Category Archives: Multi-family

Different Types of Shingles for Your Rental

condo-rentalIt’s important when considering having your roof redone on a rental property the different types of roofing shingles. You need to consult with a roofing contractor also to figure out which type of shingle will work best on your property along with the costs of installing the right type of shingle on your roof. Below is a list of commonly used shingles:

  • Asphalt shingles: These shingles are pretty inexpensive compared to other shingles. In addition, if you buy asphalt shingles which are coated, the Energy Star standard may be met, and you could get a rebate. The three-tab shingles are a little less expensive and are thinner than an architectural asphalt shingle. The life span of these shingles is about 20 to 30 years. The very expensive asphalt ones last longer than this. Additionally, there is an expense to disposing of asphalt shingles later when reroofing because they are oil based.
  • Tile shingles: These shingles are the most expensive shingles to buy and install. However, they are durable and long lasting; lasting up to 50 years. But some homes may not be able to support the support the weight of these shingles structurally according to the National Roofing Contractors Association.
  • Wood shingles: These are more expensive than the asphalt shingles, but usually are more aesthetically appealing. The natural hardwood shingles such as redwood or cedar should last up to 30 years and even up to 50 years in some instances. The runoff water from roofs shingled this way is the most environmentally friendly.
  • Slate shingles: These shingles have a life span of up to 50 years being extremely durable. The Northeastern portion of the United States favors these because the slate is quarried there. If your budget can’t afford real slate shingles though there are synthetic slate shingles with shorter life spans which are less expensive.
  • Ceramic roofing tile: This type of tile shingle can give your home character and is durable. The advances in the way the tiles are processed make the tiles fade resistant. These tiles are fireproof and last about 50-70 years. However, these tiles aren’t suitable for climates that have fluctuating weather. The cost to install this kind of roof is expensive.

Talk it over with your roofing contractor to see which shingles will work best with your building.

Fences and Rental Properties

Fences have a lot of uses for a rental property. It can provide the tenants of a multi-dwelling apartment with security, help keep children and pets safe and boost curb appeal. But choosing the right fence isn’t always easy without doing some research first. To help you choose the right fence, below are some different types of fencing and their uses:

  • Wooden fences: One of the reasons wooden fences are used is because they are inexpensive and attractive. Fences made from wooden slats are great for privacy also. Picket fences give protection without blocking out everything visually. Most wood fences are between 4-6 feet tall. They can be made bigger, but you need to make sure that they don’t contravene regulations on height if taller. Always checking on regulations is a safe bet.
  • Chain link fences: This type of fencing is durable and cost effective which offers great benefits for property owners. Because it’s flexible it can withstand different types of stress. The downside is that chain-link doesn’t provide much in the way of privacy. But if combined with landscaping or privacy slats, it is a viable option.
  • Wrought Iron fences: Wrought iron fencing is not only strong, but beautiful too because it comes in an assortment of designs. Additionally, this fencing can be customized for a one of a kind detailed beauty with an elegant and classic look. This is the perfect fence for property owners who are concerned about safety issues.
  • Aluminum fences: Aluminum fences have the look of iron, but not the price or the weight. It’s strong enough to close in an area without ruining the view too. Another benefit is that is can be installed on just about any type of property, even on steeper land grades.
  • Vinyl fences: Vinyl fencing has a sleek modern look which is durable. It comes in a range of textures, colors; heights and styles and is the most diverse of all the fencings.
  • Brick and stone fencing: These fences are strong and long lasting, but not as popular as they once were. The fencing comes in a range of stones and colors and is one of the most expensive options on the marker.

A landlord needs to consider all the factors when considering the installation of a fence on rental properties.

Why Should There be Stair Safety Railings in Multi-Family Dwellings

Sound stair railings in multi-family dwellings are a necessity. Because if a tenant falls or is otherwise injured going up or down a set of stairs in your building, not only will your tenant be hurt, but you could be sued. However, if your stairs are up to code, then there can be room for debate on who’s fault the accident was which also gives you a clear conscience. To help with this, the International Building Code provides a code of construction and design for all buildings and different structures which fall under this code. It addresses both the design and the installation of commercial railings which emphasizes the required performances of the products used. This is the code you would follow when installing the needed railings for your rental properties.

For example, each exterior and interior flight of stairs which has more than four risers needs handrails. The handrails should be on one side of the stair and on every open portion of a stair. This would include landings, balconies, decks, ramps or any other surfaces where people walk that are more than 30 inches above the floor. For more safety, a handrail can be installed on both sides for extra grip.

Commercial railing is used specifically for commercial properties. These properties would include multi-family dwellings, apartment buildings, motels and condos. Anywhere there would be a balcony that requires a safety barrier also. So, if your building has a balcony, commercial safety railing must be used so that the person in the apartment or condo is safe when venturing out onto a balcony.

Safety railings don’t just protect the people using them too, but they also protect the property owner as well from legal action. So, if you’re buildings are up to code, then you can know that you’ve done everything that you need to do to be within the law which makes you a good landlord.

Keeping your buildings up to code is one way to avoid accidents.

How to Keep Parking from Being an Issue with Tenants

One of a tenant’s biggest gripes is a lack of parking. So in areas where parking is at a premium as an example, coming home from work late and not having a parking space can cause volatile problems. As a multi-dwelling property owner, it’s up to you to have the parking situation sorted out then before it ever becomes an issue. So below are some suggestions on how to do just this:

  • Posting signs: Have signs posted everywhere and in the correct places. Since every municipal area is different, find out where you need to put the signs up then, and what they need to say. This is in case cars need to be towed which don’t belong there. You can cover yourself in this way with the correct sign postings.
  • Clear markings: Be sure that the parking spaces are properly designated for your rental properties. Have the lines repainted regularly so that the parking stalls are clearly marked. Hiring a construction company to do this will mean less of a headache for you too.
  • Make sure that you know the law: There are laws dealing with people who park in parking spots unlawfully for and against. You must make an honest attempt to find the owner of the car before you can have it towed for instance. This means that you can’t watch people pull in and park when you know that they don’t belong there either and then have the car immediately towed when they walk away. This is illegal.
  • You must be consistent: This means if your policy is to have cars towed which are parking illegally, you have to do it. Whether someone is parking there because of a party or someone is there because they’re visiting, they still get towed if they don’t follow rules for this type of activity. This also applies to handicapped parking spaces too being used illegally.
  • Have numbered spaces: Another idea is to have as assigned parking space per tenant. This way every tenant has a parking space. If you have room, you can offer spaces for tenants with more than one car or visitor parking additionally.

Keeping parking from being an issue is only common sense.

Safety Tips for Rental Properties in the Winter

Before and when winter arrives, there are some things that you need to do to keep your rental properties safe for your tenants. Also, not only could you have significant repairs eventually if you don’t, but if a tenant or tenants in one of your multi-family dwellings falls or is injured, the results could cost you because of lawsuits. So below are some suggestions to keep your tenants safe through the winter and prevent an oversight from turning into major repairs from unintentional neglect:

  • Turn off any exterior faucets on your property: The water in undrained pipes can freeze and burst. This not only would cause damage in your building, but could cause damage the outside as well. So drain all the garden hoses and outside lines after you shut-off the values inside your building.
  • Check the furnace filter: Getting a phone call at 2am in the morning because your tenants are freezing is bad enough. However, knowing that it could’ve been prevented by something as simple as changing the filter is even worse. By changing the furnace filter too, this cuts down on higher fuel costs, overheating and the shutdown of a furnace. Also, scheduling maintenance is wise. This is one way to catch small problems before they turn onto big ones.
  • Inspect the roof: It’s much easier to repair the roof if there’s an issue when the weather is halfway decent than to have a roofing problem in the middle of a blizzard.
  • Arrange for snow removal services: By setting up the service earlier, you won’t be the last one on someone’s list. It’s better to have everything ready than to try and negotiate when the snowflakes are falling and no one is taking calls.
  • Inspect all the doors and windows: Check where heat is most likely to escape and then either caulk it or use weather stripping where the problem is. It’s easier to do it now than when the snow is flying and your fingers are freezing.

Keeping your property winter safe is the smart thing to do.

Tips on Renovating Your Rental Properties

When you own multi-family dwellings, there comes a time when repairs need to be attended to because some tenants can be hard on your property and leave a mess when they move out. In other instances, it’s just time to replace or improve somethings in a rental unit. So below are some suggestions which may be helpful to you:

  • The floor: Of everything in your rental property, the floors are what really take a beating. This is because the floors take the most wear and tear from tenants moving in and out. If you have carpet in your unit and its worn out, consider having it replaced with something that is more durable and easy to clean. This could be linoleum, commercial grade tile or hardwood. This type of flooring does cost more upfront, but it also can last up to 20-30 years, unlike carpet.
  • Remodeling: When you’re remodeling or having the rental unit remodeled by a professional construction company, only remodel one unit at a time. You want to do things slowly and not go into debt over renovations if this can be helped. Also, if you remodel in smaller stages, then you can rent the remainder of your units while you’re remodeling the one that needs it the most first.
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances: When redoing bathrooms in your property, have low flush toilets installed. These toilets save on the monthly water bill by using less water. In addition, replace shower heads with water efficient ones as well which also lowers energy costs for heated water. Energy efficient appliances too are a good investment. These not only save on energy, but increases rental appeal.
  • Remodel areas that will get you more for your money: Because you own property, the return on your investment is always a prime concern. Now some of the improvements that will do this are updated hardware and lighting fixtures. These can change the look of a unit additionally with very little monetary investment. Also, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint every five years can do a lot to improve a dwelling place’s appearance.

Making well thought out improvements on your property can be a smart way to make money.

Why You Should Have a Property Maintenance Contract

Property maintenance is a service that you hire to take care of the maintenance of your rental property such as when you own a multi-family dwelling. A property maintenance service becomes the caretaker of your property and deals with fixing damages and property upkeep. This way your property is maintained in a professional manner, and this frees you up to deal with other things.

What a good property maintenance service company also does is that it provides you with financial stability because you have a set monthly fee, and it saves you time because they deal with property problems when the property needs repairs and maintenance. In addition, they should be insured and bonded. For a monthly fee, the company then supplies the tools, restocks supplies needed to operate the property and repairs equipment; walls and roofs as needed. Some of the details in the service that this kind of company does are listed below:

  • Lawn maintenance and snow removal
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • General cleaning, painting and storm clean-up
  • Facade repairs and power washing
  • Carpentry and dry wall replacement
  • Sign installation and graffiti cleanup
  • HVAC

When you decide to put them in charge of the maintenance of your multi-family dwelling, it frees you from having to oversee anyone that you would have to hire to do each job separately. You also don’t have to invest in costly tools or equipment because the company supplies everything. When you use the services of a property service maintenance company, you have experts that have extensive experience in handling rental property problems and construction issues. There is high efficiency and thorough knowledge about the job requirements which is better than hiring a handyman; or doing it yourself.

Now when choosing what company that you are going to use, you need to choose someone reliable. You also want someone who itemizes all their work. You want someone who will show up when there’s a problem too. You want someone that will live up to the high standards of the best in the industry. So by going through a screening process and checking references, you can be sure that the company which you choose will take excellent care of your property.

By maintaining your rental properties also, you will have a better quality of tenants.

Repairing Water Damage on a Multi-Family Dwelling

56577481_sWhen repairing the water damage of a multi-family dwelling, there are some things to consider. First of all, is it a hole or weak spot in the roof that needs patched or does the whole roof need to be redone? Or do you need to replace a collapsed ceiling inside the multi-family building or just repair it where it leaked? Is the building structurally safe or did the damage compromise the integrity of the building? Is the damage from a rain storm; or a more severe storm or flood? Also, do you need to call a professional contractor to access and repair the damage?

So below are the signs of structural damage where you will need professional help:

  • If the building has shifted its position on the foundation; or if there are stairs have shifted and walls now slant and there are broken pilings.
  • If the floors aren’t level or if a crawlspace or the walls of the foundation have caved in or cracked.
  • If the foundation has been undermined by erosion that’s cut into the soil at the bottom of the foundation.

Now if the building has been damaged you need to have these steps taken:

  • Remove the damaged materials and permit the building to dry out. To prevent additional water damage, protect with tarps and other barriers that will contain the water where you need to. Some materials which have been water damaged can be salvaged, but some can’t. Also by reusing materials that haven’t dried thoroughly in repairs, they can buckle or cause mildew problems.
  • You can keep drywall that has only been dampened by rainwater that’s clean. The drywall can’t be sagging, can’t be mildewed and it can’t have lost its smooth texture. However; wet insulation has to be removed immediately from the ceiling, and walls need to dry completely before you can repair them if you are not tearing them out.
  • If any materials can be salvaged, move them to a place that’s dry and secure. Also, you can remove the materials which aren’t salvageable to another area, but make sure you save them until the insurance adjuster sees them.

If handled correctly, damages can be repaired smoothly, but seek professional help for the things you cannot do correctly and to code.

Attract Tenants to Your Multi-Family Property with Stylist Design

15391773 - circular driveway and sidewalk at brick condominium buildingTenants are expecting more than ever from a multi-family property when renting than the same gym/game room offer in each apartment dwelling place. Also, the floor after floor of apartment sameness is not renting as tenants want diversification. Further to add to the mix, this is the first time in the rental market where two generations, the baby boomers and the millennials, are in the same urban living area with each having different expectations. So the flow of who’s renting just isn’t just one demographic; or the other, but both. This can be an exciting challenge and great opportunity to developers and landlords of multi-family apartments.

First off, in the construction and remodeling of multi-family dwellings the flavor and look of the neighborhoods should be in the grounds and buildings. Also, encouraging a sense of community in apartment dwellers by adding music jam rooms, swim up bars and sports lounges are just a few things landlords may want to think about. Too, more tenants want to have pets so dog parks and dog areas are becoming more prevalent among tenants wants. In addition, bikes are being ridden more as an alternate way to get around town. So developers who add bike racks to the parking areas are getting good feedback. Additionally, electric car-charging stations are being installed in some areas for those tenants who are green minded,

Developers also need to consider walkable neighborhoods where everything that’s needed is within walking distance of the property if the developers intend to rent out the property they build. This would include places to eat, shopping complexes and catering to the nightlife. Also, those who have developed living spaces within the hub of people’s social lives have seen apartment rentals skyrocket as people look to be close to what’s close to their hearts.

In addition, it’s not just the Generation Z who’s speaking up, but the Baby Boomers too. So Baby Boomers are demanding more as far as expectations, as in more closet space and large master bedrooms as well as high end amenities. Balconies are in demand that are big enough for entertaining and dining outdoors additionally.
The rental scene is changing and landlords and developers need to change along with it to be profitable.

How Upgrading a Kitchen Can Increase Your Profits from Rentals

Outdated kitchens in your multi-family apartment building may very well appeal to the type of tenants that you want least. This is because when they see outdated they then think cheap and will want to pay less. And since the type of tenants that you want to live there will also think low quality and not rent there; what do you have left? Empty apartments or tenants who pay less. This is because one of the biggest decision makers on a rental deal is how the kitchen will fit in with potential renters’ needs. Too, if the kitchen is up-to-date and attractive, it can raise the rents as much as a $100 per month. So what are renters looking for in a kitchen? Well, below are some answers so that you can style your rental unit kitchens.

  • The cabinets: These are usually what tenants will look at first to see if they fit their needs for space. They also want to see cabinets that are functional and up-to-date? So you need to decide if the cabinets need sprucing up. Often here changing the hardware is all that is needed to give them a functional, modern look. A professional too can repair cabinets and make them look like new additionally.
  • The appliances: If you have old chipped stoves and rattling refrigerators, it may be time to replace them. So here, something a little more energy efficient and nice looking is a better bargain in the long run than hanging onto the old appliances just because they still work.
  • Countertops: Are the countertops dingy? Are they chipped and scratched? Do they have a modern feel? If so, you may want to hire a contractor to come in and do a little fixing up. Now here, you want to choose material that can withstand wear and tear. Also choose a darker color countertop which will look cleaner and blend in any stains that will come about.
  • Paint: When tenants move out, it’s time to repaint. This is because food byproducts in steam and splattered cooking oils can build up on the walls and kitchen cabinets. This can create a dingy appearance as well as leave an “old grease” look. So a new coat of paint in the kitchen especially can change all that and make the apartment look fresh and appealing. You might want to touch up with stain if needed too.

In the end updating the kitchens in your apartment building can give you a higher amount of income.