Archive for the 'Renting' Category
I do a fair number of rental for clients who have investment property or are moving away from the area for a few years. One thing I have noticed recently, especially with condominium associations, is a “move in fee.” What this fee really covers is anyone’s guess but it’s there and it has to be paid.
If you are the property owner, talk to your real estate agent about how you want to handle the fee. Will you pay it or will you include it in the listing along with security and pet deposits?
A client of mine moved into a condominium rental property just yesterday. Today he called because the association was trying to collect a $150 move in fee.
A few phone calls later, it was determined that the fee was not included in the original paperwork, a mistake on the part of the listing agent, and she ended up paying the fee out of her commission.
If you are the renter, ask the agent to detail the upfront fees before making a final decision or signing a contract. If the property has languished on the market for awhile, this may be a item for negotiation – and it never hurts to try. One thing you should never have to pay however is the monthly condominium fee – that is the responsibility of the property owner.
The Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area has some of the highest rental rates in the country and you need to know exactly what you are paying for.
Give me a call at 703.927.4554 if you have any questions or need to rent.
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Normally a landlord is responsible for all the maintenance and care of his or her property. But, it is also up to renters to notify their landlord about maintenance issues in a timely fashion.
This question was posed online to property management guru Robert Griswold: The tenant calls to say that water is leaking from the roof and that “something is wrong with the wood floors.”
Landlord sends a contractor over who finds a loose kitchen faucet, a split pipe underneath the sink and severely warped wood floors.
Renter insists that she was sick all week and never saw the leak. Contractor says extent of damage reflects months of leaking; renter should have not been using kitchen faucet; and that it was clear where the water was coming from.
Who is responsible? Griswold notes, “Because your tenant failed to give you any notice of the leaking faucet and the split pipe, you have a very good argument that the tenant is responsible for not only the damage to the wood flooring but also any other damage caused by persistent flooding over a long period of time.”
Bottom line? Maintenance is a two-way street. Open the lines of communication at the very beginning of the tenant/landlord relationship, everyone will benefit.
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In a supplement to Saturday’s Washington Post, a reader asked the question “is it legal for my landlord to require me to get (renters) insurance if it was not stated in my lease.”
The answer, according to property manager Robert Griswold, is ” . . . your landlord cannot require you to get such a policy and provide proof to him unless it is in your lease.”
Griswold goes on to say that “the landlord must honor the lease until it expires, but that he can modify the lease to include a requirement that you have renters insurance if you want to renew your lease.”
This is probably a good discussion to have before renting – to assure both parties of expectations and to set the ground for future interaction.
Another preliminary discussion should involve maintenance issues and notification about those issues. More on that tomorrow.
Renting in the Northern Virginia area is a viable option, especially when moving from another part of the country.
Give me a call at 703.927.4554 for how to start your search.
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A large new development has broken ground in Alexandria’s historic Parker Gray neighborhood. Located on one full city block directly behind the U.S. Post Office on Wythe St. and Fayette , the former warehouse complex is now a busy construction site.
Originally designed as town house style condominiums, current plans call for rental apartments – a smart move given the glut of condominiums here in Alexandria.
The development will consist of two buildings, one to resemble town houses while the other will be a multi-level mid-rise structure, both with underground parking. Plans also call for some retail shops to front Fayette Street.
The great appeal of this location will be the Braddock Metro Station to the west, the Charles Houston Recreation Center and Trader Joe’s to the east and the comfortable proximity to both Old Town and Del Ray.
We’re still looking for the official name and more details on this development so be sure and check back in with us as the weeks roll on.
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As much as my livelihood is based on helping folks buy and sell houses, I know that renting is a necessity for many. Sometimes it’s because of a temporary assignment or the need to save for a down payment.
In either case, people need a place to live and the recently opened Del Ray Central is a new player in the high end apartment market in Alexandria.
We moseyed down Mt. Vernon Avenue this afternoon to take a look at this new complex. Formerly the home of a taxi stand and pizza carry out the two buildings, 3051 and 3056 Mt. Vernon, have a very sleek, contemporary feel.
These are mixed use buildings with commercial offerings on the ground floor and residential spaces on top.
All together there are 141 rental units and 46 different layouts – everything from studios to two bedrooms + den.
Some of the units have balconies (or patios masquerading as balconies) but for those without outside access there are three large rooftop areas complete with landscaping and furniture.
Each apartment has marble counter tops (kitchen and bath), stainless steel appliances, Berber carpet, good closet space, one assigned parking space in the underground garage, and a stacked washing machine and dryer.
They also come with a fairly hefty price tag. The one bedroom model we saw is 691 sq. ft. and goes for $1925.
Del Ray Central has a secure front entry, is handicapped accessible and pet friendly.
Situated between Del Ray/Warwick Village and Arlandria, with a bus stop directly in front, and across the street from the Bombay Curry Company, Del Merei Grille, Cafe Pizzaiolo and a noodle shop, this development strikes us as a mecca for young singles/couples.
Of course the leasing agent couldn’t confirm my suspicions (Fair Housing Laws) but it just doesn’t have that family vibe if you know what I mean.
Still, this is a great addition to the Del Ray/Arlandria area and one day those renters will be buyers!
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