Leasing Rental Housing in Today’s Market

Debra Hill-Fox


Let’s face it – Arizona is in a HOT rental market no matter what kind of property we manage. The past several years have been very good to owners, investors and property managers. Strong rental increases, aggressive rental rates and high occupancies. However, we need to be realistic and expect changes in 2020/2021.

Most economists are predicting a solid rental market in the future. A smart PM/Investor will keep an eye on the changes in the economy both federally and in our state. Our economists and experts predict we must continue building homes and apartments at a record pace to accommodate housing needs with the population growth in our state. The factors that could affect a growing housing market could be a mild depression in our economy and interest rates changing upward.

So how can a PM/Investor excel in the upcoming year? Keep a close eye on the bouncing balls.

A smart and savvy PM/Investor will have good business and leasing practices that will ensure a solid footing against their competitors:


  1. Be fair and consistent in your rental process and Fair housing guidelines always come into our procedures. You should lease to the Best qualified applicant(s). However, if you take multiple applications, be clear in your expectations and DISCLOSE your process in writing as well as your expectations for the “Best Qualified Applicant.”
  1. Keep a close eye on your competitors and make sure you are operating within “The Market”.
  1. Ensure that your pricing is “apples to apples” and not above the other rentals in your immediate
  1. Good solid renters that maintain the residences deserve to be rewarded at renewal time – consider carpet cleaning, ceiling fan replacement, painting an accent wall or another improvement as an accent wall or another improvement as an incentive.
  1. DON‘T get Greedy! Be reasonable in your non-refundable fees and explain in the rental agreement what their purposes are. Per the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, fees must be reasonable and explained in the rental agreement. Just because we are in a rock-solid rental market we should not take advantage of the multiple people applying for the rental Manage your expectations! Would you think “that seems fair and reasonable” if it were you applying for the rental?
  1. Are you managing for an individual owner or helping an owner to find a new qualified applicant? Please do not let an owner/investor entice you to help them discriminate against applicants. Remember, the Real Estate license is always on the hook for all Explain you are always held to the laws and statutes, both federally and in Arizona by holding the license. Letting the owner CHOOSE who they want to rent to could be viewed by the Attorney General as being discriminatory. Who is exempt from Fair Housing laws? An individual owner/investor who owns less than four (4) homes and does not hold a real estate license.


Bottom line – good sound business policies and procedures will only make us more successful in our property management endeavors!