Category Archives: Renter Advice

Cool it down!

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This time we’ll talk about how to keep our houses, apartment or duplexes cool.

If you have enough money you can hire a slave who is fanning you while you eat grapes, however if you are a mortal more like us, you can follow some of the following tips.

Stop modeling for your neighbor: All windows must be covered, put thin fabrics in the windows facing north and south, and for the rest use heavy fabrics that cover sunlight. So you have all the light without all the heat.

Do not be stingy and turn on the air: Fans are great because they help with moisture and cool the house, however, if the temperature is higher than 77 ° F, better turn them off, because they’ll only be moving hot air. Fans will work better after sunset.

Shake it off!: If you use air conditioning make sure it’s clean. If dust accumulates in the filters, the machine has to work harder, therefore it will use much more electricity. Besides that, you can prevent several diseases caused by bacteria accumulated in dust.

Go for a walk and close your house: Throughout the hours of extreme heat close your house. Close any place where hot air can enter. Once the temperature drops you can open everything and turn on the fans.

Don’t turn it off!: When you have the air conditioning on and the room is cooled, it may seem like the most reasonable thing to turn it off, however, you’ll only be spending more electricity. It’s better to mantain a steady temperature so the machines are not working overtime.

Read a book: The appliances radically increase the temperature of your house or apartment. You may not feel it, but television radiates heat. Unplug all appliances you are not using and go read a book.

With these simple steps, we guarantee that you’ll keep your house cooler. If not, at least you will entertain yourself closing windows and turning on fans.

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

Ring It In!

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. The year is coming to a close, and that means it’s time for champaign, friends, music, and a long, sloppy countdown to the new year. Many of you probably already have plans for your new year’s eve celebrations, and many of you may be thinking of having people over to your house, apartment, condo or duplex to have a roarin’ good time before the year is up. We know that if you’ve decided already, there’s no turning back now, but luckily, the Hometown Rant has the guide for you to not spend New Year’s day getting evicted, or just sitting in the shambles of your destroyed rental property.

For all you tenants out there planning on having a shindig, a neighborly thing to do is to let the people living around you know that you’re going to have people over, that they’re welcome to join, and that if you happen to get too loud, they should contact you before calling the police. This does mean, however, that when they do come tell you to turn it down a little bit, you actually listen, even if it means telling your friends band that the show is over for the night. Most reasonable people know that New Year’s Eve is a popular time for celebration, but that doesn’t change the fact that some people have to work in the morning. Be curteous to those who you share a space with, and respect their wishes too, even if they’re being party poopers.

The next thing for tenants to do is to party-proof your house, apartment, condo or duplex. Depending on how fancy your lifestyle is, this will be easy or challenging. Things like glass centerpieces and framed pictures are good objects to move out of the way, especially if raucous dancing is in order. Consider getting a rug for your wood floors, or not serving red wine if you just got new white carpeting. Have receptacles for people to recycle their empty beer cans, so they don’t just throw them in the lawn. All of these things will help you the next morning when you get up to survey the damage.

Of course, not everybody is going to be hosting. Many of you will be attending various New Year’s Eve parties hosted by your friends, so for all of you, make sure you’re treating the space as though it were your own. If somebody likes you enough to invite you over to their house, apartment, condo or duplex, don’t let them down by being the guy who decides to throw the couch out the second story window and burn it in the lawn. Unless your hosts are a frat house, this probably won’t go over too well.

Lastly, if you’re having people over and drinking, make sure your guests are not driving home. Take people’s keys if you need to. New Year’s Eve is typically the most common night of the year for D.U.I.s, and if you get away with just a ticket, you’re lucky. Don’t start the new year dead in a ditch. Celebrate responsibly, and have a great year!

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

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. The holiday seasons are upon us, and with them have come the cold weather. Depending on where you live in the country, this will mean more or less to you, but most of us will be impacted by the weather in the winter, at least a little bit. Lucky for you, the hometown rant has the guide to keeping you warm and cozy inside your house, apartment, condo or duplex all season long.

If the weather does get cold enough to make it uncomfortable inside your rental property, you’ve probably already got some coping strategies, ranging from wearing a lot of layers to burning your possessions in a little pile on the floor. Hopefully you haven’t got to that point yet, although it is the last step before sucking it up and actually turning on your heat.

Once you’ve given in though, you’re going to want to take some steps to conserve the heat, so you get the most bang for your buck. A big part of this process depends on the age of your rental property, specifically as it impacts the seals around the doors and windows. Older places tend to have more gaps and cracks, making any attempts to heat the interior more and more futile. If you do plan on running the heat in an old house, we suggest you get some easily removable rubber seals, something like these, which, if applied correctly, can make a big difference in the heat retention of older houses, apartments, condos or duplexes.

If your rental property doesn’t have central heating, you could consider using space heaters in the rooms you’ll be occupying most frequently, but keep in mind that multiple space heaters will quickly run up your electric bill, and can even blow a fuse if used at the same time as a few other electronic devices. If you have central heating, it’s probably going to be more efficient to run that and take measures to keep that heat in.

As a landlord, property owner or property manager, you probably have a general idea of how your properties fare in terms of winterization, so let your tenants know how to best seal in that warmth. They’ll probably appreciate the advice, and if not, hey, it’s their loss. Above all, stay warm and have fun!

 

A Full Plate

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. Sometimes you may think to yourself, man, I’ve got too much stuff on my plate! We know we have. Sometimes we also find ourselves thinking, man, I’ve got too many plates on my stuff! The ratio of plates to stuff is an important one to maintain in a rental property, and one that is often overlooked by tenants all over. Lucky for you, this week on the rant, we’re talking dishware–everything from salad forks to serving bowls, when to use what, and how to store it so it doesn’t clutter up your precious space.

The first thing to consider as a tenant looking to move into a house, apartment, condo or duplex, is whether or not you plan on entertaining often. With thanksgiving just past, it may be another year before you have to host a massive dinner, but many of you out there are bound to have another big family get together in about a month’s time, and many of you will probably have friends or family over even sooner than that.

Most of the time when entertaining company, you’ll think about how much food you need, but an important and oft-overlooked aspect, especially among you twenty-somethings is thinking about how many plates and utensils you need. Your friends may pretend that they’re cool with eating out of frisbees and dog bowls, but part of being an adult is having dishware to serve your food on when you have company. You don’t necessarily need your grandmother’s silver and fine china, but at least a set of matching plates and bowls is a great thing to own, especially if you host people at your rental property fairly regularly.

On the other end of the spectrum, part of maintaining a clean kitchen is not having too many things in it, especially since there’s a tendency to not wash things if you can just grab a new, clean one, until eventually you have a pile of dirty dishes on every surface available. Especially if you live in a smaller apartment, try to figure out what your bare essentials–a few plates and bowls, a nice mug, enough silverware for a few guests, but not much more than that. Otherwise you’re running into clutter territory fast.

As a landlord or property owner, make sure to advertise it if your property has lots of cupboard space and areas for entertaining company, since these can be major draws for potential tenants who plan on hosting events, and don’t worry, people who care about cupboard space probably aren’t the keg and solo cup crowd anyhow.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ve got room on our plate: 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

 

Bed Head

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re putting the rumors to bed. Or maybe we’re spreading rumors about beds? We’re not sure. We’re tired. We need to go to bed.

By most conventional metrics, the bed is the most important piece of furniture in the entire rental property–it’s the one you spend the most time in. In fact, you probably spend more time in your bed than in any other place. When you think about that, it becomes abundantly clear that no matter whether you live in a house, apartment, condo, duplex, your bed matters.

For you landlords and property owners, providing the bed probably won’t be your responsibility,  unless your rental property is of the short term or pre-furnished sort. If you do provide a nice bed, you’ll want to advertise that, as well as making sure you’re renting to tenants who are going to take good care of it.

On that note, tenants, if you’ve invested in a nice mattress, make sure you take good care of it. Buy several fitted sheets and a washable cover so cleaning and changing your bedding is easy and you don’t have to wait for the dirty stuff to be finished before re-making it.

When choosing a mattress and bed frame, you have a few things to think about–the size of your living space, your budget, and whether or not you’ll be sharing your bed regularly with a special someone, or maybe a faithful canine.

We’ve found that a full size mattress tends to be the best balance of size, affordability and space occupied,  though if you want more room to relax, you could bump up to a queen, or even a king. If you want to really ball out, you could even go with a Shaq bed, though you’ll have to also spring for the custom circular superman fitted sheets.

Whatever your choice, make sure it’s one that’ll stay comfortable for a long time–bad mattresses can lead to lack of sleep and back pain, both of which will tend to make your life miserable in the long run. Do yourself a favor and get the bed you deserve!

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ll sleep on it: 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