Property Management Blog

Renter's Insurance

Web Admin - Thursday, February 15, 2018

At this time of year we remind property owners about reviewing their insurance before storm season officially commences…..but what about the non-owner resident

It’s important to understand the difference between what the homeowner’s policy covers and why you need, as a renter, to consider renters insurance.



Read the following, courtesy of Peter Scott, Tony Blankenship Insurance

  • A landlord's insurance policy, required by the mortgage bank, covers the building and any outbuildings and protects the landlord against lawsuits arising out of accidents on the property. However, landlord insurance does not cover the personal possessions of the tenant. This is a piece of information that seems to come as a shock to many tenants after disaster strikes.
  • A staggering number of renters do not carry renters insurance. Marshall Loeb, writing in MarketWatch last year estimated that nearly two-thirds of the 81 million people who rent their homes are uninsured for their contents or for any liability arising out of their tenancy.
  • While some renters may assume that they are covered by some mythical insurance umbrella held by the landlord, others simply do not associate the need for insurance with their own circumstances until it is too late. They aren't homeowners so they don't need homeowners insurance, right? They do not think beyond that question and many probably don't even know that tenants' insurance exists.
  • If you rent, look around. You probably have a pretty substantial amount invested within those walls you do not own. A stereo, high-def TV, a business and a leisure wardrobe, all of those small appliances in the kitchen, the electronics in the study; even if your furniture was bought second hand or from Walmart it all adds up and should disaster strike, everything will have to be replaced out of pocket.
  • And there is the matter of liability. Should your television repairman trip on the front walk he will probably sue your landlord. But if the repairman takes a swan dive over a poorly positioned coffee table inside your apartment or if sweet little Fluffy decides that his ankle looks like lunch it will not be your landlord's problem. It will be yours.

PUT ANOTHER WAY:

The homeowner’s policy covers the building and outbuildings—it does not typically cover the contents if they are not residing in the home. Thus the contents—your possessions as a renter—are not covered in event of storm, disaster, break in, etc. To put it more “officially”:

Tenant's insurance covers personal property within a home or apartment against the same types of loss covered by homeowners insurance - fire, theft, vandalism, and water damage (but not flood damage and probably not earthquake damage either) as well as protecting your interests should someone have an accident within your dwelling unit for which you might be held liable.

Review Your Insurance NOW

Web Admin - Thursday, February 01, 2018

We know—no one wants to start thinking about this right now…….

Even if you went through this exercise this time last year, do it again. Storm activity was more significant last season and dynamics in insurance are constantly changing.

If you have not reviewed your insurance recently and dodged a bullet (so to speak) DEFINITELY DO IT NOW! Here in Jacksonville we had some particularly (and unusually) hard hit areas like San Marco and Riverside/Avondale that in some respects are still recovering.

We suggest scoring some time with your agent to go over the following questions (especially if you are not sure of all the answers) and differentiate between the property you are residing in and any investment property:

Do I need flood and windstorm coverage?



What does my policy cover and exclude?

Will my policy pay “replacement cost” or “actual cash value” for a covered loss?

What about additional living expenses?

What else can I do to prepare?

What about policy changes?

How can I safeguard my records?

It’s amazing what a little due diligence on the front (read: early) end can save you in heartache on the back (read: aftermath) end!

Buying a house? 6 things that are surprisingly negotiable

Web Admin - Friday, January 12, 2018

So you've found the right agent to work with and you've secured your​ pre approval. You've even been checking out neighborhoods, listings and have identified a few homes you want to pursue. Before this goes any further check out these points on the aspects that are potentially negotiable and discuss with your agent before you get into any offer situations.

​From Julington Creek to Riverside to Atlantic Beach--wherever you are looking-- your agent will likely be indispensable in helping you navigate your way to an offer.

Due diligence of all kinds on the front end may make this process go that much more smoothly for everyone involved.

  • Closing Costs
  • Transaction related taxes
  • Fixtures & Appliances
  • Furniture (crazy right?)
  • Move Date
  • Repairs​

​We've included a link to an article on these very items​​

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/buying-a-house-6-things-that-are-surprisingly-negotiable/ar-BBIcvvF?ocid=ob-fb-enus-621

#NewYearGoals : Let’s Buy a House this Year!

Web Admin - Tuesday, January 02, 2018

We think it’s a great goal and we can help with that! It’s a process, for sure but with assistance from a licensed Realtor and some due diligence, it can be fun and relatively painless!

We recommend first and foremost, find an agent you can work with. They can be invaluable in helping you navigate this process, especially if you are first time home buyer. Here’s what to look for:

  • What’s their forte? First time buyers? A particular area? A particular price segment? Does it fit with your objective?
  • Recommendations? Either received personally or via research. Then contact them and find out more. Interview them as if you were hiring them for a job (which you are!)
  • Education and/or designations—indicate investment in knowledgeability in their profession!
  • Are they a member of MLS (Multiple Listing Service)?
  • Recent Listing and/or Closing activity—what’s it been?
  • Are they offering you expertise that will best position you for success, i.e. how to prepare for the process?

These are just a few suggestions to get you started—more to come! We have agents who know Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties very well. Call us at 904-497-4200 or email: info@fpmproperties.com if you’d like to talk with an agent about your potential home search!

We’re halfway to the end of the year!

Web Admin - Friday, December 15, 2017

So a few more weeks left before the end of the year and especially for the last minute holiday shoppers…here’s more safety tips (courtesy of JSO). This is a bit redundant but relevant AND abbreviated so we encourage you to check out the entire list at: http://www.jaxsheriff.org

  • Keep everything locked and secured: cars, home (all doors and windows), garage, etc.
  • Don’t display gifts where they can be seen and don’t put packaging from big ticket purchases on display at the curb
  • Ditto for your car—get valuables OUT and out of view
  • If you must keep documents in the glove box, lock it!
  • Keep your home well lit (especially if not home) and if traveling, have the Post Office hold your mail
  • Make sure your children know not to share personal information on the internet
  • We’re big on this one: Record you serial numbers and place this list with your insurance documents. If possible Invest in a floor safe or larger, heavy, fire-proof safe is recommended

We highly recommend looking at the link above which has many more valuable tips. We wish everyone a SAFE and happy holiday season!

It’s Holiday Shopping Season!

Web Admin - Friday, December 01, 2017

We realize this advice may be a day late and dollar short (no pun intended!) since it’s past Cyber Monday but we suspect there are still several of you out there that have some shopping to do and since it’s December now, may be doing it online.

We scoured all kinds of resources and it pretty much boils down to these tips (USA Today was best and most to the point):

  • Look for the symbol: Look for the little padlock in the address bar or a URL that starts with “https” instead of “http,” as the “s” stands for “secure.”
  • Use secure payment methods: Only shop on sites that take secure payment methods, such as credit cards and PayPal, as they likely give you buyer protection just in case there’s a dispute (your debit card almost certainly will not).
  • Be password savvy: A strong password is at least seven characters long, has a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and with some uppercase characters, too. Change passwords routinely. Or use password management apps if you’re worried you won’t remember the password.
  • Do your research: Don't forget about the No. 1 tip about shopping: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid unbelievably hot “deals” from unknown merchants, check merchant reputation, etc.
  • Mind what you download: Or click on--beware “fake” shopping sites and apps
  • Connectivity Caution: Try not to shop using a public system or free Wi-Fi- you never know if your information is being tracked and logged — so it's best to wait until you get home. Or use your smartphone as a personal hotspot, which is safer than free Wi-Fi.

More Food for Thought………

Web Admin - Wednesday, November 15, 2017

So we said we’d continue with some more details re: Airbnb; even if the lease did permit such activity, there are further considerations…..

Legality of offering lodging

Sourced from Airbnb

Some cities have restrictions on subletting for a short period of time. In some cities, collection of a transient occupancy tax by Airbnb is required. In many cities, hosts must register with the government and obtain a permit or license. Airbnb has published a list of regulations and requirements by city; however, only cities in the United States are included. In addition, many landlords or community associations also have restrictions on short term sublets. Hosts may be required to pay income taxes on income received via Airbnb and, in the United States, Airbnb sends tax forms to hosts that have earned over $20,000 in rents and received over 200 reservations via Airbnb in a calendar year.]

Insurance

Airbnb recommends that hosts obtain insurance which covers damages caused by guests. Airbnb offers secondary insurance, called its "host guarantee". The guarantee covers property loss and damage due to vandalism and theft. When first launched in August 2011, the program covered up to US$50,000. However, the maximum was later increased to US$1,000,000. The company also has a 24-hour customer service hotline and a task force to review suspicious activity.

Holidays are Coming………………..

Web Admin - Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Hard to believe another year is almost over. Does anyone even remember what was going on, say, in February? Neither do we though we’re pretty sure we were probably already talking about making preparations for the coming warner temperatures, etc. Same things we bring up annually because, well, preventative maintenance!! Rest assured, we’ll be talking about it again in 2018.

So now the holiday season is upon us—you’re either traveling or hosting right? In comes the Airbnb concept. Many people love it and if you’re the owner of the property, it may be a viable strategy in any number of situations. However, if you are currently leasing the property you reside in and—without the express written consent of the owner and/or property manager—list the property on Airbnb and “book” guests (and/or take payment), you are subleasing. Check your lease first—it may prohibit subleasing, again unless you have procured express written consent from the owner and/or property manager.

Then there are the possible legal and insurance implications…more to come on that.

Fencing Issues Post Storm

Web Admin - Monday, October 16, 2017

Fencing is one of the most likely complications from a strong storm. To date, most of what we’ve seen in Duval, Clay & St. Johns counties has been partially damaged fencing due to wind and/or tree or other heavy object crashing into it.

Depending on the extent of damage and age of fencing, it may become a question of just replacing the affected parts or replacing all the fencing. Either way it raises a host of questions, especially if replacing:

First and foremost, does the fencing in question belong to you? If unsure, check your survey and verify it does not/did not encroach on neighbor’s property line. Once certain of ownership and fencing placement then verify if a permit is needed! Requirements can vary so what applies to an owner in Julington Creek or Atlantic Beach may be different from that in Riverside or San Marco—just as examples!

If repairing: How viable/how much useful life is left? Can it be easily matched and tied in to?

If replacing:

Intent: Privacy? Barrier for animals or children? Aesthetics?

Type of fencing: Wood or vinyl? Straight slat or shadowbox?

Posts: Size? Cement in or not?

Gates: Add?

Maintenance: Will it withstand normal conditions? Will it have to be pressure washed or painted periodically?

Roofing Issues Post Storm

Web Admin - Tuesday, October 03, 2017

We learned a few things from past storms and have an arsenal of qualified vendors who are practiced at navigating repairs/replacements for insurance claims in Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties.

Regardless of how “intact” the roof appears after the storm, if there is even one lone loose shingle or branch visible, it should probably be assessed/checked out after the storm. A professional roofer can tell us/an owner if there is any damage (especially not seen from the ground) that would warrant an insurance claim.

If such damage may result in consideration of a new roof, several things to consider and these are just a few:

  • Vent ridges (what type)
  • Shingles (what type)
  • Boots
  • Peel & stick vs felt

When a new roof is all said & done, a wind mitigation & 4pt inspection should be conducted for submission to insurance carrier for possibly lowered premium.


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​ Disclosure: First Place Management Properties, LLC is "not" a real estate brokerage and does not lease or sell properties.
All sales and leasing activities are conducted through FPM Properties, dba. & First Place Management, Inc. both are licensed Florida Real Estate Brokerages. ​



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