Tag Archives for " Cleveland Oh property manager "

How to easily and quickly spot a leaky toilet and stop a water billzilla.

A water leak from your toilet can be trouble, for both the property owner and the tenant. It is something that if left unattended, can become costly and very inconvenient at the same time. It’s important to know that most tenants are responsible for the water bill according to what is stablished on their lease. Also, depending on the situation, if a water leak occurs, tenants might also end up becoming responsible for the extra water usage that goes over the standard bill in the case of a non-reported leak. This extra amount can ascend to hundreds and even thousands of dollars, depending on how bad the leak is.

A water leak can drive up your bill to even thousands of dollars.

So, in order to help you prevent having to deal with a billzilla attack, I’d like to give you a few short tips you can use to detect and handle a water leak from your toilet.

  • Listen carefully and try to detect water running continuously during the night, as well as sounds coming from your toilet as if it were being used when it’s clearly not.
  • Purchase a dye test for your toilet. You can get these at Home Depot for a couple of bucks, and it’s easy to use. You just put the dye test in the toilet tank, and after some time, if it’s leaking you will notice that even when the toilet is not being used, the edges of the inside of the toilet will have rivulets of dye running down.
  • You can try the previous step without the dye test, it’s just harder to detect the rivulets of water down the inside of the toilet if it’s a really subtle leak.
  • Sometimes, you can actually find the problem inside the water tank for the toilet. You might find it a little bit gross, but don’t worry it’s only filled with regular clean water. Several things could be wrong here, just check that everything is working as it should and nothing is stuck and the flapper that blocks the flow of water is able to seal the water off consistently when down (it could be bent, filled with sediment, or something along those lines).
  • If you detect a leak, you can stop the flow of water into the toilet tank by closing the stop valve that is connected to your toilet. It’s usually low near the ground, right next to your toilet, you just turn it clockwise until the water stops flowing in. Careful not to turn it too hard though, you could break it!
  • After you’ve detected the leak and stopped the flow, give us a call!
  • Something you can do in order to keep using your toilet even with the stop valve closed due to you having found a leak, is to fill about a gallon of water in any type of container, and after you’re done using the toilet you heavily empty this container into the pool until the water goes down. This is a temporary solution, until the problem is fixed.

We hope this helps for you to be able to better manage your toilet and issues that arise in regard to a leak coming from it. Remember, the more you pay mind to these type of things, the less likely you run the risk of incurring any extra expenses or inconveniences that come along with them.

 

How are pests handled?

Whether it is nesting mice, pesky bed bugs, or gnawing termites, pests are unfortunately a frequent headache to property owners. On one hand, professional extermination can be pricey, and in certain situations, there can be health concerns depending on the chemicals used and the level of care used by those doing the extermination process. However, in many circumstances, if you don’t get professional help in order to exterminate a pest problem, you can put your tenant’s health at risk as well as cause damage to your property.

But who should be addressing a pest issue? The landlord? The tenant? The answer to that question varies. When a call comes in for pests, we encourage your tenant to handle the issue themselves using easy to find, affordable over the counter pesticides. If the tenant can prove there is an infestation (defined as “to inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful or threatening”), then the landlord will need to send out professional services. We normally ask for pictures to prove there is an infestation.

Pests can be a very frustrating issue for both landlords and tenants.

Any boring insects, such as termites, need to be handled right away as it’s damaging to the property. If it’s clearly not the tenants fault, you as owner would be liable. Bed bugs, however, are usually something that is brought by the tenants. We suggest you have them take care of it themselves. However, be aware that the tenants can call a city health inspector and they can make the landlord pay for a bed bug infestation.

The responsibility of pest extermination for multi-family properties often falls on the landlord because it can be hard to prove which one of the tenants caused the situation. On either case, it is important to keep an open channel of communication between landlord, tenant, and ourselves in order to get rid of any pest problem as soon as possible.

Cleveland Ohio landlords have flexibility to sell, rent, or lease option

We can rent out your house while helping you sell it.

Many Cleveland Ohio landlords do not set out to be landlords. In many cases, the property owner needs to move out of the area for work or family reasons and doesn’t have enough time to sell their house before they need to leave. In those cases, many people turn to renting to cover costs. Or depending on the market, they decide to rent until the value of the the home increases.

In these situations, there are options, and we can help with all of them. You can continue renting the property and use a property manager to handle the day-to-day for you. We can help make arrangements to sell the property. The property can be marketed for sale while also rented. That way the rent is covering costs, while the house is still on the market. Learn more reading Help! I’ve been transferred out of state but can’t sell my home.

The third option that you may not know about is a lease option. This is a combination of renting and selling. In a lease option, the renters lease the property with the intent to buy after a predetermined period of time.Many Cleveland Ohio landlords understand the risks and difficulties of the market. Regardless of whether you decide to keep the property as a rental or sell it to get out of the rental business, we understand, and we can help.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

5 problems with Cleveland Oh property management

These are the 5 most common problems with property management in Cleveland, Ohio.

Property management is a difficult industry in Cleveland Oh. We are often the messengers of bad news. Renting is difficult and expenses vary by zip code throughout the Cleveland Oh area. Property management is also a very young industry in the Cleveland area. Only a small percentage of Cleveland landlords currently use a property management company. Of the top five companies in the area, the oldest is only seven years old.

Due to the newness of the industry here in Cleveland, there are some problems that property owners need to be aware of before hiring a property manager. Here are the top 5 problems with Cleveland, Ohio property management.

  1. Lack of accountability. Unless you are following your property manager around making sure they are doing what they say they are doing, there is no way to know for sure. This creates an overall lack of accountability. We work to eliminate that with our property owners through the use of surveys, photos, videos, and inspections, as  well as provide regular reports and statements, as well as inspection services. We take the extra step to demonstrate accountability.
  2. Lack of fiduciary. All property managers are supposed to be licensed, but that is often not what you will find. Fiduciary care to all clients is sadly not happening. In many cases, it is someone who owns some properties and decides it would be easy enough to also manage other properties. However, they are not giving the same level of care to all properties. We use systems to make sure all properties are getting the same level of care. Our landlords also have dedicated representatives that act as their direct point of contact.
  3. Lack of license. I said earlier that many people offering management services in the area are doing it without a license. A quick check of Craigslist will verify that for you. Managing properties without a license is highly illegal.  If caught the individual will be charged with a misdemeanor and receive a fine of $1,000 per incident, which adds up quickly. This can lead to you losing a lot of money. Not to mention, working without a license is not professional and does not offer accountability or fiduciary responsibility.
  4. Lack of communication. This is a common problem between property managers and landlords because the management company has not created a system to monitor and encourage communication. We guarantee your dedicated representative will respond to calls by the end of business on the following day. We believe the more communication the better.
  5. No real process. Those new to the business quickly realize that without solid systems in place to manage every aspect of property management, things get out of hand quickly. This is a very complicated industry. The bigger the company gets, the more difficult it becomes.We deliver peace of mind through our systems. We utilize management software, maintenance software, project management software and more to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently for everyone.

We are always looking at our current processes to determine if there is something more or better we can be doing. If you have any suggestions or feedback, we are always happy to hear. If you are a property owner in Cleveland Oh, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

 

Should I have someone manage my rental properties?

rental properties

Investment property comes with unavoidable risk.

This is a question I hear a lot. People want to know if they should manage their rental properties themselves or hire a property manager. In order to answer that question, I have a couple questions for you.

Do you have real estate experience and can you handle high stress situations? Managing rental properties is a stressful job. Are you the kind of person that can stay calm and level-headed in a stressful situation? Can you manage emergencies calmly? Can you keep your cool when someone is trying your patience? These are some of the attributes you need to deal with tenants on a day-to-day basis.

Tenants bring drama and have ways of attempting to control the situation. They may call in the middle of the night or make constant demands. They may try to guilt you into accepting their excuses for not paying rent or for making concessions you wouldn’t normally agree to. Can you deal with these emotions? A manager will insulate you from possible mental and emotional abuse.

Having  a manager helps with these emotions by dealing with the tenants directly. Managers create a buffer between you and the chaos. However, there are some emotions a manager can not help alleviate.

Can you handle the emotions that come with risk and property ownership?  A manager can help deal with the tenants but they cannot take out the risks involved. This is addressed in Should I be a Landlord? There will always be risk in owning rental properties. Things happen. Bad tenants happen. Property damage happens. natural disasters happen. As property managers we work to decrease many of the risks, but we cannot promise they will never happen. You have to be able to deal with the risks that come along with owning rentals.

Do you have the time to manage your properties?  We take care of the day-to-day needs allowing you to use your time in other ways. We have several successful systems in place that allow us to manage a multitude of properties seamlessly.

Are you a control freak? We see this a lot with landlords that have been in the business for years and have been managing their own properties. They want us to do everything their way, but that won’t work for us. Our systems work and to try to manage different properties using different systems or procedures would be hectic and take way too much time. When landlords decide to work with us, they need to take that leap of faith and allow us to manage them our way using our systems. If this is something you can not let go of, you may be better offer hiring an employee to help you with the day-to-day work instead of hiring a property manager.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

 

What to do to get rid of the bad smells from mold or pet urine.

Smell

Smell, Smell, Smell

The smell of mold is one of the most distinct in the world. Just last week there was a small issue in the office where some of our carpet got a little wet from rain. We get these calls all the time after rain. What do you do when you have something like that happen? We don’t like the types of health issues that can occur when you allow mold or pet smells to linger. That is why we use an Ozone Machine when drying out a wet area. An ozone machine works in the following way:

1.) Ozone, O3, is like peroxide. It has an extra oxygen molecule and wants to separate from the core bond.
2.) The third molecule separates and will then kill everything in it’s wake. Bacteria and Mold have no chance.

A step further

We don’t end there. We also odor eaters and other chemicals to kill off any remaining issues.

Have something that you like to use or want us to try. Leave a comment below.

Help! My Cleveland Ohio properties have statement discrepencies

Cleveland Ohio property managers deal with very diverse properties and tenants.

Statement discrepancies happen. There are a lot of moving parts when it come to property management, and property managers throughout the Cleveland, Ohio area are working with a very diverse group of tenants and properties.

Although it may seem easy enough to add up how much you should be getting in rent and subtract the expenses; there is more to it than that. Rent doesn’t always come in at the start of the month; tenants pay late or make arrangements with partial payments. While some expenses are known at the start of the month, they can also come up throughout the month. These two factors will alter the amount you may think you should be getting.

Especially for owners that are out of town, making reference to past statements can easily get confusing. We have worked to eliminate any possible confusion. We do this by first making sure everyone is looking at the same statement. Sometimes amended statements are sent out when things change, and the problem may be that the property owner is looking at an outdated statement without realizing it.

There are two things we do to get rid of confusion. First, we will email the current statement while on the phone before trying to sort out the problem. Making sure both the property manager and the property owner are looking at the same statement is essential.

Another option we have is doing a screen share through join.me. This allows us to send you a link with a code that will allow you to see our computer screen. Then we can walk you through the statement and answer any questions while showing you were the answers are coming from on the statement.

We firmly believe that communication is the key. The better communication we have the less chance there will be for misunderstandings.

If you have rental property in the Cleveland Ohio area, please give us a call. Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

Should I be a landlord in Cleveland, Ohio?

Cleveland, Ohio is a very unique market

Do you have what it takes to be a landlord? That is an important question to ask yourself before you start buying rental properties. Unfortunately, there are a lot of courses out there encouraging people with the benefits of property ownership without explaining the risks involved.

Cleveland, Ohio is a very diverse area with a lot of different zip codes, and the zip code you buy property in will make a huge difference in what your experience is as a landlord. Do you know the area you are looking at buying properties? Again, there are courses that make being an out of the area landlord sound glamorous, but you are taking a real risk buying properties in an area you’ve never seen before.

Are you a worry wart? If the answer is yes then you should not be a landlord. You probably should not be in business at all. Stick with safe investments like bonds. You won’t have the potential for large returns, but you also won’t have the risk of a total loss.

Do you have financial limitations? For many, they go into real estate with no extra income. Don’t invest all of your retirement savings into real estate. Yes, there are success stories of people who spent their last hundred dollars to get into the business and ended up millionaires, but that is not the norm, and there is a lot more to the story than what you may hear.

If you have no cash reserves, you are taking a significant risk. A single natural disaster or sewer collapse could financial destroy you. You’ll be left waiting for the insurance to pay out to make the needed repairs, or the insurance will refuse the claim, which can happen, and then you have to pay out of pocket. You MUST have cash reserve for the worst case scenario.

Often times people are blinded by the potential and fail to see the risk. You need to have an investment mindset, which means you think long-term. Can you do that?

Can you put 20% “true” equity down on a property. Housing prices are not always what they seem and properties do not always follow national trends. I’ve seen landlords try to sell a house “as is” because they are mad about damage made by a tenant. What they don’t realize is that $5,000 worth of damage can drop the value of the home $50,000. This may not sound fair and it may not be fair, but it is the reality of the situation. If buyers have to put work into the home, they are going to want it for well below market value.

You need to understand the Cleveland market and know what you are getting into. Otherwise, do not invest in Cleveland and don’t be a landlord.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

What to do if you are the victim of threats or abuse.

Abuse

Protecting yourself in the case of Abuse

This is a reality that a lot of us don’t ever want to face. The possibility that someone may hurt us whether through abuse or threats. Realty Trust Services does not condone abuse or threats of any sort between tenants, landlords and tenants, or outside persons. WE TAKE YOUR SAFETY SERIOUSLY. Here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself.

What is Abuse

The state of Ohio has a lot of laws that define what abuse is. They can be found online here:

Sexually Oriented
Ohio Laws and Rules

Abuse
Adult Protective Services

What you can do to help yourself and others

The first thing that you want to do if you are getting abused is get yourself out of the situation. IMMEDIATELY contact your local police department. You have the right to be protected. There are also several different places where you can find further assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact them here:

Phone Number

1-800-799-7233

Website

The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Realty Trust Services wants to make certain each of our tenants feel safe and secure at their home. It is of paramount importance that after a long day of work or taking care of the kids that you come home to a safe and secure place. YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US.

Paperwork to be filed

There are a lot of laws that cover you in the case of something happening. Here are some links to help you:

Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offenses

Domestic Violence

Juvenile Protection Forms

There are many tools and places that you can contact in the case of domestic violence, abuse, or threats. Realty Trust Services is committed to having a safe living environment for each of it’s tenants.

Our End of Year accounting makes preparing your taxes easy.

Taxes

End of Year Taxes

There are some people that enjoy doing their taxes, I am not one of them. We simplify your taxes each year by providing summaries including your expenses that you can easily give to your accountant. We want you to have the piece of mind that comes with knowing that our systems simplify the process of filing taxes each year.

Please feel free to call us at any time at 440-220-7300

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