Accommodating the Tenant in Transition
With a hot real estate market and new builds on the rise, short-term furnished rentals are more in demand than ever.
Furnished short-term rentals can accommodate several different classifications of need. Size and location are two of the determining factors in identifying which need the rental is best suited for.
Here are examples of market demand:
- Buyers stuck between the sale of their home and completion of a new build purchase.
- Newly moved to town, needing a place to live while looking for the perfect house to buy.
- On a temporary work contract lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
- Business trip
The above examples require a full range of geographical locations and sizes. Families between homes will usually require a 3-bedroom house and often will have one or more pets. Business travelers and people visiting the area, (to visit family or friends, or just to check out the area), will be looking for something either close to downtown Boise or near their short-term employment.
Why would an investor want to place their rental in a short-term portfolio instead of minimum 12-month lease contracts? Because short-term demands higher rents and if your property falls into the business or vacation traveler category, your property will offer nightly, weekly and monthly rates.
You may wonder about the amount of traffic and therefore wear and tear for short-term rentals. A furnished home is not affected in the same way as an unfurnished home that requires furniture to be moved in and out and wall décor turnover. The property will experience professional cleaning on a regular basis, keeping appliances in top condition and cleanliness to an optimum.
RMA is launching a Beta Test of our short-term furnished rental division in February. If you would like your rental property to be considered for this start-up phase please contact Claire@rentalsinboise.com for more information.
What’s Under Your House?
Guest Contributor – Dan Flynn
Your crawl space is also your foundation and you don’t want to take the risk of it being damaged.
Moisture in the crawl space due to lack of ventilation or inadequate drainage can cause a variety of problems for property owners. Bacteria and mold, spiders, bug infestations, health concerns, structural damage, and failed inspections are all caused by water in your crawl space.
The key to preventing or minimizing mold growth is to control the amount of moisture in our crawlspace. Moisture and mold problems may be caused by plumbing leaks, lack of rain gutters, poor grading, porous soil, no ventilation, groundwater, high water tables, or poor drainage. Due to a higher water table in some areas of Idaho, houses with standing water or moisture in the crawlspace are common.
Water in the crawlspace over time will raise the level of moisture inside the home and can even extend into the attic and roof.
In addition to mold and air quality problems, wet crawlspaces attract unwanted pests and bug infestations. When it affects the health and welfare of tenants, it becomes an owner responsibility and a habitability issue.
While it is the landlord’s duty to keep the property safe and healthy, in return, it is the tenant’s responsibility to safeguard the property. Educating renters on prevention like keeping obstacles from blocking the vents, monitoring rain gutters, and using care when watering, could be helpful. Yet, renters may still be oblivious to any signs of water intrusion. If they do see signs, they may delay in reporting it, if they report anything at all.
Homes in Idaho should keep the crawlspace vents open year around for proper ventilation. However, pipes should be insulated to protect them from freezing during the cold winter months.
Here are some steps you can take to protect your investment.
- Monitor vents for debris and blockages.
- Maintain rain gutters and monitor for areas of water accumulation due to improper grading.
- Insulate and seal HVAC duct work to minimize energy loss and prevent return ducts from distributing crawl space air into the home.
- Don't allow sprinklers to water exterior walls and avoid over-watering.
- Check for problems with the vapor barrier like tears, slits, or not covering the entire area.
- Monitor your interior foundation walls for calcium deposits from water seeping in.
- Have a video-taped crawl space inspection by a licensed professional. You'll be able to view it while discussing any issues and their recommendations
If standing water is found in your crawl space that is caused by ground water, it may be necessary to have a drainage system installed, with a automatically controlled pump to remove the water as needed, keeping the crawl space dry.
Checking your crawl space on a regular basis for standing water and to make sure no water has been seeping in not only keeps your tenants safe, it could save you money in costly repairs, and perhaps save your home's structure from major damage. And, it will give you peace of mind.
So, what's under your house?
Mother nature brought New Year surprises to the Treasure Valley with record low temperatures and record high snowfall.
School closures were experienced, a local disaster emergency was declared, and then immediately after record-breaking snowfall, temperatures warmed up by 52 degrees F in only 48 hours causing a massive snowmelt on top of steady rainfall. Blocked storm drains lead to flooded streets and homes. Ice dams caused leaking roofs. Nampa City Hall employees were welcomed by a flooded office when they arrived to work one Monday morning, and broken pipes accounted for flooding in more than one school with about half of Rolling Hills Public Charter School in Garden City underwater according to a report from the school superintendent.
RMA fielded several maintenance requests and processed work orders as quickly as vendors could get to them. These extreme conditions are anticipated to have caused potential damage to gutters, as well as some exterior surfaces, so don’t be surprised if you hear from us about repairs being needed.
February you will receive a list of suggested preventative maintenance home inspections from our property manager. We will send this out annually. RMA is not an asset manager, but we do care about protecting your investment! It is for this reason we ask you to indicate either an opt-in or opt-out for each of these inspection proposals and return your completed form to us to be processed and filed with your property records.
Year End Statements
Your year-end profit and loss statement is available through your online portal now. Your 1099 will be mailed to you no later than January 31.
What Are You Interested In?
This newsletter is intended as a resource and communication platform for you. If there is a topic, relevant to the management of your investment property, that you would like me to write on, please let me know!