Category Archives: Multi-family

Functional Parking Lot Striping

The purpose of parking lot striping is to route traffic safely and provide safe crossing for pedestrians. So keeping the parking lot striping at your multi-dwelling apartment and well maintained and properly marked. When your property is taken care of it shows that you, as the owner, emphasize safety, maintenance and appearance.

empty-lotTo make your parking lot as functional and safe as possible, you should have clearly marked entrance and exit signs. Crosswalks for pedestrians, loading and unloading zones, and parking spaces are important factors for a functioning parking lot. Too, trying to get the maximum number of parking spaces to meet the current tenant usage of your building is important also. With the correct layout and parking lot striping, you may be able to fit a few more parking spaces to meet your needs.

Something else to consider before laying down striping in your parking lot is what special needs will have to be met. Are you designating specific parking spaces per tenant? What about spaces for disabled tenants or visitors? Are you going to have handicapped spaces for tenants who may need them? By having marked handicapped spaces, designated spaces for tenants and perhaps guests, you can help keep traffic flowing efficiently.

Keep in mind too, how to provide the most functional stalls in your parking lot. A stall which allows the vehicle to be pulled straight in will allow you to put the most parking stalls in your lot. Also, these type of stalls are the easiest to lay out and to paint stripes for. This is also a better way for permitting two-way traffic. If you decide on an angled stall, they are easier to turn into and back out of. This type of stall also will require a narrower lane as well as a one-way controlled traffic flow. The down side that more space is taken out when the parking lot design is laid out because of the angle plus the greater your angle the more space is used.

A well-marked and well maintained parking lot can add value to your property as well as increase attract a higher quality tenant. You’ll find it’s well worth the expense.

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.

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.

Fencing and Multifamily Rentals

9366267_sA maintained multifamily rental property which is fully fenced will better attract a well-paying tenant. This is because tenants looking for rental places with fences usually have children or pets and some affluence if they are looking for that kind of property which they know will cost more to rent. A fence makes the property look well cared for too and shows you value your property. It also gives the perception that the property is safe and secure which is good since parents look for rentals with fencing to keep the kids safe from harm. Additionally the parents can go out into the fenced in area with their children and supervise, play games or just sit and watch. Plus, if the fenced in area has grass, it will even be more inviting.

Also, if you advertise your multifamily rental property as dog friendly, the property should be totally fenced in or have a fenced in pet area. Pet owners also want their four footed friends to have a safe environment to run around in. So having a pet friendly area is just as important to a pet owner as a fenced in yard is to a parent.

Additionally, when you as a landlord fence in your property, it will define your property from your neighbor’s next door and give your tenants boundaries. It gives your property a unified feel as well as an all over well cared for appearance also. Now maintaining a fence does take some time, but the payoff is worth it if the tenant is a better one.

With these facts in mind, a fence makes it more difficult for less desirable tenants to move in because with a fence, you can charge a higher rent since it is a security factor. Then as an added bonus, your turnover will be less because your quality of tenant will be higher.

So if you own a multi-family rental property and have room to install a fence, it could be a good move to contact a professional fence installer and see what suggestions they have for your property.

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.

How a Swimming Pool Attracts More Tenants

The single family market for renters with children is a strong market. This type of renter is looking for multi-family apartments complexes with enhancements and a kid friendly environment. So the single family renter is looking for places that have heavy duty swing sets, game rooms, and a clubhouse and; of course, a swimming pool.

A community pool is a wonderful selling point for a multifamily property then. And since pools are where people gather, a sense of community can be built within the property. In areas of high temperatures, a place with a pool can be a very tempting place to live in too. So your list of prospective tenants should grow quickly when a clean and refreshing pool as one of the selling points.

As a pool owner of a multi-family property, it will be your responsibility to make sure the pool area is safe though. You need to review the safety codes for your area then and seek legal counsel if you’re unsure on whether you’re meeting these qualifications. You also need to make sure the pool fences are in proper repair. Pool fences have a twofold purpose, first to keep people who don’t live there out. You can issue a special key or code to the people who live in your complex though so only they can enter the pool area. To the second point, pool fencing is to keep the very young children away from the water. Children are attracted to water and accidents can happen very quickly.

cool-nights-swimmingInstalling a swimming pool in your multifamily complex may be an expense you want to consider. It can be a wise investment as to draw the type of tenant you want living in your buildings. In this figuring the cost per tenant into the rent can pay for the pool and any repairs it may need down the road in no time.

Blue water, the scent of chlorine, sun reflecting off the water and happy tenants gathered around the pool is what a prospective tenant will see when taking a tour of your properties. This is a scene well worth investing in.

Lighting Up the Outside

When an apartment building is undergoing construction, one of the main concerns should be about proper outdoor lighting. Because with proper lighting, the tenants of the building will feel and be safer, and the reputation of the building being a safe place to live will increase. Also without proper lighting, tenant turnover may increase because people feel unsafe on the grounds after dark.

outdoor-lightingBut is professionally installed outside lighting really that important as opposed to you doing it? Actually the answer is yes. Because experts will know how to do it right. Because the reason for exterior lighting in parking lots anyway is to make sure there aren’t any hidden dangers and dark spots where threatening people can hide in. The exterior lighting should be bright enough then at 100 feet for a person walking to see potential threats and be able to avoid them. Bright lighting helps to deter criminal activity because of identification risk on the part of the criminal. Criminals like easy targets in dark places and professional lighting experts know how to design the lighting.

Also, another important area is the perimeter of the apartment building and the entry way. So exterior lighting in common areas needs to be on a timer or photo-cell which is timed to be turned on when it’s dusk and then turn back off when it’s dawn.

Perimeter flood lights with motion detectors are another option for safety issues. The motion detector will only turn on the flood lights when a human body comes across its field of detection. That way, if someone is on the premises or just walking around, the lights will come on and anyone out walking will be able to see that person.

With some managers, the concern that too much lighting will disturb the tenants in their apartments may keep some portions of the complex dark. Some of these areas may be the passage area between buildings, the swimming pool area, the area where pets can be walked and the laundry rooms. By hiring professional contractors who work with these issues daily though, they can use lights which have special light pollution and glare technology which will solve these problems when installed. With these specific areas targeted, the tenants can feel safe as they walk back and forth in these areas.

There are some things which should be left to the professionals and exterior lighting done correctly is one of them.