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A Tenant Signs the Lease and then Vanishes. What do you do?

The prospective tenant passed your background check, they were very welcoming in the showing, and really everything looked great when you signed the lease.  But then when move-in day comes, nothing happens.  The tenant is nowhere to be found.  Plans can change on a dime.  Below are suggestions on handling and preventing cases like these. Procedure: If you have already signed a lease with a tenant, it is a binding contract and you must go through the same legal process as any other tenant. This will be a unique circumstance since the tenant is not presently occupying the unit and may not see the notice on the door.  Post the notice there anyways.  You don’t know if the tenant will return or not.  You as the landlord need to make every attempt to clearly communicate the 3-day notice to pay rent or quit.  This means not only posting a notice on the door of the property, but also emailing, making phone calls, and any other possible form of communication you have at your disposal.  After this period of time, and you have established that the unit is vacant, you then will be able to go back to putting the unit on the market. Can I enter the property to check that the tenant is there? You must first provide a 24 hour notice before entering a unit.  This will simply extend the timeline to getting the unit filled with a paying tenant. If you haven’t received the rent payment on the day it was due......
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Three Fundamental Steps to Successful Apartment Marketing

Three Fundamental Steps to Successful Apartment Marketing
  As a property manager, you likely have noticed the challenge that exists in apartment marketing. It can be hard to get the positives of a property across in many kinds of marketing, as most people are looking at the cost and spying closely for any kind of negatives. Basically, people are always looking for that one reason to look at another property rather than your own; your job then becomes trying to convince them not to do so. If you want to start making better progress when it comes to apartment marketing, here are three fundamental steps that can make a telling difference to your success rate. Use these, and you are far more likely to find it easy to get your apartments rented out to the right tenant. Host Community Events One of the most powerful tools that you can utilize for powerful and effective apartment marketing stems from hosting a community event. Not only does this allow you to draw in interested parties and gain some trust, it lets you begin to better understand the local community. That understanding can be essential to long-term success. Just make sure that you use a local calendar to find some spare time on the local scene; competing with things like school events will see turnout dwindle quite heavily. Also, give yourself between 4 and 6 weeks of marketing time to help build up local interest in the community. An event, though, from raising supplies and food for food banks and homeless......
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Closets: The Untapped Resource

Closets: The Untapped Resource
How to become a front player in the estate development industry? Also, how to build and safeguard a strong financial muscle investing in real estate?  The next wave of consumers will want customization. Looking toward the next influx of buyers this is one way to attract a wider market and increase profits. With offering a wide range on configurations potential buyers are able to choose a design that fits their needs. Everyone from the working bachelor to the soccer Mom can benefit from a customized closet. Investors will benefit from properties “tailor made” for the consumer. This concept also will make the properties stand out from the competition. Widening the market will only widen profits. The closets by design concept allows the property to have as many as three to four different options for the potential consumer. Having multiple options will bring a fresh perspective on a normally routine event. This inspires a sense of ownership with the clients. A sense of pride when making it your own space only personalizes the experience. More and more the consumers want storage designed for ease and accessibility. This is how property management can capitalize on this growing need. With a cookie cutter approach to having closet configurations mass produced the initial investment is minimal to the offset of future earnings. Leading the way for this untapped market allows the property to stand out from the barrage of competition. Making it the desirable, useful, and fun alternative. The options of the closet design concept can......
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Don’t let a Landlord-Tenant Dispute Become a Natural Disaster

shutterstock_171847709Don’t wait until disaster strikes to protect yourself and others from damages. Have a plan in place to prevent landlord-tenant disputes when there is property damage of any kind.  You should take steps to ensure that the lease clearly designates who is responsible for what damages and when.  Both parties should also have insurance when replacements or repairs have to be made. Mind the Lease Lease Termination Landlords should take special care in the rental agreement about terms and conditions for terminating or breaking the lease. This should include stipulations that specify how much advanced notice a tenant must give in order to break the lease and what fees will be incurred if the contract is violated.  Both parties are required by law to provide a 30 day notice that they will be terminating the lease, but you can choose to request a larger time frame in the lease.  Keep in mind that if special circumstances develop on the property, such as a tornado ripping off the roof of the property, the tenant can’t be expected to continue to live in the property.  In such situations that the property is deemed to be untenable, the Landlord must either provide alternative housing for the tenant during the period of repairs or terminate the lease. Damage Repair Replacement and repair for damages are generally isolated for the landlord and the tenant.  The tenant is to be responsible for their own personal belongings inside of their unit.  The landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the physical property inside and out. What if the pro......
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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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How to Stand Out to Potential Renters

According to a CNBC article posted in June, renters are avoiding buying because home prices are soaring. In fact, only 52 percent of renters surveyed by the National Association of Realtors quarterly report stated that they feel now is a good time to buy a home – this is down from 62 percent a year ago. With renters on the rise, property managers need to constantly be prepared for an individual to move out. When a current renter decides to move out, it’s standard practice to provide property managers and owners with a 30-day notice. And as property managers prepare for the renter transition, it’s critical to emphasize the unit and building amenities, and even take the time and resources to make updates when possible. Marketing a vacant unit in a multi-family complex is integral to filling the property within a reasonable timeframe. When a rental property is vacant, it costs money for every day it sits empty. Therefore, it’s important to reduce that time between qualified, paying renters to the bare minimum. No matter what tactic property managers use to market vacant rental properties, there are a couple things that will maximize the impact of their outreach efforts. On one hand, marketing the unit and building is crucial to standing out. Everything about the rental property – from the outside of the building to the front door and the interior – needs to be attractive and look rent-ready. While writing enticing copy for a listing, include all the features and updates of the unit......
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Not All Tenant Screening is Created Equally

You can’t always predict who will be a good tenant, but past behavior often indicates future behavior. Whether you’re a landlord, a property manager, or a real estate agent, you should be doing everything in your power to protect yourself from the hassle of dealing with bad tenants and bringing unwanted tenants into your community as they can be can be both time-consuming and financially destructive. Tenant screening can be handled in a few different ways, and one screening process is not always as successful as another. Making your decision solely on price can be a mistake, as many companies bypass certain steps in order to keep prices low. Here are some things you should know before deciding how to handle screening in the future.   Many companies advertise no on-site inspection for their tenant screening; however, you should know that these inspections are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. While these companies can offer some valuable information about your tenant’s past, they are not providing full credit reports. Instead, these companies access public data to compile an independent score that only partially represents your tenant’s history. These companies tend to offer the cheapest prices, but at the expense of legality and comprehensive information. Many companies require the tenant to initiate the transaction. While this practice isn’t inherently problematic, it can cause certain problems. For one, because it requires tenant initiation, time can become an issue. In this scenario, the property manager loses some of the control. In some instances it also prevents ......
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A Day in the Life of a “Smart” Apartment Renter

According to a study published on Business Insider in 2016, the average cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times each day. The modern individual’s reliance on technology stems further than just mobile devices. Everything from our cars to our watches and cell phones have an operating system today. So, what does an operating system look like in a smart apartment? It’s no secret that the smart home revolution is upon us. From the smart lock on the door to Wi-Fi thermostats, residents in smart homes and apartments are be able to customize their living spaces far beyond paintings hung on the walls or carpet on the floor. Home automation is used to describe devices that utilize connectivity and embedded sensors to complete common household tasks. With the implementation of home automation, a single-family resident is able to enter a personal pin code for their smart lock that opens the front door, which then triggers their music of choice to play on speakers, while the lights adjust to a relaxing preset, and the oven preheats for that night’s meal. The advent of the smart home has been made possible through the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows everyday objects to send and receive data, making home automation and related products easier to use and more affordable for the average renter. But it’s not just the desire of being on the cutting edge of technology and having the highest end amenities that attracts renters, owners and property managers to smart technol......
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How to Fix Slow Internet, Generate Revenue and Ditch the “Cable Guys” With a Multifamily Internet Service

An Educational Series for Apartments, HOA’s and Co-Op’s: Part II “Pure Internet”   Pure Internet, the refreshing, no hassle experience of fast, fiber backed“Internet That Just Works”. It flows like the crystal clean rivers in the Glacier Mountains, unpolluted by the impurities of the big cities. It rushes to its destination, shimmering off the rocks with a turquoise clarity. Pure Internet is an unadulterated network of low latency paths, moving data directly and efficiently to its endpoint. Traveling unobstructed by bottlenecks or inefficiencies; safely and securely arriving to its destination.  The pipes are bountiful, clean and safe; the obstacles that litter most networks have been removed. The end-user is left with a great sense of freedom, ease and gratitude from the Internet experience, so much so they may even begin to take it for granted.    In contrast, in part one; we discussed the current “Dirty City Water” Internet experience that most Americans are accustomed to. In short; you have been sold Internet speeds that are not really speeds at all but rather capacity, on an oversubscribed network.  Speeds that are asymmetrical, transmitting over antiquated wiring technology, first used 100 years ago. You have “hired” yourself to configure your network, trying desperately to fend off dirty data and professional hackers with an over-the-counter router. You call for support and reach your, “not-so friendly” monopolistic ISP who has no financial incentive to improve the situation. For an “arm-and-a-leg” they promise they will give it their “best effort”; however they seem to be having a hard enough time fix......
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Get Ready Multifamily, It's Time for Generation Z

Yes, it’s true. . . just when we were getting the hang of Millennials, Generation Z is upon us. To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of the multifamily industry is the broad range of our clientele across the generations. Where else do you serve such a diverse group of target customers with something so personal and primal as the very home and community in which they live? With each new generation we face the challenge of blending what is important to the current generations we serve while simultaneously renewing our physical product and supporting services to attract and appeal to the new generation coming of age. Recently, I’ve spent some time researching the various statistics and opinions of what makes Generation Z unique and how that is expected to influence their behavior as consumers in the future. To that end, I offer the following few simple thoughts and takeaways of what it means for our industry to begin preparing now for what is to come. There are varying statistical references as to the precise makeup and definition of Generation Z. For the most part, it is agreed Gen Z consists of all those born in 1995 and thereafter. According to Forbes in 2015, this generation made up 25% of the U.S. population. They contribute an estimated excess of $44 billion to the economy and are further expected to grow to a full third of the U. S. population by 2020. This makes them a larger generation than both the Millennials and the Baby Boomers before them. As the first of Gen......
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