Best Areas to Invest in Tampa

Best Areas to Invest in Tampa

Are you looking to invest in Tampa, FL real estate?

Tampa has always been among the top 10 of in-demand real estate across the nation. Purchasing rental properties here is lucrative since it’s still considered as a fast growing city. People move here because properties are affordable, the unemployment rate is significantly lower and it’s a tax-friendly area.

Due to plenty of people moving to Tampa, the demand for housing still remains high. This is an opportunity that investors maximize to generate more income and grow their wealth. In Tampa, you have your choice of neighborhoods, each matching a different price range. By focusing on what kind of property you’re budgeting for and your target demographics, you can begin your journey as a real estate investor.

In this article, we here at Cavalier Estates LLC will go over the top areas in Tampa that you could consider for your next property investment. You’ll learn about the neighborhoods that are most promising for real estate investors in this part of Florida.

Best Tampa Neighborhoods to Buy Real Estate

Downtown Tampa

The recent move to transform Downtown Tampa into an entertainment and cultural hub makes it an exciting neighborhood to invest in. This means tourists and locals will keep moving to this area to enjoy the attractions it offers.

Some of the things that residents and vacationers can enjoy in Downtown Tampa are concerts, festivals, museums  and waterfront activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking. Residential properties are in demand in this area since families enjoy the recreation offered here.

Tampa Channel District

Another area of Tampa that has seen a facelift from a warehouse-occupied area into a cool neighborhood is Tampa Channel District. It’s now teeming with upscale condo units, luxurious homes and hip apartments.

tampa channel district

In congruence with the urban and trendy vibe of Tampa Channel District are fancy restaurants, popular bars and chic shops. The population continues to grow, massively attracted to the contemporary lifestyle scene this neighborhood offers. The entertainment that Tampa Channel District provides, from arts and culture to music, ensures that residents and renters will constantly be enamored in experiencing its offerings.

Davis Islands

Although man-made, Davis Islands remains an idyllic setting to raise a family. You’ll find green spaces, waterfront homes, dog parks and a conducive place for outdoor recreation. It’s proximity to the beach makes it an inviting place to reside or rent.

Investing in property here can require an above average budget. However, its limited area also makes it attractive since traffic is nil. Your target market is also clear since you’re mainly working to capture the interest of families. Those who value a high quality living for their kids as well will be taken to living in Davis Islands.

Historic Hyde Park

Considered an affluent neighborhood, Historic Hyde Park is a worthwhile investment. The property values in this area remain consistently high. Its miles of green space near the waterfront makes it a breathtaking area to live in. This charming neighborhood has top ranking quality schools and zero crime rate.

Most people would pay for this kind of peace of mind. Thus, investing might require higher funds but the potential for income is also great.

hyde park

Residents can frequent stylish shops and restaurants around the area. They can also shop for organic produce at the farmers markets and purchase one-of-a-kind craft items during the weekend art bazaars. Aside from that, Historic Hyde Park offers fun entertainment drawing the younger set.

Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights

Focusing on cosmopolitan entertainment, Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights provides cultural recreation to its residents. You can find a hub of art galleries, quaint dining spots and fashionable boutiques. As an investor, you will want to purchase luxury apartments where hip and urban residents will be looking to stay in.

Tampa and Seminole Heights is also ideal for families since there are several family-friendly spots in this neighborhood. Some are looking for urban dwellings where they can catch up with the luxurious and trendy lifestyle.

You can also target young professionals who enjoy the lifestyle scene that Tampa and Seminole Heights offer. Properties you can check are hip loft-style apartments. The artsy vibe of the area plays a major attraction to its residents.

As an investor, you’ll do well to purchase properties like Tampa and Seminole Heights given its property values are in an upward climb, even as recently as 2019.

New Tampa

Exuding a resort vibe straight from its planned communities, New Tampa continuously attracts families. You can take your pick among the various selection of properties available. You’re bound to find something that matches your budget.

new tampa

New Tampa’s amenities are irresistible to residents given that there are well constructed facilities aimed at providing a healthy lifestyle. Among the amenities that one can enjoy here are excellent golf courses, well paved paths for hiking and biking and well-maintained sports fields and courts.  Residents are also able to find their favorite food and retail chains around the neighborhood.

Plant City

Nicknamed as a strawberry capital, Plant City draws visitors in droves during their annual Strawberry Festival. As an investor, you can capitalize on this highly popular tourist attraction.

Plant City is a charming small town that also contains historic buildings. You can take your pick when it comes to purchasing simple home properties to larger stately manors. Although Plant City does not offer metropolitan entertainment, its unique charm makes it a delightful destination. Thus, you might want to put up short-term rentals in this area.

In a Nutshell: Best Real Estate Markets in Tampa

Tampa has always enjoyed its prominent place in the top list as a hot real estate given its consistent appreciation in terms of property values. The strong redevelopment of its different neighborhoods is also encouraging. Moreover, Tampa is tax-friendly so the population is seen to further increase over the long term.

If you are looking to purchase Tampa real estate, you may want to consider Downtown Tampa, Tampa Channel District, Davis Islands, Historic Hyde Park, Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights, New Tampa and Plant City.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have questions about investment opportunities in Tampa, FL!

How to Know if Your Rental Meets Safety Standards

How to Know if Your Rental Meets Safety Standards

As a landlord, you have a duty to keep your rental safe. It’s part of the warranty of habitability you provide to tenants. The state laws ensure that landlords are kept accountable. For self-protection, legally and financially, it’s wise to focus on meeting the safety standards for your rental properties.

Landlords who spend a good amount of time ensuring safety for the tenants reduce their overall stress. Conducting regular inspections and preventive maintenance will help you catch the early signs of damage. Doing so results in well-maintained properties and you providing more value in the long run.

Here are areas to focus on when it comes to providing safety in your rentals:

1. Heating

Check your boiler situation. Broken heaters that aren’t fixed once a tenant makes a complaint can subject a landlord to a lawsuit. It can also cause a fire, putting the tenants’ lives at risk.

Ideally, heaters should be regularly inspected. They should also be kept away from combustible resources. For any heating source in your rental unit, make sure to place a screen to minimize the risk of fire.

2. Plumbing

Plumbing issues can result in flooding, which can be an expensive property damage to deal with. Water damage wrecks furnishing, floors and the walls of a home. Because of the expensive costs associated with plumbing problems, it’s essential to conduct preventive maintenance in this area. Leaks and clogged toilets also represent inconvenience, leading a tenant not to sign a renewal lease.

plumbing issues

To address this problem, you should pay attention to gutter and drainage efficiency. Being proactive in cleaning helps resolve most plumbing dilemmas. It’s also helpful to spend more on quality pipes to reduce leaks. However, if leaks occur, make sure to address them promptly.

3. Electricity

An electrical issue can be serious, as it places your tenants’ lives at risk. Old properties tend to need upgrades to meet the current standards of the electric safety codes. As a landlord, it’s vital to hire a certified electrician that knows these safety standards.

Nowadays, GFI outlets or Ground Fault Interrupter outlets are required. If your home lacks these, install a GFI breaker to improve the safety in your rental. It will do you well to prevent electric shocks and reduce the possibility of a fire.

4. Doors and Windows

As entry and exit points, the importance of doors and windows cannot be emphasized enough. Is the door strong and sturdy? Most intruders enter a home through the door, so it makes sense to ensure that the main doors are more than adequate. Putting a good barrier from the outside ensures your tenants remain safe from unwelcome intruders.

On the other hand, when you need to get out of the rental during emergencies, it’s best that your access is easy. It would be terribly unfortunate to have broken latches or doorknobs that it would take a while to exit out of the property. Just as doors have strong hinges and frames, windows should also be sturdy. Tempered glass and solid locks must accompany windows since they’re the second entry access from outside.

5. Floorings, Walls, and Ceilings

If your target demographics are retirees or families with children, be attentive to the flooring material of the rental home. A slip can be fatal, so waterproof non-slip surfaces are recommended. Go for a foundation inspection if the floors appear to be uneven or sloping.

foundation inspection

For the walls, cracks can be signs of foundation problems. If you notice warped walls, stained walls, or peeling wallpaper and bubbling paint, this can indicate water damage. Have it inspected by a licensed contractor right away.

Ceilings are required to be a minimum of 3 meters high. It’s recommended to choose materials with low thermal conductivity. This ensures that your tenants will be safeguarded from extreme heat. Proper insulation of the home is vital.

6. Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

As carbon monoxide can be odorless and colorless, it’s hard to detect its presence. Having functional detectors helps your tenants mind their safety. This applies to sudden fires as well. So, when smoke appears in the late hours, the alarm would wake them up and they can go out to safety.

Take time to check if these detectors are working properly and test them out. You don’t want these to fail at the time they’re needed the most. In fact, landlords can be sued for negligence if smoke detectors fail.

7. Appliance Maintenance

One should maintain appliances well to meet property safety standards. You want to avoid an appliance overheating or exploding because it’s damaged. It could also be that it’s already too old and the internal wires aren’t functioning efficiently.

Having a list of the life expectancies of each appliance in your home lets you track normal wear and tear. This helps you determine if the appliance needs to be replaced or sent for repair.

keep a list of appliance life expectancy

It’s also good to inspect the quality of the appliances you have furnished your rental home. You might have bought some items cheap, which can serve as a huge risk.

8. Paint Safety

Most landlord-tenant laws require disclosures of lead in paint materials. In particular, residential units built before 1978 have a strong presence of lead. This can be toxic to a tenant’s health. Make sure to test the paint in your home and find a remedy from experts.

You want your rentals to be always safe and habitable. If you have renters that have young kids, it’s even more critical to pay attention to this. Kids can be curious and get paint on their mouth and hands. You want to prevent lead poisoning and keep them safe.

9. Pest Infestation

Pest infestation can be a common cause for tenant complaints. It goes against the warranty of habitability. As a landlord, you must take the presence of rodents, bugs and termites in a home seriously. Not only is it inconvenient to the renters, it will also progressively destroy your property.

Hiring exterminators regularly can fix this problem. Even if the infestation has stopped, it’s still a good idea to remain consistent. The possibility of a recurrence significantly reduces when you maintain a regular inspection schedule.

 

If you’re looking for some help regarding property management, contact Cavalier Estates. We aim to support your rental investments and ensure your tenants’ wellbeing.

tampa fl investment property

Top Tips When Buying Investment Property in Tampa

Thinking of investing in Tampa real estate? If so, you’ll be glad to know it can be one of the most lucrative decisions you’ll ever make. That is, of course, if you do it right!

Over the past couple of years, real estate investment opportunities in Tampa have skyrocketed. This has led the competition between buyers to rise exponentially. 

In order to land a great investment deal, due diligence is key. The following are some tips to help you in this regard. 

Tip #1: Have a Goal in Mind 

Having the finances available for a real estate investment is a start, but it’s not enough. It’s beneficial to also have a financial trajectory in mind to help guide your investment decisions. How you chose to spend your money on making the property a successful investment is key. 

To help you come up with your goals, try asking yourself the following questions: are you buying or holding? Are you looking to build a property from scratch? Do you want to flip a property? Each of these options offers vastly different routes to your investment goals. 

Tip #2: Look for Affordable Properties

The Florida real estate market boasts about having many affordable properties. However, you’ll have to do proper research before choosing a property. 

Of course, the city center and downtown areas tend to have costly properties because of the high demand. If you’re working on a budget, it’s recommended to look at other areas where demand may not be as high. These include the suburbs and the semi-rural areas. 

tampa real estate investment

Tampa, in particular, is a real estate haven thanks to its affordability and good rate of return. The average rent, according to Apartments.com, is $1,085, $1,174, and $2,050 for a studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom homes respectively. 

Tip #3: Search Online Listing Sites 

This should be the first step towards buying a real estate property. It’ll help you get an idea of what to expect even before approaching a realtor or a property manager for help. 

Some of the most popular sites include Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, LoopNet, RealtyTrac, Apartments.com, Rent.com and HotPads. 

In fact, did you know that one in every two buyers found their home on the internet? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that’s the case! The same statistics also found that only 28 percent of buyers in 2019 used a real estate agent to find their new home. 

Tip #4: Work With a Local Realtor 

Do you have a good understanding of the local real estate market? If not, it’s in your best interests to hire a local realtor who understands the local market dynamics. 

A good real estate agent will know the best areas for property investments and can help make the purchase easier. Typically, all a real estate agent does is buy and sell real estate properties on behalf of their clients. As such, they will usually have a good understanding of the current market trends. 

business investment opportunities

So, how exactly do you find the right realtor? Well, you can do this in multiple ways. You can get referrals from your network. You could also carry out your own research and interview the potential candidates. 

Tip #5: Choose the Best Location 

Location, location, location – this is every real estate agent’s mantra for a good reason. When it comes to real estate investing, location can make or break your investment. 

Basically, the best location is one that has a solid population. Lucky for you, the demand for single-family homes in Tampa has been consistent. 

Tip #6: Visit the Neighborhood You Want to Invest In 

Using billboards and placards remains one of the most popular ways buyers advertise their properties for sale. So, if you have the time, take a ride in your car and look around the neighborhood. 

Not only will this help you find the right property, but it can also give you an opportunity to be familiarized with the neighborhood as well. 

Tip #7: Avoid Buying a Fixer-Upper 

Buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to get a good deal and personalize a home. That said, if this is the first property you’re buying, the idea can be anything but good. 

The two exceptions to this are if you already have a contractor who you’ve worked with before or if you’re skilled at large-scale home improvements. 

Otherwise, go for a rent-ready property. It’ll usually be clean with no pending repairs and is available for occupation by tenants. 

business opportunities in florida

Tip #8: Determine Your Return 

So, what return should you realistically expect from your Tampa real estate investment? Bonds may pay 4.5% while stocks pay 7.5% cash-on-cash return. 

As a landlord, anything above 6 percent in your first year should suffice – especially because the figure will keep rising over time. 

Tip #9: Hire a Property Management Company 

Working closely with a local property management company like Cavalier Estates, LLC can be extremely beneficial, especially if you’re planning to invest in rental units. We work closely with landlords and tenants and know where the demand for rentals is highest in the city. 

Of course, besides helping you buy in the right neighborhood, a property manager like Cavalier can also help you manage your property. Remember, owning and managing a rental investment are two different things. While anyone can certainly buy one, not anyone can manage it – at least not successfully. 

Successful rental management requires, among other things, time, skills and experience. So, if you lack these, hiring an experienced property management company would be in your best interest. 

Remember to have realistic expectations. Just like other investments, real estate isn’t going to buy you a Lamborghini right away. If this is your first investment property, consider hiring experienced partners like Cavalier to help reach your investment goals.

Reasons to Invest in Tampa Real Estate

Reasons to Invest in Tampa Real Estate

Are you interested in Tampa, FL real estate investments?

Investing in rental properties allows potential for long-term growth. You can boost your monthly passive income and generate personal wealth down the road. As with any other investment, it pays to thoroughly understand the market and assets you invest in.

Investing in Tampa is a great idea. The local economy, tourism sector, climate, and infrastructure make it a valuable asset for any real estate investor. Purchasing a rental property in this Florida city comes with the potential for solid, long-term growth.

Tampa Real Estate Investment: Six Reasons You Should Consider Tampa

In this article, we’ll delve into the top reasons why you should consider an investment in Tampa. You’ll learn how this Florida area has strong reasons for sparking interest among successful property investors.

1. Great Property Appreciation Rates

The real estate in Tampa is appreciating fast. When you look at the statistics of the past decade, you’ll note that Tampa real estate has appreciated over 32%. Even a nationwide housing market downturn can’t reverse this trend in Tampa.

The current projections aren’t predicting a decline in this regard. It’s more likely that your Tampa investment property is going to appreciate over time, giving you that financial edge coveted by real estate investors across the nation.

2. Tampa (and Florida) is Tax-Friendly

As an investor, it’s crucial to think about your tax situation. The state of Florida has zero individual income tax. While you may have to pay state franchise tax, you’ll still enjoy a lower tax burden compared to most states elsewhere.

investment opportunities in tampa fl

This is why Tampa is one of the best places to choose property investments. You may also enjoy rapid growth in other areas, but will you enjoy a similarly low tax burden? No investor wants to see tax bills topping their mortgage payments.

3. Property Investing is Affordable

Back in 2019, Tampa real estate market was named one of the nation’s hottest markets in numerous lists and analyses. The main reason behind this was the relative affordability of the properties for first-time buyers.

This means that you can get more for your investment in Tampa than in many cities elsewhere. You are able to purchase a more valuable property or leave some of your cash for future investments.

4. Lower Living Costs & Population Diversity

Even though Tampa is a huge city, the average cost of living is lower compared to the rest of the state and comparable areas across the States. This fact alone leads to more interest in moving to Tampa for many people.

At the same time, you have a very diverse population living in Florida. The varying backgrounds create a living environment that is inclusive and engaging. The welcoming nature of Tampa allows for further diversification to take place in the city.

5. Endless Sights & Activities

Tampa offers an abundance of dining options, entertainment areas, and outdoor activities in the city and its surroundings. Let’s look at some of the top opportunities available to Tampa residents and visitors alike:

  • Cycle, jog or walk on the Bayshore Boulevard that spans 4.5 miles and offers some of the best views of Hillsborough Bay
  • Get your chow on at Tampa Food Halls, the biggest food hall in the city with incredible views of Downtown and Hillsborough River

tampa food hall

  • Experience the Tampa Riverwalk, a beautiful promenade that winds through the Downtown area
  • Explore the historic district of cigar manufacturing, Ybor City, which now boasts microbreweries and trendy bars
  • Visit the Florida Aquarium with your friends or family, as this attraction has enough things to see to fill an entire day

6. Wide Variety of Neighborhoods to Choose From

As one of the most populous places in Florida, the city of Tampa and its surrounding areas provide many different communities to invest in. Let’s take a look at some of the top options available to you in Tampa, FL:

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a great option for anyone looking to stay near the sweeping vistas of Bayshore. Since most of the housing in Hyde Park retains its original architectural style, many residents value this neighborhood for its historic look.

Channel District

Do you want to invest in a vibrant community? Located in the Downtown area, Channel District offers a superb mix of condos and apartments. The walkability score of Channel District is high and its residents are never too far away from Tampa’s major sights and attractions.

West Meadows

Growth-minded property investors shouldn’t discard West Meadows from their list of potential investments. This is a quickly growing neighborhood that has been booming since the 1990s.

west meadows neighborhood in Tampa

Plus, the quality of life in West Meadows is great as it’s close to wonderful retail outlets and dining spots.

Spanishtown

Spanishtown has been known to long-term residents as South Tampa. This neighborhood stands out from the rest due to its potential for outdoor lifestyle, low crime rates, and plenty of access points for high-quality education. However, the cost of living is higher in Spanishtown when compared to many other Tampa neighborhoods.

The Bottom Line: Reasons to Invest in Tampa

Tampa got hit hard by the Great Recession. However, the city kept pushing against economic hardships and reinvented some of its major areas along the way. Today, Tampa offers exceptional investment opportunities for in- and out-of-state real estate investors.

The property purchase and day-to-day living costs are affordable in Tampa when stacked against the rest of Florida and comparable cities across the nation. Once you have purchased your real estate, it’s likely that you’ll see good appreciation rates in the long run.

Some of the best neighborhoods for investing in Tampa include Channel District, Hyde Park, and Spanishtown. Since Tampa is a big city, you’ll find many other communities that are worth looking into.

 

If you’re in search of a property manager to help you manage your Tampa, FL rental estate, contact Cavalier Estates LLC today. We are a full-service company that provides all property management services to help you as a rental investment owner.

Making the Perfect Tampa FL Rental Agreement

Making the Perfect Tampa, FL Rental Agreement

So, you’ve got a new rental property in Tampa, Florida, and you want to create a solid rental agreement. Focusing on crafting one that’s comprehensive and doesn’t leave room for loopholes is ideal. Too many conflicts can stem from rental agreements if they are vague and subject to different interpretations.

For instance, say you state that repair costs for damage found when a tenant ends the lease will be deducted from the security deposit. However, a tenant can contest this simple statement. How do you define property damage? What type of property damages are considered deductible?

If you don’t list specific types, anything can fall under the umbrella term “property damage.” This can be avoided when your Tampa, Florida rental agreement is detailed and clear.

Here are essential items that should be present in your Tampa, FL rental lease:

1. Name and address of the property

The rental agreement must contain the full name of your Tampa rental property. It should also state the complete address, including number, street, town and zip code. If it’s an apartment, then the unit number must also be included. This information differentiates your property from the rest. Therefore, proper identification of the full location is required.

2. Name and address of the parties of the contract

You must include the full name of the landlord or agent/property manager in the rental agreement of your Tampa rental unit. Avoid using nicknames since this is an official document and can be part of supporting proof when presented in court.

supporting documents could be used in court, so all names must be in full

The full addresses of the parties must also be found in the lease. This is helpful when a tenant has moved out, and the landlord needs to communicate by sending postal mail.

3. The validity of the rental term

To avoid confusion, be specific with the start and end dates of the tenancy. Contract validity will be from this (day, month, year) to this (day, month, year). If you use a general term such as a period of one year, then a tenant can keep extending the day or month.

Some rental terms can also last for a few weeks or months, depending on the type of Tampa, FL rental unit you have. So, if it’s a vacation unit, your rental agreement should still state the exact start and end dates. However, you can stipulate a month-to-month extension in your rental agreement for flexibility. Just make sure to have specific conditions.

4. Due date and rent amount

Issues regarding rent payment tend to result in frequent conflicts. Be specific about when the rent will be collected. Again, use day, month and year.

The rent amount must also be stated in figures and words, and include the currency. Make sure to mention the rent due per month and the whole year to be transparent. If there are other charges to be collected, that will also be part of your Tampa, FL rental agreement, but in a different section.

5. Rental clauses of the contract

Different landlords have varied clauses, but there are still intersecting ones that are part of every rental agreement. Neglecting to do so would create a potential disagreement.

different clauses must be stipulated in the lease agreement

Thus, ensure that your Tampa, FL lease contains a security deposit clause, pet policy, penalty policies and tenant possessions conditions.

Security deposit

Under the security deposit clause, key details must be present such as the amount of the security deposit and the specific date that it’s to be handed to the landlord. It should also state the location in which the security deposit is being held, be it a bank or another financial institution. The renter also has the right to know the interest rate, so this is also included in the Tampa, FL rental agreement.

To prevent debating over the deductions from the security deposit after the tenancy ends, enumerate the conditions. For example, if there are repair costs for property damages, the rental agreement must mention the types of property damages that will affect the deposit. This way, the renter is aware and will try to keep the unit in excellent condition to get a full security deposit refund.

Pet policies

Whether or not you decide to welcome pets into your Tampa, FL rental property, this decision must be stated. You can’t hold a tenant accountable for sneaking in a pet when the leasing agreement doesn’t state its prohibited nature. However, if you permit pets, it’s also important to categorize the types you’re accepting. Otherwise, a tenant can bring any kind of pet without regard to its size, breed or permit requirements.

make it clear if pets are allowed in the rental

It’s also important to add specific requirements such as vaccines and additional insurance. You’ll also have to state the pet fee if you’re collecting a pet rent or pet deposit. This prevents many arguments with a tenant, especially in terms of payments, policies and expectations.

Penalty policies

When violations are committed in your Tampa, FL rental property, there must be a guideline on the topic of penalties. For instance, a renter failed to pay on the stated due date. How will this be addressed? You can mention late payment fees, grace period and additional fees when checks bounce.

Policies about tenant possessions

When a tenant exits your Tampa, FL rental unit, a couple of belongings may be left behind. A 10-day collection period, if the notice was hand-delivered, is allowed under Florida law. If the notice was mailed, the tenant can pick up his remaining items within 15 days. A tenant must be aware of this provision, and so it’s helpful to include it in the rental agreement.

Landlord and tenant signature

For your Tampa, FL rental unit, the signatures of all parties must be on the leasing agreement. All the tenants beyond 18-years old must print their signatures on the contract, including the date of signing. This means that the terms specified are mutually understood and agreed upon.

Bottom Line

Your Tampa, FL agreement acts as a protection of your rights whether you’re a landlord or tenant. It will also remind you of your responsibilities and guide you on the procedures for specific situations. If you have any inquiries regarding this post or other subjects regarding property management, contact Cavalier Estates LLC. Work with us today and find out what we can do for your rental investments!

Fair Housing Act in Florida

Fair Housing Act in Florida

All prospective home buyers and tenants in Florida have a right to be treated fairly and equally. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was enacted with the sole goal of stamping out discriminatory practices in housing matters. Every home owner seeking to rent out their property must adhere to the laws associated with the FHA.

Examples of practices that would pass as discriminatory include:

  • Setting varying prices for the sale of a property or a rental property.
  • Not performing repairs or maintenance for renters with certain characteristics.
  • Denying or limiting facilities, services, or privileges to some renters that others enjoy. 

What is the FHA? 

The FHA prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings based on certain characteristics. At the federal level, the characteristics are color, disability, familial status, race, sex, religion, and national origin. 

Florida, just like some other states, has added more classes to protect its citizens from discrimination. These are age, sickle cell trait, AID/HIV diagnosis, citizenship status, and genetic information. 

The Act gave every American the right to seek a place to live without the fear of being discriminated against based on the aforementioned characteristics. 

How can Florida home sellers and landlords violate the Fair Housing Act?

The following are common ways in which real estate advertisements can discriminate against potential home buyers or renters. 

1. Religion 

You cannot exclude statements that exclude members of certain religious organizations. For instance, by stating “Catholics preferred” or “No Muslims.” 

2. Sex

Avoid using verbiage that discriminates against a particular sexual orientation or gender. For instance, “Men only” or “Straight couple.”

avoid using gendered terms when listing your rental

However, it’s perfectly acceptable to use terms that describe the property. For example, “Bachelor apartment,” “Mother-in-law suite,” and “Master Suite.”

3. National Origin, Race, or Color

It is also unacceptable to use any language that describes a neighborhood or a house ethnically or racially. For example, by stating an apartment is located in an African-American or Hispanic neighborhood. 

4. Familial Status

It’d be okay to say that a home is a 2-BR home or that it has a family or nursery room. But, you cannot make outright statements prohibiting persons based on marital status. 

5. Disability or Handicap

When advertising your home or rental listing, you cannot make any statements that discriminate against the disabled. For instance, by stating that “no wheelchairs are allowed.” 

Even with a “no pet” policy, you cannot turn away tenants with service pets. In this case, the law requires that you make reasonable accommodations to make access easier for people with disabilities. 

When was the Fair Housing Act enacted? 

Attempts at stamping out housing discrimination began as early as the mid-1800s. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement began that any real change took place. 

Before the FHA’s enactment, two unsuccessful attempts were made to address issues of housing discrimination. These were the Rumford Fair Housing Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

the FHA came after several attempts to address housing discrimination

But the real change kicked in with the enactment of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. It was signed into law just one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

How does the Fair Housing Act combat discrimination in housing? 

The FHA has a 3-part approach to tackle housing discrimination against protected characteristics. It does so in any of the following ways. 

1. Home Selling & Renting

  • Refusing to negotiate, sell, or rent housing to home buyers and renters with certain characteristics.
  • Making a house unavailable or lying that it isn’t available for renting or selling when it indeed is.
  • Setting varying terms or conditions depending on the characteristics of the seller or renter.
  • Providing renters with different amenities or accommodations.

2. Mortgage Lending 

  • Appraising a property using discriminatory practices.
  • Refusing to make loan information available.
  • Establishing different requirements for loan purchasing.
  • Setting different fees or interest rates on a loan.
  • Refusing to purchase or make a mortgage loan.

Who enforces the Fair Housing Act in Florida?

The government body mandated in enforcing the FHA is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It enforces the FHA in two chief ways.

  • By using testers. The HUD can hire people to pose as prospective home buyers or renters to see whether there are any discriminatory practices. That’s why landlords need to be careful when advertising their rentals or screening tenants.

the HUD enforces the Fair Housing Act

  • Investigating claims. Tenants or homebuyers who have reasons to believe they have been discriminated against can file a claim with the HUD. The department will then investigate the matter and see whether any merit exists.

What groups are exempt from the Fair Housing Act?

Certain groups are eligible for exemption from the provisions of the Fair Housing Act. Those groups include:

  • Members-only organizations and private clubs.
  • Owner-occupied homes that contain more than 4 units.
  • Single-family homes that are sold or rented without brokering services.

How can home sellers and landlords avoid potential discrimination lawsuits?

Treat all prospective home buyers and renters equally. Know what questions you can ask and which ones you must stay clear of. 

As a landlord, always make sure you have a pre-determined set of questions and qualifications for all your applicants. For example:

  • When are you planning to move in?
  • Are you ready to pay for all move-in costs?
  • Can you provide some references?
  • How much income do you make per month?
  • How many people will be living with you?
  • Have you ever been evicted?
  • Do you mind if we run a background check on you?

Overall, ask questions that are based on valid business reasons. In this case, ask questions that are geared towards helping you land a good tenant. 

You also want to make sure that you ask every tenant the same set of questions. Asking different questions to different tenants can qualify as discriminative. 

Moreover, once your tenant has moved in, make sure you stick to the provisions of the lease agreement. The goal here is to remain consistent in all situations. 

Do you still have more questions? If you do, Cavalier Estates, LLC can help. We are an experienced property management company that can help manage your Florida home honestly and professionally. 

Disclaimer: This article is in no way a substitute for legal expert advice from a qualified attorney in Florida. Laws change from time to time, and this post might not be updated at the time of your visit.

about brandon florida

Pros & Cons of Living in Brandon FL

Brandon is part of Hillsborough County in Florida. It was named after John Brandon, who established the area in 1857. Like Tampa, Brandon has a humid subtropical climate. Brandon is known as a bedroom community for Tampa, Florida.

Brandon’s population is tallied at 113,000 people but increasing daily. The primary language spoken here is English, followed by Spanish, German and Tagalog, respectively.

If you’re wondering whether to move to the quaint community of Brandon, here’s a list of pros and cons you can review to know if it’s for you:

Pros of Living in Brandon

1. Cheaper Homes for Purchase

Purchasing a home in Brandon is considerably cheaper compared to Tampa, with the median home value being $164,000. Renting, however, is slightly higher at an additional $300 than the average rental rate in the city. A variety of housing styles are available in Brandon.

When it comes to property taxes, they’re also fairly reasonable. It makes sense to buy a property here, as you can also find several homes below the $100K range.

2. Low Cost of Living

With a fairly high median family income and low home price, Brandon is a great place to settle down. You’ll only spend around $750 a month for a medium-sized apartment. In terms of utility bills, the costs will depend on the number of occupants living in the unit and the level of utility usage. Other cities in Florida, like Miami and Orlando, can be expensive to live in compared to Brandon.

3. No Extreme Cold Weather

If you don’t like the winter cold, then Brandon is perfect for you. The temperature hovers between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit, making for an average of around 62. Winters are considered mild and dry.

Winters in Brandon are not extreme

Snow is rare, so this means you can participate in plenty of outdoor activities. You won’t need to worry about canceling your outdoor adventures with the predictable weather in Brandon, Florida.

4. More School Choices

Brandon has several schools in the area, making residents with kids satisfied with its strong educational foundation. You can have your pick from the 11 public schools, 6 private high schools and 41 private primary schools. Among the most popular ones is Brandon Academy, an IB (International Baccalaureate) certified academe.

Tampa’s proximity also makes it easy for college students to commute to universities such as Southeastern Florida University and Tampa College. They can also choose to conduct their studies at Hillsborough Community College.

Elementary Schools

  • Brooker Elementary School
  • Kingswood Elementary School
  • Mintz Elementary School
  • Limona Elementary School

Middle Schools

  • Mann Middle School
  • Burns Middle School
  • McLane Middle School
  • Yates Middle School

High Schools

  • Brandon High School
  • Brandon Academy
  • Faith Baptist Christian School
  • Central Baptist Christian School

5. Proximity to Tampa

Residents in Brandon have the option to travel to Tampa in as quickly as 19 minutes by car. This means having a job in Tampa is feasible, given the minimal distance. If residents want to find other entertainment options outside Brandon, it’s also not difficult to do so.

6. Ease in Finding Employment

In Brandon, access to jobs is simple. You can apply in the healthcare or retail industry. If you prefer to work in the city outside Brandon, there are also major employers in Tampa. Among them are Baycare Health System and JP Morgan Chase.

become employed in the health industry

In Hillsborough County, one can also work for large companies such as the School District of Hillsborough County, MacDill Air Force Base and Hillsborough County Government. For retail jobs, there‘s plenty of work available at Westfield Shopping Center Mall.

7. Available Amenities

In Brandon, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches. You can explore Gardenville Beach, Davis Islands Beach, Bahia Beach, Apollo Beach Preserve and Ben T Davis Beach.

For parks, you can visit Brandon Park & Recreation Center, All Persons Rotary Park, Paul Sanders Park and Bertha and Tony Saladino Park.

When it comes to dining establishments, try O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill, Boston Market, Olive Garden, Tibby’s New Orleans and Crafty Crab Restaurant.

For retail therapy, head over to the area’s largest mall, Westfield Brandon, where you’ll find JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears.

Looking for live music? Go to O’Tooles Irish Pub, where they also have delicious meals and drinks. Some of the other best bars in the area are Fox & Hounds British Pub, The Stein & Vine, Linksters Tap Room, Windmill Taphouse, The Vapers Manor and The Winghouse of Brandon 60.

Just like any other place, Brandon has its drawbacks. Here are some issues residents have raised:

Cons of Living in Brandon

1. Heavy Traffic

Brandon’s population has started to grow, leading to heavy traffic during rush hours. People choose to stay in Brandon for its low-cost housing and short commute to Tampa.

one of the area's cons is heavy traffic

With limited public transportation, however, people drive their own cars, causing congestion on the roads.

2. Limited Transportation

The public transportation options in Brandon could use some improvements. There are no local trains or trolley. The bus routes are also limited.

3. Humidity

Brandon may not have freezing weather. However, since it’s close to the coast, the humidity can be intense, especially during the summer. The summers can be long and hot, averaging 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 degrees Celsius.

4. Not a Big City

Even if Brandon has been progressively growing with plenty of incoming residents, it still cannot be considered as having a big city lifestyle. Although its proximity to major cities makes it an ideal place to reside in.

Bottom Line : Pros and Cons of Moving to Brandon, Florida

Overall, Brandon has plenty of advantages. It’s family-friendly with a multitude of schools to choose from. Finding a job is not challenging, and it’s an affordable place.

In terms of amenities, Brandon delivers well with its fantastic range of restaurants, bars, shops and beaches. With a short distance to major cities like Tampa, you’ll surely have an endless number of things to do and places to explore.

For further inquiries, contact Cavalier Estates, LLC.

Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

Tips to Prevent Tenant Damages to Your Rental Property

When renting out a property, tenant damage is inevitable. That does not, however, mean that there is nothing you can do as a landlord to minimize its possible occurrence.

In the following article, we’ll take you through the steps you can take to lessen as much tenant damage risk as possible. 

Tip #1: Have a tenant screening process in place.

A thorough tenant screening process will significantly minimize the chances of landing a problem tenant. As you screen them, remember to ask for references from previous landlords. 

Call past landlords and ask them several questions, such as whether the tenant in question had caused excessive property damage on their units. If so, did they take any responsibility for their actions? If not, and they tried to hide what they did or blame someone else, then you are better off without them. 

Besides checking a tenant’s rental history, your screening test should also make sure of other things, such as the tenant’s creditworthiness and rental income, as well as their criminal and employment background. 

Tip #2: Have a solid lease or rental agreement in place. 

Having a solid lease or rental agreement can also help protect your investment from potential issues with tenants. In the agreement, among other things, make sure to address behaviors that are likely to cause careless property damage. 

Such behaviors may include smoking, burning candles, growing houseplants or refusing to notify you about required repairs. 

list certain behaviors you disallow in the lease agreement

Ideally, make sure that each tenant is aware of their maintenance responsibility before signing the lease. This may help minimize any misunderstanding or confusion later in the tenancy. 

Tip #3: Be vigilant when a tenant moves in for the first time. 

If you aren’t careful enough, your property could suffer costly dents and scratches when a tenant is moving items. Therefore, if possible, make sure you’re present to ensure that the move-in is slowed down and better planned. 

Tip #4: Conduct regular inspections. 

This is arguably the best way to safeguard your rental property against potential tenant damage. Routine inspections have a myriad of benefits and are a part of landlord duties.

For one, they help landlords identify any maintenance issues that are needed on the property. Two, they help ensure that a property is adhering to the relevant building, health and safety codes. And three, they help ensure that the property remains attractive to the tenant, thereby helping minimize tenant turnover. 

From inspecting the doors and windows to the heating systems and lighting fixtures, make sure to check everything. 

Generally, inspections fall into one of four types. These are the move-in inspection, seasonal inspection, drive-by inspection and move-out inspection. Excluding drive-by inspections, always make sure you notify your tenant of the same before accessing their property. 

Tip #5: Invest in the right upgrades. 

Units that require high maintenance tend to depreciate much faster. When making improvements to your property, consider replacing the appliances, countertops, flooring and window dressings with heavy-duty options. 

make improvements to the property that require less maintenance

For example, consider replacing the carpeting with wood or tile flooring.

Tip #6: Quickly fill your vacancies. 

Every day your rental property sits vacant is money lost. What’s more, vacant rentals are at a much higher risk regarding theft and vandalism. The following are some things you could do to protect your vacant unit: 

  • Regularly visit the unit to check on it. Don’t simply drive by, but check the inside and outside. 
  • Secure all the entrances. You may also consider investing in an alarm system. 
  • Enlist the help of a neighbor. 
  • Go through your insurance. Does it offer protection to a vacant unit? 

Tip #7: Choose your plants carefully. 

Landscaping is, without a doubt, an important aspect of your property, whether it’s cutting energy costs or improving curb appeal. With that said, some plants attract pool water or pests, which can have devastating effects on your property. Do your plant research beforehand.

When planting trees, make sure you situate them strategically so as not to cause damage to underground systems. You must also pay attention to tree branches. Overgrown branches can cause significant damage to roofs, gutters and windows

Tip #8: Pay special attention to long-term tenants. 

As a landlord, it’s easy to assume that long-term tenants cause the least damage. This isn’t always true. Generally speaking, the longer a tenant rents a unit, the higher the risk of property damage. 

As such, make sure to regularly conduct inspections, no matter how long a tenant rents the unit. Moreover, act on any maintenance issues immediately, as deferred maintenance can prove costly in the long-run. 

Tip #9: Establish a good relationship with your tenant. 

A healthy landlord-tenant relationship is the key to running a successful rental investment business. One way of establishing a solid relationship with your tenant is by being responsive. This ensures you can be depended on in making prompt repairs.

make sure to establish a good relationship with your tenant

Another way is by being respectful. Before accessing a tenant’s unit, always make sure you notify them beforehand. Every tenant has a right to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their rental home. 

Different states have different requirements as to how early you must deliver notice to your tenant. Generally speaking, though, most states require landlords to serve their tenants at least a 24-hour notice before accessing the unit. 

Tip #10: Always ask for a security deposit from your tenant. 

This is perhaps the most basic defense you can have against potential tenant damages. The main purpose of a security deposit is to remind the tenant that they have a responsibility to care for the premises. 

A security deposit gives them an incentive to care for the property. What’s more, security deposits are usual among landlord-tenant relations, so requiring one won’t make your unit less desirable. 

 

These were our 10 proven tips on how you can prevent tenant damages to your rental property. If these steps feel daunting to take, then consider hiring a professional property management group. Cavalier Estates, LLC can help take care of your property for you. We pride ourselves on our simplified management plans and flat rates.

riverview fl neighborhoods

Best Neighborhoods in Riverview FL

Are you considering moving to Riverview, Florida?

Located southeast of Tampa and south of Brandon, Riverview is a city in Hillsborough County, Florida. Founded in 1885, the city of Riverview has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. Its current population is approximately 91,190.

People love living in Riverview for its affordable housing, above average public educational institutions, many beautiful parks and recreation, friendly community and suburban feel.

Running through Riverview is the Alafia River. This river offers many fun water activities such as fishing, swimming, water skiing, boating and canoeing.

Most Riverview residents are young professionals or families, and most people in this city own their own home.

Whether you’re looking to work, retire or raise a family, Riverview has the perfect neighborhood for you.

In this post, Cavalier Estates LLC will go over the best neighborhoods in Riverview. In doing so, you’ll be able to choose the neighborhood that best fits your wants and needs.

Ashley Oaks

First established in 1987, Ashley Oaks has continued to expand and develop over the years. This neighborhood is located near the center of the town. In Ashley Oaks, you’ll typically find reasonably priced midsize homes.

This is a very family-friendly community as it offers quality education from elementary school to high school. There are also many amenities for adults and children alike.

People who live in Ashley Oaks enjoy the fantastic shopping opportunities and the delicious local restaurants. They also enjoy exploring the nearby Brandon Town Center.

Boyette Springs

Boyette Springs is one of Riverview’s best neighborhoods. Throughout the community, you will find many natural springs and ponds. That’s actually where the name “Boyette Springs” comes from!

where is riverview florida

This neighborhood is perfect for people who enjoy a quiet and peaceful environment. It’s a safe and family-friendly area with beautiful parks and quality schools.

This neighborhood is known for its park called Boyette Springs County Park. In this park, you’ll find a playground, a pavilion, a baseball field and a basketball court.

Also, the Bell Creek Nature Preserve can be found bordering the south and west side of Boyette Springs. In addition to these local parks, the Lithia Springs Park, Stephen J Wortham Park and Aldermans Ford park are only a few minutes away.

This makes Boyette Springs the perfect neighborhood for any nature lover, any family or for anyone who wants to live in a quiet town.

Lake St. Charles

The beautiful neighborhood of Lake St. Charles surrounds a large body of water. This neighborhood is close to downtown Tampa, the Tampa International Airport and stunning Florida beaches. This makes it a great choice all-around.

It’s also near the Orlando Amusement Parks, which is perfect for weekend getaways as a family.

The neighborhood also offers many recreational amenities. In the Lake St. Charles community center, here are some of the activities you can find:

  • Swimming facilities
  • A 10-acre recreation park with courts and fields for various sports
  • Two children’s playgrounds
  • A 10-acre passive recreation park
  • Recreational lake activities
  • A 2-mile jogging/hiking trail
  • Outdoor fitness gyms

This subdivision is perfect for those who appreciate nature as Lake St. Charles circles around a 70-acre scenic lake. You can also find oaks, wetlands and ponds in the area.

Near the lake, you can find many biking paths and walking trails, allowing you to be active! Here, you’ll also be able to spot various birds, such as Pelicans and swans.

Bloomingdale Hills

Just near the city of Brandon, Bloomingdale Hills is a neighborhood full of single-family homes built around the year 1990. In this area, you’ll be near everything you need such as great shopping, dining and schools. You’ll also have easy access to the city of Tampa.

People love living in Bloomingdale Hills for its family and pet-friendly community, walkability and nature parks. People also enjoy its strong sense of community, its beautifully large oak trees and its huge yards.

Living in this community is also great for families with children as they can spend time in the Bloomingdale Hills Park. In this park, kids and adults alike can get active and explore nature. Some of the amenities in this park include:

  • Sport courts & fields (basketball court, tennis court, open field)
  • Volleyball nets
  • Playground
  • Biking paths
  • Walking trails

riverview homes neighborhoods

Bottom Line

Overall, if you move to Riverview, Florida, you’ll have:

  • Easy access to Tampa and Brandon
  • Many outdoor and indoor activities to enjoy
  • Great schools
  • Beautiful nature scenes

You’ll also have several neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you prefer a quiet and secluded community, or you prefer a neighborhood that has more action, there will be a great community for you.

As an overview, here are the top neighborhoods in Riverview, Florida:

  • Ashley Oaks
  • Boyette Springs
  • Lake St. Charles
  • Bloomingdale Hills

For further inquiries, or any property management Riverview FL services, feel free to contact Cavalier Estates, LLC.

Featured First Time Landlords

Essential Tips for First Time Landlords

Are you just getting started out as a landlord? The rental property business is an exciting adventure, and now is a crucial time to make sure you’ll succeed. In order to  thrive as a landlord, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with many aspects of the industry.

You’ll need to ensure your property is up to code and in great shape. You’ll have to promote your units both online and in the real world. You’re also responsible for screening and selecting tenants, and responding to their needs and concerns.

This article will provide you with a great jumping off point to prepare yourself to make a big splash in property investment. It’s important to set yourself up with a solid foundation to build your dreams upon.

Get the Rent Right

Charging the right amount for rent is a delicate balance. If you set your rents too high, your units may sit vacant. Experienced landlords know that there is no greater drain on their property investments than empty units. If you don’t have the regular income stream of rent flowing in each month, it can set off a negative chain reaction.

get the rent right

You also don’t want to undercharge. Undercharging on rent will result in your units being filled, without you maximizing the potential of your investment. You’ll still be responsible for the same general maintenance and upkeep, but without as much revenue to show for it.

That’s why you should conduct comparative market analysis before setting your rent prices. Once you have looked at other properties in the area, you’ll be able to determine what fair market value for yours is. Then you’ll know what you can reasonably charge.

Draft Detailed Leases

A lease agreement outlines the specific relationship between an owner and a tenant. A lease document describes the regulations and expectations an owner has for their renters, and vice versa. Good communication is the basis of any productive financial relationship, so it’s important for a lease to be clear and comprehensive.

draft detailed leases

A detailed lease should include:

  • specific responsibilities of both the landlord and the renter
  • policies for whether pets will be permitted
  • conditions for smokers, and the consequences of breaking them
  • the rent amount, as well as how it is to be paid and when
  • the consequences of late or missed rent payments, including fees and other penalties
  • lease renewal and termination conditions
  • terms and conditions related to eviction
  • clauses specific to local regulations, or the particular unit you’re renting out

A lease form should also clearly state who is responsible for fixing broken appliances, which is a common point of contention.

Be Both Firm and Flexible

Succeeding as a rental property investor is all about striking that golden balance between enforcing your terms and being receptive to change. You’ll need to be as comfortable serving a tenant a 3-day notice as with making new tenants feel welcome.

When you start out as a landlord, you’ll want to closely adhere to the terms set out in your leases. If you don’t show tenants that you’re serious about your conditions, they might take advantage of you.

However, with experience comes knowing when to cut your renters some slack. For example, you may decide to modify your pet policy after a tenant has proven their pet policy. Being lenient with tenants can earn their favor, encouraging them to stick around.

Add Some Personal Touches

Moving into a new home is always a major life event. When someone moves it is often because there has been a change in their life, such as a new job or a growing family. During major life events, our senses are heightened, which can lead to stronger memories.

add personal touches

That’s why when you are first interacting with a new tenant, it’s important to make an effort to make them feel comfortable and cared for. They’ll likely remember the consideration you showed for a long time.

A personal touch doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Being there to give a new tenant their keys when it’s time for them to move in will help form a stronger personal connection than leaving the keys in a lockbox. You could leave some unexpected flowers for the tenant moves in, to provide a splash of color and instantly give the unit a feeling of home.

Learn Local Laws

When you’re a landlord, you’re responsible for knowing local landlord-tenant laws. These laws will dictate the rights of both you and your tenants, so familiarizing yourself with them will protect both you, your tenant, and your investment.

Some details that may be specific to your local jurisdiction include:

  • when you can enter a tenant’s property, and how much notice you need to give
  • what fees and penalties you can charge
  • when inspections can be conducted
  • what eviction protocol is
  • your maintenance responsibilities

You’ll need to ensure any terms and regulations you decide upon adhere to the Fair Housing Act, or you could face legal troubles down the road.

Think About Hiring a Property Manager

Though rental property is a great investment and can be very rewarding, there are many challenges that new landlords face. After you’ve taken care of all the steps above, you may find yourself with less free time and more stress than you imagined when you decided to become a landlord.

hiring property manager

Unexpected developments are always around the corner when you’re a landlord. An established property management company will have experience taking care of every aspect of helping a rental investment earn to its maximum potential. They’ll know how to get quality tenants and to maintain good relationships with them.

Cavalier Estates, LLC are a leader in the property management industry because of unwavering honesty and transparency with clients. Get in touch to see how we can put our simplified management plans to work for you and your real estate investment.