Tag Archives: Tenant

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!

 

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

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

 

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

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