7 Fall Maintenance Tips For Your Abingdon Rental Property

Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Abington Rental Property

For those in Abingdon, the smell of pumpkin spice, the changing of the leaves, the crisp cool air, and a hint of the holidays have already made their big debuts.

And, for rental property owners, this means it is yet again time for your annual fall rental property maintenance inspections.

Whether you are the type of property owner who takes a proactive approach to property maintenance, or the kind that leaves some summer maintenance issues for the cooler months, now is the best time to get your rental property inspected, maintenanced, and repaired before the snowy days are upon you, and doing these things becomes a much bigger challenge.

Today we are going to explore the best tips for keeping your investment property in tip-top shape as fall quickly approaches.

Keep in mind – regular inspections are the key to preventing costly repairs in the future.

 

Fall Maintenance Guidelines for Your Abingdon Rental Property

1. Check in With Your Tenants

Check In With Your Abingdon Rental Property Tenants

One of the most important things you can do during your annual fall property inspection is check in with your tenants.

Your tenants will be able to tell you firsthand what things need attention (assuming they haven’t already made maintenance or repair requests with your Abingdon property manager).

The information they tell you is perfect for getting your priorities in line during the inspection.

Additionally, checking in on your tenants gives you an opportunity to make sure they are fulfilling their lease obligations.

In the beginning of the lease term, right before your tenants moved into your rental property, you and your property management company should have thoroughly outlined each lease provision that was included in the agreement.

Your tenants may have agreed to things such as changing the HVAC unit filters, monitoring smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, and even maintaining the exterior landscaping. Now is the time to check up on those obligations, and make sure your property is being well cared for.

Now is also the time to get a handle on tenant issues that are beginning to become problems.

 

2. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

We mentioned above that your tenants might be in charge of replacing the batteries in both the smoke and CO detectors.

Though that may be the case for your rental, it is still your legal responsibility in Abingdon to provide working detectors in your rental properties.

If you didn’t check the detectors during summer, follow up on the batteries and make sure they have been switched out.

In addition, run some tests to make the detectors are in good working order.

Lastly, provide your tenants with a gentle reminder to check the detectors regularly throughout their tenancy.

 

3. Fireplace

Clean the Fireplace During Fall Maintenance of Your Abingdon Rental

Before the winter months hit and the warmth of a fireplace becomes necessary, ensure that your rental’s fireplace is swept clean and is free of debris.

Blocked chimneys are fire hazards that cannot only harm your tenants, but the structure of your property as well.

In addition, now may be a good time to consider installing an animal-proof chimney cap.

When the cold winter months come, small critters have a tendency to seek out warm places to live. A fireplace that goes unused all winter can be a great hiding spot for animals seeking shelter from the cold, wind, and snow.

 

4. Irrigation Systems

Fall weather typically brings a lot of rainfall to Abingdon.

This means that resetting your rental’s sprinkler system may be in order, since the weather will not be hot, and your landscaping will not require excessive watering.

In an effort to save on water, as well as prevent your property’s pipes from freezing as the outside temperatures start to drop during nightfall, you should do the following:

  • Begin winterizing your irrigation systems
  • Change your landscaping’s watering schedule
  • Inform your tenants of what to do in the case of a frozen or burst pipe

 

5. Roof Inspections

Inspect Roof of Your Abingdon Rental Property During Fall Maintenance

Roof repairs are one of the most costly repairs you will deal with as a rental property owner. That’s why conducting a roof inspection every season is so critical.

Not only can the hot summer months wreak havoc on your roof – think heat and humidity – the upcoming fall months, which will quickly turn into winter months, can ruin your roof too, especially if there is prior damage.

Ice, wind, sleet, snow, rain – you name it. All of this can damage roof shingles, leak into the insulation, wood, and drywall of your roof, and expose your property’s plumbing and HVAC systems to water damage.

If you are not sure how to inspect your roof properly, enlist the help of a professional to do it for you.

The cost of having your roof properly maintained by an expert will save you a lot of money in the future.

 

6. Inspect Safety Issues

Another major concern that property management companies warn property owners about is fall safety.

And no, we don’t mean “fall” as in autumn safety – we mean “fall” as in slip-and-fall.

As a rental property owner, you may be liable for damages and safety.

Rain and snow, paired with major drops in temperatures with the potential to freeze water left on sidewalks, driveways, and railways, can be very dangerous to tenants leasing your Abingdon rental property.

And, while you may not necessarily be liable for an icy slip-and-fall, if your tenants can prove you were negligent in some way, and that your actions created an unsafe environment for them, you might find yourself dealing with some legal troubles.

This is just another reason why having an experienced Abingdon property management team is important. They can help you with landlord-tenant disputes such as these and of course, help you to prevent these situations from ever happening in the first place.

 

7. Prepare for Snow Removal

Though snow removal typically falls on your tenant to handle, you may offer to take care of snow removal for your tenants as an added bonus for being good tenants that pay on time, treat your property right, and don’t cause any problems for you.

If this is the case, it is time you get your snow removal services in line – before the first big snowfall. This will prevent your tenants from being snowed in, or falling and suing you for damages.

If your tenants are responsible for snow removal, fall is the best time to remind them of their duties. Point out in the lease agreement where it states they are in charge of snow removal, and remind them of the consequences for failing to do so, especially in the case that someone gets hurt.

 

Your Abingdon property management company is going to be your best resource when it comes to how you should prepare your rental property for the upcoming fall season. If you own rental property in the Abingdon region, contact Bay Management Group today and see how we can help you.

We understand the need for seasonal rental inspections. We also understand how valuable your investment property is, and how important it is to stay on top of any maintenance or repair issues throughout the year, not just as the seasons change, so that you can continue to generate as much income as possible.

Get in touch with us today, and find out how our property management services can help you with property inspections, and so much more.


5 Common Repairs You Should Know How to Do For Your Rental

Common Repairs You Should Know How To Do Yourself For Your Philly Rental Property

Property management in Philadelphia doesn’t have to be difficult.

Even if you self-manage your rental property, there are things you can handle on your own, including some maintenance or repair tasks.

Sure, DIY repairs may take a little more time and effort on your part to complete, as opposed to hiring someone to do the work for you.

However, sometimes it’s good to hone your skills as a landlord, show your tenants you are willing to put the work in, and save money in the process.

Of course, there are those projects that are better left to the professionals, or the maintenance crew your Philadelphia property manager has on hand for you.

But today, we are going to focus on the things you should know how to do yourself.

 

Rental Property Repairs You Can Do Yourself

 

1. Repairing Drywall

Repairing Drywall is a Rental Property Repair You Can Do Yourself

There is nothing like finding out your tenant has put a hole in the wall of your property. Luckily, repairing drywall is not very hard to do.

For small holes, some putty and spackle are all you need. Just make sure you always have extra paint on hand – you don’t want to be the type of property owner that mismatches paint colors while repairing holes in the wall, no matter how small they are.

If the hole in your property’s wall is large, you will need to cut out around the hole, cover it up with a piece of replacement drywall, and attach that piece using drywall tape. Then, simply sand it down and paint over it.

 

2. Squeaky Floors

Squeaky floors are not just a nuisance to those walking around on them. They can be a sign that wood is rubbing against a nail, neighboring wood pieces, or even ductwork and piping. And, as The Family Handyman states, finding the source of the noise can be difficult.

However, once you identify where the squeak is coming from, remedying the issue can be as simple as sprinkling talcum powder into the cracks to see if the squeak stops. If not, you may need to take your repair skills up a notch, and add some support braces to stop the noise from continuing.

 

3. Unclogging a Drain

Unclogging the Drain is a DIY Project For Your Philly Rental Property

Sinks, whether in the kitchen or bathroom, are known to clog from time to time. And knowing how to effectively unclog them is a useful skill to have when it comes to caring for your rental property (and your own home as well!).

Here are some easy DIY tips for restoring normal use to a sink that has become clogged:

  • Clear the drain of material such as hair or food
  • Add a store bought drain cleaner, and follow the instructions
  • Create your own natural drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar
  • Use a bent wire hanger to reach down into the drain and fish out the culprit clogging it
  • Try a plunger for the kitchen sink
  • Pour boiling water down the drain and watch it clear
  • Clean the pipe – especially the U-shaped one underneath the kitchen sink
  • Buy a drain snake

 

Your unclogging solution will depend on the reason your sink is clogged in the first place. However, before you start calling in a potentially expensive plumber, try these easy hacks first.

 

4. Gutter Maintenance

In Philadelphia, where the seasons cycle forcefully every year, knowing how to maintain your property’s gutters is a must.

If you allow broken rain gutters to drain rain water improperly, you face ruining the siding of your property, damaging the soil near the foundation, and possibly creating a leak that leads to the inside of the rental, all of which are no good.

Here are some common gutter repairs you can easily do yourself:

  • Patch a hole. Rust, tree branches, and sharp tools are all ways your gutters can develop holes in them. Patching a hole immediately is necessary if you don’t want it to increase in size. Buy some roofing cement from your local hardware store to plug those holes up.
  • Improper Draining. In order to avoid having to patch a hole in your gutter (see above), do not drill a hole into a gutter midway to encourage draining. If your gutter is not draining water properly, it is either not slanting in the right direction, or is sagging and needs to be raised. Both of these are easy fixes.
  • Leaky Joints. Water dripping from the joints of your gutters is a common issue, especially for properties in rainy regions. In fact, even seamless gutters are prone to some level of leakage. Replace the spikes that hold gutters in place to help with sagging, leaky joints, and the foundation of the gutter on your property’s exterior.

 

Rain gutters are a necessary part of your Philadelphia rental property. And, as any high quality property management company will tell you, having your existing tenants properly maintain the gutters during their tenancy is a good idea. However, even with the best maintenance, wear and tear will eventually create issues.

Luckily, most gutter issues are easily fixed, and do not require the help of a professional. That is, so long as you inspect your property routinely, and tackle minor issues before they become major.

 

5. Other Easy DIY Repairs

Caulking the Bathtub is a DIY Project For Your Philly Rental Property

In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are other DIY repairs that you can easily handle yourself:

  • Toilet Issues. Clogs, lever issues, and broken seals inside the tank are all doable without the need for a professional.
  • Light Switches and Outlets. Not only can these things become faulty with lots of use, the plates can become damaged and unsightly if not maintained. Replacing light switches and outlets is easy to do – simply buy new components, match the wires, and replace the covers.
  • Caulking. The caulking around bathtubs and sinks tend to wear down, crack, and peel over time. Buy a tool to remove all old caulk and then, using a caulking gun, replace the grout areas with fresh caulk that is not stained or damaged.
  • Replace a Roof Shingle. Use a hammer to pry old damaged shingles off your roof, along with surrounding nails, and place a new shingle in its place. Just don’t forget to nail it back into place, and consider adding roofing cement to make sure it doesn’t slide off.

 

As you can see, rental property maintenance does not consist solely of major repairs such as foundation work, sewer breakages, HVAC repairs, and water damage. And, while those repairs may break the bank, and will definitely require professionals, not all repairs call for a maintenance crew.

 

However, if you own a rental property in the Philadelphia region, and do not want to deal with the hassle of performing even the smallest repairs on your property, get in touch with Bay Management Group today. We have a 24/7/365 maintenance and repair crew on hand to handle every issue you have with your property, no matter how big or small.

In addition, we are committed to using reliable, trustworthy, affordable, and timely contractors for all repairs your rental property may need. Not only can we ensure that all property repairs are handled efficiently, we ensure they are performed promptly to prevent further costly repairs in the future.


What To Do if a Tenant Breaks the Lease and Moves Out

What To Do If a Tenant Breaks The Lease and Moves Out

Your Maryland tenant may have a perfectly legitimate reason for wanting to break their lease agreement and move out.

However, as a property owner that earns a living on the monthly rent you collect from your tenant, this type of situation is beyond an inconvenience, regardless of the reason your tenant wants to leave.

When you place a tenant into your investment property, there is a legally binding contract in place outlining the terms of the lease.

Included in this lease agreement are the exact details outlining what constitutes the lease term, what kind of notice must be given should your tenant wish to forgo renewing the lease agreement at the end of their tenancy, and most importantly, the consequences for breaking the lease.

But what happens when your tenant notifies you that they will be breaking the lease and moving out, despite the airtight lease agreement your Maryland property management company drafted up for you?

As a Maryland property owner, it is important you prepare yourself for the sudden vacancy you will face if a current tenant informs you they will be breaking the lease.

That’s why today, we are sharing with you what happens when your tenant initiates an early lease termination, and some of the top property management tips for how best to manage this problem.

 

What Does it Mean to Break a Lease?

A lease, typically drafted up by an experienced property manager, is a legal contract defining the terms of a tenancy. It includes provisions such as the rent collection procedures, pet policies, ways the property can be used during the tenancy, and whether your tenant is allowed to make temporary alterations to the property.

In addition, a lease agreement will have a section dedicated to what can happen at the end of the lease term.

Your tenant likely has the following options, come the end of their tenancy:

  • Move out before the last day of the lease term
  • Sign a new lease with either the same, or altered, lease terms
  • Stay on as a month-to-month tenant
  • Face eviction proceedings, should you want them to vacate the property

 

However, there should also be a dedicated section detailing what will happen should your tenant decide to break the lease.

Breaking the lease means that for whatever reason – a job transfer, a marriage/divorce, the addition of a new family member, or they simply don’t like the property anymore – your tenants are backing out of their agreement with you to stay for X amount of time.

 

What Should You Do If Your Maryland Tenant Breaks the Lease?

What To Do If Your Maryland Tenant Breaks the Lease

If your Maryland tenant signed for a one-year lease agreement, and decides to break the lease before that year is up, you have a problem on your hands.

Luckily, with the help of your Maryland property management company, and the airtight lease agreement they helped you draft at the start of your tenant’s lease term, there are some things you can do both before and immediately following notice that your tenant is breaking their lease.

 

1. Be Proactive

Be Stringent With Breaking the Lease Clause In Your Maryland Rental Property

Before your tenants ever step foot into your rental property, they should know exactly what it means to break the lease, and what happens if they decide to do so anyway.

This means that at the time of the lease signing, you or your property manager must diligently go over every provision in the lease agreement in detail, ensuring that all involved parties understand.

Here are some tips even the most novice of property management companies will tell you:

  • Inform your tenant that the lease agreement is legally binding
  • Explain the legal ramifications for breaking the lease agreement
  • Clearly define the lease term start and end dates
  • Show the tenant where the lease outlines what happens if an early lease termination is initiated
  • Provide the tenant with options – subletting or a lease buyout – to avoid any further penalties

 

2. Be Stringent With the Break Lease Clause

 

If you decide to include a Break Lease Clause (sometimes referred to as the Buyout Clause), it is crucial you make sure it entails everything you want regarding breaking the lease.

A typical Break Lease Clause states that either party can break the lease, for whatever reason, with a 60 days’ notice and a two month Break Lease Fee.

This, in turn, will void the rest of the lease agreement, and release both parties from their future financial obligations.

The reason this type of provision is so appealing to property owners is twofold.

To start, it provides a simple solution to a bad situation that can crop up at any time.

Tenants want to break lease agreements for all sorts of reasons. In order to minimize the surprise and costs associated with a sudden early lease termination, the Buyout Clause is a solid, proactive solution that tenants are aware of from the start of their lease term.

In addition, it makes preparing to place a new tenant in your rental easier when you know 60 days ahead of time that your property is going to be vacant, rather than the day of.

This way, you can have your Maryland property manager begin advertising your property, and start the tenant screening process.

 

3. Re-Lease the Property

Re-Lease Your Maryland Rental After The Tenant Breaks The Lease and Moves Out

Regardless of how inconvenient it is that your tenant has broken their lease agreement early and moved out, as a property owner, it is your responsibility to do your due diligence to re-lease the property as soon as possible.

True, you can use your tenant’s security deposit to cover the loss in rent, and you may even be able to charge a few months’ rent until you can place a new tenant in your property.

However, if you do not actively try to place a new tenant in your rental by way of advertising, showing the property, and conducting tenant screenings, you may find yourself in some legal trouble.

With that in mind, there are some important stipulations your tenant should be aware of:

  • Tenants may be responsible for the costs associated with advertising and showing your property
  • You do not have to lower the rent rate on your property in order to re-lease it to a new tenant
  • Tenants may refer high quality tenants to take their place, but you are not obligated to accept them, or any other prospective tenant that does not meet your criteria

 

Though it is your duty to re-lease your rental within a reasonable amount of time, you do not have to give the place away in order to achieve this.

No Maryland property owner wants to find out their tenants are breaking their lease. Unfortunately, it does happen sometimes, and is something that needs to be handled properly to avoid further complications.

 

If you own Maryland rental property, and want help with drafting solid lease agreements addressing early lease terminations, tenant screening that diminishes the chances of your tenant breaking the lease, and other property management services such as rent collection, routine inspections, and maintenance, contact Bay Management Group today.

We can help you with your lease provisions so that every tenant that resides in your rental property is fully aware of what happens when an early lease termination is initiated. In addition, we can help place only the highest quality tenants in your rental property so that the chances of your tenants breaking their lease and moving out are slim to none.


Top 8 Landscapers to Hire for Your Philadelphia Rental

Top 10 Landscapers to Hire for Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Owning rental property in Philadelphia comes with a lot of responsibility.

Aside from the administrative side of being in the rental property business – tenant screening, lease drafting, and rent collection – there is a definite hands-on side to leasing an investment property as well.

Whether you self-manage your rentals, or employ Philadelphia’s best property management company, someone is going to have to do the dirty work when it comes to maintaining your property. This includes maintenance and repairs, routine inspections of the property, and the upkeep of the yards.

When it comes to keeping the exterior appearance of your rental property looking sharp, it is often best to hire a professional.

In fact, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 67% of people polled state that hiring a landscaper would help them have nicer yards.

That’s because landscapers are the perfect mix between a contractor and a gardener. They can develop the vision for your project, add visual appeal, and help you maintain the results over the years.

Today we are going to look at Philadelphia’s top landscaping companies so that when you decide you want to build a backyard oasis for your next tenants, and want to make sure it stays an oasis, you don’t have to worry about scouring the internet for the perfect one.

 

What to Look for in a Professional, Philadelphia Landscaper

Before jumping into who is the best landscaper in town, it’s important to have an idea of what to look for when choosing a landscaper to maintain your rental property’s yards.

  • Extent of Services. There is a big difference between a full-service landscaping company (one that handles the design and installation work of an entire yard upgrade) and a maintenance landscape company (one that maintains already existing yards, and provides basic services such as mowing, edging, and cleanup). Know which type of services you are seeking before making a decision.
  • License and Insurance. Anytime someone performs any work on your rental, they must be licensed and insured. This places the liability on them, should your property become damaged or someone get injured while on the job.
  • Business Resume. How long has the company you are looking to work with been in business? Usually, the longer they have been in business, the better. This means they have an established reputation, and a fine-tuned skill set to perform whatever services you need.
  • Specialists on Hand. Depending on the type of work you’re having done, you might need a specialist to help draft up the plans, or complete the installation. You do not want to deal with hiring people from multiple companies to get one job done.
  • Guarantees. Besides having a written estimate and contract outlining the details of your project or services, you should inquire about the company’s guarantees. You want to ensure any work performed will last.

 

Many factors play into your decision when it comes to choosing a Philadelphia landscaper to care for your investment property’s yards. However, the above-mentioned list gives you a good head start.

 

The Best Landscapers in Philadelphia for Your Rental Property

1. G&B Construction Group, Inc.

Landscapers In Philadelphia to Mow Your Rental Property Lawns

G&B Construction Group, Inc. specializes in masonry and concrete work. This includes the repair, replacement, and installation of new sidewalks, walkways, and retaining walls.

G&B Construction Group, Inc. can help you with:

  • Brick and stone projects
  • Concrete work
  • Excavation – major grading and re-sloping
  • Foundation repairs
  • Landscaping curb

 

This landscaper is perfect for very specific projects you have in mind for your rental property. In addition, the fact that they’ve been in business for 6 years, are certified as environmentally friendly, and have a guarantee in place are fabulous perks.

Rating – 4.9 out of 5 stars

 

2. Four Winds Landscaping

Trim Bushes Rental Property in Philadelphia

Four Winds Landscaping is a suburban-based residential landscaping company in Philadelphia dedicated to providing customers beautiful landscapes.

You can turn to Four Winds Landscaping for:

  • Landscape design
  • Seasonal planting
  • Mulching
  • Fertilization
  • Weed control
  • Grass Cutting

 

For those in need of general landscaping maintenance, Four Winds Landscaping is the perfect solution.

Rating – 4.17 out of 5 stars

 

3. Cedar Run Landscapes

Philadelphia Landscapers for Rock Work For Your Rental Property

Cedar Run Landscapes has been in business for 32 years and counting. Utilizing sustainable materials and techniques, they offer landscaping, hardscaping, water, and lighting services.

Call Cedar Run Landscapes if you’re looking for:

  • Artificial grass installation
  • Brick and stone driveways
  • Fish pond designs
  • Erosion control
  • Fire pit installs
  • Landscape design and maintenance
  • Arbor construction
  • Decorative wall construction

 

If you are in serious need of something luxurious and one-of-a-kind, Cedar Run Landscapes is your go-to landscaper in Philadelphia.

Rating – A+ BBB Accredited

 

4. CKC Landscaping, Inc.

CKC Landscaping, Inc. is one of the leaders in landscaping and hardscaping services in the Philadelphia area, meaning they are a very reliable source for your individual needs. Placing a heavy emphasis on customer satisfaction, it is no wonder they have been in business for over 25 years.

CKC Landscaping specializes in:

  • Outdoor living spaces
  • Landscape and lighting design
  • Paver restoration
  • Property maintenance
  • Storm water services
  • Permeable pavers

 

Landscaping your rental property doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming when you enlist the help of CKC Landscaping, Inc.

Rating – A+ BBB Accredited

 

5. Fieldstone Landscapes

Yard Cleanups for Your Philadelphia Rental Property Landscapers

Fieldstone Landscapes was once a small landscaping company in the Philadelphia region, but with close attention to detail, superior customer service, high-quality work, and only the best plants around, they grew to become a well-known landscaper company.

You can turn to Fieldstone Landscapes for:

  • Yard cleanups
  • Landscape lighting
  • Grading
  • Turf enhancement
  • Drainage remediation
  • Seeding
  • Pest control
  • Wall builds
  • Poolscapes
  • Outdoor patios

 

Fieldstone Landscapes offers customers a little bit of everything. From general maintenance to landscape design and builds, they have anything you could need to maintain an appealing yard.

Rating – A+ BBB Accredited

 

6. Dooley’s Landscaping & Tree Care Services, LLC

Dooley’s Landscaping & Tree Care Services, LLC is a great option for those in the market for general landscaping services. In fact, they claim to be Philadelphia’s premier landscaping company, offering services such as mulch and sand delivery, lawn maintenance, and tree trimming.

With Dooley’s Landscaping & Tree Care Services, you can get:

  • Sod installs
  • Lawn mowing
  • Fall and spring yard cleanup
  • Lawn seeding/hydro seeding
  • Tree and shrub trimming

 

Qualified to provide you top-notch landscaping services, Dooley’s Landscaping & Tree Services, LLC’s CEO has over 30 years of experience in the environmental field, as well as education in the fields of Geography Urban Studies, and Horticulture and Landscaping.

Rating – 4.61 out of 5 stars

 

7. Schmitt Landscaping

Lawn Seeding Philadelphia Rental Property Landscaping

Schmitt Landscaping serves both commercial and residential customers, has over 20 years of experience, and is proud to be locally owned and operated.

Schmitt Landscaping provides landscaping services that include:

  • Mow and maintain lawns
  • Fertilization treatments
  • Yard aeration
  • Fall and spring yard cleanups
  • Lawn seeding/hydro seeding
  • Shrub trim and removal
  • Landscape construction
  • Snow removal

 

Boasting full-service landscape services, Schmitt Landscaping is proud to call themselves a landscape design, installation, and maintenance company.

Rating – 4.83 out of 5 stars

 

8. Jason Ottinger Hardscaping & Landscaping

Jason Ottinger Hardscaping & Landscaping offers free estimates, quality service, a reliable staff, and is proud to announce they are a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In addition, they claim to be able to improve the appearance of your home for a fair price.

Call up Jason Ottinger Hardscaping & Landscaping if you’re in need of:

  • Excavation
  • Pond services
  • Lawn aeration
  • Seeding
  • Patios and decks
  • Retaining walls
  • Driveways
  • Walkways
  • Tree planting, pruning, and removal

 

With twenty years of experience, Jason Ottinger Hardscaping & Landscaping not only brings you landscaping services for a fair price, they guarantee all of their work.

Rating – A+ BBB Accredited

 

Any successful Philadelphia property management company will tell you that your property’s yards can make or break a prospective tenant’s decision when it comes to leasing from you. Curb appeal is crucial in making an exceptional first impression, and proper landscaping of your yard is essential to capitalizing on your property’s curb appeal.

If you own property in the Philadelphia region, and are seeking high-quality tenants to take advantage of the landscaping you have done to your rental’s yards, contact Bay Management Group today. Not only can we place the best tenants in your property within a short time, we can help you manage your property so that your landscaping efforts are not wasted.


Top Reasons Landlords Use a Property Management Company

Top Reasons to Choose a Property Management Company

Are you thinking about hiring a Maryland property management company to help you care for your Potomac investment properties?

Many property owners quickly find out that self-managing their rental properties entails a lot more work than they originally anticipated.

This is especially true for those looking to grow their rental property business, expand their portfolio of properties, and come out successful on the other end.

In the past, we have discussed why you should consider opting for a property manager to help you with your investment properties:

  • Save Yourself Time. Managing rental properties, especially if you have another job to hold down, can be overwhelming. Sometimes being physically present at your rental property is impossible, due to other commitments filling your time.
  • Expertise. You may find out after investing in your first Potomac rental that you lack the necessary skills to conduct a profitable rental property business.
  • Willingness. You may find that you are simply unwilling to put the required time into managing every detail necessary for successfully leasing your rental property.

 

These three reasons for hiring a property manager are definitive. In fact, the majority of property owners fall under at least one of these three categories.

However, there are more reasons why a property owner might want to utilize the services of a property management company.

And, it just so happens that our Potomac property managers are privy to this knowledge, and want to share it with you.

 

Reasons to Enlist the Help of a Potomac Property Management Company

1. You Do Not Live Nearby

Enlist Help From a Property Management Company Because You Don't Live Nearby

Landlords that do not live nearby their rental properties will have a tough time managing the day-to-day operations investment properties require.

This is where a property management company in close proximity to your rental comes in handy.

Not only can they handle daily things with your property, in the case of an emergency, they can be at your property right away. This is helpful to you, and satisfying to your tenants.

 

2. Vendor Relationships

Knowing someone that is highly qualified, affordable, timely, and customer-service oriented is valuable.

That’s why having the help of a property manager is beneficial to you as a landlord.

Successful property management companies have built strong relationships with vendors of all kinds throughout the years – maintenance workers (if they do not have their own crew), contractors, suppliers, tradesmen, and vendors.

Your property manager’s connections will garner you the best work in town, and save you money in the long run.

 

3. Customer Service

Hire a Property Management Company for Customer Service

Knowing how to keep your tenants happy, and willing to sign lease renewals come the end of their lease term, may seem easy.

Unfortunately, many landlords do not possess the customer-service skills tenants expect from their landlord.

This can break down a healthy landlord-tenant relationship over time, which ultimately leads to a vacant property come the end of the lease term.

However, by using a customer-service oriented property management team in Potomac, you will reap the benefits of their ability to satisfy your tenants.

Whether it be with the tenant package they provide new tenants, their quick turnaround times when it comes to maintenance and repairs issues, or simply the convenience that online rent collection provides busy tenants, a good property management company will be able to take care of your tenant’s every need.

 

4. Help Expanding

Property management companies are well versed in the real estate market trends that span the regions they work in.

This means that for those looking to expand their portfolios across regions, the insight of a property manager that is already managing one or more of their properties can be very helpful.

If you are looking to cross city or state lines in hopes of investing in some valuable rental property, an already established relationship with a property management company will be useful for gaining knowledge about new markets.

Plus, you can have them take over the management of your new properties, making the transition to other areas even easier.

 

5. Setting Rental Rates

Hire Property Management Company to Set Rent Rates

In tune with knowing the status of the current rental property market, a qualified property management team will also understand what the going rent rates are.

They will be able to help you determine the right rent rate for your properties, depending on things such as location, amenities, and going rates for similar properties.

This will prevent you from both undercharging and failing to maximize your monthly rental income, and overcharging, which can lead to longer vacancy periods.

In addition, a good property manager will be able to help you decide when a good time to raise your current rent rates is, and by how much.

 

6. Compliance with the Law

Ignorance of the rules and regulations, as they relate to Potomac rental properties, is no excuse when it comes to owning investment properties.

Here are some of the important legal concerns an experienced Potomac property management company can help you with:

  • Fair Housing regulations
  • Lead and mold inspections/disclosures
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detector requirements
  • Housing and building codes
  • Proper notices
  • Eviction procedures

Don’t get caught up in landlord-tenant disputes, or worse, legal battles that can ruin your rental property business.

Hire a property management company to help ensure you are always in line with federal, state, and local laws as they apply to your rental property.

 

There are plenty of solid reasons for investing in a property management company in Potomac.

By choosing a competitive property management team, such as Bay Management Group, not only will you reap the benefits of their services, you will maximize your profitability and boost your success as a property owner.

If you are in need of an experienced, highly qualified, and customer-service oriented property management company in the Potomac area, get in touch with Bay Management Group now. We can help you find the best tenants, minimize risks associated with investment property ownership, and ensure that your rental property business continues to grow.


5 Easy Ways to Childproof Your Maryland Rental Property

Easy Ways To Childproof Your Maryland Rental Property

With the growing rental market, property owners all over the country find that families are stepping away from buying property, and are looking to rent instead.

In fact, according to the New York Times, every year since 2004, 770,000 new rental houses have come onto the rental market.

While not every one of those rental homes goes on to be filled by families, the chances of a family renting your Maryland rental property is continuing to increase.

And, if you’re looking to keep vacancy rates low on your property, you’ll want to make your property more appealing to families.

What is a great way to do that?

If you’re looking to rent to families, it is a good idea to childproof your Maryland income property.

And, if you’re not sure how, you’re in luck. Today we are going to look at some of the most common ways you can adapt your rental property to make it safe for children.

 

Helpful Ways to Childproof Your Maryland Rental Property

 

1. Window Treatments

Don't Use Window Treatments That Hang Down In Your Maryland Rental Property

Many windows in rental properties have window treatments with long cords that hang down and are used to open and close the curtains or blinds. Unfortunately, the cords often lay close to the ground, or at least within reach of a small child.

Luckily, there are some simple ways of preventing a child from ever grabbing ahold of the cord, and endangering themselves:

  • Avoid using window treatments that require long cords
  • Install a small hook near each window with corded curtains or blinds, where adults can hang any excess that hangs down
  • Give your tenants the ok to change out the window treatments if they have small children, or plan to have visitors with children over
  • Provide curtain cord covers that clip together excess cordage and retract out of any child’s reach

These are some inexpensive ways you can proactively approach the issue of long window treatment cords in your rental property that tenants with small children will appreciate.

 

2. Falls

As one of the leading causes of injury amongst children at home, it is important to consider any heights you have in your Maryland property that may be deemed a safety hazard.

For example, if your property is a two-story home with a sliding glass door leading out to a balcony, consider doing the following:

  • Install pin locks near the top of the door to prevent tiny hands from sliding the door open unsupervised
  • Add thick fly screens to the sliding glass door entryway, because they can often withhold the weight of a child that falls through them
  • Make sure the balcony fencing is vertical to prevent a child from easily climbing up and falling over the edge
  • Ensure the balcony fencing does not have enough spacing between bars that a small child could slip through

In addition, mention to your tenants that they are free to install their own personal baby gates on the stairs inside the house to prevent falls.

 

3. Drowning

Install a Fence Around the Pool to Childproof Your Maryland Rental

If your rental property has a pool, there are many ways you can make accidental drownings a non-issue for tenants with children.

  • Pool Surroundings. Your investment property’s pool should have a fence with a locked door surrounding it to prevent children from trying to swim unattended. In addition, the fence should be tall enough so that small children cannot climb up and over it, and should not consist of gaps that children can easily slide through.
  • Pool Alarm. An interesting feature that may entice tenants with small children is a pool alarm. Designed to alert adults when the pool water is disturbed, this feature may make parents feel safer about having their child living in a home with a pool.
  • Pool Covers. Not only is covering your pool with a sturdy, hard covering going to ensure less damage from the weather and normal wear and tear, it may also help prevent children from accidentally falling in.

Having a pool as an amenity that tenants can enjoy is going to allow you to command much higher rent rates.

However, childproofing your pool is going to be even better for those that are looking for a safe place for their family to live, in addition to the fun a pool provides.

 

4. Outlets

One of the easiest ways you can childproof your Maryland rental property for tenants with small children is to provide outlet covers for all electrical outlets throughout your property.

It’s cheap to do, does not affect the overall aesthetics of your property, allows for regular use of all outlets, and saves your tenants the hassle of doing it themselves.

And, while it would be easy for your tenants to childproof your property’s outlets themselves, this kind of customer service is just what high-quality tenants are seeking.

This, in turn, can lead to a more satisfying rental experience, and possibly result in more lease renewals.

 

5. Get the Right Insurance

Get the Right Homeowners Insurance to Protect Children in Your Maryland Rental

Requiring your tenants to have renters insurance can significantly decrease the liability you have for bodily injuries suffered while on the premises of your property.

This will also help keep your homeowners insurance premiums lower, since payouts will typically come from the renters insurance in the case of an injury.

However, for those times that you are found to be responsible for the injury of a child (or anyone for that matter), it is wise to have enough insurance to cover your losses.

 

In the end, you are legally liable for providing your Maryland tenants a safe and habitable place to live. However, this does not mean you need to childproof every square inch of your property.

After all, you are not legally responsible for the well-being of your tenant’s child, beyond what your homeowners insurance requires.

That said, taking the time to provide extra precautions, and thus some childproofing strategies, throughout your rental property can have a positive effect on your potential tenant’s desire to lease from you.

If you want some help with childproofing and staging your Maryland rental property to appeal to a large tenant pool, families with small children included, enlist the help of Bay Management Group today. We know what prospective tenants are looking for when it comes to a safe rental property.

Plus, we can help with cost effective ways to appeal to families with children that will widen your tenant pool, garner you higher quality tenants that are more likely to renew, and who also appreciate the time and effort that went into your childproofing efforts.


4 Ways to Market Your Philly Rental Property to Millennials

Ways to Market Your Philly Rental Property to Millennials

If you own a rental property in Philly, you might know that over a quarter of your state’s population is comprised of millennials.

And if you didn’t, now you do.

That means marketing your vacant rental properties specifically to millennials should be a priority.

In the past, we have discussed how to go about leasing your rental property to millennials. We explained that they prefer leasing their homes to owning, for a variety of reasons such as school debt, flexible careers leading to multiple moves, and the fact that renting is no longer as taboo as it once was, even for adults.

In addition, we discussed how millennials prefer technology, such as paying rent online, having fast Wi-Fi speeds, and being located in the hub of the city, where everything is accessible within a few square miles.

And today, we are going to talk marketing.

If you are looking to capitalize on the millennial population in Philly, you are going to need to know much more than just what millennials want on the surface when it comes to leasing a rental home from you.

We are going to dig deeper, and provide ways you can market to this special demographic.

 

What is a Millennial?

In broad terms, a millennial is anyone born between the years of 1981-2000, though there is some flexibility in that definition.

Often children of Baby Boomers, those born between 1946-1964, millennials are generally defined as the generation that is in tune with the world’s advanced communication, media, and digital technologies.

Here are some of the key traits experts believe millennials, as a whole, have:

  • They are part of the largest generation Western society has ever seen
  • Millennials are on track to become the most educated generation
  • Those born as millennials grew up in the digital age, and are very technologically savvy
  • Prior to millennials, no other generation, save for those born in the early 1930s and 1940s, have had such a strong sense of community
  • They are conscious of things such as environmental, social, health, and economical issues and want change
  • This generation is marked by a lessened sense of patriotism, and a heightened sense of globalism
  • They are entrepreneurial, thanks to the Great Recession

 

Marketing Your Philly Rental Property to Millennials

Now that you have a basic understanding of what it means to be a millennial in America, let’s look at some keys ways you can market your Philly rental property to this unique generation.

 

1. Highlight Space

Highlight the Space for Millennials in Your Philly Rental Property

Since millennials are so community driven, it is safe to assume they love to have friends, family, and co-workers over to enjoy the holidays, summer barbeques, and everything in between.

If your Philly rental property has a large living room space, make sure to highlight that fact in your online advertisement (remember, millennials are more likely to search for a rental online).

In addition, boast your spacious kitchen, oasis backyard, and spare bedrooms, where guests can stay over for the weekend.

Also, know that it’s not enough to mention your property’s square footage. Make something exciting out of that square footage, and watch the millennial interest grow.

 

2. Inform Them about Transportation

Millennials leasing your rental may still be in school. And, they probably work as well.

Being able to navigate the city easily from where they live is a key trait millennials look for in a rental property.

Mention things such as nearby restaurants, shopping, entertainment hot spots, colleges, business areas, and close access to all major highways and SEPTA stops when advertising to the millennial generation.

These location specifics are just what they are looking for in a quality Philly rental home.

 

3. If You Own a Philly Vacation Home or Short-Term Rental

Owning Philly Short Term and Rental Vacation Properties

We know that owning a vacation rental property can be a challenging feat. However, with the right marketing techniques, you are bound to find the perfect tenants year-round for your vacation rental if need be.

Here is a list of key options your short-term rental should market:

  • Full service kitchen area
  • A good value that is worth the money being spent
  • Outside sitting area for relaxation or hanging with friends
  • Views of the city skyline
  • Close proximity to tourist attractions, like the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia Museum of Art, or the Franklin Museum
  • Email, web browsing, television, and music access (including a strong Wi-Fi signal)
  • Recycling options, energy efficiency, and green cleaning supplies

 

4. Watch Your Keywords

Unless you have the help of an experienced property management team in Philadelphia, like Bay Management Group, chances are you are not up to speed on what it means to watch your keyword placement when advertising online.

Because rentals in Philly are competitive, it is important you put as much effort as possible into your vacancy ads. You want to attract high-quality tenants that will not waste your time, are genuinely interested in your property, and meet all the application requirements.

One great way of doing this is to manage the keywords you place in your ads.

The more specific and detailed your keywords are, the more likely your rental ad is to show up in search results for millennials looking for a rental just like yours.

Use descriptive keywords to explain all aspects of your rental.

For example, don’t just list your place as an “available two-story house.” Instead, take it a step further and describe it as an “available, two-story, four bedroom, three bath rental with a large backyard and a spacious kitchen.”

This way, for anyone that is looking for those types of amenities (think millennials!), your ad will pop up in their search, and they will be able to get in contact right away.

 

In the end, catering to what millennials need and want in a Philly rental property is not that hard, once you have a grasp on your target audience and what they want in a rental property.

They want affordable, eco-friendly, technologically advanced rentals near the action of the city. And, if you have a property that sounds something like that, you will definitely find a millennial tenant by implementing the above-mentioned tips.

If you own a Philly rental property and want a property management company to help you with advertisements, tenants screenings, placement, and online rent collections, contact Bay Management Group today. We understand not only the rental property market in the Philadelphia region, but the demographics that are seeking rentals just like yours.

With our help, you can target the perfect tenant pool, such as millennials, and have a high-quality tenant in your rental property generating you positive cash flow in no time.


How to Show an Occupied Rental in Harford County, MD

How to Show an Occupied Rental in Harford County Maryland

Minimizing the time your Harford County rental property sits vacant between tenants is the goal of any successful landlord.

That’s why, once you find out your current tenant will not be signing a lease renewal, it is a good idea to start the search for a new tenant right away.

But what should you do when your prospective tenants want to see your rental property, and your existing tenants are still residing there? 

Showing an occupied rental property is a tricky thing to do.

On the one hand, you do not want to disrupt the life of your existing tenants, since they deserve to live out the end of their lease term in peace and quiet.

Yet, on the other hand, showing your rental to interested tenants, and possibly securing one to move in immediately after your current tenants move out will drastically reduce the costs associated with a vacant property.

Today, we are going to look at the pros and cons of showing your occupied Harford County rental property to prospective tenants.

In addition, we will divulge some essential tips for showing an occupied rental, so that all three parties involved are satisfied.

 

The Pros and Cons of Showing Your Occupied Rental Property

Pros and Cons of Showing an Occupied Rental in Harford County Maryland

Showing an occupied rental property and securing a tenant ahead of time offers Harford County property owners several benefits:

  • Minimal Negative Cash Flow. The longer your property stays vacant in between tenants, the more money you have to invest in re-leasing the property. Advertisements, background checks, and the loss in consistent monthly rent payments all add up. Finding a new tenant to move in once your existing tenant moves out drastically reduces these costs.
  • Lower Vacancy Rates. If your rental is nearly move-in ready, chances are your new tenant can move into your rental property almost immediately after your old tenant moves out, thus lowering your vacancy rates.
  • Utility Savings. Showing a rental property without the utilities on is not a wise move. Interested tenants want to know everything is in working order before they sign a lease. If your existing tenant moves out, and you then proceed to show your rental, you will have to transfer utilities into your own name. By showing your property while it is still occupied, you can make use of the utilities that are currently on. You’ll avoid having to transfer them into your name, and then into your new tenant’s name later down the road.

 

While showing your occupied rental does have its advantages, it is also important to understand that this strategy does not come without some inconveniences.

  • It’s harder to show a rental property that is occupied
  • A vacant rental stages better than one that has a family living in it
  • You must provide proper notice every time you want to show the property to an interested tenant
  • You cannot ensure the property is in move-in condition while occupied – there may have been a pet there you didn’t know about, there could be excessive damage that needs repairing, and who knows how clean or dirty the place may be
  • You run the risk your current tenant does not move out on time
  • It can be uncomfortable to show a property while tenants are around, for you, your existing tenants, and prospective tenants

 

That said, if you do wish to show your occupied Harford County rental property in hopes of securing a high-quality tenant to move in right away, there are several things you can do to ensure a smooth showing.

 

4 Tips for Showing Your Occupied Harford County Rental Property

When showing your occupied investment property, try using these essential tips to make things easier on everyone involved.

 

1. Talk to Your Current Tenants

Reaching out to your existing tenants means you’re off to a good start if you’re looking to show your rental while they are still living in it. In fact, your current tenants are likely to be more open to the idea if you discuss this option with them in a friendly way beforehand.

  • Ask your tenants how they feel about you showing the rental
  • Provide multiple showing times, and let your tenants pick the most convenient one(s)
  • Find out whether they prefer to be present during the showings or not, and come to an agreement

 

It is also important you find out when you are legally allowed to enter your rental property while it is still occupied. Save for emergencies, landlords are typically only allowed to enter occupied rentals during normal business hours.

 

2. Always Provide Proper Notice

Provide Your Tenant with Proper Notice When Showing an Occupied Rental

Chatting with your current tenants about your intentions to show the property while they are still in it is not enough. Your tenants have a reasonable right to privacy while residing in your property.

Though Harford County does not have a required time frame for providing tenants a notice of entry, it is safe to say that a minimum of 24 hours notice is a good idea. This gives your tenants enough time to make arrangements, tidy up a bit, and be somewhere else, should they not want to be around during the showing.

And, since you have already spoken with your tenant about the times that are good for them and their family, this notice should not come as a surprise.

 

3. Write it Into the Lease Agreement

Have your Harford County property management company draft a lease provision into the lease agreement that states showing the property may be a possibility near the end of the lease term.

This doesn’t negate the fact that you should discuss with your tenant that you are intending to show the property beforehand. And, it definitely doesn’t void the fact that you need to provide proper notice. However, informing your tenants at the start of the lease that a property showing may occur will ensure that there are no surprises.

 

4. Ask Your Tenants to Prepare

Ask Your Tenants to Prepare Their Occupied Rental For Showing

Showing your Harford County rental property with tenants living in it poses plenty of challenges. One such challenge is ensuring that your rental looks inviting enough with people residing in it to encourage prospective tenants to want to lease from you in the near future.

Asking your tenants to prepare for a property showing can be difficult. After all, their lease is almost up, and they have nothing to gain from staging your property to look good for people interested in being the next tenants.

However, here are some things you can do to help make your property look the best it can, while still occupied:

  • Ask Tenants To Clean. Ask your tenants to tidy up before the showing, so that the prospective tenants are not turned off by a dirty home. Though the way your tenants live should have no effect on whether the property is a good fit for prospective tenants, the truth is, a dirty rental will affect a leasing decision. Consider offering your tenants an incentive, such as a free cleaning service, for cleaning up.
  • Make Sure Pets Are Secure. If you allow your Harford County tenants to have pets while leasing your rental, it is crucial those pets be secure during a property showing. Inviting strangers into your tenant’s home can turn even the nicest of animals aggressive. This is not something you want to contend with, especially if your current tenants are away during the showing.
  • Combine Showing Times. Take advantage of your tenant’s preparation, and save time while you’re at it, by combining showings into one day. This minimizes the amount of incentives you need to offer, notices you need to provide, and inconveniences you afford your current tenants.

 

If you own an income property and need the help of a property management company in Harford County experienced in showing occupied rentals, contact Bay Management Group today. Our customer service oriented property managers understand the challenges that come with showing occupied rentals for all involved parties.

We draft airtight lease agreements informing tenants from the start that showings may be a possibility.

In addition, we have extensive knowledge about the legalities of entering your rental property for non-emergency reasons, as well as the ability to forge solid manager-tenant relationships from the beginning of the lease term.

Because of this, we guarantee that showing your occupied rental property will go as smoothly as possible, with just a little preparation and full respect for everyone involved.


4 Ways to Minimize Philadelphia Rental Property Vacancies

Ways to Minimize Your Philadelphia Rental Property Vacancies

Vacancies present quite a challenge to property owners.

They dip into whatever positive cash flow you have accrued for the year, require extra time thanks to new tenant placement, and can be just plain frustrating.

In the past, we have discussed plenty of ways to reduce your vacancy rates, as well as how to improve your vacancy advertisements to entice new tenants to lease out your property.

Despite the fact that Philadelphia vacancy rates are still maintaining a relatively steady decline, there are always more ways to minimize property vacancies.

Today, we are going to discuss additional ways you can keep tenants leasing your property, as well as ways to minimize downtime in between lease terms.

 

The Cost of a Philadelphia Rental Property Vacancy

Understanding the true price of a vacancy can be enough to encourage you to avoid them at all costs.

Take a look at how much a vacant rental property is going to cost you in terms of money, time, and effort:

 

Administrative Costs

Administrative Costs for Your Rental Property Vacancy

If you currently utilize a property management company in Philadelphia, chances are you are facing a fee to re-lease your property.

And while this fee covers the exceptional services your property management company is providing you, – advertisement, tenant screening, generating the lease, and moving the tenants in – when all is said and done, it is something you have to pay for.

In addition, any costs associated with the thorough background check you will do on any potential tenant is likely to cost you some money as well.

This is especially true because there are limits on how much you can charge a prospective tenant when it comes to application fees.

 

Advertisement Costs

Though some online businesses offer free advertisements of your rental property, you still need to invest time and effort into creating these advertisements.

This includes drafting up a solid and detailed ad, taking high-quality photographs of your property, and advertising across as many platforms as possible.

 

Cleaning and Repairs

Cleaning And Repairs Are Costs of a Vacant Rental Property

Every successful landlord knows that in between tenants you are going to need to conduct a thorough cleaning, and make repairs before placing a new tenant in the property.

The monetary costs of doing either of these things will largely depend on how well your previous tenants cared for your investment property.

However, no matter how minor the mess is, or how small the repairs are, you will need to invest some time and money.

 

As you can see, there is a lot to understand about the actual costs of a vacancy. Knowing the breakdown of costs in terms of money, time, and effort, may motivate you to take your Kensington property vacancies much more seriously.

 

4 Ways to Reduce Rental Property Vacancies in Philadelphia

1. Market Your Property Early

Successful property businesses make sure to give their tenants plenty of time to decide whether to renew their lease or not. This way, when a tenant decides not to renew, you have a heads up.

Utilize this time to prepare for the end of your tenant’s lease term, so that you can reduce the impact an inevitable vacancy will have on your bottom line.

For instance, start gathering advertisement details and photographs. In addition, as the lease term nears an end, consider showing your property to interested tenants before your current tenant moves out.

You may even secure a new tenant before your existing tenants leave.

 

2. Utilize Word of Mouth Marketing

Use Word of Mouth Marketing to Minimize Vacancies in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

If you own more than one rental property in the Kensington area, you might consider mentioning to your existing tenants that a property is opening up soon.

If your tenants are the high-quality type that you should be placing in your investment properties, chances are they know someone of the same caliber that may be a good fit for your upcoming vacancy.

In addition, sharing with friends and family that you are about to have a vacant property can be helpful as well.

Never underestimate the effects word of mouth can have on your success. And, as an added bonus, why not include a referral’s fee for anyone that refers a good tenant to you?

 

3. Prorate the Lease

Another great way to minimize vacancy is to offer a prorated lease agreement.

Although most tenants typically move in to new homes on the first of the month, there is no reason you can’t move a new tenant in mid-month, and prorate the rent.

And, even if the tenant doesn’t want to physically move in mid-month, there is a good chance they will be willing to spend a few weeks’ worth of rent to ensure no one else nabs the place.

Keep in mind that doing this means you’ll need to whip your rental into shape quickly between tenants.

This is where having a property management company on hand is helpful. With a reliable maintenance and cleaning crew available at all times, your Philadelphia property manager will have your property rent ready in no time.

 

4. Use a Property Manager

Use a Property Manager to Reduce Vacancies in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

As mentioned above, using a property manager can significantly help you reduce your chances of having a vacant rental in Philadelphia.

In fact, a competent and reliable property management company can help you with things such as:

  • Recommending improvements or upgrades that will garner better quality tenants who are more likely to renew their lease agreements
  • Advising you when it comes to rent rates based on their extensive knowledge about the current market, specifically in your rental’s region
  • Marketing your property across multiple platforms, so your upcoming vacancy gets as much exposure as possible
  • Thorough tenant screening and placement processes

 

In addition, a quality Philadelphia property management company, such as Bay Management Group, can help with things like lease drafting, rent collection, routine inspections, and 24/7 maintenance requests.

All of these things help increase tenant satisfaction, and the likelihood that a tenant will resign a lease agreement come renewal time, thus minimizing your chances of having a vacancy in the first place.

 

If you own rental properties in or near the Kensington region, contact our Philadelphia property managers at Bay Management Group today. We can help you minimize your vacancies, and also provide superior customer service to your tenants.


5 Appliances That Receive The Most Tenant Damage

Appliances That Receive the Most Tenant Damage in Your Takoma Park Rental

When it comes to the appliances you provide your Takoma Park tenants, you’ve probably included the basics like a dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, and washer and dryer.

And, if you want to maintain an edge on the competition, chances are you are offering top of the line appliances that are environmentally friendly, modern by design, and of course, cost a pretty penny.

That said, it is extremely disappointing to find out at the end of your tenant’s lease term that those precious appliances you put into your rental property have been damaged.

Investing in appliances for your rental properties can help you command higher rent amounts and better quality tenants.

However, it is good to remember that not everyone is going to care for your appliances as well as you would.

And, since you can’t monitor your tenants 24/7, it can be tough to keep a handle on appliance care.

So, today we are going to take a look at some of the appliances in your Takoma Park rental that typically suffer the most tenant damage, and what you can do to minimize the damage in order to save you money in the long run.

 

Appliances That Take a Beating in Your Takoma Park Rental Property

1. Refrigerator

The refrigerator is probably one of the most used appliances in your Takoma Park investment property. That means that it receives a lot of attention on the daily, both good and bad.

Here are some of the things your tenant does that adds extra wear on your refrigerator:

  • Overfilling the Fridge and Freezer. Packing both the fridge and freezer with too many items leads to poor circulation throughout the entire unit. This makes the cooling fan have to work double time to keep things at the right temperature, meaning a burnout is more likely.
  • Dirty Condenser Coils. The coils at the back of your fridge are rarely, if ever, cleaned by your tenants. In fact, some tenants may not even be able to move the fridge to get back there and clean. However, if left for too long, these coils will have to work extra hard to provide electricity to the unit.
  • Water Filter Misuse. If your fridge produces filtered water, and the filters go unchanged for too long, the mineral buildup can ruin the entire system, and create poor quality water.

 

The key here is to remind your tenant of the steps they can take to prevent a fridge breakdown.

After all, if the fridge dies on them, you have to fix the appliance. However, they don’t get off scot free – they have to replace all of their spoiled food.

 

2. Dishwasher

Dishwasher Receives Heavy Tenant Use and Damage in Your Takoma Park Rental

Dishwashers are designed to clean dishes, but they are by no means magic.

Unfortunately, many tenants don’t understand, or care, how to properly use a dishwasher.

It is important your tenants understand that they need to rinse off dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.

More importantly, they need to know which type of soap to use in the machine itself.

Sure, dish soap cleans dishes while you are hand washing them, but if you put that soap into the dishwasher, you are in for a lot of trouble that could cost you an entire dishwasher.

When it comes to maintaining the condition of your dishwasher, inform your tenants, prior to move-in, how to use it correctly.

Also, record its initial condition during the move-in inspection.

 

3. Washers and Dryers

Appliances That Take a Beating in Your Takoma Park Rental Property

The washer and dryer are prone to extreme misuse by tenants living in your Takoma Park rental property.

And unfortunately, replacing them is going to cost you a lot if they break down, and the breakage cannot be attributed to tenant negligence.

Here are the most common ways your tenant is likely to abuse your washer and dryer units:

  • Failing to zip up zippers or remove coins, which both scratch the inside of the washer and dryer drums
  • Using too much detergent
  • Using the wrong detergent, such as dish soap
  • Overloading the washing machine with too many clothes
  • Not cleaning the lint trap or dryer vents
  • Never cleaning the buildup of debris from the inside of the washing machine
  • Leaving wet clothes in the washer for prolonged periods of time, which can lead to mold growth

Again, informing your tenants at the time of move-in how to properly use and care for the washer and dryer units will help reduce the damage those appliances typically see.

 

4. Air Conditioning and Heating Units

Air Conditioners and HVAC Units Receive Lots of Tenant Damages in Your Laurel Rental Property

HVAC units have been noted as the most problematic appliance tenants have to deal with in rentals.

And while sometimes problems are out of your tenant’s control, a lot of the damage to HVAC units is due to a lack of maintenance by your tenant.

For example, not replacing the filters that keep your air conditioning unit working properly will cause extra wear on the system, and eventually cause a breakdown.

One thing a lot of property owners do to avoid this, is provide free air filters to their tenants to help remind them to make the changes each month.

 

5. Garbage Disposals

Just as dishwashers are not magic dish cleaners, garbage disposals are not magic food crushers.

Designed for light materials that wash easily down the sink, garbage disposals are often prone to backing up, jamming, or burning out.

Here are some of the most common things your tenant is likely to place in the garbage disposal during their tenancy that they shouldn’t:

  • Bones
  • Vegetable peels
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Corn husks
  • Grease and oil

 

The biggest piece of advice you can give your tenants when it comes to the garbage disposal is to use the provided sink strainer (that you should have available for use), so that none of these items, or foreign objects such as silverware, get stuck in the disposal and damage it.

 

As you can see, there are several appliances in your Takoma Park rental property that are easily damaged by your tenants.

And, despite them being high-quality tenants that never complain, always pay their rent on time, and don’t break the rules, the truth is, they are likely to be misusing at least one of the appliances listed above.

With Bay Management Group as your trusted property management company in Takoma Park, you can guarantee that proper move-in and move-out inspections will occur before and after every tenancy, to ensure that your tenants didn’t damage your property in any way.

And if they did, we take the correct measures for replacement.

Additionally, we pride ourselves in conducting routine inspections throughout lease terms to ensure nothing needs maintenance or repair.

And if something does, it is handled quickly and efficiently so that a minor repair doesn’t turn into a major repair.

So, contact Bay Management Group now, and see how we can help you protect your Takoma Park rental property appliances from tenant damage.