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Spring Cleaning? Yuk!

What is spring cleaning? The dictionary states “a thorough cleaning of a house or room, typically undertaken in spring.”

 

The weather is warmer and nature is in full bloom. It’s also that time of year for spring cleaning. If that makes you shudder, you are not alone. Who wants to clean when the sun is shining and there are so many other things to do that bring you joy? Unfortunately, there is no magic genie or cleaning fairy that is going to do that job for you. It’s better to put on your gloves and resign yourself to the task at hand. Besides the fact that cleanliness directly affects your health, it will also help you get your security deposit back in full when you make a move. Keeping your place clean will give you a much better chance of recouping.

So, where do you start spring cleaning?

 

If your home isn’t already organized, now is the time. Wait! Didn’t we say we were spring cleaning and now we’re telling you to get organized too? Well, it all works together. If your home has a place for your items then it’s much easier to put them away when not in use and then have the room to clean up. Don’t let this stress you. This is a process that has been perfected over literally, thousands of years. If you aren’t sure how to do this, take a look at this article,3 THINGS SUPER ORGANIZED PEOPLE DO WHEN ORGANIZING THEIR APARTMENT”. You’re welcome!

Basically, everything that you don’t clean on a regular basis constitutes spring cleaning. Take one room at a time (it’s less overwhelming).

  • Move the furniture out of their normal places and vacuum the dust bunnies then wet mop the floor and wipe the baseboards down for a deep clean.
  • Remove scuffs and spots with magic eraser (truly a monumental product)..
  • Lift the rugs and repeat the vacuum and mopping.
  • Clean the rugs. You can rent a carpet cleaning machine at your local grocery store or have it professionally cleaned. This is key to getting that deposit back!
  • Remove the curtains/blinds and wipe down the windows and seals with damp cloths.
  • Take everything off of the countertops in the kitchen and bathroom and spray with antibacterial cleaners.
  • Wipe down the windows and window seals, wash the blinds.
  • Remove contents of the closets and give away/throw away unnecessary items (ouch, this may be painful but truly cathartic).
  • Spray showers/tubs and wipe down.
  • Remove and launder shower curtains.

If you’re feeling truly motivated at this point, go ahead and add these to your list.

  • Clean out the pantry – donate those canned good that you are obviously not going to eat, or take them to a food bank or local charity
  • If you didn’t clean out the bathroom cabinets when you tackled the closets, now is the time. You are probably asking yourself at this point, “Why did I buy this or why did I feel the need to keep it?” This is clearly a topic for another time! If you insist on going down that path now, here’s great reading on that. Slate Article on Decluttering Your Home and Your Life

Spring cleaning will take you 6-8 hours depending on the size of your home so set aside the time to do a good job. Once you get finished, your home and your soul will feel fresh and clean. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and also be in a much better position with your landlord or property manager. That equals a higher percentage of getting your deposit back with the bonus of great references for your next place.

If you need a written version to go by, here’s a great cleaning checklist, compliments of Oprah.com!

Summit Property Management is a full-service family owned company servicing the Northwest Arkansas area.

Communication is Key in Tenant-Landlord Relationships

     

The tenant-landlord relationship can be technically described in legal terms best by Investopedia. “A lease establishes the relationship of landlord and tenant and is both a conveyance of a possessory estate in real property and a contract between the parties. Through the lease, the tenant receives a right to legal possession of the property in exchange for “valuable consideration” (i.e., rent) paid to . . . the landlord. Most leases specify the duration of the agreement, any terms for extending the agreement and details regarding rent payments.”  This definition specifies a contractual agreement and it should be noted that each state establishes its own unique variations of this rule. These should be verified before signing on the dotted line but there are many other aspects that are equally important and sometimes even more critical to tenant-landlord harmony.

Communication – The Tenant-landlord is a relationship and as with any other great relationship, both legal and personal. Communication is the key. Going over the contract, rules and regulations together will clarify expectations. This enables both the tenant and the landlord getting off on the right foot. Talking it through will allow both parties to discuss anything in the contract that could be misconstrued. Good communication requires open conversation and several other elements to establish and maintain it.

  • Assumptions – Don’t assume that the tenant and/or the landlord are responsible for repairs, maintenance, security, etc. Verify what services are delegated to each in the beginning. Taking assumptions out of the equation will establish a better understanding on both sides of the relationship.
  • Honesty and Trust – 5 Simple Ways Landlords Can Communicate More Effectively With Tenants states that landlords should establish a relationship with the tenant built on trust and honesty but this goes both ways. If both parties communicate truthfully and follow through with their promises, each will experience a healthy and positive experience.
  • Common Courtesy – This is a simple concept and basically conveys the Golden Rule (the principle of treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated). When implemented, both the tenant and the landlord will have a healthy and strong relationship established that will be endured.

Overall, starting a relationship of any kind requires the basic elements discussed above. Keep in mind that a tenant-landlord relationship is a very important one to ensure peace and quality of life. Nurture it and treat it accordingly.

 

Are Frozen Pipes a Tenant’s Responsibility?

 

Pretty in a cave – not so pretty in your living room!

Severely cold weather can cause frozen and burst pipes. Even though you may not own your home and may be renting, it pays to be proactive in high-alert temperatures. While you may assume preventative measures are being taken to secure your home and contents, a drastic change in temperatures may catch everyone by surprise. A burst pipe can cause havoc by flooding your home. Personal items can be destroyed and clean up in cold weather is a nightmare not to mention that a claim could cause your insurance premiums to increase. Being an active participant in assisting your landlord/property manager can be a win-win for both of you.

Take steps to insure your home and personal things stay secured and safe from the cold weather burst-pipe threats. Stay informed by signing up for weather alerts. There are many resources for “being in the know” like NWA.com Homepage. In addition, there are important steps that will keep you ahead of the danger of frozen and burst pipes. Consumer Reports published this article, How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing with these helpful guidelines and an informative video.

  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors
  • Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night.

Here a few more great tips from a Family Handyman article on frozen pipe prevention.

  • Set up fans to blow heat into cold rooms.
  • Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Even “frostproof” faucets can burst if a hose is connected.

If the worst happens and you do have an unfortunate incident of a burst pipe, there are steps you can take to help thaw them and contain the damage until your landlord/property management can get it repaired. Here are procedures and great advice from an article by the American Red Cross to assist with that. The most important thing to know is to communicate with your landlord/property management’s policies and procedures before arctic weather actually arrives. Some of the responsibility could be yours as a tenant so read your lease carefully and listen to updates and information that are distributed to make sure you and your property stay safe, sound and warm!

 

Summit Property Manage of NWA is a privately owned and operated company specializing in premier rental properties. Visit our website to see our available homes.

* Photo: via Kompareit.com