Rental demand heats up in the Lakeland, FL area

As with many areas in the United States, rental demand continues to climb in the Lakeland, FL area. The latest data from the Federal Reserve suggests that now is a great time to be a property owner since during the last three months of 2015 property owners’ rental income amounted to around 4.3 percent of the U.S. national income. Meanwhile, key takeaways from the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report published by the Urban Land Institute and pwc has us looking forward to successful investments for properly managed rental assets.

What the analysts are saying

(You can download and read the full report here):

• Prospects for the multifamily rental sector still rank “well” for 2016.
• Due to the size of generation Y, demand for both rentals and ownership housing is poised to expand.
• The investment strategy for single-family home rentals is changing from the “flip” strategy to becoming operating businesses, as more people opt to rent by choice rather than necessity.
• Investment prospects for single-family homes rank “fair” for 2016
• Some older home renters are opting for luxury rentals.
• Domestic and global capital continues to flow into the U.S. real estate market.
• “The industry is trending toward more intensively active management…”
• Interest rates will continue to rise.
• “The Supreme Court has affirmed that local communities can take legal action to address disparities in housing, even if they are the unintentional result of actions rather than conscious discrimination.”

Why Lakeland, FL?

• According to reports by, rent in Florida is increasing at a higher rate than the national average.
• The southwest region of Florida has been dubbed by RealtyTrac as among the best in the United States for renting to baby boomers.
• Millennial populations tend to rent for longer periods than did their parent and they add to the overall rental demand.

What if my rental is vacant?

Selecting the right tenant for your rental is a critical first step toward maintaining the value of your investment property. Qualified reliable tenants play a significant role in protecting against undue deterioration.

If your rental has been on the market for a significant amount of time, consider talking with All County Polk Property Management about what changes can be made to decrease the amount of time it takes to find a qualified tenant. While every situation varies, there is a short list of frequently cited improvements that can often lead to more rental applications.

• Give it some curb appeal. Spruce up the yard or to trim the trees and bushes. A freshly power washed driveway can also make a big difference.
• Clean the carpets. A professionally steamed and shampooed carpet can make a rental feel like new again!
• Add some paint. A little bit of outdoor and interior paint can go a long way.
• Price it right! If your rental is drawing in the kinds of applicants that you are looking for, talk with your property manager to ensure that the asking monthly price is competitive and compares to other similar properties in your area and that are relatively the same age.

All County Polk Property Management can help you get your property rent ready and help you take advantage of the Lakeland, FL area rental market. Call now to learn more about our annual management services and how our professional property managers can make a big difference to your bottom line.

“I Can’t Afford a Property Manager”

One of the most common objections that I hear when telling people about what we do is the “I can’t afford a property manager”

On average a good property manager who understands the market rents for an area has a platform to advertise the property and a good system for showing the property will get a property in good condition, in a good area and priced right, rented in less than 3 weeks if you let them do their job.  An average owner trying to do it themselves could take 60 to 90 days.  Now I am not a math genius but I know that if I have a $1,000 per month rental and it takes me 90 days to get my first rent check, I think that cost me $3,000.00 (3 months vacancy).  If my property manager rents my house in 3 weeks and charges me 1/2 of the first month’s rent then that cost me $1,250 (3 weeks vacancy at $250 per week + $500)

Screening a tenant can also be a daunting task.  If you have never done it before and don’t have the resources to get it done it could take a lot of your time.  How much is your time worth?  A good property management company does this every day.  They have systems in place and can get it done very quickly with accuracy.  A tenant screened properly and found to be qualified stands a 90% chance of completing the lease without incident.  A tenant not properly screened and qualified will fail 90% of the time.  A failed tenancy could cost thousands of dollars in court costs, attorney fees, damage costs, rent ready expenses, etc.  A good property manager might charge you 10% of the rent to manage the tenant relationship and the property but it will save you thousands in expenses that come from bad tenants.

What do you know about Florida Statute 83 “Landlord Tenant”?  This may be the most valuable part of a good property management company.  Because they are a licensed real estate brokerage in the state of Florida they are required to know and act within the laws that are dictated for this industry.  If you as an owner do not know those laws you could be opening yourself up for all kinds of civil suits or fines.

So what it really boils down to is that you really can’t afford NOT to have a property manager.  Think of it this way,  If your mortgage payment is close to or more than the rent the market will bear you will be losing a little money every month but a good property manager can help you lose less money


Your Lakeland lease agreement matters!

It is important to be aware of changes to real property law and contract law. Perhaps what is more valuable is to have a lease reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant law. Our management professionals always make use of a carefully worded Lakeland, Florida lease agreement that has been reviewed by an attorney.

Recently, major changes have been made to landlord/tenant law in places like California, Wisconsin and other parts of the country, which has social media all abuzz. In an effort to equalize the position of property owners and their tenants, landlord/tenant law is constantly evolving and landlord’s rights and landlord’s responsibilities in Polk County and elsewhere are constantly changing. For instance, prior to March of 2015 landlords in Wisconsin were obligated to make arrangements for storage of any personal property that belonged to an evicted tenant. To fulfill such an obligation, landlords in that area needed to notify the sheriff’s department, hire a bonded mover, and give notice to the evicted tenant. The revised law now allows a landlord to presume that property left behind and to deem it abandoned. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, and this is just one example of how estate law can and has evolved in places around the country.

The lessons that we can take from trending news topics like those out of Wisconsin make it clear that your property manager’s role goes way beyond simply filling unoccupied space. At All County Polk Property Management, we can proudly say that our expertise in tenant placement, lease execution and lease enforcement will help to protect your property investments for years to come.

In order to keep in line with the ever changing rules, we regularly update the Lakeland lease agreement. A well written lease allows All County Polk Property Management to enforce lease requirements, and in the case of an escalated issue, a well written lease could mean the difference between winning or losing a court case. Our leases are well written and tenants’ responsibilities are clearly defined. Polk County property owners can entrust All County Polk to safeguard your property investment and allow you peace of mind!