We often send our tenants emails with information for easier living and how to avoid problems in the apartments. Recently we sent out an email regarding proper disposal of disposable wipes. I was happy to hear from tenants that they read it and have taken it to heart. I’ll post that information here a little later as it’s well worth sharing.
Another topic that most people do not realize is a danger to plumbing is throwing oil, fat, cooking refuse and general grease like substances down the kitchen sink.
Most of the properties we manage have grease traps, but even if the grease is thrown down the sink with boiling hot water, it will usually congeal, harden and start the clogging process before it makes it to the grease traps. Especially in some of our larger buildings where the grease traps may be father away from the kitchen than other properties.
The good news is that there are many easy ways to dispose of or even re-use cooking grease.
Instructions for disposal:
Cool the grease, don’t play with hot grease to avoid burning yourself.
One cool place grease in an old seal-able container (jam,
peanut butter, yogurt, etc). Hot grease can cause plastics to melt and
glass to shatter.
Seal container and store somewhere safe.
Once the container is full, throw it in the trash.
Some people re-use bacon grease for cooking. It’s a great way
to fry things and adds that bacon flavor to anything you cook, mind the
added fat though.
There are many ways to get to our twin island nation by boat and plane – flights from Antigua, Sint Maarten, Puerto Rico, Miami, Dallas and now more flights from New York!
Travelers getting from New York to St. Kitts are about to have more options than ever before! Both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines will expand service to St. Kitts from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) beginning in May of 2020. This is interesting news because airlines have traditionally slowed down service to St. Kitts during the summer season. In fact, most airlines take a May hiatus for flights to St. Kitts. It is thought that St. Kitts will experience a boost in year-round arrivals if the new routes prove to be successful.
For any friend that you bring in that signs a lease with REMAX, you will receive:
$200 on a 4 month lease $300 on an 8 month lease $400 on a 12 month lease
BONUS: From now until October 31st, 2019, bring in someone to sign at Vista Villas and ADD an extra $100 to the referral bonus!
*Only applies to new clients who have not previously contacted Remax, not applicable on renewals or referrals prior to October 4th. Not applicable when you come in with an outside agent. Make sure to have them mention your name when they contact us before viewing a unit with us.
Most of our properties are pet friendly as long as you
follow the conditions and guidelines stated in your lease. The pet fee per pet
is $350 and it is a one-time non-refundable fee. It is important for all
tenants to adhere to the pet policy to avoid any penalties. Any studio or one
bedroom is allowed a maximum of 1 pet.
Any 2 bedroom or greater is allowed a maximum of 2 pets. Should any tenant be caught with an unauthorized
pet, there is a $500 penalty fee and if you are over your allowed number of
pets, than you run the risk of receiving an eviction notice. Please don’t put
yourself in one of these situations. We have crews constantly managing the
properties and it is inevitable that you would end up being seen with a hidden
Welcome to your new home! All nice, shiny, clean, pristine and hopefully in perfect shape. Or maybe it isn’t, maybe the previous tenants were pretty bad and your home, despite your landlord’s best efforts has a couple of problems. Maybe some of these problems weren’t just on the surface and despite a check before the old tenants moved out and another when you took over some things were missed. Now what?
First things first. If you haven’t read up on our previous post: The importance of a move-in walk-through maybe now would be a good time to do that. It actually helps with the first step which is getting that proper walk-through when you move into your new home. But for argument’s sake, lets say something was missed by both you and your landlord and you want to bring it to their attention to get fixed. What do you do?
At some point during the process you’ll need to find out the best way to report things to your landlord. Some landlords work by email, others by phone, some might require you to report it in person and others by a maintenance system. At Remax St. Kitts, we use a ticketing system and we always ask our tenants to schedule a walk-through with us through the ticketing system. This ensures the walk-through is done and helps our tenants see exactly how our system works.
When notifying the landlord the devil is in the details. A simple one line email might seem sufficient enough for you but “AC not working” doesn’t tell the landlord or their technician anything if you have more than one AC in your home.
We always suggest to our tenants to keep the title as simple as possible. So “AC not working” is fine as an introduction but more detail is needed for the body of the message. I’d suggest something on the lines of this:
“Was using the AC in the bedroom with the kiteboarding poster on the door of the bedroom. It was blowing cool air but we heard a loud pop and then the AC shut off. We’ve tried to turn it on again since but it won’t turn on now.”
This not only gives your landlord much needed information but it also prevents a lot of back and forth between you and your landlord. There’s no need to figure out where the problem is, what happened and how you tried to resolve it and what the out come was.
Depending on the severity of the issue and what exactly has an issue, you can actually look into some problems without consequence. If it’s an issue with your kitchen sink, a piece of furniture or even an internet or cable issue, it might be worth looking into yourself if you’re comfortable with trying to fix things. If you are comfortable and are able to fix it, make sure to let your landlord know anyway. What you’ve done might be a temporary fix and may need more expertise to fix so it doesn’t happen again.
Electrical, appliance and certain plumbing issues should be looked at by a professional and should be reported to your landlord as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Whatever the case, make sure to find a temporary solution to prevent further damage until your landlord or their technicians can come out. A drip under the sink is a small issue, but left unchecked can damage the cabinetry to the point that it may need to be replaced all together. Placing a mop bucket, bowl or pot to catch the water is such a small action but can save you hundreds of dollars and headache.
It’s very important to understand that if it’s determined the problem wasn’t reported in a timely manner or you neglected the issue, you can be held responsible for the repairs.
Generally speaking, common sense is essential when dealing with problems in your home but here are some examples and how to avoid charges because of neglect:
Bed frame breaks from people jumping on it. Place sturdy items under the frame to ensure it does break more.
AC starts dripping inside your home. Stop using the AC until a technician can investigate. If this is not possible, place a bucket or other item to catch the water. Do not use towels to catch the water. Move any decorative items, furniture and electronics away from the leak.
AC blowing warm air. Stop using the AC all together, this requires a technician.
Toilet is leaking from the water valve or the toilet tank. Use a bucket or a pot to catch the water to avoid damage to around the toilet and possibly the floor below you.
Fridge is not cooling. Check if items in the freezer are frozen, it’s possible the vent connecting the freezer to the fridge is blocked by items in the freezer.
Once your landlord has been notified, stay on top of them. It’s their job to make sure you are living comfortably and that your home is running as it should. It is actually in their best interest to fix the issues that come up, neglect is neglect and small issues can become costly if they are not handled in a timely manner.
If a technician has not come out to fix your issue, make sure to let your landlord know. If they come out but the issue isn’t resolved and you don’t receive word on why, make sure to keep on your landlord.
One of the hardest parts as a landlord when living and working on an island is getting the proper parts to fix issues. This can take a bit of time as parts need to be found, ordered, shipped to the island and finally passed through customs. It is unfortunate, but sometimes despite the best efforts the wrong parts can be ordered or even worse, very difficult to find both of which delay the entire process. Just bare with the process, but if you don’t get any updates, don’t be afraid of asking what’s up.
Renting a place is such a big part of life that almost everyone will do it at least once. Moving from one place to another can come with so many different emotions: frustration from looking for a new home, delight in finding the perfect spot, anxiety on the thought of organizing the actual move, sadness from leaving loved ones or a home that you’ve lived in for so long and the wonder or fascination in your sense of adventure in finally starting that new part of your life and calling a new place home and experiencing all that may come with it.
There are so many things to do when moving, so many moving parts and trying to keep track of everything can be tough, but that’s a conversation for another time.
When you’re finally moved in to your new place it’s always important to organize that infamous walk-through with your new landlord. Some people – like us – like to do it in the first week that you’ve moved in. This gives you time to settle down and enjoy your new home but most importantly it also gives you time to test the waters, so to speak, and see if there is anything that you, as a tenant, need to bring to the attention of your landlord.
Organizing a meeting with your landlord should be one of your top priorities. Again, depending on what your lease says, it may not have to be an immediate meeting but it’s best to at least organize it as soon as you can. Generally speaking, this shouldn’t be a problem, but a fair warning: some landlords might manage more than just your new place. As an example, as one of the largest property management companies on our islands we manage houses, apartments, condos and studios. So when we have move-ins we have a lot of move-ins to handle all within a short period of time – think of the span of a week or two. Another thing to keep in mind is that certain places might have high and low periods so getting an appointment really depends on where you are moving to and what kind of scheduling they have there.
Some landlords are able to do the walk-through during the move-in itself, typically they’ll bring the inventory list and walk through your new home with you. Try to keep a keen eye and take note of any problems with the paint, tiles or floor boards, furniture, and fittings. If you’re new home has inventory you’ll be tasked with counting every individual item in the property with the landlord present.
Otherwise, you landlord has given you some time to get settled before the walk-through. I always suggest for anyone to have their walk-through the first week they are living in their new home. A week is enough time for you to get settled, clean up a bit, schedule the walk-through and most importantly see what your home is actually like. Learn its ins and outs.
You have your walk-through organized, great! Now what do you do? That depends on the scenario as well. To start with, if electricity is not included in your rent and your walk-through is not happening when you first arrive, the first thing you’re going to want to do is get that info from your landlord. When our tenants move in, we take note of their electric reading. Most landlords in this scenario will hopefully do the same. Next, start taking notes of what’s going on in your new home, cracks in the tiles, tears on the furniture, knicks on the walls and even if the water heater doesn’t make hot enough hot water. The idea is to be ready with a list of items for your landlord to take note and have on record that these things happened before you moved in.
Take photos! Don’t be shy, take photos and share them with your landlord, keep them somewhere safe online and make sure the photos are time stamped with the dates. If your new landlord has sent you an inventory list, start the process and start counting the items, take notes – it will make the actual walk-through that much quicker when it’s time.
When the time comes and your landlord is coming over to physically do the walk-through with you, the best things is to personally show them all the items on your list, all those knicks, scratches, dents, cracks and whatever else you were able to find. To speed up the process, make sure your house is clean and tidy, a dirty or untidy space is difficult to maneuver and problem can be easily hidden. It also gives a bad impression to your landlord so early into your relationship. Next, take the inventory that needs counting out of storage and put it in an easily accessible location so it’s easy to count. Make sure not to mix any of your personal items in with the inventory provided in your new home.
Now that you’ve shown your landlord anything you’ve found make sure that you get a copy of the inventory list with all the missing or broken items signed by both you and your landlord, they’re going to want the same. This will be handy for when it’s time to move on to your next place, believe me.
So that covers the furnished or move-in ready properties, but what about the unfurnished ones? The same rules apply, but there is just less to worry about. Problems in the structure or fittings are easier to notice because they aren’t covered in things.
A late walk-through can have penalties or cause issues with your landlord. In some cases landlords may not want to cover damages to the property because they were not reported in time. I cannot stress this enough, make sure you organize for a walk-through!
While it’s to both you and your landlord’s benefit to have the walk-through done in a timely fashion, keep in mind that, ultimately, you as a tenant need to take action and make sure that you are protecting yourself in the long run. Don’t only organize that walk-through but also make sure it happens. Get a copy of that signed inventory list or walk-through check list. Take and save those photos of your new home.
It can save you a lot of headache and hassle when it comes to your the return of your security deposit!
For most people, move out time is often a rush to get all the last minute things done and it is easy to let important things slip through the cracks. For all of you that are first timers on moving out or those who just don’t know the general procedure, here’s a checklist to help you out.
Not only is it courtesy, but as per most leases, many of these items are obligatory. This also insures you will RECEIVE YOUR FULL SECURITY DEPOSIT BACK! Any repairs, repainting, trash removal, and cleaning, and/or any other expenses that are attributed to restoring your home to its condition prior to your tenancy will be deducted from from your Security Deposit.
Schedule your Move Out walk-through ahead of time, at least 2-3 weeks prior to your planned move out date.
Make sure all your payments are up to date and inform the office of the method in which you would like your security deposit returned.
All food that can rot be disposed of.
All walls, ceilings, and closet interiors must be free of smudges, grease, and food stains
All woodwork, moldings, trim, doors, vent covers, and baseboards must be free of dirt, dust, and stains. Especially along the bottoms of the walls.
Repair any pet damage to doors,door casings, and check mattresses for any stains or smells.
All light bulbs must be in working order, the proper type of bulb in the socket, and light fixtures.
All plumbing is to be free of any leaks or blockages.
Don’t forget to wipe the top of the refrigerator, wipe out cabinets, clean dishes, and don’t forget the windowsills.
Do a last minute check to ensure no personal belongings are left behind.