Proactive Property Management

Do you manage your own investment? Is this your full time job or are you typically busy with your day job and only get to your property problems on nights and weekends.  If that’s you, then you probably manage your investment property(s) in a “Reactive” mode.  You let events and circumstances set your agenda. Every tenant email and tenant phone call catches you by surprise. Huffing and puffing, you painfully scramble to react to keep your investment afloat. Reactive management is exhausting, overwhelming & frustrating.

However, “Proactive” management is anticipating maintenance events, potential problems, and related tenant demands and then planning ahead for them. To be proactive, you have to ask yourself what is likely to happen, and react to it before it happens. Being proactive means being able to anticipate what the future will be and react accordingly before it actually happens.  The problem is, if you self manage, you really can’t be proactive at the expense of your day job.

Hiring a property management company may seem like an added, and maybe even unnecessary, expense. But, a property management company can actually increase the value of your investment thereby increasing your profit. Good property managers focus on being proactive and prevention, reducing the instances of repeat repairs due to mistakes and help keep tenants happy. Also, having a professional manage your property can help you focus on your day job, which in turn can help you add more properties to your investment portfolio.

Are you ready to start being proactive and bring order to your investment? Then Octazon Management has got you covered and can take away your property management headaches and distractions. Octazon is a full service property management company with cutting edge cloud based management technology that provides a wide range of property management services for the single family home and condo investor, to the management of apartment buildings, offices, commercial and industrial properties. Our advanced technology allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients. Our team can handle everything from tenant and vendor management to maintenance and landscaping, to preparing leases, handling code violations, insurance claims & tax appeals. With Octazon, we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today. Check us out @ www.octazon.com 

ATTENTION REALTORS: When providing management services to Realtors, Octazon will NOT provide the leasing, rentals or sales– so you never have to worry about losing control of your relationship with the owner. You get to focus on making the next sale and signing up the next tenant, while we handle all your management headaches  

COLUMBUS DAY – CORRECTLY DATING THE EXPIRATION DATE OF THE 3 DAY NOTICE

If you recently sent out a 3 day notice to a tenant, double check to see how you COMPUTED THE EXPIRATION DATE ON THE NOTICE.  An error, such as wrongly calculating the date of expiration on your Notice can render both the Notice, and ultimately the eviction, to be defective and you will have wasted your valuable time.

Today, 10/14/13 is a legal holiday, Columbus Day, and can not be counted as one of the days in your count of the 3 day notice.

Remember the following rules when preparing a Three Day Notice ( that you will be hand delivering or posting on the property) .

Ø  The expiration date of the notice (being hand delivered or posted) must be at least 3 business days in the future;

Ø  The expiration date can not include Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays;

Ø  You do not count the day of service of the notice ( i.e. you start counting from the day after the date of delivery);

Ø  Keep in mind  the other upcoming legal holidays for 2013:  11/11 – Veterans’ Day &  11/28, 11/29 – Thanksgiving; AND

Ø  When preparing a 3 day notice, always check to see what holidays are coming up, as this is a huge source of incorrect notices.  Only legal holidays observed by the court (courthouse closed) in the county where the property is located must be excluded from the 3-day notice count (Read more on this in our Memorial Day article)

 

When it comes to managing your single, multifamily or commercial properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered and can take away your property management headaches and distractions. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from tenant and vendor management to maintenance and landscaping, providing 3 day notices, eviction management, detailed financial reports and many other services through our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

When providing management services to Realtors, Octazon will NOT provide the leasing, rentals or sales– so you never have to worry about losing control of your relationship with the owner. 

With Octazon, we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com 

 

Revisions to the Residential Florida LandlordTenant Act PART III, Window Screens

Window Screens, Florida Landlord Tenant Act Revisions

Let’s discuss another change recently made to the Florida Landlord Tenant Act  namely, the Landlord’s obligation to maintain the premises in regards to window screens. 

Under the language of the prior statute, window screens have always been a nuisance to the landlord and/or its management company as they are constantly being ripped and torn for a myriad of reasons requiring the landlord and/or management company to repair or replace them.

However, under the new 2013 statutory revisions, it seems this burden has now been lessened.

The revised Statute now provides that at the start of the lease, the landlord must ensure that screens are initially installed and are in a reasonable condition. Afterwards, the landlord’s and/or its management company’s obligation are to repair them annually as needed.

Section 83.51 (b) of the Statute states: “The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.”

The question is if this statutory revision has any real benefit. If the landlord and/or its management company have ripped screens – regardless of what the statute says, if they don’t repair it, it may lead to a code violation under applicable building, housing, or health codes.  On the other hand, if the tenant keeps on damaging the screens, you now can insist they repair the screen at their expense or face a “notice”.

It will be interesting to see how this change really plays out amongst the tenants, attorneys and judges.  

When it comes to managing your single, multi family or commercial properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered and can take away your property management headaches and distractions. Our full-service property management company provides detailed financial reports and other services through our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients. Our team can handle everything from tenant and vendor management to maintenance and landscaping, to preparing leases, handling code violations, insurance claims & tax appeals.

When providing management services to Realtors, Octazon will NOT provide the leasing, rentals or sales– so you never have to worry about losing control of your relationship with the owner. 

With Octazon, we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

The Tenant Denial Letter “Part Two”

If after reviewing a prospective tenant (consumer and/or credit) screening report you determine that you are willing to accept the tenant on the condition that the tenant provides either a larger security deposit or a guarantor, must you provide a tenant denial letter with those conditions in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act?  In other words, is a conditional denial deemed a denial that triggers an obligation to provide a denial letter?  The answer is yes!

  •   If you deny a prospective tenant based on conditional reasons like – I would accept you BUT …. I need a  larger security deposit

OR

  •   I need a Guarantor

That is a denial and you must provide a denial letter in a format that is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you choose to email this letter, make sure to check the “request a delivery receipt” and then save both the email and delivery receipt in a folder.

Lastly, when you send out a denial letter, make sure the denial letter is sent to every applicant listed in the application & KEEP A COPY for at least 4 years.

When it comes to managing your single, multi-family or commercial properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential tenants, preparing leases, handling code violations, insurance claims & tax appeals, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

When providing management services to Realtors, Octazon will NOT provide the leasing, rentals or sales– so you never have to worry about losing control of your relationship with the owner. 

With Octazon, we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us at: 888-324-9528 or email us at: info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

“Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”

The Tenant Denial Letter “Part One”

You spoke to your perspective tenant, reviewed the application the tenant filled out and liked what you saw so far, so you ordered a tenant screening report. BOOM! Based on the report you pulled you need to deny the Tenant. Now what?  

Well a tenant denial is okay – so long as it is for legitimate reasons such as (a) credit history (b) criminal history (c) rental history or (d) income history and as long as your decision doesn’t violate the Fair Housing Laws,  the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or  local government and tenant protections.

Here is what you need to keep in mind. If you are going to deny a tenant based on something learned from the applicant’s consumer report or credit report – those reports you order from a tenant screening company containing information from a Credit bureau like TransUnion or Equifax, then you must send an Adverse Action Letter- aka a Tenant Denial Letter.

When you send the Tenant Denial letter, it is good practice to provide the perspective tenant with a free copy of the full Consumer & Credit Report, and provide the “Summary of Your Rights” document under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Click on to http://hr.lafayette.edu/files/2011/01/Summary-of-Rights-Jan-1-2013.pdf   for a copy of these rights.  Note: If you do provide an applicant with a copy of their report then you must provide an applicant with a copy of the “Summary of Your Rights” document.

Stay posted for more tips on how and when to provide the tenant denial letter……….

 

When it comes to managing your single, multi-family or commercial properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, preparing leases, handling code violations, insurance claims & tax appeals, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

With Octazon, we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

“Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”

Super Priority Code Enforcement Liens Are Unconstitutional – New Supreme Court Ruling PART II

In my Blog in May 2013, regarding the Florida Supreme Court (S.C.) case of City of Palm Bay v. Wells Fargo Bank, I discussed that the court ruled that a municipal ordinance which grants municipal code enforcement liens super priority on par with real property taxes, is in conflict with Florida law.

The affect of this ruling is that municipalities may no longer assert that their code violation liens have priority over previously recorded mortgages. I mentioned that this decision is significant, as investors, lenders and purchasers in theory no longer have to worry about municipal liens taking super priority over their earlier recorded mortgages. However, regarding the application of how title underwriters will address this new ruling, I told you to stay tuned.

So now that some time has passed since this ruling, here is how some title underwriters are now handling the application of this new S.C.  decision.

Every code violation consists of two aspects to the violation: (1) the actual compliance with the violation (2) paying the monetary fine for the violation.

So while this new S.C. case resolves the monetary issues by taking away the super priority of lien, the title agent must still obtain written confirmation from the municipality that the property is in compliance and that the violation is no longer continuing on the property. The concern is once the foreclosure is complete and the property is now in the name of the lender, if the violation is still ongoing, the municipality may try to collect fines and may even re-lien the property. Also,  despite the S.C. ruling , if the municipality claims money is still due, then the title agent must get the municipality to agree, in writing, no money is due based on the S. C. ruling.

So as a result of this S.C. ruling, title agents will no longer need to obtain a release of lien to clear title or pay any fine, if: (a) the municipal lien is subordinate to the mortgage being foreclosed and (b) the municipality is properly named and served in the foreclosure action and (c ) the property is in compliance.   

While this is how some title underwriters are deciding to approach the S.C.  ruling we still don’t know how the municipalities are going to apply the S.C. case.  So I guess we still need to stay tuned.

When it comes to managing your single and multi family residential properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, preparing leases, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

With Octazon, rest easy, because we bring order to residential property ownership.

 Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today or check us out @ www.octazon.com

“Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”

July 4th is a comin’ & so are those displaying the US flags

July 4th brings out the patriotism in people including your Tenants. But landlords may not want their property to publicly express their feelings of  patriotism, so what’s a property manager to do? Can you prohibit a Tenant from displaying the US Flag on his rental property? 

It depends. If a tenant wants to display an oversized tattered U.S. flag in a non respectful and harmful manner, then you can stop the tenant from doing so. However, a landlord may not stop a tenant from displaying one U.S. flag, regardless of any provision in the rental agreement dealing with flags or decorations, so long as it meets the following requirements:

Ø    The flag is removable and transportable

Ø    It is made from cloth or plastic

Ø    It is  not larger than 4.5 feet by 6 feet

Ø    The placement does not create any type of hazard or damage to any person or property  

 and of course, displaying the US flag must always be done in a proper and respectful manner.

Also, if the rental is not a single family home but rather an apartment with shared common areas, then the flag may not encroach, infringe or interfere with any other tenant’s right to use a particular area or cover any other tenants rented area.

The good news is that the landlord is not liable for damages caused by a United States flag displayed by a tenant.

SEE THE FLORIDA RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT” CHAPTER 83 PART II, Statute 83.67 (4) &  83.52(6).

When it comes to managing your single and multi family residential properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, preparing leases, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

With Octazon, rest easy, because we bring order to residential property ownership.

 Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today or check us out @ www.octazon.com

“Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”

Super Priority Code Enforcement Liens Are Unconstitutional – New Supreme Court case

A number of counties and municipalities within the state of Florida have enacted ordinances which give their code enforcement liens a super priority status, co-equal with state tax and special assessment liens.

In the recent case of City of Palm Bay v. Wells Fargo Bank, 57 So.3d 226 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011), the issue of whether a municipality can create an ordinance that makes their municipal code superior to all other liens was finally decided. The Florida Supreme Court, on May 16th, 2013, ruled that a municipal ordinance may not establish super-priority status for its municipal code enforcement liens and therefore the municipality’s lien can not trump a prior recorded lien.

While municipalities have broad powers to create ordinances for its protection, their local ordinances can not establish priority over other existing liens when the ordinance is in conflict with state law. Florida Statute 695.01 provides that no lien on real property shall be valid against subsequent purchasers for value and without notice unless the lien is first recorded. Because the Wells Fargo lien was recorded first it had priority. To allow a municipal lien to have a super priority status would destroy the priority rights that were established by state law. In other words, the law now disallows the creation of super priority status for code liens by counties and municipalities and therefore when a municipal ordinance flies in the face of state law, that ordinance cannot be upheld.

Bottom line – for now, is that municipalities may no longer create ordinances that affect the priority status of liens if the lien’s super priority status conflicts with a state statute. This means that a Super priority provision in a code enforcement ordinance is invalid and a thing of the past and investors, lenders and purchasers should, in theory no longer have to worry about municipal liens taking super priority over their earlier recorded mortgages. How title underwriters will address this new law, especially if the municipality still tries to enforce their super priority status, will most likely be determined over the next few months. So stay tuned……

When it comes to managing your single and multi family residential properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, preparing leases, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

With Octazon, rest easy, because we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

“Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”

 

Single Family Renters Continued Growth Creates Need for Good Property Management

According to David Brickman, SVP of multifamily at Freddie Mac, more than one-third of U.S. households are renters, the largest share since 1997. Additionally, the nation has seen 5.4 million new renter households between 2004 and 2011, and growth is expected to continue. John Tashjian, principal at Centurion Real Estate Partners in New York City, explained the housing decline has “left a deep and lasting impression on the psyche of Americans as potential homeowners. This drop in consumer confidence has caused a rush toward rental housing which, in turn, has caused rents to rise nationwide and a decline in affordable rental housing stock.”

According to a new survey from Premier Property Management Group, the fast-growing population of single-family renters is more likely to dwell in their home for longer periods of time compared to multifamily occupants. This suggests the demand for single-family rentals offers greater stability than the multifamily market. One reason single-family renters might be more prone to stay longer is their higher satisfaction with property management, according to the survey.

Chris Clothier, director of sales and marketing and partner of Premier Property Management said that “Single family rentals can be found in virtually every community today and more and more families are choosing single family rentals either as a temporary stop on the road to becoming homeowners or as a permanent solution to their housing needs.”

When it comes to managing your single and multi family residential properties, Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

With Octazon, rest easy, because we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

Why Realtors Should NOT Do Property Management

Realtors and Property Management should not mix.

Many real estate agents take on property management services as a courtesy to their important investor clients. Management is important – but distracting. Agents are burdened with all the reporting, collection, disbursement of funds, payment of bills and maintenance responsibilities, which preclude them from making more sales. They just don’t have the time to do what they do best – help investors purchase more properties. Additionally, real estate agents with property management responsibilities tend to limit the geographical area where they will show investment properties for fear that the drive between managed properties will be too time consuming.

Realtors should stick to what they do best – making the sale – and let a property management company do what they do best – managing their sales.

Octazon Management provides professional property management service for real estate sales professionals and brokers. At Octazon we provide simplicity and peace of mind!

When providing management services to real estate professionals and brokers, Octazon will not provide the leasing or sales- so the Realtor will never have to worry about losing control over the client.

Whether you own a few properties or hundreds of properties in Florida, Octazon Management, LLC is here to simplify property ownership and management. We can help you manage any and all of your properties. Call us 888-324-9528 or email us info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

“Single Family Residential–REO – Multifamily- Commercial- Office-Industrial”