VOLUME 6RNote from the EditorA few months ago, I received a request to write a letter for a tenant who needed to have surgery. Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can all agree that medical bills are steep. So he decided to get the same medical procedure done overseas in his home country. That left him with an empty rental while he recovered, (cheaper) medical bills, travel costs and still having to pay rent. The property management team didn’t allow subleasing, and he was stuck wondering how to juggle these expenses.

I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I were his landlord or on the management team, but writing his rebuttal letter made me reevaluate subleasing programs such as Airbnb. It was also what sparked the idea for “The Short-Term Sublet Solution for Renters.”

But what happens when a tenant is too quickly trying to sublease and ends up with a nightmare guest? If the landlord allows the sublease, then the tenant will have to take on some responsibility for the results, hence the reason “Subleasing for Renters: Who’s Responsible for Repairs?” became a talking point. If you’re considering being an Airbnb host, you should give this one a read too. Safety is a top priority.

Speaking of safety, as a former condo board member, current condo association member and news enthusiast, I have been keeping tabs on the Miami balcony collapse since the news broke two years ago. It was a memorable tragedy already, but it caught my interest even more because our own condo board worked hard to get a deck violation removed.

Even with basic maintenance, wear and tear happens. I learned so much more about property management from that experience than I ever did as a tenant. While renters have less power than the landlord and/or property manager does when it comes to repairs, that doesn’t mean they can’t speak up when need be. “From Brackets to Rust, Balcony Maintenance Is Key” gives you tips on how to approach your landlord when your rental feels unsafe—inside and outside.

Running straight to local Building Violations departments may not be the way to go initially. Having open, honest communication with your landlord should always be top priority. Your landlord may not even know that a repair is needed. But if an honest conversation and a professional request doesn’t work, it may be time to consider the advice in “Avoid Landlord Retaliation When Reporting Building Violations.”

Finally, in every issue, Go4Rent offers a suggested DIY decor option to make rentals feel a little more like “home.” This time around, we looked at amenities that may save you money. For multi-unit renters, we evaluated whether portable washers and dryers were worth skipping those trips to the laundromat or the basement. Check out “Laundry On the Go.”

Single-family home renters may be curious about “Finding the Best Fireplace for Rentals.” While Texas and Florida traditionally have milder winters, 2022 has been a doozy for ice storms and colder temperatures. Would a fireplace be a solid add-on to heat the home? Find out.

We hope this sixth rental issue answers questions you may already have and some you didn’t even know to ask. Is there a topic you’d like us to talk about? Contact me at shamontiel.vaughn@go4rent.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Shamontiel L. Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief
About Shamontiel:Shamontiel L. Vaughn has been in the publishing industry for 18 years as a newspaper reporter, a web editor, social media specialist and a print editor. Her areas of expertise include K-12 and adult education textbooks; local and nationwide news; and health news. She's also completed approximately 235 interviews in a variety of areas, including business management; entertainment; internet technology; law (entertainment, business and real estate); nursing; and travel. Some of her bylines can be found in the Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune and CBS Chicago.

The unapologetic dog lover also owned two prior dogs (German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever mix) before becoming a two-year dog walker (523 walks with 93 different dogs) and adopting a third dog of her own on Juneteenth 2021: a Hound mix named Junee. When she's not writing, editing or playing with her dog, she's a current condo owner, former condo board president and treasurer, and a five-year officer for a community Toastmasters club.