Tag Archives: Cleaning

Go green!

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. Today at Home Town Rent we will talk about plants. They are, without any doubt, beautiful and allow us to decorate the living room, kitchen or bedroom. Their scent is also very good for the house environment to be much more enjoyable. However, the most important thing about them is that they generate oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, just like trees. When plants are placed indoor they help purify the air by absorbing contaminants and gases.

In 1989, NASA conducted a study to determine the most appropriate plants to achieve this mission in an enclosed space. Here we present the top 5 plants according to Bill Wolverton, principal author of the research.

  1. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  2. Spath or Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
  3. The Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  4.  Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
  5.  Rubber bush (Ficus robusta)

How can Pothos help at home?

This plant has the capacity to clean and maintain the air of the place where it is completely renovated. Pothos remove, for example, substances found in furniture made of wood. Another benefit that Pothos offers is that it helps eliminate odors.

How can Peace Lilies help at home?

This species is capable of absorbing electromagnetic waves that can be generated by various appliances like TV, our mobile or the microwave. In addition, the Spathiphyllum is one of the best air filters.

How can The Lady Palm help at home?

This palm can be inside and outside, however inside the house or condo, it can eliminate harmful gases in the air such as ammonia and other volatile organic compounds that are harmful to our health.

How can Mother-in-law’s tongue help at home?

The mother-in-law’s tongue has a wonderful function inside our house, condominium or duplex; while you sleep, the Sansevieria trifasciata is responsible for converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and you use its medicinal properties in tea.

How can Rubber bush help at home?

It is effective in removing formaldehyde from the air that can come from the tailpipe emissions from cars, and prevent us from burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat; cough; nausea and skin irritation.

These plants apart from making your home look fresher and more radiant, they have an immense benefit to your health so do not hesitate to get one, and if you have a small house, an apartment or duplex, you have no excuse because these plants are small and perfect for interiors.

Go Green!

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

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

 

Shoes On, Shoes Off

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and managers. If you’re like us, you know that there’s two different types of dwellings in this world. That’s right–all houses, apartments, condos, duplexes, lofts and other rental properties fall into one of two categories: shoes on or shoes off. The funny thing is, the category depends not upon the property itself, but on the people who live there. So really there are two types of people in this world. Your in-house footwear regulations say a lot about you and stand for, so this week the Hometown Rant is dedicated to breaking down the difference between the shoe-onners and the shoe-offers.

Landlords and property owners take a bit of a backseat on this one, since it’s nigh-impossible to force tenants, uh, feet, when it comes to what they wear in their own rented home. Still though, you have your own preference, and we’d imagine that most of you fall on the side of the shoes-offers, especially when it comes to preserving the floors in your apartment, house, condo, duplex or loft.

One thing Landlords and Property owners can do to encourage shoes-offers is to put in what’s called a mud-room–basically a dedicated area for donning and shedding shoes and outerwear. Obviously this is only an option if you’re doing remodeling, or if you happen to have a rental property that was built with one in the first place. Still, mud rooms are a great selling point, and also a means of ensuring that it’s easy for tenants to remove their shoes before entering the house. It doesn’t have to be crazy though–the Japanese have a simple, elegant solution to the problem in the Genkan, a recessed area that isn’t a full room but serves as a dirt-trap to keep your home clean.

Tenants, the onus is really on you with this one. You’re going to be living in the house, apartment, condo, duplex or loft, so you’re the ones who have to set the standards for your own domicile. Here at the Rant, we’re shoes-offers, and we’ll recommend it to anyone who wants to retain as much of their security deposit as possible. If your rental property has carpeting, you definitely want to be strict about your no-shoes policiy, since after a certain point no amount of rug-doctoring is going to save your poor trampled floor.

If your house has wood or tile floors, you’re a little safer being a shoes-onner, although you’ll definitely have to clean more. If your shoes-on ideology stems from laziness though, you should weigh the time it takes to remove your footwear against the time you spend cleaning your floors–we’re pretty sure it’s actually more work to not take your shoes off in the long run, so bear that in mind when making your decision. There are upsides to being a shoes-onner–namely not stepping in potential messes and keeping your socks dry, but if you run a clean household, those shouldn’t be problems. The real issue is when you and your roommates fall on different sides of the lines in a battle that has ranged since people started building things to eat and sleep inside. Now you have are take–it’s up to you to search deep within your soul and figure out what it is you stand for.

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

The Washer/Dryer Combo

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. This week on the Hometown Rant we’re getting down into the spin cycles and the tumble dries that keep you and your house, apartment or condo looking fresh. If you’re wondering how washers and driers and rental properties could possibly relate to you, wander no further. The Hometown Rant has you covered.

As a landlord or property owner, you have to figure out whether or not your house, condo or apartment can house a washer/dryer unit, and whether or not you can install one. If you’ve been renting a place out for a while, you’ve probably made this decision already, but if you’re looking to set up a property for rent or looking to improve on a property you already rent out, consider the washer/dryer.

Two of the things people tend to see immediately when searching for properties after beds and baths are kitchen appliances and washers and driers. If your property is lacking, people may pass over it in the listings, even if it has other attractive features. The fact of the matter is, it’s a pain to have to leave your house, apartment, condo or loft just to do the laundry.

As tenants looking for properties, pay attention to the inclusion of washer/dryer units, and think about them in relation to the size of your wardrobe and the number of roommates you’re planning on having. If you’re a one-bag kinda person living in a studio apartment, you could probably get away without having your own washer/dryer. If you’re a fashionista who has to wear a fresh outfit every day, or if you work out all the time, you probably want the capabilities to do your laundry at will.

Then there’s the entirely separate realm of washer/dryer etiquette between roommates. It’s one of the shared spaces in a house, apartment or condo where things can get hairy. Literally, even, if you don’t clean out your lint trap. One solution might be to have a specific each of you day you do your laundry, that way you’re all on your own cycles and nobody overlaps. If you have fewer people or you’re more intimate with one another, you could also do shared loads, just make sure you sort everything out and give it back instead of creating a feud by slowly acquiring all of your roommates socks. Trust us, things could get ugly.

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

Resolution Solutions

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. It’s December 31st, we’re on the cusp of a new year, and everyone is hoping, we’d imagine, that next year will be even better than this year. New years in America is a holiday without a huge litany of traditions, but one of the central ideas is the resolution–the commitment to oneself in setting goals for the coming months. It’s also one of the traditions least-often followed through on, which is sad since other new years traditions include dropping a ball of a skyscraper and drinking too much. Luckily, the Hometown Rant has your guide to making good resolutions related to your house, property, apartment, duplex or condo, and sticking to them.

Landlords, property owners and property managers might want to think business when making resolutions. These are what we like to call top-down resolutions–big goals that requrie little steps to complete, things like I want to own and be renting out another property by the end of the year, or I want to complete a much needed-remodel after the current tenant’s lease is up. Top-down resolutions require a lot of work, so instead of just saying that you want to do something, make the goal and then look at what you can do to move toward that goal. For that type of planning you should be thinking about week-to-week and even day-to-day things you can do to get closer to accomplishing what you set out to do.

Tenants might want to think about bottom-up resolutions–things you can do every day to improve your life in a noticeable way. These could range from something as small as I want to do my dishes after every meal, or I want to spend more time every day gardening to something with a bigger scope like I want to set aside money each paycheck to buy my own house. All of these goals are legitimate and achievable if you work them into your routine every day or every week.

Whether you’re going top-down or bottom-up, or you have a strange third category of resolution (which by the way we’d love to hear about,) the real challenge is staying with it. That’s why we recommend the day-by-day approach, where every day you have at least one thing you want to accomplish towards your end goal. Not only will you be getting closer, but you’ll go to sleep each night with a sense of accomplishment, having done something you set out to do. And if you’re going out tonight, watch out for droves of drunk people and balls falling from skyscrapers.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We resolve to answer it all:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Dishing it Out

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. Happy Thanksgiving! Last week we were talking preparation for turkey day, so it’s only fitting that we now discuss an issue pertinent to your post-thanksgiving problems. That’s right. This week we’re discussing disgusting dishes and washing them. Dishes are an integral part of the cycle of life. They get dirty and then you have to clean them. It’s part of being a civilized human, like cutting your hair and fingernails or brushing your teeth. You can choose not to do it, but eventually you’ll turn into this guy. Don’t do that.

As a property owner, manager or landlord, keep in mind that a dishwasher is one of the main appliances that people are looking for in a rental house, apartment or condo. It’s one of those modern conveniences that makes everything better in the kitchen, so if you want your rental property to be one in high demand, make sure you at least have a functioning dishwasher, if not a nice shiney new one. Not only will it be a selling point, but it’ll help your tenants keep the property spic and span so you have less upkeep to do when they move out.

As a tenant in any property, you’re going to be the one dealing with the dishes on a day-in day-out basis, and it’s your job to keep on top of it. Part of this is keeping on top of roommates who may not like to clean up after themselves, since one of the first places this tendency will manifest itself is in the sink. It’s ok to save some pots and pans for after you’ve eaten dinner, but you actually have to go back and wash them, or you’ll end up with a two week-old stack that’s got things growing at the bottom. Every new dish you put on top of the pile just compounds the nastiness for whoever has to buckle down and roll up their sleeves, which will probably be you eventually. Make it easy on yourself and clean up as you cook so you don’t have things to worry about later.

For events like thanksgiving, depending on the level of class you’re going for and the size of the gathering you’re hosting, you might consider getting disposable plates and silverware for the occasion. It’s not as sustainable, won’t look as nice and granny might be disappointed that you haven’t brought out the fine china, but it’ll save you a lot of time if you’re cleaning up after 20+ people’s post-feast messes. That might be a fair trade if you value your sanity and several layers of skin on your hands. You could also enlist the inevitable hordes of children that come around to be your indentured dishwashers for a few hours, though that might be easier said than done. Whatever you decide to do, have a happy holiday, and remember to keep it clean.

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

Garbage Day

Hey there all you Landlords, Tenants and Property Owners. This week, we’re talking about a certain special day of the week. No, it’s not Tuesday. Or maybe it is, depending on where your rental property is. Anyways, this time on the Hometown Rant, we’re talking about garbage day.

Western Civilization is founded on a few key principles, and one of them is that the municipality in which you live has a system for dealing with the refuse associated with the average consumer lifestyle. In order to keep a populace olfactorily satisfied, you need to deal with all the trash.

So what does this have to do with you as a Renter, Landlord or Property Owner? Well it should be pretty obvious. As a renter, unless you’ve created some sort of perfectly sustainable mecca within your rental property you’re going to have to get rid of stuff every week. As a Landlord or Property Owner, you don’t want your tenants to fill your property with trash, so you want to make it as easy for them as possible to deal with it themselves.

Cities and Towns often charge a fee for garbage collection, usually monthly. Landlords who have the option might want to pay for this up front and add the amount to the tenant’s rent. This will create less individual bills for the tenants to worry about, reducing the chances that a bill goes unpaid and your rental property becomes a dump that you’ll have to clean up later. Whatever you decide though, make it clear in the lease who is supposed to take care of trash so there can be no confusion later on.

Renters are like it or not the people who will be dealing with the trash on a week to week basis. Gross, we know, but get over it. If you don’t like it, be cleaner. The main difficulty of waste disposal for you is going to be separating trash from recycling, and glass from that. Most cities have those categories, and some even have compost. Check out our earlier article for more on responsibly letting stuff rot in your yard.

The easiest way around the issue is to separate your trash as you throw it away, so that when it comes to garbage day you aren’t stuck digging through your own mess, or worse, left with a full can the morning after because you didn’t separate things right. Good Garbagemen and Garbagewomen don’t play–if your trash isn’t right, they won’t touch it. Get yourself a few of these guys to make your life easier, and know that you’re doing the world a favor by not letting people bury your used yogurt cups for the next hundred million years.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Don’t be a stranger:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

 

The Water Closet Chronicles

Hey all you renters, landlords and property owners. This week on the Hometown Rant, we’re talking bathrooms. You know, the head, the john, the sh*tter, the ol’ W.C. There’s a reason it’s the room with the most nicknames–it’s the most important part of the house that nobody wants to talk about. Here at the Rant though, we’re rolling up our sleeves, plugging our noses, and going in.

From a landlord’s perspective, the bathroom should be the room in the house, apartment or condo that gets the most attention after the kitchen, which if you think about it is pretty appropriate. This is because like the kitchen, the bathroom contains plumbing, which is pretty much the dividing line between man and nature. If the plumbing is out, people might as well rent a yurt or wigwam with a scenic view. You’ll want to make sure that everything in the bathroom is working properly before renting out the house, and if tenants have any problems, get them fixed asap. If you thought regular water damage was bad, you should smell sewer water damage. Ugh.

On the flipside, potential renters looking at properties should make sure to inspect the bathroom before making a decision. Sit on the toilet awhile, and see if you can picture yourself living there long-term. Stand in the shower and check out the acoustics. We recommend James Brown or Luciano Pavarotti. Or how about both?

There’s also a reason that rental properties are listed by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Even if you’re cool with your buddy Steve renting the crawlspace, do you really want to share a bathroom with him and 4 other dudes every morning? Number of bathrooms is a seriously limiting factor in the number of people that can occupy a house, apartment or condo, so plan accordingly.

On another note, the bathroom is one of the places where there may be evidence of past tenants who didn’t take very good care of the property. Take an extra good look around the bath and under the toilet and make sure that you’re not being held responsible for the last people’s disgusting bathroom mess before signing anything.

It works both ways too. As a tenant, make sure your bathroom is kept clean and tidy, because it gets gross fast. People showering and shaving and doing their business naturally creates bodily messes that need to be cleaned quickly or they’ll start festering. And nobody wants a festering bathroom. Your roommates will detest you for making them clean up after your messes, and your guests will judge you mercilessly if they have to stare at hair bits and pee dribbles all over the sink and toilet, hopefully respectively. Don’t be those tenants. Respect your water closet and it will respect you!

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