Pensacola Realty Masters Blog
Realty Masters is happy to present the following Pensacola area community and Pensacola real estate information!
It seems like every month we are discussing what normal wear and tear is and what is considered tenant caused damage. We strive to be fair with both our owners and tenants so we are always doing our research to make sure our standards are on track with others. Most recently we have compared our guidelines to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that “the costs an owner incurs for the basic cleaning and repairing of such items necessary to make a unit ready for occupancy by the next tenant are part of the costs of doing business.”
Some items HUD identifies normal wear and tear are
- Fading, peeling, cracked paint
- Small chips in the plaster
- Nail holes, pinholes, cracks in walls
- Door sticking from humidity
- Carpet faded or worn from walking
- Partially clogged sinks caused by aging pipes
- Dirty or faded lamp or window shades
Tenant caused damages usually cost more to fix and go beyond normal wear and tear items likely a result of a tenants' negligence or abuse.
Some examples from HUD are:
- Gaping holes in walls or plaster
- Chipped or gouged wood floors
- Doors ripped of hinges
- Holes, stains or burns in the carpet
- Clogged or damaged toilet from improper use
- Torn, stained, or missing lamp and window shades
See the attached HUD document and review Appendix 5C and 5D for more information on normal wear and tear as well as a sample life expectancy chart.
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!
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.
20 years ago, Pam Keen 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!
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
originally posted 05-02-2018
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.
originally posted 03-01-2017
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.
originally posted 09-27-2016
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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