Category Archives: Property Managers

Silent enemy

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. You should know that an enemy lurks in your house and is not your mother in law… its corrosion. Let’s learn how to fight it.

Living near the sea has its charms, but there are also invisible enemies to face. For example, corrosion taking hold of chairs, rods, artifacts and everything that is made of metal. This can happen at any place if you leave furniture outside.

So if you own or decided to rent a house, apartment, condominium or duplex near the beach to enjoy its delights, and your house has a bunch of furniture made of metal (for example, umbrellas, beach chairs, games terrace, appliances, etc.) pay attention because at Home Town Rent we’ll tell you how to protect them and deal with corrosion.

Corrosion can be caused by a reaction produced by the natural environment. This reaction is called oxidation and is what causes the metal to weaken and acquire that texture and color, until it’s destroyed.

The oxidation of metals in a house can certainly be considered a disease, since there is no way to reverse it, although you can stop it. Corrosion is metal cancer. As cancer metastasis begins to expand, it’s unstoppable “contaminating” the rest of the metal surface.

If you are renting or living close to the beach or in coastal areas you should be especially alert and protect your furniture from corrosion. You can take the following measures:

Choosing the right metal: for example stainless steel or aluminum. They are metals that hardly corrode.

To remove corrosion in early stages from your furniture you can use a rust remover, it is available at any hardware store. With steel wool, apply deoxidizer in the areas of rusted metal. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use hand and eye protection.

Another trick to remove oxidation is to apply white vinegar with a cloth, leave half an hour and then rinse. Employ it especially in appliances.

Baking soda is another excellent metal antioxidant, make a paste with water and apply it on the rusted areas.

Once you have removed corrosion apply a protective layer, which may be a brightener, or a layer of anti-corrosive paint.

With these tips you will prevent oxidation and destruction of metal furniture in your home and you won’t ever have to worry on your days at the beach.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Ring it in: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Thanksliving

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. It’s that time of year again—the time when you get together with your in-laws, family, friends, and inevitably that random guy who you think might be dating your cousin, but you don’t want ask him because then he’d know that you’ve forgotten his name. It’s probably Steve. Or maybe Randy.

Anyways, Thanksgiving is upon us, and for many of you tenants out there, that means hosting an uncomfortable number of people in your rental property until they’ve all safely snapped out of their debilitating food comas. Not to worry though—here at the rant, we’ve got you covered like gravy on mashed potatoes.

Speaking of enormous piles of food, if you are hosting people, make sure that everyone has a rough idea of who’s expected to bring what. Traditionally, the host provides the bird, but obviously the dimensions of the kitchen in your rental property will decide what you can provide and what you can’t. Figure out what you can do, and have guests account for the rest.

Also, think about the size of your house, apartment, condo or duplex in terms of how many people you can realistically seat, and how much counter space you have for dishes. Having too many friends and too much food aren’t the worst problems to have, but they can be problems. Avoid potential awkwardness by figuring out beforehand how many people you’ll be entertaining.

As a guest, help your host out by contacting them and asking if they want you to bring something. Have your grandma’s super-secret pumpkin pecan pie recipe? Offer to bring a few to share, but don’t worry if there’s already a few pies in the works. You can always switch it up to keep your meal balanced and delicious.

Lastly, landlords and property owners–remember that it’s during this time of year that tenants often have guests over, so make sure to remind them about parking and fire safety measures. You don’t want to be a buzzkill during the holidays, but reminding people that overcrowding an apartment in which you’re deep frying a turkey is not the most prudent move. Stay safe!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Give them here, thanks: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

The Long Hall

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re in it for the long hall. Or the short hall. Any and all halls, really. Those rooms that aren’t rooms, that strange in-between space through which you traverse, navigating your beloved house, apartment, condo or duplex. Hallways are one of the most oft-overlooked areas of a rental property, but they can often be the difference between a cozy home and a hellish nightmare.

Landlords, property owners and property managers, when preparing a property for rent, make sure your hallways are clean and looking as nice as the rooms to which they lead. Hallways, being high-traffic areas, often see quite a bit of wear and tear, including wall scuffs and dirty or scratched floors, and this can be a deterrent to potential tenants looking to rent out your property. One thing to consider when looking at remodeling is the type of flooring in your halls. Carpet is cozy, but more difficult to clean. Wood is nice, but requires some care to keep it looking good for years to come. Think about the type of tenant you want to rent to, and make your choice accordingly.

As a tenant, especially if you’re looking to spruce up your house, apartment, condo or duplex, consider doing something to the hall. Obviously, this will depend on how wide your halls are, and how much space there is to navigate, but even something as simple as a few framed pictures can break the visual monotony of a large white expanse. If you want to get fancy, put in a little table, maybe with a plant on it. Little touches like this are what make a living space feel ‘lived in,’ so to speak.

Also, don’t forget to clean your hallways, especially ones on the first floor that lead to outside doors. These are some of the areas in your rental property most likely to get dirty quick, and also some of the least likely to be cleaned regularly. Do yourself a favor and save on deep cleaning in the long run by keeping your hallway free of dirt and debris that could get tracked into the rest of the house later on.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’re in it for the long hall: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Fall Ball

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. It’s that time of year again, the time when the leaves begin to change colors on the trees, when dusk gets a little longer each day the grocery stores fill up with displays of gourds and big bags of assorted candies. Autumn is upon us, and that means things to do to keep your house, apartment, condo or duplex clean and cozy for the coming fall.

As a landlord, property owner or property manager, if you haven’t already, around now might be a good time to see if any of the properties you are responsible for need work done since it’ll only get more difficult and more important as the weather gets colder. Ask your tenants if there’s anything you can do for them, and remember–you’re legally obliged to give them notice before you send anyone over to work on the place.

Tenants: especially if your rental property is located in a neighborhood with a lot of trees, you’ll probably have to do some raking to take care of the leaves. Now might also be a good time to clean your gutters of the summer’s debris before the weather gets worse. Depending on what type of property you rent, your landlord may or may not have some sort of lawn service hired to do this sort of thing. If so, great, but if not, you might just have to bust out the work gloves and the ladder. Trust us though, it’ll make your life that much easier when it does rain. All the information about who is responsible for yard work and upkeep should be in your lease. If not, contact your landlord to find out.

Now may also be a good time to start re-organizing, putting your summer toys in storage and getting your fall and winter gear down from the attic. It’s definitely sweater weather already, and in a few more weeks you’ll probably want a coat too. You’ll thank yourself the first morning you step outside and immediately retreat back in to add another layer before venturing forth once again.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Holla at us: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

 

The Grocery List

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. What’s for dinner? Unless you’re the type to hit the town on a Wednesday night, you’re probably having whatever is in the pantry, and if there’s nothing there, you’re probably going shopping. This week on the rant, we’re talking groceries, and how to keep the kitchen in your house, apartment, condo or duplex well stocked on whatever your budget allows.

As a landlord or property owner, you should know where the neighborhood grocery stores are. Chances are proximity to a variety of purveyors will raise the amount that people are willing to spend on rent in your area. If you have one or more grocery stores in the area, mention it in your advertisements–it’ll help people envision their life in your rental property.

As a tenant, consider the factors involved in getting and storing your food at home. Are there stores close by? Do you have motorized transportation? How big is your refrigerator? All these are questions worth asking yourself when looking at potential living spots. If you can’t consistently buy and store enough feed yourself, you’ll be hungry all the time. It’s basic animal skills here people.

If your rental property is further out from a population center, you’ll obviously need to store more food. Landlords, consider supplying more rural rental properties with an extra fridge or freezer, and tenants, make use of canned foods and preservation techniques like pickling and drying for preserving those veggies and meat so they’ll keep year round. This is also a good idea for any property, though those of you who rent apartments or duplexes in town will have to rely less on storing food, and less space to store it as well.

Another good way to save money on your grocery bill is to shop for certain items at a cash and carry or discount store, things like rice and other grains, flour and oil, basic items that you can use to provide filler for a meal. If you don’t know already, learn how to cook things like rice and beans in big batches that’ll last you the week to save yourself time, effort, and money. Then, when you shop, you can just get some produce and meat that can go with what you’ve already got prepared, and you’ll be feasting on classically balanced meals before you know it!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Serve it up to us: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Menage a Garage

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re getting down and dirty in that strange middle ground halfway between the road and your house, condo, duplex or apartment building, the garage. Not all properties have them, but many do, some communal and some individual, and one thing all garages have in common is that they’re often underutilized space that could benefit from some organization and planning.

Though designed to hold automobiles, garages often find themselves used for storing all manner of other things, from tools and lawnmowers to ski gear in the offseason, to drum kits and amplifiers for band practice. If you’re a landlord or property owner and your rental property has a garage, make sure to advertise it on property listings, and Include a picture with an example of how one might set up the space to most efficiently hold all their stuff.

If you’re a tenant in a property with a garage and you’re not already using it, think about what you might be able to do with it. Have any artistic hobbies that require a studio space? Always dreamed of starting a lo-fi surf-rock band? The garage is your oyster. We’ve even heard of people converting garages into living spaces, especially in warmer areas of the country, though the legality of cramming an extra roommate into a potentially non-designated living space can be suspect. Alway check with your landlord and your lease to make sure you’re compliant with local fire and safety codes regarding the number of people and quality of living space.

If you’re like most people though, you’ve probably already got a bunch of stuff piled up in your garage. Now might be a good time to go through it, and decide what you want and don’t want. Autumn is upon us and with it comes the fall garage sale season, clearing space for the inevitable accumulation that’ll happen come wintertime. It’s often quite the process, which is why it’s always good to start sooner rather than later.

So what are you waiting for, get out there and get on it!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Park it in our mailbox: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Rental Mail

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers! This week on the rant, we’re mailing it in. It’s 2015 and at this point of social media saturation, email almost seems archaic, but there are still times when good old fashioned snail mail is just the only thing that’ll do. That’s why it’s important for you to check out the Hometown Rant’s handy guide to letters, parcels and packages.

As a landlord or a property owner or manager, you’re probably going to be the one who’s in charge of making sure there’s a mailbox, or a series of mailboxes if you own or manage an apartment complex. You’ll also want to make sure that the address or addresses are clearly visible, and in the case of an apartment, that names are displayed on the boxes as well. This will go a long way toward making sure that all the mail coming to your rental property goes to the right person.

As a tenant, it’s your job to make sure your mailbox situation is in good working order, and to notify your landlord or property manager if those kids from down the street come and smash it up with baseball bat again. Also, check your mail regularly. It’s probably mostly bills, but that’s all the more reason to check and get those paid off as quickly as possible–they’ll only grow if you ignore them.

Another important thing for tenants to do when moving between houses, apartments, condos or duplexes is to make sure that you let people know about the switch. Maybe send out an email to the people you know who might be snail-mailing you, so they’ll know where to reach you. Also, change your autofill settings in your browser. There’s nothing worse than ordering something and having it accidentally shipped to your old address.

Most people who’ve rented have also probably gotten mail from long gone tenants, usually promotional junk, but every once in a while, something that looks important. If this happens, hold on to whatever it is but don’t open it. Not only is it illegal, but it’s a total dick move, even if it was their fault for sending it to the wrong place. Try and contact your landlord if you’re receiving a lot of mail for people you don’t know, since they might have a forwarding address. If not, notify the post office that the person they’re trying to deliver to no longer lives there.

If you don’t have space for a mailbox, or you want a different address for some reason (don’t worry, we won’t ask) you could always consider a P.O. Box. They’re not too expensive, and they’re a good way to have a constant address, especially if you’re on the go a lot.

 

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Ship it on over: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

 

Gorgeous Storage

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re talking stuff. Where do you put stuff? Well, that all depends on what kind of stuff it is. Duh. Still, storage is a big issue in just about every house, apartment, condo, or duplex, especially in those rental properties that aren’t as spacious, and figuring out how to elegantly and efficiently store things will make your life that much easier, and it’ll do wonders for your rental’s general aesthetic of cleanliness. What’s not to like about that?

Landlords, property owners and property managers should always take storage into consideration, especially during renovations. Is there enough cabinet space in your kitchen area? What about some sort of linen closet? Are there any places where you could install shelving that could be selling points for potential tenants? The main caveat here is not to put in things that could limit the usefulness of a room. Make sure, for instance, that if you install a shelf, it’s in a logical place, and doesn’t stand out too much–the best storage solutions are natural, and don’t call too much attention to themselves.

For all you tenants out there, most of the storage solutions will be up to you. After all, it’s your stuff. One thing we’ve learned in our time is that you can never really go wrong with some of these guys. You can get them in different sizes and colors, and the simple boxes look good storing just about anything, from books, to DVDs, to plants, to random odds and ends. For closets, hanging shelves can be a nice alternative to a large, cumbersome dresser as a way to store your clothes in an organized fashion. There are also tons of different plastic storage drawers, carts and boxes that won’t break the bank, and that are great for offices or other work spaces.

Of course, sometimes the solution is simpler than you think–just get rid of some stuff. Check out our earlier post on modern asceticism for your house, apartment, condo or duplex, that is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all.

Now get out there and put everything where it goes!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Hate mail? Love letters? We’ll file them away:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Hit the Deck

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. Summer is once again in full swing, which means it’s time to get out of doors and enjoy the weather, and what better place to do so than in the shade of your deck, porch, or maybe even balcony. This week on the rant, we’re talking about how to make the most of those outdoors spaces in your house, apartment, condo or duplex.

You should never judge a book by its cover, but you might be able to judge a rental property by its porch. By extension, you can also judge a neighborhood by its porches. The porch is the front of the property, the first thing that people see, and a good place to be, especially when everyone else is out enjoying the summertime. If you’re looking for a property to rent this summer, keep an eye out for properties with a porch you could see yourself on.

As a landlord or property owner, one thing you’ll want to check between tenants is the condition of the porch or deck, since they are located outside and thus the most subject to wear from the elements. Rotten support beam can be an expense at worst and a safety hazard at best, so make sure that the porch or deck on your rental property is safe and sturdy before it becomes something much worse you have to deal with. As always, it’s probably better to invest a little more at the outset to save yourself costs down the road.

For all of those tenants living in apartment buildings, you probably don’t have decks or porches, but you may very well have a balcony, which is even cooler in many ways. A good balcony view can make or break an apartment, so keep that in mind when deciding on a property to rent. If you’re the romantic type, it could make a great location for a midnight rendezvous. If you’re a notorious drug dealer, it could be a good spot to reminisce with your #2 before everything goes sour. If you’re of the less dramatic persuasion, it might just be a nice place to read a book and relax. Just remember that you probably aren’t the only one out on your balcony. The face of a building is a communal space, and that guy underneath you probably doesn’t appreciate you tossing those cigarette butts down on him.

Whatever type of outdoor space your property has, the standard rules apply. Keep it clean, make sure it’s safe, but most importantly, enjoy it!

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Holla: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

 

Stairway to (Rental) Heaven

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers! This week we’re taking you through the ups and downs of rental properties everywhere, literally. That’s right. This week we’re talking steps and stairs and maybe even listening to the Five Stairsteps while we do it.

Stairs are weird. Are they a room? Are they a hall? Are they some combination of the two, or something else entirely? Philosophical speculations abound, but the answer probably lies in the specific staircase, in the specific house, apartment, loft, condo or duplex. Some are outside, some inside, some communal and some personal, and they all have their ups and downs.

As a landlord or property owner, one of the main stair-related things you should keep in mind when preparing a property for rent is the flooring on the stairs. They’re a high-traffic area, and one that’s often forgotten when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Especially if the stairs in your house or duplex are close to a door, you might want to consider wood as opposed to carpeting, since people will more often than not leave their shoes on. If you’re property or properties are in an apartment complex or other space with a communal stairway, make sure those stairs are kept clean and in good repair. Stairs can be dangerous, especially for older people and rowdy children, and the last thing you want is a preventable accident happening in your building.

As a renter, you should know that there are two types of people in this world: vertical and horizontal, city and country, high-rise and ranch-style. You may know which one you are already. If not, you might need to find out. Here’s a quick test: hamburger or hotdog? Hamburgers are vertical, hotdogs are horizontal. Your living space should ideally reflect your preference in the matter, and the distinction here is stairs, or lack thereof.

If you’re more of a sedentary person, if you’re getting older or have a disability that limits your mobility, you’ll obviously want to look for rental properties that are accommodating of that fact, preferably single-stories. Remember too that elevators will sometimes be shut down in case of a fire or another emergency, and if you aren’t capable of making it down the stairs quickly, renting an apartment on an upper floor may even become a safety hazard. But who knows, maybe the view is worth it…

 Is there a bustle in your hedgerow? Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Don’t be alarmed now:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com