Homeowners Management: Could Xeriscaping Be Coming to Your Community?

In areas of the US that droughts have hit hard, xeriscaping is a popular alternative to traditional landscaping, particularly for lawns that feature Kentucky bluegrass, which requires significant amounts of water to thrive in arid regions. Unlike conventional lawns, xeriscaped lawns feature vegetation that fares well in dry conditions. The plants used in the lawns…

In areas of the US that droughts have hit hard, xeriscaping is a popular alternative to traditional landscaping, particularly for lawns that feature Kentucky bluegrass, which requires significant amounts of water to thrive in arid regions. Unlike conventional lawns, xeriscaped lawns feature vegetation that fares well in dry conditions. The plants used in the lawns are chosen for suitability to the local climate. In the Western US, cacti, Mexican feather grass, prairie coneflowers and yuccas are example of plants that commonly appear in xeriscaped terrain.

Some association-managed communities have HOA management companies enforce regulations that prohibit xeriscaping. In most cases, the prohibition arises from the desire for lawns to have a homogenous aesthetic. However, with the House of Representatives recently passing a bill that would prevent HOAs from forbidding the practice, communities will be working with their provider of homeowner's management to develop provisions for the practice. In addition to creating a different aesthetic, the practice will deliver some important benefits that conventional lawns do not.

Low Water Consumption

The vegetation used in xeriscaping uses water more efficiently than conventional grass, which has a shallow root system that requires frequent watering during the dry season. Plants that need less water can help lower residents' water bills in the summer.

Better Water Availability

With less water dedicated to watering lawnns, more water can be put to uses such as operating fountains, filling swimming pools, and operating ornamental ponds. If your community is under water usage restrictions in the dry season, the practice can help free up water.

Less Maintenance

Implementing the practice in common areas is a viable way to lower a community's landscaping expenses. If your community has been working with its homeowner's management provider to reduce operating costs, the practice should be stated as possible cost saving measure.

Aesthetically Impressive

Although xeriscaped lawns look different than conventional ones, they by no means look less appealing. Some HOA management providers work with vendors that recommend the lawns as a way to diversify vegetation in a community, making lawns appear garden-like instead of uniform.

Conclusion

To protect the real estate value of the neighborhood, many association-governed communities have a homeowner management provider enforce strict rules regarding the appearance of lawns. However, permitting xeriscaping will not require communities to compromise on the visual quality of real estate. When a qualified landscaping company performs the work, the results are nothing less than impressive. It also delivers important benefits that conventional landscaping often. To learn more about how xeriscaping could benefit your community, contact a provider of HOA management services today.

HOA Management Services: The Conflict Between Owners and Renters

If you live in a community where some properties are owner employed and others are owned by renters, you may have heard complaints from residents who own their homes about residents who do not. Since the housing bubble burst in 2008, affordable real estate prices have made residential properties popular as investment real estate, particularly…

If you live in a community where some properties are owner employed and others are owned by renters, you may have heard complaints from residents who own their homes about residents who do not. Since the housing bubble burst in 2008, affordable real estate prices have made residential properties popular as investment real estate, particularly condominiums and apartments that do not require as much maintenance expense as conventional homes.

In some association-controlled condominium communities, non-owners occupy as much as 50 percent of the units. In many instances, this scenario creates tensions among owners and renters, as the latter are less likely to view their living situation as a long-term investment that justifies maintaining excellent relations with neighbors, caring deeply about the condition of the property, and going out of their way to be good stewards to the community.

Whereas owners tend to care deeply about things such as the quality of the community's grounds and how much money is kept in the reserve fund for emergencies, renters who know that their time in a community is limited tend to view such matters as unnecessary worries. While neither party is wrong in their views, the difference in perspective creates a conflict that board members should address for sake of community morale, preferably with the assistance of an HOA management and condo management company.

Addressing the Issue

No federal or state laws prevent investors from buying property in an association-controlled community and leasing it out. However, a community can work with an HOA management and condo management company to develop bylaws that determine what percentage of properties can be leased and how the leasing process is connected. For example, some communities place a cap on how many properties can be rented and require investors to live in a property for a certain period of time before they rent it out. Ultimately, such bylaws deter those who have no interest in hiring a property from buying it.

A HOA management and condo management company can offer advice on the type of bylaws that would work best for your community. If your complex does not have a provider of HOA management services, and it experiences friction between owners and renters, now there would be a good time to partner with an HOA management and condo management company to address the issue. For more information about dealing with conflicts between owners and renters, contact a provider of HOA management services today.

Asphalt Paving Problems and Solutions

Protecting your asphalt investment from deterioration is the key to keeping an attractive looking parking lot or driveway. Sealcoating new asphalt within one year of installation is the best and most cost efficient way to avoid expensive repairs due to pavement failures. However, let's take a look at some common asphalt problems and their solutions:…

Protecting your asphalt investment from deterioration is the key to keeping an attractive looking parking lot or driveway. Sealcoating new asphalt within one year of installation is the best and most cost efficient way to avoid expensive repairs due to pavement failures. However, let's take a look at some common asphalt problems and their solutions:

Oxidation and Graying
Over time, traffic, water, gas, oil, the suns unrelenting rays, especially in Florida, will wreak havoc on asphalt pavement. The older the pavement gets, the more exposure to elements, the more the asphalt pavement will fade and take on a gray appearance. This graying is a sign that the asphalt is oxidizing and drying out. The drier it gets the more brittle it will become and the more prone to cracking. It's a downward spiral at this point if nothing is done to stop the water from penetrating the asphalt cracks. It is critical that asphalt repairs are made as part of an ongoing asphalt pavement maintenance plan to avoid further decay.

Raveling
Another asphalt pavement maintenance issue to be aware of is raveling. When the binder, which acts as a glue, that is used to hold the stone and sand particles that make up the asphalt starts deteriorating, this is called raveling. Pieces of aggregate will loosen and breakaway from the pavement surface making it thinner and thinner as it deteriorates.

The surface of the asphalt pavement will appear rough as pieces of the asphalt away and separate. This can create a void for water to penetrate into the base material.

Linear Asphalt Cracks
Transverse and longitudinal cracks are fairly common in asphalt pavement as it ages. Starting small, they will expand over time. Again, any crack in asphalt is an opportunity for water to penetrate. Pavement expansion due to hot and cold temperatures will continue to cause the cracks to expand.

Cleaning out any dirt or debris from such cracks, asphalt repairs can be made to stop water from seeing below the pavement and help stop the crack from growing.

Sealcoating the pavement early on helps lock-in the binder and results from cracks from occurring.

Vegetation Growth
If cracks, gaps or joints in asphalt are left unfilled, grass, weeds and other plants – even trees have been known to grow right through a parking lots surface. Not only does this make for an un-kept looking parking area, but the roots of the vegetation can cause severe damage to the base of the asphalt. Additionally, as the plant grows, the roots and the visible vegetation will widen the gaps letting more water penetrate the surface eroding the base materials. A simple asphalt crack repair before vegetation has a chance to take root can save property managers thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement.

Private Landlords to Offer Rental Properties Strategically Located and Ideally Priced

If you are searching for the best accommodation that is strategically located and ideally priced, look for private landlords' property listing on the net or newspapers. You will be surprised at how you will be spoiled for choices as there are a multiple of places to rent that are within your budget. In many places,…

If you are searching for the best accommodation that is strategically located and ideally priced, look for private landlords' property listing on the net or newspapers. You will be surprised at how you will be spoiled for choices as there are a multiple of places to rent that are within your budget.

In many places, there is a plethora of accommodation types that those looking for a place to rent will never have a hard time looking for one that suits their taste and style. Regardless of purpose, it will be very easy for anyone to find the kind of space that they are looking to rent out whether for single, double or family occupancy. For private rentals, you can opt to lease and stay in a serviced apartment, a condominium unit or choose from one of the gorgeous homes that are ideally priced, well-maintained and very accessible.

A very critical factor to mull over when you are looking for a wonderful place to stay, whether for short or long term, is the convenience and ease of access. It will be advantageous to move in a location that is near your kids' school or your workplace and business. It would also be smart to go for a private rental place that is near banks, supermarkets, drugstores, cafés, bars, and restaurants or that's within the central business district. It may be a bit pricey but you can save a massive amount of money for gas or fares as well as your time going to work, school and other activities if you are a tourist.

A place owned by a private landlord is preferred by many because properties like this is usually well-maintained, safe, secure and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that makes a tenants stay comfortable and convenient. It is very important to be careful when choosing for a space that's up for rent. One must not get overwhelmed from the many superb types of accommodations advertised on the web. The right way to do when looking for a place to rent is to think of your needs or that of your family, so you can get a space that would best serve your requirements and specification.

More and more people today shun the idea of ​​living far from where they study or work because of convenience and practicality. Moreover, private rentals are also very popular tourists where almost 80% of incoming visitors are no longer booking their stay in plush hotels but instead go for rental properties that are strategically located and are reasonably priced. Here, the increasing demand for cheap rents has paved the way for many entrepreneurial individuals to seize the opportunity to build rental apartments, houses and some private owners offer their condos or penthouse units for rent. This resulted to the growing number of private landlords' rental properties.

HOA Management: How to Achieve Good Vendor Selection

The quality of vendor services a community receives impacts the quality of what the services address, such as landscaping, HVAC equipment, and neighborhood security. This is why communities have a Professional Management Company handle the vendor selection process. With an experienced HOA Service Company on your team, your community can rest assured that a vendor…

The quality of vendor services a community receives impacts the quality of what the services address, such as landscaping, HVAC equipment, and neighborhood security. This is why communities have a Professional Management Company handle the vendor selection process. With an experienced HOA Service Company on your team, your community can rest assured that a vendor will be selected based on the following important criteria, among others.

Specialization

The quality of a business' services stem partly from its specialties. If a community needs a landscaping company, it should choose one that specializes in caring for the types of plants and terrains that are found on its property. The same principle applies to businesses that work with HVAC systems, roofing systems, and other types of equipment and systems.

Reputation

Before a business is considered as a candidate for the job, an HOA service professional reviews the company's reputation using a variety of resources, such as customer references, Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​records, and the business history of the company. Only the most reputable companies become candidates to receive a contract.

Insurance

A business must carry insurance that covers injuries to residents, injuries to its employees, and damage to the property of residents or the vendor that occurs during the fulfillment of the contract. Proper insurance protects both the vendor and the community from financial damages that occurs in relation to the work performed.

Licenser

Some states require a business to be licensed before it performances a particular service. A professional management company ensures that a business has the appropriate licensing to legally render its service before a contract is executed.

Contract

Contracts are only executed when they contain the proper provisions and information, including: the credentials of the contractor, the start date and end date of the contract, the cost of the contract and terms of payment, description of work to be performed, provision for the termination of the agreement, provision for warranties for services and materials, proof of insurance, and provision for legal costs.

Conclusion

Without a community receives its services from core employees, it must outsource to third party vendors to accomplish applicable tasks on hand. If the board of a community is inexperienced at selecting vendors, choose a qualified Management Company that is competent with such services to alleviate ant inadequacies. With years of experience in performing the vendor selection process, such companies ensure that vendors are chosen based on their specialties, excellence in working for other communities, financial protections, licensure, and the quality of the contract that is submitted.

HOA and Condo Management: How to Hire a Condo Manager

A company that has training and experience managing association-governed communities should perform HOA management and condo management. If your neighborhood needs to hire a new management company, there is a process for ensuring that a management provider is a good fit for the community. Below is a basic outline of the process for hiring an…

A company that has training and experience managing association-governed communities should perform HOA management and condo management. If your neighborhood needs to hire a new management company, there is a process for ensuring that a management provider is a good fit for the community. Below is a basic outline of the process for hiring an HOA management and condo management company.

Determine What Type of Provider Is Needed

Step one is determining what the board wants to find in an HOA management and condo management provider, particularly concerning the needs of the community, the style of management that is provided, how a provider communicates with the board, and what type of physical presence it has in the community.

Develop a List of Candidates

After the board knows what type of provider the community needs, it should develop a list of candidates for the job. Many boards will already have preliminary information about HOA management and condo management providers in the area. Prior to submitting requests for proposals, additional information can be collected through cold calling.

Submit Requests for Proposals

When requesting a price quote for a company's services, be sure to specify exactly what services your community needs. This information should be generated in the first step of the hiring process: determining what type of provider is needed. The more information a provider has about the needs of the community, the more accurately it can quote a price.

Hold Interviews

During the interview process, the Board can ask questions about a candidate's business model, how it would handle certain types of problems, how much time it devotes to unseen services such as financial management, and other important issues that may not be addressed in a candidate's proposal.

Create a Written Contract

After a candidate is selected for the job, the board should create a written contract for the company to sign. Before the contract is finalized, the board should ensure that it contains the following information: credits of the contractor, start and end dates for the contract, cost and payment terms, a description of work to be performed, a provision for termination, a provision for warranty, proof of insurance, and a provision for indemnification for the community.

Conclusion

Hiring an HOA management and condo management provider is not difficult, but the hiring process requires attention to detail from start to finish. By following the process above, your community can find a reputable provider of HOA management and condo management services that meets its needs, and then some.

Which Summit County Town Suits You?

Summit County, an enterprising community undertaken of several distinct towns with spectacular mountain properties for sale, draws people in with its small-town charm and big city action. Nestled deep within the Rocky Mountain high country, Summit County is located approximately 70 miles west of Denver and boasts the best in mountain properties. From one and…

Summit County, an enterprising community undertaken of several distinct towns with spectacular mountain properties for sale, draws people in with its small-town charm and big city action. Nestled deep within the Rocky Mountain high country, Summit County is located approximately 70 miles west of Denver and boasts the best in mountain properties. From one and two bedroom condos to six bedroom single-family homes, you'll find everything you need in Summit County's mountain properties for sale.

Summit County's towns consist of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, and Keystone. Each of the villas offers something different to its residents and visitors and all four communities feature fantastic condos and townhomes for sale. Both Breckenridge and Keystone boast fabulous mountain homes and world-class ski resorts that are open to the public for outdoor activities, year-round. Frisco and Dillon are both located on the shores of Lake Dillon and offer more in residential mountain homes with a larger population of full time residents.

If you are interested in exploring options for Property in Breckenridge, you will not only find options that will suit the needs of the entire family, but a charming little mountain town tucked in between the Continental Divide and Ten Mile Range. Founded in 1859 as a home base for miners from the surrounding gold and silver mines, Breckenridge has remained true to its mining history, which is evidenced by the colorful Victorian mountain homes that line Main Street as well as its historic mountain homes located through the town . While Breckenridge keeps its history close at hand, life in present day Breckenridge features excellent schools, community programs, healthcare facilities, unbeatable work environments, and modern day conveniences in its beautiful Breckenridge homes.

If it's resort living that you are interested in, in terms of mountain homes, Keystone could be the place for you. Keystone is located at 9,280 feet above sea level and is a mere 90 minutes from Denver International Airport. Keystone is comprised of six neighborhoods, each of which highlighting its own style of condos in Keystone, and three mountains, which offers guests and owners of mountain homes a unique Rocky Mountain experience.

The towns of Frisco and Dillon are home to the largest number of year-round residents in Summit County. Both towns are located on the shores of Lake Dillon and offer residents of local mountain homes as well as visitors a chance to feel the big heart of the high country. The town of Frisco is nestled at the base of Mount Royal and is located just off I-70, placing it in a central position within Summit County. Frisco's central locale makes a perfect spot to look into mt land for sale. Presently, Frisco is home to many year-round residents who take pride in their community and their mountain properties.

How Can Your Real Estate Agent Help You Pull Off A Great Deal

Most people while buying or selling real estate would go to extremes, trying their own logic, by doing things that would fetch them best value or in case of a purchase the lowest possible price. Such efforts may include activities such as major makeovers of homes for sale, while in case of purchases trying to…

Most people while buying or selling real estate would go to extremes, trying their own logic, by doing things that would fetch them best value or in case of a purchase the lowest possible price. Such efforts may include activities such as major makeovers of homes for sale, while in case of purchases trying to deal without involving a real estate agent.

Logically thinking it may seem that a well-renovated house may fetch a higher value or if you are lucky, you may get a good price on your purchase without the help of a agent. However, both instances purely base on chance and may need a lot more time to mature than would take in cases of homes for sale aided by real estate agents.

Here are a few good reasons how your agent could help you get the best out of a property deal.

  • Professional Match Making

Most professional real estate agents attend to the small details of their customers, they know exactly what the buyers are looking for and have detailed information regarding the property on sale. All they need to do is match up the clients demand with the best available options, and they have a deal on their hands that makes all happy. The buyer is happy, the seller is happy and the agent is happy. Moreover, technology has made the matching process more convenient, you get to do the whole thing online, with convenience and confidence. However, the human part still has its importance, as your agent is still the standard authority over the top matches.

  • Reputation to Carry

Real estate agents do advertise, but the best clientage as in any other business comes from the word of mouth. A few good or bad comments could make all the difference in the world to the success of a business. So with a reputation at stake and a business to run, it is highly unlikely that an agent could go slack on the deal and make any of the parties to the deal unhappy '

  • Professional Networking

In addition to the own sourcing and data base maintained by individual real estate agents, there is a network of these agents who work in collaboration with each other to expand their individual jurisdictions. This way the agents get to service their clients for a wider area without having to physically be at more than one place. Therefore, the networking serves a dual-purpose, one more homes for sale, two the resultant monetary benefits.

4 Tips Every Homebuyer Should Follow

Homebuyers have an important decision to make when house-hunting because such an investment can not afford to go wrong. When browsing though brochures and magazines, it's easy to get cooked up in the quest for luxury as glossy images portrait homes featuring expansive gardens, large pools, four-car garages and designer architecture. The truth is, average…

Homebuyers have an important decision to make when house-hunting because such an investment can not afford to go wrong. When browsing though brochures and magazines, it's easy to get cooked up in the quest for luxury as glossy images portrait homes featuring expansive gardens, large pools, four-car garages and designer architecture.

The truth is, average homes are as good as designer structures because there's more room for renovation at a lesser cost. Expensive dwellings are undutely fine if you can afford the upkeep but since the basic requirement of a house is still to provide shelter, it should not be all that glamorous or expensive.

First-time buyers can become overwhelmed with options and tend to zero in on a house after going through only a few. This is a big mistake because if a house is not evaluated for its structural integrity and practicality, maintenance costs will be high and it will not be able to accommodate future members of a family.

Check listing price in an area of ​​your choice

If you're in the market for a new house, it most likely means you intend moving to a new neighborhood. It logically follows that you should look for homes in a locality of your choice, slowly moving farther from it if there are no listings.

Take the help of a multiple listing service through the website of the association of realtors. The listings are trusted and kept updated.

Do not exceed your budget

You might be tempted to opt for a two-bedroom house if your family numbers four members but think of the future when your children grow up and will need separate rooms. Or, you may decide to go for a four-bedroom house even if it's only you and your partner who'll be living there. Without others plan to stay, the cost of maintaining a larger house will be high and you may not be able to pay off your mortgage.

Know that paying the housing loan is only one of many expenses. You have to calculate day-to-day expenses, utility, tax, groceries, repair work, contingencies and other essentials. The bigger a house is, the higher the utility bills and tax.

Think of resale value

Even homeowners who intend to live in their homes for keeps can move in the future. Job postings, a house turning out to be too small or too expensive to maintain can facilitate a sale. In view of this, the resale value of property must be considered because if you can not sell a house for a good price, you will lose out on a lot of money.

Properties with good resale value have several features buyers look for. These include moderately landscaped lots, a decent-sized front yard or backyard, a pool that does not hog the entire backyard, and a small or medium size house in a prestigious neighborhood. The last factor helps in pulling up the value of a small / medium house as larger dwellings automatically command higher prices and prestigious locales even more so. Conversely, a large house in an undesirable neighborhood will have its value dropped down.

Do you really need to buy a house?

If you intend to live in it for only a year or two, you'd be better off renting a house rather than purchasing it. Paying off a mortgage can take years and you'll be saddled with debt if you jump the gun.

Property Managing Technology at Your Service

Any new software that is developed is created in order to benefit users in some way or the other. The main purpose of such programs is to provide a streamlined approach and an easy-to-understand as well as use method, to get the work done faster and with more results. This is the basic financial that…

Any new software that is developed is created in order to benefit users in some way or the other. The main purpose of such programs is to provide a streamlined approach and an easy-to-understand as well as use method, to get the work done faster and with more results. This is the basic financial that is applied to asset management system that uses basics to help any landlord or agent manage their properties. Such software will absolutely make life easier and will allow you to be one step ahead of the game, always.

Technology that Helps
With such huge competition even agents and property managers need to be ready to forge ahead, and getting a good program to aid you in this endeavor is a must. Technology allows its users to access a world that is far more advanced and which empowers its users to gain more in terms of satisfaction as well as customer base. Generally there are two types of programs that currently offer assistance to landlord manager and agents. One is internet based that is online and the other is the box software that can be bought and used. When it had been introduced, it had cost a pretty penny but today you have a number of options available in affordable types which when implemented can provide a lot of advantages to you as a business man.

Types of software available
Such programs are not only for large agencies and property owners who have a vast number of assets and need a system like this to manage the business. Smaller landlords managers with two properties can also derive a lot of benefit from such a system. The software can be programmed to help both managers as well as letting agents alike. Some of them are offered with a free money back guarantee if you are unsure of its long term benefits. Others come with a free trial period or free demo version that allows you to test it out thoroughly and then make the purchase with satisfaction. There are also frequent updates possible with the application which can be downloaded as and when they appear in the market. Some may require a payment while others may be free. It depends on the kind of application you are buying.

Various Associated Benefits
Some of the benefits of such a system are that you will be able to keep track of your various properties whether you own one house or ten. These will have a number of features that allow you to keep abreast of property payments, rent checks due, information about your various contracts and also to ensure that you always keep up with your tax obligations. It's a complete paper-free version that allows you to eliminate piles of paperwork and gather everything in one organized place. Once you start using this application you can ease your burdens and depend on it to streamline the entire process, reducing your work load tremendously.

Annual Maintenance Tips for Restaurant Facility Managers

As the facility manager of a restaurant, there will be a number of checks that you will need to carry out regularly in order to ensure that the business is able to continue running safely and smoothly. Whether you're maintaining the facilities of an exclusive Michelin -starred eatery or a fast-food diner, there will also…

As the facility manager of a restaurant, there will be a number of checks that you will need to carry out regularly in order to ensure that the business is able to continue running safely and smoothly. Whether you're maintaining the facilities of an exclusive Michelin -starred eatery or a fast-food diner, there will also be a number of annual checks that need to be performed in order to carry out necessary maintenance and repair work. With this in mind, here are just a few annual tips which restaurant facility managers should bear in mind in order keep businesses and buildings operating efficiently.

Type of restaurant – Not all restaurants will require exactly the same service regarding their facilities management. Fast-food restaurants, for example, are likely to experience more significantly 'traffic' in terms of the number of customers who walk through their doors over the course of a year, compared to an expensive fine-dining establishment. Therefore, you might find that they experience more wear and tear, especially to flooring, furniture and bathroom facilities, which can require repairs or replacements.

Kitchen – Facility maintenance is of the utmost importance when it comes to restaurant kitchens. Not only can it help to ensure that the food being served tastes great, but it can also be essential in guaranteeing that the restaurant meets health, safety and hygiene requirements. Grease traps will need to be emptied, cleaned and cleared during your annual checks, whilst appliances should be given a deep clean. In addition, appliances which contain a thermostat (such as the oven and refrigerator) should be calibrated once, if not twice, every year.

Before winter – As with almost any property, you will need to check the roof for signs of debris, moss and loose tiles during your annual maintenance survey. It is a good deal to do this during the autumn months, so that any damage can be repaired before the winter weather causes further problems. Heating systems and air conditioning units tend to be in frequent use throughout the year in restaurants and any issues can have a huge impact to the levels of business. Therefore, it is well worth carrying out system maintenance checks to ensure that such systems are working safely and efficiently.

Before summer – The cold, wet weather can cause significant damage, so use the spring as an opportunity to carry out maintenance and repair work as soon as possible. Snow and salt can cause major wear and tear to restaurant car parks and you may find that the exterior paint is in urgent need of touching up. Outdoor seating areas can also be affected and furniture should be checked for cracks and splinters, while wooden chairs or tables may need re-finishing on an annual basis. Restaurants need to have aesthetically-pleasing exteriors in order to entice customers to come in and try their food, so this is also a good time to carry out any landscaping work.

What Are The Different Types Of Apartments?

With detached homes so expensive these days more people are opting to live in apartments. They're self-contained, have necessary facilities like parking and are as safe as other types of housing units. Those who can afford it purchase a unit while those who can not, rent it. Whether you choose to buy or rent, you…

With detached homes so expensive these days more people are opting to live in apartments. They're self-contained, have necessary facilities like parking and are as safe as other types of housing units. Those who can afford it purchase a unit while those who can not, rent it. Whether you choose to buy or rent, you must know the types available. Following is a list of the options available.

Loft: A loft is a space that was not intended for residential use. It's repurposed to be livable. Expect to find high ceilings and windows, a space that may be small or very large to accommodate one to three bedrooms. Most lofts are located on higher levels in a building.

Convertible: A convertible is a space that's large enough to be walled off to create additional rooms. You'll most likely find one that features one bedroom, kitchen-cum-dining, living room and a bathroom. Any one of the first three rooms may be large enough to accommodate an extra room which can be used as a second bedroom, study or storeroom.

Garden apartment: A garden apartment is a costlier choice but it features access to a shared garden. The term can be used in different contexts, for example, a basement level apartment or a unit just below the roof in which case the garden may be located on the rooftop.

Garage apartment: A garage apartment is a unit that's a repurposed garage. It's usually rented as the space is attached to an existing house. Depending on size, there may or may not be parking space. Some regions do not allow garage apartment construction or occupancy unless they're meant for relatives.

Maisonette: A maisonette is an apartment that occupations two or more levels and usually with a separate entrance. It's a combination of a house and an apartment that gives occupants privacy while still permitting them to avail common recreation areas.

Duplex, triplex and quadplex: The first refer to a building with two levels that share a common wall. Triplexes are three-unit dwellings and quad lexes, four. Separate entrances exist for all units which means increased privacy.

Railroad apartment: In a railroad apartment, there's no separate hallway connecting the rooms. Rather, entrances are placed on the outside of the unit. The layout is lengthwise so railroad apartments are distinguished by their long shape. For example, living quarters are built end-to-end so if you need to get to the living room from the bedroom that's located on the far side of the house, you've got to pass through the connecting rooms.

Single room occupancy: People living in single room occupancies have separate bedrooms and bathrooms but share a common area and a kitchen. Traveling workers and students make up the chunk of tenants though many permanently remain in them.

Studio apartment: Studio apartments typically combine all living quarters in a single room. So, in essence, the unit is really a single large room that's been arranged to accommodate all facilities. Studio apartments are sometimes called alcove or L-shaped apartments.

Penthouse: Penthouses are among the most expensive apartments. They're located on the highest floor of a building and contain all luxurious facilities. The cost can run up into thousands of dollars in rent and cross over a million dollars to purchase. Unlike other apartments which are usually limited in space, penthouses can be as large as detached homes. They also have easy access to schools, malls, hotels and restaurants.

What Does Your Tenancy Say About Animals And Pets?

I had a call from my friend who is a private landlord (away on holiday). Having been unable to sell her property, she decided to rent it out. It was a nice 2 bedroom bungalow in a quite cul-de-sac in a nice area so she found a tenant easily. The tenant wanted a long term…

I had a call from my friend who is a private landlord (away on holiday). Having been unable to sell her property, she decided to rent it out. It was a nice 2 bedroom bungalow in a quite cul-de-sac in a nice area so she found a tenant easily. The tenant wanted a long term let as her children were going to the local primary school then secondary school. Any landlords dream tenant.

When my friend called me she said that she had received reports from her old neighbors that the tenant was keeping a pony on the front lawn, could I go and have a look and sort it out? I found this hard to believe as the front lawn was only approx: 3 meters square.

The property was local to me so I got ready and headed over.

Turns out the pony was a little shetland pony no bigger than a great dane dog. It was being sold the next day and would be kept in the back garden and out of arms way and view overnight.

Even though this situation was innocent enough and no harm was done, there are instances of tenants keeping livestock / animals in front or back gardens.

Most tenancy agreement state that pets and birds are not allowed inside the property but many do not have a clause for animals, birds, livestock, pets being kept outside of the property.

In this scenario, a small pony was involved but you could be in a situation where your tenants is keeping dogs, pigeons and even in some cases chickens and ducks outside without your prior consent or knowledge.

A word advice from one landlord to another. If your property has a front or back garden please ensure that your tenancy agreement outlines clearly what animals or birds you will or will not allow in or outside the property and that you get a written request from your tenant before they buy and animal and have it on your property.

You do not want a situation where your tenant has a horse or pony in your garden and no NOT ALLOWED cause in your contract as this may cause a lot of problems not only to your property but also with your neighbors.

Can you imagine how you would feel if 1 month into a 6 month contract your tenant bought and housed (kennel / run) the animal outside and it barked / howled all night and the neighbors were contacting You to sort it out? It is a headache that as landlord you just do not need.

Subletting A Room, Is It Worth Going To Court Or Possibly PRISON For?

Have you been struggling to meet your rent payment each month and were considering subletting a room out in your rented property? Just for a few months while you get over the quiet period at work or the winter months when the heating costs will be higher? You may even know someone who can /…

Have you been struggling to meet your rent payment each month and were considering subletting a room out in your rented property? Just for a few months while you get over the quiet period at work or the winter months when the heating costs will be higher? You may even know someone who can / would move straight in and you could even a bit of money in profit each month?

Well I am sorry to let you know, but did you realize that sub-letting your rented property could see you ending up in prison? Quite a shocker really as what you think is just a little innocent verbal agreement between 2 friends can actually have such a massive result.

Tenants sub-letting their rental properties without the knowledge or consent of the landlord is becoming an increasingly widespread issue and one that has been highlighted more and more as sub-letting scams are now on the increase with 'tenants' renting a number of properties and re-letting (subletting) them to others in exchange for money and profit.

Many tenants may be subletting the property without even realizing they are doing it. Example; letting a friend / family member stay in the property for a few months while you work away for a while or go traveling. Kind of like house sitting but paying the rent in your absence. I would recommend anyone in this situation to have a conversation with your landlord just to make it clear and more importantly ASK THEIR PERMISSION .

Most AST (Assured Tenancy Agreements) have a clause within them stating that sub-letting is not allowed and the tenant will be in breach of their contract, this is because most landlords will not allow tenants to sub-let as it may cause gaining the possession of the flat more problematic.

What can Happen If I Sub Let Without Landlords Consent?

If you sub-let part or all of your property not only will you have to face the wrath of your landlord but you may well find yourself in court especially if it is found that you have profited from the sub-letting.

According to an article written by Property Core, “a woman was found guilty of letting eleven properties and then sub-letting them to multiple tenants without the knowledge of the landlords highlights the severity of punishments, she was sentenced to four years in prison on fraud charges. Another couple in Sussex who rented a property and sub-let it to make a profit while living in their own home. They were charged, found guilty, sent up to 4 months imprisonment and held liable for over £ 7,000 in legal costs. ”

Shelters stance on this is “If you sublet your property to another tenant without permission, and have made a profit from subletting, your landlord may also be able to take you to court to claim damages.”

Be honest and open with your landlord. If your friend is coming over for a while and 'paying their way' all you need to do is pick up the phone and speak to the landlord about it.

So the question you need to ask yourself … Is it worth going to court or in the worse case scenario prison for?

Perfecting the Retail Tenant Mix in a Shopping Center

In a retail property, the tenant mix will be a key factor in the success of the property and the strength of the market rental. A correctly designed tenancy mix will encourage future sales and minimizeize vacancies. That will have a direct impact and benefit to the property owner and landlord, as well as the…

In a retail property, the tenant mix will be a key factor in the success of the property and the strength of the market rental. A correctly designed tenancy mix will encourage future sales and minimizeize vacancies. That will have a direct impact and benefit to the property owner and landlord, as well as the tenants in location.

The landlords of retail shopping center and properties would be well advised to devote time and energy to the selection selection and placement process. This can be successfully undertaken as part of the annual business plan for the property.

As a special note, the business plan for the property should be created once per year, and adjusted quarterly based on the trends of the market, economic conditions, financial performance, and vacancy factors.

Here are some ideas to help you with the property planning process and tenant placement:

  1. Review the competing properties in the local area. Some may offer factors of attraction to your tenants and potentially draw some of those tenants away from you. For this very reason, your lease strategies and rental structures need to be well considered for tenant stability, rental advantage, and competition. Your property needs to be the best value for ongoing occupancy and potential trade.
  2. Some of those competing properties will have tenant mix structures that are quite successful. Look at the factors of clustering within each competitive retail shopping center. Determine the clusters that work successfully and why that would be so. There will always be positive relationships between some tenants to the benefit of ongoing trade. Replicate the good factors that can have benefits to your property.
  3. Review your existing property with due regard to rent reviews, options, and lease expires. Some tenants will choose to leave the property at the end of the lease term. You will need to prioritize your tenants into groups so that you can negotiate successful transactions with the priority tenants. Tenant retention within a property business plan is a useful concept. The retention plan can allow you to work well in advance when it comes to priority tenants.
  4. As a general rule, it is not productive to offer option terms to tenants at the time of initial lease negotiation. The landlords of larger shopping centers typically avoid giving options. They would rather negotiate a new lease with the successful tenant at the end of the initial lease term if the tenant has provided themselves in occupancy within the property. A single lease term always gives the landlord maximum flexibility when it comes to tenant relocation and any required tenant mix changes.
  5. Understand the linkage and benefit between specialist contracts and anchor tenants within your property. The trade and the activities of the anchor tenant should encourage more customers to the property and potentially more trade for the specialty contracts. Encourage your anchor tenant to participate consistently in the future of the property and maximize customer interest.
  6. Develop a marketing plan for the overall property, and to help boost the trade of the tenants within. It is likely that the marketing plan will require contributions from the tenants, and that will require their agreement. That agreement can be achieved through the standard lease documentation at the time of lease negotiation.

It is not hard to perfect a retail tenancy mix within a shopping center. It is simply a matter of understanding the profiles of the current contracts, the opportunities that the customers provide to the property, and the prevailing market conditions. Match your property dozens to the demographics of the local area and the customers' requirements.