New Year, New You

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make some resolutions and better yourself, or in our case, our company for a better year.

Barrons Property Managers is proud to have such quality tenants and owners and we just want to say thank you to all those we work with including local realtors, our preferred vendors, our wonderful owners and our amazing tenants.

As you know, we created a new program, our Tenant Benefit Package in October 2020 and by that time this year, all tenants will be under this program and getting all the great items included.

We have also revamped our website recently and added some very helpful tips, such as the “Our Services” page, which includes what we do for owners and for tenants.

We also updated our management agreement to be fillable online, once you have that completed, all you need to be is download it to your computer and send it to us!

While we are still dealing Co-vid and the effects it is having on our rental market, the Owner Protection Service, offered by SureVestor is still placed on hold until that under-writers are able to start.

Keep checking back here for more updates!

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Liability Insurance Requirement

Good Day to all our Owners and Tenants!

As most of our current residents know, we have started a new program, The Tenant Benefit Package.

The main item in this package is the REQUIRED $100,000 liability Insurance. This is not the same thing as Renters Insurance. Although, some Renters policies do have this available as an add on.

This does not protect tenant belongings, it is a protection for injuries that could occur on the property, such as a person falling, dog attack, etc.

Our Tenant Benefit Package has the policy included with the price ($29/month), however, if you have your own coverage through your own provider, the price will be reduced to $20/month.

In order to acknowledge your coverage, Barrons Property Managers must be added onto the policy as an “additionally interested party”. This allows us to be notified if the policy goes unpaid or is not renewed or lapses.

We cannot do anything else, we cannot alter the policy or change any information or coverage.

Check our the full details under the Tenant Benefit Package page of our website here.

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Merry Christmas!

This week is Christmas, as you know and BarronsPM, want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Want to track Santa with the kiddos?

Want to make some amazing cookies?

Want about a drink for the adults?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

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Temps are low and staying low this week, so make sure you take preparations and protect your family and the property.

Quick Tips:

  • wrap pipes and water spigots
  • bring plants and flowers inside
  • watch any fires or candles at all times
  • close all windows and doors firmly
  • check your chimney flute before lighting a fire


Is Home Warranty Worth It?

For investors or first time landlords, the most asked question we get is “should I get a Home Warranty?”

This is a great feature, for owners living in the covered home. However, when it comes to your rental property, we don’t advise a home warranty policy. It’s not worth the cost and causes a plethora of problems for renters and property managers. Here is what you need to know:

  • You and BPM don’t get to pick your vendors, which means you can’t be sure the vendor has availability asap, can do the work right, not overcharge, and certified repairs with warranty on labor or parts. We don’t get to know the vendor has quality technicians who are kind and courteous.
  • BarronsPM does not get updated on the status of the work orders. BPM has to call the vendor and home warranty company to obtain an update. Normally taking a minimum of 1 hour on hold.
  • Vendors are hard to reach, the vendors home warranty companies use don’t normally have a local number, you have to call a 1-800 number and go through a phone tree.
  • Vendors normally won’t do any repair on the first visit. The vendor will not do anything until the home warranty company approves the repair first, this takes normally takes about 2-4 days, and then the vendor has to schedule again to visit, when they have availability.
  • Not everything is covered. For example, home warranty does not cover freon charges to an a/c, this is a cost that you have to pay BEFORE the vendor will do anything. And can be in excess of $600 in some cases.
  • The home warranty company wants the least expensive thing, not the best option for the home.
    • For example, we recently had a property with an a/c not cooling, after 3 days of waiting for the home warranty assigned vendor to have availability, the technician “found nothing wrong”, we called home warranty again and asked for a re-call for them to go back, and now they have found an issue. After 2 more days of waiting for home warranty to authorize the repair, the tech went back to do a repair. While doing said repair, he broke something else, without knowing. BPM had to call the home warranty AGAIN, and they sent the same vendor back. The vendor wants did another repair, breaking another items. Now the unit requires an electrician, another service call charge to your credit card. Since this whole mess has taken so long, we asked for our preferred vendor to assess and they highly recommended replacement as repairs will be constant in the future and the unit is bad condition due to age. The home warranty will not agree to this, and the owner is stuck waiting for the contract to end so she can properly take care of the home and the tenant. So, here we are, 4 WEEKS later, and the tenant has been without a/c for a month and the repair is STILL NOT DONE.

Time is Money

As a landlord, the Florida Landlord Laws require you to make repairs to your rental property in a reasonable amount of time. We like to respond to maintenance issues quickly, whether they are emergency repairs or routine issues. When you work with a warranty company, your timeline is unpredictable and it can take a lot of extra days to get any work done at all.

Here’s the process: First, the tenant will report an issue. Is it covered? We don’t know until waiting on hold with the Home Warranty for them to confirm. This process can take from a few minutes to hours. Home Warranties are notorious for long waits on hold and bad communication. After BarronsPM has filed a claim, and your credit card has been charged for the service fee, it may take a few days or even a week for someone from the assigned vendor visit the property for diagnosis.

Once a claim is filed, there are many delays that could occur, here are examples:

  • Scheduling- It’s not uncommon for a warranty company vendor to call the wrong person (you, the owner instead of the tenant) to schedule. They have a habit of contacting the owner of the property to schedule the repair even when it is made clear to them upon filing a claim who actually needs to be contacted for scheduling.
  • The warranty company may not dispatch a vendor until they’ve received a service fee from either the owner or the property manager. Depending on the warranty company, they might have different rules as to who they can receive that payment from.
  • Warranty vendors needing to order parts.
  • Warranty vendors failing to submit their repair estimate/recommendations for further approval.

Habitability needs such as hot water and heat are extremely time-sensitive, and you want to make sure such repairs are made with a great sense of urgency. Working with a warranty company makes that difficult.

Non- Preferred Vendors

Another issue with warranty companies is that they maintain their own list of vendors. We cannot have our preferred HVAC repair person respond to the repair request, and we can’t use a plumber who may already know the home inside and out. You’ll have to use the vendor that the warranty company has contracted with. Most of which are not quality workers, but cheap labor. And what’s frustrating to Property Managers like us is that we strive to maintain only the most professional contractors in the area are working on our clients’ homes. We can’t certify the work done by someone we have not vetted.

Frustrated Tenants

When repairs drag on and on and it takes multiple visits by representatives of the warranty company, tenants will likely grow frustrated. This is not good for you, because it means you’ll be left with unhappy tenants who are unlikely to renew their lease or leave early without finishing the lease. Tenants may also want rent credits for having “inhabitable” conditions, even if the repairs are not emergencies, they will fight tooth and nail for rent credits on the smallest of things.

Industry statistics show that the number one reason tenants don’t renew their lease is due to a lack of attentiveness to maintenance issues. Having a home warranty will only increase the chances of joining this group.

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Seasons Cleaning!

The beginning of a new season is a great time to do some cleaning on those, questionably clean places. Fall has come to Florida, so open up your windows, and get to work!

– Washing all your windows, they say it’s best to wait for a cloudy day so you can see the streaks. Use store-bought glass cleaner or make your own. Some of the concoctions I’ve heard of over the years are – mix water with a squirt of dish washing liquid or one part vinegar and two parts water. Also use a newspaper instead of the rag (streaks). You probably want to use gloves though, so the ink doesn’t get on your hands

– Window blinds can be wiped down with a microfiber cloth you can also try using your vacuum if you have a brush attachment.

– Window treatments are another story. Some can be vacuumed only, some can be washed but most of them probably need a professional cleaner- hopefully you can still read the direction label!

– Wash walls down some or vacuum in the corners and baseboards for cobwebs or maybe you need a new paint job..

– It’s time to dust your ceiling mounted light fixtures and fans thoroughly

– Wipe down your kitchen cabinets, replace any ripped drawer liners that are ripped, it’s also time to go through all your contents and decide what you want to keep and what you want to donate. Reorganize the items that you’re keeping.

– Move your refrigerator out and gently vacuum the coils behind or underneath.

– Do the same with your closet. Donate clothes that you haven’t worn for over two years. Time to dust off the boots and bring out all the clothes for the cooler season.

– We’re coming up on when the time change so now’s a good time to make sure your smoke detectors have new batteries

– Your furnace filter should be changed regularly but if you haven’t replaced your filter in the past three months – Do it replace it now!

– Inspect the weather-stripping on the doors and windows

– It’s a good time to check and clean your gutters and downspouts if you have any. Also since the weather is cooling down your yard and your bushes should be in top shape

– Drain any and all garden hoses and store, the office will shut off the sprinkler system

– Your patio furniture should get a good cleaning at least once a year.  Living in Florida we don’t have to store unless you want to

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Tenant Benefit Package

The new Tenant Benefit Package took effect on Oct 1st, as our tenants know. This new service is a great feature for renters and provides the opportunity for to better your credit, set up utilities, and get (free) stuff.

One of the changes is the filter shipments that are made to the property. They were previously made monthly. We have no integrated to quarterly shipments. The shipment will now contain 3 months worth of filters.

Once change is the dissolution of the Annual Technology fee of $36. This is no longer an up front cost. We have packaged this cost in the price of the Benefit package in an effort to reduce up front costs associated with renting.

The multiple payment methods is also available to tenants. Online payment options are via credit or debit card, or with the E- check option. This E-check option has no processing fee associated with it. Tenants may still lose the privilege to pay online if there is to many late payments, or if there is an NSF payment made, it is immediately revoked.

Our software allows for automatic rent reporting to the credit bureau. When you pay on time, you are putting in the effort to raise your credit score and you might not even know it.

You are also allowed 1 late fee forgiveness and 1 NSF fee forgiveness. Late fees are 10% of the rent collected, and this allows one time waiving of this charge.

The new Package starts on new leases and at renewal time for any lease beginning on or after October 1, 2020. Check out the new Tenant Benefit Package page under the tenant drop down for more info.

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After Hurricane

All tenants are asked to submit maintenance requests with pictures attached for damages sustained after the recent hurricane.

If you are no able to submit a request through online portal, we ask that you email or text over the information.

We are working hard to get all work orders taken care of as soon as possible, but as you can probably imagine, our vendors, and others are all getting swamped with requests for work.

We are handling emergencies first, and then the rest will follow after.

We have heard from most tenants, but we have some that we have not heard from yet. If you have not contacted our office, please make sure to do so. We would like to know you and your family are safe, and if there is anything that needs to be taken care of at the location.

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Hurricane Season

With a close call this week, our tenants and owners are concerned about another potential storm hitting our area.

Barrons Property Managers emailed all tenants last week about what to do in case a hurricane does come to our area.

All outdoor sports equipment, potted plants and flowers, lawn furniture, and other outdoor items are to be brought inside the home, garage, or shed.

Tenants are not permitted to install storm shutters or boards. If the owner of the property wishes for them to be installed, BarronsPM will have a licensed vendor complete this task. They will also remove them once safe to do so.

In the event a tenant feels the need to evacuate the area due to a storm, they are directed to follow the guidelines in the tenant handbook. This handbook is emailed to all tenants at move in and at every renewal thereafter. It is also available 24/7 on our website under the tenant dropdown button.

For properties with no shutters, owners have asked for estimates to be prepared. Most of the time, when a storm is forcasted to our area, it is too late to ask for shutters or boards. Any Owner wanting to acquire shutters or boards, are asked to do so before the season starts.

Email is a very important means of communication for BPM. It allows us to generate and email owners, tenants and vendors in a short period of time. Please make sure to regularly check your email and to update the email on file.

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COVID Update

Our office is taking ample measures to ensure that everyone is being safe during this challenging time.

Our leasing system has been mostly unaffected. We are still showing properties to any perspective tenants via our lock box system, Rently. This allows perspective tenants to view the property anytime between 9 am – 5 pm daily, without meeting someone or coming into contact with someone of another household.

We are still taking all calls and answering emails as normal and processing applications and placing deposits has also carried on as normal. Any documents needing signing and any funds that are to be paid can be done electronically to further prevent contact with others.

Maintenance has mostly resumed normal procedures, with the exception of those who are in quarantine, or are suspected of having COVID-19.

Our tenants will already know that we have temporarily paused late fee posting during this time to assistant our tenants in getting back on their feet.

Meeting new owners are able to be done remotely via Zoom meetings or phone conferences.

Our office is being overloaded with communications of all kinds, so to make sure we answer everyone’s questions in a timely manner, please make sure to leave a voicemail if you call and to allow 24 hours for emails to be answer.

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