Property Management Blog

Tips & Advice from Experience


“Pre-leasing” is a Bad Practice

Some property management companies and landlords in the Boulder area have, over the years, gotten to the point that they are now asking renters about renewal ten months in advance of the next least term start! These policies force renters to either renew insanely early or lose their apartment for the next lease term. This early leasing practice was born out ....Read More


Vetting a Property Manager, for Landlords

Most relationships for property management last for years, so it’s good to ask any property manager you may hire an array of important questions. In addition to addressing things specifically important that you’ve already identified, I suggest that you also consider the following: How many units does a given manager oversee? A manager with support staff to do things like answer ....Read More


New Laws to Know for Colorado Property Managers and Landlords

Know These New Laws or Risk Running Afoul Colorado has steadily been fine-tuning and increasing tenant rights over the course of the last few years. We’ve seen bills limiting the amount of late fees and application fees, new laws allowing emotional support animals in no-pet rentals, and legislation increasing a landlord’s responsibilities in a warranty of habitability situation, among others. In ....Read More


Organic Lawncare is the Ticket, Property Manager in Boulder Says Why

Organic Lawn Care is the Right Thing to Do Most property management companies want to do what is easiest and, supposedly, tried-and-true in regard to lawn care. That means that the vast majority if not all of the other companies in town use pesticides, leaf blowers and other tools and methods that are bad for the planet and its creatures. Why ....Read More


Emotional Support Animals, Why This Law is Too Vague, from an Experienced Property Manager in Boulder

Recent additions to federal laws about fair housing have made it so that people with mental or emotional disabilities can force a landlord to make exceptions to No Pet policies and demand that landlords forego reasonable guidelines for domestic animals present in a dwelling. Prior, only people with tangible physical disabilities, like blindness or diabetes, could access these exceptions. Let me tell ....Read More


Window Shades In Rental Units

Though there is no legal requirement in Colorado that landlords provide window shades, all of my clients have agreed to provide window coverings or curtain rods. Most provide simple slatted blinds, however some of the houses I manage have higher-end window treatments. Also, a few units I manage have a combination of blinds and curtain rods where the tenant is expected to ....Read More


Mold Hysteria!

There is a lot of hysteria about mold and I believe most of it is unfounded. Mold that causes reactions in some people does indeed exist. However most mold is totally harmless and is no danger. Sure it's a bit gross, but gross and dangerous are two different things. Basement bathrooms are a great environment for mold. The key is to A) ....Read More


Must we do criminal background checks?

My feeling is that checking a person's past legal issues leads to a slippery slope of possible discrimination. What do you do with that info? What if it's a 10-year-old case of, say, vandalism done when a person was a teenager. Do you not rent to that person? Fair housing law says if you make an exception once you have to be ....Read More


Roommate Etiquette: Basic things to know about being a good roommate

I have a sheet I give new tenants called “Basic Things Renters Should Know” that helps explain things like how to reset a breaker or a garbage disposal. Since a lot of my tenants are new to living with roommates and new to being renters in general and they sometimes look to me for guidance, it could be helpful to log here ....Read More


Bad Tenants

Bad tenants are inevitable. No matter how well I vet applicants sometimes a tenant’s bad behavior can’t be foreseen. I’ve had two sets of tenants who, in hindsight, I regretting not evicting early in their tenancy. And I’ve had another tenant who threatened and harassed me at my home office. Mostly I’ve had many, many, many excellent and respectful tenants, so ....Read More


The Sacredness of Security Deposit Money

I take very seriously my responsibility to be fair and reasonable about charges out of a security deposit. One important document for a new tenancy that helps this effort is a “move-in condition report sheet.” At the start of a lease I meet the tenant at the property and we walk through together to document the condition. I show them how I ....Read More


Garbage Disposals No Bueno

I dislike garbage disposals with a burning passion. They seem to be mostly a phenomenon in the United States. But dear ones, life elsewhere without a garbage disposal is just fine. In rentals I manage that don’t have garbage disposals-which comprise about 1/3 of all the units I manage, in 12 years I’ve had about 3 clogged sink drains. For the remaining ....Read More


Tree Maintenance at Rental Properties

There are certain things that seem to fall through the cracks in regard to preventive maintenance at rental properties. Things like inspecting roofs, exterior siding and maintaining trees are things that can be accidentally neglected over time. Ideally the property owner will have these appurtenances in mind and will request that the manager address them periodically. I advise clients that though I ....Read More


Determining Rent Rates

When an apartment or house is coming on the market for rental there are a few things I do to make sure that it is priced accurately for the market and in line with the owner's wishes, assuming those wishes are reasonable and based in reality. First I check online for comparable units. If it's a house I only compare with other ....Read More


Water Heaters

Water Heaters!! Most water heaters die right around 10 – 12 years. For properties with unusual water heaters, such as electric (vs. gas), I recommend pre-emptively replacing a water heater if it has the potential to do damage to units below or other areas if it were to leak. Most water heaters start leaking a little bit before they completely cease to ....Read More

Go to Top