Renting a home isn’t just for the young. In fact, according to a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, “Since 2005, the number of renter households aged 50 and over has increased dramatically, jumping from 10 to nearly 15 million, and accounting for more than half of all renter growth over the past decade.”
The report also states that baby boomers (aged 50-69) are highly responsible for the increase in older renters. The boomers have all now aged into the 50 category and are driving up renter numbers.
A number of older renters are transitioning by choice. Renting offers them more cost-effective options that require less time, physical effort and money to maintain than a house they own. They can also choose more accessible options, like first-floor or single-floor living, no steps, walk-in showers, and other elements designed for the older population.
Older renters are also more concerned about safety than their younger counterparts—both for their physical safety and security. As an older renter, here are some tips to make your rental home safer.
Safety Tips for Older Tenants
Place a fire alarm in each bedroom and on each floor
To make sure toilets are not too low, add a toilet seat riser
Wipe up spills immediately
Wear non-slip footwear
Secure rugs with carpet tape, and avoid throw rugs, especially around stairs
Add nonslip strips or rubber bath mats to tub and shower floors
Add a portable shower seat and a handheld shower nozzle
Add extra lighting
Use handrails when ascending and descending stairs
Keep bushes around entrances and windows trimmed
Keep the floor and passageways clear
Don’t rush across the house
Replace electrical appliances that have fraying or damaged cords
Don’t overload electric outlets or extension cords
Never leave candles burning in an unoccupied room
Keep windows and doors locked
Plan an evacuation route with at least 2 exit points from each room
Do not let strangers into the house when you are alone
Designate an emergency contact
Safety Elements Landlords Can Add
Relocate electrical outlets to higher access areas
Add handrails in hallways, and grab bars in bathrooms and showers
Repair loose railings and broken steps and walkways
Install floor surfaces that are not slippery when wet
Install lever handles on doors
Always have an emergency contact
Propman Property Management is always concerned with tenant safety, for our tenants at any age. If you have questions, as a tenant, as to what you can and cannot add to your rental home for your safety, please give us a call. And always call us if you desire to install anything into the house. Permanent additions are often not allowed, or must be installed by a professional and licensed contractor.
When you complete a rental application, you are required to submit a first month’s rent and a security deposit, usually in the amount of one month’s rent. This security deposit is not used as your last month’s rent, it is held as collateral in case there is damage to the rental unit. If, following a move-out inspection, all is determined to be well, the security deposit is returned to the tenant within 45 days. The tenant has the right to be present at the final inspection.
Normal wear and tear is taken into consideration during an inspection, and the inspector will note anything that is not considered “normal.”
According to Propman Property Management’s guidelines, tenant damage can include:
Wall and ceiling damage caused by tenant
Damage to HVAC system caused by a dirty or clogged filter
Water damage caused by plants or leaving windows open during rainstorms
Damaged or missing blinds
Pet urine stains
Broken refrigerator shelf
Other reasons to withhold the return of your security deposit could include out-of-pocket expenses for items that were tenant responsibilities, cleaning fees, and replacement costs to include:
Dirty appliances, sinks, tub/shower, surfaces
Lawn and shrub maintenance
Burned out light bulbs and inoperable batteries for smoke detectors
Loss of garage door openers
Clean out of trash or left-behind items
Each lease list lists requirements that are a tenant’s responsibility. In addition to maintaining those items, tenants should strive to keep a clean and healthy household, respecting the property and its contents. We don’t like having to hold a security deposit and encourage our tenants to report any problems as soon as they happen to avoid future damage.
If you are looking to rent a property in Northern Virginia, please review Propman’s list of Available Properties.
If you are renting a house, townhouse or condominium, there are certain activities tenants should perform in the spring.
Now that the weather is warmer, get outside and take an assessment of yard conditions. Tenants should cut back dead branches on bushes, remove twigs, broken limbs and leaves, and deadhead spring flowers. Clean the gutters if they need it. (Your lease will define your responsibilities.)
Mowing should take place about once a week, so the lawn does not become overgrown following spring rains. If the summer months are dry, mow as necessary. Do not mow on the lowest-to-the-ground setting as this can kill the grass and allow weeds to take root. If the lawn is in poor condition, let us know. We may need to have the lawn treated, aerated and seeded.
Bring in the sunlight by washing the windows and sweep sidewalks and porches. Turn on the main valve to your outside water supply and re-hook up hoses to wash away any mud or debris. Take pride in your home and enjoy how nice it looks!
Walk the grounds as well and perform a visual inspection. Are gutters hanging or pulled away from the roof due to ice and snow? Are roof shingles missing? Did the fence get broken or the siding damaged? Check the exterior of your home as well as the entire grounds for problems. If there is an issue, please contact your property manager as soon as you identify it. We will want to take care of it as quickly as possible.
We enjoy our tenants and want them to enjoy living in the homes we represent. If you are interested in renting from Propman, see our Available Rentals. Or, if you have a home you’d like to rent out, please give us a call.
For Propman Property Management, a large part of our job is communication with our owners and tenants. Once we list and rent a property, our job is just beginning. Now comes the task of making sure the lease term is a pleasant one for everyone involved.
To us, communication is key. We need to let our owners and our tenants know what is going on with their homes at all times. We also need to get feedback from them on a regular basis.
Propman Uses Technology to Communicate
Not long ago, we upgraded the Propman website to enable more communicative and interactive features such as online application forms. We also feature a secure owner portal where home owners can log in for updates on their properties. For frequently asked questions, we conveniently divided our FAQs into tenant and homeowner sections, to address those particular audiences.
Another way Propman communicates with owners and tenants is through our blog, Facebook and Google pages where we feature relevant information and informative tips each month. Owner messages also appear on our monthly statements.
How Can You Reach Propman?
Propman is on call 24/7, year-round to handle emergencies, so we have to have the latest technologies in place. We can be reached during office hours via telephone (both landline and cellular connections), fax, email, and text, and after hours on our emergency contact telephone.
Propman Property Management strives to be the best property management company in the Northern Virginia area. If there are ways we can communicate better, let us know!
At Propman Property Management, we couldn’t operate as efficiently and effectively as we do without a little help from our trusted vendors. One company we rely on is All American Appliance Service Inc. For more than 20 years, AAAS has been providing analysis and repair services on large appliances including stoves, ovens, laundry units, dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, icemakers, etc., with experience in most major brands including G.E., Whirlpool, Kenmore, Westinghouse, Frigidaire, Maytag and more.
We like All American Appliance Service for many reasons. They:
- Are always professional in demeanor and work
- Coordinate appointments with the tenant (taking the middleman out)
- Offer affordable pricing which we pass along directly to the owners—we don’t take a cut
- Respond immediately, both for analysis calls and repairs
- Provide Saturday service at no additional charge
- Employ factory-trained technicians
- Give an honest opinion on whether the appliance should be repaired or replaced
Our homeowners rely on Propman to not only rent, but care for their properties, as we rely on our vendors to provide excellent service. Working with owner Bonnie Woolsey has been a pleasure, and we look forward to many more years of working together.
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- Safety Tips for the Older Tenant
- Does Your Regular Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your Rental Home?
- Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?
- What Happens to Home Rentals in a Seller’s Market?
- We Love Hearing Great Things About Propman