Property Management Blog
Coral Springs Property Management information and education.
If you are a landlord managing your own property and the tenant hasn’t paid rent, why would you want to contact a property manager? There are three reasons why you should get help, especially in the case where a tenant hasn’t paid rent. The three reasons are: experience, judgment and results.
The problem you have is that when a tenant doesn’t pay rent and you’re trying to manage it yourself, if you don’t have the experience, you’re liable to make a mistake. We don’t even recommend that you try to evict the tenant yourself because you’d rather get the rent if possible. When you’re trying to explain options to the tenants and you don’t have any experience in this, you might not have the experience to persuade them to pay the rent. When you bring a property manager into the picture, hopefully that professional can salvage the situation. If the situation goes to an eviction, you’ve got the judgment there to help and a professional who can get results.
Your Tenant has Not Paid the Rent? Why You Should Contact a South Florida Property ManagerYou wouldn’t want to handle something like an eviction on your own. Even with all of our experience, we would not evict someone ourselves. We would have our law firm do that, which is not as expensive as you would think. That’s only necessary if it goes to an eviction. Not all late pays automatically go to eviction. Our experience is that we wind up with very few evictions because our objective ultimately is to get the rent. That’s what you want to do at the end of the day – get your rent, avoid problems and hire a professional property manager.
If you need help with tenants who aren’t paying rent, or you have any other questions on this matter, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group, and we’d be happy to help you.
Today we’d like to talk a bit about whether you should let tenants perform maintenance on your property. The answer to this question: absolutely not.
The liability of having a tenant do any kind of maintenance on your property is huge. We can give you a lot of examples but at the end of the day, you don’t want a tenant to do any kind of maintenance on your property. You don’t know if the tenant has the proper skill level, and you don’t know if the tenant can fix it properly. There is no benefit to letting tenants do maintenance for you. If you’re going to reduce the rent for a tenant because he made a repair, you might as well hire a professional. That’s our advice anyway and it applies all the time. Hire a professional, get the problem fixed right and you won’t have the liability of a tenant fixing something on your property.
What’s the worst that can happen? The tenant could electrocute a child or burn the house down. So many things can happen when a tenant does maintenance on a property, and none of them are good. And you don’t find that out until the damage is done and you wish you hadn’t done it.
If you have any questions about this topic, or you’d like to talk further, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group in Coral Springs.
Property owner will sometimes come to Florida Management and Consulting Group with a problem: they’ve given their tenants deposit slips so they can make rent payments directly into their bank account, and suddenly the tenants are not making the deposits the way they’re supposed to. So today, we’re talking about whether it’s a good idea.
This has rarely ever worked out. You should absolutely not give tenants deposit slips. The tenant’s job is to pay the rent. Your job is to do the banking. Whether the tenant pays you rent directly or they pay your property management company, you should never let a tenant have your bank account deposit slips. You’ll lose control of the process, you won’t be sure the rent payment was made, and by the time you figure it out, the tenants will be several months in arrears and you’ll be sorry.
There’s something else that might happen. Let’s say you serve your tenant a 3 Day Notice because he owes you $2,000 in unpaid rent. If that tenant puts $10 into your account because he has your deposit slip, that will stop the process of Should I Give my Tenant Deposit Slips to Use for Rent Payments? South Florida Property Managementthat 3 Day Notice and you will need to serve them a new 3 day notice and start all over again.
Giving a tenant deposit slips is not a good idea. You might have to close your bank account and it could be a complete nightmare for you. If you have any questions, or you’d like to talk more about this topic, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group in Coral Springs.
Today, we’d like to discuss a question that comes up for us frequently. That is – should I use a handyman or a licensed, insured contractor?
We come down on the side of using the contractor all the time. You might wonder why, and the main reason for that answer is because liability for doing something wrong is huge. You can’t really imagine all the things that could happen. If you’re using a contractor with skill, knowledge and experience, that professional is unlikely to make a mistake. A handyman may or may not have the right skills and he may try to do something he’s not qualified to do. That’s a huge liability.
Contractors have accountability to you. The contractors we like and use are always willing to go back and look at something and re-diagnose it or fix it when necessary. They are accountable for their work. They have specialized knowledge and can deal with particular problems. If they have to, they will bring in a subcontractor the way a doctor would refer a patient to a specialist to get something fixed. At the end of the day, you want something repaired economically and completely, and you only want to fix it once. For those reasons, a contractor is your best bet.
Should I Use a Handyman or Licensed Contractor for my Rental Home? South Florida Landlord AdviceLiability is also a concern. Think about what happens if you own a second story condominium and you need a plumbing repair in a multi-unit building. If you get a guy who fixes a toilet wrong, you could end up dumping tons of gallons of water on the people below you. It’s your responsibility as a rental property owner to fix it right. You don’t want to create a new problem where you did not already have one.
If you have any questions, or you’d like to talk about this question further, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group in Coral Springs.
Today we’d like to talk a little bit about hurricane preparation. Tenants might be wondering what to do and how to prepare your property for a hurricane. There are three things you can do whether you are a tenant or owner:
- Make a plan.
- Stick to your plan.
- Remember that you have a plan.
You’re going to have newspapers and television news and everyone else giving you checklists and good ideas about what you should do. Sort through that information for what you can use, because historically it has included important things. Newspapers and TV can tell you what to do, but they cannot make you have a plan and stick to it. That plan becomes critical. The closer the hurricane gets to landfall, the more you need to have a plan.
Hurricane Preparations for Your Rental Home – South Florida Property Management AdviceIn South Florida, hurricane season is around June 1 to November 30. That’s about a six month timeframe. There’s no rule that says it will only occur then, it just means that conditions are right. In Florida you really can’t breathe easy until December. However, you have plenty of time to prepare and people will advise you on what to do.
People ought to think about planning and preparation early in the summer. Plan for an emergency, and buy canned food and supplies that will last. Buy the milk that stays on the shelf for six months and be sure to have a lot of water on hand. Then, you need to have a plan and work that plan.
If you have any questions about hurricane preparation, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group in Coral Springs, and we’d be happy to tell you more.
Here we are in 2015, and the rental market in South Florida is very, very strong. The demand for housing, whether condos or duplexes; triplexes or big houses, is strong. With demand high and supply down, across the board the market is strong.
2015 Rental Property Market Update and Forecast for South FloridaIf you’re pricing your property at the market rates, you’re going to have a qualified tenant wanting to rent from you. Just remember a few things – keep the property in good repair, keep it clean, and price it right. We cannot emphasize that enough. Just because the market is strong, it doesn’t mean you can price it wherever you want. If you’ve got a four bedroom, two bath home with a pool, you’re going to get what the other homes in the neighborhood are getting for a four bedroom, two bath with a pool. You’re not going to get more and you shouldn’t accept less.
We are talking today about rental home insurance and the first thing we would tell you is that it’s important to hire an insurance expert when you’re buying coverage for your property. You’ll also want to focus on liability coverage, replacement value and exclusions.
When you’re renting your home out to a tenant, avoid taking on someone else’s liability. You don’t want to let the tenant bring any liability to you. For example, don’t rent to anyone with a vicious dog breed. Don’t let anybody do work on your house who doesn’t have insurance. You never want to use an uninsured vendor because that guy pressure cleaning your roof could fall off the roof and injure himself. If he’s not insured and you hired him to work on your property, you’ll be paying his salary for a while.
Rental Home InsuranceReplacement Value
You always want to make sure your insurance covers the replacement value of your home. There is a big difference between the replacement value and coverage in a lesser amount. It isn’t worth gambling, so make sure you buy insurance that includes replacement value coverage.
Every insurance policy is going to have exclusions. For example, a regular policy won’t cover floods and it won’t cover someone getting hurt on a trampoline that you have in the backyard. It excludes home based businesses as well, so if you watch someone else’s children in your house and someone gets hurt, your insurance policy will not cover that and you’ll be carrying that burden on your own.
What you need to remember is that you shouldn’t take on someone else’s liability and you don’t want to gamble by not having replacement value coverage. Always hire an expert. Talk to your insurance agent and take his advice. That’s why you work with him.
If you have any questions about insurance, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group. We’d be happy to tell you more.
If you’re wondering how to find the best tenant for your rental home, keep in mind that there is no such thing as the “best” tenant. What you really want is a qualified tenant. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to find a needle in a haystack. Find someone who is qualified. Once you are able to verify an applicant has enough income and the proper background, you’ll know they are qualified by your standards and you’ve got what you’re looking for.
Here are some tips that will help you find a qualified tenant:
- Advertise early. Good tenants look for property early.
- Price the property at the market rates. Don’t try to be a hero and get 25 percent more than the property is worth.
- Prepare the home before you show it. Fix it up and clean it up.
- Know your tenants. You can screen through any number of methods and evidence leaves clues. You’re going to find out that whatever kind of tenant this person was before is exactly the type of tenant he is going to be again, when he rents your property.
- Find the Best Tenant
A qualified tenant will look for a qualified property. Use a good lease that is legally sufficient and reflects all the updates in the State of Florida. Finally, treat your tenants with respect. A good tenant won’t let you disrespect them. Hold their feet to the fire so they do what they need to do, but hold your own feet to the fire as well. You’ll have a good relationship.
If you need any help in finding – not the best tenant, but a qualified tenant – please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting Group, and we’d be more than happy to help you.
If you look up the definition of normal wear and tear on Google, you’ll find that it is “the unavoidable deterioration on a dwelling and its fixtures resulting from normal use”. An example is carpet that wears down due to regular traffic. That’s normal wear and tear but a cigarette burn on a carpet is not normal wear and tear. It’s damage because it’s avoidable. We have seen clothing iron burns on carpet as well, and when an iron burns a hole in the carpet, it’s definitely considered damage. You want to protect yourself in this process because your tenant is entitled to normal wear and tear but not damage.
Wear and tearPrepare your property before the tenant moves in. Have it cleaned and ready to go. Document the condition of the property on film so you can demonstrate how it looks in a courtroom if you need to. If you have to prove abuse at the time of move out, you’ll have a record. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do this because you don’t want to lose an argument over damage.
Preventative maintenance is important with your rental property. You only want to hire professionals to do work at your property. Never let a tenant do any work on your property because you don’t know if they are qualified to perform the repair. They could easily ruin an appliance or a piece of equipment. Keep track of all your appliance repair history and know what your warranties are in case you need them. At Florida Management and Consulting, we have a specific software system that keeps all of this information organized for our owners.
We can’t emphasize this enough: know the law on security deposits. You’ll find it under Florida Statute 83.49, and it will tell you exactly what’s right and what’s not right when it comes to security deposits and your tenants.
If you have any questions about normal wear and tear, please contact us at Florida Management and Consulting, and we’d be happy to answer them for you.
- Make George Washington go to work for you!
- Your Tenant has Not Paid the Rent? Why You Should Contact a South Florida Property Manager
- Should I Let Tenants Perform Routine Maintenance on my South Florida Rental Property?
- Should I Give my Tenant Deposit Slips to Use for Rent Payments?
- Should I Use a Handyman or Licensed Contractor for my Rental Home? South Florida Landlord Advice
- Hurricane Preparations for Your Rental Home – South Florida Property Management Advice
- 2015 Rental Property Market Update and Forecast for South Florida
- 3 Tips for Your Rental Home Insurance: Coral Springs Expert Advice
- How to Find the Best Tenant for Your Coral Springs Rental Home
- Normal Wear and Tear vs. Abuse: Coral Springs Property Management Advice