Monthly Archives: February 2015

If These Walls Could Talk

Hey there all you renters, landlords property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re taking a look around us, at the very things that, along with a roof, define a house, apartment, condo, or duplex. If these walls could talk, they’d tell you that this is an awesome song. Also, they’d tell you that they want to be decorated, and to make it classy.

Landlords, property owners and managers, you guys don’t have a whole lot to do here, although the one job you are in charge of is an important one. You’ll almost certainly be in charge of painting/wallpaper, and unless you really trust your tenants, you probably don’t want them re-doing the place. For sanity’s sake though, pick nice colors and/or simple designs, and if in doubt, go off-white. Cream, one might call it. It’s the classic for a reason–it goes with just about any design style, and is pretty much guaranteed not to be off-putting or garish.

Renters, you’re the ones who are going to be living in the space, so it’s your job to figure out what’ll fit the aesthetic of your home and your lifestyle. The one constant rule we’ll always suggest is to keep it simple, although it’s really more of a guideline than a rule. Still, one nice, well placed image generally looks a lot classier than the collage of random images you know you cut out of your favorite magazines and tacked all across the walls in high school.

If you really wanna elevate your game, get some frames for your posters and hang them like a real person instead of using this stuff and watching them slump down the wall over time. A nice tapestry can also be a good way to fill a lot of space, especially if you don’t mind the heady hippy look. Get some prayer flags while you’re at it and go all out. Whatever you do though, don’t decorate in a way that’ll be a pain to take down, since you’re eventually going to have to do just that.

Above all though, have fun with it. It’s the space you’re paying to inhabit, so you might as well make it look the way you want it to. A dwelling that reflects the personality of the inhabitant is the American dream, after all. Make that dream a reality.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Throw it up on the wall: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Keys to the Kingdom

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. This week on the Rant, we’re talking about what gets you in the door, that unique little piece of metal that grants the bearer access to what lies within the walls of the house, apartment, condo or duplex in question, that overtly symbolic image representing ownership, access and freedom: we’re talking, of course, about the key.

After signing a lease, the handing over of the key is usually the final piece of the rental transaction, signifying the assumption of rentership on the part of the tenant, and the temporary relinquishing of the property by the landlord, property owner or manager. Not only is a symbol though, the key is literally the thing that allows you to come and go from the property at will. As such, it deserves care and responsibility.

As a landlord or property owner renting out a property, it’s important to know how many tenants are going to be living there, so you know how many keys to give them when they sign the lease, and how many keys to expect back upon its completion. As you can probably guess, the quantity should stay the same during that time. You don’t really want tenants making a bunch of copies and giving them out to people, nor do you want some of your keys still floating around after the rental period is up.

Depending on how laid back you are and how much you trust your tenants, you might consider getting keys that can’t be copied, so only you as the master keyholder have that power. You’ll have to be more responsible, both in keeping track of the master key and in providing tenants with copies if they lose theirs, but it’ll increase the overall security of your rental property.

As a tenant, your main job regarding the key is to use it but don’t lose it. It’s a pretty easy job, one that you should have on lock. Ok, but seriously, lock your doors people. Even if you think you live in a safe neighborhood, you could be unpleasantly surprised when you come home to find that your house, apartment, condo or duplex has been cleaned out by someone who found the door open. In a situation like that, it’s always better safe than sorry. Not only could you lose your valuables, but their could be damage to the property in the break in that you could be responsible for.

Also, don’t put your address or house or apartment number on your key. If you do lose it, that’ll tell anybody who finds it where you live, and give them unrestricted access to your stuff.  A key is only useful if you know what it unlocks. If you do lose your key and you’re sure it’s not in the couch, contact your landlord or property owner to go about getting a replacement. They may say it’s ok for one of your roommates to make a copy, or they might want to make the copy themselves. If they’re really paranoid, they might even want to change the locks, which you might have to pay for, so don’t lose your key, and if you do, make sure it’s really lost before you do anything.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ve got the key: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com