This year more than most, we have seen some horrible natural disasters. We have also seen some pretty terrible man made ones as well, however it is often scarier to think about what nature can do to us if it does so choose. Hurricanes like those we have seen this season are supposedly rare, however we had two or three back to back with the season still not technically over. What can you, as a property owner, do to help your tenants prepare for situations like these? Here are a few ideas for you to think about in regards to being well prepared. 1. Have An Escape Plan. Whether you are talking about a state evacuation plan or simply how to easily get out of the apartment, you should always encourage your tenant to have an escape plan. Things like fires can happen in the blink of an eye and it can be difficult to think in the moment if you have not prepared for it. Although in an emergency like a fire there is nothing you can do to help your tenant, it certainly doesn't hurt to have them think about what they can do if these things were to occur. 2. Have an Emergency Kit. One of my friends who has a few rental properties always includes an emergency kit when a new tenant moves in. This consists of extra batteries, a hand powered radio, a first aid kit, emergency numbers, and a few other things. While none of them have ever been needed, thankfully, most tenants take them along when they move due to how important having these things on hand is. Many landlords like to give their tenants moving in a small gift, but something like this is often far more appreciated than anything else due to its practical nature. Having these kits also may help the tenant to think of what they will need to purchase if they leave it when they move. We never want to think about what we would do in an emergency, but it is something that really does need to be considered. Having a plan is half of the battle when it comes to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. These are only two ideas to help you prepare for these disasters, but they are a good place to start.
Now that the holidays are upon us, there are a few very serious points we want to touch on. According to the Red Cross, almost 47,000 fires occur during the holiday season and claim around 500 lives each year. There are also around 2,200 injuries from these fires and they end up costing around $554 million in damages. This is something that happens every year and we all need to do our best to ensure that these numbers go down. Some of you may have heard about the large fire in Cambridge, MA that occurred only a little while ago. Unfortunately, around this time of year that is not an uncommon headline. The Red Cross states that candle fires are four times more likely to happen during the winter holiday season. Always be sure to keep an eye on any candles that may be burning and never leave them unattended, even for a second. If you are leaving the room, be sure to blow them out and the second you start to feel drowsy from all the food or eggnog, make sure they are all extinguished. Also, never let kids play with fire, matches, lighters, or candles. An average of 40 house fires a day are caused by children playing unsupervised. The Red Cross suggests making sure that any decorations are placed at least three feet away from any open flame or radiator. If you have a real tree, be sure to keep good care of it, as on average, one out of every 22 fires that start because of a tree result in at least one death. Make sure they are kept watered and the needles are nice and green. Make sure that any lights you use are in good condition and that the wires are properly insulated. Never use live candles to decorate a tree, as again they are very flammable. Make sure that your tree, real or fake, is kept in a solid stand that will prevent it from tipping over. Keep children and pets away from the tree to help reduce the risk of damage and fire. Always turn off or unplug all lights before you leave home or go to bed as well. Most importantly, make sure your smoke detectors are working correctly! They can reduce your risk of fire related death by half. The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, however they can also be dangerous. Please keep these safety tips in mind to keep your season from turning into something you'd rather forget.
One thing that Americans love almost as much as baseball and apple pie is their pets. If you have a pet of your own, you will know exactly what I mean. How often do we hear of young children wanting a puppy or a kitten for Christmas? While kids may not always have the best or most reasonable wishes when it comes to presents, most parents can get them a small animal. This can also double as a lesson in responsibility by having the child take care of the animal. I know that the rules for my first animal had to do with feeding it and cleaning up after it. I can also tell you that some of my best memories come from my time spent with that first pet. While it is true that I am a bit bias on this subject, I completely understand landlords that do not want to allow pets in their rental property. Pets can be very messy, especially if their owners don't stay on top of making sure everything is cleaned and well maintained. Property owners with carpet also have an extra concern with pet stains and claws that can cause the rug to need replacing, which is an extremely expensive process if done correctly. Animals can tend to smell if they are not taken care of, and this is true whether they are in a cage or if they are given free rein in the apartment. While a responsible pet owner will not allow this to happen, there are far too many people who have pets that are a bit less than fully responsible. At the end of the day, whether or not you allow a pet is up to you as the owner of the property. Some landlords will only allow certain kinds of pets, like fish or lizards. Others will only allow pets that stay strictly indoors, such as anything in a cage or indoor cats. Even still, other people will only allow animals under a certain weight and size in their apartments. The fact is that you have the decision about whether or not you will let your residents get an animal. You may even request a waiting period so that you can see what kind of resident they are before making that decision. As long as you are upfront about the policy you have, everything should work out fine.
With how much money is often spent by landlords, one of the most common questions we get is, "Why should I pay you to do something I can do myself". We concede that this is a great question and that using our company and services may not be right for every person. However, we also know what it is like to be a single person out on your own trying to work everything out yourself. Sometimes you just need a little help, and that is exactly what those of us here at Talley mean to do. Having a property management company is mostly meant to help you in the long run. While you may think that you can handle all of the issues on your own, it can quickly become overwhelming when you have multiple people trying to send you rent money, call for repairs, ask about your policies, and send in complaints about other people who live in the complex. While we fully understand that you are more than capable of dealing with this on your own, we also understand that you are only one person and you probably want to spend time with your family and friends and not have your entire waking life filled with other people's problems. Here at Talley, we can actually take care of most of the things you need done. We can help you collect your rent, fill out monthly statements for your residents, and do any number of other balancing acts of accounting that you need done. We also help to provide you and your residents with 24 hour maintenance by using local contractors and will get your apartment move-in ready with painters, cleaning, and anything else you need. Lastly, we are the ones that will mostly deal with your tenants from screening and selection to the time they move out. We will also deal with evictions if a tenant of yours ever causes that to occur. At the end of the day, having Talley on your side is meant to help put your mind at ease. We know how stressful it can be having your property inhabited by someone else, so we want to do everything we can help you feel more relaxed. Call us today and see just how much we can do for you and your residents.
Most rental properties will either provide or give the information needed for trash pickup and removal from the area. This is something that is heavily necessary as pretty much every human creates some amount of trash. Even things like food packages can pile up after a while and cause quite a stench. If you have ever walked into a house that was left vacant for a while without being cleaned out first or even just caught a whiff of an industrial sized garbage can you will know exactly what we are talking about. One main issue that can be found among many apartment complexes, however, is the fact that not all of them offer recycling as well. Personally, I always check to see if a complex that I am thinking of moving into has recycling. Humans, especially Americans, produce a lot of waste that can be recycled such as glass, cardboard and other forms of paper, and especially plastic. While these things make our lives extremely convenient, they are horrible for the environment. In fact, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, a plastic bag will take around 450 years to decompose, glass will take at least a million years to fully break down, and Styrofoam never will. When you think about what you throw out in a single week, this fact may become extremely frightening. Thankfully we do have an alternative, however, in recycling companies. Not only is recycling good for the environment, but it also makes up around 3.1 million jobs in the United States! While it may cost you a little more to get a recycling bin in your complex or rental property, when you think about what it provides other people and animals with it really does seem more than worth it to most people. Having a recycling company service your apartment complex really is one of the best things you can do to help your local community. Post a survey for the people who live in your area to see if it would be well received and heavily used if you are currently on the fence about it. Informing your residents about why you are offering a recycling bin as well may help boost those numbers if you really want to help make a difference. Get some quotes and see what you can do to get a recycling company in today!