Thursday

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain -- This is a Job for Maintenance -- by Home Repair Tutor





If you attempt to do this yourself, you will be responsible for any damages.  Check your lease contract. Maintenance is supposed to handle this job.  However, if you have no maintenance and nothing in your contract about calling in work orders, you will have to do this yourself.

Clogged shower drain

Tuesday

Landlord, Move-Out Inspection and Security Deposit

This is an example of a walk-through with a private landlord.  Notice the things he states and what he has to do.  He will reduce the security deposit for everything he feels he needs to get done.  It is always best to consult with apartment leasing staff prior to cleaning the apartment and find out what to use to prep the suite before move out.  They did well by walking through the apartment with the landlord after cleaning it.  Most tenants do not do this and they should!



Thursday

Apartment Rental Surprise - Bad Gift Idea - Make the Decision Together

Some renters want to make their partners smile this holiday season by going ahead and signing a lease or making a home purchase, but not so fast!  The likelihood that a rush decision might come back to haunt you later is pretty good!

When it comes to doing something like renting a home for your family, you should make sure that your kin are onboard from the start!  In addition, keep in mind that sometimes landlords are going to encourage you to sign a lease because that is their job and others have a few things they just aren't telling you about a place. 

Ask yourself, what could be lurking behind a wall, in a cabinet, beyond a ceiling, or around you that might be an issue that your partner might have noticed if only you would have put the brakes on signing the lease?

So before you make any hasty decisions just to surprise a partner, do keep in mind, you won't be the only one living there.

Happy Holidays!

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Shower Repair : How to Fix Shower Hot Water Pressure Problems



NOTE: TURN THE MAIN WATER SUPPLY OFF BEFORE TRYING TO DO THIS.  Contact maintenance if you are at a complex.

Thursday

Thanks for Your Reader Support

I just wanted to take this moment to thank the contributors of this blog and all those who have shared their entries.  I am so glad that so many apartment shoppers, renters and staff have found it useful.  I look forward to having an even better year!

At this time we are welcoming any business or individual in property management to be featured on this blog with their tips, experiences and/or questions.  Also anyone who would like to purchase ad space, do make contact.

Feel free to reply to this post or contact me at nichollmcguire@gmail.com

Nicholl McGuire is the manager of this blog, a self-published author, inspirational speaker, and business owner originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been a featured guest on television and radio talk shows such as networks CBS and WPXI Channel 11.

Friday

Reflecting on Those Days as a Community Manager

The memories never go away as long as there are apartment buildings.  The thoughts come to mind every now and then when as a leasing professional or community manager you helped this resident and that one with a lock out issue, another with a rent concern, and others with work orders, noisy neighbors and more.  I will never forget the young man who took a bad drug that left him stark-naked running around our faux plants in the lobby area.  He ran and screamed while the police officer chased him.  The following week an older man strolled down the hallway in his underwear after taking the same drug as well.  Along with roaches, we had to exterminate a drug dealer on the property.  Oh, those were the days.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry, Laboring to Love Myself, Tell Me Mother You're Sorry as well as other books.

Saturday

HVAC Scams by Jay Dillon



A great reference guide if you are a equipment buyer.  If you are responsible for making a HVAC related purchase, do read this helpful book first.  Click here for your copy!

Tuesday

City condemns apartment building with no heat on Detroit's west side





This occurred in 2014.


Bad case of expanding pipes in central heating system





In old buildings you will find heating units like this, it's typical and annoying.
The renter had the system checked twice, no air was left in the system.

Friday

A Sample of How To Submit a Work Order Request Online (Maintenance Request)





Many real estate companies have scaled down their office staff and have redirected work order requests to websites.  As much as some individuals prefer to talk with someone in person, this doesn't often happen especially when private landlords and organizations are operating out of state.

Thursday

7 Popular, Affordable Places to Shop for Apartment Decor, Organization Supplies

Sometimes your mind draws a blank when it comes to buying necessary items for your residence.  This is a simple list of popular places you can begin looking for needed items.
 
 
Check out coupon codes and discounts when you sign up here.
If you are considering on doing something nice for others, why not purchase a gift card at one of the stores above?  Shop Black Friday, Cyber Monday, get tips. Click this link.
 
 
 
 

Monday

Don't Get Put Out in the Cold - Pay Rent, Keep Apartment Clean and Orderly, Follow the Rules

You never know when management might come around looking at your exterior, posting a 24 hour notice on your door to inspect, or stopping by because a neighbor has complained about something.  So if your apartment is unclean and not visually appealing and other rules are broken, you just might be putting yourself and/or family at risk of receiving a notice to vacate within 60 days (or less depending on the state you live in).

When the seasons become cooler, it can be difficult to find an available apartment.  Most people do not move during colder months.  So if you are a renter who has received a dreaded notice in the middle of the coldest month of the year, you are going to be quite angry.  It is always best to work with management and get all necessary issues addressed before a "pay or quit" or some other notice is posted on your door.

Ask yourself the following:

1.  Are you often loud with music, walking, talking, parties, etc.?
2.  Are children causing problems?
3.  Do you find that you are receiving many notices about your conduct?
4.  Are you frequently behind in rent?
5.  Do you bother to clean your apartment?  Is there an insect problem as a result?
6.  Have you contacted management about broken appliances, leaky pipes, etc.?

Sometimes renters will let a unit run down without the slightest complaint to management until they receive a notice about their conduct.  Others will ignore late rent letters while hoping to stay in their dwellings.  When small issues become major ones, problem residents will list complaints to corporate and/or community managers and threaten to sue.  But you don't have much of a case, when one is responsible for not doing things like: paying rent on time, breaking rules, failing to supervise children, etc.  Communicate with management as soon as you can before it's too late.

Nicholl McGuire

 

Sunday

The New Neighbors - The Ups and Downs

You don't know them, but they seem to be okay.  The new neighbors.  Everyone has had their share of stories about those strangers who move into the community.  They either mind their own business, mind yours, or cause problems.  Sometimes they are simply nice people that wave or say, "Hello" and that's it.  But whoever they are, you can be nice to strangers.

One issue that tends to arise are those busybody residents who tend to be loud, a bit too friendly, and ask to borrow some things.  New neighbors might be put off with them and so there will be some tension in the air.  Little things can turn into big things quickly.  Making new people feel welcome; instead of unwelcome, will ease some of the stress for all.  A simple exchange about the community, a story about a bad neighbor, and other useful information will help people adjust.

If your neighbor is not familiar with some rules, you can always post a note, a copy of the rental policies or speak with management, but whatever you do, don't let annoying behavior turn into a major ordeal.  Remember everyone deserves to live in peace!

Nicholl McGuire not only offers tips about her experience in the property management industry, but she also runs a small virtual assistant business part-time here. 

Friday

20 Signs Sticking It Out at a Property Might Not Be a Good Idea

Sometimes apartment management and staff just don't have a clue how irritating it can be to keep having to call, confront, and cry about a situation that just isn't being addressed.  As we all know, once you reach a point of anger, it is difficult to ever feel good about a person, place or thing again.  Therefore, small issues become big ones and before long someone is threatening to sue. 

If you are a resident of a poorly-run community and can't seem to get the company's attention with a simple phone call, office visit, or letter then maybe putting your money in escrow might help.  Do consult with a real estate attorney about this before you do it.  However, if the lease is almost up, consider going month-to-month until you can find a better place.  Remember to give a 30 or 60 day notice with management, but check your lease because timeframes vary with many companies.

Issues that will grow into bigger ones causing you and others to run away, especially if one is experiencing all of these:

1.  Unreasonable increases in rent. 
2.  Slow and unskilled maintenance workers.
3.  Weird odors that never seem to go away.
4.  Inconsistent or short office hours.
5.  Rude and/or lazy management and staff i.e.) don't smile, return phone calls, impatient, etc.
6.  Insect problems.
7.  Dirty common areas.
8.  Unruly children.
9.  Strangers using facilities i.e.) laundry room, pool areas, etc.
10.  Robberies and other crime.
11.  Worn carpets.
12.  Air conditioning or heating units that don't work properly.
13.  Problematic kitchen cabinets and drawers, doors, etc.
14.  Residents who break the rules, no consequences.
15.  Outdated amenities i.e.) stoves, refrigerators, countertops, faucets, tubs, shower doors, etc.
16.  Pet noise and waste.
17.  Garbage area pile-ups.
18.  Frequent misplaced or lost packages.
19.  Inoperable gym equipment.
20.  Smokers who stand in breezeways, in front of neighbor's door ways...smoking.

People don't stay where they don't feel at peace.  The community manager and staff's responsibility is to ensure their residents' comfort.  If more people would quit settling for simple issues that could easily be fixed, maybe property management companies would step it up.  Check housing laws usually provided by your local housing rights office and also review your lease.

Nicholl McGuire, former apartment community manager and leasing consultant.


 

Tuesday

Store Clothes without Closet, Smart Ideas


Apartment Shopping...Blogger Nicholl McGuire

When I entered the property management industry as an apartment leasing consultant back in 2003, I didn't anticipate the enormous amount of responsibility that falls on the staff of a large multi-dwelling complex.  I welcomed the challenge and was quite familiar with what my position was on paper, but what I didn't expect were those unexpected titles one plays behind the scenes when he or she isn't showing an apartment or going over a lease with a tenant.

Rapidly, I became the "go-to person" once residents felt at ease with the 20 something year old at the time.  While in my leasing position, I found myself gradually falling into the social worker's role, the care taker, a teacher, and even a preacher.  People had many needs and were looking for a little solace in someone who cared.  I also had to set boundaries as well so that I and the company wouldn't be taken advantage of.  In time, I would become a community manager, who not only took on various roles that were outside of the job description, but also became a bridge over troubled waters between corporate and disgruntled residents who were still mad at the last guy.

Despite the many challenges I faced as a community manager from needed building repairs on a limited budget to learning how to get around my new city, I was able to do the best I could in my roles.  Of course, life throws you a curve ball sooner or later and so I had my share of personal issues that caused me to re-evaluate some things, but the ride was good while it lasted.  One day I plan to return to the industry, but in the meantime, I continue to provide advice and helpful resources to my online audience and those aspiring to be in the profession or are already working. 

Thanks to the readers who support this blog. 

NOTE:  If you would like to help sponsor this blog or others by purchasing ad space or writing a guest entry, feel free to contact Nicholl at this email address: nichollmcguire@gmail.com

Wednesday

Consistently Tardy with Rent?

Most rental companies expect rent to be paid by the first, while others do have a grace period of five days.  After that the warning shows up on your door step along with a late fee charge.  Make it a habit to be late with rent and not only are you giving rental companies extra money, but your credit is negatively impacted while you put yourself and family at risk of being evicted in the future.  New management/owners will review the files of renters who present chronic problems and will work to get those renters off the property sooner rather than later.

Tardy rent happens with many people and when it does it can be stressful for all parties.  The property managers must process additional paperwork while keeping records of tardiness.  The family who hopes to one day move may not get a good reference from the current landlord.  Future managers don't like to lease their properties to individuals who are often late with rent.

So keep this in mind the next time you want to splurge a little, do you have your rent?

Nicholl McGuire  

Sunday

Moving from House to Apartment? Prepare Yourself Mentally

There are just some things you are going to miss about not living in a house anymore.  If you don't prepare yourself mentally for what is ahead, you will have a hard time adjusting and in time you might not have the best relationship with your landlord.

1.  Smaller space.

Going from a spacious home to small rooms will bring you some grief especially when you realize you can't fit everything into your new space.  You might become upset having to get rid of some things.

2.  Noises.

The maintenance staff, landscape crew, crying babies, loud talking, animals, music, parties, etc. all the noise can really get to you especially when you are trying to sleep.  Find out what the noise hours are at your community.  Sometimes landlords aren't always on top of this, so remind them.  Keep in mind to close your windows when doing something loud and watch the noise volume in your place so that no one will report you and your family.

3.  Strangers.

Community living has its share of people you know and those you don't.  Relatives of neighbors will visit, people will move in and move out around you, and you may not like all the strange faces coming and going.  You can get to know neighbors if that will make you feel somewhat comfortable; otherwise learn to tolerate what you see until you can move again.

4.  Papers on your door.

This bothers some people more than others.  Those envelopes and fliers can mean something good or bad such as: water shut off due to maintenance, outages, late rent, promotions, community events, etc.  Read them and post the important ones up within your dwelling so you won't forget dates. 

5.  Mood swings.

Some days will be worse than others when you think of what you might have had to sacrifice to be in the apartment. Try to focus on the good things when those negative emotions show up.  Be grateful that you aren't outdoors.  Start planning to move again if you really don't like where you currently live, it will make you feel better.

6.  Assigned parking.

Things will come up and if you aren't parked in the right spot or don't move your vehicle when requested by management, you will have your share of issues. Sometimes visitors might park in your spot or you in theirs.  If your car should be towed or if you are responsible for getting your neighbor's car towed, you won't be happy.  Apartment communities have their share of upgrades year round so pay close attention to announcements that there will be some things happening in the community parking lot.  Also, notify management immediately when you discover someone is parked in your spot.

7.  Annual rent increases.

This isn't always mentioned when you first move-in, but read your lease contract.  You don't want to be that guy or gal cursing about the rent increase during lease renewal.

8.  Offensive Odors

The odors can be annoying especially if you don't like certain meals people prepare. 

9.  Pets

If you aren't use to the smell of an animal or barking, you won't like your neighbor's pet(s).  Be sure that you don't accept a unit near someone with a pet.

10.  Busybodies

They may sit around the outside of your apartment or visit too frequently with neighbors.  This can be irritating if you are a private person and are not interested in being social with others.

Moving from a house to an apartment is tough, try focusing on the positives like: no more cutting grass, paying large bills, worrying over something breaking down, etc.  You now can count on the apartment management team to help!

Nicholl McGuire provides web content for webmasters and other virtual assistance.  Learn more here.

Tips for a Stress-Free Apartment Search



Friday

Nonchalant Leasing Consultant - Telephone Leasing Presentation Gone Wrong!



This is an example of why some leasing consultants don't last long in real estate.  Think twice about renting from staff who answer the phone like this, sound a bit annoyed, and don't make you feel like they want you to visit.

Sunday

A Word from the Apartment Leasing Tips Blogger...

For years,  I have shared with my readers some valuable information to assist them with their apartment related experiences.  As a former community manager, leasing consultant, and administrative assistant, I am well aware of the challenges in the property management industry.  It can feel like a losing battle when everything seems to be going wrong and it can also feel like you are on top of the world when everything is going right.

Nowadays, I am a proud renter who enjoys a great property, nice neighbors, and a trouble-free unit.  My family is steadily growing in size and one day it will be time to move.  One of the things that I have been noticing as our family shops for a new home is the subpar quality of some of these rental properties.  Would you open your doors up to strangers with old insects lying about?  How about telling your guests to wait while you do other things?  How about not returning phone calls?  And what's with all these landlords who think that keeping old, tired fixtures is a great marketing tool?  To me, it says one thing, "We don't care about our tenants."  I'm glad to know that, we won't be back.

So in your quest to find a quality place to stay, whatever you do, don't settle!  It is always better to remain where you are then to inherit a new set of problems.  Feel free to check around this site for informative articles and thanks for stopping by!

Nicholl McGuire also shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7

Saturday

How to Buy a Rental Property in the Next 90 Days

Can You Pay Partial Rent?

Things happen and sometimes rent is short.  A tenant who needs a little mercy will want to make sure he or she knows his or her rights before walking into the leasing office with his or her request to pay partial rent.  Not every company or private owner operates the same way.  Most often an individual who is renting out his or her home is more understanding than a corporation that overseas many properties.

Here are several things you need to know:

1.  Read your lease.  You may be in violation of your lease agreement if you don't pay the full amount.

2.  You can pay partial rent, but you just might still receive an eviction notice.  So do talk with your landlord directly and also put your request in writing too.  Ask your landlord to prepare a receipt for your partial payment.

3.  If your landlord agrees that you can pay partial rent, you will need the following in writing:  how much you paid, how much you still owe, late fee, the rest of the rent owed, when those payments are due, and also an agreement that the landlord will not evict you if you pay the remaining rent due on the specified date.

4.  Be sure you and landlord sign all agreements.  This will be used in court if you should not meet the agreement.

Seek legal counseling if you suspect your rights are being violated during this process.

Nicholl McGuire

Sunday

Is the Apartment Pool Making Residents' Sick?

Take a look at the community pool before you step in.  Does the water appear strange?  When was the last time it has been cleaned?  If you are skeptical about the apartment pool area, you should be.  Learn more here.

Saturday

Fair Housing, Children and Protecting Them

This insightful article takes a look at when does management draw the line between making sure children are safe and taking care not to violate Fair Housing rules.  Check out here.

Friday

Residents' Rights and Responsibilites - HUD

Need to know more about HUD residents' rights and responsibilities?  There is an online guide to help with that which is available to print for free.  See here.

Thursday

How Long Can a Guest Stay in an Apartment?

It happens sometimes visitors end up overstaying their welcome at one's residence.  You might want to check your lease to be sure you are not violating any rules.  Chances are that nosy neighbors just might mention seeing your guest(s) a little too frequently on the grounds especially if they are utilizing the community amenities.

Learn more here:  Renters.Apartments.Com http://renters.apartments.com/how-long-can-a-visitor-stay-with-you-before-they-re-considered-a-resident

Friday

Save Time When Filling Out Apartment Rental Applications

The day will come when you will absolutely love an apartment, town home, or other residence and you won't want to waste too much time getting the place.  You will be considered for a rental faster than others if you have all necessary documentation readily available to help with completing your rental application. The following is a list of what you need for most applications.  Organize your items and have them with you for easy reference just in case you find that special residence.  Some leasing consultants will actually wait for you to fill out the application if you already have everything.

1.  Copy of your credit report and background check.  Although the company will perform a background check, if you have your own information handy and need to reference it for some reason, having it available might be helpful.

2.  Know your move-in date.  So many apartment shoppers waste valuable time not having any idea when they want to move-in.  Discuss this advance with your roommate before apartment shopping.

3.  Be prepared to fill out basic information on the rental application such as: address, social security number, current landlord/home owner, how long you have been there, current rent, and apartment community/landlord's phone number.  If you live with parents, just indicate that on the form.

4.  Know the previous addresses you stayed, the name of the apartment communities/landlords, contact information, and how much you paid in rent.  The application will have a limit so just fill out what is required.

5.  Have your roommate, co-signer or spouse's information available.

6.  If you have additional income, list it.  This helps if your monthly income falls a bit short of requirements.

7.  List other occupants.  Anyone over 18 years in most states will need to fill out a rental application so that a background check can be performed.

8.  Note pet information such as: the type, breed and weight.  This data will determine whether your pet meets requirements.

9.  Know the make and year of your automobile, tag number/license plate, state and color.  This information will be used to identify your vehicle when parking is assigned.

10.  Be sure your driver's license or state id is available.  This will be used to prove your identity.  The license number will most likely be needed on the form.

11.  Emergency contact information including phone numbers and addresses.

12.  Employment information including most recent pay stubs (have at least six months available).  Self-employed individuals include most recent tax return.

13.  Proof you are managing any debt issues that you feel might hinder you from getting a place ie.) bankruptcy discharge paperwork, payment arrangement with collection companies, etc.

14.  Any paperwork related to a landlord tenant dispute that shows past issues were resolved.

15.  Checkbook or money order,  This comes in handy to pay for application fee and if need be to hold the apartment.

All of your documentation should be in a folder for easy reference.  You will most likely find yourself referring to the information often until you secure a place.

Happy shopping!

Nicholl McGuire provides web content to various sites.  Learn more about Nicholl McGuire Media here.

Wednesday

Apartment Mobile Apps

These sites make it so easy to keep up with the latest listings using your android, Ipad, Iphone, Kindle, and other portable devices.  The mobile apps are simple to use and download quickly.  Stay up-to-date on rentals by downloading apps from any of the following apartment rental websites:

Apartments.com

Apartment Guide

Rent.com

Apartmentfinder.com

RentCafe

Landlords can take advantage of mobile apps for their properties, click here for more details.

Nicholl McGuire is a blog writer, former community manager and contributes to numerous websites, blogs, and provides spiritual wisdom online.


Friday

Top Party Rentals in Los Angeles Orange County California









Many apartment communities don't have the accommodations for large parties.  Check out a party rental place in your local area.  See example above.  By taking your party off-site, you don't have to worry about disturbing your neighbors or risking your reputation with management.  In the future, if you should seek to live elsewhere, a landlord will ask your previous manager what kind of resident you were.  Have a great party!

Monday

Looking for an apartment today?

For years, this blog has been active when it comes to apartment shopping, advice, and assistance with rental housing.  Take a moment to scroll around and you will find rental information you may not have thought of when it comes to apartment and housing rentals.

A thought comes to mind when I think of first time apartment and home renters.  One thing is for sure, if a landlord, community manager, or leasing consultant knows that you have money in hand and desperate to rent a residence, he or she is most likely going to be more pushy about getting you to put up some money and even sign a lease then a person who isn't prepared to rent.  It is always best to keep what you have or don't have to yourself.  Avoid saying things like:

1.  I just got my tax refund so I am looking to sign a lease today if the price is right.
2.  My dad and mom will help me with the money, I just need to find a place right now.
3.  I don't have much money, but this place is sure nice.
4.  My husband has a good job so money isn't a problem.
5.  I need a place like yesterday, what do you have?
6.  I don't really know what I want...I mean I've been to a lot of places...yours seems okay.
7.  I just got out of a bad relationship, my kids are complaining about the place we are in...I'm broke.

A professional might talk you into getting a loan, borrowing money from a relative, tell you how the rentals are going fast, get you to put some money down on a place even when you need money right now for other things, persuade you into getting a suite that you don't really like because it is cheaper, and he or she might even offer an incentive just so that you will feel obligated to lease.

Take your time when shopping for rental housing.  Always say, "Thank you, but I have some other things to do, I will think about it.  I don't like to make any hasty decisions."  Of course, the professional will follow with something clever to your rebuttal, but keep walking out the door.

Sometimes an application might not be given when requested, this is so that you will come back.  The manager might request money to hold the place.  You might even be talked into bringing the person back you plan on borrowing money from.  Don't cause family conflict by saying, "Yes" to anything that parents, a partner or roommate might not agree with you about.

Apartment shopping is like window shopping, you aren't buying anything.  You are just taking the time to discover what is out there, learn more about the unit, the community and surrounding neighborhood.

Visit the area more than once.  Stop by the community on days when people aren't working.  Listen and watch for signs that the apartment suite is indeed quiet, comfortable and to your liking.  Hard to rent apartments and other housing will feel like they are being pushed on you by staff.  When visiting the place, attention will be taken away from the noise of neighbors, the worn out fixtures, unsightly ceiling and flooring, what is hiding in cabinets, etc.  Trust your eyeballs, your nose, and all other senses when you apartment shop today.

To your success,

Nicholl McGuire

Friday

Move In Specials, Too Good to Be True Apartment Rental Advertising

It's springtime and you know what that means, more ads will be out for apartment and house rentals.  There will also be those "too good to be true" ones too.  Some will look something like this:


1.  "Three months rent for free!"


2.  "Pay just $100 to move-in!"


3.  "We pay your first month of rent free!"


4.  "Bad credit, no problem!"


5.  "Beautiful, spacious apartment, walk-in closets, nice view...must see!  Application fee waived, two months rent free, utilities included, free gift card if sign up during first visit..."


After you see promotions like this, there isn't anything wrong with asking, "Okay what's up with the place?"  Consider the following:


1. Noise (freeway nearby, main road for fire, police and ambulance, barking dogs...)
2. Insects and rodents (hard to kill, every now and then like to come out and say "hi")
3. High turn-over (corporate isn't doing their jobs, staff position openings, residents dissatisfied)
4. Nearby construction (dirt, dust, noise)
5. Drug and alcohol businesses (addicts frequent the area, homeless might also be around)
6. Old, unsightly looking building (Would you bring your family and friends there?)
7. Poor, unruly residents and many children
8. Frequent maintenance problems
9.  Bad telephone, cable or internet service in the area
10. Small bedrooms, closets and no special amenities


Now there are those apartment buildings and homes that have nothing wrong with them and management just might be feeling generous.  Be sure you ask questions before wasting valuable time going out to see the place.  Suggestions are: When was the building constructed and are there any upgrades?  How close is the local police and fire station?  How often does pest control come out to your property?  Do you have any job openings, what is your manager's name, is there a corporate headquarters?  Also, look up the location online including where the fire, police and hospitals are and check out the neighborhood.


Happy apartment hunting!


Nicholl McGuire also maintains Work Place Problems blog, here. 

Sunday

Document Everything - When Things Get Worse Instead of Better - Apartment Living

You spoke with the landlord, you talked with neighbors and still no resolve.  You are angered that someone or something continues to happen.  Now is the time to start documenting everything, and if need be, take photos.

1.  Notice patterns when certain things occur.  Note whether they happen day or night, include times, and look for other things that are worth mentioning if the issue(s) end up in court.

2.  Set up recording devices if the issues are happening inside your unit.

3.  Take photos of all things related to your troubles.

4.  Ask a trustworthy neighbor to watch out for things that are troubling.

5.  Write down what neighbors say about the problems.  Note dates and times you interviewed with them.  Keep in mind, there will be those neighbors who don't want to rock any boats, so don't mention what you are doing to them.

6.  Get the police, health department, building inspectors, code enforcement, and others involved if you feel your safety is at risk.

Using your best judgment when it comes to apartment maintenance, noise, unresponsive landlords, neighbor issues, and more can be beneficial, but do keep in mind that troublesome individuals don't like to be reported.  So do make plans to move if your conditions are unbearable and also consult with an attorney and your local Housing Rights office.

Nicholl McGuire

Wednesday

Don't Like Where You Stay? 30 Day Notice to Move

Don't like where you stay any longer?  If this describes you then you might want to consider giving your landlord a 30 day notice if your lease is due to expire.  If you fail to give notice, then you will find that your rent might increase, your lease may or may not become month-to-month, and you may incur additional charges that you really don't want to pay.

So don't sleep on your lease date--get to the office and start your new apartment search!  Scroll through this blog for more tips on apartment living.

Saturday

Know What You Need - Apartment Hunting

When you're asked, "What you're looking for?"  Be ready to answer this question.  The landlord, owner, or leasing consultant doesn't know you, but you are aware of your needs, so be prepared to say what you want when apartment shopping.

Before you begin your next apartment hunt you should already know the following things:

1.  When you want to move?
2.  Whether you have the application fee, a deposit and at least two month's worth of rent.
3.  Your credit history.
4.  The kind of suite you want.
5.  The amenities that you will use (not what you hope to one day use).
6.  A busy, quiet, or semi-active neighborhood.
7.  The type of people you don't mind living nearby. (Due to Fair Housing Laws, the apartment staff can't help you with this, so be observant).

Lack of money, noise sensitivity, personal prejudice, and other issues will affect how you view a community.  So why suffer for a year moving somewhere you know you will not like much after the newness of convenient shopping and a lovely pool wear off?  The issues that come with a large complex will be there.  The noise of busy streets will drive you mad if you enjoy peace and quiet. Don't forget if you have personal hang-ups with social class, same sex couples, and a certain ethnicity or two, those issues don't go away either no matter how much you talk yourself into being more understanding.

Take your apartment shopping experience seriously and don't permit others to persuade you into committing to something you know deep inside you just don't want.  Pay close attention to the environment and don't be distracted by pretty things, discounted rent, and other specials.  Check out more entries on this site about apartment shopping.  After reading many of them, you will be well-prepared to make a good decision.

Best wishes to you!

Nicholl McGuire also shares tips at Workplace Problems, see here. 

Saturday

When Is It the Right Time to Move?

Sometimes we stay in communities long past our internal clocks that tell us, "Leave.  This would be a good time."  From money challenges to a person staying with us that isn't ready to move, we end up staying and it feels like the walls around us are beginning to close in.  So when is it a good time, to get focused, and start preparing to move?

1.  When personal challenges with the property, staff, neighbors, and more are steadily increasing more than they ever were.

Maybe you were once the resident that never visited the leasing office or called property management, but now you are becoming familiar to them.  It seems every time you show up, there is something that needs to be fixed, neighbor woes, problems with paying rent, etc.

2.  When you have an "aha" moment it's time to move and recognize the fact that your residence no longer adds any value to your life.

Living in some communities can be more burdensome than we realize.  What we once thought was "perfect" is no longer that great when you are no longer working at the place near the apartment community or the amenities at the property mean nothing to you.  So why are you paying so much?  Re-evaluate why you remain where you are.

3.  When you find yourself wishing/hoping/wanting far too often for something bigger, smaller, less expensive, etc.

It is like you become obsessed with the idea of moving--all you want is to leave.  You are all-too-eager to save money, visit places, and envision your move out date before you even get a place.

Lastly, you know when the time is right when you can look in your bank account and see that there is enough money to move.  This is a clear indication that you can do it, but is your mind and heart in agreement along with the people you live with?

Nicholl McGuire


Monday

Property Owners, Apartment Managers - No Blog, No Problem!

For years this blog has been managed by Nicholl McGuire Media.  We have shared beneficial information to apartment renters and workers in property management.  We will be continuing our efforts and hope to include those of you who are in the field.


If you have a website, but have no blog, won't you think about linking with us?  Weekly we post videos and share information from around the web about apartment and housing rentals.  We are open to link swapping, so if you post our link, we will be sure to post yours.  Let us know you did.


Contact Nicholl  nichollmcguire@yahoo.com
Apartment Shopping, Leasing, Rental Tips Blogger

Saturday

Questions Renters will Need to Have Answers to Before They See a Rental



Renters: 7 Tips on What Not to Rent

As a first time renter or a more experienced one, there are certain buildings, communities and other places you simply want to avoid.  The more you know about the rental unit and the property, the less likely you will have future issues.


1.  Keep away from communities that are near alley ways.


Some areas have drug problems and many dealers enjoy the convenience of conducting their transactions in alley ways.  Thieves like alleys as well, because it is easy for them to get away.


2.  Pass on seeing apartment communities on major roads or next to freeways.


If noise is an issue for you, why bother viewing a place that a leasing professional might talk you into getting?  Busy roads and streets are often noisy. Ambulances and fire trucks typically drive down these roads and pets in the area respond to the sound.


3.  Be mindful of upstairs units with flat roofs.


Leaks are a big issue when it comes to roofs in general, but flat ones tend to be more problematic.  Also, some people like standing or sitting on them.


4.  Think twice about moving into a unit on the second floor.


Noise above you and noise beneath are issues with these units.  Once again, if you are sensitive to noise, don't bother.


5.  If you have children, consider places that have a play area or nearby park.  Don't bother with those that don't.


Children will get bored and if there is no where for them to run around, then they will use the apartment as their play area for jumping and running around which will disturb neighbors.


6.  Skip ads that expect the resident to pay not only rent but all utilities too.


When you have a limited budget, don't make matters worse trying to rent a beautiful, expensive rental that doesn't include any utilities in the monthly rent.  The more apartment shoppers that pass on these ads, the less likely these owners will try to lure them into paying for everything.


7.  Think before you agree to live in a unit near a major entrance on the property, parking lot, pool area, laundry, or party room.


The traffic in these areas will be more than most even though you will just love the convenience of being near everything.  However, sleep will soon be affected and you won't be too happy hearing people, cars, music, doors slamming, and more--sometimes all at the same time!  Before long, you will be in the landlord's office complaining about one thing or another.  If you know you are sensitive to heavy traffic and noise, look elsewhere in the community.


Remember, if you take the time to view the community, shut out the leasing professional's sales pitch, and digest some of  what you see and hear, you will think twice about settling on an apartment rental you really aren't completely sold on.


Nicholl McGuire

The Fair Housing Act and What Apartment Managers and Leasing Professionals are Not to Say


Friday

Apartment Complex Covers up Toxic Mold


Know Your Rights - Fair Housing 101: Race and National Origin




Beware of those who will claim they don't speak English, when what they are really doing is populating the community with their own ethnicity.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media