14 popular apartment amenities to look for when renting

Struggling to find the right apartment for your needs? Why not start with an amenities inventory?

Amenities are features of a building that you wouldn’t expect to find everywhere. The more amenities a building has, the more likely it will gain a competitive edge in attracting prospective tenants.

When you are apartment/house hunting, you should keep in mind which amenities are most important for your lifestyle. This will be your home for months, even years, therefore a thorough background search is very important.

The following is a list of amenities we have compiled which you should always look out for:

Clean water supply

Water is life. Never settle in a place where there is no proper supply of clean water. You might end up spending a lot of money buying water from outside sources, which in real sense is your right as a tenant.

Lighting/Electricity

In this day and age, nobody deserves to stay in the dark because of the lack of electricity. It is important to check whether your new house has a proper installed lighting system before moving in.

Security

Nobody fancies staying in an area that is prone to insecurity issues. You should choose a house in an area that is secure and is well guarded to prevent cases of robbery.

Space

The house of your choice should be spacious enough to accommodate all your belongings. There should also be outdoor space or a rooftop to air linen or for those days you just need to chill and relax outside of your house.

On-site staff

Rental houses must have on-site staff like administrators or care-takers within the premises to serve tenants. They will be a lifesaver whenever something breaks down in your apartment or you need a favour, and also act as a source of security. Having someone that can come up and fix something right away will streamline your life.

Safe parking

For those who own cars, abundant safe parking is a necessity. You will sleep a lot better knowing your car is safe and protected, rather than leaving it outside on the street or a nearby garage.

Network

You should not choose an apartment in a remote area with little or no network coverage. This can be problematic especially in cases of emergency when you can’t contact your loved ones.

Playground for kids

Playtime is mandatory for children. No child wants to stay cooped up in the house all day. Your apartment of choice should have a safe and secure playground for kids to interact and play freely.

Emergency exit

It is very important to ensure your apartment has an emergency exist in cases of fires or other accidents.

 Nearby mall/shops/grocery stores

You don’t want to live in an area too remote that there are no shops or stores nearby, or where you have to use means of transport to access services. Some apartments have shops or mini supermarkets downstairs. These are incredibly useful, especially if you don’t have a car. If you can get your groceries downstairs in a matter of minutes, not only can you buy fresh food several times a week, but also skip the hassle of lugging around heavy bags.

 Laundry area

There should be a space where tenants can do their laundry outside the comfort of their own houses, for those who prefer the outdoors while chatting and interacting. It should also have enough space and hanging lines to air out linen.

 Easy trash removal and disposal

You don’t want to stay in an apartment without a proper trash removal method. Imagine if everyone just threw out their trash just anywhere. A proper disposal method ensures order and cleanliness and also curbs the outbreak of diseases like cholera.

Proximity to schools/hospital/church

You should look out for social amenities like schools, hospitals and churches. These are crucial when house hunting.

Furnished units

Depending on your needs, you should look out for modern furnishings in a house. Could be simple things like furnished countertops, faucets, tiled floors, self-contained rooms and storage spaces like shelves in the kitchen and closets for easy storage of clothes in the bedroom.

There are so many things to consider when house hunting. Which amenities are valued most by renters also depends on their age group and lifestyle. Family people, college kids, retirees may not lookout for the same amenities when choosing an apartment.

And again, it’s very rare indeed to find a building that has all the mentioned 14 amenities, and some might not be crucial to you. However, it’s good to have those that are important to you in mind, so that you can look for them before you sign a lease.

Since you’ll probably need to prioritize, one way to do so might be to make a list of needs and wants, making sure a place has all of your “needs” before you seriously consider it.

Happy apartment hunting!

Things to consider when choosing whom to share an apartment with

There isn’t a major life decision that doesn’t require deep scrutiny. Part of what makes us human is the ability to be radical. We are not animals, we just don’t rush into things without having to think first. Be it what to wear, what career/business path to follow, where and what to study, where to live and even what to eat.

There are factors that need to be put into consideration.

Take choosing a roommate for example. I’d compare it to choosing a life partner. This is someone you’re going to spend a whole lot of time with; sleeping near, sharing space and sharing a life together. Whether it’s a total stranger or your bosom buddy, you just don’t allow them into your space without a few considerations.

A roommate is someone who has the potential to ruin or make your life, and below is a list of factors to consider when choosing one;

1. Trust

If you’re gonna share an apartment with someone, it should be with someone you trust. Become a detective. Find out what kind of person they are, ask around and even ask for referees if need be, because you just might put up with a serial killer or a thief.

2. Bills

Before you have someone over, you should discuss money. Let everyone mention their capability so as to decide who caters for what bill; rent, electricity, water etc. Are you going to cost share or are you going to assign a certain bill to either one of you? And this should be put on paper. This is an important factor to eliminate any future differences in cases of late payment or total absconding.

3. Cleanliness

There is nothing that tears a friendship faster than cleaning up after another. Untidy people are simply intolerable. Nobody likes to come home to the smell of dirty dishes and laundry or picking up dirty socks in the living room. It is important to live with someone who is responsible for their own property and tidy as well because at the end of the day you just wanna come home to a clean and organized space. It’s therapeutic.

4. Sleeping habits

I think it’s important to ask about sleeping patterns and habits. Sleep is important. Imagine sharing a space with someone who snores, or sleep-talks or sleep-walks. It can be annoying. You could be used to sleeping early and waking up early or late, and there comes someone with insane insomnia. They want to work throughout the night or watch movies then sleep in the wee hours of the morning. This can greatly affect your sleeping pattern hence messing you up psychologically.

5. Love life

Does your potential roommate have a partner or are they dating?  Maybe you are the one with an active love life. It is important to discuss this so as you don’t interfere with each other’s space and eventually ruining things for either of you. There should be ground rules set on how to go about your love life without abusing each other’s kindness and personal space.

6. Schedule

Whether working or studying, having different schedules should be key. You cannot have the same schedules because it will mean that you will always be together, giving room for frequent conflicts and eventually you will get tired of each other. Imagine always being together, suffocating right?

7. Communication

Before becoming rroommates there should be communication. Freely and without fear. If something alarms you, say it. If you sense something off, don’t be afraid to say it. Even after putting up, communication is key. It’s just like any other relationship. Both parties should be able to communicate when they are uncomfortable with something when they feel sick when they are staying up late or staying somewhere else when they are wronged and even when they feel that it’s time to move out.

If it were up to us, we could live alone and drown in the warm feeling of the luxury that is having our own space all to ourselves. As someone who thrives in peace and solitude, I would love to have my own place. But sometimes things don’t always work out as planned.

Sometimes finances hit us hard. And sometimes we would love to live with our buddies or people we know, but then we get stuck with total strangers. It’s always good to be positive. If you consider the above factors, you should be able to live a smooth life, and who knows, you may end up forming a long-lasting and meaningful friendship.

Happy roommate hunting!

Written by: Michelle Nzilani ( Actuate Digital, Blogger)

Hospitality Security Guidelines: Ways to keep your hotel guests safe

There are many factors to think about when you run a hotel. Firstly, depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be a variety of ways in which you can make your establishment stand out from the crowd. You’ll have to carry out a lot of research of nearby properties in order to see what is working for competitors.

You have to figure out your target audience and discover the best way to make a a return on your investment. Figuring out your unique selling point is key to succeeding. However, one aspect which must be the same throughout every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we look at how you can correctly safeguard your hotel:

Electric

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is crucial to anyone who runs, or plans to run, a hotel or guest house. This is because, since your business is constantly running, your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. Such a report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose.

You limit the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents by regularly running these checks, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace – something which is a legal requirement since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Gas

Like electric, your business gas and appliances require regular checks to be carried out. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that you must arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.

In addition, make sure you provide training to staff members on how to safely use any gas appliances. You should also show them how to carry our visual checks, so they can spot obvious faults. This could include any damaged pipework or connections. While any new installations must be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, anyone can change a LPG gas cylinder or hose once they are competent to do so.

Carbon monoxide and dioxide alarms are also essential. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.

Staff uniform

While this probably sounds like it doesn’t need mentioning, having a corporate uniform is a must. Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but it also gives your guests a clear view of who they can approach about a query, and who indeed is allowed in certain areas of the business. In guest areas, knowing who members of staff are is essential. This is because it shows that your company have guests’ safety at the forefront due to staff always patrolling the areas.

Have a clear emergency response plan

Your team must know what their role is in the event of an emergency. Regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency services should be scheduled so you have a good communication plan in place and can update it as and when required. In doing so, you can prepare your staff so that everyone is calm and knowledgeable in a worst-case scenario.

The director of hotel group, Cairn, Aneil Handa, said: “We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes.”

CCTV

Instil confidence in your guests by installing CCTV cameras. IP CCTV systems are a great way to monitor your hotel and can even be accessed remotely. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means that if you spot any wrong-doing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions.

Online data

The physical safety of your guests shouldn’t be your sole focus, either. Hotels have become a prime target for cyber attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches, with many of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.

Reduce this risk by updating your systems on a regular basis. You should also be making sure that backing up your data becomes a habit, so you can eliminate the risk of losing it or having it irretrievably damaged. A recommended strategy is to use a cloud service daily, have weekly server backups, and follow these up with quarterly server backups and then yearly backups.

Just as is the case with your personal devices, password security is also important. Be sure to change it often and make sure you change it any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.

The safety of your guests in the hospitality industry is huge. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.

Source: Victory Security

 

3 Things Guests Really Expect

3 Things Guests Really Expect From A Serviced Apartment

If you find yourself owning a serviced apartment, we are going to look at some of the things that your guests are looking for.

Everything to be cleaned

It would defeat all reasoning if your apartments are dirty. Cleanliness is one of the biggies. One of the most common expectations you will receive from guests is for the apartment they’re moving into to be cleaned thoroughly.

This calls for the use of professional cleaning companies which caters for steam cleaning the carpet.

Carry out repair work before the guests arrive

Any repair works or maintenance issues with the apartment should be rectified before your new guest moves in. It can be an inconvenience for guests to take time off their apartments to allow room for workmen to visit the apartment to sort out any issues, so it’s best to get them seen to as soon as the previous guest moves out.

Ample space

Guests among many other reasons, pay for space. That is why they will choose to check in a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment. Whether you’re renting an apartment to couples or to families, everyone requires ample space.