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Keeping Your Tenants Happy

Tenants
One of your main goals as a landlord and a rental property owner should be to keep your tenants happy. While for some people this can be done with only a few simple things, other people require a bit more work to be put in. How happy they expect to be kept can also depend upon how much they are paying in rent and while there is never a way to keep everyone happy and content, there are certainly some things that are always better to do than to leave alone. This is especially true if you own an apartment complex or building.
Keeping your common areas clean is something that most residents will expect from you if they pay rent. If you go into a hotel, you expect their lobby to be reasonably clean along with any hallways and rooms such as laundry areas or vending spaces. While your apartment building is slightly different due to your residence, the standards to which many residents hold do not differ all that much. Making sure that the floors and walls and even ceilings are kept appropriately clean is something that you should put at the top of your list. Having a small cleaning crew may seem costly, but there are certainly ways around this. You may ask around to see if any of your residents are looking for a part time job, especially if there are teenagers or older tenants. You can always offer to either pay them slightly less than others may take or you can offer to take some money off of their rent in exchange for the work.
Having a type of security can always help to make your tenants happier as well. This can be with anything from motion sensor lights to having an actual security system installed. Having a buzzer or telephone entry system normally won't break the bank, or you can always hire someone to work security for the building. Ask your tenants what would make them feel safer and see what their response is.
If you want to keep good tenants, you need to keep them happy. The easiest way to do that is to ask them what they would like to see the most. See what they say and if possible, make it happen. It doesn't need to be difficult, which is the beauty of helping your tenants out.

Some Cool Gifts for New Tenants

Talley Properties
There are few things more satisfying as a landlord than getting a new resident. Finally getting someone to move into your wonderful apartment is such a great feeling that it can be easy to get caught up with being excited for and about them. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can be better for you to be prepared ahead of time for all of the little things that may get overlooked in the excitement of the signing of a lease and the move.
Creating a little welcome package is something that will certainly stick in the mind of any new tenant of yours. It marks you as a thoughtful landlord and as someone who really cares about them as a person. Depending on what you include in your welcome package, you may end up saving that person quite a bit of trouble as well. Moving is stressful, as I'm sure you know. It isn't difficult for certain things to slip your mind, even if those things are super important. If you have a care package waiting for them with certain essentials, it can make the difference between a typical move and a (mostly) calm one.
Don't worry when I say welcome package, I certainly don't mean you need to put everything in a little basket. Although that may be sweet, simply resting things on a counter or even on the floor can be perfectly fine. Think about things that you would be likely to forget when moving. Things like toilet paper are essential but are an often forgotten item when someone is changing their home. Leaving a new roll somewhere in the apartment, or even on the holder, can be something that is greatly appreciated. This is especially true if your resident has a long trip and doesn't think about their actions due to a bursting bladder.
Having some cleaning supplies in the apartment can always be helpful. Even if you have cleaned and scrubbed every inch of the place, some people simply prefer to do it themselves. Even if this isn't the case, moving can get messy so have some solutions for your new resident.
Food and drink is normally quite a mess the first night or two. Leave a gallon of water in the refrigerator and a couple of takeout or delivery menus in the kitchen. Maybe you can even score your new resident some coupons.
Anything you can do to help someone move is always appreciated. A care package is the perfect way of showing that you care about your new tenant.

Tenant Scams and How to Deal With Them

Talley Properties
It is a rare occurrence for someone to try and find new lodgings around this time of year. Although not unheard of, it is always strange for someone to try and find a new rental property around the holidays. This article is not meant to say that everyone who seems to be looking for a new place during these months is trying to scam you by any means. It simply states that a tenant will normally need a good reason to find new housing around now. Times like these are when references are important and should certainly be contacted.
Scamming can occur at any time of the year. The problem with scammers is that they are often people who seem reliable and trustworthy. It can be difficult to distinguish between someone who simply needs a place to live and someone who is trying to pull a fast one, so to speak. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to try and prevent yourself from being a victim of rental scams.
Technology is a wonderful thing. Granted, it is a double edged sword in many situations but it can be an incredible tool to help you keep yourself safe. It is always a good idea to research anyone you are working with in regards to housing. Any time money is changing hands, you want to know as much as possible about the person on the other side of the check. Naturally you can't find out everything about someone just by looking at their twitter page, but there are other ways for you to look up any issues you may have to worry about.
Paying for a background check may seem excessive, however if you are concerned about someone it can be well worth the money you put out to see the return. Checking with past and present employers or landlords is always a good idea as well. This will give you an insight into their work ethic and how reliable they are. With the vast amount of ways that tenants can scam you, it is always something that should be in the back of your mind when renting to someone new. Not everyone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be cautious all the same.
We hope you never need to worry about having someone scam you. It truly is a horrible occurrence to fight back from. From us here at Talley, we wish you the best of luck.

Preparing For Disasters

Disasters
Disasters can strike at any time. This is why they are also known as emergencies. While it would be wonderful if we could schedule emergencies, this is certainly not the case. They never take a day off and always seem to strike at the worst possible times. This is why you always need to have a plan for when they do inevitably strike.
For a perfect example, I need to look no farther than myself. Christmas night I had returned home from visiting with family and was just starting to settle in to sleep when there was a knock on my door. I opened it to see my downstairs neighbor. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me downstairs and into the bathroom which sits right below mine. Up in the corner was a large spot of water damage with a slight sheen along the wall. This was a surprise because there was absolutely no water anywhere in my bathroom that was visible. After some discussion, it turns out that this had been occurring for a couple of days. Well, after a call to the landlord was put in our building was filled with people trying to determine the source of this leak. Like I said, even on Christmas emergencies don't hold off.
Although it is impossible to prevent every kind of emergency, there is no reason to not have a contingency plan for when these types of things occur. Granted it can be difficult to immediately put these plans into motion depending on when the disaster strikes, such as Christmas night. Getting the situation dealt with as quickly as possible, however, should always be one of your top priorities. After you are certain that everyone is safe, trying to mitigate the disaster is normally an extremely difficult task.
Some disasters are simply too bizarre to try and plan for. It is not humanly possible to map out each and every single thing that could possibly go wrong so if something does occur that you don't have a plan for, don't panic. The only thing you can do is roll with what you're given. Ask around to see what other landlords and property owners have dealt with and see if you can add to your list of plans. We can only hope to be ready for when these disasters do strike.

New Year...New Me

New Year
New Year, new me. That's what all of us are hearing from all different parts of the internet and those we know. Perhaps even you are saying this. Now believe me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a new year's resolution. I don't want you to think that I'm making fun of bettering yourself. I personally never found the point of a resolution, but that doesn't mean I don't respect those who do, especially if you are able to stick to it.
The fun thing about resolutions is that it doesn't have to be about just yourself. In fact, quite a few people I know take the new year to better their properties. Even if sprucing a place up is impractical due to the winter months, making your plans to do so is always a good idea. Styles and trends change so much that it can be hard to keep up. If you keep pushing it off, it can easily become a job that seems daunting and almost impossible. However, if you revisit your décor even just once a year it can seem like a nice, quick and easy task.
If you believe that your building has no issues in regards to how it looks cosmetically, perhaps taking a quick look at all of the internal workings around this time of the year would be useful. Make sure that your electrical work is up to code, be sure that the visible plumbing is nice and tight, and double check that all of the flooring is safe, be it carpet or hard wood. Look at the caulking in the windows and around the sink and tub. If it could use a cleaning or be redone, take some time to do that. These are simple things that will need to be done from time to time.
If it has been a few years since your space has had its last coat of paint, think about refreshing it. This is especially true if the building is friendly to smokers or if pets are allowed. A fresh coat of paint can help to make any apartment look well kept.
Think of what your rental property would have on their New Year's resolution list if it were a person. If possible, pull a few of these from time to time and help it along. After all, buildings can't do it on their own.

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