Property Management Blog
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Not all landlords know how to manage rental properties, and they could really benefit from professional Brevard property management. If you’re not sure whether or not you need professional help, we have 15 questions to ask yourself. Your answers will indicate whether you should hire a Brevard property manager.
How far do you live from your rental property?
How much experience do you have with maintenance and repairs?
Do you know the laws pertaining to your rental property?
How quickly can you show the property and get it rented to high quality tenants?
Do you understand the ins and outs of proper record keeping for tax purposes?
Are you available for emergencies 24 hours a day and 7 days a week?
Do you have licensed and insured vendors to maintain and care for your property during emergencies and everyday repairs?
Are you willing to confront tenants about late rent or complaints from neighbors?
Can you properly serve a Three Day Notice?
Do you know how to process a claim on a security deposit?
Do you know how to file an eviction?
Do you know the rules and laws that pertain to your municipality, as well as the regulations for your neighborhood HOA or COA?
Do you have access to the proper forms for applications, leases, and complaints?
Do you have a Florida bank account to hold the rent, and a separate account for the security deposit?
Do you know the Florida statutes that pertain to rental property?
These are a few of the things involved in managing an investment property in Florida. If you could not answer “yes” to all these questions, then you probably don’t know how to manage a rental property. Save yourself the stress and the liability that can come with expensive mistakes. Hire a Brevard property manager and make sure your income property performs well.
As you are looking for Brevard County property management, please contact us at Paradise Property Management.
Rental property maintenance plays a huge part in your success as a landlord. You have to take care of maintenance issues in a timely manner to ensure that the property remains safe and habitable for your tenant. Today, we’re talking about why it’s important to use a licensed contractor when you’re handling rental property repairs.
Avoiding Unlicensed Contractors
It’s always better for your property to hire a contractor who is experienced, licensed, insured, and able to perform high quality work at your property. Many landlords want to hire the cheapest contractors who have the lowest prices, but you have to ask yourself why those vendors are so cheap. Sometimes it’s because they are unlicensed, and uninsured. They likely lack workman’s compensation insurance as well. They won’t have any staff or working capital.
Protecting Your Rental Property
If the job goes sideways, unlicensed contractors will not be able to warranty their work. There’s also a huge risk involved. If the contractor gets hurt on your property or the tenant gets hurt, you can get sued and will probably be found liable since you hired that person.
Brevard Property Management
Most states require licensed contractors for many types of repair work. If your house was built prior to 1978, federal law requires special licensure for work on your property due to the lead paint that may be found in the house. When you don’t follow these requirements, you can face steep penalties. A professional property management company can help you avoid these dangers by working with the best contractors in the business.
Always look at hiring licensed contractors and insured contractors. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and expense in the long run. If you have any questions about property maintenance or Brevard County property management, please contact us at Paradise Property Management.
No one likes to go to court, especially for matters pertaining to your rental property, but sometimes it is unavoidable. As a landlord, you have a lot to worry about, including maintenance issues and legal requirements. We have some simple tips today that can help you avoid going to court and finding yourself involved in a landlord lawsuit.
Hire Qualified ContractorsHire qualified, licensed contractors who will provide high quality service and keep your tenants safe. If your property was built before 1978, the contractors you use must be licensed to work on that type of property. If you fail to make necessary repairs, you can face a lawsuit.
Perform Professional InspectionsHave your property inspected by a licensed property inspector. This will document the condition of your home prior to a tenant moving in, and you’ll receive photos and a written report.
Document EverythingDocumentation is critical. You never know when someone will say they called or emailed, but you have no record of that communication regarding a safety or habitability issue. Document everything with photos, and notes about when the tenant was notified, and who was called.
Update Your InsuranceInadequate insurance coverage can make or break you. Have a landlord policy that covers your rental property.
Legal RepresentationIt’s important that you know a good real estate attorney. This is someone who you can call with any legal question. Real estate attorneys can prepare your lease agreement and handle any tenant deficiencies or violations.
Professional Brevard Property ManagementHire a professional, licensed property manager. This will bring you the experience that you need to bring everything together. Your property manager should know all the local and state laws, as well as how to handle hiring and overseeing vendors. Your manager will find you the right insurance, get a lease prepared, work with HOAs, collect security deposits, and process rent.
Pay Attention to Fair HousingAvoid discriminating questions. You have to be careful what you ask prospective tenants. The Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from refusing to rent to tenants for discriminatory reasons. These include race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.
Security DepositSecurity deposit disputes are common, and you can avoid them by properly returning the tenant’s deposit. In Florida, you have 15 days to return a full deposit if you’re not withholding anything for damages. If you are charging the deposit, you have 30 days after move out to return the deposit with an itemized list of deductions. That accounting must be sent by certified mail to the tenant’s last known address.
If you have any questions about how to avoid landlord lawsuits or anything pertaining to Brevard property management and our services, please contact us at Paradise Property Management of Brevard.
Unauthorized animals can be a problem for your property and also create unnecessary liability for you as an owner. Today, we’re talking about how to handle these situations. No matter how hard you perform your due diligence as a landlord in Brevard County, sometimes a tenant will still manage to bring an unauthorized pet into the rental property.
Get the FactsFirst, find out what’s going on. You don’t want to listen to gossip, so gather the facts. This could be a deliberate lease violation, or perhaps your tenants just adopted a stray animal. Get as much information as you can before you take action.
Look for EvidenceDrive by the property unannounced and find out what you can see or hear. If you do notice an animal or evidence of an animal, try to take a picture. This will document your suspicion and support the next actions that you’ll need to take.
Send a Letter of Noncompliance with an opportunity to cure. This gives them seven days to get rid of the pet. After you have served this letter, go back to the property in a week to take notes on whether you see a pet as well as a photo. If the tenant fails to comply, you have a couple of options. You can let the pet stay in the house and require the tenant to sign a pet agreement, pay a deposit, and possibly pet rent as well. Or, you can post a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance without an opportunity to cure. In this case, you will be able to then file for eviction.Eviction may seem excessive, but if you don’t handle this lease violation properly, what will those tenants do next? Remember the adage: give them an inch they will take a mile. If you have any questions about what to do when a tenant has an unauthorized pet on premises or anything pertaining to Brevard property management, please feel free to contact us at Paradise Property Management of Brevard.
There are many reasons that you might evict your tenant. Perhaps they didn’t pay the rent or they violated the terms of the lease. For example, maybe they are subletting the place without your permission, they were found to have an unauthorized pet, or there could be noise complaints, drug activity or damage to your property.
Our recommendation is that if you are going to file an eviction, you take the proper legal steps. Don’t take the law into your own hands, or you can get yourself into trouble. Hire an attorney who specializes in evictions. They will file everything on your behalf and do it correctly.
An eviction in the central Florida area generally takes 45 days if it is uncontested. Some things that you never want to do during an eviction are:
- Change the locks on a tenant
- Turn off the utilities
Although these may sound like good ideas, they are not. On the day of the eviction, the sheriff will meet you at your property. At that point, you can change the locks and you’ll receive a Write of Possession, which means you now have your house back.
If you have any questions or you need help with an eviction, please contact us at Paradise Property Management of Brevard.
Many landlords ask if they should change the locks on their rental homes, and we always tell them to be very careful.
Changing Locks Between Tenants
We have a clause in our management agreement that states we change all locks between every tenant. This can be a liability issue if you don’t take care of it. You have no way of knowing who had access to that home during a tenancy. We keep a current key in our office that’s specially coded so no one would ever know which house it belongs to.
When Not to Change Locks
Something else you need to know is that you cannot change the locks on a property if a tenant is in the process of being evicted. It sounds like a great idea; they owe you rent and you want your property back, but changing the lock prematurely during an eviction can get you sued. You have to wait until the sheriff shows up with a final Writ of Possession from the courts. You also cannot change the locks after a tenant gives notice until every single resident has turned in the keys. Everyone needs to sign off that the key has been turned in and the property has been vacated.
Be careful. Changing the locks may seem harmless, but if you don’t do it correctly, you can get into a lot of trouble. If you have questions about this information, or you need help changing the locks properly at your rental home, please contact us at Paradise Property Management of Brevard.
Do I Have the Right Insurance for My Brevard Rental Property? Things to Consider Before Renting It Out
Today, we’re talking about why you need landlord insurance. If you’re a landlord renting out your property, you should have landlord insurance in place. This is also referred to as a Fire Dwelling Policy. The world is a very litigious place, and you want to make sure you protect yourself and your rental property.
You’ve heard the old saying that insurance is expensive until you need it. If you have a regular homeowner’s insurance policy and you don’t switch it to a Landlord Fire Dwelling policy when you rent out the property, the insurance company could deny coverage to you when you have a renter in the property.
Loss of Income
Make sure your policy also has loss of income coverage. This will cover loss of rental income if the tenant has to vacate the property due to it being uninhabitable. We had this happen during the hurricanes in 2004, so we know how valuable it can be. It came in handy for the owners.
Dangerous Dog Breeds
We also suggest that you don’t allow dangerous dog breeds when you’re putting together your pet policy. Most insurance companies will not cover them in your rental home. Some don’t cover dogs at all, so read your pet policy to be sure you understand what’s covered.
As a landlord, you can require your tenants to provide proof of renter’s insurance and pet insurance if you choose.
Think about hiring a professional property manager. We can help you understand what is going on in your marketplace and what landlords are doing to ensure they are successful and protected. If you have any questions about your insurance needs and requirements, please contact us at Paradise Property Management of Brevard. We’d be happy to help you.
Today we’re talking about PCS orders. Many landlords wonder what a PCS order is in reference to their rental homes, and what it means when a tenant gets an order. PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station. A soldier who gets this order will need to move to another location in order to continue serving.
Once a tenant provides that PCS order to us, we communicate it to you and then we are required to release the tenant from the lease with no penalty and no early termination fees. That’s a federal law. Tenants must still leave the property clean and undamaged. After the move out, we will go ahead and do a move out inspection.
If the tenant has made their payments in full and there has not been a record of late or missed payments, we’ll do a resident verification as if the tenant had completed the lease in full. We do everything we can to get the tenant moved out and then we begin marketing the property to find a new tenant.
If you need any additional information about PCS orders and how you might be affected, please contact us at Paradise Property Management of Brevard.
- It's All Right Here in Downtown Melbourne
- It Is All Right Here in Downtown Melbourne...
- Do I Need a Brevard Property Management Company? 15 Questions to Ask Yourself
- Why Unlicensed Contractors Are Bad for Your Brevard Rental Property
- Can Landlords Avoid Going to Court? Brevard Property Management Advice
- How to Deal with Unauthorized Pets in Rentals | Brevard Property Management
- Can I Evict a Tenant by Myself? Property Management Advice for Brevard Landlords
- Can I Change Locks on My Brevard Rental? Property Management Basics
- Do I Have the Right Insurance for My Brevard Rental Property? Things to Consider Before Renting It Out
- PCS Orders: How Do They Affect My Brevard County Rental Property?
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