Francisco Nieves and his team will be at Booth 528 discussing the advantages, as Realtors, of joining NARPM and ensuring that if anyone is looking for
property management services they need to make sure they hire a member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers.
Francisco Nieves has not only been a member of NARPM since 1999, he as served as Member Director, Vice President and President of the local Orlando/Central
Florida Chapter of NARPM.
As managers of residential rental property in Orlando for 25 years who reside in Summerport, directly across the street from the newest school in west Orange County, Florida, we proudly welcome our community's latest addition.
Our RentCare Property Management & CT Homes Realty team attended the Windermere High School Open House event on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 and were amazed. As proud parents of future Wolverines, we know our children will learn at a great school.
Principal Douglas Guthrie told News 6, "The community wanted the school built for a long time. Now its here; it's a beautiful campus. We are up to date with all technology, the buildings are absolutely gorgeous inside and out, the landscaping, the athletic fields, we're just very excited."
Our team had a great time at the event and put together a little video (above).
When landlords make mistakes, it’s often because they don’t know or understand what’s required of them and their rental properties. There are five specific things that landlords often don’t know about managing rental property in central Florida.
Fair Housing Laws
Fair housing issues are complex. You cannot discriminate against any protected class, including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap and familial status. Additionally, you cannot put special stipulations in your lease that might violate fair housing laws. For example, imposing excessive inspections on a property where a tenant in a wheelchair lives can be a violation. Restricting the hours for which children can use the pool is also contrary to fair housing protections.
Many landlords are not aware that service animals are not pets. They are considered a prescription or a medical device. You cannot ask questions or restrict the type of animals that tenants use as service animals. This is a big controversy, but you must be aware of it.
Use licensed and insured vendors to make all of the repairs at your rental property. If you’re doing the work yourself, you are opening yourself up to lots of liability. If you do something wrong that causes harm to your tenant, you’ll find yourself in trouble. Your lease should reflect all of the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to maintenance. The tenant has rights and can serve you a notice giving you seven days to solve a maintenance problem. If you don’t, they will have the right to cancel the lease. This can be very expensive for you.
The security deposit can often be a problem for landlords if they don’t understand the law. If you live out of state or out of the country, the security deposit you collect has to be kept in a Florida financial institution. You are not legally permitted to change the locks or turn off the water when a tenant doesn’t pay rent. Make sure you know what to do in cases that the tenant does not comply with the lease. Sometimes, you have a tenant who gets divorced and you release one of the parties from the lease. At the end of the lease, that spouse could come back and wants the security deposit. What will you do if you already returned it to the other person?
Landlords need to know how to screen tenants properly. You’ll need to look at credit and criminal reports and search for past evictions. Verify employment and talk to former landlords so you know how they paid rent in the past and whether they maintained the property. Investigate all prospective tenants thoroughly. Look at social media, the FBIs most wanted list and the sexual predator registry.
If you’re thinking about managing your own rental property in Orlando, there are several things you need to consider. We always recommend that you work with a professional property management company in order to save yourself time, headaches and legal liability.
You need to think about whether you have the time to manage all of the activities that are involved in property management. You’ll need to prepare advertising, find the most effective places to advertise, take phone calls and show the property. Once you have applicants who are interested, you’ll need to screen tenants and then prepare the lease and conduct the walk through inspection. Then, you’ll need to collect the rent every month and deal with unexpected repairs and tenant issues. Think about whether you really want to handle enforcing the lease and chasing down the unexpected non-compliance issues involving tenants. You’ll need to spend some time planning maintenance and organizing maintenance records as well as cash flow accounting.
If you are going to manage your own rental property, you need to be up to date with the building codes and requirements. You need to understand the fair housing laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act. You also need to understand the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act and the Florida Landlord and Tenant Act. You need to know what you can and cannot do during the eviction process. If you’re not sure how to handle these things, you can find yourself in court.
Your insurance coverage has to be adequate to protect you against liability. It’s important that you know what you can allow your tenants to do and what they can’t do. You need to have the correct smoke detectors installed and a mold policy has to be included in your lease. Make sure you’re on top of pest control so you don’t have problems with bed bugs and termites. Staying up to date with habitability standards in Florida is essential.
Inspecting your rental property is an important way for you to check on its condition and to make sure that your tenants are following the terms of your lease. Many landlords ask us how often they should inspect. We recommend that you visit your property at least three or four times per year.
The most important inspection is the move-in inspection. You must document the exact condition of the property before you give it to the tenant. Make sure you take lots of pictures, video and document in writing every aspect of the property’s interior and exterior.
After your move-in inspection, you’ll want to do periodic inspections every quarter or six months. Visit the property, interview the tenant and make sure you take additional videos and pictures. Then you can assess any preventative maintenance that is necessary to avoid costly repairs in the future. Before the end of the lease, the tenant must give you a notice of renewal or non-renewal. If the tenant decides to stay in your property, go inspect it at that point. Make sure you look at how well the tenant has been caring for the home, and decide if you want the tenant to be there for another year.
The move-out inspection needs to be just as detailed as the inspection you conducted before the tenant moved in. Cover every aspect of the property, inside and outside. Take pictures, video and document in writing every single part of the house. The move-in and move-out inspections are what you’ll use to compare property condition. This will tell you if there is any damage that the tenant is responsible for.
Don’t forget to leave room for normal wear and tear. If there is damage, you have the right to claim it against the tenant’s security deposit.
Establishing a clear and consistent rent collection policy will help you avoid late rental payments and endless tenant excuses. There are a couple of
things you can do to ensure that your tenants understand the importance of paying rent on time.
The grace period is something that most landlords incorporate into their rent collection policies to allow tenants who cannot pay on the first of the
month to pay a day or two later without penalty. When you’re establishing a grace period, make it short and strict. Two or three days is usually the maximum
you want to allow with a grace period. Many landlords allow up to five days. Just remember that the longer you wait to collect rent from your tenants,
the longer it will take to remove a problem tenant. So make your grace period short and strict.
Penalties and consequences need to be included in a rental collection policy so tenants understand what will happen if rent is paid after the due date
and the grace period. Late fees should be firm but fair. In the State of Florida, they are not regulated, but judges do not like to see abuse. Don’t be
afraid to require a late fee, but make sure it’s fair and that you are consistent in collecting in.
Collecting Past Due Rent
There are several options available to landlords when tenants do not pay. These things should be included in your rent collection policy. You can send
the payment history to the credit bureaus, you can send the tenant to collections, and you can file for eviction and remove the nonpaying tenant. Ultimately,
you can sue the tenant for money owed and hope that someday they will pay that judgment. Tenants are human and they go through hard times like everyone
else. Be fair, strict, clear and consistent. With a good rent collection policy in place, you will avoid any financial and legal burdens. If you have any
question about collecting rent from delinquent tenants, please contact us at RentCare Property Management.
When you’re searching for a property management company in the Orlando area, there are several questions that will help you determine whether the company is a good fit for your needs.
How long have you been in business?
You want to make sure you are dealing with someone who has experience in the property management field.
Are you a NARPM member?
The National Association of Residential Property Managers is an organization dedicated to providing education and networking opportunities to property managers to enhance their careers. It also has a lot of resources that property managers can use to better serve their clients.
How many staff members do you have?
It’s important to understand the size of your property management company and what the roles of each team member will be. You don’t want to deal with a property manager who handles everything from maintenance to financial matters to compliance, leasing and advertising.
How do you determine rental price?
A knowledgeable property manager has the resources to find out how the market is performing in your area. You don’t want to price it too high or it will be on the market for too long. Vacancy can be an expensive problemfor landlords.
What services are included in your fees and what are the prices?
You don’t want any surprises, so make sure you get a look at the management contract and you know what you are paying for.
How do you screen tenants?
Anyone can pull a credit report, a criminal record and an eviction report. Your property manager should go above and beyond by doing employment references, landlord references and even checking social media and the FBI most wanted records.
How do you market properties?
Marketing does not mean sticking a sign in the yard and hoping for best. Your property manager has to handle advertising more professionally. The listings should be syndicated online and available on many different websites so more potential tenants will see it.
What is your maintenance policy?
Make sure you are informed of any emergency maintenance procedures. You also want to know whether you are contacted for approval on maintenance that goes above and beyond stated limits. Allowing property managers to make all decisions on maintenance is like handing the manager a blank check.
How do you communicate?
You want to be informed. Ask about how often they will communicate with you and make sure the communication policy is comfortable for you.
What are your compliance and collection processes?
You need to know what happens if a tenant doesn’t pay rent and how long it takes the property manager to evict. Find out how diligently they inspect the property and what they do to keep it maintained.
Not all property managers are equal. You must feel comfortable with the company you are dealing with and the people you hire. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at RentCare Property Management.
Property owners who need to move out of the Orlando area often assume they will need to sell their homes. But instead of selling, it might be a better idea to rent that property outto high quality tenants who will maintain it and pay rent every month. Here are some of the benefits you should consider before you sell your home:
When you rent your property out, you earn rental income. A few extra hundred dollars can be handy every month. This will be especially beneficial if you have a lot of equity in your property and you enjoy competitive loan terms on your mortgage.
Currently, home values are moving up and the expectation is that they will continue to climb at an accelerated rate. Home values did decrease in the early recession, but that’s why values are rising now. The real estate market is improving, and it makes sense to let those values go even higher before you sell.
Having a rental property on the market can give you valuable landlord experience. You’ll work with a property management team as well as your insurance carrier to make sure your home and your interests are protected during the tenancy. You’ll develop relationships with professionals who understand and appreciate your situation. It might inspire you to invest in additional real estate in the future. You can learn how to maintain homes better and improve your financial situation. Don’t forget to discuss the tax benefits of renting out your property with your accountant. You’ll be able to take several deductions at tax time.
Real estate can be an integral part of your retirement income. It provides a constant stream of income in your golden years, and you’ll also have a piece of property that can be passed onto your children if you choose to do that.
RentCare Property Management handles a variety of real estate investment needs in and around Orlando, and today we’re sharing some of the reasons that you should consider us to manage your rental property.
With more than 23 years of experience in the central Florida market, we have made many mistakes and learned from them. Now, we can help you avoid those same mistakes. We have seen changes in the market and changes in the law, and we stay up to date on all those new terms and regulations.
We are a full service real estate company, which means we help landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers. Whatever you need in the Orlando, Florida area – we can help you find it.
Getting certified and obtaining special designations in the property management field is important to us. We go to classes, conferences and meetings that further our education so we can be better property managers for our clients.
Our team is our number one resource. We have a staff of professionals who are always training to be efficient and provide excellence and service to all our clients. We work with professional vendors who are ready, willing and able to help us in an honest, affordable and available way.
From marketing to management, we take advantage of all available technology in order to manage your property more efficiently. We syndicate the advertisement of our properties on over 100 websites, and we use the MLS to reach tenants who may be represented by other real estate companies. We provide an owner portal which gives access to our clients 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can check in to look at your financials or see what’s happening with maintenance, inspections and special projects. Our technology also allows us to make fast rental payments to you.
We utilize advanced tools for communicating. You can reach us through chat rooms, texts, emails and access to your property management portal.
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