Some things never change. Taxes, rain, bugs, these are just a few things that we will all experience and never be able to truly get away from without some pretty extreme measures. However, one thing that is always changing is the current fashion. It doesn't matter if I'm talking about clothing, car styles, or interior design. Nothing ever seems to stay the same from one year, or sometimes even month, to the next. While some things are relatively easy to keep track of, like clothing, there unfortunately isn't a huge fashion show a few times a year to let us know what style of housing is in. One of the big things now is what's known as an open floor plan. People want their living room, dining room, and often kitchen to flow from one into the other without any real separation between them. This is meant mostly for entertaining purposes when someone has a party so that no one is closed off no matter what they are doing. However, this wasn't always true and is likely to change again at some point relatively soon. So what can you do as a landlord to make sure that you are on top of these changing housing trends? Home shows are normally a good idea if you have any near you, but unfortunately this isn't always a possibility. One option is to look on interior design websites to see what may be the newest layout or color scheme for homes. Another is to follow certain home construction companies to see what the floor plans they are building look like to make sure that things are how you expected them to be. Naturally you won't always have the option of keeping up with large trends that deal with the layout of an apartment, especially if you are the owner of a downstairs apartment in a complex. Some homes and buildings simply cannot be converted into the newer trends. However, there is always something that you can do to make the place seem updated. Maybe take down some old wallpaper or repaint the place. The possibilities are basically endless when it comes to you doing what you can to make your apartment seem as modern and trendy as possible.
Making sure that you have tenants in your rental properties is the most important thing for a landlord to do. You need to be sure that your investment is turning a profit, especially if you are paying maintenance fees or some other cost from month to month. Here are a couple of things to think about when trying to get someone new into your apartment with little time between tenants. 1. Marketing. How you market your rental space is one of the most important things that you can change in order to get a tenant. Each tenant is different and as such, each one will find your apartment in a different way. If you are looking for a certain type of tenant, it is best to alter how you market the apartment to catch their attention. For example, some people will go through realtors. Others will use free websites or apps on their phones. Each person will also respond differently to certain forms of wording in regards to what you can offer. Think about what you would likely respond best to and pretend you are marketing your apartment to yourself. 2. Policies. Policies are huge when it comes to renting out an apartment. One of the biggest things to take into consideration is whether or not you will allow pets. Most people will be willing to pay a little extra if it means they are able to have an animal or bring their current pet with them. Just remember that service animals are quite a different story and there are laws protecting them. Another policy that you may want to give some thought to is smoking. Increasingly, we are seeing landlords who specifically state that they will not rent to smokers due to the damage that smoke can do to the walls of buildings, especially with medical conditions such as allergies and asthma being noticed in increasing numbers. Always be open and up front with your tenants about what your rental policies are. Although these seem like simple things to think of and about, many landlords forget to write certain things out in their summary of an apartment or simply don't think about the difference something as simple as writing on one website instead of another can make. Stay tuned for some more ideas about how to fill your rental vacancies.
The main thing that you need to do as a property owner is to get people into your rental space. After all, you probably acquired this extra space as a way to make some extra money. Rental properties are an investment, but without someone actually renting the space it can quickly turn into a money pit. Even if you aren't paying utilities, you still have to worry about taxes and any association fees that may be applicable coming out of your own pocket instead of someone else's. So what can you do? Here are a couple of ways to make sure that people know that you have a space available to rent. 1. Post On Social Media. Social media has really proven to be invaluable in many situations and when it comes to looking for a new tenant for your rental property this fact is no different. In fact, more and more people are looking on social media sites for a new place to live. Whether someone looks on the marketplace that Facebook has added or on Instagram which is a growing trend, social media is a great place to start when it comes to looking for new tenants. After all, you never know which one of your friends may know someone who is in the market. 2. Tell Your Friends and Family. If you are looking for someone to fill a vacancy in your rental property, then one of the best places to start is by asking those you know if they or anyone they know are looking for a new place to live. This is especially true if you have younger family or friends, as many people in the younger generations are more liable to move around for work or school. Asking someone you know or love also means that there is a certain level of prescreening that has already occurred as to the type of person your tenant likely is. These are only a couple of ideas about how to get someone into your rental space, but the good thing about both of them is they are absolutely free. You don't need to worry about paying extra for listings if either of these methods work, which is always a benefit. Stick around and find out a few more ways for you to fill those pesky vacancies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, cities are losing their appeal. This isn't because of crime or a "hipster revolution" as some have suggested. Many have been quick to blame the millennials for "ruining" the city's real estate market like so many other things they have been accused of. Based on census data and the Wall Street Journal's research, it simply comes down to one thing. No one has the money to live in a large city anymore. According to the article that was posted on the first of November this year, Americans are leaving more expensive parts of the metropolitan areas at a much higher and quicker rate than they are being replaced. This means that there are more empty apartments in these larger cities and the problem doesn't seem to be solving itself. While this is great news for you if you own property in a smaller area, it's certainly not good the closer you get to a large city. Research states that not everyone is being forced out by their inability to pay the same rent anymore. The problem seems to be that either landlords are raising the rent above what the tenant had been paying or the tenant simply finds a comparable apartment outside of the city limits at a much better price. These are both very valid reasons to move, but that still doesn't help you. If everyone is moving away from where your properties are located, then what are you to do? The first thing you should do is check around to see what others are charging for rent. If you find an apartment that still has people living there, try and find out what they are paying for the property. This will give you a good idea of where to set your rent at to keep people living there while still turning a profit. If you cannot find anyone that is willing to give you that information, your best bet is most likely to lower what you are asking at least a little. It isn't something you may want to do, but a person in the apartment is better than nothing. This trend may very well only last a little while, but in the meantime certainly keep an eye on any reports that may be done on this. It never hurts to know what you should be expecting.
Most of us have lived in places we have owned or rented that have had different issues. While some of them may be easy to fix, like a clogged drain or a toilet that has a trick to get it to flush correctly, there are also often more complicated issues to try and deal with. One such issue that you may find in your rental property is that of the dreaded noise complaint. Noise complaints are notoriously difficult to deal with. What one person considers an unsuitable level of noise may be seemingly quiet to someone else. Other times, residents simply don't like each other and will use any excuse to complain about the other. As a property owner and landlord, you need to try and run a mediation between people who are at odds with each other over something like noise. The question is, how exactly can you do that when you aren't even living there? The first thing you should do is make sure to include a clause in the lease about noise. This may just be what the town law is regarding volume levels, but at least there will be something for your tenants to refer to. If it can be proven that one tenant is in breach of this clause, then things are much easier to decide. While minor noises must be expected, especially in a multilevel apartment building, sometimes people are excessively loud. Ask for the tenant bringing the complaint to the table for some form of proof, such as a recording, and see if the complaint continues or not. Sometimes people just need to talk something out and honestly noise complaints don't need to be any different in this regard. You may experience a problem if a resident has an unusual work schedule, such as night shift or if they are a nurse, or are on call for varying hours. Many times people in these professions will sleep at odd hours to get any sleep they can. It can be very difficult for your residents who follow these schedules to get sleep if others use this time to make a large amount of noise. Asking people to be courteous is just about the only thing you can do in regards to noise levels. The best you can do is hope others will be understanding.
Very often, we will talk about what can help to make your rental property more desirable to different tenants. While each area is different, many of the wants or 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, however, is something that is almost always wanted. While in some areas it cannot be expected for most price points such as a large city, it is certainly something that people do want. In largely urban or developed areas, outdoor space is often a distant dream to people. If, however, you are renting in a rural area, this will not be a concern for your renters. It will be expected. It all depends on location, as many other things do. Some renters will feel a large need for usable outdoor space. This may be due to children, animals, jobs or hobbies, 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. You will have to 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. Sometimes outdoor space can simply mean a small patio or balcony. Being able to have a chair or two and maybe even a small table outside to drink coffee, read a book, or 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. You never know what a small addition can bring, and this is no exception. If you have the option, it may do you a world of good to offer this to your tenants even if it means a slightly higher rent.
This is a concept which is heavily contested around property investment circles, however we wanted to introduce you to this idea. The whole point of what is known as "cash for keys" is to avoid the lengthy and expensive process of an eviction. Not only are you losing money by having to pay an attorney to evict your tenant, but you are not able to move anyone else into the apartment until they have left which means you are likely losing out on money hand over fist. This is how this process works. The first thing you would do in this situation is explain to your tenant what is happening. Let them know that you want them to move out and if they do not, you will evict them. Educate them on how an eviction can harm them and explain that it will likely be expensive for both of you. This is why you will pay them a certain amount to move out now. This amount can be whatever you decide, however it is often suggested that somewhere around $400 or $500 will do the trick. Next, explain that you want the apartment cleaned and any repairs done at least have them pay you for them by the time they are ready to leave. Let them know when you want them to vacate the property. Make sure that you give them enough time to get everything out, but not too much so that they could do more damage. Often thirty days is given, much like in any other process. Make sure that you have a written notice that you have kept a copy of. Once they have moved their things out and cleaned, go in to inspect the property with them to make sure it is in the condition you asked just as you would with any other tenant. Take pictures of how it looks. Now all you need to do is have them sign paperwork that states that they are officially moved out and you can hand over whatever amount of money you agreed to pay them. While it may seem strange to pay someone to leave, it often does work out in your favor as they pay for repairs and such. Let us know what you think of this process and whether you would ever use it.
The main thing that you want to be able to do as a landlord is fill the vacancies that you may have. This is the easiest expense to avoid as a property owner. Making sure that you have little time in tenant turnover is something that you can work towards in multiple ways. Here are a few things that you need to think about in order to get people into your apartment as soon as possible. 1. Price. Price is always going to be the main sticking point of people looking for a place to live. It is always important to take things like location, amenities, and condition into consideration when it comes to placing a price on your rental property. Ask around or look online and see what other people in your area are charging for something comparable to your apartment. Tenants will often do the same to make sure that they are getting a fair price, so make sure that you don't try and charge too much or your listing will sit there for months. 2. Upfront Fees. Fees that are required upfront are always one of the most difficult things for tenants to pay. While it is standard in many locations to ask for a month of rent and a security deposit along with a pet deposit depending upon the landlord, some listings are shown as requiring a month and a half of rent for a security deposit, the realtor fees, as well as two months of rent upfront. If possible, it may be better for you to work with your tenant and come up with a solution that works for both of you in regards to the fees that are due upon the signing of the lease. Filling a vacancy in your rental property doesn't have to be a difficult thing, but sometimes no one seems to be coming along that fits with your space. This is a large source of annoyance for many landlords, but you can't let it get the best of you. Sometimes it is best to remember that getting the right tenant can be more important than having someone quickly set into your apartment that you don't really like. Keep reading to see some other ideas that may help you get the right person into your rental space.