Basic Safety

Smoke Detector
Many things can be done to help prevent trouble for both you and your tenants. If you are the landlord of a rental property, you want to present yourself as the best and safest person that can be rented from. Although there is no way a single person can think of everything, there are some simple things that you can do to make your tenant feel more at ease.
One of the first things you can do is so simple, many renters forget it: install and check smoke detectors. While the building you are renting should already have smoke detectors put up, not all of them do. Make sure that you put smoke detectors the building according to your local fire department's suggestions. If the building already has smoke detectors in it, make sure to test them every month. Batteries should be replaced every six months, or as needed. If you have new tenants moving in, replace the batteries and test the detectors before they settle down in the building. This is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way of showing that you care for their well being. It may also be mandated by your town to have an inspection when someone new moves in.
Another simple thing that you can do is to supply a couple of fire extinguishers for your rental property. Although these are a little more expensive than other items on this list, they will still only run you an average of $40 to $50 which is a small price to pay for safety. Simply check to make sure the pressure gauge is in the green and there are no breaks or cracks in the hose to be sure that it is functional.
Another thing that you can do before a tenant moves in is purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector. Although carbon monoxide is less common, it still accounts for an average of 430 unintentional deaths annually in this country alone. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it is likely to go unnoticed unless there is a detector in the building. They cost around $20 to $25 on average and may also be mandated by your town.
Keeping your tenant safe through basic maintenance is one of the easiest things for you to do. There is really no reason not to do so.

Renters Complaints and How to Handle Them

Talley Properties
We all have complaints every now and again. Sometimes the things that we complain about are simply small trifles, things that manage to get under our skin in one way or another. Other times, the focus of our complaint is something that is truly difficult. It may be something that stops us from achieving what we want or living in an easy way. While all of us do complain periodically, others have a habit of complaining incessantly. This can become quite a problem if the person complaining so much happens to be your tenant.
Most renters will only place a complaint when something is truly wrong. For example, a little while ago I had to list my first complaint to my landlord because of a small hole in a pipe behind our sink. The water had been leaking out of the pipe and had begun to cause water damage in the apartment underneath. This was the first thing I have mentioned to my landlord since we moved in last year, as all other issues I have simply dealt with myself. Naturally, however, this was something that needed a professional touch and therefore needed to have the landlord's approval. Other tenants may not react to issues that occur in the same way.
Some tenants do have quite a habit for complaining about every small thing. This may be for any number of reasons. Depending on your tenant's age or physical mobility, they may not be able to handle the small day to day issues on their own. If they have no one else in their lives or in the area, then helping them with these things may very well fall to you. Hopefully you will be made aware of this before they move in, however things can certainly happen after someone moves in which necessitates extra help. While we always hope that people will remain healthy and happy, this is not always the case.
Handling complaints from your renters can be a rather exhausting activity depending upon your specific situation. The one thing that is most important to remember is that you are normally the easiest person for your tenant to contact when something goes wrong in the apartment. You are the person who needs to know what is going on, after all.

Tenant Fitness

Talley Properties
Before you read any further, no, this article is not about making sure that your residents are "fit". This article will be about possibly giving your tenants the tools with which to be fit. While this obviously isn't always possible for you to do, it is always useful to have new ideas regarding how to utilize possibly unused space.
If you are renting out a single house, this probably won't be viable for you to do. If, however, you own an apartment building or complex, you may find that it is worth your while, and your cash, to use a room to promote fitness among your residents. If you have a room that is not used, even a basement room, it can be redone and loaded with fitness equipment. With the large jump in fitness awareness, it is certainly something that would be a large selling point for many people. Being able to head to a room that is close to their home for any amount of time, at any time of the day depending on where it is located, can help to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone who lives in your complex.
If you have a room that either was not utilized or had, perhaps, vending machines, this would be a perfect area to transform. You may want to look into the possibility of partially soundproofing the room, especially if it is connected to residential areas. Otherwise, you will have to have certain hours that the room is closed down which can prove troublesome for those with abnormal work schedules.
If you do not have the room to spare in your apartment complex, but still want to help promote health and wellness among your residents, you may be able to look around at local gyms. Sometimes, you will be able to find a gym that is close to your building that will be willing to work with you to offer a reduced rate to your residents. Some also offer group rates, so you can always try and drum up a crowd of your residents to all go together.
Now that it is the New Year, many people have their health as a resolution. You can certainly use this to your advantage when trying to upgrade your apartment complex. There is nothing wrong with helping your residents to achieve their goals!

Tenant Relatonship

Talley Properties
Having a strong and sturdy relationship with your tenant is one of the most fundamentally important things you can do as a landlord. Although you may not end up best buddies with whoever you are renting to, you certainly want to be at least amicable with them. Although we don't always get along with everyone we meet, there are certain ways to be a landlord with a good relationship regardless of what you may think of your tenant on a personal level.
One of the biggest things that you can do to cultivate a good relationship is uphold your end of the lease. If it is written that you are to take care of the repairs in a timely manner, then do so. If you are supposed to come around in person every month to collect the rent, stick to that. Always do what is expected of you as per your original agreement and that is a wonderful place to start.
Another thing that is extremely important in having a good relationship with your tenant is to go the extra mile. Now this doesn't mean you need to come around to their apartment and cook them dinner every Friday or shower them with gifts. A message every now and then simply checking in, however, can do a great deal to help your relationship. Ask if everything is okay at the rental property. Check if there may be anything you can do or help with in regard to the housing. If they respond that there is, then go and help them. One thing that I know some of the landlord's I have had did that hurt our professional relationship was offering help and then telling me that I should do it myself.
Speaking of the professional relationship, this is one of the biggest things. You should always keep the relationship between yourself and your tenant professional. You could be renting to your best friend, but business is business and many people seem to forget this. It is much easier to let one's friends get away with things than people you don't have a personal connection to. When it comes to property management, there really should be a separation. The relationship between you and your client is extremely important, so you want to do everything you can to strengthen it.

Having a Safe Complex

Talley Properties
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!

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