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Central Florida Property Management Blog

How to Take the Fear Out of Renting Your Property in Orlando Part 8 "Managing Maintenance"

Pamela McNab-Syvertson - Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Let’s face it one of the biggest hassles of being a landlord is ongoing maintenance requests, not to mention the additional cost of maintenance itself; however it simply cannot be avoided.  An investment property is a structure that is in constant contact with and being effected by living breathing organisms, in other words, the elements such as wind, rain, sun, plant matter, etc., so even if it weren’t ‘occupied’ by people living within and around it, it would still require upkeep to maintain it.  Some people really put their ‘head in the sand’ and don’t factor in maintenance as additional holding costs, like a mortgage, insurance, taxes, vacancies and HOA dues, but make no mistake you need to consider this expense and prepare for it.   Read More

How to Take the Fear Out of Renting Your Property in Orlando Part 7 "Being Consistent"

Pamela McNab-Syvertson - Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Consistency is the difference between failure and success.  Read More

How to Take the Fear Out of Renting Your Property in Orlando Part 6 Managing Your Tenants "Violations"

Pamela McNab-Syvertson - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Example:  You just received a threatening “Final Notice” from your Home Owner’s Association.   You need to remove plants/shrubs planted at your property that your HOA have deemed are ‘against the rules and regulations and are an HOA violation’.  What?  What’s going on – you don’t know anything about this... 

You do some investigating and find that your tenants have indeed planted plants/shrubs at your property that have not been approved by the ARC (architectural review committee).   Of course they never checked with you either.  They’ve been great tenants and from their prospective they were just ‘sprucing’ up the environment.    Not only that, but ‘they spent their own money buying the plants and their time installing them to improve the looks of the property that they live in.’

Unfortunately you now have to act in order not to be fined by the HOA as per their covenants, as well as explain to the tenants that they have to reverse their ‘handy-work’ and return the property to the condition it was in prior to their ‘landscaping improvements’.  This will also mean of course that the tenants will have to physically make the changes, as well as eat the cost of the plants they purchased and that they so lovingly planted.   Needless to say, your tenants are not happy.

This is a sticky situation to say the least.  They say ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’; in property management this should be your mantra. 

You should ensure that your lease is very specific when it comes to your tenant’s responsibility regarding following the HOA rules and regulations.  This means that you will need to provide them with a copy of the rules and regulations, and you’ll need to make sure they’re up to date.  The lease should also be clear that it is the tenant’s obligation to fully comply, at their expense, even if they inadvertently break the HOA rules and regulations. 

You should have a system in place to deal with this type of situation if it does happen.  You need to make sure to have good, open communication with your tenant, which is built on mutual respect.  You will need to be able to let the tenants know with authority that they must remedy the situation, show them the covenant in the lease that states this is their full obligation and have a fee based penalty in the lease should they not comply in a timely manner.  It is best to provide them the notice, give them a time frame to comply and require a date stamped picture of the compliance for your records and to forward on to the HOA.

Remember to inform your tenants up front about the HOA and how strict they are; that they are required to ask your permission before any changes are ever made at the property, no matter how slight they may seem.  Further the lease should be very specific that they are obligated to comply with all HOA rules and regulations.  This policy will help avoid any unnecessary problems between you, your tenants and the HOA.  

Click Here for Part 7 in this series –   "Being Consistent"

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