5 Steps to Protecting Your Digital Home

More and more of our home devices—including thermostats, door locks, coffee machines, and smoke alarms—are now connected to the Internet. This enables us to control our devices on our smartphones, no matter our location, which in turn can save us time and money while providing convenience and even safety. These advances in technology are innovative and intriguing, however they also pose a new set of security risks. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and protect your digital home. (more…)

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Keeping a Paint Job In Its Place

The condition of the paint or stain on your rentals can be your ambassador of curb appeal. Its appearance can say a lot about your properties. And yet, you could be spending a healthy portion of your maintenance budget on a much too short re-coating cycle. Most property managers will agree that keeping a paint or stain film on exterior wood is a never-ending job. (more…)

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Bugs! Whose Problem Are They?

When that itsy bitsy spider comes down the waterspout or hangs over the baby’s crib, should we, as property managers or landlords, care? I conducted a random survey of property managers to find out what policies, if any, there are concerning insect and rodent issues. Surprisingly, no two are alike. However, there are common elements in most policies to consider when developing or reviewing a bug policy.  (more…)

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Defining Wear and Tear

A hole in a plaster wall, a broken window, crayon marks on the ceiling, cabinet doors torn off their hinges—those are obviously above and beyond normal wear and tear. How about a worn place in the carpet, or tiles on the kitchen floor that are cracked or missing? That is where the tenant can claim that he does not owe a dime of the security deposit because that was just “normal wear and tear” and you cannot charge him for that. Less than stellar tenants are experts in “normal wear and tear” because they have caused so much of it. So what really is considered “normal wear and tear?”

A rule of thumb to follow, whenever there is a question about who should pay for damage, the landlord should pay. In this tip, however, I will remove some of the question and possibly enable you to get a better idea of when you should deduct money from the security or cleaning deposits.  (more…)

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