1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar


Our Blog

V2 Properties

Residential Property Management, Rental Homes in and around Portland, Multnomah County and Clackamas County, Specializing in Single Family Homes and small multi-unit properties

  • 07/16/2014

    It’s Cleaner Than When I Found It



    It’s Cleaner Than When I Found It

    Every property manager has heard this phrase many times. If said during a property management gathering, it usually elicits laughs or groans. As a property owner, you may have experienced these words first-hand from a resident yourself. No one really wants to hear this statement from any tenant.

    Three scenarios can lead to this cliché. First, there are times when tenants actually do deliver a property in better condition even though the property was clean when they took possession. They are simply meticulous people – this does happen. Second, the majority who make this statement are trying to put you on the defensive because they want their security deposit back in full and they know it is not as clean as when they moved in. The third and last scenario is that it is actually is cleaner because the property was not in good condition than when they moved in.

    The first scenario is the one you wish will happen; the second is m

    anageable with good documentation and common sense to dispute the tenant’s claim. The last one, that the property is actually cleaner because it was dirty when they moved in, is not a good thing.

    Why is it so important to have the property in the best condition when a tenant takes possession? 
    Habit two of Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, puts it into perspective, “begin with the end in mind”. If you think about it, you want the best possible exit or ending with that tenant. You want a long-term tenancy but the reality is that they all do move eventually.

    By having the property in clean condition, you have the best chance of attracting the right tenancy. The residents you want in your property are those who are more particular because this is how they want to live – in a well-maintained clean property.

    When the property is clean when they move in, you send a message that this is what you expect when they move out. You immediately set the stage for a good landlord/tenant relationship. Otherwise, residents begin dissatisfied and the tenancy can deteriorate from there. 

    As your management company, we want to avoid unpleasant and costly problems for your investment, so we have certain requirements when properties transition between tenants.
    §  We have the same “clean” standards for all properties and require vendors to follow these standards. This applies to both inside and outside of the unit.

    §  Unless unnecessary, we have a professional cleaning of properties so that we have documentation to support the security deposit disposition when the tenant moves out.

    • §  We use reliable vendors to complete the professional cleaning.

    • §  We document the condition of the property before the tenant moves in, and again when the tenant moves out.

    • §  We notify tenants when they move in what the expectations of cleanliness are when they move out.

    What you don’t want is a security deposit dispute when they move out, particularly one that can lead to legal issues. There is a simple answer to this – have the property clean when residents move in. Then you are on solid ground when the tenants move out.

    THANK YOU LANDLORDSOURCE.COM FOR ANOTHER TERRIFIC ARTICLE

  • 06/09/2014

    Spring/Summer Maintenance Tips for Tenants



    Spring/Summer Maintenance Tips 






    With the warmer weather, it is time to think about doing necessary chores around your residence. It does not take long for neglected items to produce a poor appearance or maintenance problems. Here are some tips for to maintain your residence:

    • Test your smoke alarm. If necessary replace the batteries and if, after replacement, the smoke detector does not work, call us immediately It is time to clean up winter debris - dead leaves, animal droppings, trash, or any other items that are unsightly.
    • It is particularly important to clear any debris away from the immediate exterior of your residence to promote fire safety.
    • If you still have not taken down holiday lights and decorations, do so now.
    • Adjust sprinklers according to weather conditions for hotter summer weather.
    • If you have difficulty with your sprinklers, contact us for assistance.
    • It is also time to trim lawns and weed flowerbeds.
    • Be sure to keep shrubs trimmed to clear walkways and prevent accidents.
    • Report any problems with trees roots immediately.
    • Watch gutters for clogging, overflow, and poor drainage. If you need assistance, notify us.
     
    • Check sprinkler controls if you have them and set them accordingly. Call us if you need assistance.
    • Avoid letting water accumulate in pots or containers, such as animal dishes - this can lead to problems with mosquitoes and other pests.
    • If water accumulates, and will not drain either inside or outside, notify us immediately.
    • Dispose of any toxic waste, such as motor oil, properly. Do not put toxic waste in garbage receptacles or dump anywhere inside or outside of the residence.
    • Clean your garbage can, and at all times, keep the lid secure to avoid unwanted pests or animals.
    • Store your garbage receptacle properly.
    • Keep any receptacles for pet food or water clean to avoid attracting unwanted pets or animals as well.
    • Clean your windows both inside and out.

    • Clean door and window tracks so that they keep working properly. Report any maintenance needed for locks or operation.
    • Check all outside lights for proper operation. If after replacing a light bulb, the light still does not work, request a maintenance order.
    • If you have air-conditioning in your home, turn it on to see if it operates properly and if not, report it as soon as possible.
    • Replace all air-conditioning and furnace filters. Clogged filters will only prevent the unit from working properly and increase your utility bill.




    Keeping your home clean and orderly, inside and out, is a responsibility outlined in your rental agreement. It is also important to maintaining a good rental history. If you have any maintenance questions or concerns, please free to contact of office at Info@V2Properties.com or 503-665-1565, we are here to help you.



    *Send Kristi@V2Properties a picture of your beautiful yard by June 30th 2014 for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Al's Garden Center*

  • 04/14/2014

    Tune Up Your Investment for Spring and Summer



    There are great reasons to review spring and summer maintenance. The first is preventative maintenance. The second is to keep your investment in tip-top shape to attract good tenancy. In today’s rental market, this is particularly important. In addition, providing repairs can definitely reduce an owner’s liability. 


    Small Repairs, Big savings
     
    Many items do not require a large expense, but when handled expediently, can make a big difference in the bottom line.

         Doorstops:  It is amazing that such a small gadget can save so much in preventing unnecessary holes and damage. Putting doorstops on the "tops of doors" when appropriate can keep them from being pulled off or kicked off by children, animals, or even adults.
         Filters: A clean filter prevents dirty ceilings and walls, not to mention clogged coils, and assists with healthy air. We install them during vacancies and then require tenants to change them regularly.
         Water heater strapping/wrapping:  Strapping the water heater is a safety issue and required in many states by law. Wrapping is also an important energy savings feature for tenants.
         Smoke alarms: It is imperative to keep smoke alarms in working condition or replace defective devices immediately for tenant safety.
         Deadbolts: Installing proper deadbolts is another small expenditure for reduced liability.
         Range hoods and exhaust fans: Clean filters, grills, and wash fan blades to operate properly and to avoid unnecessary replacement.
         Bathroom tiles: Check grout, caulk, and tile for damage. Caulk or repair as necessary.

    A Property Manager's Definition of Spring

    When the weather starts to warm, Property Managers know this means the beginning of calls on air-conditioners, insects, and sprinklers. However, these preventative measures can pay off in large numbers.

         Air Conditioning Units: A yearly service by a professional service, can check the unit, clean coils, add Freon, adjust dampers, and look for any other potential problems. It is also important to remove trees, debris, or trash that can obstruct the unit. These measures can really prolong the life of a heating and air unit.
         Sprinklers and landscape: Servicing the irrigation system can be a big savings on water usage, preventing landscape damage, and avoiding standing water – all problems that can lead to potential problems. Pruning can keep bushes and trees in control, preventing damage to buildings and increase safety for tenants and visitors.
         Pest control: There are times when there are serious situations requiring the services of a professional pest control. This can promote satisfied tenants and again, reduce liability.

    Other Important Tune Ups

         Roofing: Replacing loose or missing roof materials can avoid dry rot and water damage, as well as prolonging the life of the roof.
         Painting: Painting may promote reduced vacancies and will enhance the value of your property.
         Flooring: Replacement or repair of dangerous or worn out linoleum, tiles, and carpet can reduce liability and promote good tenancy.
         Plumbing: Taking care of standing or running water can avoid dry rot, water damage, and prevent the possibility of toxic mold, one of the biggest areas of liability in the housing market.
         Electrical: Immediately repair any electrical problem to avoid danger for the tenants and the property.
         Gutters and downspouts: Clean gutters and check the extensions and attachments of downspouts.
         Chimney: Visually inspect for any damage to the cap, flash, or masonry. Check for bird/wasp nests.

    Get ready for spring and summer with a rental property tune up. Preventative maintenance limits unwanted surprises, reduces operating expenses, and promotes satisfied tenants. 
    At V2 Properties we have great working relationships with trusted vendors that specialize in maintaining homes. This allows us to know just who to call to get the job done right! 

    This is just one more reason that you need V2 PROPERTIES to manage your rental home! 

    Thanks to Landlordsource.com for another terrific article!! 

  • 02/20/2014

    Is It a Repair or An Improvement?



    As your property management company, we want to bring an important issue to your attention but while reading this article, please remember we are not dispensing tax advice. For that, we urge you to talk to an expert on tax law and investment property if you need to determine the fine line between a repair and improvement.

    Is it a Repair? Or Improvement? 
    As an investor, you want to take advantage of as many tax deductions as possible to increase the return on your investments. Maintenance on your property is a viable tax deduction. However, there is a difference between how you can use repairs and improvements in your tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service has defined the difference between repairs and improvements in Pub.527 and the following two paragraphs provide a very general outline of their definitions.

    A repair is what you do to maintain the property. The list of possible repairs is extensive; examples are fixing leaks or faulty electrical, replacing a broken window or lock, cleaning, carpet cleaning, and touch-up painting. During the course of the tax year, you can deduct repairs on your income tax statement.

    An improvement adds to the value of your property, prolongs its useful life, or adapts it to new uses.
    Instead of deducting an improvement during the current tax year, you must capitalize and depreciate them over time. Here are typical examples of improvements.
     Complete flooring replacement
     Complete roof replacement
     Complete replacement of an air-conditioning and/or heating system
     Major remodeling, such as renovation of a bathroom, kitchen, or other major building project
    Additions such as a deck, garage, porch, patio, or family room

    The size of the expenditure can trigger a closer look by the Internal Revenue Service to determine whether it is a repair or an improvement. This is not a universal rule but simply common sense, making it even more important to be able to justify the cost of the item in the event you have an audit. There can be a gray area of whether something is a repair or an improvement.

    The timing of any maintenance that takes place on a property is also crucial. If you contract any work that takes place before any attempt to rent, consider it an improvement, not a repair. However, the consensus of tax advisers is that if you have the property on the rental market while doing normal repairs, you can deduct them as ordinary maintenance. The key here is to document that you actively marketed the property while repairs are taking place. Otherwise, all repairs before establishing the property as a rental are improvements to capitalize and depreciate.

    A natural disaster also may affect the types of expenses you may claim. Again, the definitions of a repair or replacement still apply, as well as if you market the property for rent and/or will continue to offer it for rent. If you are fixing the property to sell, you change the use.

    At V2 Properties 

    We keep excellent records for you to make tax time easier!

    Keep thorough records of all repairs and/or improvements. Remember your statements are all kept in your owner portal. Again, the best course of action is to consult a reliable tax consultant. They can also advise you of how long you need to keep the records for any possible audits.

  • 11/06/2013

    How To Finance A Rental Property In Today’s Market (by Aimee Miller, the Vice President of Marketing at AppFolio)

    How To Finance A Rental Property In Today’s Market

    Interest rates are still at historic lows and property values continue to be depressed. However, recent actions of the Fed and growing seller demand appear to be forcing an increase in both. Those trends might not be reversing any time soon, so now might be the right time to invest in another rental property. A key focus when expanding your asset property base will be securing a mortgage. These are a few issues to keep in mind when financing a rental property.

    Borrowing Strength
    Before applying for financing, make sure your credit is in order. Check your business credit reports to make sure they are accurate. Quickly work with the credit bureaus to make any necessary corrections. If your business credit rating is over 75, your business is in good shape. Less than that and you’ll likely have to pay an additional fee to hold the prevailing interest rate. Lenders will also want to confirm that you can cover expenses on all your properties for at least half a year.

    Down Payment
    The less you have to borrow relative to the value of your investment property, the better chance you have to obtain the necessary financing. Most lenders now require a 20% minimum down, but some may want 25%-30%. If you don’t have cash on hand, consider drawing on equity from your other properties to fund the down payment.

    Lender Selection
    If you’re not an “ideal borrower” in relation to your down payment or expense coverage look to local banks rather than to the large national lenders. These smaller institutions know the local market and are more interested in investing in local properties as part of their charter. If you have a history of investing in rental properties in the community, you are more likely to be considered a solid investment customer for these local lenders.
    Mortgage brokers can sometimes be more flexible than commercial banks since they are focused specifically on financing properties and normally use many types of lending products. Find a long-term mortgage broker who will likely have more access to a deeper pool of investors.

    Partner Up
    If your business can’t qualify by itself for the purchase of a specific property, consider looking for an investment partner to split the costs. Your combined resources may help you secure the financing you need.
    While the days of easy financing have long since passed, with research and flexibility you can still find a way to obtain the mortgage you need to finance a rental.

  • 10/18/2013

    Plan Fall/Winter Maintenance Early



    Plan Fall/Winter Maintenance Early

    Thinking about fall/winter maintenance needs for your investment before the season hits can often save you money. An extra benefit is that it can help to keep your tenants happy. For example, if you wait until the rains or winds come and the roof leaks, you will be competing with everyone else to have the work done because roofing contractors are at their busiest. This can mean major delays and higher costs. When the weather is better, contractors may not charge as much because their workload is lighter and they want more work. Tenants can become unhappy with the inconvenience of a leaky roof but if the problem is severe enough, there can be loss of rent because of uninhabitable or unsafe conditions.

    There are many areas where early maintenance can be a benefit. Here are items to consider during summer and fall months to see how you could avoid unnecessary repair expense or tenant problems.

    Heating
    Heating is simply a necessity and in the eyes of the legal system, it is a requirement for health and safety for tenants. You could experience loss of rent if the tenants are without heat for an unreasonable amount of time. Having the heating system checked out yearly before cold weather hits could avoid bigger maintenance problems and making necessary repairs can prolong the life of the heating unit.

    Walls, foundations, windows, doors, and plumbing
    Checking walls, foundations, windows, doors, and plumbing can reveal problems with moisture, leaking, cracking, drafts, and more. It is truly important to avoid water and moisture problems that could lead to toxic mold – one of today’s biggest liabilities for investors.

    Gutters
    Having gutters and downspouts cleaned and if necessary, repaired after leaves fall and before heavy rains hit can reduce damage and avoid other problems. Many landlords want tenants to do this but it can become a safety issue. Having a qualified vendor handle the problem can be safer and more cost effective.

    Roofs
    It pays to have the roof checked for missing materials, hanging branches, and any other damage. Have repairs completed before winter weather hits to avoid unnecessary damage and expense inside of the property. You may not be able to avoid winter storms but the roof may hold up better if maintenance is completed. Proper maintenance can also extend the life of the roof.

    Chimneys, fireplaces, and smoke alarms/detectors
    If your investment has a fireplace and chimney, having a yearly checkup can prevent fires and/or other safety issues. Of course, a working smoke alarm/detector is an absolute must.

    Driveways and sidewalks
    Damaged, cracked driveways and sidewalks can be a safety issue. Many times you cannot repair them during bad weather, leaving it open to more liability. Contractors are more likely to give you a better price during better weather.

    Porches, patios, decks, retaining walls, fences, and landscaping
    Again, these are items where necessary repairs can extend their life. Major tree roots can cause many problems, such as broken sidewalks, raised driveways, and problems with sewers. You can often avoid these liabilities.

    You may not be experiencing any maintenance problems with your investment property at this time. However, it pays to review where you could avoid larger expense and avoid liability by addressing them early. You can start planning for winter maintenance now and then plan an earlier start next year as well.

  • 09/17/2013

    Are You Prepared?


    We continually work on educating tenants for any event that could happen during their tenancy. This includes making rental payments, reporting maintenance, handling emergencies/disasters, checking smoke alarms, practicing good neighbor policies, buying renter’s insurance, and more. Of course, we hope that they always follow our advice, but we know that it is human nature to avoid or ignore the possibility of emergencies or disaster situations.

    It is just as important for property owners to prepare for all possible contingencies. No one likes to think about the possibility of evictions, tenant damage, disasters, and emergencies because it can be disruptive both financially and emotionally. However, being prepared can make a bad situation tolerable for both owners and tenants. There are several areas to consider.

    Review Your Insurance

    This is probably the most obvious and important item to have in place for unwanted events. It pays to review possible scenarios and coverage with your insurance agent at least once a year. Insurance policies are subject to change, particularly when disasters occur. With all the disasters that have occurred in the last few years and the resulting high losses, insurance companies are continually making major policy changes. Often notifications are obscure on in “small print.” Too often property owners find out that their insurance does not apply to a particular situation until “after” it happens. Find out specifically what disasters, emergencies, tenant damage, and rent losses are covered or notcovered. This is also a good time to verify that you have added V2 Properties as “Additional Insured” on your home owner’s policy. 

    Keep Good Property Records

    Another area that everyone dreads is an audit by a government agency, particularly the Internal Revenue Service. The best way to prepare for an audit is to create and maintain your investment records consistently and accurately. Keep all tax returns, property management reports, maintenance records, financial receipts, and property documents organized in one place where you can easily retrieve and review them if you have an audit. Maintain them yearly and when you need this information, you will have it for any situation, such as an audit or sale of the property. It is much easier to maintain files than try to recreate them later. In addition, they will probably be more accurate.

    Prepare a Maintenance Plan

    Just like your home, periodic work is necessary to maintain investment property. Do you have a maintenance plan for future years? It is not practical to bury your head in the sand and “hope for the best” when it comes to roofs, paint, carpeting, appliances, fencing, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, heating, miscellaneous repairs, and more. Figure out the life of all major items and make a plan to have work done periodically to avoid unnecessary major rehabilitation. Take a “preventative maintenance” approach to reduce expenses and stress.

    Financial Plan

    Do you have a financial plan for your maintenance plan? Have you considered how you would cover expenses in the event of an eviction and loss of rent? What funds and coverage will you need if there is a fire? If a disaster happens, such as high winds, tornado, hurricane, fire, and flooding, how will you sustain the property? Insurance may not cover everything. Talk with your bank or available financial institutions about what financing you could obtain if necessary. Even better, establish an emergency fund in an interest bearing account. If something happens, you have an immediate resource to use.

    You do not want to fall victim to the old adage, “fail to plan and plan to fail.” Planning now can help prepare for the unexpected. If you need assistance, contact us – we are here to help you with your investment property.

    - LanclordSource.com
     

  • 08/28/2013

    About V2 Properties

    Here at V2 Properties, our focus is on outstanding residential property management. We are a team of professionals proud to be rooted in the Great Northwest for most or even all of our lives. At our very core are teamwork, integrity, and a dedication to exceptional service.

    Specializing in single-family homes, smaller multi-plexes, condos, townhomes, and the like, we focus on quality. Whether you have one property or several, you can expect exceptional service.

    We understand that your investment in real estate may be either purely business or something that has been your family home, so we make sure each and every house will be properly maintained and cared for. This is handled through make-ready maintenance cleaning and advertising, thoroughly screened tenants, scheduled interior surveys & drive-bys to check for maintenance or tenancy issues, and enforcement of all terms of the lease.

    We maintain membership in the following organizations, which help us to constantly increase our abilities and professionalism:

    NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers)

    Our company’s founder, Kristi Villani, is an active member of the Greater Portland Chapter of NARPM. Kristi held the office of 2010 NARPM Chapter President.