Top 7 Gifts For Your Philadelphia Tenant’s Welcome Package

Top Gifts For Your Philly Tenant Welcome Package

First impressions are a big deal when it comes to moving tenants into your Philadelphia rental property.

In fact, the way in which you handle the entire move-in process is sure to set the tone for the entire lease term.

If you want an easy way to impress your new tenants, make them feel welcome in your rental property, and provide them with the essentials often needed when moving into a new home, consider giving your tenants a welcome package, complete with information and goodies.

Not sure what the best gifts to include are?

Keep reading to see some of the things your Philly tenants are most likely to appreciate, and start putting together your tenant welcome package today.

 

7 Gifts to Include in Your Philly Tenant Welcome Package

If you decide to give your new tenants a welcome package when they move into your Philly rental property, it’s a good idea to put some thought into what you want to include.

 

1. A Welcome Letter

Include Welcome Letter in Your Philly Tenant's Welcome Package

The first thing you will want to include in your Philly tenant welcome packet is a nice welcome letter.

This should be handwritten and personalized to make the biggest impact.

However, if this is not something you want to do, try at the very least to include the welcome letter on some nice stationery.

In fact, utilizing your Philly property management company’s letterhead is the perfect opportunity to appear professional, yet still welcoming.

And, since the letterhead will likely have the property management company’s contact information on it, your tenant will be able to easily contact the property manager in charge of managing your rental should they need anything.

2. Information Packet

Though not technically a gift, including an information packet in your welcome package is always a good idea.

However, knowing what to put in the information packet is not always clear.

Here are some key elements to include that will not only be helpful to your new tenants, but help assure you that your tenants are fully aware of what to do when they need assistance:

  • How and when to pay rent, including the full amount due
  • Important phone numbers for vendors or contractors in the case of an emergency
  • Contact information for the property management company
  • How to put in a maintenance or repair request
  • Utility information, including contact and bill pay information
  • Information regarding routine inspections
  • How to operate and maintain large appliances such as the washer and dryer, dishwasher, and HVAC system

 

In addition, you can include things like local maps, names of nearby restaurants and shopping centers, and even local entertainment hotspots so your tenants don’t feel overwhelmed about where to go come move-in time.

3. Coupons

Coupons Are a Great Tenant Welcome Package Gift

It is not unusual to receive a mailer full of coupons from the post office to use at local restaurants and retailers when you move into a new home.

However, you can add to that stack of coupons by including some specialty coupons to local places that you know your tenant will love.

Try reaching out to local businesses and seeing if they will provide you some exclusive new tenant coupons.

In addition, try to incorporate any local restaurant fliers you may come across so your tenants have plenty of variety when it comes to choosing where to eat.

 

4. Cleaning Supplies

When your tenants move into your Philly rental property, chances are they are going to do some cleaning themselves.

This is especially true once their personal belongings start to move in.

Moving boxes, items from storage units, and dirty moving trucks have the tendency to track in dirt and grime that eventually settles into a new home.

Your Philadelphia property management company may recommend you supply your new tenants with basic cleaning supplies to help them during the move-in process.

Consider giving your tenants a small bucket containing the following:

  • Sponges
  • Glass cleaner
  • Toilet bowl scrubber
  • Paper towels
  • Bleach

 

Providing your tenants with cleaning items as an addition to their welcome package is relatively inexpensive to do since most of these things are easily found at the local dollar store.

In addition, these items are not only helpful things to have on hand as your tenants move in, it gives them the impression you take pride in a clean rental.

 

5. Gift Cards

Include Gift Cards in Your Philly Tenant Welcome Package

If your budget provides for more expensive welcome package items, consider giving your tenants gift cards to a local grocery store or restaurant.

Moving into a new home is a time consuming project that leaves very little room for cooking.

Helping your tenants get their first meal or two in after moving in is so appreciated.

In addition, chances are your tenants did not transport many food items from their old home to the new rental. Again, a gift card to the grocery store can go a long way in helping your tenants get started after moving into your rental.

6. Toiletries

Along the same lines as offering your tenants cleaning supplies they may not have on hand when first moving in to you rental, providing toiletries in your welcome package will certainly earn you bonus points from your tenants.

Include items such as toilet paper, tissues, soap, hand sanitizer, and even a shower curtain liner so they can begin enjoying your rental’s bathroom right away.

If you want to take it one step further, try leaving a single use laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach packet by the washing machine and dryer so tenants can get their first load of laundry underway immediately.

 

7. Long Distance Gifts

Long Distance Gifts Such as Flowers are Great For Philly Tenant Welcome Package

For property owners that own rentals in Philadelphia but self-manage from another city or state, there are still ways to make your new tenants feel at home when they move in.

These long distance ideas can be used in conjunction with the welcome package your Philadelphia property manager gives your tenants on move-in day, and make a bold statement about how serious you are about welcoming your tenants into their new home.

Here are some of the best ideas:

  • E-card. Send a card via email welcoming your tenants to their new home. Take it up a notch and include a gift card for them to enjoy, if your budget allows for it.
  • Flowers. If you are unable to personally leave out a bouquet of flowers for your tenants to enjoy the moment they enter your rental property, consider having a beautiful arrangement delivered to them instead. Flowers are a great way to add a personal touch to a new home.
  • Fruit Baskets. Fruit baskets or arrangements are another highly popular and well-received welcome package gift. Again, even if you manage your property from afar, having seasonal fruits delivered to your rental is a simple gesture that can go a long way when it comes your tenant-landlord relationship.

 

Sometimes distance makes it difficult for you to forge strong tenant-landlord relationships in person. However, there are still very effective ways for you to make your tenants feel extra special, even if you are unable to meet them face-to-face.

 

In Closing

Creating a tenant welcome package is a great way to kick off the tenant-landlord relationship that is sure to build over the course of your tenant’s lease term.

This gesture shows your tenants you care about them, and your property, and that you want their move-in to be as smooth as possible.

If you are looking for a property management company in Philadelphia to help you handle the entire move-in process, contact Bay Management Group today and see how we can help.

With experience in tenant screening, legally compliant lease drafting, and move-in inspections, we can get your tenants settled into your rental property seamlessly. In addition, we can help you create an exceptional tenant welcome package, complete with all the goodies new tenants love to see.   This way you can rest assured your tenants understand everything that is expected of them, and your tenants can rest assured that customer service is your, and our, number one priority.


Watch Out For These Hidden Fees When Purchasing Your First Rental Property

Watch Out for These Hidden Fees When Purchasing Your First Rental Property

If you are looking to invest in a Philadelphia rental property, being prepared beforehand is the best way to go.

This is especially true when it comes to the financial side of purchasing a rental property.

It is easy to be misled by the initial sales price of a rental property, and even more so if you are new to investing in real estate.

However, there are costly fees tacked onto the purchase price of any property you buy that need factoring into your overall budget.

This way you don’t accidentally overextend yourself before even getting started.

That’s why today we are going to break down the miscellaneous fees you can expect to see throughout the purchasing process of your Philadelphia rental property, so that you don’t go over budget, don’t have to dip into your personal savings, or don’t have to take from the rental property emergency fund you spent so long building up.

 

The Hidden Costs of Investing in Philadelphia Rental Property

1. Earnest Money

Though not technically considered a “fee,” earnest money is definitely something you will need to pay upfront after showing interest in property that’s available for purchase.

Typically 1% of the property’s purchase price, earnest money is paid as a way of proving you are genuinely interested in buying a property.

It serves to protect the seller, who will then pull their property off the market in hopes you will actually buy.

Keep in mind this is not a down payment, should you decide to purchase the property.

However, this money can be applied to your down payment total when the time comes, because it will be credited back to you during closing.

 

2. Loan Origination Fee

Loan Origination Fee is the Biggest Fee You'll Pay in Your Philly Rental Property Purchase

This is usually the biggest fee you will have to pay when it comes to finalizing your mortgage.

It is used to assist your lender in generating, or “originating,” your mortgage.

In short, your mortgage lender requires this money in exchange for preparing your mortgage for closing.

 

3. Application Fee

Sometimes your mortgage company will charge you to prepare and process your loan application.

This is money due to them for investing time and effort into your loan application process.

 

4. Credit Reporting Fee

Credit Report Fee When Purchasing Your Philly Rental Property

Just like you are sometimes required to pay for a loan application fee, you may find that your mortgage company requires you to pay for the credit report that is run on you during the loan application and approval process.

Whenever you are considered for a mortgage loan, your credit worthiness is checked – often by a third-party service – to determine whether you are a good candidate for a loan.

The processing fee associated with this credit check is passed from the third-party service to the mortgage company, and lastly, to you.

 

5. Property Appraisal

When you apply for a loan from a mortgage company to cover the cost of a rental property purchase, the mortgage company wants to make sure they are lending you money on a property that is actually worth the amount of the loan they are considering approving you for.

This is why your mortgage company will request a property appraisal.

This appraisal will help determine the fair market value of the property you are interested in so that the mortgage company can decide if they want to move forward with lending you money.

 

6. Home Inspection

Home Inspection is a Hidden Fee With Your Philly Rental Property Purchase

Though not always required, a home inspection protects you from purchasing a property riddled with problems.

A professional inspection of the property you are interested in reveals any underlying issues that even the seller may not be aware of.

This way, you can have all inspection issues handled before you commit to purchasing the property.

Keep in mind that a general home inspection will not cover all aspects of the property.

In fact, here is a list of common things in the property that will require a specialized inspection:

  • HVAC system
  • Mold
  • Foundation
  • Well Water
  • Septic System
  • Radon
  • Structural
  • Termite

If you want any of those things cleared before purchasing the property, you will need to hire a separate inspector.

 

7. Property Surveyor

The rental you are looking to buy will most likely need to be professionally surveyed to verify the physical specifications of the property.

This of course, comes at a price you have to pay.

If, by chance, a previous survey was done on the property, and nothing has changed since that survey was officially documented, you may be able to forfeit surveying the property again, which will save you some money.

 

8. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Private Mortgage Insurance is a Hidden Fee With Your Philly Rental Property

This fee is reserved for people who pay less than 20% down on the property they are buying.

It protects the interests of the mortgage company, since they are lending you a large amount of money to cover the cost of the property.

You will pay a monthly PMI fee until your loan reaches 80% of the home’s fair value market.

This is in addition to the mortgage you will have to pay each month.

 

9. Title Fees

Many fees tie into what is commonly labeled as the “Title Fees:”

  • Title Insurance. A title insurance policy insures the property against any liens or defects in the title of the property, and includes any administrative and documentation fees.
  • Title Search. A title search will reveal previous title holdings of a property.
  • Recording Fees. Any fees associated with recording the deed and other related documents with the County Recorder’s Office pass on to you.
  • Title Policies. Both the owner and mortgage title policies will be your responsibility (unless the sales contract deems otherwise), and are typically a percentage of the total sale price of the property.
  • Flood Certificate. If your property is located in an area that experiences heavy flooding, you will need a Flood Certificate designating the property as being located in a flood zone. This will also prompt you to purchase the required flood insurance.
  • Tax Certificates. These show previous property tax payments and any owed taxes. All taxes from the closing date through the end of the year are your responsibility. These taxes can be integrated into your monthly mortgage bill.
  • Documentation Fees. You pay any fees related to the Deed, Deed of Trust, and Notice of Purchaser.

As you can see, there are many fees incorporated into what are commonly referred to as “title fees.”

 

10. Home Warranty

You may want to consider investing in some home warranty coverage if the property you are looking to invest in is no longer covered under the original manufacturer’s warranties.

This will cover things like kitchen appliances, ceiling and exhaust fans, plumbing issues, the furnace, and even electrical problems.

This is typically paid for annually, and only adds to all the other fees you have to pay during the purchasing process.

 

Altogether, purchasing rental property in Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter, is bound to cost much more than you might initially expect, thanks to these hidden property fees.

And while the fees are not hidden on purpose, for those that are inexperienced with the purchasing process, these added costs can come as quite a surprise and significantly impact your initial budget.

If you are new to the rental property industry, and are looking to invest in some rental property, consider enlisting the help of Philadelphia’s best property management company, Bay Management Group.

We have extensive knowledge of the region and can help guide you when it comes to choosing a locale for your rental property. We know how much rentals are going for, what you can expect your monthly rent rate to be, and can even help you with managing your property after purchasing it.

So, contact us today and see how we can help you with your Philadelphia rental property investments. This way, you can use our knowledge of the area to better budget for your investment and ensure there are no hidden surprises come closing time.


4 Ways To Wisely Spend Time Between Philadelphia Tenants

Ways to Spend Time Between Philly Tenants

Finding out your rental property is about to be vacant is not something you want to hear.

However, vacancies are a reality that all property owners must contend with, even if you have enlisted the help of the best property management company in Philadelphia.

That said, vacancies don’t have to be seen as the worst thing that can happen.

In fact, if you utilize your time between tenants wisely, you may actually do yourself some favors and make your rental property business that much more successful in the process.

Here’s a look at some of the best ways you can spend your time between tenants in order to make your property more appealing and valuable for the next tenants that sign a lease agreement with you.

 

Things to Do With Your Time Between Tenants

If your Philadelphia rental has gone vacant, take advantage of the time that has been afforded to you.

1. Transfer the Utilities

Transfer Utilities Between Philly Tenants

Once your tenants leave your rental property, they will be turning off all utilities such as the water, gas, and electric.

It is in your best interest to have those utilities immediately transferred into your name to avoid any reactivation fees the state or county may charge you.

Make sure you know the exact date your tenants are leaving so that you don’t end up paying their last bill.

In addition, make sure the new tenants place the utilities in their name on move-in day so that you don’t end up overpaying on the other end of your vacancy.

 

2. Start Cleaning

Whether your property management company handles the cleaning of your vacant properties, you hire a cleaning service to do it for you, or you like to take care of it yourself, you should get to cleaning right away.

Your previous tenants may not have cleaned your property as you would have liked, and there’s no better time than the present to get it back in shape.

Starting the cleaning process early will benefit you in several ways.

To start, it will ensure that your property is ready to go once you find new tenants.

Underestimating the amount of time it takes to clean an entire rental property from top to bottom can leave you scrambling, which may mean your property is not ready for your new tenants come move-in day.

In addition, the longer you leave dirt and grime, the more build-up you’re likely to see. By jumping on cleaning quickly, you avoid spending even more time down the line scrubbing through those extra layers of filth.

Lastly, performing a thorough deep cleaning of your rental property will reveal any maintenance or repair issues that need tending to that you may have otherwise missed.

This will keep you ahead of the game, since finding these issues early will afford you time to get them properly resolved.

 

3. Perform Upgrades

Perform Upgrades to Your Philly Rental Between Tenants

After you have cleaned your rental, you will be able to take a step back and evaluate it as a whole, with no distractions.

This is the perfect time for you to assess where your property could use some upgrades.

Upgrading your property, especially if you haven’t done so in a few years, can add a lot of value to it, and help garner you higher rent rates that your property manager will be able to help you determine.

Here are some great suggestions:

Patch and Paint

With no tenants residing in your property, no furniture in the way, and no pictures hanging up, you have the time to care for the walls properly.

Patch any holes you find – even the small ones left behind from nails.

In addition, consider giving your walls a fresh coat of paint.

Maybe even change up the color if it hasn’t been changed in a while. Choose a light, neutral color that will appeal to a large tenant pool, and will make your property feel inviting.

 

Flooring

Now is also a great time to repair, refinish, or replace any old, damaged flooring in your property. You don’t want worn out carpet with stains to discourage high quality tenants from leasing your property from you.

You also don’t want to have an unappealing house that doesn’t fit modern times.

With so many flooring options available to meet all budget needs, there is bound to be a great choice for you.

 

Landscaping

Don’t forget that the exterior of your rental property is the first thing prospective tenants will see when they check out your property.

Your previous tenants may not have tended to the landscaping as well as you wanted them to while they leased from you.

That’s why jumping in and taking care of this now, while no one is living in your property, is so helpful.

This is also a perfect time to upgrade your backyard oasis so that you can have yet another reason to entice a high quality tenant to lease from you.

 

4. Seek Out New Tenants

Seek Out New Tenants Philly Rental

Once you find out your current tenants will be leaving your rental, you and your Philadelphia property manager should begin the tenant screening process.

Although it may seem early to start, you don’t want to spend your time transferring utilities, cleaning your property from top to bottom, making repairs, and renovating it for added value, only to have it sit empty for a few more months afterwards, all because you don’t have a new tenant.

Starting the screening process early is a proactive use of your time.

In fact, even if you find a tenant before the property is ready for move-in, you can easily let potential tenants know when the property will be ready, and have them move in then.

 

Though rental property vacancies are definitely an inconvenience for any property owner, there is a way to turn them into a positive time. You cannot avoid the fact that at some point, your rental will be empty, so why not make the best of it?

Employing Philadelphia’s best property management company, Bay Management Group, to help you manage your property vacancies is yet another way you can spend your time wisely between tenants.

We have highly qualified contractors on-hand to help you with any repairs or upgrades you want to make. We also have a strict tenant screening process in place so that only the best tenants move in and pay you the highest rent rate possible.

So, if you have rental property in the Philadelphia area, contact Bay Management Group today. We can help you prepare for property vacancies and provide advice as to how to best utilize your time while your property is empty.


The Top 10 Pest Control Companies For Your Philly Rental

Top 10 Pest Control Companies In Philly

Philadelphia is a huge city, filled with thousands of pest control professionals. And, since most pest control companies provide similar services, it can be difficult to know which one to hire.

That’s why we set out to research some of the very best pest control companies in the Philly region so you don’t have to.

We looked at things such as experience, reputation, reviews, and even cost to make sure you get the best service and deal possible, should you need to enlist the help of a professional pest control specialist.

In the end, we came up with 10 exceptional pest control companies for you to reference if you ever find yourself with a pest infestation in your rental property.

 

10 Pest Control Companies to Consider for Your Rental Property

1. A. Amendt

Founded in 1955, A. Amendt boasts being a family owned and operated pest control company that seeks to provide prompt, reliable, and consistent pest control management services. Specializing in termite, bed bug, and general pest control, A. Amendt employs highly trained technicians that are state-certified and ready to take on any pest infestation issues you may be having.

With A. Amendt you can expect the following:

  • Certified technicians on-hand that are up to date with the latest pest control technology and techniques
  • Dependable pest management that overcomes even the most difficult pest problems
  • Emergency and on-call pest services that come with thorough inspections and quick solutions

One unique thing that sets A. Amendt apart from other pest control companies, is the use of their trusted bed bug dog, Quincy. That, paired with free estimates, on-going, emergency, or single service plans, and professional technicians dedicated to keeping your rental property pest-free, guarantees that you can’t go wrong with A. Amendt.

 

2. The Aardvark Pest Management

Pest Control in Philadelphia

The Aardvark Pest Management specializes in pest control and extermination for healthcare facilities, educational institutions, offices, and residential properties, including rental properties. In business for over 20 years, the pest control professionals at The Aardvark Pest Management have the skills to eradicate any pest problem you have.

Here is what you can expect when hiring The Aardvark Pest Management:

  • Use of practical, pesticide-free solutions whenever possible in an attempt to remain eco-friendly
  • A perfect balance between pest identification and pest management skills
  • Aardvark founder, Marty Overline, is the only ACE Certified exterminator in Philly

With Overline also holding firm onto his position as Governor of the Pennsylvania Pest Management Association for Southeastern Pennsylvania, you can bet he ensures his employees have the highest levels of certifications and that their pest management education is ongoing. Aardvark is a state-of-the-art operation that stays on top of mastering the modern techniques of pest control.

 

3. Philadelphia Pest Control Solutions

For over 17 years, Pest Control Solutions has successfully eliminated termites, wildlife, rodents, roaches, and bed bugs. They are so great at what they do, they even receive recommendations from other pest control professionals in the area when facing difficult pests.

With Pest Control Solutions, you get:

  • A variety of extermination methods, depending on your individual situation
  • Termite inspections for both residential properties and real estate transactions
  • Affordable wildlife removal using the exclusion method and possible wildlife relocation

In the end, Pest Control Solutions offers rental property owners affordable and reliable removal services that will have your investment property pest-free in no time.

 

4. Green Pest Solutions

Green Pest Solutions understands that families live in the homes they inspect and treat. That’s why minimizing their use of harmful pesticides, and allowing Mother Nature to assist with pest removal is their main goal.

Green Pest Solutions’ best qualities include:

  • Over 100 years combined experience in the pest control industry, with technicians having certifications in multiple categories
  • Competitive pricing in the tri-state area
  • A 4.6 out of 5 star rating (or better) on review sites such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Home Advisor, and the BBB

Green Pest Solutions is a highly professional pest control company that hires only highly qualified extermination technicians to enter your rental property and rid it of annoying pests. The skill and expertise of Green Pest Solutions is evident in its many awards including 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award, 2017 Best Pick for Post and Termite Control by Best Pick Reports, 2017 Philly.com Reader’s Choice , 2017 People Love Us on Yelp Award, and many more.

 

5. Ehrlich Pest Control

Hiring Pest Control Company in Philly

Ehrlich Pest Control employs 23 Pennsylvania-licensed exterminators with an impressive 300 years combined experience in pest control management. Understanding that Philly has a diverse pest problem, their highly trained specialists are equipped to deal with any pest issue, big or small.

With Ehrlich Pest Control, you receive:

  • Individualized pest identification and treatment plans to reduce the health and financial threats pests pose
  • Innovative pest control solutions tapping into the root of the problem, not just the surface solutions
  • The option to utilize their Pestfree365 plan, which involves regularly scheduled inspections and pest services for 365 days of pest-free living

As you can see, Ehrlich Pest Control offers customers a unique experience when it comes to pest control treatment. This, paired with the fact that their services list is a mile long, makes them one of the best pest control companies in the area.

 

6. Dynamite Pest Control

Dynamite Pest Control provides services that kill anything that “hops, skips, jumps, or flies,” as well as same day animal control, pest control services, and termite certifications (that come with a lifetime termite guarantee).

Additionally, Dynamite Pest Control will:

  • Service homes, schools, restaurants, and commercial properties, meaning their experience with pest issues is versatile
  • Pay special attention to the customer service provided, report all pest complaints and solutions you require, and even guarantee all work
  • Make time to service your rental property at all hours so that it is convenient for you and your tenants

Focusing on excellent customer service, teamwork, and affordability for nearly 50 years, Dynamite Pest Control is a great option when you have a pest control issue.

 

7. Absolute Pest Control, Inc.

Controlling Pest Problems Philly

Absolute Pest Control, Inc. offers 24/7 wildlife control, bed bug treatment, termite treatment, and bat removal services throughout the region. In addition, they specialize in the treatment of general pest infestations using environmentally friendly treatment solutions, thus minimizing the use of pesticides inside your rental property.

Absolute Pest Control, Inc. prides itself in:

  • Having a long list of services designed to eliminate your pest problem and prevent future occurrences
  • Providing flexible scheduling to meet the needs of you or your rental property tenants
  • Having professional, courteous, and timely technicians to identify the issue and solve your pest problems.

With years of experience in the pest control industry, Absolute Pest Control, Inc. ensures your pest infestations are handled as quickly as possible with the most affordable, eco-friendly treatments available.

 

8. JML Pest Control

JML Pest Control prides itself in using kid, pet, and environmentally friendly products when dealing with your rodent, bed bug, and general pest control needs. State licensed and insured, this pest control company employs technicians trained & certified by the PA Dept. of Agriculture and insists on continuing education to keep up with the latest treatment methods and chemical use.

JML Pest Control aims to:

  • Implement I.P.M. (Integrated Pest Management) by encouraging customers to take a proactive approach to pest control
  • Maintain the quality of service that garnered them the 2012, 2013, and 2014 title of Award Winning Service Provider in Pest Control
  • Recommend the bare minimum services required to solve your pest problem so that you don’t break the bank on excessive pest control and management

At JML Pest Control, you can rest assured your rental property will receive a thorough inspection, proactive and future recommendations, and their exclusive, award winning treatments every time.

 

9. Prodigy Pest Solutions

Prodigy Pest Solutions is a family owned and operated pest control company serving the Philadelphia region, with over 35 years of combined experience. Offering quick and reliable solutions, especially when it comes to bed bug problems, Prodigy Pest Solutions was aptly named “Best Bed Bug Removal Service” by Philadelphia Magazine.

What’s more, the specialists at Prodigy Pest Solutions can:

  • Handle other pests such as termites, ants, and roaches
  • Offer eco-friendly, fast, and effective bed bug removal services using Heat Treatments to time the different bed bug life cycles and eliminate them all
  • Provide guaranteed licensed and insured pest control services that you will be satisfied with

With a desire to exceed your expectations, and live up to their name as the best bed bug removal service provider in the area, Prodigy Pest Solutions is a great choice when looking for pest control services.

 

10. Resolution Pest

How to Find the Best Pest Control Company in Philly

Resolution Pest is a local pest control management company that is family owned and operated, and has decades of experience under its belt. Priding themselves in having extensive pest control knowledge, exceptional customer service, and effective preventative treatments, Resolution Pest is dedicated to keeping your home or business pest-free.

Resolution Pest’s best features include:

  • Board-trained, state-certified exterminators that have passed rigorous background checks
  • The exclusive Property Shield program designed to protect the perimeter of your rental property with quarterly inspections
  • Exceptional customer service including online bill payment, refer-a-friend programs, and online quote requests

With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, Resolution Pest is determined to work until you are completely satisfied that your pest problem is solved.

 

In Closing

Finding the right pest control company to take care of your rental property’s needs does not have to be hard if you know where to look.

And as you can see above, there are some great pest control specialists in the Philly region that handle a wide variety of pest infestation needs. From bed bugs to rodents, termites to garden variety pests, there is a company in our top 10 list that fits your needs and your budget.


How to Properly Clean Your Rental Home Prior to Listing

How to Properly Clean Your Rental Prior to Listing

Preparing your Philadelphia rental property for your next tenant is extremely important to the success of your rental property business.

Typically, prospective tenants are expecting a spotless rental that is ready for them to move all of their personal belongings into right away.

And, don’t think that interested tenants will not notice if the property you are showing is dirty.

Providing a sparkling clean Philadelphia rental property when it becomes available is not only the right thing to do as a property owner – doing this also provides you a great opportunity to make an exceptional first impression on your prospective tenants.

Thus, today we are going to share with you ways to properly clean your rental home prior to listing (and of course tenant move-in), so that you impress anyone that shows interest in your property.

 

4 Expert Ways to Clean Your Philadelphia Rental Property Before Listing It

One of the easiest ways to ensure your rental property is cleaned properly is to follow a cleaning checklist.

To make things even easier to follow, we will separate this list according to room type.

 

1. Kitchen

Expert Ways to Clean Your Rental Property Kitchen Prior to Listing

Before beginning your cleaning work in the kitchen, our Philadelphia property managers recommend doing a quick run through and make sure everything from the previous tenant has been removed from the cabinets, drawers, and refrigerator.

From there, it is time to start wiping down the following:

  • Cupboards
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Counter tops
  • Window sills and ledges

One of the best ways to clean the inside of a microwave that has been neglected is to:

  1. Spray some multi-surface cleaner inside (make sure you spray enough to generously cover the entire inside surface)
  2. Turn on the microwave for 30-60 seconds
  3. Once finished, simply wipe everything away

Avoid cleaning stainless steel appliances with harsh chemicals that contain ammonia, scouring pads or powders, or anything else that is abrasive.

Why?

Because this will not give you the cleaning you’re after, and will also scratch the appliance while you’re at it.

Your best bet is to use a soft cloth and some mild dish detergent to get grease and food spots off.

When it comes to the kitchen sink, a great tip for making sure everything is completely clean, pipes and all, is to:

  1. Run the faucet on hot for one minute
  2. Pour 1/3 cup of baking soda down the drain
  3. Follow up with ½ cup of white vinegar
  4. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes, and then run the hot water again to clean the drain from any smells and debris

And, when all the above is complete, do a thorough sweep and mop of the floors.

 

2. Bathrooms

A dirty bathroom is enough to turn any prospective tenant away from wanting to lease your rental property.

How to Clean Your Rental Property Bathroom Prior to Listing

Our property managers in Philadelphia recommend the following common steps to make your bathrooms sparkling clean:

  • Use a generous amount of toilet bowl cleaner, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes
  • Use the same baking soda/white vinegar mixture from the above kitchen checklist on the tub and sink drains
  • Use a tough shower cleaner to clean the walls and shower door that will erase all water spots
  • Check for any mold or mildew, and handle all issues immediately
  • Wash the walls, light switch plates, outlet plates, door knobs, and baseboards
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Clean the sinks, countertops, and faucets
  • Dust window sills and ledges
  • Clean the inside and outside of all cabinets and drawers
  • Get back to the toilet and scrub away, including the outside of the bowl
  • Sweep and mop the floors

 

3. Bedrooms/Living Room/Dining Room

We have combined these rooms into one category, because they have similar features that should be cleaned in similar ways.

The first step in these rooms is to make sure your previous tenants did not leave any personal belongings behind. This is especially true in the closets, where things are easily forgotten or left behind.

Next, dust any ledges and windowsills, and get rid of any cobwebs. Make sure to pay special attention to the ceiling corners.

In addition, dust the ceiling fans. This is one of the most neglected things in any household, so the chances your previous tenant cleaned them are slim.

How to Clean Markings Off the Walls of Your Rental Property

To clean off the walls consider the following tips. For:

  • Pencil Markings. Use a simple dish soap and water mixture.
  • Ink Markings. There are several ways to get ink off the walls. You will likely need an alcohol-based solvent such as rubbing alcohol, or even hairspray that contains alcohol. You may also be able to use a mixture of baking soda and water (mixed into a paste), or a mixture of ammonia, lemon juice, and detergent.
  • Marker or Crayon. One of the best things you can do to remove marker or crayon is to use a Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. Just make sure to test it out before scrubbing away, as it may remove you wall’s paint.

Once the walls, outlets, light switch plates, and ledges are cleaned, you can move on to cleaning the windows and floors.

 

4. Exterior

Clean the Exterior of Your Rental Property Prior to Listing

When a potential tenant pulls up to your Philadelphia rental for a showing, the first thing they see is the exterior of your home.

That’s why it is crucial you make sure to clean up both the front and backyards before showing your property.

  • Mow the lawn and pull any weeds
  • Trim all bushes, trees, and hedges
  • Clear out the rain gutters
  • Sweep walkways or porches
  • Add foliage where needed to make it look fresher
  • Clean the pool, decking, and any pool accessories
  • Wipe down any patio furniture, including the tables and chairs
  • Ensure all light fixtures are in good working order
  • Clean the outside of the windows

In addition to the front and backyard areas, it is important you not neglect the garage.

This is an often forgotten section of the house, by both previous tenants and property owners, when it comes to tidying up a rental.

Make sure to thoroughly clean the walls, shelving, and floors.

Also, if there is anything in the garage, such as trash cans (make sure they are empty), or landscaping tools, such as a lawnmower, tuck them neatly to the side so potential tenants can get a full idea of how large the garage is.

Just as you expect tenants to thoroughly clean your property upon move-out, you can believe that new tenants will want a spotless property upon move-in.

And, the best time to clean up your property is before you even list it as available.

That way, when interested tenants make appointments with you or your Philadelphia property manager to see your property, it is ready to go, and tenants are impressed from the start.

 

If you own a rental property in the Philadelphia region and need help with advertising your sparkling clean rental property to a high-quality tenant pool, contact Bay Management Group today.

With experience in how best to design your vacancy ads, the resources to advertise your vacant property across multiple highly-trafficked platforms, and a strict tenant screening process in place, you can rest assured we will have the perfect tenant placed in your rental within 30 days of being listed.


5 Rental Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Property in Top Shape

Rental Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Philadelphia Rental Property in Good Shape

Taking care of your Philadelphia rental home is just as important as caring for the home you actually live in.

Yet, time and again, property owners either fall behind on general maintenance of their rental properties, or expect their tenants to handle everything – both of which are a bad idea.

Keeping your investment property in tiptop shape is one way of extending the life of your property, as well as avoiding any major repairs.

If you want your property to last, despite people of all kinds moving in and out of it over time, you must commit to implementing a routine maintenance plan.

Take a look at some of the very best ways you can handle rental property maintenance, so that your Philadelphia rental property withstands the test of time, and continues to generate a positive cash flow for you each year.

 

Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Philadelphia Rental Property in Exceptional Shape

 

1. Take Advantage of Pest Control

Take Advantage of The Pest Control For Your Philadelphia Rental Property

There has been a longstanding serious debate as to whether pest control is an issue for property owners or tenants to handle during a lease term.

However, the consensus is that prior to move-in, a property owner is responsible for providing a safe and habitable place for tenants.

This means you must ensure your Philadelphia rental is free of all pests and rodents before a tenant moves in.

From there, it is your tenant’s job to ensure that a pest or rodent infestation does not take over.

 

Seems fair enough, right?

 

Of course it does.

However, just because it is your tenant’s responsibility to make sure pests haven’t overtaken your rental property, does not mean they are being proactive about pest control.

And, when it comes to pests, being ahead of the game is the key to winning.

If you want to avoid dealing with the excessive damage that a major pest or rodent infestation can have on the structure of your rental property, consider having an exterminator regularly visit your property (approximately every two months), regardless of whose job pest control is.

Though with this approach there is a cost involved that eats into your bottom line, it is worthwhile in the long run.

A pest or rodent infestation can not only cause you to lose a tenant come renewal time, thus leading to higher turnover and vacancy rates, the damage pests such as termites can do to your property is astounding.

And, even with the best of intentions, your tenants may not be equipped to handle routine pest control on their own.

By helping them out a little, you provide your tenants extra customer service (which can go a long way with a lease renewal), and provide yourself the peace of mind your property is pest free.

 

2. Perform Routine Inspections

This is a major one.

Routine inspections can have a profound impact on the longevity of your rental property, no matter the time of year you conduct them.

Check for things like water leaks, broken windows, rotting wood, or full gutters while inspecting the exterior of your property.

Tenants are likely to miss these kinds of issues during the course of their tenancy, especially if they are not taking an active role in property maintenance.

After all, many tenants that do participate in property maintenance assume that “maintenance” includes just the interior.

By regularly monitoring the exterior of your investment property, you will be able to spot problem areas before they become major issues.

This will not only help ensure the structure of your property stays sound throughout the year, it will prevent costly repairs down the line that may displace your tenants, and dip into your monthly rent collection.

 

3. Hire a Landscaper

Hire a Landscaper to Care For Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Unless you are absolutely sure the tenant you have placed in your rental property is capable of maintaining both the front and backyard landscaping, consider hiring a professional landscaper to do the job instead.

Look at some of the benefits you reap by having a well-kept yard:

  • A visually appealing space you, your tenants, and neighbors can be proud of
  • Help cool your neighborhood from sweltering summer heat
  • Absorb surrounding noise
  • Improve drainage and prevent sidewalk cracking, foundation slipping, and flooded areas
  • Trap pollutants in the air, and create more oxygen
  • Increase property value
  • Create an inviting “getaway” that tenants can enjoy year round
  • Prevent major pest infestations
  • Create great curb appeal to attract future tenants

The truth is, no one wants to look at a yard full of overgrown shrubs, trees, and weeds.

And, the fact that your tenants would likely love to have a nice backyard they can enjoy throughout the year makes hiring a professional landscaper even more appealing.

 

4. Care for the HVAC System

One of the biggest repairs any Philadelphia income property owner can face is the repair (or replacement!) of an entire HVAC system.

This is why routine care is key.

Look at some things you can do year round to help maintain your property’s HVAC system, and prevent a major financial burden down the road:

  • Professional Servicing. Have the system professionally serviced at least once a year. This includes a full cleaning, and the maintenance of any parts that are outdated or worn. In doing so, you will save your tenants money each month on energy costs, improve the air quality throughout your property, and prevent emergency repair needs.
  • Help Your Tenants. It is not enough to simply tell your tenants they are responsible for maintaining something like the HVAC system. Instead, try providing them with replacement air filters so all they have to do is change them out each month. In addition, giving your tenant a welcome package upon move-in is a great way to slip in a routine maintenance checklist, complete with instructions on how to maintain the HVAC system and what to do in case something breaks.
  • Duct Sealing. Every few years consider having your property’s HVAC ducts re-sealed. This will ensure the system continues to work efficiently and prevent any “backdrafting” that may physically harm your tenants. In addition, it will prevent extreme temperatures from plaguing specific rooms, boost air quality, protect the environment, and of course, save you money in the long run.

 

5. Don’t Forget the Water Heater

Keep Up Maintenance On Your Philadelphia Rental Property Water Heater

Another rental property maintenance issue that is often overlooked is the water heater.

And, if you have ever had to replace the water heater in your Philadelphia rental, you know firsthand how expensive the actual heater is, as well as how damaging a flooded water heater can be to a tenant’s personal belongings, and the structure of your property.

Here are some easy ways to maintain your property’s water heater:

  • Adjust the thermostat to approximately 120 degrees to prevent scalding, and to save your tenant’s money on energy costs
  • Ensure enough clearance around the tank
  • Drain the tank a few times a year to remove sediment build-up and debris
  • Test the temperature-pressure relief valve yearly
  • Inspect the anode rod every few years
  • Insulate the heater, especially if an older model

Just remember, if you are uncomfortable with performing any of the above-mentioned maintenance tasks, call a professional to help service your water heater.

 

In the end, maintaining the shape of your Philadelphia rental property largely relies on your ability to work with your tenants when it comes to routine maintenance tasks.

There are also several things you can do on your own to guarantee your property lasts a long time without needing any major improvements or repairs.

If you own property in the Philadelphia area, and want help with routine maintenance of your rental, contact Bay Management Group today and have our professional, qualified, and affordable handymen and contractors help you out.

Not only can we handle any maintenance or repair requests your tenants make during their lease term, day or night, we can help you with maintaining your property in between tenants so that your property stays in great shape year round.


3 Types of Problematic Tenants and How to Handle Them

How to Handle Problematic Tenants In Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Having tenants in your Philadelphia income property that turn out to be troublesome is enough to make any property owner want to quit the rental property business and run far, far away.

However, this solves nothing.

So, rather than stick your head in the sand and hope the problem fixes itself, try to remedy the situation instead.

Now, as an experienced property owner, you are surely aware that evictions are a necessary evil when it comes to owning rental property. Every property owner hopes and prays they will never have to issue a Notice to Pay or Quit to their tenant, much less initiate the eviction process.

But, sometimes it happens.

That said, finding ways to handle problematic tenants without evicting them is always a good skill to learn if you want to become a successful landlord.

After all, evictions are costly and time consuming. They dip into your positive cash flow, and can even incite an angry tenant to cause damage to your rental property, making things far worse than you could have ever imagined.

Thus, in some cases, trying to fix the issue at hand, before starting an eviction, may work in your favor.

What it means to have a problematic tenant in your rental property is going to differ from landlord to landlord.

That’s why today we are looking at 3 types of “problematic tenants” you might have to deal with during your time as a landlord, as well as plenty of ways to handle these tenants.

 

Handling Problematic Philadelphia Tenants

1. The Non-Paying Tenant

As a successful property owner, it is imperative that you draft a solid lease agreement outlining the rent collection procedure for your tenants.

It is also just as critical that you or your Philadelphia property manager explain this procedure to your tenants prior to move-in.

Your lease should include how much is due in rent each month, and when it should be paid.

It should also have provisions related to grace periods, when a rent payment is considered officially “late,” and the consequences (including the initiation of the eviction process) for not paying the rent in a timely manner.

That said, your tenant might be withholding rent for a variety of reasons.

Maybe they just lost their job, are having money problems, or they are just upset about a maintenance or repair issue in the rental property.

This does not make non-payment of rent any more excusable in the eyes of a good property manager. However, before starting the eviction process, there may be alternative solutions you are willing to consider:

  • Create a structured payment plan that can be implemented once or twice a year, for emergencies only
  • Prorate any late fees and delinquent rent over the course of the remaining rent payments for the lease term
  • Offer your tenants the option to include roommates into the lease agreement to split the rent
  • Consider allowing your tenant the option to sublet your property to tenants better suited to pay on time
  • Explain the impending eviction that is about to initiate, and the long-term effects it will have on your tenant
  • As a last resort, allow the tenant to break the lease by simply asking them to leave– sometimes a broken lease is better than going through a grueling eviction process

 

2. A Disruptive Tenant

How to Deal With a Loud Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Dealing with a tenant that continually disrupts neighboring residents can be a headache.

And, despite thorough tenant screening, and with the help of a reputable property management company, there really is no way of being able to tell whether your future tenants are going to be disruptive.

If your problematic tenant is causing enough disruption to be annoying to others, but not quite enough to warrant an eviction, you have yourself quite a problem.

Maybe they play the trumpet, have a barking dog, throw a few rowdy parties, or fight with their spouse on a regular basis. All of these things, when done sparingly, are enough to annoy everyone, but not enough to necessarily warrant an eviction.

Here are some helpful solutions for working through this scenario:

  • Encourage your tenant and the ones being disrupted to work it out amongst themselves, without any intervention from you
  • Add a clause in your lease agreement that states after 3 confirmed complaints, an eviction will be the only solution
  • Serve your tenants a “Cure or Quit” notice, meaning they either need to stop or leave within a certain period of time
  • Get your property manager involved, and see how they might handle problem tenants that are not technically breaking the law, nor the rules of the lease agreement

It is your job to make it clear to all tenants what constitutes as being noisy or disruptive, and what the consequences for breaching those terms will be if too many complaints are made against them.

 

3. Those Not on the Lease Agreement

It is crucial that you include every non-minor living in your Philadelphia rental property on the lease agreement to avoid any kind of landlord-tenant dispute.

However, anyone who has been in the rental property business for long knows that sometimes an unauthorized resident moves into your property, and is simply never added to the lease.

This type of problematic tenant often brings with them more trouble than authorized tenants.

At least with authorized tenants, you have a relatively easy way of handling them. With tenants that are living in your property that have not signed a lease agreement, the solutions can get somewhat difficult.

Here are two positive ways in which LandlordStation recommends handling unauthorized tenants:

  • Communicate With Your Legal Tenants. Hopefully, by the time you notice unauthorized tenants are living in your property, you have built up a decent relationship with your legal tenants. If this is the case, talking directly to your tenants may be the easiest solution. Try to confirm that there are unauthorized tenants living in your property, review the terms of the lease with your tenant, pointing out that the others cannot live there unless on the lease, and even consider re-drawing up a more specific lease agreement outlining the fact that tenants not on the lease are not welcome in your property.
  • Get Some Help. If your legal tenants do not agree with what you are saying, and refuse to make the unauthorized tenants either sign the lease agreement or leave, you may be faced with getting the police involved. Although this is not something anyone wants to deal with, it may be your only option. Communicate with your legal tenants your intention of having the unauthorized tenants escorted off your property, inform them of when this will happen, and hope that your legal tenants reconsider and encourage the unauthorized tenants to leave without police involvement.

In most states, a guest staying at your rental property for a significant amount of time (typically 30 days) is only considered an official tenant if they pitch in and help pay the rent.

If they continue to stay, but do not pay rent, they are no longer a guest − but they are not a tenant either.

Instead, they are considered an “occupant” of your property.

However, an occupant of your Philadelphia rental property does become susceptible to eviction proceedings.

Although this is probably not your favorite option as a property owner, the good news is that your legal tenants will still be residing in your property paying the monthly rent, so you will not miss out on that positive cash flow.

Tenants Not On Your Lease Agreement and How to Deal in Philadelphia

As you can see, there are several different types of problematic tenants you may face living in your Philadelphia income property.

Some are easy to evict (though no property owner ever wants to take it that far), while others are more difficult to handle, depending on what the situation is.

For those that have rental property in Philadelphia that do not want to deal with problematic tenants, contact Bay Management Group today. Our property managers strive to place only the highest quality tenants in your rental property so that you rarely, if ever, have to deal with any problems.