Skip to content Sitemap

Blog

13 Fall Maintenance Items To Tackle

Cooler weather is here. Gone are the 70-degree days. It’s dark by 6:30 pm and yes, the leaves are falling off the trees. For property owners this means, it’s fall maintenance time.

 

Which maintenance items do you focus on for the fall?

 

We’ll walk you through all 13 of them.

Before you start tackling projects, it’s easiest to break them into exterior and interior tasks from the top to the bottom of your building.

 

Clean out the gutters and downspouts

Having dried leaves and seeds from trees clog your gutters and downspouts can spell disaster. Water sitting in a low area due to improper drainage causes Ice dams and roof leaks. One of the easiest ways to prevent roof repairs is by keeping gutters and downspouts clean.

 

Check out the roof

While you are on the ladder cleaning gutters, take a glance around at the shingles. Are they all securely fastened and in good condition? If not, secure them now before the snow flies to prevent further damage.

 

Seal up window and door frames

As you’re looking at the roof, take a peek at your window and door frames. If any gaps have formed due to settling or improper installation of wrapping or siding now is the perfect time to seal them up. You can find all-weather caulking and insulating foam at all the major home improvement stores.

 

Exterior repairs

Inspect around the exterior foundation for any gaps or cracks small critters could use to move in. If you find you have an issue with pests already call an exterminator. If you’ve caught it in time, seal the cracks and gaps with the proper wire, cloth, Quick create or sealant to ensure against unwanted visitors.

 

 

Landscape repairs

Walk around the property and check for uneven sidewalks and places water could pool and freeze causing safety issues for tenants. Have all railings and porches inspected for loose or rotten wood and repair properly.

 

Landscape clean-up

Mow and rake up all the dead grass and leaves. You’ll want to trim trees and bushes to prevent dead branches from breaking over winter and damaging property. Be sure to clean your mower and store it over the winter for use again in the spring.

 

Autumn is a great time for some deep cleaning and sealing up any weatherization issues.

 

Let’s take a look at the interior of your rental property.

 

Heating system

Turn your furnace on early to make sure everything works. Change out your furnace filters. If there are any issues, bring in an HVAC tech to fix it for you.

Plumbing

Insulate any basement piping that lines outside walls, also turn off the water to outside faucets and be sure to drain all your watering hoses.

 

Chimney and fireplace

Clean out your flue in your chimney before you start having fires in your fireplace. Remove all the ashes and add them to the garden for extra nutrients over the winter.

 

Attic

Seal up any drafts and make sure any vents to the exterior are clean and not blocked. The attic needs to breathe to release humidity from the home.

 

Detectors

Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. If they aren’t working, replace them.

 

Weatherization

Check the weather stripping on doors and windows. They help prevent heat loss during the cold winter months. If you have older windows, now would be a good time to install a piece of plastic over them to help keep heating costs down.

 

Deep cleaning

Fall is a great time to move appliances and furniture and attack any grime or dust lurking there. Just like spring cleaning, fall maintenance allows you to schedule cleaning out the oven or washing down in the inside of the refrigerator if you’ve been putting it off.

 

As a landlord, you may rely on your tenants to handle the interior maintenance and cleanings. You might also hire it out to your management company to handle it for you. Day property management partners with Integrated Property Solutions for all rental maintenance. You can contact Integrated Property Solutions at (920) 968-0626 or fill out their contact form.

What You Need To Know About A 1031 Exchange?

1031 exchanges can be an excellent way to safe guard the real estate wealth you’ve built. What is a 1031 exchange? How can you use it to your advantage as a property owner?

 

A 1031 exchange is a tax-deferred exchange for like-kind property. When it comes to rental property you can use it to sell a property and invest the money in another property without paying capital gain taxes on any profit.

 

There’re some rules you must follow for restrictions on types of property and the timing of the exchange.

 

The understanding of like-kind properties is important. Like-kind refers to the same purpose and usage. For example, if you have a duplex you rent out you can exchange it for any other type of rental property. This includes an apartment, hotel, parking lot, self-storage, single family home and much more. You need to look at the property in terms of use and not necessarily the type.

 

Some properties will not qualify for a 1031 exchange. 

 

According to the tax code, they include

 

-property purchased for resale or “flipping” rather than rental

-your primary residence

 

-personal property not owned by your company

-property outside the U.S

 

Having a better understanding of the types of properties qualifying for an exchange can open up many possibilities for property owners.

 

Timing is the second issue in a 1031 exchange. You don’t need to sell and buy a property simultaneously. You do have some time limits you need to consider. These time limits are not flexible. You can’t ask for an extension.

 

When doing an exchange:

 

You must identify the new property within 45 days of closing on the sale of the original property. You can identify upon to 3 replacement properties. Identification must be in writing, be specific, and be given to an exchange intermediary or facilitator.

 

 

You must close one of the new properties you’ve identified within 180 days of closing on the original property.

 

You must use an exchange intermediary or facilitator for your transactions. They handle all the documents, the transfer of title on each property and sale and purchase funds. Who you choose is as important and what they do for you. They must be a third party. They must not be family or anyone with whom you’ve had a previous business. This includes your banker, attorney, title company, real estate agent or brokers, you’ve worked with in the past.

 

The titling and fund reinvesting process for your new property have more regulations to follow.

 

The title of the new property should be the same as the old property. For example, if the title was in the name of XZY company LLC, the title of the new property should also be in their name. You may run into problems if you are liquidating an old partnership or LLC. Your facilitator can help you through this strategy if you need to liquidate a company.

 

When it comes to reinvesting the money from the old property into the new property, the new property must be of equal or greater value. To keep 100% of the profit tax deferred, you have to make sure any cash or property purchased follows the equal or greater value rule. The IRS has rules about receiving cash and could result in taxes being paid on a new amount received. Speak to your trusted tax advisor for advice if you plan on taking cash from the purchase.

 

With all these rules and regulations, why would anyone want to do a 1031 exchange?

 

There are many advantages to an exchange.

 

Deferring taxes is the largest advantage to a 1031 exchange. If you are a buy and hold owner, this can be an ideal way to upgrade property over time. This can save you money due to less maintenance and management costs. Other tax benefits include a lower depreciation recapture and possible lower tax rates when you do sell.

There are a few disadvantages.

 

The disadvantages are the tight rules and regulations in identifying and purchasing a new property through a 1031 exchange. Capital gain tax is only deferred until you sell the new property. It is a possibility tax rates will increase instead of decrease causing you to pay more in taxes upon final sale.

 

When considering sell and buying rental property through a 1031 exchange, look at all the advantages and disadvantages. Consider how each will affect you and your business. Make the best decision for your goals.

 

For recommendations of 1031 exchange facilitators contact Day Property Management at 920-968-0626 or fill out our contact form.

9 Affordable Upgrades To Your Rental Property

As a property owner, keeping your rental in good condition can help attract better tenants and higher rents. Rental upgrades during turnovers can help.  Here are 9 affordable upgrades that will add value to your rentals.

 

Wood flooring

Keeping your rental flooring looking nice through multiple tenants is hard. Carpeting is easily stained and with pets can take major abuse from claws and teeth. Tile can crack and is not cheap or easy to replace. Wood flooring used to be all there was back in the day. Wood is durable and beautiful. When waxed and sealed regularly or between tenants, can last a lifetime.

 

Updating your kitchen and bathrooms

In a rental, you don’t need to put in luxury items like granite unless it’s a luxury rental.  Nice, affordable improvements will look classy and boost the value.  Consider resurfacing the cabinet doors and resurfacing the counter tops.  This is far less expensive than replacing all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counters.  With most resurfacing applications, you can’t tell the difference between quartz and a surface enamel. Cabinets and drawers can come to life with a little paint and new hardware. Adding a back splash to your kitchen walls will also add the rooms appeal and value in the renter’s eyes.

 

Molding on baseboards

Continually replacing flooring can have its toll on baseboards. They scratch and break during tenant turnovers.  Replace any abused baseboards with new pre-painted or pre-sainted baseboards from your local home improvement store. It will add a touch of class to the paint and flooring and show you like the rental to look good.

Spacious closets or built-in storage

Rental property often lacks storage. If you find you have some useless space in a corner or along a wall, consider adding a closet or built-in.  You may even consider enlarging a closet in the bedroom if the area doesn’t work well with other furniture. If possible, add storage to the garage attic or basement with shelving and fencing if you have multiple tenants.  When you look at the budget for repairs, an exterior shed will add value and storage options for your tenants.

 

New paint

Most landlords repaint between tenants. The most popular color is white.  It’s easy to match. It’s easy to grab and brand and repaint. However, white gets dull and boring when used all the time. Consider other colors. Visit new construction homes or parade homes to get ideas about what they are using for color schemes. The tan or warm grey makes the house feel homey and cozy instead of the cold, drabness of white.

 

Updating hardware

We’ve discussed how new handles and pulls can make your kitchen look updated. You should also consider swapping out door handles and other cabinet pulls throughout the house.  Brass finished handles were trendy in 1975. You can find affordable replacements, that fit the era and give an updated look to the home.

Updated lighting

Energy efficiency should be high on your list when considering affordable improvements.  While the upfront costs might be a little higher, they will pay for themselves over time.  New LED lighting and fixtures last longer than incandescent bulbs by 25-80%. Saving you 3 times the energy costs.  Updated lighting also looks nicer than the standard brass fixtures and can add value and class to any room.

 

Technology

While this might be a little more expensive than the rest of the affordable updates listed, tech adds value to your tenants. Tenants can control a smart thermostat from any device and online. If a tenant goes on vacation or is away for a few days, they can easily lower the temperature with their phone or computer. Smart door locks adds built in security. They are re-programmable. Tenants can control them with any device. Of course you can still use a key instead of the code to lock and unlock the door. If you offer internet as an amenity, installing a WiFi router would add value to your tenants.

 

In unit washer and dryer

Visiting a Laundromat to wash and dry clothes is a hassle. If you have the space, consider providing a washer and dryer for your tenants.  It could be coin operated if you think there will be high usage and to help with replacement and repair costs.  Tenants will appreciate being able to clean their clothes at home.

 

When considering upgrades that add value consider items with durability and will last long term. They may have a higher upfront cost but will be worth it over time.

 

Day Property Management can help you decide which improvements would be the best for your rental property.  Give us a call at 920-968-0626

or fill out our contact form.

How To Boost Tenant Retention

It’s August in Wisconsin and it’s hot. Why on earth would you want to worry about keeping tenants through the winter months? However, now is the perfect time to boost tenant retention. Families in Appleton are starting to gear up for the school year. They’re buying supplies, clothes and making their final vacation plans.

 

If you rent to families, you may think they’ll stay indefinitely. Yet, you don’t often think about whether or not they plan on staying come December, but you should. While the weather is nice, you should send a survey to your tenants about a few items which would make their homes more comfortable once the weather cools off.

 

Repairs and Weatherization

 

As a property owner, you want to keep a pulse on the condition of your rental property. It’s best to make any repairs or replacements when your units are turning over. However, after your tenants have been in the home and become adapted to the quirks of the property; it’s a good time to ask about any repair issues that have popped up.

 

You’ll also want to ask about any issues in keeping the home cool during the summer. You may need to weatherize or replace windows or doors before winter.

 

Talk to the tenants about the property. Ask them how they are adapting to their new home. This will show them you care about their well being. From a property management standpoint, you’ll stay on top of any repair issues before they become worse.

 

Setting Up a Lease Renewal Bonus

 

While property management companies try their best to have lease renewals occur during the summer months, that’s not always possible. Tenants have the right to move out any time they want, even if they are held to lease dates. Depending on the lease agreement, tenants may pay for the months the units sit empty. However, you can’t keep them from moving.

 

So why not sweeten the deal?  If you have lease renewals coming up, throw in something extra. If they’ve been tenants for a long time, a free month for a year renewal might make sense. Another idea is you might be able to do a minimal rent decrease for signing a 2-year renewal. Especially if you know they’ll stay longer than a year,  Get creative. You don’t have to give away all your cash flow.  Any form of goodwill will be graciously received by your tenants.

 

Be a Nice Person

 

Happy tenants, stay. Around the holidays consider sending your long term tenants a little holiday cheer. Consider a gift certificate toward groceries to boost tenant retention. A gas card to cover travel expenses or a holiday basket of goodies would be nice. The unexpected token of your holiday spirit will have tenants realizing you really are a good person.

 

With tenant retention you want to focus on ways to keep your tenants happy and your property in good condition.  If you have any concerns about appropriate ways to provide amenities to your tenants at a reasonable cost contact your property management company or Day Property Management to help you with those questions.  Feel free to contact Day Property Management at 920-968-0626 or fill out the contact form.

Should you allow tenants to make changes to rental property?

When you move into a new home, you want to make it your own. The problem is most leases have clauses which explain the changes landlords allow tenants to make to their rental property. These clauses are usually written in legal language.  An example clause would be, “Absolutely no improvements, repairs or changes may be made to the rental property without express written permission from the property owner.”  Most landlords don’t allow tenants to make changes to the rental property. Unless, it’s not permanent.

 

Tenants may have read and agreed to this clause. However, upon moving out landlords often find unauthorized “improvements” made by tenants.

 

Why are landlords wary of tenants making changes to rental property?

 

The largest driving force is property damage. When a tenant makes unauthorized changes they may be creating a safety issue for future tenants. For example say a tenant requested to put up a ceiling fan. This type of improvement involves electricity and construction.

 

Landlords would usually do the installation themselves. Which as the property owner they have the right to do. They can also hire an electrician for professional installation. Safety and liability issues can arise when dealing with wiring. Cutting, stripping and connecting wires and securing the fan to drywall in the ceiling can be dangerous. Property owners aren’t going to take the risk lightly and say “yes” to what seems like a simple request.

Property owners need to consider the risk improvement.  They also need to consider the value and cost to allow tenants to make changes. Painting isn’t only painting.  If the landlord needs to fix the tenants painting project because it is sloppy, the request costs money. Paying for ruined carpet or new woodwork because a tenant isn’t careful is not an improvement. Yet, if a landlord approves a request for professionally installed new flooring, this could be a capital improvement. Tenants also enjoy the new flooring while they live there.  Landlords should consider each request separately. Landlords are running a business. If a tenant makes an improvement which damages the home, there are now extra costs. There could also be potential safety issues to fix. Adding more costs to a clean, functional and safe unit when the tenant first moved in.

 

Which changes do landlords allow?

 

The answer is: whatever the landlord gives you written permission to do.  However, the written permission by the landlord should also explain what will happen if you don’t comply to those terms. If you don’t want to pay a professional to fix a problem, you may want to cancel your project. If painting the room back to the color you had when you moved in doesn’t sound reasonable; you may want to avoid making any permanent changes to the rental property.

 

How to comply with the lease and still personalize the home.

 

If the consequences of permanent improvements are too steep for you, there are small changes you can easily make. Invest in quality decor items such as paintings if you don’t like the wall color. Colorful pillows and blankets can liven up any room. Place decorative rugs over any flooring you don’t like and give you control over the look of your environment. Use your money for personal touches. Items you’ll own and can take with you. They’ll keep the house feeling cozy while you live there.

 

By allowing tenants to make small improvements with written permission, everyone is happy. You’ve personalized the space and your landlord isn’t ready to evict you for painting every room purple. For those who still say no, consider an investment in quality decorations. They’ll express your style and you’ll have them for years to come.

 

If you aren’t sure what your lease allows, you can contact your property management company. You can reach Day Property Management at 920-968-0626 or fill out the contact form with any questions.

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Properties? 

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Properties?

These days, more tenants own pets than those who do not. According to the ASPCA, 79% of US households own pets. By not allowing pets in your rental property dramatically reduces your pool of renters. Property owners have had good reasons for not allowing pets.

Pets can cause major damage.

Pets can leave lasting scars on your property. Dogs chew up the carpet, window sills and scratch up doors.  Cats mark their territory, and scratching doors and walls. This behavior causes many landlords to avoid pets in rental property. However, property damage is not the only issues when it comes to avoiding pets. Often owners are away for long periods of time. This can lead to anxious pets and nuisance barking. Nuisance barking can bother other tenants. This can cause them to move due to the constant noise. Other tenants could call in noise complaints to the police which can result in home visits.

 

There are safety risks in allowing pets. Most animals are nice to their owners but they are still animals. Pets can react to unwanted company. If a stranger comes to the home during the day when an owner is not present, they may be aggressive. Not all pets are aggressive when home alone or when a stranger comes to the house. Yet, repairmen make it a point to ask if there is a dog loose on the premises.  You’ll have to crate it up or lock it in a bedroom while they visit.

Often tenants forget to clean up after their pet. Not cleaning up the yard can ruin the grass, cause the yard to smell, and destroy any curb appeal you have at your property.

 

As a property owner, you have insurance on your property. Insurance companies have strict policies toward dog breeds they consider dangerous. This information is due to claims submitted to the company. You’ll need to avoid allowing these pet breeds if you want to keep your insurance policy.

 

How do you make owning pets a positive experience for yourself and your tenants?

A separate pet agreement will keep both parties on the same page. The pet agreement should state all the rules you have regarding pets in your property. Explain the rules in detail and signed separately by the tenants. You’ll want to make it clear that violating the pet agreement could lead to an eviction.

 

Consider charging a pet deposit or a monthly pet fee added to your tenants monthly rental payment. The money can pay for damage caused by the pets during the lease period.

 

Almost all pet owners think of their pets as part of the family. Asking a tenant to part with a pet is like asking them to give away a child. You wouldn’t ask and they wouldn’t comply with your request. Allowing tenants to include pets as a part of their lives will make them happy. As a result, they may rent from you for longer periods of time.

 

As a landlord you can do what you want with your rental properties. All parties need to agree to the same rules.  If you want to allow pets great, if not…great. However, take a good look at the rental pool and consider all possibilities. Renting to tenants with pets can bring in extra rent and result in happier tenants.

 

If you looking for help managing tenants with pets, call 920-968-0626 Day Property Management or fill out our contact form today to discuss how we can help you.

Renting To College Students: Is The Risk Worth The Reward? 

Renting To College Students: Is The Risk Worth The Reward?

 

As a landlord owning rental property in a college town can have advantages and disadvantages. College students may live in the dorms fora year or two but then decide communal living isn’t for them. Young adults ages 18, 19, 20, 21, out on their own, possibly for the first time can raise trust issues for property owners.

 

The main problem students usually run into is they have no rental history. This is a huge red flag for a property owner or property management company. Not knowing if a person is going to pay rent is the biggest risk anyone can take. Yes, it is a variable in any rental situation, but with those new to personal responsibility this can make or break a landlord.

 

However, there are ways around. With a little coaching renting to well screened college students can be the most lucrative business decision you make. Let’s take a look at the issues one by one.

 

No rental history

When a college student fills out the rental application without previous references to speak with regarding renta

 

l history, it doesn’t give a landlord much to show they will pay their rent. The good thing is no rental history is better than having a bad rental history. This can be further cleared up by asking for a parent to co-sign on the students behalf. Yes, legally they can sign court binding paperwork like a residential lease. However, knowing th

eir parents will cover the rent if the students fall behind is a safe guard you will not get any other time as a landlord. Co-signing guarantees payment during the lease period.

 

No job

There are college students who are at school on scholarships, have student aid paying for housing or family helping them and they don’t have a job. After all, college is a place to focus on their higher education. Worrying about earning money to pay the bills is not a main focus for some. But as a landlord, no job usually means no rental payments. Again, you need to look at the larger picture. Renting to college students is a unique niche. If a student has a way to cover rent in advance, as with financial aid or a way to guarantee rent payment, as with a parent co-signing their lease being unemployed should not stop you from renting to them.

 

Parties

Yes, college can be synonymous with partying too much. This is a stereotype that’s not always accurate. Older tenants who have rented many places can have worse parties causing thousands of dollars in damage without thinking about it. Many first-time renters are afraid of getting on a landlords “bad side”. Partying or doing anything to possibly break their lease is enough to keep any gathering to a dull roar. Most gatherings doesn’t involve damage or a police presence if done correctly. When you go through the lease with a new renter be sure to point out policies and explain lease violations. You’ll find most young renters will most likely be your best tenants.

 

Vacancies

Renting to college students can be more cyclical than regular rentals. You will have your rental full during the winter months in Wisconsin.  Which is the worst time for any property owner to have a vacancy, but you may have a vacancy every summer. Compared to year to year renters, who could give notice at any time. College students are more of a captive audience.  They need to attend their full year of classes and moving in the middle of the year on top of school work and a job is too much to worry about.  So they at least stay through their lease period and you often have 10 months of continual rent.

While the amount of damage left behind can be questionable, most young adults are not flush with cash. They need their security deposits back to be able to pay rent at a new building if they move. Landlords will often find the rental property cleaner than when they rented it out originally. The student’s parents may also help in this situation if they cosigned the lease.  They don’t want to pay for damages caused by their students and often help them clean when they move out.

 

Proper tenant screening can keep irresponsible tenants out of your properties.  However, with college students you can safeguard your investment with a little extra security like co-signers and thorough explanation of the lease agreement. Often you’ll have your rental occupied for 10 months out of the year and a quick turn around due to the good condition the units are left in. Some students decide to stay in the same rental their entire college term. If you’re lucky that could mean a continual 4 years.  As with any rental, if you keep your units in good repair, clean and functional you’ll have happy tenants. By keeping your college rental in good condition, you could have 4 years of guaranteed cash flow.

 

To see how we can help you maximize your rental property, give Day Property Management https://www.daypropertymanagement.com a call at 920-968-0626 or fill out our contact form https://www.daypropertymanagement.com/contact for more information.

Find and Fill Rental Properties the Easy Way! 

Find and Fill Rental Properties the Easy Way!

Property management companies have the inside scoop on rental properties in the Appleton area. Whether you are a local landlord or an out of state owner looking to increase your portfolio, contacting a property management company can be a great help and money. Using a company like Day Property Management, https://www.daypropertymanagement.com can help you find your next property.

Dont fret over the rent

You won’t have to sign up for real estate listing cart or work with many different realtors to find rental property in the best locations. They know the best areas for quality rentals with consistent occupation rates. Day Property Management works with landlords ranging properties. Day Property Management covers lower income range to luxury neighborhoods from Green Bay to Fond Du Lac. You won’t have to worry about buying a property in a hard to fill location.

Stop searching 

By giving your management company all the requirements you are looking for in your property search, they can look for property for you. They also know the market rents. Utilizing their knowledge, you know what you can spend on your next rental and still cash flow. This saves you from overspending and waiting years to get a return on your investment.

All repairs are handled 

Your property management company can then take a look at the time involved and the repairs necessary to make the rental “tenant ready.” This allows you to create a repair budget. You will now know what you’ll need to cover when you close the purchase. Property management companies may have their own maintenance divisions to handle this for you. Day Property Management works with Integrated Property Solutions https://www.inpropsolutions.com to maintain the rentals they manage and have repair numbers down to a science.

Pocket leads

Property management companies may be working with owners who are looking to sell their properties. This can lead to quick sales and possible discounts depending on the needs of the current owners.

Partnerships

Many property management companies have a realtor on staff or are realtors or real estate brokers themselves. This designation allows them to perform all the functions of any real estate agent or broker with the added benefit of working with them as property managers. As a team they negotiate on your behalf, take care of all purchase paperwork and start the management process once the purchase closes.

When you close on your purchase, your property management company can help you with its residential and commercial services. Their 16 years of property management has made them experts in finding the best tenants for your rental units. By creating the unit’s ads for you, your time can be spent on working with the repairmen or you can use IPS to handle repairs for you. Day Property Management handles all the tenant interaction for you. Showings, processing applications and screening tenants to provide you with ideal tenants is all covered.

When using a property management company to help with your rental search the new purchase becomes a turn-key rental. They will handle it all from completing any needed repairs, advertising, finding and screening tenants. Your property can be full and cash flowing almost immediately.

Day Property Management can help you find your next cash flowing rental fast. Fill out the contact form here https://www.daypropertymanagement.com/contact-us/ or give us a call at 920-968-0626.

Summer Is Coming—Get Your Maintenance Done Now!

Summer Is Coming—Get Your Maintenance Done Now!

In Wisconsin, the snow has finally melted and the sun is making its appearance, plants are growing and the yards are greened up. It’s starting to look like summer. Warmer temperatures bring yard work, outdoor maintenance and necessary repairs to rental property. As a property owner, you should consider seasonal maintenance a tool to keep your buildings in good repair and curb appeal high for new renters. Summer rental maintenance should be a scheduled event on a landlord’s calendar, like fall clean up and winterizing. Over time these activities keep your rental looking pristine all year round, keep tenant complaints low and helps you keep your investment safe. This doesn’t mean you need to tackle every item on your to do list all at once but there are a few maintenance items to be sure to address at the start of summer.

Schedule Any Major Repairs

Summer is a busy time for property maintenance companies and contractors. Calling them early and getting on their calendar is necessary, if you are taking on a large repair projects. Management companies like, Day Property Management, have their own divisions for such projects. You can contact Integrated Property Solutions directly to schedule all repairs and maintenance.

Items You’ll Want To Evaluate:

•Condition of the roof-Secure any loose shingles

•Window screens-Replace torn or damaged screens

•Patios and decks-Clean and paint deck platforms and railings (repair any rotted or loo

•Garage floors-Clean off salt from winter and fill any cracked wood), fill cracks in patios

•Air conditioner-You should have an HVAC contractor tune up the A/C before you get a call from the tenant saying it doesn’t work. Making sure it’s safe to run will keep you from having to replace it later in the summer.

•Lawn mower-If you provide a lawn mower for your tenants to use during the summer. Make sure it’s tuned up and ready to run. Replace it if necessary.

•Swimming Pool Maintenance-This is a larger project and may need some planning and supplies. Take a look at any swimming pools you have at your properties and schedule repairs and cleaning as needed.

Easy Maintenance To Keep Your Rental Looking Great

When you address maintenance issues seasonally, you’ll find less to do over time. Increase the useful life of siding, gutters, window and landscaping with a little care a few times a year.

Easy Maintenance Items:

•Exterior of the building-Power washing off algae and other growth will extend the life of your siding keeping your building looking great

•Gutters, downspouts and window wells-Cleaning out dead leaves, and dirt will keep your gutters and downspouts working properly when it rains. Cleaning out window wells will keep them pest and mold free

•Trees and bushes-Trim any overgrowth or dead branches from mature landscaping. This will stimulate new growth and eliminate damage from falling or loose branches.

•Landscape-Cleaning up any leftover leaves or plants frozen over the winter will keep pests away and with a little mulch, your yard will be beautiful again

•Smoke detectors-Check all your rental units for working smoke detectors, replace batteries or non-working detectors

•Yard sprinklers-Test your sprinklers and set the timers, repair anything not functioning

•Pest Control and Mold-As you are doing your maintenance keep an eye out for cracks in the foundation (perfect access point for small rodents), build up of yard waste (where pests can nest) mold on window or door frames and anything you could clean or remedy now before an issue arises.

Once the maintenance on your property is complete, a letter to your tenants regarding the lease rules and regulations may be in order. The letter should address noise ordinances, grilling, fireworks and tenant gardens will keep everyone on the same page. If you don’t have any rules and regulations for outside activities, consult city ordinances and inform your tenants to avoid complaints or code enforcement issues.

Have your management company write-up an informative letter to your tenants and handle any questions they may have. Contact Day Property Management at 920-968-0626 today to help. You can also fill out our contact form with questions.

The Great Debate: Who is responsible for lawn care or yard maintenance for a rental property?

The issue of yard care responsibility is a highly contested one with landlords and tenants. If you ask a tenant about it they will most likely say it’s the landlord’s responsibility. If you ask a landlord, they will most likely say it’s the tenant’s responsibility. So who is correct?

When something falls into the grey area, consulting your residential lease agreement is the best place to start.

Written leases have a section pertaining to maintenance and repairs for the inside and outside of a rental unit. Most landlords use the non-standard rental provision to explain items not on a standard lease. This section explains items such as lawn care, parking, pets, smoking, and late fees. These items can be different for each building. The lease should clearly state if a tenant is responsible for lawn care or yard maintenance or if it’s included in the lease. Tenants must clean up after their pets even if they are not responsible for overall lawn care.

For example in one lease the reference to lawn care looks like this:

“Tenant(s) shall be responsible for shared lawn care and snow removal.

Because tenant(s) share lawn care/snow removal responsibilities, tenant(s) agree to take full responsibility for lawn care if other responsible party vacates property until such time that a new party moves into the property.

If tenant(s) fail to take care of these responsibilities a third party will take care of the lawn care/snow removal. The bill from the third party will be the tenant(s) responsibility in its entirety. Tenant(s) further agree(s) to be responsible for any and all municipality charges related to snow removal or lawn care/weed control that may be charged due to the tenant(s) neglect of responsibilities.

There shall be an additional charge of $25.00 for each five or fourteen-day notice (to pay municipal charges or vacate premises) issued to tenant(s). Failure to pay any and all of these charges is a breach of lease.

Tenant(s) agree(s) that owner/agent may deduct all charges listed in this paragraph from the security deposit.”

Final Decision

While the clause is a lot to take in, it does cover who is responsible and what happens if the responsibility Is not met. If your lease does not address lawn care, check with your landlord or management company. Make sure you know who will be taking care of mowing, weeding, watering, trimming and any other yard maintenance.

Each landlord is different, but often if they require tenants to maintain the lawn, they will provide a lawn mower. Again this should be clear, but if not be sure to ask your management company. You can expect rent to be higher on a monthly basis to cover the expense of bringing in someone to mow and maintain the yard. The landlord can choose at their discretion how to maintain the yard if they are claiming responsibility. However, if the rental amount covers lawn maintenance, the tenant should be aware in advance.

If you have Day Property Management www.daypropertymanagement.com as your management company and have questions about lawn care, please call them at 920-968-0626 or send a question through the contact form here. www.daypropertymanagement.com/contact

Next Page »