Besides shelter, your rental property should keep your tenants secure. Read on to learn how to improve the safety of your rental.
We all want to live in a safe place, but as a landlord, you are also responsible for maintaining the safety of someone else's home. You also have an obligation to protect your business's valuable assets. You have a legal responsibility to take reasonable precautions to keep your tenants' homes secure because a break-in is upsetting for everyone involved, especially in the case of furnished dwellings. Although it's unsettling to think about, burglaries do happen to people, and ignoring security concerns won't make things better. In order to improve the safety of your rental, you don't have to break the bank, and there are many options available.
Secure the door
What is the most important thing you provide to ensure the security of your tenants? If the exterior doors of your building are not secured, burglars and other unwanted guests will have easy access to your tenants and their belongings. Make sure the door locks are working, and the doors are closing properly.
Deadbolts are a more robust security measure than a doorknob lock alone. It could be a good idea to place a peephole in the door, so your tenants can see who is knocking.
Keep the windows secure
Rental homes may have multiple entry points, including windows. If the windows aren't locked, burglars might easily break into the apartment, especially if it's on the ground floor or second floor.
Make sure that all of the locks on your windows are fully operational and in good condition. Add window bars for your tenants' peace of mind. It's possible that some people will turn down your offer just because of how they look.
Set up smart locks
Smart locks require tenants to enter a PIN to enter their homes. Some people want a key fob in addition to the code for further security. These smart door locks are useful for evicting tenants when their lease is up. To prevent the previous tenants from entering, update the code.
If you frequently lose your keys as a renter, this is a great solution. They need only learn the code once to never be shut out again. You'll also benefit from this excellent news because you won't need to employ a locksmith or grant them entry to your property.
Add to or improve the lighting
Having adequate lighting is a simple way to improve the safety of your rental. Safer pathways and more aesthetic outdoor areas are two benefits you can reap from installing automatic lighting. Having a safe rental will usually retain your tenants longer. Look around the rental property after dark to see if there are any areas that could benefit from extra light. Make sure there is sufficient lighting around your home to see everything on the property, even if your tenants don't turn on their outdoor lights. Pathway lighting will ensure the safety of residents walking to and from their homes after dark, and floodlights are an excellent option for lighting the sides of a structure. Think about installing solar panels to cut down on your monthly energy bills.
Set up surveillance cameras
Formerly prohibitively expensive security camera installations are now more affordable for homeowners, giving you and your tenants more peace of mind. Tenants are prohibited from installing security cameras inside their unit, although they can be used to monitor the front door, stairwells, and back of the building. Because of this, cameras are effective even when they are not actively recording.
Establish a safety system
A security system is an expensive investment, but it will help you feel protected in your own home. You can find a security system that fits your needs and budget since there are several options to choose from. You also have the option of choosing a home security company. As there are many of them to choose from, you should find an adequate solution to your problems and needs. Door and window sensors, smoke detectors, and motion-detecting lights are all essential components of a comprehensive security system, so keep those in mind while you shop.
DIY security devices are convenient since you can easily set them up and access them from afar. As long as you're connected to the device, probably through an app on your smartphone, you'll be able to use it. Monitoring costs are usually not too high on a monthly basis, although some tenants may be willing to pay more for peace of mind.
Make exit points accessible
One easy way to deter unwanted visitors is to maintain a spotless entrance and exit to your rental home. Trim massive bushes, so they don't block the view of your house from the street. If you're worried about potential criminal activity, you might want to install surveillance cameras at the entrances and exits of your property. By keeping all exits and entryways unobstructed, we ensured that first responders could get to the scene quickly and residents could get out safely.
Employ the services of a property manager
Hiring a property manager can give you peace of mind whether your building is empty or occupied because they will be responsible for the building's upkeep and security while you are away. Experts at consumeroponion.org suggest that you look for different providers and services online. A property manager can help with issues like maintenance, problem-solving, and security if you are unable to be physically present at the rental property.
If you want to make sure your rental property is in good shape and improve the safety of your rental, you can ask the property manager to do random inspections on the tenants. They might even show up when the place is deserted to send a message to would-be burglars that someone is keeping an eye on things and using the space.
At the end of a lease, collect all keys
Never allow your renters to leave with the keys to your rental property after they have moved out. While your renters may have been reliable and pleasant, you never want extra keys lying around.
You never know where the keys will wind up. When your renters leave, meet with them to inspect the unit and hand over the keys. It may take a few hours out of your day, but it will significantly improve the safety of your rental.
Learn about the questions to ask when viewing a rental property so you can ensure that you rent the best possible home for you and your family!
Finding a home is a tiring and challenging task. Even if you rent a property, it is still a place where you will spend a part of your life. So, naturally, you want it to be perfect for your wants and needs. To help you find one such place, here are some questions to ask when viewing a rental property.
How and when should I pay rent?
Different landlords have different preferences when it comes to paying rent. This is why one of the most important questions to ask a prospective landlord is how they expect you to pay and when. After all, it makes a difference. If your landlord expects the rent on the fifth of every month, it will affect how you budget your money until the end of the month. If you need to pay your rent around the thirtieth, when you typically have the least amount of cash on hand, you have to plan before it. Similarly, some landlords like to get cash in person and might visit or require you to visit them. While some prefer you transfer the money to them online.
Can I expect the rent to change?
Asking whether the rent will change in the future is essential, especially if you plan to live somewhere long-term. Living in a 'perfect' apartment for a couple of months only to have your rent nearly double all of a sudden is the worst. If you can't afford the new price, you might need to move out in a hurry. This is why a wise sub-question is: Will you inform me at least a month or two of your decision before you change the rent?
How much are the utilities?
Sometimes, you come across a place for rent that seems like it’s come straight out of your dreams. The property is beautiful, the rooms amazingly organized, and the furniture and appliances in top condition. Even the rent might be low! You rent it out quickly and live your life in bliss for a month. And then you get hit by the sky-high utility bills. Another intelligent question in the same vein is whether there are any outstanding utility debts because they can either land on your head or increase the cost of your utilities.
Will you help with any repairs?
Knowing who is responsible for what is critical when trying to find your ideal rental. If an appliance breaks down, can you count on your landlord to replace it? What about if a leak suddenly pops up in your bathroom? Or if there is a problem with the roof? If you do not clarify such things beforehand, you might have to spend a lot more money than you originally planned to.
Can I freely decorate?
Everyone wants to feel at home in the place they're renting, and there are many things to do after moving that can help them feel that way, from unpacking and cleaning to decorating. It's important to focus on these steps and make your rental feel like home, but be careful with decorating. Some landlords do not like it when you make too many changes. So, make sure to clarify how far you can go.
Do you allow pets?
Do not assume that just because your landlord hasn't explicitly told you that you couldn't keep a pet, you can do it. The subject might not even come up unless you bring a pet to viewing. And if you get a pet or already own one, you may be in trouble if you haven't discussed it with your landlord. If you want to find the best possible rental property for you, one of the most important questions to ask when viewing a rental property is whether or not pets are allowed.
How often will you visit?
Some landlords like to make sure their property is well looked after. Some, however, take this too far and pop in to check on you every other week. If this is something that would make you uncomfortable, then you need to check with your potential landlord and figure out how often they are planning to make visits.
Have you had infestations before?
Among questions to ask when viewing a rental property, asking about previous infestations in a rental is often overlooked. This is a mistake, especially if you are looking for an apartment. Just because you've called in exterminators in apartment buildings doesn't mean your neighbors have. And if they have declined to do it, the infestation will repeat itself frequently. Not to mention that taking care of an infestation might require you to move out and take your things with you temporarily. Disassembling furniture when moving to make it easier to transport is a hassle. Let alone finding a temporary place to stay. So, it may be best to pass up on such apartments.
How new are the appliances?
You might think it's not polite to ask about the age of appliances in a furnished apartment viewing. However, this is a crucial question if your landlord has made it clear that you will need to take care of replacements or repairs. Even if the landlord pays, it will still be a pain if things break down often.
Have neighbors caused problems before?
If there is one thing that can make life a living hell, it's terrible neighbors. One of the important questions to ask when viewing a rental property is whether there have been problems with the neighbors in the past. If the landlord admits to having had problems, or if they get dodgy with their answers, pass up the property. Of course, the landlord, not living on the property themselves, might not know enough to comment on this. So, one of the things to remember when moving out of your rental apartment, if you want to be extra nice, is to leave your contact info so prospective tenants can consult you about your experiences.
Now that you are familiar with the questions to ask when viewing a rental property, the only thing left is to be patient. Never rush into renting a place because it seems nice or because it’s cheap. Sometimes, paying a little more is worth it in the long run. And even the prettiest of rentals might be hiding serious problems.
Renting comes with many advantages, but the freedom to customize your living space according to your needs and preferences certainly isn't one of them. When a hefty safety deposit and a strict lease agreement are watching your every move, turning a rental into a home becomes a much more daunting task. Still, there is no reason to despair, even if you are still not ready to upgrade from tenant to homeowner. There are many budget-friendly ways to personalize your rental home that won't aggravate your landlord or your wallet. Stay tuned to see what they are.
Add some color to the walls
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for transforming your living space. Owners typically opt for white or other neutral shades because they are universal and easy to paint over in between tenants. If this is too dull for your taste, you can always kindly ask your landlord to switch things up. If they are not too keen on the idea, offer to repaint the walls in the original color before the time comes to move out. Yes, this will be an extra expense you will need to account for, but since there are moving services for different needs and budgets available, you should be able to make an affordable plan without sacrificing anything.
Create an accent wall with removable wallpaper
This list of budget-friendly ways to personalize your rental home can't go without wallpaper. Removable wallpaper is a fantastic way to bring some color and style into your living space. There is a variety of colors, patterns, and even textures to choose from, so finding something that matches your taste shouldn't be an issue. You can even use it to upgrade the bathroom! Just be very careful when removing it if you want to get your security deposit back. If you chip or damage the walls, end-of-tenancy cleaning won't be your only issue when you decide to move.
Upgrade the lighting
Lighting plays an essential role in interior design. However, rentals usually cover only the bare necessities when it comes to illumination, be it natural or artificial. Luckily, addressing this issue is neither hard nor expensive.
You can find beautiful lamps and lighting fixtures on various online marketplaces and thrift stores for ridiculously low amounts of money. LED strip lights are an excellent solution for task lighting in the kitchen or bathroom. When it comes to wall and ceiling fixtures, you can opt for pendant lights that you can customize and arrange according to your liking if you are not allowed to install more.
Additionally, make sure to remove or replace your blinds and add airy curtains that will allow more sunlight into your living space.
Replace the hardware
Door knobs and cabinet pulls might seem insignificant, but they can really help you personalize your rental home. You can find cheap hardware online. The fact that replacing it requires minimal effort makes this trick even more attractive. Just make sure to store the original knobs, handles, and pulls in a safe place to avoid losing them.
Add a removable backsplash to your kitchen
Rarely will you find a rental with a kitchen backsplash that is just according to your liking. Luckily, you can easily address this with a removable backsplash. It will protect the walls from accidental spills and splashes and make the move-out cleaning significantly more manageable. Moreover, since it is so cheap, you can simply replace it once you get bored of the pattern.
Upgrade appliances and cabinets with contact paper
While there probably isn't much you can do about the appliances and cabinets in your rental, there are ways to make them look a bit more presentable. Contact paper! Simply clean and dry the surface you want to cover and carefully stick the paper to avoid air bubbles and creases. If you take your time with this, you might even convince your friends that you finally got that expensive stainless-steel fridge! When the time comes to move, simply remove the contact paper and no one will ever know.
Cover ugly flooring with area rugs
Since flooring isn't exactly cheap or easy to fix or replace, landlords typically don't address them unless absolutely necessary. As a result, many rentals have less than stellar floors that really affect the home's vibe. If this is the case with your apartment - there is no reason to panic! Area rugs can be a cheap and easy fix for this issue. Layer different sizes, colors, and shapes to cover the ugly spots and add a dose of coziness to your living space.
Personalize your rental home with plants
When it comes to home decor, plants are always an excellent choice. They are affordable, versatile, and capable of brightening up even the dreariest of places.
If you don't have much experience keeping them alive, know that many low-maintenance options thrive on neglect. Make sure to choose the plants that can survive with the conditions you will provide them. This means that succulents are probably not an ideal choice if your rental doesn't get much sunlight. Additionally, put your green friends in some cool planters, and place them on your shelves, hang them, or even use them to cover up the eyesores.
Don’t assume you can’t change anything
While there are many budget-friendly ways to personalize your rental home, they might not be enough for you. If you have more complex ideas in mind, don't just assume that you can do nothing about them. It's true that most landlords aren't big on allowing their tenants to make significant changes, but that might not be the case with your landlord. A kind approach, alongside responsible tenant behavior, could be enough to persuade the owner to loosen up the rules. Remember to be realistic about your demands and always offer to return the property to its previous condition. However, if your landlord won't budge and you simply don't feel at home in the rental - don't despair. There are many properties out there, and, with a bit of help, you will surely manage to find something that satisfies your needs and wishes.
The life of a tenant comes with many caveats. Besides needing to find a place you like, you’ll also have to deal with the landlord or property management company. If you have a pet, finding a suitable rental property can be a bit more challenging. It goes without saying that not every landlord is going to be thrilled with the prospect that you’ll be bringing a pet with you. Thankfully, we will give you tips for renting with pets, which will make the whole process a lot easier.
Consult with the landlord
Obviously, the first thing you will need to do is consult with the landlord. Be direct and find out if the apartment you are interested in is pet-friendly. Some places with a “no pets allowed” policy may be open for discussion, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. The worst thing that can happen is that you get declined, which will just bring you back to square one.
It is of utmost importance that you do not lie to the landlord or try to hide your pet. When they perform a property inspection, they are bound to find pet hair, chew toys, and pet food. Hiding your pet can just land you in trouble and get you kicked out of the apartment. Don’t even think you will be able to fool a seasoned landlord. They are always on the lookout for tenant scams, so you should steer away from any illegal or suspicious activity.
Choose a home with your pet in mind
A small, one-bedroom apartment isn’t the greatest environment for a dog. Try to find something more suitable for your pet, and have their needs in mind when browsing property listings. Depending on the type and size of your pet, you may want to rent something with a spare room, a balcony, or a yard.
Also, consider what the neighborhood is like. Look for an area with a nearby park or perhaps good trails where you can go for walks together. Before moving, check to see if there is a local vet in the area and contact them to see if they can care for your pet.
Get references from your previous landlordIf you have already rented a place with the same pet you have now, you can ask your old landlord for a reference. This is especially helpful if your pet is well behaved and left a good impression on them. The landlord-tenant relationship is something you need to nurture, and it can be mutually beneficial. When moving out of a rental property, make sure to repair any damage your pet may have caused even before the property manager asks you to do it. If your previous landlord can mention that both you and your pet behave responsibly, that can go a long way towards convincing the new property owner to give your pet a pass.
Gather documentation and introduce your pet
Besides all the regular paperwork you will need when renting a home, you should also create a dedicated pet-paperwork folder. Have all the vaccination and neutering information from your vet readily available. You can also include your vet's phone number, since they can also serve as a reference for your pet. Compose a short bio for your pet, where you can mention their breed, hygiene, and overall habits. Always include your pet's resume with your own when inquiring about an apartment. After all, you are going to be roommates together. If you are going to have an in-person meeting with the new landlord, make sure to bring your pet. This can be an excellent opportunity to show off that they are well behaved.
Be willing to negotiate
When discussing the lease agreement, you can offer an addendum to the lease. It can state that you are ready to cover any potential expenses which can come from the damage your pet may cause. When renting with pets, it's not uncommon for landlords to require you to pay an additional security deposit. Obviously, the best way to get it back is for you and your pet to be on your best behavior. Always clean up after your pet, and fix anything they damage to get your security deposit back.
Moving with pets
You will find that moving to a new home is a bit more complicated when pets are in the picture. We will go through some tips for renting with pets that will make your relocation a breeze. Pets can sometimes get even more stressed out about a move than humans, and what's worse is that they don't have good ways to express themselves. Here is what you can do:
If you don’t already have a pet
If you plan on getting a pet, don't just adopt one and assume that your landlord will be okay with you bringing them into the rental property. Talk to the landlord in advance and get their approval before bringing a pet into your home, and make sure you get it in writing. Adopting an animal without a formal okay will get you on the fast lane to getting evicted.
The bottom line
The main takeaway from our tips for renting with pets is that you should always be straightforward and direct. Inquiring about pets on the property should be one of the first talking points with the landlord. Of course, there are a few things you can do to set the odds in your favor. If you train your pet and make sure they are well behaved, renting with a pet shouldn't be a problem.
Flipping your first house is a thrilling undertaking. After putting in the hard work of choosing everything from the flooring to finding the perfect finishing decor, you should feel proud of your major accomplishment. Once you approach the end of your project, however, you are faced with one final decision: Sell the property or rent it out?
If you are torn between these two options, here are several important questions for you to consider.
How is the current housing market in your area?
One of the most significant factors in your decision to rent or sell should be the current housing market in your area. Do research to find out the following: Are home prices slumping, or are homes selling for a reasonable (or higher than normal) price? What is the current demand for rental properties in the area? What is the future outlook for home and rental prices?
Gathering data like this will help inform your decision. You can use this information to quickly assess whether renting or selling would bring you the highest profits. When it comes to flipping houses, knowledge is power.
Do you have the time to be a landlord?
For many individuals who flip houses, another major determining factor in renting or selling is the time they have available to dedicate toward being a landlord.
Landlords are responsible for the majority of repairs needed in a home or apartment. At a moment’s notice, you may need to replace electrical wiring, handle a plumbing emergency, or replace an appliance. Thankfully, those who don’t have the time to work as a landlord can hire an experienced property management company like Clark Real Estate. Property management companies handle most of the time-consuming duties involved in renting a property — including tenant screening, rent collection, and repairs.
If you instead opt to be the landlord of your property, ensure that you have plenty of extra funds saved. The cost of emergency repairs can quickly add up, so it is important to have enough in the bank to cover these expenses and that you work with qualified professionals to make repairs. For instance, if your rental property needs window repairs or replacement, you can find local contractors through Angi.com and view customer testimonials and feedback. Before hiring a service, insist that they’re licensed and insured and can provide you with referrals upon request.
What are your long-term financial goals?
If this is your first investment property, you may have not established long-term financial goals for this project. However, setting financial goals for yourself and for this property is critical in helping you decide how to move forward.
For example, are you looking to make a lump sum to reinvest into your business? This option makes the most sense if you are formally starting a career or side hustle as a house flipper. The cash that you will receive from the sale of your property will not only pay off any outstanding renovation bills, but it will also give you a large chunk of money to use on the next house you plan to flip. If you instead want this property to provide you with a stream of passive income, renting will always be the best choice. For as long as you desire, you can generate funds from this home with no extra work involved.
What do you plan on doing with any other fixer-uppers that you purchase?
Finally, consider your plans for any future fixer-uppers you plan to buy. Was this a one-time project, or are you planning to flip homes regularly? Do you want a mix of rental properties and ones that you decide to sell? Having this plan in mind will allow you to decide whether to rent or sell this current home and all future homes you purchase.
The finality of making the decision to rent or sell your fixer-upper can feel daunting. When you ask the right questions, and do plenty of research, you can rest assured that your final decision is the right one.
Clark Real Estate offers full-service property management services for property owners and investors in and around Reno. Call (775) 828-3355 to learn more!
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509