damage (holes/tunnels/galleries), or termite poop (powdery frass), usually at the floor/along baseboards, let us know.  Termite treatment is a specialty/professional job.
Roaches: You may treat hidden areas (under sinks, behind fridges and ranges, inside cabinets and pantries, using your pump sprayer and a pesticide concentrate and following label directions), put out specialty products (such as gels or glue traps), or set off “bug bombs” to chase them out of the house.  Generally, if you have a bad case of roaches, something is wrong in terms of cleanliness and/or wetness.  Be sure you keep things clean, and report any wetness/leaks to us for repair.
Scorpions: Glue traps work well.  Place them by doorways, and along walls.  They are cheap, and you can buy “mega packs” on Amazon or in big box stores.  Also effective is to place glass jars over the bed frame feet/posts.  Scorpions cannot climb the glass, so they won’t climb into bed with you.  Keep your mattress/headboard away from the wall a few inches.  Eliminate scorpion nest/hiding areas (yard waste piles and cardboard/wood piles).  You can also buy scorpion sprays, but those don’t seem to work very well.  Don’t leave your clothes lying around on the floor, as scorpions may hide in your PJs (yes, that happened to us).
Bees/wasps: Bees are the bigger deal, of course.  Our Africanized “killer” bees can be very aggressive.  If you find an active hive, be careful.  Look before you open or enter a shed or garage, in case a new swarm has taken up residence.   You can try to eliminate the hive yourself by spraying the area repeatedly with wasp/hornet spray foams.  Those have a 10′ range, so you can keep your distance.  It may take several sprayings, or not work at all, if the queen isn’t killed.  Best time to spray is at sunset or sunrise, when the bees are less active.  Another technique we have used with success is placing a box fan over the entry hole (this won’t be possible if the hole is way up in the air).  Run the fan on high during daylight hours.  Bees will be killed as they fly out, and those that are out won’t be able to get back in.   It will take a week or so, but eventually this will deplete the hive.  The fan might even be salvageable when you’re done!  Or, call a professional and expect to pay $200-ish for the hive removal.
Wasps, simply spray the paper wasp nests with a garden hose, pump sprayer set on “stream”, or the same wasp/hornet bug spray foam you perhaps bought to squirt at the bees.  Wasps usually build nests along the roof line (fascia/eaves/soffit).  They will keep coming back, so check every week or 2 and knock them down.
Bedbugs.  Notoriously difficult to vanquish, effective bed bug treatment can become a professional job.  But tenants can defeat bed bugs with tenacity and time.  Experts recommend these self-help and professional steps:
  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag (or dump its contents) into a plastic bag and place that bag in the garbage can, outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bed bugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bed bugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.
  • Treat using pesticides (noting that bed bugs are often resistant) and desiccants

 

Emergency Maintenance Contact phone number (Posted May 2021)

 

520-390-1465 (Glenn Traudt)
Please call this number only in emergencies.  For non-emergency maintenance requests, please use the maintenance form at avail.co
Thanks.