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CHOOSING THE RIGHT FLOORING FOR A RENTAL APARTMENT

Rental apartments are unique in that they need flooring that looks good, but that will also hold up to a series of tenants coming through. As a landlord, you have some control over your tenants, but that control is limited to things like whether you’ll allow pets. If you’re going to offer apartments where pets are accepted, you’ll need to consider a flooring solution that will be better
suited to pets and pet owners. For apartments that don’t allow pets, floors generally don’t have to be as tough – but they still need to have durability and goods.

Pet free apartments often use carpet and linoleum. Both can be easily purchased, and they come in a variety of colors, styles, and quality levels. Low-cost carpet and linoleum (often also called sheet vinyl), are excellent choices for many apartments. They can last for years, and when they do need to be replaced it’s not a big expense. Still, carpets can become stained quite easily, and odors can be difficult to remove from those carpets. Linoleum can rip and tear, and once that happens it really has to be replaced.

In apartments that allow pets, tile is often a good option. It doesn’t scratch easily, and it’s hard to break. It also doesn’t hold stains or odors like carpet can. While it does cost a little bit more than linoleum, that cost will be offset by the durability offered. You won’t need to replace tile nearly as often as linoleum, so it may actually be less expensive when factored out over the lifetime of the flooring. That’s an important consideration, but how the apartment looks and whether it appeals to potential tenants also has to be looked at carefully. The right type of flooring can make a big difference.

When you’re deciding on flooring, consider what other apartments in the area are offering. These comparable rentals should be close to the same price, and similar in size and style. If they all have hardwood floors and don’t allow pets, you have two choices. You can go with what’s common, or you can choose something that’s very different in an effort to bring in renters who might have been turned away by the other apartments in the area. By putting in tile floors and allowing pets, you may have something that’s in demand but can’t easily be found in your area.

That could lead to a lot of people wanting to rent from you, and could be a lucrative business move. If there isn’t any demand for pet-friendly rentals, though, you aren’t going to see the return on investment you were hoping for. Make sure the demand is there before you choose that option. The kinds of families who want to rent from you must be taken into consideration when you’re choosing flooring, so you provide what those people are looking for. That way, they have a great place to rent, and you get happy tenants who will take good care of the flooring you installed.

5 WAYS TO EVICTION-PROOF YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY

Most landlords fear evictions because of the unknown: How much will it cost? How long will it take?
It always costs too much, and takes too long to evict a problem tenant. Given the odds that a bad renter will be able to delay the eviction process for weeks or even months, it’s best to take a proactive approach and reduce the risks:

1. The top way to avoid the costs of an eviction is to choose tenants carefully. It will always be cheaper to hold a unit open for a few more days while you take the time to carefully screen your tenants. Tenant credit is an important factor in qualifying your next renter, but it is not the only one. Even wealthy tenants get evicted for non-payment of rent or damage to the property. Take the time to look at how this rental applicant has behaved in other rentals before you make up your mind.

2. Explain major terms in the lease agreement and house rules to the tenant before they commit to the rental, and again before they sign the lease. Make sure the tenant has a copy of the lease, or better, a summary of the rules that they can keep in a handy place. Some property managers provide these forms on a website for easy access. Many tenants would choose to follow the rules, but forget the details. Make it easy for them to do the right thing.

3. A common landlord mistake is to forget about the tenants once they’ve signed the lease. Keep in touch with tenants on a regular basis, if for no other reason than to prove that you are still around and will enforce the rules. Bad tenants complain that the landlord is too “in their face”, while good tenants complain that their landlord is never around. Don’t let your well-chosen tenant become a problem tenant because they think you are not watching.

4. Be decisive when problems arise. For example, when a tenant pays late, one option is to apply a late fee. When it happens again, apply another late fee. Pretty soon, the tenant will have paid rent late 6 months in a row and owe a hefty fee. But will you ever see that money? Is this tenant also ignoring other rules, like harboring a pet, an unauthorized guest, or damaging the property?

The better strategy is to let the tenant know the very first time they pay late or break the rules that it won’t be tolerated. No one wants to evict a tenant, but allowing a bad one to stay until the situation is out of control is not the solution.

5. Cut your damages right away by allowing a bad tenant out of the lease voluntarily. Holding the tenant to the letter of the lease agreement isn’t always the most economical approach. Even if your lease agreement is ironclad, if you have a problem tenant, you will still be obligated to evict them, patch up the damage and find a new tenant as soon as possible. That’s the law.

Negotiating an early termination is definitely worth considering if the bad tenant is being disruptive and could chase away others, or when the tenant simply doesn’t have the money to continue to perform under the lease. Sure, they technically will owe you for your losses until the property is re-rented — but will you be able to collect?

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