Category Archives: Property Management

All things concerned regarding property management

Arizona Ranks 3rd Among State-To-State Moves in 2011

The Most Common State-to-State Moves

Census Bureau just released state-to-state migration flow tables with 2011 American Community Survey estimates. The American Community Survey provides demographic, social, economic and housing statistics, including geographical mobility for every community across the nation every year.

U.S. Migration Map 2010 - 2011

The most common state-to-state moves in 2011 were:

  • New York to Florida: 59,288 movers
  • California to Texas: 58,992
  • California to Arizona: 49,635
  • Florida to Georgia: 42,666
  • New Jersey to New York: 41,450
  • New York to New Jersey: 40,815
  • California to Nevada: 40,114
  • Georgia to Florida: 38,658
  • California to Washington: 38,421
  • Texas to California: 37,087
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Landlord Quick Tip – Are You Liable If Tenant’s Friend Injured?

The answer is YES.

Most landlords are careful who they rent to, but it’s harder to manage a tenant’s guests. If those guests cause problems, like damaging the property or disturbing — even harming — other tenants, or if that guest is injured, the landlord often is the first to be blamed.

Give your guest policy a one-two punch:

First, make sure you have a provision in your lease that makes it clear the tenant — not the landlord — is liable for the actions of unruly guests.  This provision is often placed in the termination clause, allowing the landlord to evict a tenant who befriends the wrong people.  The guest must be required to follow all of the same house rules that tenants must follow.

Next, consider asking your tenants to carry renters insurance.  A special liability rider can be purchased which may pay if a tenant’s actions cause a guest’s injury.  With such a policy in place, the landlord becomes an unlikely target for a lawsuit.

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ARMLS RENT Check™ – Dec 17, 2012

Metro Phoenix Rental Market Snapshot

Median Lease $:  $1,095 vs $1,075 of Dec 2011
Average Lease $:  $1,237 vs $1,239 of Dec 2011
Avg. Days on Market:  44 vs 46 of Dec 2011
Rent Check Quotient™: 46% vs 40% of Dec 2011

Over the last 12 months, the rental market is very stable. However, there was some flucturation month-over-month yet the year-end numbers are lined up quite steady comparing to that of Dec 2011.

Looking forward, the rent will increase at the pace of 3-5% year-over-year depending on the area and condition of the properties.

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Landlord Quick Tip – Branching Out

When was the last time you had the trees around your rental property inspected?

Do any of your trees have branches that sprout no leaves? Cracks and holes and lean to one side strangely?

It may not always be so easy to spot a sick tree. The tree may appear to be healthy but harbor an unseen danger. A large number of tree- related injuries are from dead or hanging branches that fall at random. Be particularly careful with trees that have branches overhanging heavy pedestrian areas.  If there’s damage or an injury, the law will most likely hold you accountable. If you spot a tree you find suspect, have it evaluated in light of the tenant activity nearby.

Often the tree in question is worth keeping around, but sometimes removal is a safer bet.

Arborists generally recommend having a tree inspected every 1-3 years, but more often in times of extreme weather — like major windstorms, drought, or floods. Be aware that a big storm or monsoon may have cracked or broken some branches prematurely.

The difference between a sick and healthy tree is the same as adding value to your rental or creating a hazard and a lawsuit.

Although expensive, hiring a qualified arborist to look for all those cracks and dead limbs is a good safeguard against tree disasters. Doing your own tree work, or claiming to be a tree expert will likely increase your exposure in a legal battle.

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ARMLS RENT Check™ – Nov 19, 2012

Metro Phoenix Rental Market Snapshot

Median Lease $:  $1,100

Average Lease $:  $1,251

Avg. Days on Market:  44

Rent Check Quotient™:  43%

Elevated lease activity is stoked by high foreclosures, which turn home owners into renters, and investor sales into rentals rather than owner occupied. Low inventory also drives potential homeowners to rent rather than purchase.

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Landlord Quick Tip – Don’t Bug Me!

Over the past few years, the U.S. bed bug population has exploded. Regardless where the tenant brings them in from — a recent hotel visit, or maybe they’ve been carrying them from rental to rental, it becomes the new landlord’s responsibility to remove them.

Depending on the environment, bed bugs can live for approx 2 – 12 months without a warm blood meal. We have all heard rumors about where and with whom bed bugs decide to room up,  but the truth is bed bugs don’t know a dirty shanty from a luxury penthouse suite — they can live in either just fine if allowed to thrive.

To avoid an infestation, landlords may consider distributing a flier with the new lease package. It may warn tenants about things like leaving clutter on the floor or how storage areas become a suitable nesting ground.  Yet, a smart landlord will want more firepower for this pest situation.

The main type of pesticides used on bed bugs are “Pyrethroids.” These work in a similar way to DDT, and also similarly, bed bugs have become resistant to the poison. Fumigation and heat treatments are effective but can cost $1000′s. Products such as pyganic dust, and phantom aerosols are said to be rather effective, but usually – legally – require the consultation of an expert.

Don’t waste money on expensive pesticide applications: strong steam cleaning has been found far superior for bed bug removal and has better lasting effects. When a tenant vacates, give the unit a good vacuuming followed by a deep steam cleaning. Don’t just concentrate on the carpets. Bed bugs and their eggs lay in waiting in all sorts of little nooks and crannies.

An intensive vacuuming followed by steam cleaning the unit is a great way to ensure there are no bed bugs left behind from the time your tenant brought home that “cool” old couch from the thrift store.

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Landlord Quick Tip – Made In The Shade

Landlords know the benefit of double or even triple-paned glass for windows. But a landlord on a tight budget might consider an alternative to expensive window replacement: upgrade the window coverings.

This can provide some of the benefits of insulated glass, and can be installed onto an already existing window.

One option is solar shades, which can help regulate heat gain and loss, and allow for light to pass through to preserve the view. Another option, cellular shades, help insulate while providing privacy.

In addition to keeping tenants warmer this winter, this upgrade could increase both the appeal and the value of the rental property, especially now that more tenants are looking at energy efficiency when choosing their next place to lease.

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Landlord Quick Tip – End of the Lease

It’s easy to lose money when tenants move out.

Here are 3 ways to avoid costly move-out mistakes:

1. Do not agree to allow the tenants to apply the security deposit to last month’s rent. The fact that they are asking to do that is a sure sign that something is broken!

2. Do not allow the tenants to leave without walking through the property together, after all their stuff is out. Schedule a specific time and date a couple weeks in advance, and remind the tenant that you are coming through.

3. Do not move the next tenant in before you have recorded any damage that occurred from the last tenant.

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Landlord Quick Tip – Posting Ads

When posting ads online, it’s easier now, and more important than ever, to include photos.

More and more rental seekers are looking online to enjoy all of the options the Internet provides – maps of the area, lists of nearby services like schools and bus lines, and entertainment options.

Internet listings also allow renters the opportunity to compare properties side by side without having to leave the comfort of home or a cozy coffee shop.

When posting pictures, it’s important for landlords to include at least one exterior shot of the property. Prospective renters want to know what the front of the building or house looks like from the curb.

This photo will also offer clues about access and parking — both important factors to would-be renters.

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