Tag Archives: Renter

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

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

 

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

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

Keys to the Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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