General rules to follow for an efficient and fire hazard free dryer:
1. Clean the lint trap screen after each dryer cycle.
2. Wash the lint trap screen after 20-30 loads. Let it air dry before replacing.
3. Use a vacuum hose to suck out any remaining lint inside the dryer where the lint trap is stored.
Although few outside the profession may understand what we do and how we do it, the basic facts remain unchanged: Property Managers play a critical role in a landlord’s success. As the rental market grows increasingly tumultuous, property managers toil quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to come up with solutions to problems that the average landlord doesn’t understand or even know he has.
Hello tenants, we have a new contest for you to get excited about! The Bev Roberts Rentals family is bringing to you a chance to embrace your creativity with the Festive Decorating Contest!
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of fall? Is it spooky spiders for Halloween, is it pumpkins and falling leaves for Autumn, or is team spirit for football season? Whatever that is, send us your photo portraying your festive indoor or outdoor decorating! The winning resident receives a $50 Visa Gift Card! Please read the above flyer for more details.
The contest officially starts October 1, 2016. Winner will be chosen on November 30, 2016!
Q: Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenants lease will expired the end of May. I do not wish to renew the lease, planning on remodeling. What would you recommend. I anticipate that the tenant may be difficult.
A: I would notify them as soon as possible, that their lease will not be renewed. Also, review your lease carefully about what notice, if any, is required and how to give it. But even if no notice is required, I strongly recommend it.
The Landlord Protection Agency’s “Ask the Attorney” column is for informational purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney – client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.
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Any competent real estate investment advisor will tell you it’s easy to make your fortune with a real estate career – as long as you know what you are doing. The first advice your real estate investment advisor should give you is to not jump in with both feet right away.
Before making your first investment, you need to do some studying. First of all, do you want to invest in residential or commercial real estate? Which one you chose affects the real estate investment advisor you work with and what you need to be studying.
Your Real Estate Investment Advisor Shortens Your Learning Curve
Once you have a real estate investment advisor, he or she will help you decide what books and articles you need to learn from. If you go into commercial real estate, you will have a ton of options to choose among. Your advisor will give you the pros and cons on subjects like industrial properties, apartment buildings, retail space, office space, etc. It will greatly increase how fast you conquer the learning curve.
With your new knowledge from a general overview, you’re advisor will help you narrow down a more detailed reading list. Now is also the time to start talking to everyone in your chosen market segment that will give you a few minutes of his or her time. You want to advance your career with knowledge gained from other investors, attorneys, brokers, appraisers, mortgage brokers etc. Your real estate investment advisor will have contacts he or she puts you in touch with.
Next, you want to select a geographic market and learn everything you can about it. If you decide to get into retail space, pick the brain of your real estate investment advisor to learn everything you can about the current market conditions and for tips selecting a geographic subsection of your local market. Then talk to existing tenants in the market to learn what is going well and not so well for them.
Your Advisor Teaches You Creative Financing
Having cut your learning curve substantially with the help of your advisor, you will now be ready to make your first investment wisely. In all likeliness, you’ll have come across several potentially highly profitable investment opportunities during your studies.
This is where your real estate investment advisor brings invaluable knowledge to your first real estate investment. It’s all about the money. You’ll gain great help performing your first due diligence. When the numbers make sense, you’re advisor will show the ins and out of creative financing. You’ll learn about low cost and no cost techniques such as sandwich lease purchases and seller financing. There are also many sources of private funding available.
Your most important decision that will determine the success or failure of your rental is the person you put in the property. A bad tenant can potentially cause years of stress, headache and financial loss, while a great one can provide years of security, peace and prosperity.
So, don’t underestimate the importance of renting to only the best tenants. While it’s not possible to know with 100 percent certainty what type of tenant your applicant will be, here are six telltale signs and traits that will give you a pretty darn good indication that this person is great tenant material:
1. The ability to pay
The first and foremost quality of a good tenant is his or her level of financial responsibility and ability to afford the rent. Without proper payment, the landlord may be forced to evict the tenant and face potentially thousands of dollars’ worth of legal fees, lost rent and damages.
Most landlords require that a tenant’s (documented) income equal at least three times the monthly rent. Many tenants believe that they can afford more than they really can — so it is the landlord’s job to set the rules to protect his or her investment. If the tenant is already financially responsible, income that amounts to three times the monthly rent should be sufficient.
2. The willingness to pay on time
While some landlords look at late rent as a benefit because of the extra income from the late fee, a late-paying tenant is more likely to stop paying altogether. The stress generated when the rent doesn’t come in is not a pleasant experience and can be avoided by renting only to tenants with a solid history of paying on time.
3. A positive long-term outlook for job stability
While a tenant may be able to pay the rent and pay it on time right now, his or her ability to do so in the future is often determined by the job situation. If this person is the type to switch jobs often or has had long periods of unemployment, you may find long periods of missed rent.
4. Cleanliness and housekeeping skills
No tenant stays forever — and upon departure needs to leave the property in good condition. As such, it is important that the tenant’s day-to-day lifestyle be clean and orderly. This means taking good care of the property.
5. An aversion to crime, drugs, and other illegal activities
A person who has no regard for the law will also likely have no regard for your policies. Tenants who engage in illegal activities will cause you nothing but stress and expense. So, be sure to run a background check on your prospective tenant to ensure he or she doesn’t have a shady past.
That said, keep in mind that a prospective tenant’s past history of drug or alcohol abuse could be considered a medical problem — and thus something you can’t reject him or her over without being guilty of violating fair housing laws. If this person is selling drugs, that’s different from using. Be sure to study up on the fair housing laws in your area.
6. The ‘stress quotient’ — how much stress will this person cause you?
The final quality of a great tenant is something I call the “stress quotient” or, in other words, the amount of stress a tenant will cause you as landlord. Some tenants are very high maintenance and constantly demand time and attention. Others simply ignore the terms in their lease and need constant babysitting, reprimands and discipline (late fees, notices, phone calls, etc.). This type of tenant will only be a thorn in your side.
So, is a perfect tenant even possible?
Obviously, no tenant is going to be 100 percent perfect, so deciding how much near-perfection you require is a personal choice that largely depends on your desired involvement and the community in which your property is located. If tenants are difficult to find, it may be financially advantageous for you to rent to a less-than-perfect tenant in order to fill a vacancy.
Notice the use here of “less-than-perfect tenant,” and not “anyone.”
On the other hand, if you have plenty of applicants to choose from, you can be significantly more picky. Just remember, it’s much better to have your unit vacant a little longer while you wait for the right tenant than to rent to the wrong person.
So, how exactly do you weed out the bad tenants and find those quality tenants? The answer involves setting strict qualifying standards and screening your applicants to verify whether or not they meet those standards.
If you are feeling hesitant about allowing tenants with pets to rent your property, it might be time to take another look.
Property investors have long been hesitant to list their properties as pet-friendly on the rental market. Fears that animals will damage their property prevent landlords from all the potential benefits of offering a pet-friendly property. It is important for homeowners to consider all the benefits and potential pitfalls before a decision is made, to ensure they are not needlessly excluding a large amount of prospective tenants.
Benefits of managing a pet-friendly property
- Listing your investment property as pet-friendly immediately increases your prospective tenant pool
- Your property has an automatic advantage over competing properties, without having to reduce rental prices – particularly in inner-city properties where pet-friendly properties are few and far between
- Advertising your investment property as pet-friendly makes the rental more in-demand, which reduces time and money spent on advertising
- If the demand increases significantly, you may look at increasing the weekly rent for the property. Tenants with pets are willing to pay more to secure (and then stay in) a property that fits their needs
- In-demand properties also have very short vacancy periods, limiting pauses in cash flow from rent payments
- Once a pet-owner secures a property, they feel ‘at home’ having their pets with them, and are thus less likely to leave. This creates a steady rental income for the landlord
- Pet-owning tenants also prefer to avoid the apartment hunt, as they are very aware of the difficulties of finding a pet-friendly place. This will ensure they stay put in your property
Pitfalls of managing a pet-friendly property
- Potential damage from animals chewing or scratching the property
- Potential odor from animals
- In apartment buildings, neighbors may be unhappy with the idea of living in such close proximity to animals
- Increase in homeowner’s insurance fees
How to make your investment property pet-friendly Making slight modifications to your investment property can minimize the damage caused by tenants’ pets and the need for excessive maintenance.
Here are some easy things you can do to properties within your portfolio to make them more pet-friendly and reduce your long-term outgoings:
- Tiles or linoleum flooring is a lot more practical than carpet, as it is easier to keep clean and does not pick up odors, fur or waste stains. They are also both more practical than floorboards, as they are less likely to be scratch or stained. This is not only attractive to the landlord, but also the tenant, as day-to-day cleaning and maintenance is minimised
- Ensure outdoor space is securely fenced off to attract tenants with outdoor pets and reduce their stress levels
- Additional features such as doggie-doors have greater appeal to renters, and therefore warrant an increase in the asking rental price. This will also reduce potential damage to doors and windows as the pets won’t have to scratch to signal their intention to go outside
- Create a pet-keeping contract/agreement for tenants to sign with the lease, to agree on responsibility of any additional cleaning or repair costs within the lease period. This will make responsibilities clear and will likely reduce any confusion in the event of damage and/or at the end of the lease
Pets in apartment buildings Keeping animals in the confines of an apartment is a more complex process than allowing pets in a house, townhouse or villa – and it may require more planning. However, it is certainly achievable.
When it comes to strata buildings, there are general laws in place that vary from state to state. As a general rule, strata communities have the choice of one of a selection of options regarding the acceptance of pets in the building.
Some buildings may not allow pets at all. Some may allow tenants to submit a ‘pet application’, and make a decision based on the type of animal, the breed and temperament, and any supporting documentation or references. The reason for this process is to protect the health and well-being of tenants and pets. Very large animals are unlikely to be accepted into an apartment building, as there is not enough space for the pet to live comfortably, and allow other tenants to live undisturbed.
With an increase in demand for pet-friendly rental properties, developers and strata managers are becoming aware of the benefits of running a pet-friendly building.
Developers could decide to design and construct their apartment building as pet-friendly from the get-go – which would mean many of the modifications and additions listed above would come as standard. There is also the advantage of tenants living among other pet-lovers, reducing the risk of upsetting neighbors and inter-building disputes.
Property investors can have tenants sign a standard Pet Keeping Agreement, which requires them to agree to a certain level of cleanliness, minimal noise, and responsibility for damage to the property caused by a pet. A Pet Keeping Agreement also gives the body corporate peace of mind, as they know the tenant is in breach of contract should they disturb the living environment for other tenants.
It is important for landlords to be covered by the right homeowner’s insurance, as terms change when pets are permitted in your property. Investors should do their due diligence when making the decision to approve a certain type of pet, as some pets are considered bigger risks than others, which can hike up your insurance premium.
There are plenty of low-maintenance pets that won’t have much of an effect, including fish and rodents in enclosed cages, as these animals are contained, easily cared for, and won’t provoke noise complaints.