International Tenant Screening In Orlando Property Management

International Tenant Screening In Orlando Property Management

In a rental market like Orlando, we have a huge variety of potential tenants, including immigrants who may be here for school, for business, or for any number of other reasons. Tenant screening is a challenging part of property management in the best of circumstances. Making rental decisions about tenants who may not have a social security number, or whose social security number is recently issued and has no credit history behind it takes a little extra work.

Why Do I Need To Consider Dealing With This?

 You may be wondering why you’d want to consider establishing policies for renting to tenants who require extra work to screen. The truth is that many immigrants who come to Orlando for a job already have an excellent credit history in their home countries and make reliable tenants. According to a study (page 17) from Joint Center For Housing Studies Of Harvard University, about 20 percent of renter households nationwide are headed by an immigrant, and about half of all immigrants in the United States are renters. That’s a large group of prospective tenants no rental property owner can afford to ignore.

Establish Your Tenant Screening Policy 

Like any other tenant screening issue, consistency is a key factor in maintaining legal compliance and protecting yourself against claims of discrimination. It’s illegal to reject tenants based on national origin, and prospective tenants are covered by the Fair Housing Act, whether they are legal immigrants or not. International tenant screening requires your tenant screening policy to specify what criteria will be used to evaluate applicants when the usual credit and background checks can’t apply. You may establish a set of alternative tenant screening criteria, such as income and bank statements, references from a tenant’s employer, or their credit record in their home country. Whatever criteria you set should be publicly available and consistently applied, just like the screening criteria for any other applicants.

Professional Tenant Screening & Property Management

If you’re a residential rental landlord in Orlando, working with Belmont Management Group for professional tenant screening and property management services makes it easy to maintain legal compliance while taking advantage of the entire pool of prospective tenants available. Call or contact us online for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help your investment properties bring the best returns possible.

Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover the entire topic of international tenant screening.

Analyze & Make A Plan For 2020 Investment Property Management

Analyze & Make A Plan For 2020 Investment Property Management

No matter how long you’ve owned residential rentals, there is always room to streamline your investment property management program so that it brings you the best returns and economizes on time-demands. As the end of 2019 approaches, it’s a good time to start analyzing what worked for you this year and what needs improvement in the upcoming year.

Are Your Rents On Track?

It’s a good time to research comparable rentals in your market and determine whether your rents are still in line with the current market. It’s not quite as simple as seeing what the highest rents are in the comps you find, though. In most cases, you’ll want to weigh keeping good tenants in place against raising rents, and, of course, you may have to account for any legal restrictions on rent raises. Start with general information, then consider each rental on a case-by-case basis. You determine in some cases that you’d rather keep a reliable, responsible tenant in place than risk losing them over a rental increase. In other cases, you may find that raising the rent is what has to happen, regardless of the tenant’s response.

Analyze Your Spending

Break down your spending on each property over the course of 2019. Do you see areas like maintenance, where making a more careful plan could save you money? For example, would you save money by making bulk purchases of items like faucets and light fixtures, and using the same ones in each of your rentals? Could you save by using one or two colors of paint in all of your units? What about your maintenance and gardening services? Is there a more economical way to get those services? If you’re paying for trash or water, are the tenants abusing those utilities? If so, you may want to consider discontinuing those services at the next lease renewal.

Remember To Account For Your Own Time

 Your own time is a legitimate factor in analyzing whether or not your investment property management program is really delivering good value. If you’re spending too much time trying to fill vacancies, screen tenants, collect rents, and get all the maintenance and repairs covered, you’re probably short-changing yourself. Working with Belmont Management Group can help streamline every aspect of investment property management by efficiently marketing and filling your properties with reliable tenants, offering economical maintenance and repairs, and freeing up your time. Call or contact us online for a consultation and learn more about increasing your returns in 2020!

Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover the entire topic of investment property management.


Fall Tips For Rental Property Maintenance

Fall Tips For Rental Property Maintenance

Orlando may not have the bitter cold winters or dramatic fall foliage that other regions get, but there are still some maintenance and prevention measures that should be taken care of in autumn. Take some simple steps to make sure your residential rental properties are in top shape before winter sets in.

Roof And Gutter Inspection & Cleaning

The beginning of hurricane season has probably made you aware of any roof leaks your properties may already have, but getting the roof inspected now (and repaired if necessary) can save you significantly in the long run. Make sure the roof and gutters are cleared of any leaves and twigs, and look for any type of growth like mold of lichens that can continue to cause damage as they grow. Spotting damaged shingles or tiles before they actually leak is a best-case scenario because it keeps your repair costs to a minimum.

Replace HVAC Filters

HVAC systems with clean filters run more efficiently and experience less wear and tear that shortens the life of your system. Getting clean filters in place before the colder months helps protect your equipment and your tenants’ comfort, and it also cuts the heating bill.

Chimney And Fireplace Maintenance 

If your properties have fireplaces, have the chimneys inspected before your tenants want to crank up their first cozy fire of the season. If you have wood-burning fireplaces, you may need to have the chimney cleaned, as well, for safe operation.

Outdoor Maintenance

Check that there are no tree branches that are touching, or likely to touch, the roof. Get them trimmed back as needed, because they can cause a surprising amount of damage when wind whips them against the roof.

Check decking, stairs, and walkways for any damage like loose or rotten boards, nails that need to be pounded back into place, or anything else that could be a tripping hazard. It’s also a good time to consider applying or re-applying non-skid coating to stair treads. Check railings to make sure they’re secure and in good repair, too, so they’re ready to help prevent accidental slips and falls during wet weather.

Economical Property Maintenance & Management

Belmont Management Group offers full-service property management in the Orlando area. Our maintenance and repair program offers economical property maintenance services, because of our volume agreements with service providers and vendors. Call or contact us online for a consultation and we’ll let you know how we can help your income properties provide you a better return today and in the future.


Note: Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover the entire topic of rental property maintenance.

Property Maintenance Tips To Save Time & Money

Property Maintenance Tips To Save Time & Money

When it comes to property maintenance, residential rental owners in Orlando are always looking for ways to save time and money, without sacrificing tenant satisfaction and the overall good condition of their property. It can be hard to know which items will truly benefit, and which will ultimately let you down. Here are some sure-fire ways to cut costs and save hassles:


Many rental investors tend to purchase properties that fall into the same general class, in terms of neighborhood and/or quality. Maybe you tend to buy single-family homes in Winter Park, or maybe it’s condos in Orlando. For units that are similar in price point and tenant expectations, choose as many uniform components across your units as possible. Consider using the same bathroom sink, shower, and kitchen faucets in all your units. Install the same thermostats and water heaters. Choose the same paint colors and flooring materials. You may be able to save money by purchasing in bulk, and you’ll certainly have an easier time of replacing or repairing things when they’re all the same.

Consider Refinishing Over Replacing

 Some items like appliances, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom cabinets can give longer service without looking shoddy and impacting tenant satisfaction, if you refinish them instead of replacing them. If there are some chips or scratches in the finish of the refrigerator or stovetop, the repair materials for these are easy to apply and cost far less than replacing the appliances. Cabinets often look run-down before they’re actually broken and unusable. Refinishing with filler and paint or stain is often a far more economical solution than replacement.

Ditch The Mini-Blinds

Mini-blinds are ethereal, at best. They’re inexpensive, but they’re so easy to damage through normal use and cleaning that even inexpensive units will add up over time. Considering that café curtains are cheap and machine-washable, and the rods to hang them are $5 or less, you and your tenants will probably both be happier, and you’ll save money in the long run.

Think Before Replacing Flooring

Before you replace the carpet, consider that hard flooring like tile, laminate, or even vinyl may be more appealing to tenants, since they’re easier and cheaper to maintain. They’re also easier and cheaper for you, as the owner, because they’ll last through more tenancies.

Make Property Maintenance Ever Easier

You can make property maintenance on your Orlando area rentals even easier and more cost-effective by working with the experienced professionals at Belmont Management Group. We’ll help you achieve a stronger return on each of your investments with fast placement and effective tenant screening, economical maintenance and repairs, and more. Contact us by phone or online for a consultation to learn more.


Note: Please keep in mind that this is an overview of the important points, but by no means does it constitute a complete treatment of property maintenance, and the tips discussed are suggestions for your consideration, not guarantees of performance or savings.

How Professional Property Managers Get You A Better ROI | Orlando, FL

How Professional Property Managers Get You A Better ROI

When many investors buy their first rental properties, they plan to manage those properties themselves. For some owners, that may make sense at first. It doesn’t take long, though, to see how big of a time investment that really represents, and how quickly expenses add up for owners who only have a couple of properties. Rental property managers handle large numbers of properties and they benefit from volume discounts, dedicated staff for issues like maintenance, legal compliance, and collections.

Your Time Is Valuable

Obviously, most investment property owners are capable of managing these issues on their own, but the real question is, how efficiently can they handle them? Professional rental property managers are continually updating their knowledge and have vast experience in applying that knowledge correctly, so they get the job done faster and with a higher degree of accuracy. You could spend hours of your own time researching federal and local laws on complex issues like ADA compliance and service animal requests, in order to know how to correctly respond to a given tenant. That’s not the most efficient use of your time, though, and your time has value. Wasting your own time reduces the real return on your investment in rental property.

Rental Property Managers Bring Better Value

In addition to saving your time, professional rental property managers cut costs for things that have to be done, no matter who is managing the property. By negotiating volume rates from vendors, they get repairs handled at a lower cost than an individual owner can, and in many cases, they get higher priority on the vendors’ service call lists, so the repairs are done sooner.

Rental property managers can also streamline time and costs on matters like advertising vacancies and screening prospective tenants, collecting late payments, handling routine inspections, and taking care of move-out cleanings and repairs. That’s because their team includes people whose entire job is to focus on one of these areas, and you’re paying only for a small amount of that team’s time, expertise, and resources.

Orlando Property Management Delivers Better Profits

If you’ve purchased an investment property in the Orlando area, or you’re researching whether this type of investment makes sense for you, give Belmont Management Group a call or contact us online for a consultation. We’ll explain how your rental property can bring you the best possible profits for the least investment of your time, and lowest ongoing expenses.

Make Rental Property Maintenance Less Stressful | Property Management

How To Make Rental Property Maintenance Less Stressful

If you’re an owner taking care of your own property management in the Orlando area, you’ve probably already learned how much demand on your time and budget rental property maintenance can be. Especially if you own multiple investment properties, maintenance and repairs can eat into your time and sanity very quickly. Planning in advance, before any new need arises, you can get those worries under control.

  • Have a request system – Create a request system that works for you. Maybe you want tenants to make requests by phone at your business office, or to send an email or fill out a form on your website. Whatever works, as long as everyone knows how to make requests properly, and that way you won’t respond to sticky notes on the face of their rent checks.
  • Have vendor contracts in place – It’s important to realize that when you’re doing your own property management and hiring vendors to do maintenance and repairs, you’re essentially acting as a general contractor, and you can benefit by taking some cues from the way general contractors deal with their subs. Make contacts and keep a preferred vendor list, and ask for volume and loyalty discounts. 
  • Track service calls & vendors – Keep detailed records of service calls, including issues and solutions, costs, turn-around time, and any other key information that may help you fine-tune your budget and vendor list in future. 
  • Follow up with resident & share feedback with the vendor – Vendors don’t tend to get a lot of feedback from end-users, so if your tenant has something great to say about one of your vendors, be sure to pass it along. It’s another way to build stronger relationships and loyalty across the board.

Consider Professional Property Management in Orlando

One advantage of working with a professional property management firm is that they should have maintenance professionals on staff, and volume contracts with any outside vendors they use. At Belmont Management Group, we have trained maintenance staff that is familiar with our high standards and expectations, and 24/7 coverage, in case an emergency arises. Call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how working with professional property management can help you earn more while spending less time stressing about your investment property.

Hurricane Matthew – What Central Florida Residents Need to Know

As Hurricane Matthew inches closer, Central Florida residents are stocking up on supplies and frantically checking the weather for updates. If you’ve made it out to the grocery store, then you probably already noticed the crowded parking lots, dwindling water supplies, and nearly empty shelves, but is all this scrambling necessary?


Hurricanes should never be taken lightly, and the staying “it’s better to be safe than sorry” rings especially true for Hurricane Matthew. A hurricane’s path can be unpredictable, so it’s important to have all necessary supplies on hand should conditions take a sudden turn for the worse. Indeed, most of Central Florida is already under a hurricane warning, and there is speculation that Hurricane Matthew could become a Category 4 storm by Thursday evening or Friday morning.

What should we expect in Central Florida?

Hurricane Matthew’s expected impact on Central Florida is still largely unknown. Forecasters believe we’ll see roughly four to seven inches of rain, though this number may change depending on how close the storm comes to land. Heavy rain, high winds, and power outages are to be expected, and Governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency for all Florida counties.

How should you prepare?

Should we loose power, you’ll want to have all necessary supplies on hand.

We recommend stocking up on all the below items:

  • Food and Medicine: Keep your pantry stocked with enough non-perishable food for you and your family (including pets!) to last at least a few days. Also be certain that you have all necessary medications ready, as pharmacies may be closed for a few days following the storm.
  • Water: The American Red Cross recommends having one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Emergency Supplies: It’s a good idea to stock up on flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies. Also be certain that your portable cell charger is ready to use, as you many need the extra battery life to call loved ones or emergency services.
  • Money: Power outages may prevent you from being able to withdraw money from the bank, so we recommend withdrawing some cash before the storm in case you need it.


The last thing you’ll want to worry about during a hurricane is whether or not you are prepared. We at Belmont Management Group are especially invested in the safety and comfort our tenants and owners. We encourage you to take all necessary precautions and remember that there is never any harm in being over prepared!

Steps to Handle an Eviction Process in Florida | Orlando Property Management Advice

Florida’s eviction process for nonpaying tenants is relatively standard. As a general disclaimer however, please keep in mind that your individual process may vary depending upon your tenant lease. Our Orlando property management team has outlined the most important points. Read more

How to Rent Your Home in an Orlando HOA – Advice from a Professional Community Manager

When purchasing a rental property within a community or homeowner association, your responsibilities are no longer limited to just the home itself. As a community member, you’ll be expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the association and pay either a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee. Benefits of having a property within an HOA include having access to recreational amenities, community events, and external maintenance services. Read more

Where to Buy Your Rental Home: A Guide to Investing in Orlando from a Professional Property Manager

As an Orlando Property Management company, we know that location is the foundation for success when purchasing a new rental home in the Orlando area. While we’ll explore additional investment strategies in future posts, today’s emphasis is on the harmonious relationship between your property’s location and your real rate of return. Read more