If you are an owner and landlord to an apartment complex, you have a lot to worry about. You worry about people paying rent on time, you worry about people sticking to a pet or visitor policy or maybe a noise ordinance that you have in place for the complex. Parking is almost always a concern as well. You also likely worry about the safety of the complex itself. You need to make sure the building is up to code, that the wiring is fine, that the sidewalks are even, and any stair railings are securely fastened. If your complex has a pool, you need to worry about those who may be swimming, about hiring a lifeguard if your township requires it, about keeping the water clean, and about dealing with any "accidents" kids may have quickly. It can get exhausting and if you focus on worrying about all of this, it can drive you slowly insane. Unfortunately, the list never seems to get smaller, no matter what we do. Make a list of things you need to keep an eye on. Start with the obvious things, like the sidewalks, railings, parking lots, etc. As you think of things, add them in. Keeping a growing list is one of the best ideas when it comes to organization. How are the lights around the complex? Do you have a laundry room, and if so is it clean, bright, and safe? Do you have a plan for winter with the snow and ice? Continue like this until you cannot think of any more. Ask around the complex itself. See what your tenants are concerned about. They may come up with things you hadn't thought of, like dead trees or the need for an extra dumpster or recycling service in the back. Perhaps they saw a growth of poison ivy by the back fence that you had no idea about. It's always a good idea to check with those who live at the complex, since they spend most of their time looking at the area. Keeping a list of things to check is the easiest way to ensure your complex's safety. See about a couple of things each week and if they're good, mark them off on your list until the next time. This can help keep your anxiety down and your productivity up. It's a win for everyone this way!
All too often, things go wrong. It always seems to go wrong at the worst possible time and often feels like everything goes wrong at once. While some people believe that it is coincidence, others believe that it may be a karmic response. Some people just believe the phrase, "When it rains, it pours". Whether you believe it to be some larger power or simply how things work, the fact of the matter is nothing ever works forever. Things will always go wrong. It is a fact of life. Sometimes we thankfully have warning, but most often it comes out of the blue. Unfortunately this can be the source of endless headaches and can leave you confused, frustrated, broke, and sometimes feeling completely drained. This is where we are able to step in. Here at Talley, we offer many different services. We don't just give great advice on how to better yourself as a property owner, we help you achieve that goal. We work with people who can help with almost any problem you may have develop. While we more than understand if you would prefer to go with someone who you are well acquainted with, that isn't always an option. We understand this. One of the best things about our property services is the fact that we provide 24-hour emergency care. We understand that emergencies can occur at any time, on any date, and normally aren't respectful of commonly observed business hours. We will always send someone to repair the problem as soon as possible and we will take the panic away from both the tenant and yourself. Another thing that out people help to provide is regular maintenance for your rental property. This includes plumbing and electrical work. We understand that many people say they can do this work, however we always make sure that you are legally covered by using only those who are licensed and insured. If you have an emergency, you don't want another surprise on top of the first. We also can help contact people who will get your rental property into move-in condition. This can include painters, cleaners, and anyone else who can get your apartment looking its best. After all, the better looking the space is, the quicker someone will snatch it up.
We have recently been talking quite a bit about amenities and what can help to make your rental property more desirable to different tenants. While of course each area is different, many of the wants, or sometimes requirements, of those who you are renting to can be extremely similar. It is almost impossible to give a list of perks that every landlord should know, but we are doing our best to help to cater to all kinds of different locations. This article is a perfect example of how certain amenities aren't even thoughts for some people or areas. Outdoor space is something that is almost always wanted. While in some areas it cannot be expected for most price points, it is certainly something that people do generally want. In largely urban or developed areas, outdoor space is often only a distant dream to most people. If, however, you are renting in a rural area, this will not be a concern for your renters. It will be expected. This is what I meant when I stated that some people will not find use in this list. Some renters will feel a large need for usable outdoor space. This may be due to children, animals, or even something like claustrophobia. If you have yard space that the tenant may use, you may want to think about possibly installing a fence. Again, though, learn your town's bylaws and always remember to check to see if you need a permit for a fence, especially of a certain height. Even if outdoor space doesn't mean a full yard to some people, it can still be nice to have access to a small patio or balcony if the apartment is on an upper level. Being able to have a chair or two, maybe even a small table, outside to drink coffee, read a book, or maybe even grill can be a wonderful feeling for a renter. It also provides a good space for anything that needs open ventilation, such as painting or cleaning with potent chemicals. Having an outdoor space, if possible, is always a good idea if you are trying to rent an area out. Even if you simply build a platform for your resident outside that they are allowed to use, it can be a great selling point. If this is something that is wanted in your area, look into the different possibilities.
Living in an apartment complex can be difficult. Many people I know have lived in the same location for years, sometimes even decades, and have never gotten to meet or speak with their neighbors. This can be for any number of reasons, but it never makes it any less sad. Many of us have such busy lives that we simply don't connect to others the way we used to. This isn't meant to be a philosophical post or a commentary on our world today, it is simply a statement of the facts. If this saddens you the way it does me, after all I like getting to know people, then there are things you can do to maybe help others who want to get to know those they live near. Hosting community events is something you may be able to find useful in helping your residents to get to know each other. Having tenants that know each other is extremely beneficial to the safety and security of everyone around as well as that of your property. While not everyone is interested in getting to know those around them, many of us are. We may just not know the best way to go about this and so you have the unique opportunity, as building owner and/or manager, to help this happen. A community event can be something as simple as posting on the community bulletin board that there will be a gathering with music on a certain day at a certain time. If you want, the holidays are a wonderful time to have something like this. For example, if you can set up a projector in a common area, there is nothing stopping you from showing holiday movies or having a gathering to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for those who may not have somewhere else to go. During the summer, many people opt for having an ice cream social gathering. After all, who doesn't like free ice cream? Even people who cannot have ice cream often come down and either munch on the toppings or simply talk and get to know others. It's certainly nice to be able to beat the heat and find out who you share a building with. Don't be afraid of getting creative with your events. If you want, you can always start small but if they prove to be a success, have some fun with it. I'm sure no one will mind.
One of your main goals as a landlord and a rental property owner should be to keep your tenants happy. While for some people this can be done with only a few simple things, other people require a bit more work to be put in. How happy they expect to be kept can also depend upon how much they are paying in rent and while there is never a way to keep everyone happy and content, there are certainly some things that are always better to do than to leave alone. This is especially true if you own an apartment complex or building. Keeping your common areas clean is something that most residents will expect from you if they pay rent. If you go into a hotel, you expect their lobby to be reasonably clean along with any hallways and rooms such as laundry areas or vending spaces. While your apartment building is slightly different due to your residence, the standards to which many residents hold do not differ all that much. Making sure that the floors and walls and even ceilings are kept appropriately clean is something that you should put at the top of your list. Having a small cleaning crew may seem costly, but there are certainly ways around this. You may ask around to see if any of your residents are looking for a part time job, especially if there are teenagers or older tenants. You can always offer to either pay them slightly less than others may take or you can offer to take some money off of their rent in exchange for the work. Having a type of security can always help to make your tenants happier as well. This can be with anything from motion sensor lights to having an actual security system installed. Having a buzzer or telephone entry system normally won't break the bank, or you can always hire someone to work security for the building. Ask your tenants what would make them feel safer and see what their response is. If you want to keep good tenants, you need to keep them happy. The easiest way to do that is to ask them what they would like to see the most. See what they say and if possible, make it happen. It doesn't need to be difficult, which is the beauty of helping your tenants out.
There are few things more satisfying as a landlord than getting a new resident. Finally getting someone to move into your wonderful apartment is such a great feeling that it can be easy to get caught up with being excited for and about them. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can be better for you to be prepared ahead of time for all of the little things that may get overlooked in the excitement of the signing of a lease and the move. Creating a little welcome package is something that will certainly stick in the mind of any new tenant of yours. It marks you as a thoughtful landlord and as someone who really cares about them as a person. Depending on what you include in your welcome package, you may end up saving that person quite a bit of trouble as well. Moving is stressful, as I'm sure you know. It isn't difficult for certain things to slip your mind, even if those things are super important. If you have a care package waiting for them with certain essentials, it can make the difference between a typical move and a (mostly) calm one. Don't worry when I say welcome package, I certainly don't mean you need to put everything in a little basket. Although that may be sweet, simply resting things on a counter or even on the floor can be perfectly fine. Think about things that you would be likely to forget when moving. Things like toilet paper are essential but are an often forgotten item when someone is changing their home. Leaving a new roll somewhere in the apartment, or even on the holder, can be something that is greatly appreciated. This is especially true if your resident has a long trip and doesn't think about their actions due to a bursting bladder. Having some cleaning supplies in the apartment can always be helpful. Even if you have cleaned and scrubbed every inch of the place, some people simply prefer to do it themselves. Even if this isn't the case, moving can get messy so have some solutions for your new resident. Food and drink is normally quite a mess the first night or two. Leave a gallon of water in the refrigerator and a couple of takeout or delivery menus in the kitchen. Maybe you can even score your new resident some coupons. Anything you can do to help someone move is always appreciated. A care package is the perfect way of showing that you care about your new tenant.
Disasters can strike at any time. This is why they are also known as emergencies. While it would be wonderful if we could schedule emergencies, this is certainly not the case. They never take a day off and always seem to strike at the worst possible times. This is why you always need to have a plan for when they do inevitably strike. For a perfect example, I need to look no farther than myself. Christmas night I had returned home from visiting with family and was just starting to settle in to sleep when there was a knock on my door. I opened it to see my downstairs neighbor. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me downstairs and into the bathroom which sits right below mine. Up in the corner was a large spot of water damage with a slight sheen along the wall. This was a surprise because there was absolutely no water anywhere in my bathroom that was visible. After some discussion, it turns out that this had been occurring for a couple of days. Well, after a call to the landlord was put in our building was filled with people trying to determine the source of this leak. Like I said, even on Christmas emergencies don't hold off. Although it is impossible to prevent every kind of emergency, there is no reason to not have a contingency plan for when these types of things occur. Granted it can be difficult to immediately put these plans into motion depending on when the disaster strikes, such as Christmas night. Getting the situation dealt with as quickly as possible, however, should always be one of your top priorities. After you are certain that everyone is safe, trying to mitigate the disaster is normally an extremely difficult task. Some disasters are simply too bizarre to try and plan for. It is not humanly possible to map out each and every single thing that could possibly go wrong so if something does occur that you don't have a plan for, don't panic. The only thing you can do is roll with what you're given. Ask around to see what other landlords and property owners have dealt with and see if you can add to your list of plans. We can only hope to be ready for when these disasters do strike.
It is a rare occurrence for someone to try and find new lodgings around this time of year. Although not unheard of, it is always strange for someone to try and find a new rental property around the holidays. This article is not meant to say that everyone who seems to be looking for a new place during these months is trying to scam you by any means. It simply states that a tenant will normally need a good reason to find new housing around now. Times like these are when references are important and should certainly be contacted. Scamming can occur at any time of the year. The problem with scammers is that they are often people who seem reliable and trustworthy. It can be difficult to distinguish between someone who simply needs a place to live and someone who is trying to pull a fast one, so to speak. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to try and prevent yourself from being a victim of rental scams. Technology is a wonderful thing. Granted, it is a double edged sword in many situations but it can be an incredible tool to help you keep yourself safe. It is always a good idea to research anyone you are working with in regards to housing. Any time money is changing hands, you want to know as much as possible about the person on the other side of the check. Naturally you can't find out everything about someone just by looking at their twitter page, but there are other ways for you to look up any issues you may have to worry about. Paying for a background check may seem excessive, however if you are concerned about someone it can be well worth the money you put out to see the return. Checking with past and present employers or landlords is always a good idea as well. This will give you an insight into their work ethic and how reliable they are. With the vast amount of ways that tenants can scam you, it is always something that should be in the back of your mind when renting to someone new. Not everyone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be cautious all the same. We hope you never need to worry about having someone scam you. It truly is a horrible occurrence to fight back from. From us here at Talley, we wish you the best of luck.