“When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content.” -Niccolo Machiavelli
OWNERS NEWSLETTER – JULY 2018
DROUGHT – Bell County is once again experiencing drought conditions, which current commissioner, Tim Brown, considers dire and severe. We are experiencing a significant rain deficit presently, and for the last week of June, daytime temperatures were one hundred degrees or higher. July and August are typically our hottest months of the year, so it’s likely that conditions will remain hot and dry. Many lawns, trees, and shrubs will suffer under such conditions and some may not recover from a prolonged drought. Slab foundations and underground plumbing are also at risk as our caliche soil contracts from dehydration. If the soil beneath a home becomes too dry and contracts, it can cause the home’s foundation to shift, and damage to walls and ceilings may result. Slab leaks are a common problem in our area since the plumbing lines for most homes are buried under the foundation. In many instances, foundation damage and plumbing leaks do not occur until after the soil rehydrates and expands. We are reminding our renters of the importance of watering their yards and keeping the soil moist around their home’s foundation. As of now, most municipalities have implemented voluntary water conservation measures, which contrary to popular belief amongst some renters does not translate into a watering prohibition.
HOUSEHOLD LIFE EXPECTANCY – One of the many challenges of managing rental property is performing the resolution of security deposits, determining the chargeability of damages, and assigning the appropriate charge for items deemed tenant chargeable. Everything has a life expectancy, and renters and owners are often at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the estimated cost and the life expectancy of household items. We have encountered some renters that believe a full interior painting and complete carpet replacement should occur every time a renter vacates, which for some residents is a very convenient belief if they badly damaged their walls and flooring in twelve short months. On the other hand, some property owners have been shocked upon hearing the news that their eighteen-year old vinyl flooring needs to be changed out or that their twenty-year old water heater has finally died. The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) provides a useful and reliable life expectancy chart for most household items. Here are some examples:
Interior paint – 5 to 10 years Garbage disposal – 10 years
Microwave ovens – 11 years Carpet – 8 To 11 years
Garage door opener – 10 years Toilets – 50 years
Central air conditioners – 15 years Water heater – 15 years
It is important to note that these are averages. The life expectancy of household items can be more or less depending on use, quality, environmental conditions, etc.
SOLDIERS BACK HOME – More than 1,900 soldiers with Fort Hood’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, returned home earlier this month from their nine-month deployment in Europe. The soldiers deployed last October in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.