INSTANT TENANT: WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOUR LANDLORD

If you are a tenant, your landlord has certain obligations. The rules and procedures vary depending on the type of tenancy you have and the state that you live in, but certain basic rules are always the same.

BASIC MOVE IN PROCEDURES

After paying your deposit and first month’s rental payment due, you should be able to move in your rental on the contract start date. Other monies such as a pet fee, prepaid last month’s rent, pro-rated rent, prepaid utilities or anything else that was agreed upon..may be due at this time as well. You should be given one set of keys and the property should be clean of any garbage or debris. The exterior lawn should in good condition (at least in the manner in which the landlord expects you to keep it) and the interior of the home should be clean and move in ready.  Any work that you and the landlord discusses should have been completed upon move in day (unless there was a later completion date that had been agreed upon in advance).
All of your essential appliances such as your water heater, stove and refrigerator should be in good working condition.  The home should be safe and all electrical plugs should be covered.  You can check these out during your walk through with your landlord on move in day to make sure. It may be a good idea to flush the toilet and check the shower and faucets too. A good landlord or Property Manager will provide you with a basic “move-in” sheet that will allow you to write down imperfections based on your first week observations of the rental unit. This will ensure that you are not charged for these imperfections upon move out. A basic example would be “cracked drywall in the closet”.

NOT DISTURBING TENANTS

Landlords may need access to the accommodation to inspect it and do repairs but they must let you live in your home without unnecessary interference. The landlord should give proper notice and arrange a suitable time if they need to visit. The amount of notice they have to give you may be set out in your agreement. It is typically within a 24 hr period.  They should also provide you with a suitable explanation or reason for the visit.  You can ask your landlord to stop entering your home without your permission if he or she is doing so. It may be classified as harassment if they persist. Some occasions are considered emergency situations, and a landlord may not have time to call you before he or she enters. This would include busted water pipes, roof failure, fire, etc.. In these circumstances, it would be reasonable for a landlord to enter without notice.

So to recap: A landlord can enter at a reasonable time after providing a 24 hr notice for things such as “basic” a/c maintenance, changing of an a/c filter and a yearly inspection of the interior.  Yet, by no means should their entry be an ongoing nuisance.

They are typically allowed to enter with a notice posted for a  pre-showing of your apt to a prospective tenant. However the latter is typically only allowed until “after” a tenant has given his/her notice to vacate.

Ultimately, a great landlord is attentive to any repairs or questions that you may have but one that respects your privacy is the best!

WISE UP: GET TO KNOW THE LAW

Sometimes questions arise as to what the basic expectations should be of a Florida Landlord…or in other words: Which party is responsible for what.

Many of the these items should be well described in your lease so there is no confusion when something breaks and as to who is responsible for fixing it. However BASIC items can be found in Chapter 83, Part 11 of the Florida Statutes where procedures are outlined for both the landlord and tenant. This brief summary is not intended for the purpose of legal advise.  For additional information not addressed in the blog, consumers should always refer to Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes which can be found online.

Section 83.51(2)(a), F.S.
The landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex (such as an apartment) shall, at all times of the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for extermination of rats, mice, ants and wood destroying organisms and bed bugs; locks and keys; clean and safe conditions of common areas; garbage removal and outside receptacles; and functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water and hot water.
This does not mean that the landlord is obligated to pay for utilities, water, fuel or garbage removal, although he/she may choose to do so.

MAY I MAKE A DEPOSIT PLEASE?

Please know where your money is going and how and when it should be returned to you if it were a deposit being held on a rental unit.  The landlord/management company is supposed to hold your deposit until you vacate and use it towards any damages. The rest should be returned to you. There may be provisions in your lease that allow a landlord to deduct a cleaning fee from your deposit once you leave. Be sure that you understand this before signing. Here are a few other “basic” points that may be of interest to you:

Section 83.49(a), F.S.
Upon vacating of the premises for termination of the lease:
If the landlord does not intend to impose a claim upon the security deposit, he/she must return your deposit within fifteen (15) days or,
Within thirty (30) days, he/she must give the tenant written notice of how much of the deposit will be kept and why. This must be done by certified mail, to the tenant’s last known mailing address.
If this notice is not sent as required within the thirty (30) day period, the landlord forfeits his/her right to impose a claim upon the deposit.

Christina Starmer

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INSTANT LANDLORD: 3 WAYS TO INCREASE THE RENTAL VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY

A FEW RENOVATIONS WILL GO A LONG WAY

The peak rental season is near and tenants like rental units that look updated. Many tenants have downsized in this economic climate but still have high standards of living.  By completing simple, low-cost renovations and minor improvements like painting the walls, updating a few light fixtures and replacing the faucets, the toilet and the electrical switch plates you can breathe new life into a dated rental unit and help attract and retain tenants, reducing your turnover costs.

IMPROVE YOUR PERSONAL SKILLS

Happy tenants are stable tenants. Like any customer-service based business, the better you are at providing great customer service, the more successful your business will be. Think of our tenants as your clients and you may start to see them in a different light. By responding quickly to maintenance requests, being courteous and presenting yourself in a professional manner (even when you get the dreaded 1 a.m. phone call) your tenants will respond by treating you with respect. Most importantly, respond to all maintenance requests quickly. If you take a day or two to respond, the tenant, will think they are being ignored. Take longer than a few days and you are bound to have a disgruntled tenant on your hand. People simply want to know that you care and that their concerns are being heard. They will be more likely to pay their rent on time, take care of their unit and stay put, all things that help to boost your bottom line.

KEEP UP WITH INFLATION

As easy as it sounds, many landlords do not take the time out to verify if they are receiving up to par rental rates. Many have not raised the rent for a few years because they are scared to lose their existing tenant.   If you aren’t bothering to increase your rent then you’re leaving money on the table as inflation of maintenance services, regular upkeep and overhead expenses eat away from your bottom line. You can simply check to see what the neighboring units are renting for or be sure that your Property Manager is doing a yearly analysis of rents when renewal time appears. While rent increases tend to be unpopular with tenants, most expect their property owners to charge current market value for their properties. Modest annual increases are more palatable to tenants than a large increase every other year.  And if you are maintaining the rental and responding to maintenance calls quickly, then higher rent can easily be justified with offering a high standard of living.

Christina Starmer

Welcome to family of tenants!

TENANTS…Welcome to our family of tenants! We want you to enjoy your stay with us and have tried to design a communication program to help us work in partnership together. In today’s fast moving world we think it is important to give you the tools to communicate with us at your convenience – not just ours.

From our website http://www.managemyrental.net/ you can let us know about maintenance issues you might have at any time or even pay your rent from the comfort of your living room. Rental payments are accepted at our office on Park Street, either in person or via mail, or you can pay via the web from this website.

Owner Video Testimonials

  • “She was an answer to prayer! She turned a potentially stressful situation for me into a great one. She was warm, friendly, thorough and understanding.”  Carterworks Client, Renter
  • “My agent was extremely helpful and friendly. After viewing a few properties with her you feel as though she is really trying to help you, not just doing her job.”  Apathy4alice Client, Renter
  • “Relocated from MN to FL. All my contact with her was by phone and fax. When I arrived, everything was PERFECT. She has done a wonderful job for me and I would HIGHLY recommend her to other.”  Sam.walls Client, Renter
  • “First Coast Rental Management is amazing! I had to make a long distance move to Jacksonville, and didn’t have a lot of time to find an apartment. My agent met me on a weekend, and was incredibly helpful as I tried to set everything up from 1,000 miles away. She made it so painless! Everyone should call them if they are moving to or in Jacksonville!”  -Kimberly Davidson (riverside)
  • “I wanted to take a moment out to thank you for all of your help. Your company was very professional and timely in locating a well qualified tenant for my home. It took so much stress off of my mind. I will definitely be calling on you again”  Mary W. (Mandarin)
  • I love my apartment!! It is super close to work ( I’m even biking it on some days ) and the community is full of things to do. Thanks again for helping me out so much- I will be recommending you and FCRM to my friends and definitely calling on you again if I ever have to move.”  -John H. (Avondale)

  • First coast rental management rocks!  -Nicole W. (Downtown)
  • “My dog and I are doing very well. Hope you can stop by one day and see what I’ve done to my perfect apartment. I love it here! thanks again for my move-in gift too. That was very thoughtful!”  -Sarah H and Abe-the dog (Southside)

View First Coast Rental Management’s Testimonial Videos & YouTube Channel!

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First Coast Rental Management Graded A on Better Business Bureau

http://www.bbb.org/north-east-florida/business-reviews/real-estate-rental-service/first-coast-rental-management-llc-in-jacksonville-fl-235961549/#reasonrating