Sometimes it becomes necessary for a landlord to exercise his right of eviction. In Florida, tenant eviction can occur for various reasons. The landlord can follow Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes for help with the Florida eviction process. Trying to evict a tenant through threats, disconnecting utilities or changing locks is illegal. The Florida law gives specific guidelines to end a tenancy. There are different types of notices used depending on the situation at hand. The following are steps required to file an eviction in Florida. It provides an overview of the rules landlords must follow when evicting a renter or ending a tenancy. 1. Determine whether to proceed with the Florida process of eviction You must have a reason/cause to evict a renter. As such, you need to determine whether a cause exists. In Florida, you can evict a tenant as a result of the following violations; Violations of the lease agreement Non-payment of rent Violations of local, state or federal laws Nuisance, etc. 2. Make sure you haven’t violated any Florida lease term If the eviction process reaches a hearing, the tenant will also be given the opportunity to be heard. Therefore, it is prudent to make sure that you haven’t violated any of the lease terms yourself. Make sure that you: Comply with all relevant Florida safety, building, housing, and health codes Follow all the rules and regulations pertaining the Florida eviction process Maintain common areas in a habitable manner Conduct all feasible and necessary repairs 3. Notify the tenant of the eviction If there is a reason for eviction, write the renter a letter reminding them of the terms of the lease agreement. Let them know that you have a right to evict them should they fail to comply with the lease terms. Make sure to use a certified mail service to send the letter. This way, you can present it later as evidence to support your eviction complaint. 4. Notice of Termination with Cause As already told, you can terminate a tenancy early and evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. To proceed with the eviction process, you must give the tenant a written notice. There’re a variety of Florida eviction notices depending on the reason for termination. Choosing the right type of notice is key. Otherwise, the judge may end up dismissing the case. Here’re the types of notices: 3-day Notice to pay or Quit This 3-day notice should be served if the tenant hasn’t paid the rent. These notices must contain specific information in order to be effective. Do not include the first day of service, weekends or holidays when counting the 3-day notice period. Once the 3 days have passed, the landlord can proceed to file an eviction lawsuit. 7-Day Notice Use this notice if the tenant is not complying with the terms of the lease agreement. The notice informs the renter that he or she has seven days to come into compliance or you’ll terminate the tenancy. The Florida State statutes stipulate that you have a right to file an eviction lawsuit if the violation isn’t fixed within the 7 days. 7-Day Unconditional Quit Notice This notice permits you to terminate the tenancy at the end of seven days. Unlike the 7-Day Florida Notice aforementioned, the 7-Day Unconditional Quit Notice doesn’t give the tenant time to cure a violation. In Florida, this type of notice can be served if the tenant; - Creates unreasonable disturbances - Destroys the rental property - Repeats the same violation within one year 15-Day Notice This notice is given in Florida is for month-to-month tenancies. It must be served fifteen days before the rent is due. - For oral month to month agreement, Miami Beach has a special law requiring a 30-day notice. You can also use this notice if the landlord-tenant lease doesn’t contain a lease duration. 5. Serve the Florida Eviction Notice In Florida, service of an eviction notice can be accomplished using various means. Some lease terms contain instructions while others don’t. The most common one involves personally handing one to the tenant. Other ways include securely posting it on the door or serving it by mail. When sending via mail, make sure it is a certified service in order to have documentation of receipt. You can present the receipt as evidence later in court. The person serving the notice must indicate the manner of service. 6. Create an eviction complaint If the tenant hasn’t remedied the violations or hasn’t paid the rent due, Florida eviction laws allow you to file an eviction complaint. The eviction complaint notice begins to toll on the first full day following delivery of notice. Holidays and weekdays are exempt. 7. File your eviction packet with your Florida county clerk’s office In most counties, the filing fee is $185. A completed eviction packet contains; A pre-stamped envelope addressed to all tenants/occupants Five copies of the lease agreement and notice provided to the tenant A completed eviction complaint 8. Florida Eviction Summons and Complaint The landlord needs to file and serve an Eviction Summons and Complaint notice. This is if the tenant fails to comply or to leave the property. A copy of the notice and certificate of service must be notarized by the court clerk. Service can be conducted by a county sheriff or by a process server. Tenants have a 5-day window to answer the eviction summons. If an answer is filed, the landlord must contact the court to schedule a hearing. Should no answer be filed, the landlord needs to file a Motion for a Default Judgement. 9. Tenant Eviction Defenses In some cases, the renter may choose to fight the eviction. In effect, this would lengthen the amount of time the lawsuit takes. During the pendency of the case, the tenant is required to deposit the amount of rent due with the court. Failure to do so results in the automatic issue of the default judgment. The portion of the Florida landlord-tenant law relating to residential dwelling units was written, in part, to protect tenants. These defenses are available to the renter regardless of the lease term. Be it covering week to week or year to year. When the process begins a renter can assert a variety of defenses to the Florida eviction lawsuit. The following are some common tenant eviction defenses: Under Florida Statute 83.56(5), a tenant may argue the defense of “waiver” in an eviction lawsuit. Here, you waive your right to evict a renter if you accept rent. However, repeated actions by the renter may make this defense null and void. The landlord hasn’t kept up the property. To avoid making the eviction void, the landlord must comply with applicable housing regulations. These are rules and regulations that govern the condition and upkeep of the property. Under Florida Statute 83.60(1)(b), it is called the “defense of a material noncompliance” and is a complete defense to an eviction attempt. “I don’t have the money to pay right now.” Sometimes, renters may give excuses that may be valid. Here, you can serve the tenant a 3-day notice to pay the rent. If the tenant doesn’t pay up after the expiration of the 3 days, you can proceed with the eviction. Improper notice by the landlord. If you fail to provide a proper eviction notice, it’ll be illegal to evict the renter. You must include all of the statutorily required information and provide a written notice. Retaliatory conduct, discriminatory and self-help. Under Florida Statues, tenants can use several other defenses to fight off an eviction. See illegal residential evictions in Florida. Material noncompliance or a case of constructive eviction. Under this defense, you cannot evict a renter if they served you a 7-day written notice specifying their intent not to pay rent. See Tenant Defenses to Eviction Notices in Florida for more information on tenant defenses. 10. Removal of the Renter File a motion for default with the court if the renter answered the summons, but failed to show up at the court hearing. Alternatively, attend court on the hearing date and make sure to take all notice receipts with you. Supposing the judge sides with you, the court will order the sheriff to evict the renter within 24 hours. You must obtain a Writ of Possession from the Florida court, which you must pay for. Once the Writ is served or conspicuously posted on the property, the renter has 24 hours to vacate. If the renter leaves any personal property at the rental unit, the Florida eviction laws mandate you to notify them in writing. In Florida, the law requires that you give the tenant at least 10 days to claim the property. The 10-day period is if the notice was personally delivered to the renter. If mailed, the tenant has 15 days to claim the property. You can charge the tenant for storage of the property. The costs should be reasonable. If the tenant fails to claim the property within that time, you are at liberty to dispose of it whichever way you please. Conclusion Eviction is not an easy matter for both the landlord and the tenant. There’re very specific rules and regulations that have to be followed. If not well-versed with the Florida eviction laws, it’s recommended to seek the services of an experienced attorney or your Florida property management company.
We’ve all heard stories about tenant-landlord disputes, especially of tenants that make it very difficult for landlords to deal with them and evict them, if the need arises. That is why it is extremely important for all landlords to screen tenants, even if they have been recommended by family and friends. The biggest advantage of effective screening is that any warning signs of tenants who could be problematic in the future become apparent at an early stage. Here are some tips on tenant screening to ensure that you get the right tenant: Rental Application: Make all prospective tenants fill out a rental application. The information provided by the applicant will help you decide if they have the right profile and if they would be a good fit for you. Make sure that the application is based on recommendations by the Housing Agency and always follow your state’s rental and housing laws to ensure you are not sued for discrimination against any religion, race, income or gender. Identity Check: During the application process, it is generally recommended that you ask the applicant for photo identification. This is mainly for verification purposes. In addition, make sure that the application form asks for a driver’s license number as this information can be used to conduct a background search. Make a copy of the photo ID and also ask if the potential tenant owns a car and if yes, the license plate number of the car. Background Check: If you want limit the likelihood of ending up with a difficult tenant, always perform a background check. Do not fall for appearances or sweet talk as looks can be deceiving. A background check can reveal important things about your potential tenant including a history of skipping rent, damaging property, or any prior convictions. Credit Check: In addition to the background check, always perform a credit check as this will provide you with the individual's credit history. To do this, you will need to get the applicant’s permission as well as his or her Social Security number. Past Landlords: Ask the applicant to provide details about previous landlords including names, addresses and duration of stay. This will help you verify if the applicant has had any issues with landlords in the past. You need to call the landlord(s)to obtain this information. References: You should always ask for character references. However, since some tenants can provide bogus letters, it is always a good idea to ask for phone numbers and follow-up. Meeting in Person: Never ever rent out your property to a person you have never seen. You must physically meet him or her. We live in a digital world and even though most communication is done via email or phone, a physical meeting is vital. This meeting will tell you a lot more about the person’s personality, amicability and other oddities that an email or a phone conversation wouldn't uncover. Protecting Yourself: Always follow state laws when it comes to checking the background of potential tenants. Clearly state on the application form that the information provided will be used to perform a background and credit check. In addition, you should have a section where the applicant is required to give a signed consent for a credit check. Be honest and up-front. Background checks are quite common in the rental screening process. Code of Conduct: In the application form or lease agreement, always include the code of conduct and the expectations from tenants. Have the prospective tenant read the application and lease and go over each point with them. Many landlords just give the applicant the documents to review and get back to them. This does not mean that the applicant has read the information so make sure they understand the specifics of the agreement. The rental application must be signed and dated to make it valid. Judgment: Finally, before you accept any tenant, use your instinct to follow-up on the candidate. If you suspect anything odd or abnormal about their personal information or behavior, the onus is on to you to screen them properly. There is nothing worse than getting a bad tenant. The leg work you do prior to accepting the tenant can save you a lot of hassle and money in the long-run. Tenant screening is one of the most critical components of the rental process and should not be rushed or ignored. It is in the interest of both the landlord and the tenant to ensure that they are a good fit from the very beginning. If not, both parties suffer. If you would like help with your rental property don't hesitate to give us a call. We would be happy to speak with you and see if we can be of service.
How you price your rental property influences the type of renters you will attract, as well as the amount of rental income you receive. It is no surprise that many landlords struggle to determine just what that rental fee is. While a low rental price will appeal to many tenants, it will limit rental income. Similarly, charging a higher amount to maximize profit may repel quality renters, keeping your units vacant longer. A long-drawn-out vacancy translates to a significant loss of benefits and rental income. So how does an Orlando, Florida landlord determine the right price for his or her property? Know the Pricing Red Flags The first step to setting the right rental price is to determine whether your price is too high or too low. If a week after listing the vacant property no one makes inquiries or prospects inquire but do not show up, chances are your price is too high. The same may be true if people come to view the property but decline to fill out an application . However, if within the first day of listing the property you receive multiple inquiries, and the prospects are in a rush for you to take a holding deposit, your rental price is likely too low. Understand the Rental Pricing Determinants The price of rental properties in Orlando, Florida depend on several factors. Major factors include the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lease duration, inflation rates, location of the property, as well as the type of housing unit i.e. a single family or multifamily unit. Minor rent price determinants include the amenities and fixtures in the property, the lease clause, laundry, utilities, appliances, HVAC systems, cleanliness of the unit, and whether the property is furnished, has a lawn, fence or parking space. Research Listings Prices As a landlord, the easiest and quickest way to determine the right rental price is to check the property listing platforms. They provide valuable information such as how much owners want for their properties. Some of the popular platforms available for use include: Craigslist, Zillow Rent Zestimate, Cozy Rent Estimate, Trulia Market Overviews, Rentometer, and the multiple listing services, Realtor.com. Consult a Professional Another effective way of arriving at a rental price is to consult with a rental property expert. It could be a fellow landlord, a real estate agent, a property manager, or members of a Rental housing association. If you decide to talk to a property owner or association member, look for one with assets that are comparable to yours. The units should be similar in type, number of bedrooms, and square footage. If you prefer to work with a real estate agent or property manager, make sure that he or she has sufficient expertise and experience in handling rentals. Compare Real Rent Data Although the listings platforms provide a guide on how much you could charge, the prices they indicate are not necessarily what the landlords ultimately receive. They are merely an expression of what the owners hope to get. Hence, you need to investigate the rent listings' prices further to ascertain the actual rent fees. An excellent way of comparing rent data is by using Rent Estimate platforms which will help you to calculate rental prices with absolute confidence. They are basically a rent calculator, which gives you a recommended rent estimate based on similar properties in your area. It is a good idea to run a rent survey on several platforms like Cozy, Zillow and Rentometer. The guesstimate report will provide valuable information including; The rent estimate for your property The Confidence Score The estimated local vacancy rates and the precise rental amounts of comparable units, and The historical Orlando Florida rent trends. Once the calculations have been completed, the resulting reports from each of these platforms can be compared to the actual rent price of your property. It is likely that your rent will either be higher or lower than the results of these platforms. The Rent Estimation report makes it relatively easy for a landlord to determine whether his or her rent prices are under or above market rate. As a result, he or she can adjust the rent to a competitive rate to attract quality renters.
What You Need To Know When Buying An Orlando Investment Property So you're looking to buy investment property in Orlando? Real Estate investing is a viable investment strategy which boasts of superior advantages over any other type of investment out there. When the housing market turns around, an Orlando real estate investor can enjoy not only a positive cash flow but also the opportunity to benefit from increased equity in the property. Moreover, you safeguard those gains from both the state and federal income tax. It's worth noting that for you to enjoy these benefits, you should diligently think through a few things about the Orlando property in question to eliminate any chances of making common property investment mistakes. Here are some of the things you should do. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGER CONTACT US Study the Metrics When getting into any property investment, you should assess its ability to generate wealth. Take the time to explore the factors that can either promote or inhibit wealth production. Such variables include historical growth trends, demographics, vacancy rates, where the residents work, the population growth rate, as well the kind of renters likely to look for property in the area. Similarly, be on the lookout for red flags such as a dominant employer downsizing, as that can affect your tenants’ ability to pay rent. Armed with this information, it becomes much easier for you to purchase the kind of property that people living in that community would want to lease. You'll be able to predict the demographic that is likely to be looking for a home in Orlando - young professionals, retirees, or families - and invest in the type of home they'll be interested in renting. Analyze the Rent Your primary goal for purchasing investment property is to earn rental income. Be diligent before making a decision. Conduct a rent assessment on the property to determine its realistic profit potential. To do that, calculate how much money you need to be earning from the investment, and verify whether the property in question has a realistic potential of generating that figure. In depth research on what comparable nearby units demand as rent, and surveying the prevailing occupancy rates of those houses might prove useful at this stage. Inspect the Property Many first time investors hardly take the time to examine the actual status of the property they want to buy. Consequently, they end up with a home that demands unending costly repairs. Save yourself the agony and hire a competent home inspector to evaluate the property to learn its true condition. Some of the features you should review include the roof, electrical systems, plumbing, smoke and fire sensors, insulation, as well as the drainage. Even though you can conduct the inspection by yourself, getting a pro will ensure that you only invest in a property that is safe, habitable, and complies with the local building codes. Saving you from pricey and countless property maintenance headaches. Assemble a Team Prosperous property investors in Orlando rarely work alone. They have a network of professionals to help with the day to day running of the investment. These professionals include a competent real estate agent well versed in the local market, a qualified appraiser for evaluating the assets, a reliable financier, and an attorney who specializes in real estate. Also, they have certified electricians, painters, plumbers, roofing experts, and service and maintenance contractors. Having a team of reliable experts is invaluable. If you feel like the challenge of managing all these professionals is daunting, hiring a property management company might be a prudent option as the manager will handle this for you. Critically Evaluate Cash Flow When purchasing the rental property, it is critical that you consider all the costs likely to affect your cash flow. These include property maintenance, renovation, repairs, and management expenses. Find out what these costs are and whether the rental income will be more than enough to meet those obligations and still leave you with a desirable amount. If you decide to hire a property manager make sure to factor in their fees when calculating your cash flow. Interviewing your property manager ahead of time and asking detailed questions about their services and fees will help avoid surprises. Craft an Exit Strategy Rental property investing involves more than just buying the right asset in the right neighborhood and at the right price. You also need to have the ideal exit strategy that will help you to sell or flip the property at the acceptable time and price. Whether you choose to purchase the property for renting or flipping, you need to factor in financing and renovation costs into your exit strategy. For instance, if your mortgage has an adjustable rate or a balloon payment, the best exit strategy is to dispose of the property beforehand. Know Your Options At times, for one reason or another, your exit strategy might fail. It could be due to the flooding of the local rental market, or the bottom falling out of the property market just as you are about to sell. Whatever the reason, it is prudent to have in mind a few options that you can pursue. For instance, you could offer an existing tenant a lease-purchase deal, or sell it to an interested property investor at a slightly below market rate. In both scenarios, you will have the opportunity to cut your losses and get rid of the asset promptly. These are just a few tips to help you avoid unnecessary costs and get you going when buying Investment property in Orlando. Seeking the advice of a competent property management company can make the exercise much more rewarding. If you're looking for guidance buying an investment property in Orlando or Central Florida give us a call today!
A rental property can give you passive recurring income and a stable future, or it can be the source of untold misery especially to a new landlord. Many first time owners, end up having nightmarish ordeals with their investments for many reasons. For instance, they may not know how to attract or screen quality renters, how to craft self-serving rental agreements, or even how to keep the occupants satisfied and happy. As a result, such landlords end up with problematic tenants who do not pay rent promptly, are always causing trouble, or damaging the property. If you are a first-time landlord wishing to succeed, here are a few tips to help you do that. Provide a Quality Home The condition of your property influences the type of tenants you attract. If your property looks outdated, dilapidated and broken, then high-quality renters will shun away from it. Take your time to keep your units clean, durable, and appealing at all times. You can do that by performing repairs each time a tenant moves out, upgrading it using high quality materials and carrying out routine property inspections and maintenance. You also want to make sure your property is a safe place to live in. It should comply with all the relevant housing codes, while the utilities should be in perfect working conditions. Remember this is going to be someone's home. If you're looking to attract high quality tenants, you need a high quality property. Your Rental Property Is Your Business A defining distinction between those who run a successful real estate investment and those who fail is in how they manage their rental units. Experienced landlords view their property as an investment, from which they hope to earn impressive returns. These owners handle the property like they would any other business. Only that in this instance, the renters are the customers. Your rental property is your business. Be professional, organized and objective in all matters relating to your investment. Familiarize Yourself With The Fair Housing Laws A common challenge for most first-time landlords is learning the state and federal laws they need to abide by. Unless you derive pleasure out of standing in front of a judge or paying hefty fines, you need to be conversant with the Fair Housing legislations in your state. Knowledge on matters such as the “Protected Class, will keep you from discriminating against any renter by their color, race, religion, age, sex, handicap, national origin, or familial status. As a first-time landlord it's essential that you educate yourself about Landlord-Tenant laws. Don't Jump At The First Opportunity To Fill Your Rental When a tenant moves out of the property, the first instinct for most landlords is to find another tenant as soon as possible. In their haste, many landlords end up renting their property to unqualified tenants. Avoid falling into such a trap by being patient enough to wait until the “right” candidate comes along. Understandably, you will be concerned about the loss of rental income. However, what is the use in hurrying to fill the units only to end up spending massive amounts of time and money on endless conflicts and repairs? Be patient, apply effective advertising strategies, and be diligent in your tenant screening. Define Your Perfect Tenants It is not just sufficient for you to look for renters. You should have a clear image of the type of occupants you want in your property. For instance, one with a stable income, a particular family size, as well as desirable credit ratings and tenancy history. Most first-time landlords undermine the importance of such a step only to end up with tenants that cause them issues. When defining your ideal tenant be careful not to discriminate against any candidate. Being knowledgeable of the Fair Housing rules will prove useful here. Price your units correctly A primary reason why many first-time landlords struggle is their inability to charge the correct rental amount. Even though the right price of rent is relative and dependent on many factors, it is critical that you do not overprice or under price. Overpricing will seem like a rip off to potential renters, while charging too little will be unprofitable. Fortunately, it is not impossible to determine the right range. You need to research the market to ascertain what amount similar properties are renting for. When setting the price, also take into consideration how it will affect your financials such as fixed and variable expenses. A quick search on websites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com, and Rent.com can help you determine the going rental rate in your area. Thoroughly Screen Prospects One of the most common struggles for first-time landlords is their inability to vet or research the tenant before handing over the property. If you want to have a rewarding experience, never allow anyone to occupy your investment before they pass through a thorough tenant screening process. The vetting should involve the prospects filling out a formal rental application as well as being put through credit and background checks. You should also talk with the applicant’s employer, previous landlord, and neighbors. Proper due diligence can save you from many painful tenant headaches. If during the process you identify inconsistencies or concerns, be firm and disqualify the candidate. Have a Legally Binding Rental Agreement You have every right to dictate what goes in your property, provided you adhere to the state’s laws. You do this by developing a legally binding rental agreement. This legal document defines the roles, responsibilities, and liabilities of both you and your tenants. The tenant must then sign the document as a confirmation that he or she agrees to abide by those terms. Make sure the contract sufficiently addresses elements like the rental amount, rental payment date, security deposit, pets, property usage, maintenance, inspections, tenant evictions, termination and much more. The rental agreement will you to communicate to the residents what your expectations are. But most importantly, the rental contract becomes a reliable point of reference in case of disagreements. Set Practical Rent Collection Procedures There is no doubt that your success as a landlord largely depends on your ability to get the tenants to pay the rent on time. You need to come up with safe and convenient methods for them to remit the rent each time it is due. For instance, instead of encouraging cash payments you should adopt automated payment solutions. Furthermore, come up with novel ways to motivate the tenants to pay their rent on time. Conclusion Evidently running a successful rental property business involves a lot of work. Not only do you have to learn the legalities of dealing with tenants, you also have to learn how to effectively attract high quality rents. However, if you follow the tips you've just learnt and continue to educate yourself, you can have a very profitable investment even if you are a first-time landlord.
Every landlord dreams of having high-quality renters who will pay rent promptly and take good care of the property. Luckily for Orlando property owners, it is possible to get such tenants by making your rental units attractive and putting in place thorough tenant screening procedures. Once you find quality residents, it’s important that you continuously treat them well, to keep them from becoming problematic. Here are practical tips to ensure a smooth relationship between you and your tenants. Set clear rules early A primary source of conflict between landlords and renters stems from unclear rules, where both parties are not sure of what their roles and responsibilities are. For this reason, be kind to your tenants and give them clearly defined guidelines of what you expect of and from them. You should not wait until the tenant moves into the premises for you to introduce the laws. Make sure to include them in the lease agreement. Besides being to the point, the rules should be realistic and in compliance with both the legal and fair housing laws. Moreover, once you have set the rules, do not go changing or adding new ones while the contract is underway. Help your tenants understand your rules It is not enough just to have clearly written rules for your residents. What may seem clear to you, might be confusing for your tenant. Therefore, you need to ascertain that your tenants have understood what the rules are and that they consent to abide by them. The best way for you to do this is by sitting down with your your tenant and going over the rental agreement with him or her. If they have any questions or concerns, be ready and willing to clarify them or direct them to an attorney if it is a legal question. Sitting down and explaining the rental agreement not only helps to explain the rules but also contributes to identifying and addressing contentious issues that have the potential of escalating into conflict. Encourage prompt rental payment One of the perks of having high-quality Orlando tenants is the uninterrupted flow of rental income. You want to make it easy for your clients to pay the rent each time it is due. For instance, instead of insisting that they use a single rent payment method, you could give them multiple options, such as automated payment systems, or bank standing orders. By so doing, a tenant will use whichever solution he or she feels is safe and convenient. You could also consider rewarding residents who pay promptly, as an incentive for them to continue making timely payments. Lastly, always issue your residents with rent payment receipts as an acknowledgment that you have received their payments. Charge your units reasonably The undoing of many landlords is their desire to make quick money. As a result, they either price their units exorbitantly high or they charge them at a below-market price to attract tenants, only to increase them ruthlessly once they find a renter. While that might seem like a novel strategy, it is likely to blow up in your face. Your renters will perceive you to be unscrupulous, and they will refrain from renting your units. Instead of charging exorbitant or hiking the rent unnecessarily, consider keeping up with the prevailing market rates. You should only increase the rent when it is justifiable and only after giving fair notice. You should be keeping up with market rates and determine the rental rate for comparable units. Respond to their concerns promptly Nothing transforms a high-quality Orlando tenant into a problematic one faster than reports or complaints that go unanswered. Many residents interpret this as a sign that you don’t care about them and that your only concern is the rental income. Consequently, they will try to lash back at you by deliberately delaying and at times withholding the rent. If you wish to keep your residents happy at all times, put in place measures for addressing their concerns each time they arise. Better still, why not schedule routine property maintenance to help identify and address any potential concerns before they arise. Do not enter their premises unannounced Even though you own the property, making spontaneous visits to your tenants is unwise. Courtesy dictates that whenever you wish to visit the units, be it to inspect them, carry out routine maintenance or for any other reason, take the time first to inform your occupants. In addition, states have strict rules that are governed by statutes regarding the noticing and entry of units. The only exemption to this rule is in the event of an emergency situation. It is best to review your state statutes and entry requirements for Landlords. Remain personable but professional Since your Orlando rental property is your business, your tenants are your trading partners. For this reason, be careful not to confuse the relationship. Even though you want to establish and maintain good rapport with your renters, be careful not to get too cozy with them. Friendship and business hardly go well together. Always remember that first and foremost your priority is your business relationship.
Every home has its own unique personality. Additionally, homes often are not perfect. It is important for either the buyer or seller to have a professional home inspection completed prior to buying or selling a home. Many of the common issues found when performing a home inspection can decrease the value of the home you are considering or impact the asking price. “That is why, as a Realtor, I make my customers fully aware of the importance of getting a home inspection,” states Central Florida real estate agent Fred Franks. In this article, we will look at the most common issues found when performing a home inspection. We will see what they are, why they are important, and what you should do if you discover one of these problems. Home Exterior Problems Disclosed by a Home Inspection Drainage Problems Water must be drained away from the structure as this can lead to foundation and other problems. Inspectors look for roof gutters and downspouts directing the water away from the home. Additionally, installed sprinklers must not be too close to the home. Inspectors look for mold, water marks, and cracks, which may indicate a drainage problem. How much this problem can cost for repair or correction is dependent upon the severity of the problem. Roof Problems Since the roof is above a home owner’s line of vision, they may not be aware of problems with their roof. If roofing materials were not properly installed, water may enter in cracks and places where the roofing material comes together or overlaps. Every type of roof can have problems: Asphalt shingles last from fifteen to forty years and can curl when they get old, exposing the underlying matrix. As a result, water can penetrate. Terracotta and slate shingles can crack and shatter. Wood shingles can rot or blow off. The roof may need replacing or repairs. You should have an evaluation done by a roofer and get a quote for repairs or replacement. Home Utility Problems Disclosed by a Home Inspection Plumbing Issues Some homes have outdated plumbing systems which can lead to leaking and other problems. Additionally, tree roots can crack pipes and septic systems. It may be possible to make some inexpensive repairs, but, in the worst situations, the whole system may need to be replaced, a very expensive procedure. Heating and Cooling Systems One of the most common issues found when performing a home inspection is aged systems for heating and cooling. Even newer systems may not have been installed and maintained properly. Outdoor heat pumps become damaged from restricting air flow with fences and plants located too close. Additionally, rodents can nest around and in the unit and eat wiring. You will need to decide if the system can be repaired or needs replacement before making an offer on a home with a heating or cooling system problem. Potential Environmental Problems Disclosed by a Home Inspection Older homes may have problems with lead-based paint or asbestos. Additionally, inspectors look for: Radon Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can collect in buildings’ low areas, such as basements and crawl spaces or occur in groundwater. Mold and Fungus Black mold causes respiratory problems and can spread throughout a home, making it necessary to remove and replace dry wall. A white mold occurs when there is moisture and causes what is known as “dry rot” in wood. It also can create problems with brick and mortar. Well water purity (if applicable) Your home inspection should test for the standards, which include iron, copper, and manganese. Additionally, tests should be done for dangerous compounds – arsenic, mercury, and lead. The problems discovered by a professional home inspection may be easily corrected. Your real estate professional can help you determine if any issues affect the value of the property if you are a seller, or the price you should offer if you are buying a home.
If you’re a landlord in Orlando or Central Florida, you need to carry out frequent preventative maintenance on your rental units. Doing so will keep your investments habitable and appealing to high-quality renters. It will also help you save significant sums of money that you would have otherwise incurred in costly property repairs. Keeping the property well-maintained involves a lot of work and can be overwhelming. However, a well maintained property is crucial to attracting quality tenants. Here are a few effective maintenance tips that you can use to ensure that your Central Florida and Orlando units remain in top shape at all times. 8 Tips for Effective Maintenance Inspect the roof Many Florida homeowners face roofing problems caused by storms, hurricanes, extreme summer heat, and humid climate. The damage could range from minor problems, like broken tiles or a missing shingle, to disastrous structural issues that demand entire roof replacements. It is important to inspect your roof at least once each year to ensure that they are in perfect shape. During the inspection, be on the lookout for stains or mold on the ceiling or walls as these could be signs of a leaking roof. Take the time and fix any real abnormality such as fastening the loose shingles, replacing the broken roof tiles, unclogging the gutters, as well as, ensuring that there is no pooling of water on your roof. Service the Air conditioning units Since Central Florida weather can get scorching hot, it is in your best interest if your air conditioning units are working efficiently. It will help maintain comfortable conditions for your tenants and also contribute to keeping their energy bills in check. For this reason, always change your filters when they are dirty and worn out. That could be monthly, or as indicated on the AC equipment. Furthermore, get a professional heating and cooling technician to inspect, clean and service your air conditioning units once each year. Even if you don’t suspect any issues, it’s always best to erron the side of caution. A perfect time to carry out such maintenance is in spring, which will guarantee that your units are well-prepped for the summer heat. Fix the Plumbing Water leakages from leaky faucets, broken pipes, or leaky toilets can be costly to you and your renters. For starters, water leaks can result in structural damage to your property and can destroy your tenant’s belongings. Secondly, they can lead to the formation and growth of mold. Lastly, they result in water wastages, high utility bills, and unnecessary landlord-tenant conflicts. Avoid all these headaches by conducting plumbing inspections annually or semi-annually. You should always be on the lookout for any signs of water leaks. These include unusually high water bills, water stains under the kitchen sink, musty smell in the home, mold forming on the walls, or the formation of water puddles on the floor or crawl spaces. Smoke and Fire Detectors Wildfires are not unusual in Orlando. No wonder the law demands that every landlord installs smoke and carbon detectors in their homes. These devices will not only make you a law-abiding citizen but will keep your tenants, their property, and your investment safe. For this reason, take the time to inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are not malfunctioning, disconnected, or have dead batteries. If you wish to be on the safe side, check the alarms on a monthly basis to confirm that they are in excellent working condition. Similarly, form the habit of changing the batteries at least every twelve months, or whenever the devices start to emit a beeping sound. Trip the ground fault circuit interrupters Due to the increased number of electrical shocks in homes, many property owners have installed safety fixtures. One such feature is the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), Residual Current Device, or the Ground Fault Interrupter. These devices help to shut off the electric power circuit if it detects the current flowing in the wrong path. If you have these fixtures in your rental property, you should trip or test them on a monthly basis using a circuit tester to ensure that they are working efficiently. It is also important for you to train your tenants how to safely carry out this routine maintenance. Exterminate frequently Most, if not all, landlords invest in a rental property with the intention of leasing the units to human beings. It’d be illogical for you to let pests, insects, and rodents overrun your investment. Such infestation is not only a health hazard but will drive away quality renters. Hence, you should include extermination activities as part of your monthly property maintenance routine. Just identify a dependable pest control specialist to help you get rid of fleas, mosquitoes, spiders, roaches, ants, bedbugs, hornets, bees or wasps. In addition to treating your property, the professional will point out the conditions that encourage the breeding of such pests and make suitable preventative recommendations. This will hinder any future infestations and keep your tenants happy and bite free! Seal the air leaks A significant concern for most Orlando homeowners is the high energy bills resulting from overworked heating and cooling units. While routine inspection and servicing of the HVAC system will boost their energy efficiency, such efforts will be meaningless as long as the room has air leaks. Such leaks will cause the unchecked movement of air into and out of the room, causing your AC units to overload. You should inspect all windows, doors, roofs, and air ducts once or twice a year to ascertain whether they allow the penetration of water or air into and out of the property. If you come across any leaks or gaps, use a weatherproofing sealant to rectify the problem. Paint the units Another important maintenance activity you need to conduct is painting your property. Color not only makes the property beautiful, but it also enhances its perceived market value. Moreover, painting the property provides a form of protection against weather elements and pest or rodent attacks which makes your property more durable. You should paint your units once each year or whenever you notice cracking or peeling of the paint. Similarly, you should always repaint the units before a new tenant moves into the premises. Conclusion Clearly, carrying out such routine property maintenance is costly and involving. Nonetheless the social, legal, financial, health, and psychological benefits of having a well-maintained rental property justify the cost and effort. Luckily, with a little planning and the help of a competent property manager, the entire process is affordable and manageable.