Tag Archives: Rent

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

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

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

 

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

On the Town

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers! This week on the rant, we don’t feel like cooking, and if you’ve been working all day, you probably don’t either, so we’re talking about eating (and maybe even drinking) out!

Any good neighborhood should have at least one place to eat, though hopefully there are more than that. Good close restaurants are absolutely something to be considered when searching for a rental property,  and if you’re a landlord or property manager who is advertising a house, apartment condo or duplex, you might want to mention in your classified if your property is close to restaurants and bars. As much as they care about the rental property itself, people are often sold on a neighborhood.

 

As a tenant,  part of the fun of moving to a new neighborhood is checking out the places to eat, so in your first few weeks you should make it a goal to get out and sample the local cuisine.  Check out online reviews, or maybe ask your neighbors when you introduce yourself. It’s a good conversation starter at the least, and could also yield important local information. Who’s got the best burger in town? Which pizza joint delivers the latest?  Which hole in the wall taqueria to hit up, and which to avoid. These are all important questions, and knowing the answers is what separates the out of towers from the true locals.

Hungry yet? It’s about time you got out of your house, apartment or condominium and grabbed a bite to eat. Find your favorite place and become a regular.

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We eat it up: 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

 

letour

Le Tour du Rental

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers! It’s that special time of year again, that time where skinny, shaven men don skin-tight suits and tear across France on bicycles that cost more than your car. Ok, so maybe you vowed never to watch Le Tour again after that one time you had a few too many drinks and swore solidarity with Lance Armstrong, but it’s summer time, and like it or not, bikes are in the air. Or on the road. You know, whatever.

Even if you aren’t of the speedsuit persuasion, the bicycle is still the most efficient means of human powered transportation, and the best way to get from point a to point b without a car. Some cities and towns are more bike-friendly than others, so Landlords and property owners should consider the location of the house, apartment, condo or duplex in relation to any central bike routes, since that can be a big selling point for the right tenants. Especially in apartment buildings in cities, landlords should provide some sort of secure storage for tenants to keep bikes safe from inclement weather and the prying eyes of would-be bike thieves.

As a tenant, you should consider the bike-ability of the house, apartment, condo or duplex you’re renting. Some important factors include distance to work, downtown areas and grocery stores, as well as the location of any big hills in the area. If you can ride to most of the places you have to go instead of driving, you’ll save your car from the wear of stop-and-go city driving, save money on gas, and get in shape while you do it. What’s not to like about that?

As far as storage goes, the obvious choice for bike owners is probably the garage, that is, if you have one. If not, see if there’s a communal storage rack somewhere in your building, or maybe consider a hook or a wall-mounted rack inside your rental property. As always though, Don’t go installing anything without clearing it with your landlord, and even once you get the go-ahead, make sure you know what you’re doing before trying to install anything. Here’s a hint: use a stud finder when you drill. The last thing you want is a broken bike and/or big hole in the wall of your rental property.

Last but not least, ride safe, wear a helmet, and use lights at night. It’s not you crashing that you should be worried about, it’s the 17 year old on his phone behind the wheel. Think about it this way–if it saves your life once, isn’t it worth wearing every time? Now get out there and join the peloton!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Hate mail? Love letters? Ride ‘em on over: 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

 

The Rant’s Guide to Audiophilia

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. Bob Marley once said that one good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain, but sometimes when you’re a fan of metal and your neighbor is an old lady who likes swing and big band, Bob might be wrong. This week we’re talking music and renting, how to be a responsible audiophile.

As a landlord, property owner or manager, be familiar with the sonic qualities of the property in question. The main factors here are thickness of walls, and proximity of neighbors. If you’re renting out a little cabin in the middle of the woods, you probably don’t have to worry about your tenants disturbing anybody. If you’re renting out an apartment in the city, you might want to notify the applicant who lists his occupation as EDM DJ that it might be a problem if he’s practicing his dubstep drops late into the night.

As a tenant, you want to weigh your options when deciding on a property. If you’re a vinyl collector who likes to stay up late, you might not be able to fit you and all your records in a tiny studio apartment next to people who have to work early in the morning. If you’re a college kid that likes to throw parties on the weekends, you probably shouldn’t rent a house for you and your friends in a neighborhood with a lot of families, or if you do, know that you might be getting visits from the boys in blue, and noise complaint tickets add up quick. Obviously, you won’t always be able to make your choice based on its convenience for listening to the music you like, but it should absolutely be a factor in your decision.

If you’re already in a house, apartment, condo or duplex, there are certain measures you can take to ensure that you’re able to play your music at the volume you so desire, without making your neighbors hate you. The easiest way is probably just to go talk to them. You should be on good enough terms with the people next door that they won’t hesitate to call you and ask you nicely to turn it down if they find it too loud. That being said, if your neighbor asks you to turn it down, do it. They could have just as easily called the cops, and they didn’t out of respect for you. Return that respect, or you probably won’t be shown it in the future.

If you know you’re the kind of person who is going to make a lot of noise, don’t worry! There are steps you can take to minimize your natural tendencies. Wikihow has a good guide that includes a range of steps you can take, some of them more permanent than others. Once you’ve got that set up, check out Crutchfield’s guide to creating a proper listening environment in whatever space you have. Happy Listening!

 

Bookin’ It

Hey there all you renters and tenants, landlords and property owners. This week on The Rant we’re taking it back to a bygone age, a time before such silly things as blogs and tweets, a time when people used to read things printed on paper, which is this weird thin stuff made out of mashed up trees. Crazy, right? This week, we’re speaking in hushed voices of that oft-forgotten legend: Books. Books, and how they relate to your rental house, apartment, condo, loft or duplex.

You may be wondering, why books? I already have multiple devices that are able to display way more text, change what text they’re displaying, and take up way less space. Plus they have games. And you’d be right. But most of the text displayed on those devices is drivel leaking out of the cultural cesspool that is the internet. We’re looking at you, twitter. A book is a specifically crafted object meant to display a particular text in the best way possible. Even if you have a dedicated e-reader device loaded with the classics, there’s still something different about reading from the printed page, something nostalgic, something, dare we say, good?

Also, having a bunch of books makes you look educated and well-rounded and smart. And that’s what you really want, isn’t it? Books take up space, and once upon a time they were stored on things called bookshelves that were usually located in offices, dens, living rooms and bedrooms. Most if not all rental properties are going to have at least a few of these types of rooms, and depending on the place, it might even have some built-in bookshelves, ready to be filled.

As a landlord or property owner, you should know whether or not your rental properties have places to store books, and if you don’t already, you should advertise them in your postings. Not only will this make your property look classier, it’ll attract classier tenants, the kind of people who are looking for a space to store their leather-bound first editions. These are the kind of people that still care about physical objects, about preserving things for the future, and that should bode well for how they care for your rental house, apartment, condo, loft or duplex.

Likewise, if you’re a tenant who owns a lot of books, you already know that they take up a lot of space, so when searching for a house, apartment, condo, loft or duplex, you’ll probably be in the market for one that has enough space to hold your collection, ideally in a location that displays your books for all your house-guests, so they know how intelligent and well read you are. Keep these things in mind when searching for a property. Picture where you’d put your comfy reading chair, how the afternoon sun might shine through the window, splaying a golden light across the rainbow of spines and the embossed titles on dust jackets, as dust motes drift lazily through the air. Pretty nice, huh. We think so.

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