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Entertainment | 4 Posts
House to Rent | 4 Posts
Property Manager | 15 Posts
Tenants | 2 Posts
Uncategorized | 3 Posts

Accessibility makes Vicary Hill apartments the perfect location for Pikus Real Estate and Property Management to provide you a place to live.

Nestled away off Market Avenue North at the corner of 37th Street Northeast, Vicary Hill apartments offer residents the perfect location to live. Easily accessible to State Route 62 and Interstate 77, Belden Village Mall is minutes away. Equal distance, these apartments are located close to  retail, family-owned businesses and  restaurants at 30th Street Plaza and Washington Square.  

Vicary Hill apartments is surrounding by excellent educational opportunities for school-age children and young adults looking to expand their educational experience. Parents raising young children will be attending Plain Local Schools, where the district places an emphasis on the arts. High school students attending GlenOak High School will be able to choose between AP classes, College Credit Plus and International Baccalaureate classes in addition to college prep and multiple extracurricular activities.

Adults are close to a multitude of undergraduate and graduate school opportunities. Within a 20 minute commute or less, five universities offer undergraduate and graduate classes – Kent State Stark, Malone, Mount Union, Stark State and Walsh. Further up the road and an easy drive is the University of Akron.

Looking to stay physically fit, Vicary Hill sits next Meadowlake Golf & Swim, which offers 18 holes of golf and a public swimming pool.  The Stark Parks Middlebranch Trail offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to walk, run or ride a bike picking up the trail at nearby Martindale Park.

Vicary Hill:
 Vicary Hill includes single apartment units that are 900 square feet and flats that are 1,600 square feet.  The mansion units are comprised of three units. The apartments include a fireplace, guest wing, master bedroom, kitchen, balcony, patio and single car garage. All units come with a membership to the Hall of Fame Fitness Center.  Additionally, units have washer and dryer hook ups, Canton City Water, sewer, trash, lawn service and snow removal. All units are secure and require buzz entry for visitors and no pets are allowed in any building.

  For more information or to see a vacancy on these spectacular units, please call Pikus at 330-417-7525.


One tenant moves out and another tenant is about to move in.  Should the locks be changed? 

"Yes, you should always change the locks before a new tenant moves in, "said Shirley of Pikus Real Estate and Property Management.  "The only person holding a key should be the property manager.  The owner does not want the liability of holding a spare key. 

Pikus said when there is a turnover in tenants, every attempt is made to collect the keys upon move out, but, she said you never know if the tenant made a copy of the key and gave it to other people or not. 

The danger in not changing locks is that if a third party has a key, they have free access to the property.  If there is a theft or worse, the property manager (and owner if they maintain keys) run the risk being sued pending the law in that state. 

Managers need to keep close tabs on the keys to the units.  Tenants should be present whenever repairs are being performed.  In the case that the tenant is not available, it is best to get written permission to pass a key to the vendor performing services.  This key needs to be collected after the repair is complete. 

This is one of the many reasons that people doing work for Pikus Real Estate & Property Management need to be licensed, bonded and insured.  Each of our maintenance crew has more than 10 years experience.  This is an issue we never have to worry about. 

Pikus Real Estate and Property Management's objective in changing locks is keeping the tenants and theowners properties both safe and secure. 

For more information in having Pikus Real Estate and Property Management manage your property, call Pikus at 330-417-7525.


Fair Housing Laws Every Canton Landlord Needs to Know

Fair housing is not optional when you rent a property out to tenants. You're permitted to be highly selective about whom you accept as a tenant, but you cannot discriminate. As a landlord, you need to be familiar with all of the local, state, and federal fair housing laws. They often change, and sometimes they can get complex.

Federal Fair Housing Act

There are seven federally protected classes. You cannot deny an application or treat a tenant differently based on race, color, religion, handicap, sex, familial status, and national origin. Those are the federal classes. The state of Ohio has added two more categories to the state fair housing laws. You also cannot discriminate based on military status or ancestry.

You may think you would never discriminate, and you probably wouldn't intentionally discriminate. However, if you run an ad saying your property is "perfect for single professionals," you could be seen as discriminating against families. Be careful with your advertising, and don't ask questions during the screening process that may require someone to disclose their religion or race.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, also plays a role in fair housing. You cannot deny a tenant who needs a wheelchair or has to put hand rails in the shower for support. You also cannot deny a tenant who has a service animal or an emotional support animal, even if you don't allow pets in your property. The law does not see those animals as pets. They are accommodations that you need to make for a tenant with a disability. You cannot say no to a service animal and you cannot charge a pet deposit or pet rent when they move in.

Avoiding Fair Housing Trouble

Avoiding Fair Housing TroubleIt's a good idea to be selective when you're choosing tenants to live in your property. You want to rent to people who pay rent on time and follow the terms of your lease. Keep your standards high, just make sure you apply them to everyone. It's also a good idea to put them in writing. With written standards, there are no secrets about what you expect in terms of credit score, income, background, and rental history. You can provide these standards to potential tenants before they apply. Then, everyone knows that their applications are being judged the same.

If you need help understanding or keeping up with fair housing laws, contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to help you understand what's required.


Professional Canton Property Manager vs. Self-Managing

There are a couple of good reasons to manage your own investment property. If you understand the rental market and you're up to date on all the laws and requirements involved in renting out a property, you probably have the expertise to effectively manage your home. If you have a lot of free time and you're willing to dedicate that time to your tenants and your properties, self-management might work for you.

However, if you don't know all the landlord/tenant laws and you're not thrilled with phone calls from tenants over the weekend and late at night, you might want to consider hiring a professional property management company.

Professional management can even save you money and increase your ROI.

Experience and Expertise: Property Management Resources

Property managers spend every day working in the real estate industry, getting to know what the market rents are, how the market is trending, and what tenants are looking for in a rental home. When you work with a property manager, you're getting years of experience and a lot of problem solving skills. Late rent payments, vacant properties, and leaking sinks might seem like terrible headaches to you, but for property managers, it's all part of a day's work. You wouldn't give yourself a root canal and you probably wouldn't fix the brakes in your car by yourself. Let professionals do what they do best.

Property Management Saves you Time

Time is of the essence when you're renting out a property. A minor maintenance repair might seem like it can wait for a week or two, but it can't. Your tenants are paying rent, and they expect things to be fixed immediately. You'll need to take the time to prepare your home for the rental market, show your property when it's vacant, collect rent, handle maintenance and repairs, and answer tenant questions. Tenants will need someone to contact if there's an emergency, and if you aren't working with a property manager – that contact person is likely to be you. Protect your time with professional property management.

Property Management Saves you Money

Many property owners bristle at the idea of paying leasing fees and management fees, but smart investors know that professional management actually cuts your expenses and helps you earn more. For example, if you don't know the market well enough to properly price your property, you could lose money by charging too little. You can also lose money by charging too much because it will cause a longer vacancy. Property managers find you better tenants and protect you against the cost of eviction and property damage. You'll get better rates on maintenance due to your management company's relationship with vendors. With a good property manager, you'll earn more and spend less.

Property managers keep you out of trouble. We know the laws and the legal requirements of renting out property, and we also recognize tenants who are trying to get away with something. Individual landlords are far more likely to find themselves in court over fair housing claims or security deposit disputes than landlords who work with property managers.

If you'd like to hear more about why property management is a good idea for your investment property, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management.


Benefits of Technology

Almost everything can be done online today, and this type of digital technology impacts you as a rental property owner. When you're looking for professional property management, make sure you work with a company that embraces and invests in technology. It contributes to a faster, more efficient, and transparent way for us to do business with our owners, tenants, and vendors.

Technology and the Leasing Process

Property managers use technology to advertise and market your home. We take pictures and videos, and we write descriptions to put together a rental listing that reflects all the unique features of your property. Then, we post that on our website and dozens of other websites that tenants are using to find their next rental home. In addition to advertising online, property managers can use technology to help tenants schedule showings, complete and submit applications, and upload any supporting documents that are necessary.

Technology and the Screening Process

Most of the background checks property managers run can be done electronically. We can check criminal records and credit, search for prior evictions, and verify identifying information that prospective tenants submit with their application. It makes the tenant screening process a lot more efficient, and we can give applicants a decision in a matter of days. This saves you money on vacancy and ensures your tenant has been thoroughly screened with nationwide background checks.

Technology and Property Management

Property managers rely on technology with our ongoing, day-to-day management of investment properties as well. When tenants need to make a maintenance request, they can go online and submit the request in writing. This provides airtight documentation. We can track when the request was made, how we responded, and when the repair was actually completed. Tenants can use their online portals to pay rent and communicate with property managers.

As a landlord, you'll get your rent deposited quickly and electronically. There's no need to wait for a check in the mail. Owners can access online accounting statements and follow all of the income and expenses associated with rental properties. We can run reports and identify trends with our property management software.

Technology saves time and money, and everyone can benefit from it. If you have any questions about how to put technology to work for you, or you'd like to hear more about our online property management platform, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management.


Keep Vacancy Rates Low

Nothing will halt your cash flow and drain your ROI like a vacant rental property. It's important to keep rent coming in, and that means finding and keeping good tenants. Before you start working with a property manager, ask about their vacancy rate. A low vacancy rate helps you earn more on your rental property.

High Quality Properties Attract High Quality Tenants

The first tip to avoiding vacancies is to provide a high quality property. If your home is clean, well-maintained, and appealing, you won't have any trouble finding good tenants. Make an effort to prepare your property for the rental market before you show it. Make sure the curb appeal is on point, it's been professionally cleaned, and you have new paint, clean floors, and modern lighting. Make a few inexpensive upgrades and updates to keep the best tenants interested in your home. If your rental property stands out from the competition, you'll keep it rented.

Strategic Marketing and Advertising

When you market your rental home properly, you'll have a shorter vacancy period. The goal is to reach as many qualified tenants as possible, so take good photographs that will get their attention. Post your listing on all the popular rental sites, including Trulia, Zillow, and HotPads. Be responsive when prospective tenants call and ask to see the property. Make sure it's priced competitively for the market. If you price your home too high, good tenants won't be willing to pay that rent. And, you'll lose more money on your vacancy time than you'd lose if you lowered the price to reflect the market rents.

Excellent Tenant Screening

Screen for tenants who are interested in long term rentals. When you're checking landlord references and rental history, consider how long they have stayed in previous homes. If they move every year, there's a good chance they'll move after your lease ends, too. Be selective about who you approve.

Focus on Tenant Retention

Once you have a good tenant in place, keep that tenant there. The best and easiest way to reduce your vacancy rate is with excellent tenant retention. Good tenants will stay where they are if landlords are responsive to their needs. Fix maintenance issues right away, answer any questions that they have, and provide tips and advice about how to lower energy bills, what to do in the neighborhood for fun, and how to prepare for winter. At lease renewal time, be reasonable with rental increases. You don't want to chase away a good tenant by implementing a 10 percent rental increase.

Minimize Turnover Time

Minimize Turnover TimeFinally, minimize your turnover time. When your tenant does give notice to move out, you can immediately begin preparing for your next tenant. Get your painters, cleaners, and other maintenance personnel scheduled, and start thinking about marketing. Then, you won't have to lose a full month of rent.

If you have any questions about how we keep our vacancy rates so low, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to tell you more.


Positive Relationship with Maintenance Vendors

One of the benefits to landlords who work with professional property managers is that we have an extensive network of vendors and contractors who we can call when repairs need to be done at a rental property. As a property owner, you won't have to worry about finding a plumber in the middle of the night when your tenant calls to report the water heater is leaking. We have excellent relationships with some of the best vendors in the Canton area, and those relationships help us keep your property maintained while protecting your budget.

Screening Vendors as Thoroughly as Tenants

Screening vendors is important. Before sending someone out to complete a job for a tenant or an owner, it's important that we're sure the vendor will do high quality work and fix the problem completely. It's important to work with licensed and insured vendors who carry workers compensation insurance for their employees. If you hire any handyman off the street, you place a lot of liability on yourself. If that worker gets hurt at your property and doesn't have insurance, you may be at risk for covering any medical costs. So, get to know vendors and their work before you hire them.

Treat Vendors Professionally and Respectfully

It's important to pay a vendor's invoice right away. These plumbers, electricians, and other professionals are providing you with a valuable and necessary service. We don't want invoices to sit around and go unpaid. You need to have a maintenance budget in place so you're prepared for both routine and complex repairs. Don't micromanage your vendors, either. They know what they're doing, so trust them to get the job done and to let you know if any additional work is recommended.

Benefits of Vendor Relationships

Benefits of Vendor RelationshipsGood vendor relationships benefit everyone. The vendors are happy because they get consistent work from property managers. The owners are happy because their properties are being maintained and the condition of their asset is protected. The tenants are happy because their needs are being met and they don't have to wait around for things to get fixed. This contributes to tenant retention, and saves you money.

If you have any questions about how to find good vendors or how to manage routine, preventative, and emergency maintenance, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to tell you more.


In the spirit of giving, Pikus Real Estate and Property Management adopted a family through Rivertree Christian Church this holiday season. The family is a single mom raising four children ranging in age from newborn to age 10.

"We have all been so fortunate," said Pikus. "I feel so blessed. I believe God has had his hand on our business.  I have always wanted to adopt a family for the holiday, and we are pleased to be in the position to do so this year."

Pikus understands the need at Christmas."Every family has its struggles" said Pikus.  "Life brings ups and downs and my family has been in a position of need in the past.  Building a company is not without risk and expense, it's great to have an opportunity to give back."

My entire team provided gifts for two young boys and two young girls plus funds for a holiday dinner.  This project expanded Pikus' team to include their families in purchasing gifts. The families included team member Aaron Schreck, accountant Brenton Weirich and her maintenance supervisor Robert Mitchell and their families.  Everybody was beyond generous.

"We looked a lot like Santa going into the church with two big sacks of presents," said Pikus.  The lesson went further for Pikus whose five-year-old grandson Johnny went with her to deliver the presents.  A huge stuffed dog was poking out of the Santa pack.   Johnny told the church representative that a little girl who is three will be happy to love this dog.

The goal for Pikus Real Estate and Property Management is to make this an annual event.  "We had fun doing this."

Pikus' growth this year has been through the referrals of local realtors and current clients, and the hard work of our team.  "We are thankful for what we have done this year. We hope to double in size this year and continue to give back the community."