The Importance of Preventive Maintenance in Property Management

The Importance of Preventive Maintenance in Property Management

Sudden expensive repairs can become a nightmare in property management, and they take a sizeable sum out of profits. Usually the owner comes to know of the problem when it has become huge and needs immediate fixing. The only solution in such situations is adopting a proactive approach and undertaking preventive maintenance but in some cases it may be too late for this. But this should be the outlook and business practice.

When certain issues are addressed when they are just starting then the cost of fixing them is minimal, and the issue will not escalate into a major problem needing costly repairs. Preventive maintenance will not only reduce costs, but also improve relationships with tenants. Here are certain crucial aspects in a property that need regular monitoring and maintenance.

Bathroom Maintenance

Bathrooms should be regularly monitored on a monthly basis and checked for water leaks and mold formation. Check the sink, toilets, and bathtub areas to see if the caulking is in place. Seepages and leaks can cause costly water damage, which can be prevented by fixing minor leaks. Mold spreads very quickly in moist and warm areas, and if it is left untreated, it can lead to severe structural damage involving costly repairs.

Maintaining Rooftops

Surveying rooftops regularly is an important aspect of preventive maintenance, especially after rains or a spell of severe weather. Roofs should be checked for missing shingles, mold formation, and any damage that is being caused by water. When there are no rooms directly below the roof, the problem can go unnoticed for a long time, and the damage can escalate to something huge. Also, check gutters for any blockages, and maintain them for the water to run off smoothly. Regular monitoring of the roof area can save major repair costs and costly maintenance.  

Monitoring Electrical Components
 
Faulty wiring and defective appliances can cause short circuits, which pose major fire hazards. Before tenants move into the property, perform a full inspection of the wiring and check for any issues in all electrical appliances. Inspections should be conducted by certified electricians to ensure all electrical components are compliant with building regulations. If any incident involving electricity is reported by tenants, the problem should be attended immediately and fixed.

Pest Extermination

If the property is in an area that is prone to certain pest infestations, then it is better to monitor the premises for such bugs and pests. If a problem is detected or reported by any tenant, then the whole property has to be fumigated by a professional extermination service. Termite infestation can occur at any time in any area, and therefore it is necessary to be vigilant and keep a look out for the signs of such infestation. Termite infestation is the most dangerous, since these critters will or can damage the structural integrity of the property. Therefore, repairs can be very costly and certainly impact any rental company’s bottom line.

A Property Management Company that is Dedicated & Competent

Property management can be time consuming and involves a lot of effort, especially preventive maintenance. It is therefore best to leave this important aspect of property management in the capable hands of Talley Properties in Charlotte, NC. They have been around for more than thirty years and have an impressive record of accomplishment in managing properties.

Tips to Profit by Leasing Your House in North Carolina

Tips to Profit by Leasing Your House in North Carolina

Leasing a piece of property is more than just planting a big orange signboard on the front yard or posting an ad on Craigslist and taking in the first person who answers it as your tenant. In fact, the signboard or the Craigslist post will hardly bring you tenants and you cannot hope to make a profit by leasing your property if you are not choosy about your tenant! Making a profit by leasing your house in North Carolina will elicit some bit of hard work from you; after all, there is nothing as a free lunch. The following are some tips to help your task:

Make your rental property habitable and safe for your tenant. Before you put up your house for rent, make sure that it is habitable and safe for a prospective tenant. This is not only your responsibility as a landlord but a desirable housing unit will also attract more prospective tenants.

What is more, the structural updates that you may make to your apartment for rent or vacation rental property will allow you to quote and receive a higher amount of rent. For instance, apartments or homes for rent with new hardwood floors, an upgraded plumbing system, and/or energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can rightfully command higher rents than dwelling units with cracked floors and/or old and rundown utility systems.

Decide on the amount of rent to charge. But only after you have carried out a thorough research. You have to keep the following considerations in mind when deciding on the rental amount—it should be at par with similar dwelling units in the area and should be neither too high nor too low in order to attract tenants. Pore over local newspapers and browse online advertisements to figure out the average amount of rent for rental properties in the area that are similar to yours. If possible, visit some houses and apartments for rent to compare them to yours. Decide on a rental amount and make sure that is not so high that it will keep away tenants nor so low that it will make prospective tenants wonder if something is wrong with the property.

Make sure that the rent amount covers the cost of maintaining your property. After you have figured out the rental amount, do some more number crunching to ensure that it will comfortably cover all the expenses on the property and still let you pocket up to six percent of the value as profit. The rent amount should ideally cover any mortgage payment, costs of maintenance and repairs, and vacancy costs.

Market your rental property. All the hard work that you may have put in after following the above-mentioned tips will come to a naught if you cannot reach out to a focused group of target audience and market your property. Thankfully, this is one task that you need not be bothered with. List your home for rent on the website of Talley Properties, Inc. Their website contains a comprehensive list of homes and apartments for rent and is browsed by countless prospective tenants every day. You can rest assure that your vacation rental or condo rental or apartment on rent will be lapped up in no time at all.

Choose a tenant only after screening. Finally, make sure that you delve into the credit history and do a criminal records check before you take in a tenant. Do not rely on the data brokers on the Internet to provide you with the details. Instead, prepare an application form where a prospective tenant will be required to provide information regarding his identity, criminal background, and credit history. If you intend to carryout a credit check, make sure that you have the tenant’s signed permission.

Vital Rental Tips

Whether you have a home for rent in Mint Hill, a condo rental property in Kings Mountain, or an apartment on rent in Kannapolis, the above-mentioned tips will ensure that you can reap the profit by leasing your real estate property.

Put Your Vacant North Carolina Property to Good Use and Earn from It

Put Your Vacant North Carolina Property to Good Use and Earn from It

Many in the Charlotte region are realizing that the Great American Dream—a house in the suburbs with white picket fences—is best left a dream, at least for the time being. The economy is still shaky and many prudent individuals realize that shelling out a fortune or incurring a debt to buy a house is a risky proposition. So, it is not unnatural to find that renting a house is a more popular option in the Charlotte region than buying one.

Patience is a Virtue

Homeowners in areas such as Davidson, Waxhaw, and Pineville have put up their townhouses for rent hoping to earn some quick and easy money. In fact, if you are a homeowner and intend to sell your property, it is a prudent idea to wait awhile for the prices to rise (they will because the economy is looking up slowly) and meanwhile, earn some unexpected revenue by leasing your house instead of keeping it vacant.

The Current Status

Unfortunately, many homeowners in the Charlotte area have realized this and the real estate scene is right now flooded with vacation home rentals and condos for rental. So, whether your property is located in the quaint and quiet suburb of McAdenville, the small town of Weddington, or the bustling city of Rock Hill, you will have a tough time making your property stand out amongst competitors and catch the eye of a prospective tenant.

Pros in the Business

If you do not want to spend a fortune to hire a professional marketer to spread the word about your property, then list it on the website of

Talley Properties, Inc. They have been in the business of property management in the Charlotte region for more than three decades and know the ropes of marketing all too well. Their list of apartment and home rentals is the most comprehensive one around and draws in potential tenants looking for vacation homes rentals, condos rentals, or other housing rentals from all over the region and beyond. The listings are crafted and worded for maximum search engine visibility for the most commonly-used search terms and thus reach almost countless prospective tenants all over the country.

When you advertise with Talley Properties, you spare yourself the hassles and the expenses of hiring a marketer or putting up your ad on multiple media. You can thus take advantage of the economic boom that is sweeping cities in the Charlotte region like Gastonia and Kannapolis to woo prospective tenants with your property.

Fair Housing in the United States

Fair Housing in the United States

The month of April in 2013 was the month the government dedicated to spread awareness about the Fair Housing Act and fair housing in general. It is essential for property managers to have a clear and complete understanding of legislation related for fair housing to make certain that the tenant selection process they employ is fair, and avoids unnecessary and unwarranted lawsuits. Choosing the right tenant is necessary to attract responsible people who respect the property which is their temporary home. But the choice of the right tenant has also to be carefully balanced to comply with state, federal, and local discrimination laws.

Protecting Yourself and Your Cordial Residents

A complete understanding of fair housing enactments – state and federal –is critical regardless of whether you are part of a sizeable property management company or a lone operator taking care of just a handful of rental properties single-handedly. Discrimination where property is concerned can have nasty consequences which can result in significant financial loss and the respect of the community if you wrongly refuse housing to someone. If that person does not pass a background check or appears to be a gangster or a thug, that is another matter though. If you cannot properly judge who is a thug or not you should not be working for this related government agency or a rental property company.
The genesis of current housing legislation began with the Fair Housing Act of 1968 a federal enactment which forbade discrimination on grounds of color, race, national origin, and religion. The law was subsequently amended to include discrimination on grounds of sex, disabilities and families with children. With the amendments came stricter penalties for violations.

This legislation covered real estate practices like pre-sale advertising, the terms of sale or a rental agreement, and refusal of housing for whatever reason.

Not Condoned at All

Property owners face severe consequences for discrimination. If a tenant believes there has been discrimination in the rental or buying process he/she can register a complaint with the local department of human rights and may also consult an attorney. Tenants are also protected by tenant advocacy groups and the last thing a property manager or owner needs is to be cited for perceived discrimination in a lawsuit.

Here are some points on discrimination and fair housing which property managers would do well to observe.

Treat all prospective tenants uniformly. Keep a high standard of communication by observing a polite and respectful tone at all times and have a standard list of questions for all. A respectful tone and consistency ensures unintentional discrimination or any situation which could remotely be alleged as unlawful.

Offer the same level of accommodation to all. This way no one tenant can accuse you of inconsistency or favoritism or having withheld advantages which were offered to others.

Stay clear of stereotypes or preconceived notions. Keep alert for warning signs but otherwise give the benefit of doubt to tenants. Do not entertain pre-conceived notions about a tenant because of race, nationality, or religion either at the screening process or after occupation.

Stay on top of state laws to ensure that you have a complete knowledge of local legislation to protect you from uninvited legal action. If you are not up-to-date on the latest enactments and local laws, take the trouble to educate yourself. It’s well worth the effort.

A Company Comprised with Kindness

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC is one of the oldest property management companies in the Charlotte region. It constantly keeps itself informed of changes in local laws and so keeps out of legal quagmires. As a policy this company prides itself on running a real estate business with consistency, equality, and respect being the overriding attributes.

Maintenance Checklist for Property Managers

Maintenance Checklist for Property Managers

In almost all property management agreements the responsibility for maintenance vests with the manager or property management company. A high standard of maintenance is the hallmark of a fantastic and committedproperty management company and something most don’t take lightly. A well-maintained property has fewer problems, happier tenants, and less pressure on the property manager.

A Crucial Checklist

More often than not all homeowners and property managers develop a property maintenance checklist which helps them keep their property in peak condition. Here is a typical maintenance checklist which covers most areas but can be amended to suit a particular property.

Inspect the roof regularly and certainly at least twice a year. You’ll have to do this more often during fall to clear dead leaves which are liable to block the gutters. If the property is in a storm prone area, inspect it after every bad storm to check for weather damage. Also look out for insect damage. Check out the guttering for leaf deposits and any blockage which can strain the metalwork or allow a torrent of water to fall on an outside wall.

Check the outside walls twice a year for signs of penetrating damp or rising. Inspect the damp proof course to make sure that there is nothing like a heap of earth piled against the wall likely to bridge it.

Inspect ceilings and outside walls every month for signs of rising damp, penetration or condensation. Check out the condition of the paintwork all over especially on woodwork and walls.

Check the attic or loft for signs of rot or woodworm and the inside of the roof for any indications of leakage. If the water tank is located here check the piping and insulation.

Schedule regular checks of plumbing and heating and especially when the weather becomes extremely cold. Before the onset of winter check pipe insulation and renew it if needed. If there’s a boiler this needs to be serviced annually at least. Check all faucets and change washers if they drip. Clean toilets weekly to ensure that they are stain-free.

Take a cursory look at the electrical wiring because it is generally concealed. Look out for any exposed wiring which should be attended to immediately.

Inspect the outdoors once every few months especially after fall when all the leaves have fallen. Ensure that the grass is mowed regularly and borders trimmed. Remove debris and clean off oil slicks or patches. Keep the garden well maintained. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to the appearance of the property.

The Professional People

Talley Properties is one of the oldest and best-known property management companies in Charlotte NC. It specializes in mid-range to high end residential and commercial properties not just in the Charlotte region but also the surrounding counties. Over the thirty years and more that the company has been providing property management services to the community it has developed its own maintenance schedules. It also has a list of tradespeople and skilled technicians it hires when needed. Talley Properties sets a high maintenance standard which is much appreciated by both tenants and owners.

The Debilitating Affects of Rental Concessions

The Debilitating Affects of Rental Concessions

At some point in time most property managers have had to think about concessions. It might be a discount on the rent for the first few months or even allowing a tenant a few months rent-free on signing a lease. Some property managers prefer a small giveaway. But during a hard economy when most property managers are feeling pressure on the bottom line, are rental concessions a wise move? There is no yes or no answer to this question but every property manager has to carefully consider the situation before making a decision on the way to go. Here are some questions you need to answer for yourself:

How will concessions affect your revenue?

What will concessions do to your bottom line if you choose a financingroute. For example, if your rental is $1,000 per month and you offer a discount of $50, your income stream is $950 and not $1,000 to the bank which doesn’t help with your financing goals. A concession fills up your apartments but does not contribute to your bottom line. A concession can grind down the value of a property pretty fast. If you want financing to replace a worn carpet or redo the landscaping, an eroded revenue stream doesn’t help.

What are your competitors doing?

Concessions are like a contagion. If word gets around that one of your competitors is offering concessions you feel obliged to do the same. This is a disease in many markets, but you have to make your decision based on hard facts and stick with it. You have to know your market when it comes to concessions. Tenants will come to you and use what your competitor is doing as a bargaining ploy. You have to know how to handle that and dig your heels in.

How will concessions affect your current tenants?

Tenants who have signed a lease recently for full rent will naturally be upset if a new tenant is given two months’ rent free. Tenants already in residence will feel undermined and an impression might be created that the owner of the premises is in some form of distress. But when the market is tight like it is at present because of social engineering, regulations, and high taxes, property managers will be asked for concessions and if that is the practice all around then they might have to concede.

Residents that receive these financial gifts are also instructed by management not to be too loose with the lips when meeting and talking with existing residents but this information will surface eventually and could undermine certain relationships.  

Another factor is that concessions could affect the standard of tenants which property managers rent to. A lower security deposit and a couple of months’ rent free might attract just the wrong type of tenant.

A third factor is that if the manager if offering new tenants a concession it might have to be extended to existing tenants in order to retain them.

Finally if you do decide to extend concessions, make sure you are not violating any laws likely to run you into legal problems.

Talley Properties

Talley Properties is an experienced property management firm in the Charlotte region of NC. In over three decades it has been providing property management services this company has seen a number of ups and downs in the rental property market. It has evolved its own formulas to counteract pressures in difficult times.

Three Cast-Iron Strategies to Keep Your Tenants

3 Cast-Iron Strategies for Tenant Retention

Tenant retention is the key to maximizing net operating income. It’s plain to see why because on every occasion a tenant leaves there are a whole lot of additional expenses involved. You have to repaint and repair the premises, advertise them and in some cases offer free rent incentives. Add to that the revenue lost during the period the premises were vacant.

It’s precisely for this reason that tenant retention and lease renewal ranks high on the development strategies which property owners and managers of multi-family properties adopt as a cost-effective measure. This is not just when the going is good but always.

You can go online to find a basket of solutions for retaining tenants like gift cards, raffles, and providing free WiFi in common locations like the laundry area and so forth. These will always be appreciated as will amenities and friendly service, but sometimes the basic things are forgotten.

What is the real cause behind tenants moving out?

A study conducted in 2010 concluded that tenants opted out of renewing their leases for reasons which were within control. The vast majority of them made the decision because of poor customer service by way of unsatisfactory handling of maintenance requests and a lack of response to their concerns. Here are three cast-iron ways to help you improve your tenant renewal record.

Better Communication

                There is nothing a tenant would like better than to know that their concerns are being taken seriously by property managers and homeowners. Ongoing communication with tenants is crucial during their period of residence. Keep them informed of all events such as construction issues, or scheduled maintenance. This sends a signal to the tenant that you care. Tell them about your proposed plans for upgrades and improving amenities. Highlight the positives to give them a reason to renew their lease when it comes to an end.

Swift Maintenance and Follow-Up

Conduct a tenant satisfaction survey at regular intervals. It’s a fantastic tenant retention tool and helps with improvement planning as well. A survey will give you an insight into what your residents need to improve the quality of their lives. It also helps an owner or property manager identify projects which will benefit the tenants and by extension themselves. It is also another way to attain feedback on earlier projects how well they were received and how well they have delivered. A structured approach like this helps generate satisfaction, dedication to service, and intrinsic value all of which significantly counts toward lease renewal.

Update Your Website

Today we live in a world of information access at our fingertips. Most of your tenants would prefer to use the Internet to acquire updates on their issues. Most people today first try to resolve an issue on a company’s website before resorting to other avenues. When they are able to succeed they derive a sense of satisfaction. If residents are able to attain a status update on a maintenance issue they develop a sense of empowerment and a feeling of pleasure.

While property management is undoubtedly a service business, keeping a tenant satisfied and happy is the key to tenant renewal.

Setting the Bar Higher

No one is more aware of the significance of tenant satisfaction than Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC. This property management company has been providing excellence of service in and around the Charlotte area for over three decades now. When it comes to tenant service and satisfaction Talley Properties goes the extra mile and then some. This is why their lease renewal record is second to none.

What is an Apartment Cosignor Guarantee?

What is an Apartment Cosignor Guarantee?

Property management companies and landlords invariably establish certain criteria for a prospective tenant. The landlord will typically examine an applicant’s income and examine his credit history to reassure himself that the person is able to meet the rent. The credit history will also provide an insight into how well the applicant manages his finances. Additionally the landlord might order a total background check to obtain a grasp of the person’s personal history and to know whether there is anything in it which sends out warning signals. These precautions are taken by a landlord or property manager to avoid having to face an ugly situation where a person might not pay the rent, damage the apartment, or perform illegal activities in it.

Financial Support

An apartment cosignor is a person or entity who stands guarantor for a rental or lease agreement. Sometimes a landlord or property manager might insist on an apartment cosignor for a particular tenant who plans to lease or rent an apartment and whose credit history might not be quite up to scratch. It could be something in the prospective tenant’s financial background which does not quite meet the required standards for renting or leasing the apartment.

Risk Involved

The cosignor assumes the liability to meet a rental obligation which may be outstanding and stands guarantee for any damages which may occur over and above the security deposit. Such contingencies arise when the tenant of an apartment defaults and causes damage to the premises. A cosignor guarantee can be sued by a property management company or a landlord for any money owed as if that person was the primary resident. The cosignor’s credit could also be impacted in certain jurisdictions if the primary renter fails to meet his/her financial obligations.

Character Support

Sometimes a tenant’s income or background might not meet the criteria the landlord has set, or the tenant’s income might not be adequate or he might have a poor credit history or no credit history at all. In such cases the landlord may consider renting or leasing the apartment provided the tenant is able to bring an apartment cosignor who is financially stable. The landlord will apply the same tests to the cosignor. If the cosginor qualifies, he/she will have to sign off on the agreement and agree to meet all obligations should the tenant default.

Worst Case Scenario

A person assumes several risks when cosigning on an apartment lease or rental. The most noticeable is if the primary tenant defaults on his rental obligations or damages the apartment and refuses or is unable to pay for such damages. The problem arises when the cosignor is not informed until a suit is filed against the tenant where the cosignor is cited. Apart from being involved in a lawsuit where the cosignor is not the primary defendant, the judgment and lawsuit can also reflect on the credit report and damage the credit rating of the cosignor.

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