Thursday, April 30, 2015

How To Manage Loud Parties In Boston

This article will help define how property managers can help turn a negative situation into a positive opportunity to communicate with student residents. 

How To Deal With House Parties At Your Property

The spring season in Boston is a special time of year for many reasons:
  1. The weather temperatures finally begin to warming up after a harsh cold winter
  2. The Boston faithful get to see their beloved Red Sox take the field again at Fenway Park. 
  3. The clock's change to Daylight Savings Time positively affects your mood from seeing sunlight and less grey skies. 
  4. College kids are begin to leave the city towards their permanent out-of-town residents for the summer. 
As you would expect, students in your Boston property management will be celebrating the last of their final exams for the academic year with a party to remember just how sweet it is to live away from their parent's house.

In this article we will explain how to effectively communicate with your college-aged tenants. As students prepare for the end of their lease, get ready to talk with your young tenants about the consequences of having a party with their friends on your property. 

Building A Positive Relationship With Young Tenants

Open communication is important for everyone involved. 

Chances are that you were once a kid looking for fun and enjoying life by not having to answer to your parents as well. Be approachable and understanding of their situation and remember that when you tell a kid to not do something, they are likely going push the risk to the limit and see how far they can go.

It's best to meet your college-aged tenants half way by letting them have their fun to an extent. Here are a few suggested communication methods to effectively notify your tenants about the parameters of living in your property:
  • Detail The Guest Policy In The Lease- Make sure that upon the beginning of their lease that each tenants knows how many people are allowed at once within their rented unit. When you keep it in writing, and quantify the amount of people that are allowed at once, they can never say they never knew beforehand about how many people they should have as guests. 
  • Ramifications for Damage To The Property- The security deposit is a coveted check amount that both landlords and tenants use for coverring any future mishaps within their rental unit. If there is any damage to the rental property, the security deposit is subject to being decreased upon the return to the tenant at the end of the lease. Or if the cost of the damage exceeds the amount of the security deposit when they come in, let the tenants know that they will not get it back at the end of their lease. Also, let the tenant(s) know they are responsible for their guest's damage to the property or injuries from being inebriated in the party make them liable as well.
  • Set A Benchmark For Neighbor Complaints, Or Else- Living in off-campus housing means that there will be neighbors next door, or in the apartment unit below the tenant holding the party. The best way to let those neighbors know that a party will take place on a certain date is to give them a couple days notice. Also make sure that you and the tenants give the neighbors your phone numbers to call or text you if it gets too loud. If the tenant doesn't adhere to multiple complaints, make sure that you get the Boston Police Department to come and tell everyone to leave. The purpose of this BPD Party Line is to give residents direct contact for reporting the occurrence of loud parties, and to have them come to calm down the noise.   
  • Social Media - Be the "cool" landlord that is privy to social media to connect with your tenants. Some landlords are deemed as either "slumlords" for their lack of maintenance on call for any problems their tenants experience. And there are some other who are considered "helicopter" landlords that never go away, hovering over their property as much as they can. Or some seem out of touch with their tenants for a lack of communication skills. Certainly you want to ensure your return on investment, but being the "cool" landlord can help you keep your tenancy rate high, with great referrals from your current tenants to potential new ones via social media. That way there is a trail that can be tracked online about your property and landlord reputation.  When the landlord and tenant are in good standing with one another, this could lead to positive reviews in the future when the tenants decide to move to another rental apartment or condo, and require a positive review from the previous landlord. 

Final Thoughts: Have you dealt with a tenant who partied too much?

Have you dealt with any tenants that refuse to comply with the terms of your lease regarding guests or parties? Or if you are a tenant, how did you handle your relationship with your landlord to make sure that you can stay on an even keel with your landlord, roommates, and neighbors in your rental unit? Tell us your thoughts. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

10 Things You Need to Know About Living In Boston

What It's Like to Live In Boston

Living through all four seasons within the Greater Boston area is similar in order to be consider that you have a true cultural understanding of the city has to offer. The city natives are quite geocentric, proud to be from The Hub while scoffing at the thought of living in any other city in the world.

So what makes Boston so special to the native and transplants here? 

The purpose of this article and quasi-checklist is to breakdown how you know you're like a Boston resident and native. Maybe you have dealt with a rude bus driver, train conductor, or fellow commuter on the road that yells obscenities to other on the road like they are terms of endearment to excuse themselves as they illegally pass you on the right.

Either way, we have plenty of characteristics that detail what it's like to live in Beantown. 

Some of the Traits of Living In Boston

1. Acting Too Bold For The Cold - The Boston area only gets warm weather about 4 out of 12 months of the year, normally during the spring and summer seasons. Even during that short third of the year may have cool temperatures that do not define those seasons outright around Beantown. So to continue with our routines, Boston residents look to upstage Mother Nature by withstanding harsh cold winds, and act like it's warm when they see sunshine amidst mounds of snow in the sidewalks and streets. Gymtime during a State of Emergency? No problem to Boston residents. Patriots Championship parade during the beginning of the worst winter on record? Check! Going to nightclubs without coats to look more macho or more feminine with just spaghetti-string shirts and high-heels with no leggings to protect yourself from the searing winds within the narrow streets of the Financial and Theatre Districts? Yes, indeed. Whatever it takes to look more "cool," even if cool matches the sub-freezing temperature weather.

2. Bostonians Know Too Much About Sports - Renowned cultural critic and author Noam Chomsky once stated about the way the American voting system is set up, it leaves little room for change anyway by its citizens. But instead, they resort more to having their expertise in sports as an alternative upon their apathy of politics and world affairs. No other city is this notion more apparent than Boston. Whether it's communicating in-depth with our Beantown dwellers about the bullpen of the current Red Sox roster, acting like we just left a funeral of a loved one when the Patriots lose in the Superbowl, whining about the Celtics bench and their front office decisions, or Bruins fans flooding MBTA trains and doning their jerseys on the way to the TD Garden arena at North Station, Boston has always been a sport junkie's heaven. And it will always keep that trait in play.

3. Academic Intellectuals - Perhaps you can cite Boston nearing the top of the annual polls of all the major U.S. cities as the "smartest" cities on the map. The Hub is the East Coast center for intelligensia, with the constant influx of  millions from across the globe to enroll in the hundreds of colleges and universities to socially mobilize themselves for their careers and socioeconomic status. It's also a hotbed for tech startup companies businesses started by graduates of these same academic institutations within the city limits, and even tech and Internet juggernauts Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have recently launched divisional offices in Cambridge's Kendall Square area, Also, if you are not a scholar that rubs shoulders with Harvard or MIT professors, other renowned authors and intellectuals who live or frequently visit the city. 

4. Loud College Parties/Students - In continuum of the previous bullet point, young adults have the most buying power in the city of Boston because most of them are college kids, and 60% of them are coming from out-of-state to attend college or work. The city caters to events and these kids, which gives them the sense of entitlement once they are out of their parent's house to live in close quarters with their peers on or off-campus. When you get kids together, music, and alcohol and other party elements, this garners loudness and obnoxiousness at times that older residents just have to deal without choice.

5. Living in the Allston/Brighton Area At Least Once - Being the backyards for some of the city's biggest colleges and universities B.U., B.C., Northeastern, Harvard, M.I.T., and Bentley to name a few, the Allston/Brighton area is a haven for young adults to live off campus or live and work in their nascent careers in their respective fields. The rent is high, but those areas are abundant for multi-family houses, or apartments with multiple floors that can fit multiple upstarts at once. Thus, moving into and out of this particular area is a rite of passage for any young Boston resident.

6. Lack of Parking Options- If you are a commuter, especially during this past winter 2015, you are well aware of the parking plight throughout the city. We have all witnessed meter maids on the prowl for would-be parking violators, or double checking your choice of parking to beware ourselves getting an orange envelope on your windshield by the time you return to your car. And these meter maids are faster than phantoms to get their quotas fulfilled and making you subjected to reluctantly add your own funds to the city revenue.
7. Rudeness of "Massholes"- If you don't know the colloquial form of Boston speak called "sarcasm," then you may have trouble being happy in this town. Or you will learn that being happy in Boston means acting not too happy for too long, or one-upping a peer or counterpart feel lesser than on their knowledge or experience in a certain topic of discussion. You may have a friend from Boston that you can't tell is either being spunky, or downright condescending in how they speak to you. Or if you are a new resident driving within the Boston city limits, you better get used to hearing a honked horn from the cars behind you a split second after a traffic light turns green if you front the line of cars in that lane. Counterintuitively, rudeness can be considered part of the modus operandi of the city resident's communication lines to stay open.

8. Vowel-driven Accents - The local "slanguage" of Boston is unlike any other city on the map. Boston native say words as if they are speaking with their mouths wide open in a dentist's chair. "Pahk" means park, "Ott," means art, "khed" is a term of endearment (even by middle-aged adults to others within their age group), and "Cawpley Squayah" means Copley Square to give a few examples of the nasal tones in the local form of speech by the Boston faithful. Also, Boston residents love to sing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me," or AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" at a local townie bar.

9. Commercial/Residential Real Estate Developments- If you look around in areas of Boston's downtown area, the Seaport, Allston area, or college campus, there are almost just as many contracts for commercial and residential condo development as corporations that fund new buildings and establishments in Las Vegas. And it will continue as Boston will keeps changing its skyline to match other expensive cities to live within like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. as more industries develop, thrive, and make boatloads of profits.

10. Neo-liberalists Embracing Diversity But Afraid To Address Diversity- Since the 19th century, Boston was always perceived as a progressive-minded city. Yet the city has had a long history of racial undertones that have geographically segregated the city populations ethnicities since that same time period. But all that is changing with the upswing in diversity in the city's population that are now causing a balance between the city's white versus people of color. Today, it's easy to become a neo-liberal in attempt to exonerate oneself from unconscious prejudices against people who may not physically look like you. Those who deny their recognition of a person of color's skin, it makes you wonder if they really are blind, or just choose not to educate themselves about the benefits of diversity by acknowledging the similarities as well as the differences from their own cultural customs. 

Final Thoughts on Living In Boston

What else make your feel like a true Boston resident? How long have you been living in Boston, and what did we miss on this list of Bostonian living traits? Tell us your thoughts.