How To Avoid False Economy In Property Maintenance

How To Avoid False Economy In Property Maintenance

For residential rental properties in Orlando and the surrounding communities, keeping property maintenance costs down is a top concern. It’s essential to keep in mind, though, that some attempts to cut the property maintenance budget may backfire and end up costing you more in the long run. Consider carefully the cost-cutting measures you’re thinking about may turn out to be a false economy.

DIY: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

 Do It Yourself maintenance and repairs can be a slippery slope. If you’re skilled enough to get the job done as fast and as well as a professional contractor, you’re likely to save money by doing it yourself. If you’re skilled but not so fast, you may want to ask yourself whether it’s really worth your time and potential annoyance to your tenants. If the property is vacant, you don’t have to consider the impression you’re making on your tenants, but you may be delaying getting a new tenant in if you can’t get the job as done as fast as a hired contractor. 

That Probably Goes For Tenants, Too 

Allowing tenants to do their own maintenance and repairs may make sense in certain areas, like replacing smoke detector batteries and light bulbs, or handling the yard work. That’s assuming that you do periodic inspections to ensure that they are, in fact, handling those matters. When it comes to bigger repairs, though, it’s probably a better bet for you to hire professionals who have insurance and demonstrated skills. If your tenant does sub-par work on your property, you may be liable later on, if that work fails and causes a problem.

 Should You Repair Or Replace?

When it comes to more expensive-to-replace items like kitchen appliances; mechanicals such as air conditioners, heaters, or water heaters; or flooring, it can be hard to determine whether you’ll benefit most from repairing or replacing at any given point. One point to consider when you’re deciding is whether replacing will help you keep a tenant or earn higher rent from future tenants.

Consider the expected useful life of the item. If it’s near the end of that period, or past it, you’ll probably benefit from replacing it. If it’s well under the expected life, you may find repairs are more cost-effective.

Professionally Managed Property Maintenance

Belmont Management Group provides Orlando area property owners with cost-effective property maintenance and repairs, as part of their residential rental management service. We’ll help keep your property in excellent shape while helping you to realize the best possible profits from your income property. Call or contact us online for a free consultation, and we’ll show you what we can do for you!


Note: Please keep in mind that this is an overview of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover all of the requirements of managing a comprehensive property maintenance budget.

Protect Yourself With A Comprehensive Tenant Screening Process

Protect Yourself With A Comprehensive Tenant Screening Process

There are a number of federal, state, and local laws that pertain to tenant screening and selection, and they can get confusing. The most important step for Orlando property owners to take is carefully planning a tenant screening process that covers all the legal requirements, then implementing that process and following it consistently. A well-documented tenant screening process and records demonstrating that you follow that process every time can be a powerful defense against a claim of discrimination from a prospective tenant. Since the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) civil penalties for a Fair Housing Act (FHA) violation start at nearly $20,000 for a first-time offender, it’s an issue no property should ignore.

Make A Plan And Make It Public

Establish a fixed set of criteria you’ll use to judge each application. If you own more than one property, each property might have its own set of criteria, but you have to be consistent in applying the same set of criteria to every application for a given property. Your criteria can and should include things like a minimum credit score and income; standards for issues like bankruptcy or eviction (number or length of time since filing bankruptcy or being evicted, for example); criminal history, when allowed; length of prior tenancies and/or references from previous landlords; or length of employment. Be sure to include something like a decision tree for matters where you might accept a tenant, but only with a co-signer, extra deposit, or increased rent. These are called adverse actions, and you need to have established policies for when you will take these actions, and when you will simply reject the application.

Once you’ve established your selection criteria and verified that they are compliant with applicable laws, you can shortcut a lot of potential trouble by publishing your criteria on your website, or another outlet where prospective tenants can see them before they apply.

Be Consistent And Follow Through

Don’t be tempted to bend the rules for an applicant, no matter how much you may wish to. The value of establishing this process lies in being able to demonstrate 100% compliance with your own process. If you need to take an adverse reaction on an application, you’ll need to provide the applicant with a written explanation of the reasons. If you’re ever faced with a discrimination complaint, this documentation is your first and strongest line of defense.

Compliant, Defensible Tenant Screening In Orlando

Defending against a discrimination complaint can involve hefty legal fees on top of the civil penalties if you’re found to be in violation. The most effective way to prevent such costs is to create a tenant screening system that builds a defense as you go about your business. The Belmont Management Group helps Orlando property owners with all aspects of residential property management, including tenant screening. Call or contact us online for a free consultation.


Note: Please keep in mind that this is a general overview of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover all of the requirements of a compliant tenant screening program.

Senior-Friendly Rental Properties Gain An Advantage

Gain An Advantage By Making Your Rental Properties Senior-Friendly

Major changes in the economy and rental market since the recession mean that more people are renting their homes than at any point in the past 50 years, and they’re renting homes much later in life than ever before. A recently updated study from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) shows that nationwide, people aged 45 to 64 years represent 30% of the rental housing market, while those aged 65 years and older represent an additional 15% of the market. That means that about 45% of your potential renters are either late in middle age or senior citizens.

Simple Steps To Making Your Property Senior-Friendly

With 55% of prospective tenants under age 45, property owners should look for a good balance between what may attract seniors and what may turn off younger tenants. Consider these ideas, which offer relatively low-cost implementation and add appeal for older tenants, without making the property feel like a senior center:

Add Handrails – Adding handrails to interior stairs and in bathrooms is one of the lowest-cost changes you can make, and it can help your property’s appeal to seniors by showing them that you’ve already considered this as a potential need.

Consider Flooring When It’s Time To Replace – When you’re planning to replace flooring, consider the fact that having a single flooring material, or as few material transitions as possible, will make it easier and safer for people with mobility issues and people who may need to use a walker in future. Hard floors are easier for tenants to maintain than carpets. 

Low Maintenance Landscape – If you’re not building gardening service into your rental price, consider landscaping that requires minimal watering and upkeep. Make it easy and affordable for your tenants to keep the property looking good.

Easy Parking – Think about where tenants will park their cars and how easy it will be for them to get in and out, and carry things like groceries in. If the existing parking isn’t as easily accessible as it could be, consider making changes that will help your future tenants.

Residential Property Management In Orlando

Belmont Management Group offers professional property management in Orlando and the surrounding area. We take care of time-consuming issues like advertising, tenant screening, leasing and inspections, and ongoing maintenance and repairs. We can also provide you with expert advice on how to make cost-effective changes that will help your property rent and extend tenancy, so you realize the strongest returns on your investments. Call or contact us online to learn more!


Note: Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover all of the requirements of renting to senior citizens.

Why Landlords Need To Offer More In The Current Market

Why Landlords Need To Offer More In The Current Market

As the housing market in Orlando continues its recovery, more people are able to consider buying their first investment property, or an additional rental property, than in recent years. More tenants are also finding themselves in a position to buy, or to upgrade to a better rental situation. Those tenants are looking for better properties in nicer neighborhoods, and they’re also looking for added-value services as part of their lease agreement.

Buying Investment Property In Orlando

The population of Orlando is showing steady increase now, and as the local economy continues to grow, the population gains will continue, creating a need for more rental homes as real estate prices increase. Whether you’re new to purchasing and owning rental property or you’re looking to expand your portfolio, there are some things you should consider before your next purchase.

Location is more important than it has been at any time since the recession because now, prospective tenants are in a better position to renegotiate current leases, or simply move to a better rental property and location. Consider what the local area has to offer tenants: shopping, good schools, entertainment venues, transportation, parks and houses of worship. Choosing a great location will help you win good tenants now, and will offer better resale value in the future.

Next, consider the property itself and how it can help you attract and keep good tenants longer. If the property has a great yard, including gardening services in the rent protects your property against neglect and gives the tenants better value. Likewise, if the property has a pool, including pool service in the rent adds value for you and your tenants.

Residential Property Management Helps You Keep Up

One area where new rental property owners tend to significantly underestimate costs is in their time to manage the property. Hiring professional residential property management not only saves your time, but also helps keep other expenses in line. Issues like maintenance and repairs, tenant screening, marketing vacancies, and collections and evictions get handled efficiently and typically at a lower cost, because of vendor agreements and contract rates. Give Belmont Management Group a call or contact us online to learn more about the areas and amenities tenants want most, and how working with us can make your rental property more profitable.



Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover all of the rental market trends.

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!

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are delighted to have this opportunity to share our stories, discuss industry developments, and keep our readers updated on all the wonderful amenities Central Florida has to offer. At Belmont Management Group, we strive to persistently improve and cultivate long lasting relationships with both our tenants and property owners. This blog will allow us to stay connected, offer property management and investment advice, and respond to your feedback. We hope to captivate as well as inform, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts as we continue on this journey!