Some landlords do not understand our policies in regards to releasing information on applicants when asking our owners to approve or deny marginal applicants. We want to explain this a litle better for our landlords.
As Equal Opportunity Housing Providers, our screening policies are designed so we are in compliance with the many government regulations we are required to adhere to. We are subject to several privacy laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Additionally, we believe in the principles of fair housing. Here's a few of the laws we are subject to:
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that details how consumer credit information can be collected, given out, and used.
- The Fair Housing Act prohibits the discrimination in housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
- The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because you get public assistance.
Often times, we are unable to communicate details that property owners would like us to about prospective applicants, as we are not allowed to release sensitive information to you regarding applicants. Common questions we get in opposition to Fair Housing Act include "How old are they?" and "Are they married?" We cannot answer these questions or any questions along these lines.
Tenants are not allowed to wave their right to privacy under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Because of these regulations, we are unable to give you a copy of the credit report (we can't even release it to the tenant!) or relay the exact credit score.
Both the FHA and the ECOA do not allow us to deny based off the type of income received. As long as the applicant meets the criteria outlined and the source of income is stable, the source is not a factor. That's why we aren't supposed to reveal what their income is.
As you can see, it get's really tricky in determining which information we can and cannot pass on to you, the homeowner, when approving or denying tenants. If the tenants meet all of our criteria, then we will approve them. If they do not, we will come to you for conditional approval or denial. If you don't feel comfortable making a decision off the information we limited information we are allowed to pass along, please feel free to deny the applicants and wait for someone qualified. In the lower rent apartments and homes, it is sometimes necessary to accept an under qualified applicants. In these instances, we already recommend a conditional approval with a double deposit.
Please let us know if you have any questions about this information!
Tips from our pest control vendors on how to reduce the number of bugs you have inside and around your home this year! When we reached out for advice, we found that most of the tips on how to keep bugs from coming inside involved reducing the habitats for bugs on the exterior of your property.
- Keep exterior lights off at night. Bugs are attracted to light. Turning off exterior lights at night can also keep termites away. You can purchase yellow insect lights which can deter insects.
- Do not keep standing water around the property. Certain items kept outside can cause water to pool and harbor mosquitoes. Moisture also attracts termites.
- Rake and remove all leaves around your property to drastically reduce the number of pests you have. Leaves from winter are a perfect habitat for roaches.
- Keep the grass short and well manicured as bugs are attracted to tall grass.
- Clogged gutters and downspouts can increase bug activity around your home so report any clogged gutters and remove any debris from downspouts.
- Check around the exterior for ant mounds and eliminate them before they come inside.
- Clean around entryways (doors and windows) to remove spider webs.
- Store items in plastic totes as opposed to cardboard boxes.
- When dealing with ant invasions, you can use white vinegar to neutralize the pheromone trail which will assist you in helping to eliminate them.
- One of the best things people with pets can do is have their pets on flea and tick prevention.
All insects are looking for food, water, and shelter. Eliminate these and you will be less likely to have a pest infestation. You're welcome to purchase your own pest control products or give a technician a call. The average price for a pest professional to come treat your property would be about $75. Prices range depending on size of property and frequency of desired visits as some vendors offer a discount for a quarterly pest control service. Reach out with any questions!
Pest Control Help
We have a lot of bugs and pests in this part of the world. If you are not from the area or used to this, this can cause great dissatisfaction this time of the year. If you want the assistance of a professional pest company to keep your property bug free, give one of these companies a call.
Bugmeister Household Termite & Pest
554-6952 Email Danny
Ham Pest Control- Travis
376-1523 Email Travis
Tombstone Pest Control
932-0977 Email Alan
Moving to the Pensacola area?
It's hard to get a good feel of a new community.
If you are moving to Pensacola, knowing and understanding Pensacola area zip codes will definitely help you with your move. Pensacola is located in Escambia County, Florida and includes the following areas of Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Cantonment, Beulah, Century and Molino.
Here's a quick infographic and rundown on Pensacola area zip codes to help you familiarize yourself with the Pensacola area.
Moving to the Pensacola area?
Let us know how we can help you with your move. Realty Masters has over 35 rentals available in the Pensacola area at any given time. Give us a call or view our available rentals here.
Realty Masters of FL
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
Temperatures will reach below freezing and may continue to remain below freezing through Friday of next week. Take precautions this weekend and keep your pipes protected for the coming week. Repeat these instructions anytime there is a freeze warning.
If you do not make precautions now, you will be without water and will be responsible for damages to the property caused by failure to protect your pipes. You must take these precautions to make sure your plumbing, sprinkler, and pool pipes do not freeze leaving you without water on New Years Day or throughout the coming week.
Here's Patty and Carlin with some advice on how to prepare your home for the freeze:
You must take the following precautions to ensure your pipes are protected:
1. Walk around your home and survey for any outdoor pipes. Any exposed pipes like sprinkler or pool pump pipes should also be covered to insulate it from the freezing temperatures. Simply cover them with towels, blankets, or insulation tape.
2. Leave an outdoor faucet dripping or better yet, wrap your outdoor faucets and/ or cover with insulation boots. The best bet is to wrap all of your outdoor faucets. Hop on YouTube for some solid ideas on how to install your insulation boot cover or to wrap your faucets with common household items.
Also, remember to remove any sprinkler hoses from your spigot.
3. Leave an indoor faucet dripping slightly to keep water flowing through the pipes.This relieves the excess pressure that can build up inside pipes during freezing weather.
4. Locate your water shut off valve in case a pipe does burst as water will need to be turned off at the main connection (usually at the meter in your yard close to the road). This is essential to know and easier to locate in a non-emergency situation.
5. Make sure your heater is on and set to at least 65 degrees.
6. If you have a sprinkler system or a pool, your sprinkler pipes and pool pump pipes must also be covered. If you have insulation tubing, that is best, but if not, cover your pipes completely with towels, blankets, newspaper, or insulation tape.
Nicole St. Aubin
Realty Masters of FL~ (850) 473-3983
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
As Realtors, we take safety and security at your home very seriously. That's why we reached out to Ashlee Carpenter, Vice President of Complete DKI, one of the leading property restoration companies in town, to bring you these Fire Prevention Tips. Watch Ashlee as she gives us several fire prevention tips to consider.
Ashlee warns us that statistics show 1 in 5 people will experience a house fire in their lifetime. Her quick tips today include:
1. Set a loud timer on your cell phone while you are cooking. Do not rely on your stove timer.
2. Check your holiday lights every year before using them. Make sure to read the safety instructions.
3. Keep atleast a 3 foot buffer around any space heaters you may be using. Do not let space heaters run while you are not home!
4. Have a fire safety plan and emergency plan for your family in the event you have a fire.
5. Inspect your smoke detectors every month! Make sure they are not expired (as they expire after 10 years) and that the batteries are working properly. We recommend upgrading to a 10 year tamper proof detector for maximum protection.
Complete DKI For more information on Complete DKI, visit their website at http://www.CompleteDKI for more prevention tips and to learn about their restoration services.
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses & Apartments
Are you moving, doing some serious holiday cleaning, or just need to get rid of some items?
There is an alternative if you're not into online marketplaces or don't think you have enough stuff for a good garage sale. How about donating your items to a local Pensacola area charity!
There are four main organizations in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties that support item donations and offer free pick up for these items! Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Salvation Army, and the Waterfront Rescue Mission.
Goodwill Industries offers local drop off and pick up from several bargain centers in the Pensacola area including one in Pace, Milton, and Gulf Breeze. Goodwill has 6 locations in the Pensacola area including 15 E Brent Lane, 5998 Mobile Hwy, 600 E Cervantes St., 4081 Olive Rd., 2 E Nine Mile Rd., and 2155 W Nine Mile Rd. Find the closest one to your home. They also just opened a new megastore at 1751 E. Olive Rd. in Pensacola, FL 32514.
What they accept: Household items, furniture, clothing, blankets, and much more!
What they don't accept: Items in non working condition with missing parts, items that are stained and torn, and items that have been recalled, banned, or do not meet safety standards.
What they do: Help people in our community build skills and find employment.
Local pick up and drop off for Pensacola items offered! Pensacola's Habitat for Humanity Resale Store location for drop off is 5810 North Palafox Place, Pensacola, FL 32503.
How to schedule a Pick up for Habitat for Humanity Restore: Call them at 850-476-0001 or schedule pick up online.
What they accept: Appliances no older than ten years, building materials of all kind, lighting, cabinetry, windows, hardware, furniture (no mattresses or stained,tears or pet damage), toys, musical instruments, filing cabinets, area rugs, cars, books, and other household items.
What they don't accept: Anything that doesn't work, needs a replacement part, is torn, has pet damage, or is soiled, and the following: Appliances more than 10 years old, dishwashers manufactured, microwaves over 5 years old, Automobile parts/ accessories, Baby items, Clothing/linens/bedding/drapes/bed pillows
Computers, printers, desks, Electronics, Fireplaces, Exercise equipment, Hazardous chemicals, Hospital Beds, Metal or plastic window blinds, Mirrored Doors or glass,
Pianos, Upholstered items with rips, stains, tears, and/or pet odors, Used Paint, Waterbeds, Water Heaters manufactured before Jan. 2014
What they do: Sell items to fund homeownership for hundreds in our local community!
Local pick up and drop off for Pensacola items offered! Pensacola's Salvation Army location is 3780 N. Davis Hwy, Pensacola, FL 32514. Call them at (850) 432-1943.
What they accept: Used matteresses with frame only. Clothes, vehicles, household items, appliances and furniture.
What they don't accept: Tube tvs or anything stained, ripped or damaged in any way.
What they do: Items are sold at Salvation Army Family Stores and help fund rehabilitation services.
Local pick up and drop off for Pensacola items offered! Pensacola's has several area Waterfront Rescue Mission Bargain Stores including one in Cantonment, Milton, and West Pensacola. The Pensacola Waterfront Rescue Mission recycling and donation center location is 388 West Herman St., Pensacola, FL 32505. Call them at (850) 607-8340 or schedule pick up online at http://www.pickupmydonation.com
What they accept: household items in good condition including clothing, furniture (no mattresses), appliances, lighting, lawn equipment, musical instruments, home decor, electronics (no tube TV’s of computer monitors), tools, toys, books, recyclable materials, and much more.
What they don't accept: Mattresses, water beds, tube tv's, non-working tv's or computers/monitors, expired foods, hot tubs, and furniture that is not safe or too heavy for their crew.
What they do: Provide resources and meals for homeless men, women, and children in the Pensacola area.
Our friends at Nelson's Appliance helped us with some quick appliance maintenance tips to keep your appliances running efficiently to kick off our new web series "One Minute Maintenance Tips." Take a minute and learn how to keep your appliances running smoother for longer.
The appliance maintenance tips are:
1. Use jet dry in your dishwasher.
2. Always wash your dishes.
3. Run your dishwasher twice a month.
4. Clean refigerator coils.
5. Use garbage disposal twice weekly.
If you have any appliance issues in the Pensacola area, contact Nelson's Appliance at (850) 572-5102 or visit them online at www.nelsonsappliancerepair.com
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Moving out of a Realty Masters Rental Property
We want all of our residents to receive a full security deposit return! We also want our residents to leave the house ready for the next resident.
Watch this video for tips on how you can receive a full security deposit refund in 15 days. Moving is hard- it takes a lot of time and proper planning. We understand how stressful the moving process!
Because we typically have residents moving in right after you vacate, it's important to plan your move and ensure you leave plenty of time to clean, have the carpets professionally cleaned, and have the lawn manicured. Florida Landlord Tenant Law and your lease agreement require these items to be done by the resident. If not completed, the law allows the owner to hire workers to complete the work and make a claim against your security deposit if we have proper documentation to support the claim.
Please consider how you would like to find a home when you are moving in and understand that if you do not leave the home in white glove clean condition, we will have to hire a cleaning service and make a charge against your deposit which can delay the return of your security deposit up to 45 days! Most residents do not clean as thoroughly as thoroughly as they would expect a home to be cleaned upon their move in. Because of this, we suggest hiring a cleaning service upon move out to ensure your deposit is not tied up due to minor cleaning charges.
Give us a call or email us with any questions you may have about moving out of a Realty Masters rental property in the greater Pensacola, Florida area. We are happy to explain the move out process and answer any questions you may have.
Realty Masters of FL~ (850) 473-3983
5 Tips for Pensacola Renters: Finding a home in a competitive market
- Do your research! Look up school districts, view all photos, walk down with street view on google maps, do a sex offender search. Read our blog here for more tips and websites to do research. If there is a real deal breaker, know about it in advance and don't waste everyone's time. Remember, a lot of the homes on the market are occupied so an appointment has to be arranged with a property manager and a current resident!
- Don't be so picky. I know, you want a fabulous house for as little as possible, we all do! With low availability, you can't be picky about
- Not all homes are brand new or just remodeled. If that's what you require, you will have a harder time finding a place and will have to act fast.
- Sure, East Hill is a great place to live but with only 5 rentals available in the area and a median price of $1,000 per month, it's nearly impossible to find a 3 bedroom 2 bath affordable rental in the area. Downtown is similar with very few available and the majority being smaller, older homes in outlying areas of Downtown.
- Gulf Breeze schools are among the highest rated; that's why there's less than 20 properties for rent in the area with only four rentals in Gulf Breeze Proper and nothing available on Pensacola Beach. The average rental rate in Gulf Breeze is currently $1,700.
- As we approach PCS season, we see limited availability especially nearby the back gate of Naval Air Station. Expand your search area.
- Come prepared! We see great applicants miss out on homes every day as we are getting multiple applications on the most desirable properties. Be flexible and available for open houses and showings. Be sure you have your deposit ready when you apply.
- Have a folder with the following documents ready for when you find the right house!
- Driver's license copy for all adults over 18 residing in the property
- Pay stubs or income verification for at least one month. Have all forms of income available and documented for each adult.
- Photos of any pets you may have
- Previous landlord information including phone and email address. Better yet, ask your current landlord for a letter of recommendation stating your rental rate, dates of residency, and contact information.
- Have a folder with the following documents ready for when you find the right house!
- Be weary of scams. Unfortunately, people like to take advantage of others when inventory is low. Never send your personal information via email or send money overseas without verifying. Craigslist scams are common and scammers are smart about their scams. They even create email addresses to mirror the actual owners name. This happens all the time so please be careful when leasing from owner, especially from out of state.
- Consider Purchasing. In 2011,the average rental rate was $960 per month. The average Pensacola rental is now over $120 more expensive per month representing a 13% increase in rents over the last four years. Interest rates are low. Talk to us about your options to own your own home! Unsure about whether you have the funds required to purchase? Look into first time home buyer bond and grant programs. If you want more information, contact our office or email me here.
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- Nicole St. Aubin
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