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Pensacola Realty Masters Blog

Realty Masters is happy to present the following Pensacola area community and Pensacola real estate information! 

What is Renter's Insurance and How Much Does it Cost?
02-17-2020
Nicole St. Aubin
renters insurance
06-24-2020

Many renters are confused as to why they would need renter's insurance and surprised at how affordable renter's insurance can be, especially here in Florida! Renter's insurance protects more than just the landlord and your contents. 

Realtor Mitch Adcox sat down with Felicia from our local AllState to talk about Renter's Insurance. In the video below, we cover what renter's insurance includes, how it protects you, and what the typical cost for insurance is. 

We strongly suggest all of our renters secure insurance to protect yourself and your property. Additionally, remember that renter's insurance and homeowner's insurance do not cover flood losses unless you secure a separate flood insurance policy. Reach out to Allstate Insurance at (850) 479-3111 or your local insurance agent for more details and to obtain a quote today!

Realty Masters of Florida
#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing!
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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Florida Legislature is in Session
02-07-2020
Nicole St. Aubin
legislation
06-04-2020

florida legislation real estate bills

As we head into a 60-day session of the Florida legislature, both the Florida Realtors and Florida State Chapter of the National Association of Property Managers are keeping us informed of possible new legislation. Here's a few of the 2020 Legislative Bills we are watching concerning Florida real estate. 

HB 6069 Landlords & Tenants 
"Removes requirement that certain money can be paid into registry of court."

HB 6013 Rent Control Measures
"Deletes provision prohibiting specified local governments from adopting ordinances or rules imposing price controls upon certain business activities."

SB 1852 Landlords & Tenants 
"Revising the definition of the term “tenant”; providing requirements for rental agreements; requiring landlords to provide certain information with rental agreements; prohibiting a landlord from evicting a tenant or terminating a rental agreement because the tenant or the tenant’s minor child is a victim of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, or stalking, etc."

HB 321 Declared State of Emergency
"Prohibits specified service of process during declared state of emergency; provides immunity from liability for certain persons; tolls specified time periods for certain evictions; requires court to stay certain eviction proceedings."

HB 1449 Residential Tenancies

"Revises & provides requirements for rental agreements & landlords; removes option for landlord to deposit money into specified account; removes requirement money be paid into registry of court; authorizes filing of civil action & award of damages, court costs, & attorney fees; provides requirements for certain evictions; specifies what constitutes unreasonable rent increase; prohibits park owner from taking certain actions during pendency of dispute; increases payment homeowner may collect from Florida Mobile Home Relocation Corporation in certain situations; revises provisions relating to sale of mobile home park."

HB 209- Emotional Support Animals
"Prohibits discrimination in rental of dwelling to person with disability who has emotional support animal; prohibits landlord from requiring such person to pay extra compensation; authorizes landlord to request certain written documentation; prohibits falsification of written documentation or other misrepresentation; specifies person with disability is liable for damage done by emotional support animal; prohibits health care practitioner, as exclusive service to patient, from providing documentation for emotional support animal for fee." 

SB 1128  /  HB 1011- Vacation Rentals
"Preempts regulation of vacation rentals to the state; prohibits local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of vacation rentals; requires licenses issued by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously inside licensed establishment; preempts regulation of advertising platforms for vacation rentals to the state; provides requirements for advertising platforms."

HB 469 Real Estate Conveyances

"Provides that subscribing witnesses are not required to validate certain instruments conveying leasehold interest in real property."

HB 229 Swimming Pool Safety
"Requires home inspector to include certain information relating to swimming pools in his or her report; requires that new residential swimming pools meet additional requirement in order to pass final inspection & receive certificate of completion; requires that certain pool safety features meet specified standards; prohibits property owner from transferring ownership of parcel that includes swimming pool unless certain requirements are met; provides civil penalties rather than criminal penalties."

Want to follow along? The Florida Realtors Legislative Tracker allows us to review proposed bills and follow the status with   in-depth information here. With nearly 200 proposed bills that home some tie to real estate, we will surely see some results from this year's legislative session. Of course, we will keep you posted with legislation that passes as the year progresses.  

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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The Price You Pay- Maintenance Expenses
10-21-2019
Erica Parker
Maintenance Expenses
10-23-2019

maintenance expenses landlord article

When it comes to maintenance of rental properties and the many other expenses that come along with them, of course we would all love to spend the least amount of money as possible. It may make us feel like we are getting a larger return. But beware, there may be a bigger price to pay when you choose to pay the lower price!

If an appliance such as an AC or water heater were to break, it’s important to act quickly. While we want the tenant to be comfortable and back to normal in no time, we also want to be sure the repair is executed properly. Especially for those big ticket items, you would like the peace of mind that what you are paying is fair and reasonable. We all know that the only thing that should ever be ripped off is a band aid! Surprisingly, the amount of time it takes can also turn out to be just as expensive.

One issue that can cause a long repair response time is a home warranty. For example, an AC breaks in the middle of summer. A certain part is needed, but the home warranty cannot get that part for another ten days and after it finally comes in, it may be another two days before the appointment can be scheduled for installation. That is an unreasonable amount of time to make a tenant go without AC. Chances are, your tenant is going to want to stay somewhere else in the meantime. They may also seek reimbursement for their expenses along with a rent abatement. So, while you think you are only paying the minimal service fee to the home warranty, you may also end up losing a few hundred more dollars depending on the amount of rent and expenses you agree to credit. After that all adds up, it’s that likely you could have saved a bunch of time, hassle, and money had you chosen for a vendor outside of the warranty company to make the repair the same or next day, for $200 or less in most cases that we’ve seen. You keep a tenant happy as well!

Such an ordeal can leave a bitter taste in the tenant’s mouth. It may also be one of the main reasons they feel the need to vacate upon lease expiration which will result in a vacancy and additional turnover expenses. Was waiting the extended amount of time to try and save some money worth damaging your relationship with your tenant? Valuable time may also be wasted if you require multiple estimates for a repair. Two estimates can usually give you a good idea of what you can expect to fork out, but wanting to get three or four estimates not only increases the repair time, but also increases your tenant’s frustration.

Many factors contribute to the relationships we have with tenants. The most common feedback we get from tenants includes the condition of the properties they live in, communication, and maintenance request response times. We work every day to improve in all of those categories and we act as a liaison and at times, a mediator, between you and the tenant. While we represent you, we do make sure we are providing an objective outlook on all situations so things may be handled as quickly, efficiently, and as smoothly as possible. Just keep in mind that sometimes you may need to pay a little more to have a little less trouble with your tenant/landlord relationship.

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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Realty Masters Celebrates our 20 Year Anniversary!
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
20 Year Anniversary
07-16-2019

20 years ago, Pam Keen Brantley started a small real estate company in an office near Downtown Pensacola. Today, Pam and the Realty Masters family have grown the company to the largest single family property management company in the greater Pensacola area. Thank you for your fearless leadership, late nights, and never ending hustle for our team and clients.

We would like to thank all of our clients and especially our team members, past and present. A special thank you goes out to our veteran team members who have served our clients almost as long as Pam has!

20 Year Anniversary

A huge thank you to our clients, some of whom we have for the entire 20 years! We appreciate you so much. We are proud to be the largest property management company in the Pensacola area. Please reach out if we can be of assistanace. 

The Realty Masters of FL Team

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 

Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Sales Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #52B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 453-9220 www.RealtyMastersofFlorida.com

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originally posted 05-02-2018

Build your Credit while you Lease through Realty Masters
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Build Credit
06-24-2020

There are a number of ways to build your credit. The easiest way to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. Most, but not all, of your recurring bills are reported to the credit bureaus. Your credit cards, car loans, and personal loans are just a few of the items that appear on your credit reports. If you pay these bills as agreed and on time, your credit score will improve over time simply by making timely payments.

Unfortunately, a lot of the bills you pay timely each month are not reflected on your credit report unless you default on the payment and close the account owing money. For example, if you owe your cable provider money upon moving, they will file this on your credit report, but will not report the monthly payments paid on time. 

For most renters, this is the case. Landlords do not report your timely payments to the three major credit bureaus and only report collection accounts when renters owe funds above the security deposit after moving out. Why? Because most landlords don't have the resources to do so. 

Realty Masters is proud to be one of the only landlords in the greater Pensacola area that offers a payment platform which allows our residents to opt in to credit reporting. The partnership we formed with RentTrack in 2017 now allows our renters to build and improve their credit score simply by paying rent on time. 

Here's how it works:

  • You pay your rent online through RentTrack's portal. Read more here.
  • You opt into credit reporting!
  • You pay your rent before the 3rd of each month online.
  • Your credit score improves over the term of your lease! 
  • By the end of your lease, you will have a higher credit score which will allow you to 

Because rent is paid as one amount, RentTrack's portal only offers this credit advantage to one resident. If you are renting with roommates or other lease holders, it makes sense to choose the lease holder with the

If you have questions about the RentTrack program, give our office a call. 

For more information on building and understanding your credit score, read Credit Scores: What are they and how to see yours for free.

Realty Masters of FL

4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
(850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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originally posted 01-26-2018

The Right and Wrong Landlord Mindset
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Landlords
07-16-2019

Do you have the right mindset to be a landlord

It's important to have the right mindset in order to be a successful landlord. 

Recently, I have seen several stories online relating to violence between landlords and tenants. A tenant was stabbed in the Bronx; a landlord was killed in her house in Clearwater, Florida. It can be hard being a landlord, but it shouldn’t land you in a hospital, a jail, or a morgue.

In most cases, your tenants will rarely take as good of care of your property as you would. Your renters will not pay for maintenance costs willingly and they will most likely not properly prepare your property for the next resident. Your rental is going to have vacancy time and it will cost you money. It is very likely that you will have to pay for a very expensive repair at some point. These are the risks and challenges you accept when becoming a landlord.

When becoming a landlord you must have the right mindset to be accepting of these truths or the entire experience of being a landlord could drive you crazy.

If you go into being a landlord thinking, “I can find the over-achiever, grade A tenants every time!” you will probably be disappointed. 

Another idea new landlords have is, “I just want my property to look like it did when I lived there”, but this is not a realistic long-term approach to being a landlord unless you contribute to keeping it that way. You must put forth effort, money, and energy into maintaining or improving your properties. Landlord Tenant Law does not allow landlords to charge tenants for every cost required to turn over a property for a new tenant.  The majority of tenants will not do routine maintenance tasks such as pressure washing, small interior maintenance, or keeping up with the yard. 

Instead, realize that your tenants are not going to put forth the same effort you may have and incentivize them to do more by equally contributing to routine and preventative maintenance.

Be very appreciative of your excellent tenants.

  • The ones who pay rent on time, keep your place immaculate, plant flowers, and don’t complain or ask for a lot.
  • Send them a thank you card or mail them a small gift during the holidays. 
  • Thank them for preserving your property like you would have and for increasing the property value while they did.

Be appreciative of your good tenants.

  • The ones who paid a week late that one time when their car died, that don’t plant flowers, but that mow the yard timely.
  • The ones that don’t clean right when they move and the walls need a little touch up but everything is intact and well cared for. 
  • By occupying your rental property, they are helping you to gain equity, to keep your credit score up, and to save for retirement.

You can even be appreciative of the bad tenants.

  • Appreciate the ones who call every month with some new major issue because they’re not letting your house fall apart.
  • Appreciate the ones who move in the middle of the lease because they paid rent timely and voluntarily turned over keys so no eviction was necessary.
  • Be appreciative of the ones that stayed for five years even though they were so messy and Florida Landlord Tenant Law says you can’t charge them for fresh paint and new carpet.  Appreciate them because they have saved you months of vacancy costs over the years.

Look at being a landlord as being a small business owner. With revenue comes expeses. 

Routine and preventative maintenance is important for your rental investment and increases the value of your real estate asset. Properties with up-to-date features and in overall better condition will yield higher rents, be easier to maintain, and have less vacancy costs.  

  • Don’t be upset when your tenant calls in routine maintenance, be appreciative of the opportunity to increase the value of your long-term asset in smaller increments over time.
  • It will be a relief when the A/C repair only costs you $350 because it didn’t require a brand new inside and outside unit.
  • Be appreciative when the plumbing emergency doesn’t happen on a Sunday or a holiday and that it didn’t flood your downstairs.

Landlords who invest in real estate with the wrong mindset will constantly be disappointed with their tenants actions and will never appreciate the fact that another person is paying down their mortgage and helping them to build wealth with a real estate investment.

Do you have questions about becoming a landlord in the Pensacola, Florida area? Reach out to our team for honest advice on being a landlord.

Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate

Realty Masters of FL~ (850) 473-3983
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
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#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses 

originally posted 03-01-2017

Realty Masters Team at NARPM
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
NARPM
06-24-2020

The team at Realty Masters of FL traveled to Tampa for the 2016 Florida State NARPM Convention! Here's a quick wrap up video of our time at the Florida State NARPM Conference. 

The National Association of Residential Property Managers is the premier professional association for residential property managers.  We are proud NARPM Members and are anxiously awaiting future educational opportunities to better serve our Pensacola area property owners and renters. To find out more about NARPM, visit their website http://www.narpm.org/ or contact me directly if you are interested in becoming involved in the Pensacola Chapter of NARPM.  

Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate

Realty Masters of FL~ (850) 473-3983
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses & Apartments
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originally posted 09-27-2016

Landlords access to property
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Landlords
06-04-2020
  • What does Florida Landlord Tenant Law say about owners visiting their properties while the home is tenant occupied?

As a local landlord with or without a professional property manager, you may be required to visit your rental property regularly for inspections, maintenance, and showings. You may also just be in the area and inclined to drive by and check up on your tenants.  Before you do that, make sure you know and understand your state’s landlord tenant laws. 

For those Florida landlords who live close by their rental properties, here are the 2016 Florida Landlord and Tenant Statutes to consider.

“83.53 Landlord’s access to dwelling unit.—

(1) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit from time to time in order to inspect the premises; make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements; supply agreed services; or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

(2) The landlord may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the tenant and at a reasonable time for the purpose of repair of the premises. “Reasonable notice” for the purpose of repair is notice given at least 12 hours prior to the entry, and reasonable time for the purpose of repair shall be between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit when necessary for the further purposes set forth in subsection (1) under any of the following circumstances:

(a) With the consent of the tenant;

(b) In case of emergency;

 


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