Monthly Archives: July 2015


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:

Little Kitchens

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re talking kitchens, specifically small kitchens, and how to make the most of your space. Of course we all wish our house, apartment, condo or duplex could have a massive, professional kitchen, but for most of us, that simply isn’t the case. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with the Hometown Rant’s guide to four essential things you need to cook great food without a lot of space.

  1. A good chef’s Knife. This tool is actually essential for any kitchen, and there are all sorts of knives for all sorts of jobs, but a good 8 inch chef’s knife is the most basic and essential tool in the arsenal of any cook, and with a few basic knife skills you can be making great looking food in no time at all. Along with your knife, we’d recommend a sharpening steel to keep the edge nice, and some cutting boards so you don’t mess up your countertops or your blade.

  2. A skillet. Every kitchen is going to have a stove of some sort, but you’re going to need something to use on it. We’d recommend a nice stainless steel one for longevity and ease of cleaning. Non-stick is nice, but you have to be careful not to scratch the coating when cooking and cleaning. With a stainless, you can go to town with a steel wool and not worry about messing up the finish.

  3. A rice cooker. There’s a reason that rice is a fundamental part of most developed cuisine–it’s cheap, easily stored, delicious, and can be prepared any number of ways to go with any number of dishes. Of course, you should know how to cook rice in a pot, but with a rice cooker it becomes as easy as pressing a few buttons and waiting for the beep. Not only that, but most rice cookers can also function as a slow cooker and a steamer, which’ll give you a triple bang for your appliance buck, all the better for saving space in your kitchen.

  4. A panini press. The sandwich should be a staple for just about anybody, especially people living and cooking in tight quarters. What better way to take your sandwiches to the next level than pressing them into crispy golden brown paninis, filled with melty, cheesy goodness? Trick question. There isn’t one.

Obviously there’s an endless list of appliances that you can get to fill the kitchen of your house, apartment, condo, or duplex, but with our list, you can’t go wrong. Happy cooking!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Hit us up:

Are you not Entertained?

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. This week on the rant, were taking a question straight from the mouth of Russel Crowe’s Maximus. Are you not entertained? Because if not, you totally should be. In this day and age, with our current abundance of media, there’s simply no reason not to have a killer entertainment center in your rental house, apartment, condo, loft or duplex.

Obviously how you want to be entertained will vary from person to person, but the one thing that will be consistent is that you’re going to need a space for it. This is where landlords, property managers and owners come in, since they’ll be the ones who provide said space. Most rental properties have some sort of living room or den space, which will usually be dedicated to the entertainment of its inhabitants. Landlords, property owners and property managers should advertise accordingly, especially if the living room or den has been remodeled recently. Everybody wants to relax in their rental property, and if there is a nice space to do so, it’ll be a big selling point.

For all you tenants out there, setting up your entertainment center is going to require some deep thought. You probably already know what it is you like doing in your free time, so obviously you’ll want to cater to that. If you’re of the musical persuasion, check out our handy Hometown Rant’s Guide to Audiophilia. If you’re more of a cinemaphile or a gamer, you probably want (or already have) a nice screen to watch/play on, but you’ll have to figure out whether you want to wall mount or get a stand. Each has its pros and cons. Here’s a quick video of how to set up a wall mount, though you should probably check with your landlord before doing so.

Those who go with a stand have an easier setup, but should think about positioning of the screen to reduce glare and maximize viewing angles. As far as seating goes, you have a few options, but recliners, couches and love seats tend to dominate the entertainment center in terms of furnishings.

If you plan on spending a lot of time relaxing in your rental properties’ entertainment center, you probably want to invest in some nice comfy furniture that’s not going to fall apart, and that’s going to still be comfortable, even when you sit down to watch the entirety of the Godfather, pt. 2, or do the entire Harry Potter series in a single marathon.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Entertain us: