Charlotte Property Rental
Laundry is something we all need to do. However, in many places it is considered an amenity. Often, you will find apartment complexes which do not have laundry services on premises. This often means that there is a laundromat near the location, however sometimes this is not the truth of the matter. This becomes rather difficult to deal with as a tenant when they live somewhere that is not within walking distance to a laundromat or if they work odd hours. Sometimes you do not have the ability to have laundry hookups in the actual apartment, so what are your options?
Let’s face it, running a washer and dryer is expensive. The washer uses a lot of water and the dryer often uses more electricity than most other appliances in a home. You often need special hookups for both as well, and in order to have a washer that will clean more than one outfit at a time this is especially true. It makes sense why most apartment complexes do not allow these machines in the individual units. However, having laundry on site is becoming more and more of a necessity for apartment complexes if they want to earn a decent amount of money for their units.
If you are a complex that charges association or maintenance fees, you may consider raising these to cover the addition of washers and dryers and possibly even an extra building for them if it is needed. Explain to the owners that they can now receive more in rent due to the addition of the amenity and it will likely go over well. Another option which many complexes utilize is the fact of coin operated laundry. This works much like going to a laundromat, however normally it means that the residents have the keys to the door so they are the only ones that can use it. It is also generally a little cheaper and much more convenient to do it this way because they do not need to travel far to get their clothes washed and dried.
Having an option for your residents to do their laundry onsite will certainly be appreciated by everyone. No one wants to not only wait until the last minute to do their laundry, but no one wants to smell the dirty clothes that others haven’t washed yet. Ask around and see if an onsite laundry would be a good addition to those who live in your complex.

Trick or Treat

Charlotte Property Rental
October is mostly enjoyed by kids for one reason and that is the candy at the end of the month. Halloween is definitely a great time for children, but is often a stressful one for their parents. Unfortunately, people don’t always have the best interest of others in mind and some even like to cause fear and confusion. Although we aren’t saying that this is the case in your complex, it is likely that some parents are not comfortable sending their kids around to get candy from people they may not know. Here are a couple of ways for you to make trick or treating in your complex a little safer.
1. Approved Candy Stations. One great way for parents to be sure that candy is safe for their little ones is by having stations set up that you have already approved. You can have people sign up to sit at tables or something similar so that you know everyone who is giving out candy. They can even be made to show you the bags of candy first so that it has your safety approval before any kid gets to them. This also helps to prevent people who don’t want to partake in trick or treating having their doorbell rung or door knocked on. It’s quite a win/win scenario.
2. Earlier Hours. Although most townships will have set hours that they want people to trick or treat in, you may want to augment them for your specific complex or apartment building. By posting fliers or sending out an email stating what times people can trick or treat during, you may be able to make them a bit safer. You can do this by having the hours during the daylight and making sure everyone is back inside by the time night falls. Although this may not be something everyone likes, it can help to prevent any mischief that may be planned for the evening.
Trick or treating is something that most kids really look forward to throughout the whole month of October. While it may be a bit more work for you to set these things up, it may also encourage some parents who worry a bit more than others to allow their children to go out with their friends and get some candy. Ask around and see what you think would work best for your complex.

Model Apartments

Charlotte Property Rental
One of the best things about having property like an apartment building is the option to have a model apartment. If you have a large amount of apartments that you can rent out, it may be more than worth it for you to set one apartment aside so that you always have a way to show a possible tenant what the place looks like without displacing someone else. This also prevents any issue with communication between the current tenant, yourself, and the person who wants to see the apartment. It is especially useful if one of the parties has odd work hours that simply cannot match up with the other.
Another great thing about being able to have a model apartment is the fact that you always know what the state of the place will be. It is always off putting to a possible tenant to get into the apartment only for it to still be dirty or have items in it. I am currently in the process of moving from one apartment to another and can tell you that there were a few I looked at which had just been vacated that were so filthy that I couldn’t look past all of the work I would need to do to make it comfortable. With a model apartment, the only human element you need to contend with is yourself.
This doesn’t mean that you can set up the model apartment and just leave it, however. Bugs may still get in, cobwebs can form, and air does get stale. Sometimes you will need to head in and open the windows and clean out the corners. This is hardly an issue, however, when you think of the alternative. If you go in once or twice a month and spot check the apartment, then there is no reason why it should ever look less than move in ready.
Once you have decided to have a model apartment, the only other option you need to decide on is whether or not you furnish it. This can be done with little to no money spent if you know where to look, which is always a good thing. Go online and see what you can find to make sure that your model apartment is ready for your perfect tenant.

Heat and You

Charlotte Property Rental
One of the biggest concerns that many of us have once it begins to get a bit cooler is our heat. Whether or not you pay for your tenant’s heat, you should always do a quick check on whether or not everything is working. This is especially true if you have elderly or chronically ill people living in your residences. For those who are vulnerable, heat is something that simply cannot be overlooked or left to the last minute like many of the rest of us do. After all, the cold aggravates many medical issues.
If your residence is heated through oil or gas, it is always a good idea to get the supplier out around this time of the year, as they will be swamped later on in the season. If your rental property is heated through wood burning stoves or a fireplace, it is always nice of you to call and check in on your resident to make sure they have enough wood at least for now. Whether you are responsible for getting it or not, it is always nice to look in. This way they not only know that you care about them, but it may help to serve as a reminder for them if they have not purchased any yet. Prices will still be fairly low as it is early in the season and not too chilly yet in most places.
If you have a relationship with your tenant that allows you to talk often, then there is no harm in mentioning the cooling weather. If your rental property has baseboard heaters, it may be worth a moment to remind your tenants to clear things away from them in order to correctly circulate the heat and not ruin anything, including their own items.
Now is also a great time to replace the windows in your rental space to thermal ones which will provide insulation. This will cut down on heating costs, no matter who they go to. While they may cost a little more up front, they certainly save you in the long run. The difference is extremely noticeable not just for the resident, but also for the bill payer.
With the weather cooling down, there are a few things that you may want to do or check up on. Heat is certainly up near the top of that list for your rental space. After all, we never know exactly how cold it will get over the winter.

Dealing With a Disaster

Charlotte Property Rental
Now that hurricane season is really letting us know it’s here, you have even more to think and worry about. Although hurricanes aren’t normally quite as severe in our area as they are in other places, we do still see the occasional strong storm system come up our way. While most buildings are meant to survive these storms, not everything is as sturdy as the foundation which we have built upon. Here are some things to keep in mind when making sure that your rental property is storm proof.
1. Windows. Glass is one of the most delicate substances that we use in a home. Although they do allow for the potentially beautiful views that so many people seek out, they can also present a danger if high winds and trees or other debris join together. The same thing that allows us to see out and lets light in may become a dangerous shattered projectile if a storm is severe enough. Storm windows are made especially to try and combat this possibility, and are a good addition to any rental property you may own. Even windows that are more than a single pane thick are a good idea, and this will also help keep heat and cool air in during the extremes of the temperatures of the year.
2. Drains. Drainage is a very important feature to have near your rental property. While most of the drains that will be used are installed by the town, you can normally request an added drainage system from your township. Even if you have a good and solid drainage area near the building, depending upon how the property is set up, there may be areas that are more likely to flood in the event of heavy rain. This is true of any ground floor or underground apartments. If there are steps that lead lower than the lawn, you may want to try and install a drain at the bottom of these stairs to lessen the possibility of severe water damage to the apartment.
These are only a couple of ideas of what to watch for in a building that you may be renting out, but they can save you quite a bit of money and a lot of headaches along the way. Hopefully you will never have something severe happen to your buildings, but just in case, these are things that may be able to help you along the way.

Handicap Accessibility Part II

Charlotte Property Rental
In a previous article, we began talking about the different things to be kept in mind if you are remodeling your building to accommodate those who may be handicapped. While those points are a good starting platform, they were all about the outside of the building. Naturally, someone doesn’t stop being disabled by walking into their home. This means you will need to modify the interior as well. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about how to make your rental property more accessible.
Stairs are a pain, even to those of us who are able bodied. Once there is a disability in play, even if the person who may be renting the property is not wheelchair bound, stairs become an almost impossible hurdle. If you have a potential resident with a nerve, joint, or muscle disorder, stairs may be painful for them to climb and if the resident is elderly, they become increasingly dangerous. If the building has multiple floors, see if there is a way to install a service lift or elevator. If it is a two story house, perhaps looking into those stair climbers would be a good method to follow. Although they may be expensive, remember that it may help to keep a resident safe and give both them and you some peace of mind about their welfare.
One of the largest problems people in wheelchairs or with walkers face, even in public, is a lack of room. Going through many stores, it is common to see someone trying to squeeze into an aisle or making a tight turn. Although stores are supposed to make sure there is enough room in the aisles for a wheelchair to fit through, they often make the area as tight as possible and then those with a disability struggle trying to get through the area while accommodating others in the store. After a full day of grocery shopping and dealing with this in public, the last thing anyone wants to do is come home and have difficulty navigating around there too. Try large open floor plans with little furniture and wide door frames when they are necessary. The added space will be greatly appreciated and will help the rooms to feel bigger in general.
Again, these are only a couple of ideas to help you get thinking about what you can do to make your property more accessible. Stick around if you’re interesting in reading more!

Handicap Accessible Bathroom Ideas

Charlotte Property Rental

This week, we have explored a couple of ideas to help make your rental property more handicap accessible. Although there have been some thoughts put forth, they have so far been the more obvious of the bunch. This article is meant to help you begin thinking critically about options you can choose and modifications you can make that you may not have thought about if you are not or haven’t taken care of someone who has a physical disability.

            The bathroom. It is, in any home, one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. According to a 2011 study done by the CDC, about 81 percent of injuries that occurred in the bathroom were from falls alone. Two-thirds of injuries occurred in the shower or tub and almost the entirety of the rest of the injuries were using the toilet. While many people simply get in and out of the bathroom, it may not be that easy for someone who is handicapped. Getting into and out of a bath or a shower may be almost impossible if the proper modifications haven’t been put in place and the toilet can be just as dangerous.

            One option you may have is replacing a tub/shower combo with an extra-long shower. If done correctly, these are often beautiful and much more versatile than their previous incarnation. If you would prefer to keep a tub in your building, however, they do make locking tub sides that can open and close for easier entry and exit. Often these come with a seat, which helps to eliminate falls caused by dizzy spells or disorientation.

            Another good idea is to install grab bars around the bathing area. You can also put them by the toilet to allow the resident to have something stable to lower themselves with or to help them stand back up. Grab bars in a shower or tub also allow security in case the bottom is slippery. Speaking of slippery, putting down non-skid stickers is a wonderful idea for almost any apartment, as slips can happen to anyone.

            One other option you have to make the bathroom more accessible is a handicap toilet. It is about two inches higher than a normal toilet, but it really does make a huge difference to those who may have trouble with their knees. You can check them out in any hardware store that sells regular toilets.

            There is a lot you can do in the bathroom to help a disabled resident, these are only a few of the ideas. It is always a good idea to ask people you may know with disabilities what they think is most important in a home to keep them safe.

How to Attract Residents Cheaply

Charlotte Property Rental
Sometimes, attracting your residents to your rental property is the most difficult thing you will need to deal with. This is an ideal situation since it means that your resident is a wonderful fit for you and there are few to no problems while they live out their lease. Of course we always hope that this will be the outcome of you renting to someone, and sometimes even this process can be simple and painless. Here are a few ways that you can be sure to catch the attention of a future tenant.
1. Write Details. Gone are the days of having to place an advertisement in your local newspaper and being charged by the word or even the letter. If you are advertising online, you can be as liberal with your word count as you want. This means that you can explain every amenity that is available with the rental, your pet policy, and still chat about the view that they can have from each different room. If you are advertising your apartment online, there really isn’t any reason for you to leave information about the place out. The great thing is that if you forget something, you can go back and edit the page as well. That’s certainly something that couldn’t have been done when everything had to be printed. This also helps people who may be looking in your area before having to move when they don’t have direct access to the property.
2. Take Good Pictures. I cannot stress this one enough! Make sure that the pictures that you post are clear, well lit, and clean. Having clutter or dirt in a picture is an automatic turn off and it is extremely difficult to get a feel for a place when the picture is dark or fuzzy. Ask a friend who is good at taking pictures to do it for you if you don’t think you can do it justice. Good pictures can go a very long way.
These are both simple tips that don’t need to take you a long time, but can make all of the difference in the world when it comes to someone looking at your apartment. Try these tips and see how much of a difference it makes in your response level.

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