• SmartKey Locks are Super Smart for Landlords

    There are a few tips that we have for property managers when it comes to house or condo preparations in between tenants. Some things in our opinion, should just be done to maintain a higher standard of condition for your property, which in turn tends to attract higher quality tenants.

    Some of those things include painting when wear and tear are starting to show on interior walls and trim. This also includes changing toilet seats - an inexpensive item that is just a nice thing to do. Carpet cleaning of course is another item - especially if pets were in residence as well.

    One thing that often get's overlooks is the changing of locks. Over the course of a tenancy, there is no way to know if the tenat had key copies made, how many copies were made, and who has a copy in possession. For the safety and well-being of new tenants who are moving in, we highly recommend either changing locks, or re-keying existing locks. The only problem is this can grow to be quite expensive - that is unless you intall and use a SmarkKey Lock by Kwikset (This post is not sponsored).

    With these ingenious locks, you can easily re-key the locks at any time without getting technical, thereby eliminating the need for a locksmith. The locks can be "re-keyed" quickly and easily between tenants - we highly recommend them for the ease in which they can be re-keyed and how smooth they can make the process of moving in a new tenant.

  • Home Warranty Companies, and whether you should use them as a landlord for rentals

    Home warranty companies offer a service that is technically a service contract, not to be confused with builder warranties offered in new construction. These plans typically cover appliances should they need to be repaired or replaced, and the service is typically sold as an insurance policy to protect the property owner from unanticipated expenses resulting from inevitable repairs.

    It is our opinion that home warranty plans are best suited for owner occupied situations where timelines can be more flexible. Home warranty companies, in our opinion, are not well suited for rental properties for several reasons, which I have outlined below.

    Timeliness of repairs/service - It is our experience that home warranty companies, because of their procedures and their focus on cost savings, a quick resolution is near the bottom of their priorities. This of course, this appraoch is not in alignment with a tenant’s primary concern of getting an issue resolved as quickly as possible and taking 30 plus days to fix a fault water heater, or HVAC system for example, does not go over well with tenants, and rightly so.

    Because in part of the frequent need for more than one vendor opinion, the process can take a long time, and there is frequently miscommunication between vendors and the Home Warranty Company, leading to a very inefficient and stunningly frustrating process - particularly for the tenant. Furthermore, the landlord has no say over what vendors are selected and some of the vendors we have encountered have been horrible.

    The bottom line is as follows – one of the primary reason tenants decide not to renew a lease, is that they are not satisfied with how repairs are handled and how long it takes to get service. Whenever tenants leave, there are expenses associated with this and those expenses typically far out pace any money saved with a home warranty company. We do not recommend home warrnaty companies for our rentals as they cannot meet the strict expectations that we have of our vendors.

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