Tag Archives: tenants

What is the Most Efficient Recycling Program for Multi-Family Buildings

recycleRecycling for a multi-family apartment building can be a challenging venture for a landlord. Cooperation from all the tenants or maintenance staff is a must to make the program work too. Plus, you will need to make the trash collection system for your multi-family apartment building both easy and convenient for it to work properly. So below are some tips to help your recycling program to get started:

  • Whenever you have a new tenant move in, you must go over the recycling rules to make sure the rules are understood for enforcement and the penalties that apply. You also need to show the new tenants the dumpsters, recycling bins or barrels and make sure that everything about their use is understandable. If needed, you may have to post signs in multiple languages if your tenants do not speak English as a first language.
  • Buildings which don’t have the space in the actual apartments for additional recycling containers may need to have a central trash and recycling area for the tenants to use for the disposal of trash and recyclables. In addition, if your tenants do not speak English as a first language, then pamphlets printed in English may not be easy for them to understand either with their rules for the use of trash and recycle bins. If possible then, have the pamphlets properly translated and use pictures on the receptacles to show where items should be placed.
  • Make sure your trash bins and recycle bins are placed in convenient places for your tenants to use. This is because as an example, if the trash bins are placed in an out of the way area and the recycle bins are handy, then the recycle bins will most likely be used for trash too. It’s better to have the bins trash bins and recycle bins convenient for the tenants for use then in their daily routine than for them to be convenient for trash haulers if necessary.
  • Always make sure the signs and labels can be easily understood. Post reminders around the building concerning recycling too, and if you send newsletters monthly, add reminders there as well.

If you live in an area where recycling is the law, you can get fined for mixing trash and recyclables also. And if incidents of improper disposal are a reoccurring issue, your trash collector can refuse to take the trash from your building. So make sure recycling is done properly.

Why Lighting in Tenant Parking Lots is Important

lightingGood lighting in parking lots for tenants is an important part of the rental process. This is because a potential tenant’s first priority is safety. So having a well-lit parking lot is not only important, but essential to prevent attacks and robberies on tenants, theft of a tenants’ cars and liability for the landlord. For the landlord then there are a few things to keep in mind that are listed below:

  • When the parking lot is well lit, it not only creates a safe tenant friendly environment, but it also improves security. Accidents are reduced too from people tripping, falling or slipping. This also will prevent lawsuits against the landlord for any accidents of this nature.
  • If the lights in the parking lot burn out and are not replaced within a reasonable amount of time, the landlord could be held liable if there is an accident; or if there is a safety incident concerning a tenant. The lights in a parking light must be situated too so that a person can be recognized from a safe distance. Plus, providing a crime-free environment for the tenants will not only get you a better grade of tenant, but theft and vandalism will be cut back.
  • It may pay to have a maintenance company service the parking lot. The company would run continuous checks and testing on the lighting, Plus, the company would replace and repair any lights as needed as part of the maintenance and repair contract. Also, having the light poles checked for any signs of wear and tear is important so that they continue to work and are reliable when needed.
  • If the parking area is inside a parking building, the lighting has to be maintained properly there as well. With proper and effective lighting, potential security problems, vehicles being protected as safety issues won’t be a problem then. A maintenance service can also be hired to provide this service as well.

Parking lots can be kept safe and secure with the proper lighting and maintenance.

The Best Color of Exterior Paint to Use on a Multi-family Dwelling

multi_family2Choosing the exterior paint in a color which is best suited for your multi-family dwelling may be a more difficult choice than you think. For instance, you don’t want an exterior paint color which is going to pop out and hit a prospective tenant in the face like a fist, but you don’t want your building overlooked either. So your choice of paint should be taken seriously by you, the landlord. So below are some suggestions for choosing the right paint color for your building:

  • First, step back and look at your building. What is it made of and what type of decorative elements are used? So is your building made from stone or brick or wood? What are the shingles made of and what is their color? What about the windows? Therefore; what paint color you choose has to coordinate with these elements. For example, if you had a red brick building with gray black shingles and white vinyl windows, using orange paint on the wood trim may make the building stand out in a way that you wouldn’t want.
  • What part of the building do you want to paint? Is it the whole exterior or just the trim around the windows? Maybe the building has an interesting element you would like to accent and bring out. So thinking about color before you paint is very important.
  • What colors are the buildings surrounding your building? You want your building to fit in, but stand out in the right way. So, a bright blue building in a neighborhood of tan and cream would be an eyesore and potential tenants may think twice about looking at an apartment to rent.
  • Give some thought to the type of tenants you want to rent to. Older tenants may want to live in a building that is a little more understated. Whereas, younger tenants may want to rent in a building with a little more flair and pizazz. So taking this into account, your choice can make a difference in the crowded rental market if you take a little thought of who it is that you’re trying to attract as potential tenants.

As you can see, what color of exterior paint you use does require some thought. Therefore; think about what type of tenants you want to attract, the questions above and make your decision from there.

Tenants and Parking Space Issues

parking-lotOwning a multi-family building and having enough parking spaces for everyone can be a headache. Sometimes the tenants have more cars than parking lot spaces permit too. Or perhaps guests come over and take up a tenant parking spaces leaving no room for other tenants to park. These issues have solutions to solve your parking problem though. So below are some solutions to ease parking lot snarl ups:

  • The parking spaces can be monitored for any violations and the cars in violation towed. This can cover guest parking without permission or tenants parking in spaces with aren’t assigned to them. This will open the space back up for the tenant whose spot it is that was taken; plus it will send a message that unlawful parking won’t be tolerated.
  • Post signs that state that the parking lot or other spaces are for tenant use only and violators will be towed. Usually this is pretty effective in keeping unlawful parkers from parking. By having the cars towed too, it will also discourage it from happening again. This is especially true because word will get around to other tenants
  • Assign a parking space or spaces to each tenant. So decide how many spaces come with the lease and then assign that apartment number to that space or spaces. If another tenant parks in the space, then find out if that tenant’s space has been parked in and tow whichever car is the offending car.
  • If there is enough space, offer additional parking spaces for an extra monthly fee. Also, if you have room, you could also offer guest parking. You can have the tenant reserve a spot for a guest or just have the spaces available for a first come first serve set up then.
  • Decide whether or not you will have a waiting list for better parking spots. Most tenants prefer to be closer to the building, but that isn’t always possible. Some landlords have a waiting list for spaces which are closer, and the tenant is then assigned to that space who has stayed in the building the longest; or may have special needs. Specify this so you don’t have arguments; however.

Parking for tenants doesn’t have to be a headache if you stay strict with parking enforcement. It’s when the parking isn’t enforced that it becomes a problem for both the landlord and tenants.

Tips for Repainting a Multifamily Rental Property

When it comes time to repaint your multifamily rental property, what should you keep in mind? Well, a new coat of paint will keep your multifamily property rented by decent tenants; especially if the paint is looking shoddy. Therefore; some suggestions are listed below to make the job a little easier.

44220101_sWhen you pick a paint color choose something neutral. Also a lighter shade of paint will make the rooms much brighter. Too, unless you love to paint, having to prime your walls every time because you’ve used a dark color paint can be time consuming.

Always clean your walls before you paint. If you paint over your former tenant’s dirt and grime, it will cause issues down the road. So vacuum off the walls first and then wipe them down with a damp cloth. Then mix up some warm water and detergent in a bucket. Using a damp sponge, scrub down the walls and wring out your sponge in a second bucket.

When painting through all the rooms of a unit, use the same color paint for consistency from room to room.

Make a choice of either semi-gloss paint or eggshell. These paints are very durable and will stand up to wear and tear. Now the semi-gloss is excellent for bathrooms since it’s water resistant. Use eggshell in the living room or bedroom because it’s easier to clean.
If your walls have glossy paint on them, don’t paint over them. Glossy paint keeps new paint from sticking to the walls. So if you have glossy paint, you’ll need to use `10-grit sandpaper to take some of the glossiness off the walls so your new paint has something to hold onto. Wipe down the walls after sanding too and then prime the walls and then paint.

Repainting a rental unit isn’t difficult if you follow the above steps for a bright, cheerful rental unit.

Safety and Comfort in Your Apartment Complex Laundry Room

laundry-roomTo make laundry room facilities appealing to your residents, there are a few things you should do and be aware of. For one thing, you want to make the laundry room area safe as well as resident friendly. So below are some suggestions to make your laundry room facility an asset:

  • One of the main considerations is convenience for your residents. A laundry room then should be located in a traffic area and not in an unsafe out of the way place. If possible, having the laundry room on the same floor as the tenants which means you may have to have several smaller laundry rooms rather than one large one if you have a lot of buildings in your complex. The laundry room should be located near staircases and/or elevators for ease of access too.
  • You want to make it safe so place the laundry room in a well-lit area. It should be designed so that all corners are visible from the corridor too. Plus; the walls should be glass paneled so the inside of the laundry room is visible. You may also want to consider making the laundry room accessible to tenants only, with key locks on the laundry room doors.
  • You want to make the laundry room more sociable by placing chairs around, having the walls painted an inviting color and have bright lighting. You may even consider installing a TV or Wi-Fi connections for a sense of community. You also should have an adequate amount of washers and dryers to cover the amount of people in your complex as well as enough folding tables. Remember too, if a place is warm, convenient and safe as well as adequately equipped, residents will spend money doing their laundry in your complex.
  • Be sure your equipment is in working condition and that the laundry room is well kept and well stocked. So if you have machines that supply laundry detergent, fabric softener and change, be sure the machines are full. In this, nothing will discourage use more than a dirty laundry room, gummed up machines and empty supplies.

By keeping your laundry safe and in working order, you as a landlord, can have a valuable tool for leasing.

What Kind of Security is Best for Your Complex Building

secuirty-cameraKeeping your tenants safe is a number one priority as a landlord. It also helps to keep your apartment complexes filled up, and you will also have a better quality of tenants. So below are some ideas for security in your apartment complex:

  • Lighting: Lighting is probably the most important security feature for your building. Criminals don’t like to be seen, and outdoor lighting is the bane of their existence. Outdoor lighting; however, can make your tenants feel very secure and safe. And if you’re tenants don’t feel safe when walking around your property, then you will most probably lose those tenants.
  • Fences: Fences are used to discourage unwanted people on your property. Here an open-type fence will provide visibility of who’s coming and going too, and you can then keep access points to a minimum. If your property faces a dark alley or another business though, then it’s better to have a fence that’s closed to restrict undue access.
  • Maintenance: By maintaining your property, it gives it a well-cared for look, and you will attract a better type of tenant. If your property is maintained, it can stop vandalism or more serious crime also. Break one window, get ten broken windows. If the property is let go and becomes an eyesore too, then undesirable elements will move in because they think no one cares or is watching. By keeping everything neat, in order and tidy though; you can actually decrease crime.
  • Security cameras: By limiting your traffic flow to just certain areas, security cameras can then be efficient and do their job. By installing one or two cameras, you can see who comes and goes on and about your property in case there would be a problem also. In addition to this, another area for cameras would be common rooms such as laundry rooms, parking lots and office spaces. So just seriously ask yourself, if you were a criminal, where would you target? That is where you need to place your cameras.

Security is mostly common sense and thinking on how a criminal would think and then deterring them. And by improving the security around your building, you are doing your tenants and yourself a favor.

Attract More Tenants with an On-site Gym

One of the ways to attract more tenants in your multi-family unit is to offer an on-site gym. By offering this enhancement as one of the perks in your building, you’re attracting a better class of tenant too. And tenants who work out would love to have the opportunity of working out without even leaving their building. They could then come home from work, change into workout clothes and grab their gym bag, go to the gym, come back to their apartment and make a bite to eat and then relax for the evening; all without leaving where they call home. Plus, if the gym is included in the rent, and they don’t have to pay extra for the membership as a separate item, it’s an even more attractive perk.

community-gymIn your gym you could offer lower body/cardio workout and state of the art exercise and fitness equipment. Access to the fitness center could also include locker room facilities. Some building owners offer gym attendants and trainers; saunas, pools and spas too. Other multifamily units have unlimited access with a key entry system for whenever the mood strikes the tenant to work out. So if he or she has had a bad day at the office, some lifting of weights or walking on the treadmill could help to ease the stressful day. With an onsite gym, tenants are more likely to use it just because of its very availability also.

Adding an on-site gym can be expensive as an initial investment for you, the landlord. But the return on investments and quality of tenants will not only outweigh the expense, but it will compensate you as well. With the gym rates integrated into the rent itself, your rents will cover the fees and if the demand for your apartments goes up, rents increase. This will assure that you get your return on your investment in the on-site gym. Your tenants will be happier, healthier and the draw of the on-site gym will spread by mouth as well as advertising. You may even have a waiting list for the available apartments for whenever a tenant moves out.

By having an on-site gym, it’s a win-win situation for both you and your tenants.

The Importance of Good and Efficient Site Lighting

Good lighting makes your multi-family unit considerably safer. Cars will be able to see pedestrians more easily which cuts down on accidents. Residents will feel more at ease walking in a well-lit area at night. Insufficient lighting makes the area seem dangerous. Good lighting will help attract and retain tenants. It can also cut down on crime in the units because criminals tend to avoid well-lit areas.

Carefully evaluate the lighting on your property from several angles. Are parts of the parking lot darker than others? Is there sufficient light in between buildings? What about the hallways inside and outside of the building? Investigate the laundry facilities and the hallways leading to them. You should also check the areas around the clubhouse and near trash receptacles. Tenants prefer good lighting in all of these areas. You should also check to see if the lights in any area tend to flicker.

A multi-family construction company can help you develop a lighting plan or upgrade your existing lighting. Multi-family construction companies are experienced with these types of projects and can give you helpful advice on how to get the most for your money.

commercialOne of the advantages of working with a multi-family construction company is that they typically have their own electrical staff. You won’t have to wait until they can coordinate an electrical team to work on your property. You can also work with the multi-family construction company on a wide range of other projects which will make managing the property significantly easier.

A multi-family construction company can help you find the most efficient lighting possible for your property. Your energy costs don’t have to go up when you install more lighting. A multi-family construction company may recommend replacing older lighting units to install new, energy-efficient lighting that will save you money over the long run. You’ll please your tenants and save on energy costs at the same time. In some cases, you may be able to deduct energy efficient lighting alterations on your tax forms. Your multi-family construction company can help you understand the tax advantages of revamping lighting.

Flipping Units for New Tenants

When a tenant moves out of a unit, it’s a good idea to do some renovations to the unit to prepare for new residents. You want new residents to be pleased with the unit when they move in. Many property owners work with a multi-family construction company to handle many aspects of their buildings.

Kitchen-upgrade-tenantYou should thoroughly inspect the unit and make notes about potential improvements. Are there holes or cracks in the walls? Do you see water damage? What kind of condition is the floor in? Is the carpet stained or coming loose? Do the hardwood floors have dents or serious scratches? Often, rental units need a fresh coat of paint to make them look fresh and welcoming. Make note of the obvious problems so you can develop a plan for renovating the unit.

You can ask your multi-family construction company to inspect the unit for problems that aren’t obvious. Some issues affect resident safety such as mold and electrical problems. Other problems aren’t as serious but need to be addressed. These include plumbing problems, outdated appliances and cleaning issues. The multi-family construction company should inspect the health of the HVAC system to make sure it does not need updates or repairs.

When you work with a multi-family construction company over time, you will typically work with the same project manager. This person will get to know your property and your priorities so you plan projects over the long term. You may develop a system for flipping units since most properties have consistent changes in tenants. This can help you get rental units ready quickly. It will also help you develop a budget that you can rely on when an old tenant moves out and you want to prepare the unit for new residents.

Multi-family construction companies specialize in dealing with the issues that multi-family property owners face on daily basis. They can often recommend upgrades and changes that you may not think of on your own. The multi-family construction company’s experience in the industry can help you make the most of your properties so that you attract the kind of tenants that you want in your buildings.