Rental Property in Federal Hill, Baltimore

Baltimore's Inner HarborBooming nightlife and culture abound, Federal Hill is an attractive place to live for young renters looking to move to Baltimore, Maryland!

Located on the south side of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Federal Hill encompasses approximately 24 city blocks with Federal Hill Park rising above at the northeast corner, offering the best view in the city. The neighborhood is rich in history dating back to before the Wars of Independence, where the hill played a vital part in both military and maritime use. Today, the neighborhood is part of the National Register of Historic Places and the Baltimore City Historic District Ordinance.

In addition to the neighborhood’s rich history, Federal Hill in Baltimore offers its residents a neighborhood saturated in culture and art to include the Baltimore Museum of History and the American Visionary Art Museum as well a locally owned boutiques and galleries. A foodie’s dream, the neighborhood offers a variety of shops and restaurants and at the heart of historic Federal Hill is the Cross Street Market. Originally opening in 1846, Cross Street Market began a $7.3 million renovation in early 2018. In the spring of 2019, 6 vendors re-opened in the revitalized structure with an additional 10 vendors expected to open by Labor Day.

The amenities offered in this neighborhood rich in history and culture are a huge draw to young professionals, with more than 85% of Federal Hill residents having a college or advanced degree. In early 2013, developers took notice of the demand for rental properties and new construction took off. With the new market, rental property rates rose steadily through 2017 before the supply of luxury rentals far outweighed the demand. The resulting oversupply had a huge effect on the vacancy rate which currently sits near 10% in Federal Hill as opposed to Baltimore city which is less than 4%. This increased vacancy rate throughout Federal Hill caused fierce competition among developers as they dropped their expected rental rates and offered huge incentives to bring in tenants.

In spite of the oversupply and drop in rental rates over the past year, Federal Hill in Baltimore has remained one of the most sought after and pricey neighborhoods in the city. It is currently ranked as the the 4th most expensive neighborhood in Baltimore city, falling just behind Canton and Fells Point. There are certainly plenty of options available to renters ranging from luxury highrise apartments to refurbished historic townhomes. However, renters can expect to pay anywhere from $1600 to $2400 for a 2 bedroom unit.

Throughout the rise and fall of rental property rates, and the increased vacancy rate, Bay Management Group has maintained a steady supply of available rental units in the Federal Hill and South Baltimore area. We have been able to guide our owners in pricing effectively to avoid losses due to extended vacancy and make upgrades to keep their properties fresh and attractive for prospective renters. If you are a property owner, you can turn to Bay Management Group to assist with pricing, marketing and leasing your Federal Hill home.

Home Warranties and Rental Properties. Are They Worth It?

House key in home Insurance agent's hand protectionThere’s no way to get around it, being a homeowner can be pretty expensive at times. Between the cost of preventative maintenance, and having to pay out of pocket for those unexpected repairs; making sure you’re financially prepared for maintenance expenses, whether preventative or unexpected, is a must for every homeowner.

As a homeowner, you’re probably also looking for ways to minimize any out of pocket expenses, and one way many homeowners attempt to do that, is by signing up with a home warranty company. In this post, we’re going to discuss what exactly a home warranty is and what home warranty companies do, the pros and cons of those companies, and if it’s a good idea to hire a home warranty company when you own a rental property.

What is a home warranty? A home warranty (not to be confused with a home insurance policy) is a plan that pays for repairs and sometimes replacements of household appliances and systems. Things such as plumbing leaks, drain clogs, HVAC issues, and even appliance repairs, may be covered under your home warranty policy. In addition to repairs, your home warranty policy may also cover the cost of replacement of major appliances within your home.

What are the pros of a home warranty? Many home owners would report the number one reason for hiring a home warranty company, besides attempting to save money, is peace of mind. If something breaks in your home and you’re unable to fix it, what is the next thing you do? If you’re like many homeowners, you start researching different contractors to come out and take a look at the problem. With a home warranty, you don’t have to. You simply call up the home warranty company, or go right online, and report the issue. They will reach out to one of their preferred contractors, who will then be in touch with you to schedule an appointment.

In addition to peace of mind, there’s also the money saving aspect of a home warranty. When you sign up with a home warranty company, you will be made aware of your premium costs upfront, as well as any deductible for repairs that are covered under your policy. This allows you to budget accordingly, and be much more prepared financially for the unexpected.

As with anything, there are also some drawbacks to having a home warranty. One of the biggest drawbacks is the fact that not everything is covered under a home warranty. It is very important that you read the fine print of your policy, so that you know exactly what is and what is not covered. Otherwise, you’ll be in a position to pay out of pocket for repairs that you were not expecting to.

Another drawback of a home warranty is their service fees. Many home warranty companies charge a service call fee for every issue that is reported. Fees range from $50-100, and must be paid prior to the contractor even looking at the issue. Home warranties cover a wide range of repairs, however, these service fees can quickly add up.

Is a home warranty worth it when you own a rental property? This is something a lot of our home owners ask, and while the decision is completely yours to make, a home warranty may not be warranted, especially if you own a rental that is being managed by a Property Management company.

Like home warranty companies, most third party Property Management companies have a list of preferred vendors they work with. This still gives you that peace of mind you may be looking for, when deciding whether or not you want to purchase a home warranty. Most management companies will schedule any maintenance repairs with one of their preferred vendors, and ensure those repairs are completed properly.

When having your property management company handle repairs, you can potentially save a significant amount of money on service call fees. While some vendors may charge a diagnostic fee, others will provide a free estimate for repair costs. This will certainly be on a case by case basis, but you should not expect to pay a service call fee for every issue reported.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that a home warranty is only as good as the company that stands behinds it. While some home warranty companies offer great customer service, and speedy response times, we have found others leave a lot to be desired. If you have a dependable and trustworthy Property Management Company, it may make the most sense to allow them to coordinate all repairs on your behalf. After all, your management company should be handling everything with your best interest in mind. From choosing the best vendor for the job, making sure the job gets done for the right price, and ensuring the job is completed properly, these are just a few things you can expect when having your management company handle maintenance repairs.

If you’re still considering hiring a home warranty company, the best thing you can do is research as much as possible. Take a look at the reviews, ask questions, and always read the fine print. Make sure you feel 100% comfortable with a company, before signing any home warranty contract.

Employee Spotlight: Tony Cook, Chief Operating Officer

Tony Cook

Bay Management Property Management

At Bay Management Group, we are property management professionals focused on customer-service. Furthermore, our goal is to make property ownership both a pleasurable and profitable experience for our clients. We know that our success is due to our awesome team members, and how they each contribute something special to our property management company.

Therefore, we are initiating our Employee Spotlight to help you get to know more about our talented employees, and how their unique backgrounds and expertise help us stay a “cut above the rest.” Today, we are proud to introduce Tony Cook, Chief Operating Officer. Read on to discover all about Tony, his professional background, and what he enjoys most about working here at Bay Management Group.

Tony Cook, Chief Operating Officer

Tony graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY in 2010. He received a BS degree with a concentration in accounting. Tony comes to BMG with over five years of experience in accounting. His previous jobs ranged from accounts receivable to staff accountant to a controller – making him well-versed in each aspect of finance and accounting. And you might not guess it by looking at him, but Tony also managed a family-owned restaurant for ten years as well!

How Tony Came to Property Management

Tony is Bay Management Group’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), and he has been with our company for almost six years. He worked his way up the ladder, and he landed the COO role back in 2016. Tony feels his primary responsibility is to find solutions to problems (and to discover and prevent issues before they become them).

A Day in the Life of Tony Cook

All of our BMG managers and maintenance technicians report to Tony. Together, they implement new policies and procedures to help set our property management company apart from the competition. BMG’s collective number one goal is to provide outstanding service to both our owners and our tenants. Tony is continuously researching new and better ways to meet and exceed our owners’ and tenants’ expectations.

Additionally, Tony is also actively involved in BMG’s recruiting efforts (employees and vendors), compliance, insurance claims, financials, IT, operations, and other company endeavors. Plus, he works closely with the President of our Laurel office to ensure that both of BMG’s offices run in sync and meet their performance and financial objectives.

A typical workday for Tony includes running reports, following up on emails, meeting with managers, and game planning BMG’s future goals and objectives. His favorite part of his COO job is the satisfying and rewarding feeling that comes from making decisions or changes that end up working well. He also enjoys interacting with our staff and seeing them grow in their positions as he did.

Why Tony Loves Being Part of the BMG Team

Tony feels that it’s the people that set Bay Management Group apart from other property management companies. We are a group of organized, motivated, and intelligent people – and Tony thinks that is apparent to our clients as we interact with them. We are fast to respond to issues, follow up, and always do our best to deliver a positive experience.

For those considering going into the property management field, Tony says to prepare for things to happen daily that are out of your control – and that these “crises” typically will happen first thing on Monday morning, or the last thing on Friday afternoon. So, always expect the unexpected!

Outside of BMG

When Tony isn’t in the office, you’ll find him traveling, exercising, reading or watching sports – go 49ers and Knicks!

Here’s Five Fun Facts About Tony:

  • Name something off your bucket list.

    • To skydive!
  • If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?

    • John C Bogle – I am an index investor and truly admired this man’s unselfish approach with Vanguard.
  • What is the best book you have ever read?

    • Think and Grow Rich
  • If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?

    • This may sound crazy, but smartphones. I think they have done incredible things (too many to list) but they have taken away real connection and focus from people and it’s going to take a very long time for us to get used to that.
  • Pick three words to describe yourself.

    • Motivated
    • Organized
    • Funny (at least I am told!)

Bay Management Group is a full-service property management company here to help you with all your residential and multi-family property needs. Our business is strictly property management, so our specialization enables us to serve you better. For more information on our range of services, contact us today.

The York, PA Rental Market vs. The Baltimore, MD Rental Market

For Rent Sign

In the following article, we will take a brief look at two markets that are close in proximity but different in many other ways. These differences will sometimes determine the approach a homeowner will take if they are thinking about renting their home or if they are an investor looking into purchasing a rental property in either market.

What’s the Difference Between the Baltimore & York Rental Markets?

The York, PA and Baltimore, MD rental markets have some similarities as well as some significant differences, even though they are less than an hour apart from each other. The population in York City is just over 40,000 people while the population in York County, PA is near 450,000. In comparison, the Baltimore City population is just over 600,000 while the population for Baltimore County is in the mid 800,000 range.

Population Gap

The most glaring difference between the two markets, other than the population gap, would be the average rent an investor or homeowner will receive for the area. York will typically have an average rent in the low to mid $900 range while Baltimore has an average rent in the low to mid $1200 range. This may not seem like a lot, but we should remember that these are only averages. In the York, PA market, we can, in some cases, see rent dip into the low $400 range, which makes owning a successful rental property somewhat challenging given that the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) for the property may exceed the net rental income. Each market typically will see rental increases of 1-2% per year, respectively.

Median Home Prices & Income Levels

Other differences are the median home prices and income levels for the two markets. York will have a median income level in the low to mid $60,000 range while the median income level for the Baltimore area is in the mid to high $70,000 range. York County, on the other hand, has a median home price of around $170,000 while Baltimore County has a median home price of $240,000 on average.

Public School Systems

The public school system will often be a huge factor for a prospective buyer of a home, and we have seen this translate equally into the rental markets in the York area. When tenants who are now parents begin to think about quality education for their children, they will look for areas that have public school systems with better than average ratings. For those that are longtime residents of the York area, they will already know the reputations of the various school districts. However, for people that are new to the area, they will typically rely on the internet, word of mouth, or their realtor of choice to guide them in choosing an area that may best suit their educational needs. Due to these factors, investors may seek rental homes in these perceived areas as well. They may also need to pay more for these rental home opportunities, and there may be times when the rental income vs. the cost of the home may not correlate equally.

The York, PA & Baltimore, MD Rental Market Remains Strong

While York, PA seems to have much lower rent, lower income, and lower home prices compared to Baltimore, the differences in the numbers seem to be relative in each respective market. The school districts in York are a driving factor for many people seeking housing and should, in turn, be a factor for investors or prospective landlords entering the market. Our knowledge of each market shows various differences, but one theme holds true in each; the rental market remains strong even though the regional and national mortgage rates are consistently low, and each market is typically seeing rental increases of 1-2% per year, respectively. Overall, we think that each market will produce success for investors and landlords if proper due diligence is performed.

Features of a Profitable Baltimore Rental Property

money on grass

Owning a rental property is part of the American Dream. Owning several rental properties, in which you can make a profit by renting some of them, is an outstanding accomplishment. Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier said than done (like many things in life). If you’re trying to make your Baltimore rental property profitable, there are a few things you should be aware of, lest the lack of attention could not only cost you potential tenants; it could also eat into your bottom line if you’re faced with fines and penalties.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the features of a profitable rental property in Baltimore:

1. It’s in an Area Where People Want to Live

If you want to learn how to make a rental property profitable, the first step is purchasing a property in an area where renters want to be. Of course, this means different things for different people, which means your target market may vary based on the neighborhood in which you choose to purchase a property. Multi-bedroom homes are usually most enticing to people with families or college students who need to have several people on the lease within a shared space. Single-bedroom or two-bedroom condos are often more interesting for singles or young families.

There is no wrong answer in terms of which type of property you invest in, as long as you choose a location in which people want to live. Neighborhoods with high crime rates, for example, can cause many great tenants to look for other options. Similarly, if parking is difficult or if there aren’t many public transit options nearby, potential renters may look elsewhere. It’s also a good idea to buy an investment property in a place where amenities are nearby. Shopping centers, grocery stores, movie theaters, and farmers’ markets can attract high-quality renters.

2. Management is Available 24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

Things break. Accidents happen. Unexpected problems arise.

As a landlord, it’s up to you to deal with these things as soon as they occur, but you’re only one person, and you probably have other tasks to tend to, as well. That’s why many landlords in Baltimore hire property management firms to ensure their tenants are taken care of. At Bay Management Group, we have skilled professionals on-call every hour of the day to ensure our clients’ maintenance issues are tended to as soon as possible.

As renters, your tenants expect to have their problems taken care of when they occur. By employing the assistance of an experienced property management firm, you have a valuable selling point on your hands that can ensure profitability in your investment. People appreciate safety and security; when you’re able to provide this to them via 24-hour access to emergency services, you’re putting yourself one step ahead of the competition.

3. It’s Well-Kept

Nobody wants to live in a home in which the paint’s chipping off the walls and the window screens look like they were featured in a horror movie because they’ve got sliced and diced going through the middle of the window.

To ensure your rental property is profitable, you have to maintain it. If you have a rental house, paint or wash the exterior at least once every other year, and be sure to take care of the shingles, window ledges, and other elements that can cause it to look worn. If you own a condo, keep the balcony pristine (if your unit has one), and make sure all the appliances are working and the electrical units are up to code.

If you have renters who currently reside in your property, check in with them every few months to ask if they need anything, if anything’s not working correctly, or if they’ve had any issues. Periodic on-site visits can also help qualm situations that could otherwise get out of hand. This is another task property management companies can handle on your behalf. They do regular check-ins with tenants to ensure everything is in working order and functions as it should. They’ll also alert you if tenants don’t appear to be adhering to the standards outlined in your lease agreement.

Beyond checking in with your tenants, it’s vital to maintain the regular systems of the property. You need to check the roof, HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical systems regularly to ensure preventative care for anyone who might want to rent from you.

4. Potential Renters are Properly Screened

One of the easiest ways to make a profitable apartment unprofitable is to rent to the wrong people. It’s vital to screen your tenants using every possible tool in your toolbox. Renting to people who aren’t qualified—although they may seem great on paper—can cost you an enormous amount of revenue in the end.

A thorough tenant screening includes:

Running Background Checks

It’s important to know who you’re renting to before you sign a lease with a potential renter. There are a lot of types of people you might disqualify, once you have the full background of a candidate.

Performing Employment History Checks

If a potential renter gets a new job every few weeks, or if that person lies about their job history on their application, this is a cause for concern. Being able to validate a person’s employment history is vital to ensuring your rental property is profitable.

Speaking to References

It’s no secret that some people make up references when they’re applying for apartments, but qualified candidates will have real references you can call to verify employment, past rental habits, and general characteristics that make for a good renter.

Hire the Right Property Manager

If you own a rental property in Baltimore, the best thing you can do to ensure you make money on your investment is to hire the right property management firm. At Bay Management Group, our team of property management experts is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure your tenants and property are cared for with the highest quality customer service and tenant/landlord expertise. We invite you to obtain your free property management analysis today!

The Best Time To Get A Good Deal On Your Rental Apartment

Good deal on rentals

Your lease is up, you can’t renew, and you’re looking for a new apartment near you. Or you’re moving to a new city. Or you’re going off to college, moving in with your significant other, longing to have an entire place to call your personal space – there are plenty of reasons why you might be looking for a new rental. Some come with a sense of urgency; some allow you plenty of time to search for that ideal mix of cozy and modern. But if you’re here, you’re wondering when you can get the best possible deal on your new rental. And we’ve got you covered, whether you need to pack up quickly or you have all the time in the world.

The best time of year to get a good deal on your apartment

Let’s start big. There’s plenty of advice online when it comes to getting a good deal on your new place, especially if you’re searching for apartments in a large metro area, like Baltimore. Some say October is the best month for low prices on new rentals; others say it’s December or January. These months all have one thing in common: if you’re looking for a great deal, avoid the period between late spring and early autumn.

The summer months are when most people prefer moving – the weather’s forgiving, school’s out for the kids and energy levels are up for the adults. If you start searching for your new place anytime outside of this period, you’re already getting a better deal.

That being said, a couple of months do stand out with smaller than average rents. Last year, for example, the national average dropped in January, October, and November, while in 2017, January and September were the months to start renting a new place, according to RENTCafé data.

Overall, you should either go for January, when people are still reeling from the holidays, or mid to late autumn. Most yearly leases expire in August or September, so owners start to feel the pressure to close deals by October or November.

The best time of the month to get a good deal on your apartment

The fact of the matter is sometimes you need to move fast. The good news is that even if you need to move between late spring and early autumn, you can still get a good deal with some short-term planning.

First off, start looking for new places 4 to 6 weeks before your move, so you have some time to research the market. If you start earlier, a lot of the apartments you find will probably be taken by the time you’re ready to sign the lease. Start your search later, and you might scramble to find a new place at a decent price.

Secondly, try to look for your new place at the beginning of the month. You’ll have more options since most leases expire at the end of the month. Alternately, look for rentals near the very end of the month, when owners are looking to close and are more likely to give you a better deal. But keep in mind that late in the month, you’ll be choosing from a substantially smaller selection of apartments.

The best time of day to look for a new apartment

This may come as a surprise, but even the time of day can affect your chances of getting a good deal since most agents put their listings up in the morning. Of course, this piece of advice is most useful if you’re looking to rent an apartment in a densely populated metro area like New York or Los Angeles, but it can also affect your bottom line if you live in a smaller city.

Of course, if you’re working a 9-to-5, it’s not exactly easy to look at a listings in the first part of the day. However, if you really want to get a good deal on your new place, you should consider taking a day or two off near the beginning of the month for this specific purpose.

All in all, if moving day isn’t right around the corner, go for the period between mid-autumn and mid-winter. If you need to be quick, at least try to wait until the beginning of the next month. And in any scenario, start your search in the first part of the day if your time allows it, and soon enough, you’ll have a new home and a great deal on rent to go along with it.

About the author

Irina Lupa

Irina is a writer for RENTCafé, where she covers market trends and topics relevant to today’s renters. Before developing a passion for real estate, she focused on fields ranging from automotive electronics to digital business development, digging into tech news from a critical perspective.

How Renters Insurance Benefits Property Managers and Landlords

renters insurance

Insurance certainly has its place in the world. Hopefully, you wouldn’t drive your car without proper insurance, and if you’ve ever taken an impromptu trip to the emergency room, you know how valuable health insurance can be. As a property owner, doesn’t it only make sense to take measures to protect your investment just as you would your car or body? Some landlords overlook the importance of renters insurance, but if you have tenants living in the space you own, a solid insurance policy not only protects you and your property—it protects your tenants, as well.

With that said, let’s dive into the details of renters insurance in Baltimore, MD!

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

For obvious reasons, most people think renters insurance is something that’s meant to protect tenants. While that’s certainly true, it also protects property managers and landlords. Just like car insurance, the items that are protected by renters insurance vary from policy to policy. The following are some items that may be protected, along with the benefits they offer landlords and property managers:

Protection of Renters’ Contents

The most basic renters insurance policies protect tenants’ personal belongs from situations such as:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Non-flood water damage

This is an essential protection because you don’t want your renters coming after you in court if a natural disaster or unforeseen accident occurs and damages or ruins their property. Many renters are under the impression that their landlords’ insurance policies automatically protect their belongings, but that’s typically not the case. The contents of the unit they’re renting belong to them, and as such, it’s their responsibility to ensure they’re covered, should something bad happen down the road.

Protection of Landlords’ Properties

Unfortunately, sometimes, bad tenants happen. Unsavory people can damage your property before you even know it’s happening. In these cases, renters insurance can help you recover the cost of the damages so you can repair your place and get another renter in the unit as soon as possible.

Medical & Financial Protection

If someone accidentally injures themselves in your tenant’s unit, his or her renters insurance policy helps protect the lessee from financial losses that may be associated with related wounds. This, in turn, is good for the landlord, too, as it helps ensure the existing tenant’s bank account isn’t stretched to the point that he or she won’t be able to pay the rent.

Structural Loss Protection

If something tragic, such as a fire, breaks out, it won’t just be your tenant’s belongings that are affected—the structure of your property will likely be damaged, as well. Accidents or negligence caused by your tenants can cost you a lot of money if your property isn’t properly protected. But renters insurance helps prevent unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses if you need to rebuild the structure.

How to Offer Renters Insurance to Tenants

It’s best to discuss renters insurance upfront, especially if it’s a requirement of a tenant’s lease. Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, but renters who have never had this type of coverage may be afraid of the extra cost if you’re not prepared to explain it to them when you bring it up. To mitigate the possibility of sending qualified candidates running, have the base cost available when you begin the discussion. It’s also helpful to be prepared to answer potential tenants’ questions that might arise, such as:

  • Why the cost of rental insurance varies by type of dwelling (single-family versus apartment) and region.
  • Which additional riders may be beneficial above and beyond the basic coverage (and why).

If you’re able to tie the cost of renters insurance into your tenants’ monthly rental fees, the process is usually a lot less confusing for renters. Of course, you’ll want to be sure you discuss why the cost of rent is a little higher than the base rent. Besides making it easier for your tenants to have coverage without incurring an additional bill, this method enables you to ensure your tenants always have renters insurance. The last thing you want to do is find out your lessees’ renters insurance policies have lapsed after a devastating event occurs.

If you’re not tying the cost of renters insurance into the lease, it’s helpful to offer a list of reputable companies your tenants can call to get coverage on their own. This helps reduce the stress and anxiety of having yet another task on the to-do list when they’re already looking for a new place to live and getting ready to move. Even if your tenants will be seeking their own rental insurance, it’s a good idea to have an estimated cost ready, so they can see that they probably won’t be facing sticker shock when they call.

It’s important to present renters insurance as a protection for your tenants, rather than an obligation. They should see this as a gesture that shows you care about their well-being, safety, and security. Framing the conversation in this way helps reduce the idea that you’re merely trying to get them to pay more money each month.

If your current tenants don’t have renters insurance, you should approach the topic upon lease renewal. Again, it’s best to arm yourself with the positive benefits of insurance protection, as well as the estimated cost so your renters can be as informed as possible.

The Cost of Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is typically inexpensive, and it will be well worth it if a catastrophe occurs. There are plenty of factors that can contribute to variations in price, but many monthly premiums are around $15 a month, if not less. There are some situations that will typically cause rates to be higher or lower, including:

  • Local crime rates.
  • Regionally costly catastrophes.
  • The addition of other renters on the same policy.
  • Credit scores.
  • Discounts offered to bulk properties (this is a great item to explore if you’re the owner of multiple units or wish to benefit from the many advantages of hiring a property management company to take care of your investment on your behalf).
  • Bundling with other types of insurance, such as vehicle insurance.
  • The addition of extra riders (for example increased coverage limits, natural disasters not covered in the basic policy, pet damage, property or identity theft).

Renters insurance is essential protection for all parties involved. As a landlord or property manager, you want to be sure your investment is taken care of, should something unforeseen occur. You also want to make sure your tenants have security so they can recover from any damages that may happen in the future. When your lessees carry proper coverage, everyone’s risks are mitigated.

Are you unsure how to navigate conversations revolving around renters insurance? Our team at Bay Management Group is happy to help. Whether you have questions about the type of coverage you’re allowed to require your tenants to carry, or you need help ensuring your lease agreements are written in a way that best protects your investments, you can count on our team of expert property management professionals to guide the way. Touch base with us so we can talk about renters insurance policy best practices today!

Announcement: Bay Management Group is Expanding into Southern PA

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

We have exciting news!

Bay Management Group—the premier leader for property management services in Baltimore, Laurel, and Philadelphia—is expanding into southern Pennsylvania!

Property Management in York County

With just under a half-million residents, York County offers a small-town feel that’s filled with tons of history. Nestled near the Susquehanna River Valley, York County provides a peaceful respite for families who want to stay away from the busy hustle and bustle of the city.

Since there are so many beautiful, historic homes, we understand that property owners want to make sure their investments are well-kept and rented by the right tenants. Whether you own a single-family home, a building that’s been converted into multiple units, or a more modern complex that offers rental condo units, we’ll be here to help you.

Property Management in Lancaster County

Lancaster’s another quiet area we can’t wait to meet. With farm communities abound and an authentic experience that enables residents to enjoy slower lifestyles than those found in the cities, Lancaster County is going to be a fun market for us to get to know. There are a lot of historic brick buildings that deserve the love and attention our property management firm can offer. Whether you’re looking for efficient ways to market your space, great tenant-screening tools, or assistance with evictions, our team is ready to step in and get the ball rolling.

Property Management in Dauphin County

It’s easy to see why people love Dauphin County’s waterfront aesthetics. It’s a lively area that’s still remarkably homey and humble. It’s exactly the kind of place where people want to raise their families, and as your property management firm, it will be our job to help future tenants find the rental properties of their dreams.

With vineyards dotting the landscape in every direction and breweries being found alongside city streets, we also understand that this is an excellent place for young professionals who are looking for homes with easy access to fun activities. Our marketing team is taking this idea to task, ensuring we’re covering your bases and ready to tout all the amazing things Dauphin County has to offer.

Property Management in Cumberland County

With a proud heritage of beautiful homes, some of which date back centuries, we’re excited to explore this landscape on behalf of our landlord clients and the renters who are looking for apartments or single-family houses to call home. With nearly one-third of households in this area having children, we’ll be on the lookout for ways to help families find Cumberland County properties that are situated around entertaining areas. For the homes that don’t have children, we’ll have an assortment of beautiful properties, too.

Meet TJ Noye

Bay Management Group has welcomed TJ Noye as the expansion leader for the southern Pennsylvania area. TJ previously worked at Axis Group, where he:

  • Performed financial analysis for new real estate projects and business ventures
  • Managed and invested the company’s money into various deals
  • Developed budgets and forecasts for prospective deals
  • Managed multiple teams for the projects Axis Group was working on

As a major contributor to the Bay Management Group team, TJ will help facilitate our mission and vision to renters and landlords in the southern Pennsylvania region.

Meet Bay Management Group

Bay Management Group is proud to help landlords and tenants come together in a way that makes sense for optimal living. We offer a full suite of property management services, including tenant screening, background checks, marketing, maintenance, rent collection, eviction processing, and so much more. If you’re ready to enjoy positive ROI from your property investment with minimal effort, we invite you to learn how Bay Management Group can help you!

Tips for Any Potential Renter Looking to Lease an Apartment  

Potential Renters

Finding the right apartment is never easy. Sometimes, you get really lucky and happen upon a dream spot shortly after you’ve begun your search. But many times, it takes a lot of work to find a place that checks all (or, at least most) of your boxes. Once you’ve found a spot that resonates with your needs, there are a few things you should always pay attention to so there are no surprises along the way. The better the tenant you are, the better the response you’ll get from your landlord when you need his or her assistance.

If you’re ready to learn how to rent an apartment, let’s take a look at a few key essentials that every renter must know!

1. Read the Lease Before You Sign It

The lease is the most essential part of any tenant-landlord relationship (besides the roof and walls that come with the property!) There can be all kinds of clauses in the lease that might obligate you to pay a higher monthly fee than the rent you’re anticipating.

For example, the fine print might require you to pay a pro-rate share of certain things such as:

  • Water bills
  • Trash bills
  • Utilities
  • Internet usage
  • Lease renewal terms
  • Pet deposits and monthly rents
  • Parking spaces

More than likely, you’ll be required to pay a security deposit, as well as first and last month’s rent. Make sure you understand the financial implications of your lease before you sign, as the upfront fees can be a bit heftier than the actual monthly rent you’ll be paying after you get settled in.

If things like utilities, cable, and internet aren’t included in your lease, make sure you understand how much those monthly payments will be. The most important of those items is electricity. You can call your utility provider to request an estimate of the monthly payments other renters in that unit have made in previous years. If you need to have cable and internet in your home, make sure those monthly fees fit into your budget after your rent is paid. Be sure not to budget down to the bare minimum, as you’ll still need to eat and get from place to place.

It’s imperative to understand the terms of the lease before you sign, so you don’t find yourself underwater with bills you weren’t factoring into your budget after you’ve already moved in.

2. Put All Correspondence in Writing

People who don’t know how to rent an apartment often find themselves in precarious situations when they take landlords at their word. While your soon-to-be landlord may seem incredibly trustworthy, it’s in your best interest to get everything in writing.

By emailing your questions to the property management company, you’ll have a written record of the responses that you can file away in case you need them. Phone calls don’t afford you this luxury, and he-said-she-said situations are extremely difficult to contest in court. If a dispute ever arises, you can refer to the email exchanges you’ve accumulated throughout your tenancy.

Along the same lines, make sure you always have a receipt for your monthly payments, indicating the amount you paid and the date on which you made the payment. If you’re able to pay online, you should be able to reference those records fairly easily. But if you’re paying cash or by way of money order, it’s more difficult to track and access previous payments.

3. Always Ask Permission First

When you rent an apartment, you’re using the facilities of the person who owns the property. He or she may have rules that you’re not aware of—either because they weren’t specified in the lease or you didn’t quite understand what the applicable portion of the lease was telling you.

It’s okay to have questions, and it’s a far better idea to ask permission first than request forgiveness later when you’re in a rental situation.

Are you thinking about getting a pet? Do you want to alter the landscape by planting a garden or pulling out some bushes? If you’re not sure about something, always get permission first and (as mentioned above, be sure to get it in writing.

4. Keep Your Apartment in Good Shape

This is one of our top renter tips, but it’s also good for overall peace and well-being within your dwelling.

You need to keep your apartment in a sanitary condition. If you have a mess that attracts rodents and pests, the management company can make you pay for the extermination and cleaning of the property, which can be extremely costly. In very rare instances, if your apartment is found to have appalling living conditions, the property manager can terminate your lease prematurely.

In most cases, renters put down a security deposit, and they want that money back when they vacate the premises. By ensuring the apartment is kept in good shape, you’ll have a greater chance of receiving your full deposit back.

Here are some other tips to help you keep your place looking as top-shape as possible:

  • Call your property manager as soon as something malfunctions. If your refrigerator stops working or your stove is doing weird things, call your property manager immediately. Don’t let problems go without attention.
  • Don’t let people who aren’t on the lease live with you. In the end, you’ll be liable for any damage they do, and the simple fact of having someone else in your home could cause you to incur other penalties.
  • Clean your space regularly. You don’t have to clean your windows every day but vacuuming weekly, keeping dirty clothes off the floor, and the dishes washed will help keep unwanted pests from appearing on the property.

Bay Management Group works with landlords and renters across Baltimore, Laurel, and Philadelphia. Our goal is to ensure we find the best fit for all parties involved. If you’re searching for a rental home or apartment unit in these areas, we’d love to help! Take a look at our tenant FAQs, and feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to discuss your ideal rental situation!

Navigating Through the Eviction Process in Baltimore City

past due bills

When you begin searching for tenants for your rental property, it’s important to screen them thoroughly. If you skimp during this process, you could find yourself spending tens of thousands of dollars to compensate for your oversight. Unqualified tenants could cause significant damage to the property and may even stop paying rent altogether.

Today, let’s look at the step-by-step process for evicting a tenant in Baltimore City.

Step 1: Filing the Rent Notice

If a tenant hasn’t paid rent for a particular month, you’re allowed to file a notice in court any time after the fifth of that month. Be sure to adhere to the guidelines of your lease and give the tenant any applicable grace period that’s specified before you file. For example, if your lease says the tenant has a ten-day grace period after the first of the month in which to pay his or her rent, you’ll need to wait until this grace period has passed to file.

The shorter the grace period you write into your lease, the sooner you’ll be able to file a rent notice in court to get the eviction ball rolling.

What is a Rent Notice?

The rent notice sets up a scheduled hearing date for the landlord and tenant to meet in court before the legal professionals who deal with evictions and other tenant-landlord disputes. This hearing date is typically two to three weeks after the rent notice has been filed.

Step 2: The Court Hearing

The next step in the Baltimore City eviction process is the court hearing. At the court hearing, your job as the landlord is to try to obtain something known as the warrant of restitution.

What is a Warrant of Restitution?

The warrant of restitution allows the landlord to take back possession of the property. If you’re successful in winning your court hearing, the judge will allow you to obtain a warrant of restitution, which legally permits you to regain possession of your rental property.

Step 3: Waiting After You’re Granted the Warrant

The sheriff is required to be involved in the eviction process in Baltimore City. Once the judge awards the warrant of restitution, you’ll need to wait for seven to ten business days before you can call the sheriff’s office to schedule the eviction.

Why Do You Have to Wait?

The paperwork has to find its way from the courthouse to the sheriff’s department. This can take several days.

Step 4: Scheduling the Eviction with the Sheriff’s Office

When you call the sheriff’s office, they’ll give you a scheduled eviction date, which will typically be about 30 days or so out from the date on which you call.

What You Need to Know About Scheduling the Eviction

It’s not uncommon for paperwork to move rather slowly from the courthouse to the sheriff’s department. You might need to make several calls before the sheriff’s office schedules the eviction. This can be an incredibly time-consuming process, and it’s one of the reasons our clients rely on the full suite of property management services we offer at Bay Management Group. We take care of these phone calls for you.

Step 5: Dealing with the Details on the Day of the Eviction

On the date of your eviction, the sheriff will typically give you a few-hour timeframe in which he or she will be at the property for eviction. As the landlord, you or a designated appointee will need to be present at the property to meet the sheriff and evict the tenants.

What You Need to Know About Moving Day

Often, the renters won’t be present. If that’s the case, you should have movers on hand to remove their property from your home or apartment unit. Even if the tenants are present, they’ll likely leave behind a lot of stuff that will become your responsibility to haul away. The more items you can remove from the premises while the sheriff is on-site, the easier things will be in the long run.

The Baltimore City Eviction Process from Beginning to End

The entire eviction process can take anywhere from 60 to 75 days, if not longer—a period during which you won’t likely be receiving rent from your tenants. It’s essential to make sure you put the appropriate tenants into the property from the very beginning. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself going months and months without the rental income you expect from your investment.

Beyond this, any damage to the property that’s caused after you evict tenants will further eat into your bottom line. You may need to repaint, replace the carpet, repair holes in the walls, and take care of any other unexpected damage you find along the way.

Eliminating the Eviction Process with Proper Tenant Screening

The best way to avoid dealing with evictions is to put the right renters into your property in the first place. With proper screening, you’ll have insight into a tenant’s:

  • Employment history
  • Credit background
  • Prior rental reputation
  • Criminal history

The eviction process in Baltimore City, Maryland is known to be difficult for landlords. Given this is a tenant-friendly city, renters have a lot of rights; as a property owner, it’s essential to set yourself up for a successful tenant-landlord relationship from the very beginning. Bay Management Group is the property management firm Baltimore & Philidelphia landlords trust to keep their properties safe and protected in areas like York, Lancaster, Cumberland, Dauphin counties and nearby. We offer a full menu of services, including tenant screening, eviction, and everything in between. Learn more about our property management services today!