Property Management Blog

Periodic Property Assessment

System - Friday, February 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

We talk about compliance a lot; it’s a big part of our job. It isn’t always a popular discussion as it often involves investment on the owner’s part but it is certainly more cost effective than non-compliance. Keeping the rental property in good condition is just good sense. It attracts responsible tenants and protects/enhances the value of the asset.

Here is the basic concept, as spelled out by the Florida Landlord Tenant law:

Single-Family Home or Duplex

At all times during the tenancy, the landlord of a single-family home or duplex shall:

  • Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing and health codes; or
  • Where there are no applicable building, housing or health codes, maintain the plumbing in reasonably good working condition and maintain the roof, windows, screens, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads.

Yes, it’s broad brush strokes but it gets into plenty of detail as you go and we study it constantly. If an investment property owner knows and understands this much, it’s a good “foundation” for the rest.

Next up, we’ll talk a little about the cost of non-compliance…

Speaking of JEA

System - Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Property Management Blog

Speaking of JEA…..letters have been arriving regarding back flow preventer testing and state environmental regulations.

As apparently mandated by the state of Florida DEP (Department of Environmental  Protection) any property with an irrigation system should have a back flow preventer and if it has not been tested (for proper operation) in the last 2 years, owners will be required to do so.  This must be done by a certified tester. 

JEA offers 2 options on facilitating this (see link below); one option has JEA taking care of it and the other allows you to choose how it’s handled but there is a time sensitive deadline!

Bear in mind if the testing, however administrated, finds failure you may need to be prepared for repairs and/or replacement. 

 Why is proper operation of the back flow preventer important? Parts can fail or corrode over time and it is the mechanism that keeps chemicals, grit and other pollutants, etc.  from entering the public water supply. 

2019 off on the right foot

System - Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Property Management Blog

Here’s an idea to start 2019 off on the right foot—plan to take advantage of JEA discounts!

If you’re thinking about the inevitable replacement of a major system or appliance OR upgrading, do your research first to see how your choices could affect not only utility bills but insurance as well!

Here are 3 big ones to consider:

  • Lighting Rebates: on Energy Star LED bulbs, with specific [participating retailers)

  • HVAC Rebates:  On purchases of new systems (Your home’s central heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) is responsible for nearly 50 percent of the energy consumed in your home according to ENERGYSTAR®.) Currently offered for 16 seer

  • Insulation:  For blown-in loose fill fiber glass or cellulose insulation. The rebate amount is $0.20 per square foot up to a maximum rebate amount of $150.

For more details, visit or your utility’s website and contact your insurance carrier!

Don’t Forget About Homestead Exemptions!

System - Friday, December 14, 2018
Property Management Blog

We don’t profess to be the experts on this subject (which is why we’ve included a link to the real authority) but we do know a little!

If you are a (especially new) property owner in Duval County or North Florida, you may be eligible for exemptions and additional benefits that can reduce your property tax liability!

For example, military owners can keep their homestead if they use the address of the rental for their permanent address.  There are multiple aspects to the homestead exemption (s) and there are parameters that must be observed and followed. 

USE the link below to get to all the information, included easy to read 1 pagers on each aspect. It will be well worth your time!

Oh yes it’s that time of year again….and we’re not talking holidays (but we WILL get to that!)

System - Sunday, December 2, 2018
Property Management Blog

Even in Florida (especially here in Jacksonville & north Florida), temperatures can take a tumble and fall below freezing now and then. It rarely lasts long but we often forget (after months of stifling heat) and newcomers to the area may be unprepared to anticipate it!

Aside from reminding everyone of the important “P”s (People and Pets) there is another “P” that is critical and could adversely affect the previous two (People and Pets) if not cared for properly! That’s PIPES!

  • How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Disconnect & drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off the sprinkler system.
  • If the temperature drops below 20 degrees, keep one or two faucets running slowly at all times. Water running through the system will prevent the line from freezing.
  • Keep the cabinet under the kitchen sink open so warm air can flow around the pipes.
  • Cover exposed pipes (both indoors and out) with insulating foam covers.
  • Call your landlord or property manager immediately if you suspect a pipe has frozen for further instructions.

As we move into our coldest months it is necessary to be vigilant and care for the BIG 3 “P”S PEOPLE. PETS. PIPES!

Thanksgiving—it’s only a week away!

System - Thursday, November 15, 2018
Property Management Blog

As always, this is a time of reflection and, despite all the trials and tribulations of the year to date, a time for gratitude. We all have vexing situations in our lives (and most of us shared one just a couple of weeks ago) but it remains important to count the blessings in our lives. 

If for no other reason, do it for your health. Yes, there is scientific evidence that gratitude is good for your physical and psychological health! It is known to improve sleep and mental strength. At work it can help with goal achievement and decision making and improves productivity. At home it can deepen your relationships. Gratitude is good for you!  

In the next week, take a few moments (or many—whatever works!) and reflect on all that is good in your life. Take stock of the people in it and give thanks. Reflect on some of those things you maybe take for granted: Your employer provided benefits?  The neighbor who watches your house when you are away?  The improvements the City just made in your neighborhood? Whatever it might be, when you think about it, you probably have a lot to be grateful for!

So….before you sit down to that bountiful table next Thursday, have a heaping helping of gratitude. It’s the healthiest thing you can do!

Your Property “Investigator”

System - Thursday, November 1, 2018
Property Management Blog

So we’ve outlined the areas that are evaluated in a home inspection—how does the rental “inspection” differ? Number one, while many property managers hold various designations in the industry --and 2 of ours are MPM® (Master Property Manager) -- they are not licensed home inspectors. If you want to know more about what it means to be an MPM®, just ask us! 

They will be looking at the same areas as a home inspector to the best of their accessibility. During occupancy can be a bit more challenging than during the move out process for obvious reasons but they are looking for “clues” to any potential issues in those critical areas. They are walking the exterior (and observing from the ground if roof needs further investigation), assessing condition of the yard, checking proper operation of major systems in the home and the smoke detectors, checking the HVAC system, looking for evidence of any water intrusion and so on. They look at many of the same things a home inspector does and make determinations as to whether more detailed, expert assessment is warranted. 

This is all in the interest of protecting the asset and insuring safety for the occupants. Critical stuff!

What You Can’t See Can be Spooky……

System - Monday, October 1, 2018
Property Management Blog

There are several potential anxiety points on the road to becoming a home owner and one of them involves the things you can’t really see. That’s what home inspections are for! A good home inspector will pinpoint areas that are cause for concern and/or items to be watchful of. Bear in mind there aren’t many properties that are 100% free of minor defects…. The main areas they will assess:

  • foundation
  • lot
  • roof
  • chimney
  • exterior
  • attic
  • interior leaks
  • basement (when applicable)
  • electrical
  • plumbing
  • appliances
  • heating/cooling system
  • odors

This is another reason to work with a licensed Realtor; it will be definitely be less scary!

Ditto on choosing a licensed home inspector—we strongly endorse that choice.

If the inspection identifies any issues that you don’t understand, or aren’t comfortable making a decision about immediately, your Realtor can help you navigate the situation wisely and within the time frame indicated in your contract.

Next up, we’ll talk about the rental inspection process…

Real Estate is an Investment!

System - Friday, September 14, 2018
Property Management Blog

No, we’re not technically experts on this topic (retirement planning) but we know plenty who are and we do know about the value of investing in real estate. Culled from a lot of reading here’s what we learned/know about real estate as part of your retirement plan(ning):

  • You can access funding to acquire investment property
  • You can leverage your investment with your own efforts for greater returns (than say,stocks)
  • You exercise direct control over your investment—a board of directors somewhere else isn’t driving the decisions
  • Housing demand is and remains high
  • Investing in real estate has a proven track record, especially in the recent market conditions
  • It’s relatively predictable and fairly stable—everyone needs a place to live
  • You can diversify with your investment type (single family, condo, multi family, etc.)

If you’ve already done this, you know how favorable this current seller’s market has been. ….

If you’d like us to connect you to some of those people in the know about retirement planning OR want to talk to us about investment real estate as part of your strategy, send us a note at

Later this month we’ll touch on the tax reform implications……

Nailed It!

System - Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Property Management Blog

Ok, so you successfully got the kids prepared and back in school-nice job! All the area districts have now resumed: St Johns, Baker, Clay, Nassau & Duval. Now, the art of managing the family’s time throughout the school year becomes the next challenge. We found some good tips we’re sharing here because it’s not just about the kids activities, is it?

If you are a stay at home parent, you may have the ability to really devote time to this non- stop flurry of activity; however, what if you’re a single working parent or two working parents? Let’s complicate it a little further…what if you’re an adult working full time AND going to school? What if you’re an adult working full time, going to school AND have school age kids (with after school activities)?

It can all become very overwhelming! This is where a bit of pre planning and time management can be key—and of course, having a contingency plan for the inevitable disruptions that could pop up. We’ve found a few helpful articles that may offer some ideas/tips you’ve not though of and may be ongoing resources for all the folks going to school and/or working….from pre K and beyond!

See the below links for more…..

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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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