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Scary Stats About Tenant Evictions

For the past 14 months I’ve been creating content for RentPrep, a tenant screening service located just outside of Buffalo, NY.

I’ve come across some very telling data when it comes to evictions.

The most recent nationwide study suggests that there were 2.7 million evictions in 2015 in the United States.

Let’s break that down a little.

Evictions Per Month: 225,000
Evictions Per Day: 7,397
Evictions Per Hour: 308
Evictions Per Minute: 5.1

This means that on average an eviction happens every 11.8 seconds in the United States.

The average person reads at 200 word per minute. This means, on average, there has been 3.79 evictions by the time you read to the dashed lined below.

That’s because you’ve read 149 words up to this point which equates to 44.7 seconds of time or 3.79 evictions.


It can be fun to look at stats from peculiar angles but what isn’t fun is going through an eviction.

Transunion study suggests that the average eviction costs about $3,500. If your margins are low on a property it means you can’t afford even one eviction and remain profitable.

How Do You Avoid Evictions?

The easiest thing you can do to avoid an eviction, is to not rent to someone who has had an eviction in the past seven years.

I say seven years, because evictions are only reportable for that long under the rules of the FCRA. A consumer reporting agency (such as RentPrep) cannot legally provide you eviction data that is older than seven years. It’s illegal to use as reasoning for denying an applicant.

What about reportable evictions?
Glad you asked…

… if your applicant has a reportable eviction, the law of averages says that they are more than 2.5 times likely to be evicted compared to an applicant with zero evictions on file. This data can be found in the same link provided above from Transunion.

An eviction on file means you have a high risk applicant that is much more likely to evict again.

Everyone’s criteria differs but I suggest having a zero eviction policy in place.

Run a background check and make sure you’re looking at all the available data before making a decision on an applicant.

If you’re unfamiliar with the tenant screening process you can check out our free tenant screening course on Udemy.

Baby Proofing Your Rental – Orlando Property Management Tips

The topic of child safety in your rental property is an extremely important one. You may be thinking that it’s the responsibility of your tenants to child proof and baby proof a home. That’s true, but as a property owner, there are a lot of things you can do to make it easier. All rental properties need to be safe and habitable, and the little children and babies who are living in your property are especially important. Today, we’re sharing some of the ways to childproof a property that will protect your youngest tenants and also to protect your own legal interests.

Property Management Orlando: Repairs and Pools

Start with looking at all the railings and banisters in your home. Make sure they are not damaged or falling apart. There should not be any loose pieces, and they should be close enough together to prevent anyone from falling through. Pool safety is also an extremely important landlord responsibility here in the sunny state of Florida. A fence or screen enclosure around the swimming pool with a lock, alarm, latch, or all three, is helpful. Make sure the entire pool area is childproof so it’s easy for parents to prevent their children from playing in the area without adult supervision.

Property Management Orlando: Windows and Garages

Screens should be on all windows, especially in two story homes. You should also place child safety latches on your windows. Blind strings should not be long enough for little ones to reach. You want your garage doors to have a motion sensor that works. This helps everyone; kids, pets, and adults. You also need smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that work and are installed in the right places.

Let’s all work together to make our rental properties safe. If you have any questions about how to create a child proof home, or anything pertaining to Orlando property management, please give us a call. You can contact us at Hampton & Hampton Management and Leasing in Orlando.

Homeowners vs. Landlord Insurance: Which One Covers Your Orlando Rental Property?

As a landlord, you need a good insurance agent to help you make an informed decision about purchasing insurance for rental property. If you don’t have the proper insurance coverage for your rental property, you can find yourself with serious financial and legal problems.

Homeowners Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

Proper coverage starts with a landlord insurance policy, which may also be called a property and casualty insurance policy. This is different from a regular homeowner’s policy, so it’s possible that you will need to switch plans if you currently have a homeowner’s plan. With a landlord policy, there are many pieces of insurance to consider. There’s general liability, building coverage, hazard and fire coverage, loss of rental income, flood insurance if the home is in a flood plain, and coverage for sewer backups. The dollar amount for a landlord policy is typically about the same or a little more than regular homeowner’s policy.

Property Management Orlando: Choosing Coverage

When you’re choosing the right insurance for landlords, make sure you are purchasing complete coverage. Keep in mind that your insurance agent needs to know many details about your property in order to get you the right amount of coverage. You’ll have to talk about and document the property’s age, condition, and the type of investment property it is; a single family home or a condo. Any other special circumstances pertaining to the property should also be discussed with your agent. Ask questions and make sure everything is explained so that you understand what kind of coverage you have. Most landlords don’t realize that if they file an insurance claim on their rental property, but the insurance policy is still listed as a homeowner’s policy, the claim will most likely be denied.

There’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to rental property insurance. If you have any questions about landlord insurance or our Orlando property management services, please contact us at Hampton & Hampton Leasing and Management in Orlando.

How to Reduce Vacancy Loss in Orlando – Property Management Tips

Vacancy loss will cost you money, and every day that your property remains vacant on the rental market is a day that your investment becomes more expensive. Today, we’re talking about your vacancy rate and how to shorten your property’s vacancy time.

Property Management Orlando: Pricing and Condition

Price the property correctly and make sure it will show in excellent condition. These are things you should do before you even start advertising for a new tenant. Check your local market for comparable rental prices, and price it competitively. Otherwise, the home will sit and you will lose money on extended vacancies. Property condition also impacts vacancy rates. It must show well, which means it must be clean and have all the necessary repairs completed. Good tenants will not be interested in a property with bugs everywhere, dirty floors, and doors hanging off of the closet. Take photos when the property is empty. It looks its best when you have pictures of a clean, empty house and not pictures of all of the tenant’s furniture and clutter.

Property Management Orlando: Marketing and Advertising

Good advertising and marketing will help you avoid long vacancies. The majority of tenants are looking for properties online. There are free and paid sites you can use to get a lot of exposure. Signage can be important too. Someone in the neighborhood might see your sign and know someone who is looking. Or, a prospective tenant will drive through their favorite neighborhoods looking for a rental. Social media is good for marketing exposure too. Put your listing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Finally, reduce vacancy by holding onto the good tenants you currently have. Last but not least, make sure you answer the phone when potential renters call. There is nothing worse for a prospective tenant than going to voicemail and then not getting a return phone call.

If you have any questions about reducing your vacancy rate, or you’d like to talk about Orlando property management in general, we’d be happy to tell you more. Please contact us at Hampton & Hampton Management and Leasing in Orlando.

Security Deposit Deductions in Orlando: Damage vs. Normal Wear and Tear

Security deposits can be a source of contention between landlords and tenants. The amount of the deposit that is returned depends on knowing what is normal wear and tear. This is probably one of the hardest things to determine and explain. The normal wear and tear definition is the deterioration of the property that occurs during occupancy where the tenant cleans regularly and cares for the premises reasonably.

The security deposit definition is a sum of money that’s collected to protect the landlord in the event that something at the property is damaged or really dirty.

Security Deposit: What You Can Deduct for

Conduct a full walk through of the property, and take videos and photos prior to a tenant taking occupancy. It’s a great idea to do this with a third party vendor for the pre-inspection. We always give a copy of the move-in report to owners and tenants. Some of the things you can deduct for include:

  • Excessive holes in walls
  • Broken tiles or fixtures in the property
  • Plumbing backups
  • Repainting where a tenant has repainted from original colors
  • Tears, stains, burn marks in carpets
  • Missing or damaged blinds, broken windows and window screens, broken doors or locks
  • Broken or damaged appliances
  • Excessive dirt and bugs or fleas, as well as trash and junk left behind
  • Past due rent and any fees incurred by the association due to tenant conduct
  • Water damage to hardwoods, missing outlet covers, remotes for garages or gates, rekeying of locks if the tenants did not return keys
  • Unpaid utilities if they are part of lease agreement
  • Undoing tenant alterations

Security Deposit: What You Cannot Deduct For

These things are considered wear and tear, and should not be deducted:

  • Slab or plumbing leaks
  • Normal run wear on carpets (be especially careful about charging a tenant for the entire cost of carpets when the carpets are like 10 years old)
  • Picture or pen holes in walls
  • Painting or pressure washing the outside of your home unless there are oil stains from cars
  • Routine maintenance

Other things will always need to be addressed. For smooth property management in Orlando, FL, try to work with tenants when there’s a dispute, and come up with a resolution.

If you have any questions about tenant damage, wear and tear, or anything pertaining to Orlando property management, please contact us at Hampton & Hampton Management and Leasing in Orlando.

How to Handle Difficult Tenants – 5 Tips from an Orlando Property Manager

 

Knowing how to deal with difficult tenants can be tricky. Today, we are sharing five tips that may help you as a landlord. No matter how diligent you are during the screening process, difficult people can slip through the cracks.

Develop a Consistent Process

You must be firm, fair, and consistent will all of your procedures. Document everything, including the time, date, and issue you are having with bad tenants. Remember the saying that if you give people an inch, they will take a mile. That’s especially true with bad tenants. Make sure your lease agreement and rules are in place ahead of time and everyone has read and signed them. This includes rules and regulations in an HOA or a condo association.

Conduct Property Inspections

Sometimes, a personal visit to the property can help you assess what’s really happening over there, and calm your worst fears. Not everyone has the same definition of what an emergency is. So, if the tenants are complaining that the property is flooded, and it’s actually a small pool of water that has gathered under the kitchen sink, you can take some pictures and schedule a repair.

Prepare to Serve Legal Notices

Problems that grow without resolution only become bigger problems. Don’t be afraid to serve proper legal notices and warnings when warranted. Part of our property management in Orlando, FL process is to serve all our notices with a professional process server. That really gets the attention of our tenants.

Learn About Your Tenants

The old adage holds true: you get more bees with honey. Get to know your tenant on a personal level. Don’t ignore their issues, and no matter how insignificant you may feel the problem is, always take care of their concerns right away. A phone call or email letting the tenant know you’re working on the resolution will make a difference.

Release Bad Tenants from Their Lease

Finally, you can ask your tenants to leave. I always tell tenants that if they are unhappy, it might not be the right property for them. Don’t let bad tenants cause you stress. Settle with them and release them from the lease so you can move on.

If you have any questions about how to deal with bad tenants, please contact us at Hampton & Hampton Management and Leasing. We’d be happy to tell you more about Orlando property management.