Office: (904) 261-0604

Amelia Island Property Management Blog

Local Property Management News


How to Prevent a Bad Tenant in Northeast Florida or Anywhere, Really… 3 Steps in Getting the Best Tenants

David Longobardo - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We are talking today about the various things you can do to prevent a bad tenant from moving into your property and causing problems. There are no guarantees, of course. We cannot promise that you won’t ever get a bad tenant. However, there are a few ways to make sure you’re getting the best tenants you can find.


Tenant Screening


A lot of people skip through tenant screening. These landlords might collect the application, take a quick glance at it, accept the fee for screening but then the tenants seem like fine people, so they get approved. It’s important that you always screen your applicants. If you don’t have the resources to do it yourself, use a service. You can screen through Experian or use one of the many services that are online.


In that screening, pay attention to credit and criminal background checks. You don’t want to put a criminal or a potential criminal in your property because that could lead to hassles, danger and police activity. We look for a credit score of 650 or higher. People have lower credit scores with the economy still rebounding, and we understand that. We’re willing to go beyond FICO scores and look for why the credit might be damaged. If medical payments have backed up or the applicant is disputing a few things on the credit record, that doesn’t mean they won’t pay rent. Look at the entire credit report to distinguish between what is being paid and what isn’t. That will give you a good idea of financial responsibility.


Reference Checks


Checking references from current and former landlords is also important.  Ask for contact information for at least two or three landlords. Call and find out what kind of tenants they are. Second and third landlords are usually more reliable references. The current landlord may say whatever it takes to get rid of that tenant.


Prescreening Tenants


When you’re showing your property, take the time to get to know the people who come to see it. Find out why they are moving and what exactly they’re looking for. Applicants can lie on paper, but when you’re having a casual conversation, you can learn a lot about people. Make sure your property is a good match for them.


Figure out on the front end whether you have a good tenant. Screening and reference checking will help. If you have any other ideas that work for you, we’d love to hear about them. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Chaplin Williams Rentals.

Why Choose Chaplin Williams For Property Management in Northeast Florida

David Longobardo - Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The entire United States has an enormous amount of options for Property Management, let alone the cities like Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach in the Northeast region of Florida. Sometimes the more choices we have, the harder it is to choose. More than anything, the goal should be to pick a company that fits best with you and your property. Today, we’re hoping to make it a little easier by talking about what we have to offer at Chaplin Williams Rentals.


Reputation and Experience


Our reputation in the local market is very important to us. The company has been around since 2003, and many of the staff members here today have been with us since the beginning. Over the past 12 years we have developed a lot of experience and knowledge. Some of that knowledge comes from making mistakes and we are also able to develop our skills because we believe in continuing education. As members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), we not only have the opportunity to take classes and attend seminars on a regular basis, but we take full advantage of that. This gives us an edge on current market trends, an up to date awareness of  


Specialized Focus


We are a departmental property management company, which is different from the portfolio companies. Our structure gives us separate departments which are specific to different areas. We have leasing agents, maintenance experts, and an accountant. A number of people who specialize in these areas are available to answer questions and provide help. Everyone here knows about your property and we don’t expect just one person to juggle everything you have going on with your investment. With this specialized care, we are able to give your property the focus and consideration it deserves.


Maintenance


In arguably our most important department, the maintenance team is focused on keeping your property in great condition and they are, or have been, homeowners themselves. They work hard to find the best rates through vendors we trust. We have established a number of positive relationships with contractors and while we are willing to try new people, we keep a close eye on references and quality of work. With these relationships, we are able to pass any savings and discounts right to you. There are no upcharges on maintenance costs.


Screening


We believe in handling everything on the front end to avoid problems on the back end, so we screen tenants thoroughly. They fill out applications online and then we collect full credit and background information. We contact previous landlords and go back to the last two or three landlords they’ve had; we don’t just call the current landlord. We also look for a credit score of at least 650. Our experience has demonstrated that there are fewer problems with tenants who have a score of at least 650.


We also use innovative online technology whenever possible. We move in the direction of technology to streamline the management process and keep everything accessible and transparent for you.


These are just a few of the reasons we hope you’ll consider choosing us. If you have any questions, please contact us at Chaplin Williams Property Management.

What’s My Property Worth in Jacksonville? Professional Property Management Advice

David Longobardo - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We are talking today about how much you can rent your property for in Jacksonville area and North Florida. This is the first and most common question we get; when people stop into our office or give us a call, they always want to know how much their property will be worth on the rental market. It’s hard to determine a price just by hearing your description or even looking at photos of the outside of the home. When we’re establishing a rental price, we like to take a full tour of the house and take a good look at it. Size isn’t the only factor when it comes to price.

Property Condition

While the age of a property is a factor, the appearance and condition of the property is more important. (Particularly, the condition of the paint and the flooring.) The two biggest “sub-factors” are the kitchen and the Master Suite.  Tenants generally prefer to move into homes with nice kitchens that have quality, working appliances. Form and function are major contributors here!

Property Size

Size does matter, but everyone has different needs. So in addition to considering the size of the property itself, you also have to consider the size of the bedrooms specifically. It might technically be a 4 bedroom, but if that fourth bedroom is smaller than the master bathroom, tenants will see it as a 3 bedroom with an office. Also, if you have a backyard, that will impact the appeal. And having a gated or fenced yard will further affect the amount of money you can get in rent every month. Not to mention (but of course mentioning): Location, Location, Location!

Pricing Estimate

The short answer is: talk to a property manager in your area when you want a reliable answer to how much you can get for your rental property. You can go online and get various responses from sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com. Those calculations are sometimes right but more often than not, they are off the mark (sometimes more, sometimes less).  Again, the best thing you can do is talk to a property manager. There is no need to sign any contracts or feel obligated to use professional services. We can give you an estimate or provide a range that will help you accurately price your property.  

If you have any questions or you’d like help pricing your property, contact us at Chaplin Williams Rentals in North Florida, on Amelia Island.


Landscape Maintenance and Rental Properties

David Longobardo - Tuesday, November 26, 2013
While residents want to rent a nice looking home, they often have no interest, time, or knowledge on how to maintain the property. They may agree to landscape maintenance in the rental contract but it can be difficult for a property manager or owner to enforce. The owner can charge the tenant for maintenance or include landscape maintenance but it is not always practical to increase the rent with the full cost, particularly if the landscaping on the property is extensive.
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Chaplin Williams Rentals, Inc.

Amelia Island Office

5472 First Coast Highway, Suite 1
Amelia Island, FL 32034
Office: (904) 261-0604
Fax: (904) 277-4886


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