Tenant Handbook

Tenant Handbook

 

Tenant Handbook

 

Paying Rent

 

Rent is due on the 1st of the month and is considered late on the 5th. Please refer to your lease for specific late payment penalties. We accept rent in several convenient methods.

By far the easiest method is to pay your rent online. Please refer to your details of how to pay your rent online by visiting your unique tenant portal on our website. You can also use the online portal to stay on top of your current/upcoming charges and (once you have been using it for a while) your payment history. The service is included in your Resident Benefits Package – it comes at no additional cost to you. Consider the following benefits of paying your rent online:

  • Security. Online payments are much more secure than mailing a check. You will receive an email notification when your payment is made that you can keep for your records and you can sign up for email reminders that your rent is coming due.
  • Speed. Online payments post to your account immediately - faster than if you mail a check or use an online bill payment service. They are even faster than if you drop a check off at our office!
  • Convenience. View your charges and make payments online, anytime, and from anywhere. No more paper checks, envelopes, stamps, or unnecessary “out of your way” trips to our office to drop off a check. You can even set up a recurring payment, so your rent is paid automatically – no more worrying about forgetting to pay your rent on time or dealing with late fees!

Before you can pay your rent online, you will need to activate your account. You'll be receiving an activation email from us shortly. The email will contain a link that you will need to click on so you can set up your account. Keep an eye out for that email. Make sure to check your spam folder and/or junk mail filters to ensure it does not accidentally wind up there. You can also mail your rent to our main office;

11051 Gatewood Drive Bradenton, FL 34211.

 

Do not mail or drop your rent check at any of our other branches. Rent will not be accepted. If this results in rent not being received at the main office by the 4th of the month you will be assessed late fees.

 

Rent may be paid by personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. We will not accept cash Make checks payable to: Gulf Coast Property Management. Please ensure you write your name and rental address on your check/money order every time to ensure that you are properly credited with the payment. We cannot be responsible for misplacing any monies incorrectly identified.

 

Maintenance

 

Non-Urgent Maintenance

The best method to report routine maintenance is via your unique tenant portal. As an alternative, you may contact our dedicated maintenance line on (941) 213-4000

You must be prepared to schedule a time and be available to let our technician(s) into the property or allow Gulf Coast Property Management staff members, or approved contractors to enter in your absence.

You are responsible for securing any pets that the technician may encounter on their visit to the property.

A charge of $100 per visit will be levied if you are not available for a scheduled appointment or your pets are not secured.

 

Emergency Maintenance

We consider emergency maintenance to be an issue that puts property and safety in jeopardy. Think Fire blood or flood If you experience a true emergency please contact 911. Following that please call our maintenance number (941) 213-4000, and someone will be able to assist you.

 

Recurring Maintenance

If your lease includes recurring services like lawn care or pool care, rest assured these services are being maintained on a schedule that is agreed either between the landlord and the vendor or Gulf Coast and the vendor. Occasionally these services will not be performed on regularly scheduled days due to weather or other extenuating circumstances. However, if you are concerned that your service has not been performed and it has been over a week since your regular service day, please let your rental manager know and they will look into the issue.

If you have a vendor servicing your pool, please be sure to leave the screen door unlocked and the pool free of pool toys to allow the vendor to perform service most efficiently.

If you have a vendor servicing your yard, please be sure to leave your yard free of toys or anything that could potentially be a hazard. Please be sure to pick up after your pet.

 

Care and Use Information

 

The following information has been gathered in response to requests from residents looking for guidelines at move-in and move-out times. If you have questions about the use and care for items not on this list, please call Gulf Coast Realty and Management.

Most of our properties have care manuals for appliances provided by the owners. Please refer to them first whenever there is a problem. Answers are often found in these guides.

Air Conditioner and Heater Maintenance

  • All tenants are responsible for cleaning or replacing the air handler filter(s) throughout the year. As part of your Resident Benefits Package Filters are delivered to you at the beginning of your occupancy, and again upon renewal. Problems caused by failure to clean/replace the filter may be the tenant’s responsibility.
  • Dust can accumulate at air return vents as well as fan vents. A small broom brushed across the vents opening will clear away any dust and help the furnace or fan operate efficiently.

Gas Water Heaters

  • If your residence has a gas water heater, it is prudent to turn off the gas at the unit when the residence is vacant for more than 30 days. On any gas appliance, new and old, if the pilot light goes out you may detect a gas odor, which should dissipate in a few minutes after airing out the room. If the odor persists, call your local gas company immediately.

Power, Furnace and Hot Water Outages

  • If the power fails in your unit or house, first check to see if the whole area is without power. If it is out in the area, chances are the electric company already knows about it, but you can try calling them to report it.
  • If the power is only out in your house/unit, check the circuit breaker box. One or more circuits may be tripped, and you may see the switches in the off position. If no switch is off turn each switch off, then on to reset the circuits. If this doesn’t solve the problem, call your local electric company.

Drains

  • AVOID letting food, hair, and excess soap get down the drains.
  • Clogged drains caused by hair, grease and soap are the tenant’s responsibility. Some dishwashers will clog from food left on the dishes when put in the machine.
  • An excellent drain cleaning/clearing recipe is: 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, followed by 8 cups of boiling water. We recommend performing this treatment monthly to avoid build-up.
  • Hardware stores carry “hair catchers” to place in sink and tub drains that significantly help keep drains free of hair.

Garbage Disposals

  • ALWAYS run water while the disposal is operating to avoid damage to the unit. Let the water run long enough to grind all the material in the disposal. Then let the water run for 10-15 seconds after turning off the disposal. Learn to recognize the sound the machine makes when completely free of garbage.
  • Disposals are designed to grind up organic items only. Exceptions include: banana peels, artichoke leaves, celery stalks, flower stems, coffee grounds, bones, or any item that particularly tough. NEVER put paper, plastic, glass, aluminum foil or grease in the disposal.
  • ALWAYS be sure to check the power switch (usually under the sink), try the reset button (somewhere on the machine), and remove all contents before calling for maintenance.

Refrigerator Coils/Drip Pans

  • Keep coils on refrigerators (especially freezers) free of dust.
  • Coils need free air flowing around them to operate efficiently. Failure to keep coils clean may cause the appliance motor to burn out. The replacement of a burned-out motor due to dirty coils may be the tenant’s responsibility.
  • Some refrigerators have drip pans under them. If not kept clean, the pans can start to develop a strong odor.
  • Please take the time to get acquainted with the appliances in your unit.

Oven Racks and Pans

  • The easiest way to clean oven racks and pans is to put them in a heavy-duty garbage bag (do this outdoors), add 2 cups of ammonia and seal the bag. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then carefully open the bag (without inhaling the strong odor). Remove racks and pans and the grease will wipe off with very little effort.

Plumbing Fixtures

  • NEVER use abrasives on brass or gold fixtures.
  • It is best to wipe fixtures clean after each use.
  • If brass needs to be polished, please use a product specifically designed for use on brass.
  • Many homes and apartments have low-flow toilets. We strongly recommend that you keep a plunger nearby. Low-flow toilets tend to clog or back up if too much paper, etc. is flushed.
  • Tenants must be prepared to plunge the toilet to clear clogs and avoid damage from over-flows.

Water Damage

  • Tenants must take care to avoid water damage caused by allowing water to sit on counters and floors.
  • Care must be taken to ensure that shower curtains are inside the tub, and that shower doors are completely closed when taking a shower. Water on tile floors can seep through the grout and cause dry rot on the floorboards below. Water can also seep around the edges on linoleum and damage the flooring below. We recommend putting something such as a mat, towel, or rug on the floor to keep these areas dry to prevent damage.
  • Water can easily be splashed into the space behind the faucet in the kitchen or bath and damage the counter surface. Please be sure to keep these areas dry to prevent damage.

Sliding Glass Door, Screen Doors and Shower Tracks

  • It is imperative that dirt and debris regularly be cleaned out of sliding door tracks. Rolling over dirt, leaves, and pine needles that frequently accumulate in the tracks can damage the wheels on sliding doors, especially the heavy glass sliders. Please make it part of your cleaning routine to clear tracks.
  • Please do not use oil or WD40 to lubricate slider doors or screens. Lubricants only attract dirt and gum up the wheel mechanisms.

Mold

  • Bleach is the best product for removing mold that forms around the edges of showers, tubs, on tile walls, around metal windows, and anywhere there is moisture. The easiest way to remove mold is to cut paper towels in half and fold them into one-inch strips. Dip each strip into the bleach bottle and hold your finger against it as you draw it out. Lay the bleach-soaked strips directly on the mold and leave them there for several hours. It works like magic. Remember to use rubber gloves, and air out affected rooms.

House Plants

  • Be sure drip pans are kept under all plants. Water run-off will stain or damage most surfaces.

Kitchen Counters

  • To avoid costly damage from nicks and cuts in counter tops, please use a cutting board at all times.

Ceramic Tile-Molded Tub and Shower Walls

  • Dilute 1-part white vinegar in 5 parts water for cleaning all ceramic tiles and molded fixtures.
  • NEVER use scrubbing compounds such as comet or AJAX on molded fixtures, as these products will permanently scratch the surfaces.

Mini Blinds

  • When cleaning mini blinds, don’t soak them-the finish may bubble and peel. Spray them with a mild soap and water solution and wipe them. Weekly dusting or wiping can save a lot of work later.

Smoke Detectors

  • Tenants are responsible for keeping fresh batteries in smoke detectors. We recommend changing batteries at the beginning and end of daylight savings time.

Wood Decks/Porches

  • Potted plants and flowers add beauty and appeal to a property. If you have planters or pots, please put “feet” under them so that they are raised up off the deck a few inches to allow air flow beneath the pot, and to prevent water run-off from rotting the deck.

Hardwood Floors

  • NEVER use a mop for cleaning or applying oil. Use a soft cloth only. It is best to sweep and dust regularly.
  • Kitchen areas only: once every 3 months’ clean floors with a small amount of vinegar in water.
  • Periodically clean floors with Murphy’s oil following the directions on the label.
  • Use throw rugs in front of the sink and the stove to protect these areas from water and grease.

Marble and Granite

  • NEVER use any acidic or abrasive cleaning products including vinegar.   It is best to use warm water and a sponge with a small amount of dishwashing liquid, such as Dawn or Joy.
  • Marble is a porous material. Be careful that water run-off from plants is not left standing on the surface. It will permanently stain the marble.

 

Smoking Policy

  • All homes are considered non-smoking.
  • If there are smokers in the residence, please provide adequate disposal remedies to prevent potential hazards and unsightly debris.

Locked Out?

  • It’s a good idea to leave a spare set of keys with a friend or neighbor. However, if you hide the keys and they are discovered, the locks should be changed, and it will have to be at your cost.
  • Be sure to carry all your door keys (handled and deadbolt) with you. When technicians are authorized to enter a property to make a repair, they are required to secure the premises when they leave. That includes setting the deadbolts or locks whether you set them or not.

What if I need to make a claim against my renters’ insurance?

  • If you are paying a monthly fee for us to carry your renters insurance and you need to make a claim, please contact Arcana Insurance: claims@arcanainsurance.com or 877-837-2066

 

Changes to my Lease

 

Changes to your lease may be allowed, however this will require additional work and a charge will be applied.

Adding an Occupant

  • You will need to contact your property manager to ensure your residence will allow for an additional occupant.
  • Should an additional occupant be granted, they must complete a rental application and be approved.
  • If there is an applicable homeowner’s association, their application process must also be followed.
  • There will be a fee to add an additional occupant.

Removing an Occupant

We do not remove occupants from leases. If one of the occupants moves out, they will remain responsible for the rent for the term of the lease.

What if I want to get a pet or add an additional pet?

  • You will need to contact your property manager to ensure your residence will allow for a pet.
  • Should a pet be granted, you must complete the pet application, provide the appropriate documentation and pay a fee to add the pet.

What if I want to break my lease?

  • You will need to contact your property manager as soon as you are aware of the potential to need to break your lease.
  • Your property manager will discuss our early termination process with you. The goal is to ensure the owners asset is protected while working together to find a replacement tenant.
  • If it is permitted there will be an additional cost associated with re-leasing the property.

 

Utility and Service Directory

 

The easiest method of setting up utilities is through our utility Concierge, Citizen Home Solutions. If you prefer to do this yourself here are some useful numbers.

Manatee County

Cable, Phone, and Internet:                                      

  • Spectrum (941) 748-1822
  • Comcast (941) 371-6700
  • Direct TV 800-280-4388 or 800-531-5000
  • Verizon 800-483-4000

Water:                                                             

  • Manatee Utilities (941) 792-8811
  • AMS Billing Services 877 358-1253
  • Nat’l Exemption Services 800-488-1748
  • City of Palmetto (941) 723-4580
  • City of Bradenton Utilities (941) 932-9434

Electric:                                                                 

  • Florida Power and Light (941) 917-0708
  • Peace River Electric 800-282-3824

Gas:                                                                 

  • TECO/Peoples Gas 877-832-6747

Sarasota County

Cable, Phone, and Internet:                                      

  • Comcast (941) 371-6700
  • Direct TV 800-280-4388 or 800-531-5000
  • Verizon 800-483-4000

Water                                                               :

  • Sarasota County Environmental Services (941) 861-6790
  • City of Sarasota Utilities (941) 954-4197

Electric:                                                          

  • Florida Power and Light (941) 917-0708

Gas:                                                                 

  • TECO/Peoples Gas 877 832 6747