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When searching for your pet friendly communities and buildings; tenants with pets need to be sure that they let their real estate agent know that they have a pet. Pets are often welcome in communities; however, everyone involved in the transaction, from the agent to the landlord to the tenant need to be aware of the pet policy in the community. As real estate professionals we have seen just about ever single pet restriction in the current market. Some of the more common pet restrictions are as follows:
1. Weight limit – this restriction will usually be for a specific weight limit, for example 20lbs, 30lbs or 40lbs maximum weight. If this is the case in your community of choice be sure to ask if this is combined weight among your pets or if it is per pet.
2. No aggressive breeds. Often a community will define a list of breeds which they consider to be aggressive; typically speaking about dogs in this instance. The breeds on this list will not be permitted. In some cases if the dog resembles too much of a non-desirable breed the community may request veterinarian documentation stating the exact breed.
3. Some communities will have a number of pet restriction; for example, one pet per unit or two pets per unit.
4. Some communities will allow pets for owners but not for tenants.
5. Many communities will require pets to use the service or freight elevator versus the regular passenger elevator. Yet, other communities will require residents with pets to carry their pets in common areas.
6. The majority of communities will have designated areas for walking pets and will provide “poop scoop” stations for resident use. In addition, most will have set fines for those that do not pick up after their pets.
Keep in mind that although these are many of the more popular rules and regulations the do not constitute all of them. we have also seen many combinations of these rules. Also, keep in mind that even if a community allows your pet the owner of the unit may opt not to accept pets in their unit or have their own set of rules. Furthermore, owners may require a pet deposit in addition to the regular security deposit or even go to the extent of having a pet fee which will not be refunded at the end of the lease term. Again, be sure to clarify these issues prior to signing your lease.
If you are looking for a pet friendly community be sure to consult your real estate professional before beginning your search.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Miami has generated a tremendous real estate rental market in recent years. The fact is that the real estate boom of years past created many real estate investors hungry for qualified tenants to fill their properties. These investors range from the individual dabbling in real estate all the way up the spectrum to your complete real estate developer. This fact coupled with the fact that the recent down turn in the economy left many folks (unfortunately) losing their homes. Now take the people that have lost their homes (who normally would not have rented) and add them to the rental pool of tenants along with those that would normally rent anyway for other reasons and you have a larger pool of tenants to match the larger pool of rental inventory.
But still; why on Earth would you need a real estate professional to assist with a rental.Well, the reality is that there are several reasons for both landlords and perspective tenants to utilize a professional.
Lets start with the tenant:
With such a large inventory where would you even start? You cant just walk in to a building and ask the concierge what is available for rent. You may decide to visit craigslist or backpage but oh my godness that really didn’t narrow it down with about a 1000 posts going in daily. The newspaper is another option…. or really is it? In the information age the newspaper is way too slow by the time the add prints the unit is gone, again a frustrating waste of time!! So what to do? That’s right; your Realtor will be able to simply log onto the MLS and view what is available in real time based on your criteria, that’s right REAL TIME! OK, so you may not want to speak to someone who is going to be pushy and try to get you to come in so they could eventually ….. earn that commission. OK, got a solution for that as well, log on to a good Realtor website, I recommend one that does not insist that you register first, one that truly gives you FREE information with no catches, that is unless you just absolutely cant live without more junk email. Try Miami Rent Seekers this site will allow you to browse all available inventory on the MLS. Yes, I said the MLS, this information is provided to the public through a system called IDX which in layman’s terms just means it is syndicating the MLS for public view. You will be able to see ALL listings, not just the ones listed by that agency but ALL listings from ALL brokerages in the area! WOW!
Now, just pick an agent you feel you want to work with.
Your new agent and best friend (that is at least until you happily move in) will show you the properties that you are interested in, draft up the offer you want to make, prepare – review and explain the lease agreement and any addednums, guide you through any condo board or HOA application process, provide any local information you may require and assist you with your move in inspection.
Now how much will all this cost you???? You will get this for the bargain price of FREE!!! That is right free, the landlord actually pays his broker who in turn pays your broker, you pay nothing for the services.
Well, your next questions is probably – “well, wouldn’t I get a better deal if I deal directly with the owner?” To that I would say, “No, the owner will much more than likely (because of the benefits they receive) have listed the property with his broker, so at the end you will find yourself dealing with a broker, except this broker represents the landlord. Wouldn’t you like to have someone looking out for you?
So why would you use a broker if you have a property to rent out, you are the landlord?
These benefits are plenty. Number one is TIME. Do you have the time to run out and show the property every time someone calls or expresses an interest? What about MONEY? Do you want to pay advertisement to get the perspective tenants interest in the property you have available? What about EXPERTISE? Are you familiar with leases and addendums and the condo board process? What about the fact that your property will simply not be on the MLS if you are not listed with a broker? What about the monthly relationship with your new tenant? Did you know that many brokers offer property management services? What about the combination of TIME and MONEY, that is to say the faster I rent out the property the faster I collect more money!
In conclusion, in this great rental market the way to go is to use a Realtor and you will find the process much less frustrating and more enjoyable.
South Florida Brokers & Associates, Inc.
Maintenance on a rental property can be a confusing issue. Renters may mistakenly assume all maintenance is the responsibility of the leasing agent and maintenance staff but this is usually not true. In many cases the leasing agent and maintenance staff are responsible for maintaining the common areas and performing major repairs on the apartments but the renters do typically have some responsibilities. These responsibilities are often defined in the rental agreement and the renter should familiarize himself with this document to verify his rights if a dispute arises.
Typically renters have the responsibility of maintaining their apartment and the surrounding area. This may include the interior of the apartment as well as deck or patio space. However, maintenance of these areas applies to generally cleanliness only and not issues such as painting or repairs to the exterior or the interior of the apartment structure or the appliances within the apartment.
Additionally, renters are responsible for small repairs in their home. This may include plunging a clogged toilet or changing a light bulb. However, if there are any duties a renter feels uncomfortable performing such as changing a light bulb in a high location, the renter should contact the maintenance staff for assistance.
Renters also have a responsibility to show common courtesy to other renters by not intentionally damaging or otherwise marring public areas. This includes vandalism, littering and even failure to pick up after dogs. Renters who fail to follow these rules of common courtesy may be subject to fines or other penalties according to the rental agreement.
Leasing Agent Responsibilities
The leasing agent and maintenance staff are generally held responsible for major items such as repairs to the exterior of the building, fixing appliances which are malfunctioning and dealing with plumbing issues such as leaky pipes. Additionally, the maintenance staff is responsible for intervening if the renter is having trouble with public utilities. Problem such as no hot water or heat to the apartment should be addressed by the maintenance staff in conjunction with the public utilities entity.
The leasing agent and maintenance staff is also responsible for maintaining the common areas. This may include keeping grassy areas manicured and other common areas looking clean and attractive.
When the Leasing Agent is Not Taking Responsibility
As previously discussed, the leasing agent has certain responsibilities to perform tasks and address concerns and complaints by the renters. However, when the leasing agent is not fulfilling these responsibilities it could create a harmful living environment for the renter. For example hot water is required to adequately clean dishes. This is why there should always be hot water to the apartment. Additionally, in severely cold weather the inability to heat the apartment due to faulty utilities or windows which are not properly sealed can create a hazardous condition for the renter.
Both of the examples mentioned above are situations in which the renter may put in a hazardous condition by the leasing agent’s negligence. In these situations the renter should contact the Department of Housing to determine the proper cause of action to take in this situation.
In some cases the renter may be informed the alleged transgression by the leasing agent is not actually his responsibility. However, in other situations the renter may be informed that the actions of the leasing agent are a serious violation of the rental agreement. In either case, the representative can provide information on how to proceed to achieve the desired results.
While there are some renters who view renting an apartment or a house as a failure, there are others who see the benefits there are to be gained from renting a property as opposed to purchasing a property. Some of the benefits of renting include the ability to save money while renting for the purpose of purchasing a home, few maintenance requirements and the inclusion of amenities which the renter would not likely be able to afford if they were to purchase a home instead of renting. Although there are some negative aspects to renting an apartment, this article will focus exclusively on the benefits of renting a property.
The Ability to Save Money
Being able to save up a great deal of money for the purpose of making a down payment on a dream home is just one of the many great advantages to renting a property. Many homeowners were able to realize their dream of homeownership only after living in a rental property for a certain amount of time. Although renting is often criticized as throwing money away because it does not result in equity, the ability to save money while renting is unparalleled
Rent for an apartment is usually considerably less expensive than the monthly mortgage on a home. The home is also typically much bigger than the rental property but in cases where the renter is renting for the sole purpose of saving money, the value of renting cannot be denied. Depending on how long the renter stays in the apartment, they may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars during the course of the rental agreement.
No Maintenance Properties
Another advantage to renting a property is there is typically little or no maintenance required by the renter. This is especially true in an apartment situation. The renter may be responsible for small items such as changing light bulbs but more extensive repairs such as leaks in plumbing or clogs in drains are typically handled by the maintenance staff of the rental property.
Additionally common areas such as grassy areas or gardens are maintained by the maintenance staff. The exception is usually when the renter rents a home as opposed to the apartment. In these cases the renter may still not be responsible for small repairs but might be obligated to take care of items such as maintaining the grass.
Another advantage to apartment living is often the amenities offered to residence. Such amenities might include usage of the pool, an exercise room, meeting spaces and a theater room. In most cases these amenities are offered free of charge to resident and their guests. Many renters who might be able to purchase a home would not likely be able to purchase a home with amenities such as a pool, fully equipped exercise room and a home theater.
These items are often considered luxurious and are not available in the majority of homes which are on the market at any particular time. In fact searching for homes which specifically have these features may severely limit the number of search results and may result in no search results at all when these features are searched in conjunction with a typical price range. However, those who rent can enjoy access to these amenities. They may pay more in rent than those in a comparable apartment complex without these amenities but they are also still likely saving a considerable amount of money each month as long as they are budgeting wisely and have chosen a rental property within their price range.