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!
We are all getting older. Every day, each and every one of us hits a new personal best for how many days we have survived. While this is a good thing, it also means that we are all older today than we were yesterday and will be older tomorrow than we are now. Each year, we have more people hitting 65 than the year before, mostly due to the baby boomer generation. While this is perfectly fine, it does mean that some people need some accommodations to their living quarters. This may be for your resident, for their family, or for people they commonly have over. Either way, it is always good to have accessible buildings. One of the first things you can do to aid accessibility is widen doorways. Doorways, especially in older buildings, are often not wheelchair or walker friendly. This can present a major problem for basic mobility around the house. Another common problem is a lip at the threshold. Trying to get a wheelchair up and over them may not be difficult when someone is pushing your chair, but if a person must do it themselves it can prove to be a difficult and often dangerous task. Another thing you can do is modify or get rid of any stairs you have. If you are renting out a two floor home, look into the installation of a chair lift. If there is a specific resident that is asking for this, you may even be able to split the cost with them depending on the situation. If your floor plan has two or three stairs to get from one room to another, contact a contractor and see if there is anything that can be done to make them more handicap accessible. It is a lot of work, but it should help you in the long run and will allow you to advertise as accessible. With the number of senior citizens growing, it’s no surprise that more and more are looking for places to settle. Most people don’t want to go to a nursing home and many families don’t want to send their loved ones there until necessary. While many older residents are fine living on their own, they still may need some accommodations due to any number of reasons. It can only help you to create a fully accessible residence.
There is a common debate when it comes to apartment complexes and large buildings regarding garbage pickup. Although most places understand that they need to have a place that their residents can dump their trash so that it doesn’t end up everywhere and stink the place up, many people wonder if they should provide recycling barrels as well. While this is something that only you can decide for your specific location, we would like to provide you with some thoughts when it comes to keeping some things out of landfills that could be better used in other places. One of the main reasons that most rental property owners do not want to offer a recycling option is the price. While it is a bit more expensive than just having the garbage, many places that offer both will give you a bundle sort of deal so that you can get them at a reduced rate. This is also true if you are able to have fewer recycling pickups, which most places are. For example, my apartment complex picks up the garbage twice a week as opposed to the recycling which is only picked up twice a month. While there are times that the recycling overflows, there are also times that the garbage does too and it simply depends on the time of the year. Some towns may also offer discounts or refunds for a certain amount of money depending upon how much you are able to recycle or if you recycle at all. You may want to call around to different town offices or businesses to see if they know of any of these programs. If you put up fliers which ask your residents to toss their empty pizza boxes in the recycling can instead of the garbage, you may end up saving a considerable amount of money if your town does have a refund program like this. Recycling is something that really should be considered more by many apartment complexes and it is very rare that you see these receptacles abused. If you aren’t sure how to help the environment or your area, this is an exceptionally good place to start. Ask around and see if there is any interest in getting a recycling bin for your residents and go from there. It certainly couldn’t hurt!
I looked out my window this morning to see what it was like outside and was greeted with a giant orange moving truck. A neighbor of mine is moving to a different state and decided to do it while their child was still home from college. It makes sense in their case because they were able to get a bunch of their son’s buddies to help move everything. This naturally cut costs on an actual moving crew (although I’m sure once they got the bill for enough pizza to feed eight college boys they might feel differently) and ensured that all of the things would be properly cared for. This isn’t an option for everyone, though. What are some simple ways to make moving during the winter nice and easy? One of the most important things is to keep an eye on the weather. While this isn’t as much of an issue in certain places of the country, it is still something to watch. For example, North Carolina is supposed to get snow this weekend. This is something that might prevent people from being comfortable driving a car, let alone a much heavier moving truck or large van. Always check for things like possibly icy conditions or even heavy rain and do your best to plan accordingly. You don’t want to get stranded with all of your belongings or damage a rented vehicle due to some inclement weather. Another thing to think about is the actual temperature while you are moving. Bringing things into a new place will generally make you work up a sweat which can be misleading when you are in cold weather. Not only is it not particularly healthy to be sweaty in very cold temperatures, it can lull you into a false sense of warmth and make you ignore certain signs that you need to get inside for a little while and warm up. Make sure that you have water or sports drinks to keep yourself hydrated, but maybe something warm to drink as well to keep your temperature regulated. While fewer people move in the winter, you never know when you’ll find yourself having to do just that. Ask around and see if any of your friends have done it before and ask if they have any tips to make it easier. You never know what gems you might find!
Probably the most common complaint that rental property owners hear is that of the dreaded noise complaint. For the most part, these complaints will only happen once or twice but every now and then you get that resident that either refuses to quiet down whatever is causing the complaint or a resident who thinks that any sign that other people live nearby is unnecessary and requires a complaint. These can really break down people and their willingness to live somewhere. After all, if someone is trying to sleep and another person is blasting music to the point that you can’t hear yourself think, it can certainly push you to your wits end. As a landlord, it can be extremely difficult to manage when two of your residents are at odds with each other. While many people will confront each other in their own way, others prefer to pass the issue off to someone else who is seen as an authority figure for the situation. Generally this is you and only you. In some certain severe situations the police may end up involved, but for the sake of this article, we will only focus on what you can do to help resolve these noise complaints. If there are two people that are consistently complaining about each other, you may want to try and figure out if there is anything deeper than just a noise issue. Often a complaint about something that a landlord may be able to solve is brought up in the stead of something else. It may be that the two people simply don’t get along and want to get each other in trouble, but there may be a more severe issue which underlays this. While it isn’t your job to solve their issues, it may make it easier in the long run. If there are multiple people complaining about the same person, however, you will likely have a better case against this person to approach them with. While no one wants to deal with noise complaints, they are almost inevitable when a large group of people are living in the same building or complex. Although it is tough, sometimes you need to remember that you can’t make anyone do something they don’t want to do, and that includes quieting down. However, it is also important to remember that the wellbeing of your residents in general is more important than the convenience of one.