3 Reasons Why Renting an Apartment Is a Headache

In many ways, the idea of renting an apartment can seem like it has a lot of advantages over making a purchase. You won’t have to pay as much money up front, plus the agreements you sign are much more flexible. This means it is much easier for you to move on if you feel the need to.

However, renting also comes with a number of headaches that you will need to consider before you make a choice one way or the other. What may seem like a good idea could turn out to be a nightmare once you finally get the keys to your new place.

Bad Landlords

In an ideal world anybody who acts as a landlord for a building will be vigilant when it comes to handling tenant’s concerns and problems. Unfortunately, there are many cases where a landlord simply doesn’t want to express the interest that they need to in order to ensure their tenants are comfortable.

Try to do a little bit of research into other properties owned by the landlord before signing an agreement. If possible, it is also a good idea to talk to other tenants, particular if the landlord owns the entire apartment block. Find out how easy they are to communicate and how they react when news of a problem is sent to them.

Privacy

Apartments, by their very nature, do not offer the same levels of privacy that you would be able to experience if you buy or rent a family home. You will often encounter people in the hallways, which is not a problem in most cases but can become something of an issue if you don’t happen to get along with a fellow tenant for whatever reason.

Furthermore, you will find that you can often hear noises from your neighbours, no matter if they live next door or on a different floor. While this can be distracting, it also means that they can hear you as well. This only further serves to reduce your levels of privacy, which can be an issue for many people. It also means that you may run into trouble if you try to hold a party or engage in any noisy activities.

The Neighbours

Much like with landlords, you can never guarantee that your fellow tenants are going to be the type of people that you want as neighbours. As much research as you do into a building, it is often difficult to determine what the neighbours are going to be like over the long term until you have actually taken the plunge and moved in.

Furthermore, you will usually find that landlords are less than willing to hand over any information about troublesome tenants. After all, they want to get a paying tenant into any vacant apartment that they have, so while they may not lie to you they may withhold the truth in some cases. Bad neighbours can exist in any walk of life, but in an apartment you are in such close proximity that it can become a major headache.

Retail Shopping Center Performance Tips for Brokers and Agents

In reviewing the performance of any retail shopping centre there are many things to look at. As a type of investment, the typical retail property is dynamic and active in many ways. A true property professional will review all the facts before getting involved in property marketing or any sale or lease. Many things should be understood first before any action is taken.

What makes a retail property so different? It is integrated heavily into and involving the stakeholder’s interests; the stakeholders are the landlord, the tenants, customers, financiers, managers and leasing specialists. In an ideal investment situation the retail property manager would be balancing the tenant mix to improve retail sales and lessen the vacancy rate, and then to take steps to improve the landlord’s net income. Within those two issues there are many things to look at.

It can be said that retail property managers are perhaps the most specialised in the property industry. Their knowledge, skill, and systems will have a major impact on the property overall. On that basis the retail management fees paid today in a quality property should be substantial to cover the time required in property control and optimisation. The management processes and leasing activities in a retail property are intense. Mistakes or omissions made can impact the property in many different ways.

So here are some basic factors to help you get started in checking and optimising retail property performance from the aspects of the leases and tenants. You can add to the list based on location and property configuration:

  1. Tenant mix – review the tenant mix in all respects. That will include lease documentation, critical dates, tenant offering, sales performance, and lease longevity.
  2. Lease terms and conditions – in a property you will have many leases. All of them will have lease terms that are unique to the premises and the lease situation. You must know about the leases before any sale or marketing proposal is contemplated.
  3. Sales figures – most good retail properties will be tracking sales turnover by retailer. This will be done as a standard term and condition of the lease. The numbers will show segments of trade and the MAT average over time. MAT stands for Moving Annual Turnover and it will show how the sales figures are trending in retail segments in a shopping centre. It is a valuable analysis. It helps you see weaknesses in trade, tenant mix, lease structure, and clustering.
  4. Vacancy factors – given that you have leases in a property, you are likely to have vacancies as well, together with the threat of a vacancy with tenants getting to the end of lease occupancy.

Looking at all of these things you have the basis of understanding just how the tenants and leases impact the property and its current cash flow of rental. From that point onwards you can look at other associated issues such as outgoings, net income, and customer interaction.

7 Tips to Know Before You Buy an Apartment

The process of purchasing an apartment is more complicated than that of purchasing a house. This is because you don’t purchase the land right away. If you are going to buy an apartment for the first time, we suggest that you follow the 7 tips given below. Read on to find out more.

1. Freehold and leasehold

First, you should understand the difference between leasehold and freehold. In case of a freehold property, the buyer owns the land and the home. On the other hand, a leasehold is the property that you pay for to occupy, but you share the property with other people.

For instance, flats are leased as they are made in a building that’s shared with hundreds of other people. In fact, this is one of the most obvious differences between a leasehold property and a freehold one.

2. Lease period

In case of leasehold, the buyer buys the right to live in the said property for a specific period. This period can be up to 999 years long. With the passage of time, this value comes down. Therefore, it’s important that you find out the time remaining on the lease. You can ask your real estate agent to find out this information for you.

3. Service charges

You should find out about the ground rent and other service charges you need to pay for the apartment. Plus, you should find out about who will be responsible for the communal area repairs. This will help you set your budget properly.

4. Alterations

Can you make changes to the property? If so, are there any restrictions to follow? The restrictions can be either subtle or obvious. If you have major plans to make alterations to the flat, you may want to contact your lawyer.

5. Major repairs

The service charges may include general maintenance as well. However, it may not cover major repairs like roof repairs. For large repairs, make sure you know the person who will pay for them. This is quite important, especially if you have a limited budget for repairs and other tasks of this sort. Keep in mind that major repairs will cost a great deal of money.

6. Restrictions

Make sure you know if you can keep pets in your apartment or not. Some apartment buildings don’t allow any type of pets. Similarly, some apartments don’t allow to play music after, say, 12pm. Therefore, you should ask your real estate agent about the restrictions you have to follow.

7. Assistance

After you have bought your apartment, make sure you know who will come to your help when you are in need. You can contact the lease advisory service of government to find out information about landlords and tenants.

In short, if you are going to buy an apartment, we suggest that you check out these tips. With these tips in mind, it will be much easier for you to make the right choice and avoid some common mistakes. Hopefully, this can help you go through the process more easily.

Collecting Rent Payments Online

Collecting rent, writing receipts, updating tenant payment histories, and sending late payment notices are all time-consuming tasks. For property management companies and landlords, online rent payment solutions eliminate the need to manually collect rent payments and manage the related bookkeeping and paperwork. Electronic rent collection solutions provide a convenient, fast, and secure method for managing all these tasks, and more. Online rent payment solutions will save time and can significantly reduce the number of late payments.

With online rent payment solutions, apartment community websites can be customized to accept online payments from tenants and the funds are automatically deposited, thus eliminating the need to prepare checks for deposit and make a trip to the bank. Landlords and managers also have the option to select multiple bank accounts to manage deposits for different properties separately. Additionally, with seamless integration to landlord/property management software, tenant payment histories are immediately updated and available for review and landlords can monitor monthly rent collection activity in real-time.

Landlords can utilize features that include tenant information updates, property information updates, and tenant email notifications. Options include email notification of rent payment and late fee schedules, late payment notifications, policy updates, and the latest property and association updates. Landlords and property management companies can also list vacancies, accept applications online, and collect application fees and security deposits electronically.

With twenty-four hour access, tenants will appreciate the convenience of online rent payment. The process is secure, easy, and takes only minutes. There are several payment options available – debit cards, credit cards, or e-checks. In addition, tenants can choose to make one-time monthly payments or set up automatic payments using credit and debit cards. Tenants receive all transaction receipts via email, as well as other property management notifications. Tenants can also update their name and phone number information, view their payment history, and send maintenance requests.

Online rent payment solutions give landlords and property managers the peace of mind knowing rent collection is efficient, easy, and secure. Manual rent collection systems are time-consuming and, depending on the number of properties involved, can take two to three days every month. With online rent collection solutions, landlords and property managers are able to spend this time on other important tasks.

Getting started is easy. Simply fill out an application and once the landlord/property manager merchant account is activated, electronic rent collection can begin. For peace of mind, security and privacy are maintained at the highest levels, protecting stored or transmitted information at all times. Online rent collection solutions are affordable and available now.

Free Rental Lease Agreement Form – How to Find the Form You Want and What it Should Say

When looking for a rental lease form you will have a few choices on how to get them, you can go to the local office store and buy generic ones but this has several disadvantages, not only do you spend a lot of money for these forms but they rarely cover everything and you find that you have to continue to write in the specifics of your particular lease. You can also type and photo copy your own lease this too takes time and knowledge, you can have them custom made as well but this can be expensive, or final you can download a free rental lease agreement form off the Internet.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but in the end they all come back to a few important points, you need your forms to be affordable, they also need to be accurate and they need to take up as little of your valuable time as possible. The easiest way to accomplish this is to find your templates online. There are a number of different sites that offer free templates that will work for your purposes perfectly and while you can find pay sites as well a lease form is quite unique to the person that is using it so you will need to edit it regardless, why pay for one when you do not have to.

A free form can offer a number of different benefits, the important points of the lease agreement will already present these points are pretty standard and are a part of just about any lease agreement form, this will save you a lot of time because you will not have to take the time to type all of this up and since this will represent the bulk of your agreement that can be a big time saver. You will be able to modify the agreement in any way you need, you can put anything that is state specific in the form as well as any special rules you may have for your rental.

Once you have the form exactly how you want it, then all that is left is to print it on your printer, this is far more economical than having someone custom design your template and it saves you a lot of time since you do not have to fill in the extras on a generic form every time you need to use one. You can download your free rental lease agreement form at many different websites online and each site should have instructions on how to edit their forms.