Hello, my name is JENNIFER HOYER and I am a Client Care Representative and Realtor for Chambers Theory Property Management.


I’m here to answer frequently asked questions about our professional Marketing services. We want to help ensure your property management experience is a positive one.


For more information you can call us at (703) 609-2323 or email at [email protected].



A question that gets asked often is:


  1. How quickly can you list my home for rent? BRIAN

A: We can begin marketing almost immediately, within 24 hours upon receiving a signed management agreement from you, if we have keys, the home has been professionally cleaned, and repairs have been completed. However, we prefer to have professional photography, which is provided complimentary by us, prior to marketing a home as it provides a much better online presence as they are added to the listing.



One common inquiry we receive is:


  1. What is activity-based pricing? BRIAN

A: Determining the appropriate fair market value of your home using comparables of not only what is actively on the market similar in size and location to your property, but also comparing what has recently rented, too. We then focus on number of showings and any feedback received to evaluate whether we are priced appropriately, based on the response of the market, or if we need to adjust further to maximize your marketing exposure.



A question we frequently hear is:


  1. What platforms are the listings being advertised on?

A: Every agent in VA, DC & MD uses the BrightMLS database for listings and market value and statistics have proven it to be the primary form of renting out homes in our area.

We also advertise your home on,,, and which forwards your listing to over 100+ additional websites including but not limited to:,,,,,,, and many more! Once your listing is activated on BrightMLS it is seen by over 10,000 licensed realtors in Northern Virginia who can show your home to a prospective tenant and we pay them a leasing commission if they bring a qualified tenant who applies, is accepted, and signs a lease for your home. We also have a paid service contract with Zillow as they do not automatically list rentals, we must pay per day, per listing to list them on their site so you can be sure your rental with Chambers Theory will be found on there.



We often get asked this question:


  1. What if my Tenant is difficult in allowing showings?

A: This is quite possibly the biggest question in the unknown world of marketing with tenant-occupied homes and one we are experienced with navigating through. Marketing with tenants is tough as they do not have the same aligned interests as a landlord or property manager/realtor do and feel inconvenienced. This was never more evident than during the pandemic when tenants felt we were putting their risk at health, even though we had procedures and requirements in place for their protection. We do let them know that if they cancel a showing we will charge them a $50 fee. We try to make showings easily communicated to tenant and abide by any time constraints they notify us of, but the reality is that there will be cases in which tenants will simply not cooperate. There will also be times when a home simply can’t be shown due to showing condition in how a tenant lives in the home, we want the home shown in the best light and may recommend holding off until the tenant vacates, presentation sets expectation in this business. A good majority of the time tenants will be cooperative, will maintain a neat home and we remind them the easier the home is shown and in its best light, the faster it will rent, be removed from the market.



For additional questions, you can call us at (703) 609-2323 or send us an email at [email protected].


And don’t forget to like us and subscribe on social media for more information on property management services with intelligence.





Hello, my name is JENNIFER HOYER and I am a Client Care Representative and Realtor for Chambers Theory Property Management.


I’m here to answer frequently asked questions about our professional Leasing services. We want to help ensure your property management experience is a positive one.


For more information you can call us at (703) 609-2323 or email at [email protected].



A question that gets asked often is:


  1. Why should I consider pets?

A: When listing your home for rent, we recommend listing the pets as considered ‘case by case’ which would still allow you the ability to deny an application with pets, but also allow you to decide once viewing the application if you’d like to consider them as tenants. We’ve found about 70% of tenants have a pet, stating ‘no pets’ alienates many otherwise highly qualified applicants to your home. Not only that, but we have also found that generally, a candidate with good credit, income and references translates into a responsible pet owner as well. We haven’t found many cases in the past where a pet has done damage to a property of an applicant that was strong. We have seen applications with pets who are groomed 3 times a week, or are show dogs, etc. Keep in mind too, we would collect a pet

rent of $25/per pet per month which provides our clients with additional income. We also have a security deposit equal to one month’s rent so in the unlikely event a pet does damage to a property we can use the security deposit to restore the home.



One common inquiry we receive is:


  1. Do I have to accept an applicant with an ESA or Service Animal?

A: Virginia Law includes ESA and Service Animals to not be treated as ‘pets’ therefore even if you advertise your home as ‘no pets’ ESA/ASA do not apply here. To discriminate against a tenant based on having one of these animals due to a disability, would be a violation of the Fair Housing Laws, as disability is a protected class.



A question we frequently hear is:


  1. What if I only want to rent to a family?

A: Fair Housing Laws, first enacted in 1968, protect classes of people and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, and elderliness. You cannot deny applicants based on familial status and you cannot expressly advertise that you believe your home is best fit for a family.



We often get asked this question:


  1. Do I get to interview the applicants before I choose one?

A: No, this is not an option. We go through a very thorough analysis of each applicant so that we can obtain as much information and fully vet each prospective renter and present those details to you. We require anyone over the age of 18 that will be living in the home, apply and if accepted, be added to the lease. Each tenant is equally and severally responsible under the terms of the lease. There is also absolutely no subletting, a person can only be added to the lease formally. Our process is intentionally strict/tight. We focus on a deep background check on the tenants past performance [landlord references – both current & previous], verify their credit score [and look at their history], as well as confirm their employment and verify their income. We present to you plenty of data to make an informed decision yet the applicants, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, etc. are not part of the application process to ensure you make decisions based on objective data [and stay 100% fair housing compliant].



A query that comes up frequently is:


  1. Can I have my tenant’s contact information, email, phone number?

A: Don’t fall into the trap! Often the biggest issues in renting a home start off as friendly and warm connections with the tenants… and then the honeymoon wore off or opposing interests became present. We do not encourage landlords to deal directly with tenants as often, it tends to triangulate communication and circumvents the management process. In our experience, this can lead to confusion regarding obligations contained in a lease and may put owners in a difficult position if/when landlords and tenants have opposing interests (for example: security deposit discrepancies, or maybe the tenant requests to break the lease prematurely). You have the benefit of many years of management experience with thousands of landlord-tenant transactions and scenarios working for you- consult with us on your perspective and receive the value of our guidance before contacting your tenant.



One of the most commonly asked questions is:


  1. What items in the home are considered cosmetic or “as is”?

A: Cosmetic repairs are items that do not affect the function or habitability of the home. These include items such as paint, carpets, blinds, ceiling fans, disposals, icemakers, etc. If a tenant damages an ‘as-is’ item listed in the lease, they are responsible to repair or replace, at their expense, if an ‘as-is’ item breaks [not due to tenant neglect or abuse] the landlord is not required to fix them, but certainly can.



Many landlords wonder about:


  1. What are tenant responsibilities?

A: Please refer to your lease, clause 15 ‘Tenant Obligations’ and clause 18 ‘Move out Inspection,’ for tenant obligations throughout the lease term.



Another question we hear a lot is:


  1. Why isn’t gutter cleaning a Tenant responsibility?

A: Our lease was amended, partially on the advice of an Attorney, who noted liability concerns for landlords with tenants on ladders trying to clear gutters out.



A common inquiry for new landlords is:


  1. Why isn’t weeding a tenant responsibility in the lease?


A: Unless otherwise noted in the lease, as some landlords provide a lawncare package included in their rent as an amenity to the tenant, tenants are responsible for maintaining the lawn [mowing grass]. Tenants are not responsible, per lease, for trimming shrubs or pruning trees or weeding mulched beds. This was removed as tenant responsibilities about a decade ago, as we found tenants were causing more harm than good, by pruning at inappropriate season, often resulting in dead plants, ruining proper shape, and even removing garden beds full of perennials assuming they were weeds. We typically recommend an annual yard service, to maintain shrubs and trees to proper shape, and weed and mulch beds, to ensure a decent appearance.



A question on many of landlord’s mind is:


  1. Should I include lawncare as an amenity in my lease to the tenant?


A: Standard leases hold the tenant responsible for mowing the grass but the tenant shouldn’t be expected to fertilize, weed, mulch or prune shrubbery. If you have invested in landscaping or want the yard to be kept in the condition you have it in when living there, it’s best to include lawncare in the lease rent, to protect the integrity of the lawn.



You may have wondered:


  1. What is a standard lease term?

A: Typically, most leases are for a 12-month term and we prefer these to primarily end in Spring/Summer months when rents are higher, days on market lower and a larger pool of tenants to pull from, which also allows us to achieve higher rental values and renewals.



Our clients often wonder:


  1. How do per diem leases work?

A: T The government provides a ‘per diem’ schedule to include financial assistance for certain elements of housing/utilities/furniture rental needs. These per diem schedules are on a sliding scale (for example: $5600 for the 1st month, $4900 month 2, $4600 month 3, and so on). If a tenant signs a 12-month lease, they could be paying $1000/month by month 11 and 12 but the average rent over the 12-month span is what we tune-into. The owner will have to pay taxes on the rent in the year they receive it, so be aware a per diem lease may create a bigger tax year in one year than the next.”



A question that gets asked often is:


  1. What are tax implications in accepting all rent, paid, upfront?

A: There is a benefit to accepting the entire rent term upfront, but it does pose some issues that could affect your tax benefits of owning a rental. By accepting the entire rent amount up front, we will disburse that entire amount to you upon receipt. You will show a substantial amount of ‘rent received’ on your end of year statement which would be beneficial when you file taxes; however, in the next year you will show drastically less rent received which will affect your ability to take some deductions that next year. For further information regarding the tax implications, we suggest speaking to a tax consultant and are happy to provide you with one if you need a referral. In a situation like this, we recommend that you accept a lump sum of what the rent would be for the remainder of year 1 and then have the rest of the rent due the 1st of January in year 2 and stipulate in the lease that it can’t be pre-paid. This allows you to show the traditional rent received on your taxes while still taking advantage of the applicants’ offer to pay rent in large amounts.



One common inquiry we receive is:


  1. How do you handle utilities between tenants?

A: When you first become a client, we ask that you keep the utilities in your name but add ‘C/O Chambers Theory’ and change the billing address to our office for the final bills so that we can pay them out of your account. When it’s time for the tenants to turn the utilities on in their name, to match the lease start date, we use a program called Resident Benefits Package (RBP) where they help the tenant set up their own accounts in their own names. Once a tenant sets up utilities in their own name, the owner’s will not be in effect any longer anyway; however, if the owner knows the move in date of a tenant, then they can cancel their accounts to ensure the tenant is not using utilities on the owner’s account, too.



A question we frequently hear is:


  1. How do I raise my rent?

A: This would be approached to you at the lease renewal, which we pro-actively try to start about 120-days in advance of the lease termination. The 25% lease renewal/extension fee is for when the current lease expires, and we are approaching you on whether you’d like to offer a renewal of the lease to the tenant. At some level, many property management firms simply “push-paperwork” for the lease renewal process, yet we are happy to spend more time outlining the differences in our leasing and lease renewal program that bring more value to you [and cost us more time and resources in the process] compared to the other property management programs out there.



For additional questions, you can call us at (703) 609-2323 or send us an email at [email protected].


And don’t forget to like us and subscribe on social media for more information on property management services with intelligence.