Monthly Archives: January 2015

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:

Floorin’ It

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and managers. We all love lil Jon, but here at the Hometown rant, we feel as though he’s got things a little backwards when he says to the window, to the wall, to the sweat drops down on the floor! We also hope he mops up the sweat drops before they stain the finish. This week we’re covering floors and coverings for floors of all types, in all types of houses, condos, lofts and duplexes.

If you’re a property owner, property manager, or landlord, one of the things you should absolutely pay attention to is the condition of the floors in your rental properties. It’s one of the first things savvy renters will look at when deciding whether or not to rent your house, apartment, duplex or condo. Not only that, but replacing the flooring or even the carpeting is an expensive endeavor.

Different types of floors obviously have different properties and different means and ease of maintenance, so choose wisely, both as a property owner putting in a floor, and as a tenant looking to rent a property. Tile is easy to clean and looks nice but can be expensive to put in or repair. Hardwood is always nice, but it can get scratched by furniture or pets and needs to be re-finished every now and then to prevent stains and such. Carpet is nice on the bare feet, but it soaks up all the dirt that comes into the house, and can get so bad that it has to be ripped up and replaced. Figure out which types of floor are right for you.

Tenants, you’re the ones who are going to be living, walking, sitting, jumping, squatting and/or breakdancing on the floor, so it’s mostly your job to keep them clean and in good condition. This means being careful about shoes on carpet, about dragging furniture across wood, and about cleaning up spills promptly and thoroughly. Invest in a decent vacuum and a mop, especially if you have pets who you’re going to be cleaning up after. The cost for both is probably only a fraction of the security deposit you put down on the place, so think of it like insurance.

Also, while you’re at it, pick up some of this stuff. When I was in college, my roommate came back from a shopping trip with a bottle and I asked him what he was thinking since we didn’t have any pets. His logic was infallible: if it’ll take out piss, he said, it’ll take out anything. He was right. Later that night we used it to get half a glass of red wine out of the carpet.

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We can get down:

Gamin on Ya!

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. This week on the Hometown Rant, we ain’t playin’. Or actually, we are. We’re talking games and gamerooms, their place and function, and how they relate to your house, apartment, condo, duplex or other domicile.

Some of you may be thinking gamerooms? That all sounds a little fancy, a little rich for my blood, but we’re not necessarily talking about full-sized snooker parlors with fully stocked bars. The truth of the matter is that games are egalitarian. The point is to bring people together around a fun activity, playing an invaluable role in any functional household. So don’t worry, the Hometown Rant has the guide for you to be playing in no time, no matter if you’re rent a studio apartment or a party mansion.

As a landlord or property owner looking to rent out a property, think about spaces in said property that you’re not quite sure what to do with, or what to call. In your ad, you might term that space as a potential gameroom. It makes your property seem more classy, and appeals to a broader market of people, people who want something less boring than a regular old study or den. If your rental property has something like a pool table already in it, definitely advertise that, because there’s pretty much no moving one of those things once it’s in place.

As a tenant in a rental property looking to spice the place up, think about the games you like to play and the space that you have to work with. A good multi-purpose game room is really as simple as a good table with a few chairs around it and a deck of cards.

If you’re the poker type, you could look into getting an actual card table or a roll out cover host your weekly game, just make sure your buddies don’t stink up the place with their cigars. If poker isn’t your game, we’ve got some recommendations. If you and your friends all think you’re pretty funny you could go for apples to apples or it’s crass older brother, cards against humanity. If you like making words, scrabble is always great, and if you want scrabble but more freeform, go with bannanagrams. If you really want to get your nerd on, a game like Settlers of Catan is a classic, and has a host of expansions for when you get a bigger table.

If you want a game table that’ll really be the centerpiece of a room, you can always browse craigslist for people selling things like foosball or ping-pong tables, which can often be found for cheap or even free, if you’re willing to get it out of somebody’s life on the double. Just make sure when it comes time to move you’re not the one desperately trying to pawn the foos off on somebody else.

Whatever your game is, play it hard and play it well. We will.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Get your head in the game:




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: