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. 

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.

riverview florida things to do

Things to do in Riverview FL

Are you planning to visit or live in Riverview, FL?

Riverview is known as one of the oldest settlements in the state of Florida. Its name comes from the Alafia River – the very same river that the early settlers chose as their home base. Today, this area is located close to Tampa Bay.

Whether you live in a Riverview neighborhood or are visiting the area, you don’t have to worry about finding things to do. There are plenty of activities for all types of people including outdoor adventures, fascinating museums, and fun entertainment options for the whole family.

In this article, we are going to list the top activities you should try in Riverview and the best places to visit. You’ll learn about amusement park rides, nature trails, and other fun things in the town and its immediate surroundings of Tampa Bay.

#1: Visit Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve

One of the best ways to enjoy the Alafia River is by paying a visit to this nature preserve. The preserve has been created to protect natural habitats like creeks, scrub, ravines, and tidal marsh.

You can try out two hiking trails that are loop-style and sufficiently marked. The longer one is 1.3 mi and the shorter one covers a hike of about 0.8 mi. Many people use these trails for birdwatching. This is best done between November and May.

#2: Try Cosmic Bowling

Located in Riverview, The Alley at South Shore is a top-class modern bowling alley that offers a stunning cosmic bowling experience. This means that the whole bowling alley is illuminated with neon lights and magical shades of blue and red.

glow in the dark bowling alley

In addition to bowling, you can also have a go at their laser maze challenge. As a resident of Riverview, this place is great for kids’ birthday parties. There are 42 bowling alleys in total and a separate space for birthday celebrations.

#3: Visit Bell Creek Nature Preserve

This is the best option for some outdoor time if you don’t want to leave Riverview. The 477-acre preserve aims to protect local species from getting negatively affected by urban development.

This nature preserve has a few hiking trails that are well marked. Since this is a pet-friendly area, you can take your dog or other pets for a walk. Keep an eye out for designated fishing spots. It’s a good place for watching native bird species as well.

#4: Enjoy a Fun Day Out at Busch Gardens Tampa

You can reach Tampa in about 30 minutes by car as it’s only around 20 miles away from Riverview.

The Busch Gardens Tampa is an Africa-themed amusement park that has numerous admission options. For instance, you can get top value from annual passes or you may opt for a classic day pass.

This is one of the best amusement parks in the area. Their roller coasters are absolutely wild and have been hailed as one of the best in Florida.

#5: Visit Balm-Boyette Scrub & Triple Creek Nature Preserve

These two hiking spots are right next to each other. Most hikers choose Triple Creek as their starting point and end at Balm-Boyette. However, you can do your hike vice-versa. It won’t really make a big difference.

That said, starting at Triple Creek is a good idea because you don’t need to leave Riverview. The preserve is located right along Balm Boyette Road. Then, you can head out to Balm-Boyette which is famous for a rare Florida scrub and other protected species.

#6: Take a Pick at the Local Dining Options

There are many places to enjoy good food in Riverview. You can start out your day in the right way by visiting The Egg & I. This breakfast spot offers classic American meals to kickstart your morning.

You can cover your lunch and dinner needs in Cappy’s Pizzeria or Acropolis Greek Taverna if you’re looking for any kind of pizza or a nice Greek meal. You can order a mouth-watering moussaka, hummus, and other traditional dishes.

pizza food

#7: Enjoy Inshore Fishing

Tampa Bay is so close to Riverview. You could go on an inshore fishing tour even if you haven’t tried it before. The professional tours have you covered with expert advice and guidance on how to catch pompano, snook, and tarpon.

The fishing itself is only a part of the experience. In addition, you will benefit from getting away from the city and your daily worries. The scenery of Tampa Bay and the inlet is stunning. Most of the tours have an on-board cooler for your drinks as well.

#8: Go to Lowry Park Zoo

In 20-25 minutes, you’ll reach Lowry Park Zoo situated in Tampa. You’ll find animals from all over the world there. The main exhibition areas focus on flora and fauna from Africa, Asia, and Australia.

This zoo is claimed to be one of the best in Florida. For added convenience, all the tickets can be purchased online. As a feel-good bonus, all the ticket proceeds help the owners maintain and operate the zoo and conservation program.

In a Nutshell: Things to do in Riverview, FL

Riverview and its surrounding areas have plenty of activities for visitors and residents of all ages to enjoy.

Here are our top picks for your next visit to Riverview, FL:

  • Hike in Bell Creek Nature Reserve, Triple Creek, Balm-Boyette Scrub, and Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve
  • Go on an inshore fishing tour in Tampa Bay
  • Check out the Busch Gardens Tampa for a fun-filled day
  • Go cosmic bowling in the Alley at South Shore
  • Visit Lowry Park Zoo located in Tampa

 

For more information about Riverview property management, contact Cavalier Estates.

Landlord or Tenant Who is Responsible for Appliance Repair

Landlord or Tenant: Who is Responsible for Appliance Repair?

The last call you want to receive from a tenant is a frantic plea for help saying the air conditioner has stopped working, the plumbing is leaking, or the electricity is out. If you are the landlord of a rental property, these are all issues covered by the liveability standards. These standards include the basic needs for shelter.

On the other hand, a tenant pays to live in a unit as described in the Lease Agreement. Basic needs to be provided by the landlord include power, water, sewage, pest control, heating, and air. Suppose the unit falls short of that description. In that case, the landlord has an obligation to fix the item to the specification in the agreement and according to those same standards of liveability.

Appliances are another topic altogether.

So, who is responsible for appliance repair?

First, a landlord is not required to provide appliances at all, a fact many potential renters do not know. These optional appliances include:

  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Stove-top and oven
  • Microwave

These are all a part of the package the landlord provides at his/her own discretion. For instance, college town apartments will typically include all appliances due to the students’ financial situation.

Homes for rent sometimes do not include appliances. It is the decision of the homeowner which appliances they want to supply. The appliances are then listed, and responsibility will be added to the lease agreement.

As for the repairs…

Landlord responsibility:

If the landlord provides all appliances, the landlord will often want to care for them, protecting the investment. The rental/lease agreement will define the terms and the extent of responsibility.

Tenant Responsibility:

If the tenant supplies the appliance, the tenant is the one who will pay for repairs and maintain the instrument. The tenant also will take the appliances with them upon the termination of the lease agreement.

when is appliance replacement tenant responsibility

 

However, if the landlord has supplied the appliances and the tenant damages the appliance, that is another subject. If a tenant burns dinner on the stove, cracks the glass on the oven door, or runs a bottle of nail polish through the washer, the repair or replacement will be on the tenant. In cases like these, the tenant will want to confess to the accident and ask the landlord how they would like them to handle the issue. Honesty and transparency is the best policy.

When an Appliance Issue Arises

Should an appliance need repair, look over your lease agreement and report the repair need to the landlord. Agreeing on the way to proceed is beneficial to both parties. Not to mention, renters are often required by the terms of the agreement to report issues as they arise.

In turn, landlords are required by law to provide notice before scheduling or entering for a repair. They must also provide written notice for rental/lease violations.

Landlord/Tenant Communication is Key

In any partnership, communication is key to a positive working relationship. You can avoid a misunderstanding by keeping one another informed of the unit’s condition and all its working parts.

important to have communication between landlord and tenant

Before move-in, a tenant should inspect all appliances for damage and function. These issues should be noted and agreed upon by both landlord and tenant. This way, the tenant is sure to be held responsible only for the damage created while occupying the residence and not the previous renter.

Quick DIY Appliance Repairs & Maintenance

Some reasonable wear is expected, depending on the length of the rental. Damages are entirely different and can come out of the tenant’s security deposit or require replacement. Again, this is where knowing the language stated in the lease agreement is so important. Even an issue like nail holes in the walls and landscaping/lawncare should be covered in the documents.

Appliance repairs & maintenance can be a headache, but there are some simple and easy tricks you can do in just 5-10 minutes that might extend or fix your appliances. Here are a few tips from Gulf Coast Appliance Repair:

  • Clean your dryer exhaust
  • Check to make sure your appliance fuses are working properly
  • Clean your air conditioners filter
  • Change your refrigerators water filter
  • Clean dishwasher float switch and valve screen
  • Clear out the ice that’s stuck together or to the icebox

Finally:

Providing appliances and the responsibility there-in can be a burden on a landlord. But they are often necessary items for the tenant to decide the place is worth renting. It really depends on the tenants, themselves, and the market expectations for the area.

The decision is ultimately up to the landlord. It’s particularly important for first-time landlords to make sure they’ve clearly communicated whose responsibility the appliances are.

With some time spent on a well-written lease agreement and a bit of communication, the landlord and tenant can come to peaceful resolutions to any appliance repair issues.

what to do in brandon fl

Great Things To Do in Brandon, Florida

Featured image source: FightingRaven531 / Public domain

Brandon combines small-town charm with the perks of the big city. Since it’s located only 15 minutes from Downtown Tampa, you are never too far away from the city’s activities and sights.

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Brandon itself. There is shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities that, when combined with the amenities of Tampa, can fill all your free time. 

If you’re a Brandon local or just visiting the area, the following 9 things to do will fill up your free time. If you’re moving to the area, be sure to check out these great neighborhoods in Brandon

#1: Westfield Brandon

Westfield Brandon is a mall that offers many shopping and dining options. The atmosphere of Westfield is happy and bright, giving you a chance to get some serious retail therapy. You’ll find Macy’s, JCPenney, Abercrombie & Fitch, Sephora, Aerie, and many other stores under its roof.

Once you have covered all your shopping needs, you can pay a visit to the wonderful food court. Among other places, you can have a snack or meal at Thai Max, Charley’s Philly Steaks, Aussie Grill by Outback, and Perry’s BBQ. 

#2: All Person’s Rotary Park

All Person’s Rotary Park is a great park that, as the name suggests, you can visit by yourself, with friends, or the entire family. There are plenty of places to stroll around, read a book, or have a nice picnic. The old oak trees provide shade during the hottest days.

Families with children will get a lot of value out of this park. There’s a big playground featuring a variety of equipment and even a super fun splash pad. No wonder All Person’s is frequently used for kids’ birthday parties.

fun things to do in brandon fl

#3: AMC The Regency 20

If you want to catch a movie in Brandon, then AMC Regency is one of your best bets. The location of this theater is convenient and the polite and attentive staff are sure to make your visit that much better. Further, the concession stand is big enough to cover even the most demanding tastes. Catch the newest releases here with your friends! 

#4: DayDreams Day Spa

DayDreams Day Spa is considered one of the best spas in Brandon and its surrounding areas. The experience you’ll get here is luxurious as you can relax while getting a massage. There is a couple’s massage available as well.

In addition to massages, you can get other spa procedures at DayDreams. For example, you can choose from a variety of facials as well as different manicure and pedicure sessions. You’ll feel your stress melting away whenever visiting this amazing Brandon spa.

#5: Pinot’s Palette

Pinot’s Palette is a place that fuses art, hands-on workshops, and great drinks. When you are participating in one of their events, you can either pick a painting and reproduce it or paint something using just your imagination.

In addition to paying a visit to one of their public events, you can also book a room here for a private occasion. You can request snacks, drinks, and an instructor who will guide your whole group through this immersive art experience. Paint & Sip at it’s finest!

what to do in brandon fl today

#6: Bootleggers Brewing Co

If you are trying to find the best place for beer in Brandon, then Bootleggers Brewing Co should be high up on your list. This microbrewery has a fantastic selection of freshly brewed beers. The fun and friendly bartenders can even pour you a glass of delicious mead.

The atmosphere here is laid back and it’s definitely not a presumptuous bar. Even though people have called it a nano brewery due to its size, you’ll find all your beer needs met in this place. Whether it’s porter, imperial stout, or a heady Belgian, you can find all of that in Bootleggers Brewing Co!

#7: Paul Sanders Park

This non-staffed park in Brandon could be a perfect spot for a fun day out in Brandon with your friends and family. The amenities at Paul Sanders include picnic shelters, walking trails, restrooms, and a recently upgraded playground. Opening hours of this park are from sunrise to sunset.

#8: Legend’s Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have not lost their appeal. Legend’s Escape Rooms one of the top escape rooms in the entire state of Florida. The rooms here combine the thrill and adventure that you experience when finding yourself in the middle of an ongoing mystery.

Your escape room visit will certainly be memorable. The rooms are challenging in a way that makes them a lot of fun. This top tier escape room venue has great aesthetics and high-quality audio played throughout each game. 

stuff to do in brandon florida

Image Source: David Hoffman via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/160868805@N03/29847011167

#9: Skateland of Brandon

The skate nights at Skateland is one of the most fun activities in Brandon. You don’t need to have your own equipment as Skateland offers skate rental on the premises. While Skateland doesn’t have arcade games, they do feature a dance floor, a prize area, and a nice eating area.

Don’t forget to try their pizza (made on the spot!) if you get hungry after skating all night long. Skateland is a retro experience that fits into modern life. Definitely a place worthy of taking your kids.

Conclusion: Great Places to Visit in Brandon, Florida

Brandon is very close to downtown Tampa which means that there is an endless array of fun things to do nearby. However, if you are looking for some good activities in the area, you don’t actually have to leave Brandon.

Here are some of the top things you can enjoy in Brandon:

  • Bootleggers Brewing Co for great beer
  • Skateland of Brandon to have a good old fashioned skating night
  • DayDreams Day Spa for luxurious pampering
  • Westfield Brandon to shop ‘til you drop
  • Paul Sanders Park or All Person’s Rotary Park for a relaxing day outdoors
  • Legend’s Escape Rooms to tackle a top-class escape room challenge
  • Pinot’s Palette for nice drinks and stress-free art classes

 

If you have any questions about Brandon property management, you can contact a professional property manager in the area.

brandon fl to tampa fl

Moving to Brandon, FL? Check Out These 9 Great Neighborhoods

Brandon is a community 10 miles east of Tampa, Florida on the Gulf Coast. You can easily access this unincorporated community from I-4 and I-75. Brandon is the largest of its kind of community in the state of Florida.

The name of this community comes from its founder and landowner John Brandon. This area was originally planned in the late 19th century. The majority of its growth began in the 1950s as the population climbed from around 8,000 to 100,000 within a thirty-year period.

Brandon is a major urban area regardless of its status as an unincorporated community. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn all about the top neighborhoods in Brandon. Use this practical guide to plan your investments in this part of Florida. You can also click here for a guide to the neighborhoods in Tampa if you’re looking to move there instead.

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