Cavalier Estates property wear and tear

What Exactly is “Normal Wear and Tear?”

Being a landlord comes with its own set of responsibilities and obligations. Many of these responsibilities are dictated by county and state law. One notable law being Florida’s security deposit laws.

A point of contention between landlords and tenants can be the definition of normal wear and tear and how it impacts the retention of the security deposit. If not handled professionally and legally, the matter may have to be handled in a court of law. So, what is the difference between “normal wear and tear” and property damage?

This article will define normal wear and tear and explain the differences between it and property damage. Both tenants and landlords need to understand these terms to ensure that all parties are abiding by the state’s rental laws.

Unpacking ‘Normal Wear and Tear’

Nailing down an exact definition can be difficult. But one thing that landlords must acknowledge is that a property will inevitably depreciate with continued use. Normal depreciation comes with daily or frequent use of appliances, utilities, and the tenant’s movement within the space or property.

To help out Tampa landlords and tenants, here are some examples of normal wear and tear:

  • Scuffed marks on the wood flooring from continued use
  • Faded carpet
  • Chips, dents, scrapes, and small nail holes in the walls
  • Scratched or worn-out enamel in the toilets, sinks, or bathtubs
  • Squeaky or noisy door and cabinet hinges
  • Appliances no longer in a new condition. All appliances have a shelf life.

Understanding Property Damage

In most cases, property damage is caused by neglect or abuse and results in a loss of the property’s value. Here are some examples of property damage:

  • Cracked or completely broken windows.
  • Damaged appliances as a result of neglect or obvious abuse
  • Cracked tiles in the bathroom or kitchen
  • Burns and stains on the carpet.
  • Large holes in the walls

As you can see from the examples provided, there is quite some difference between normal wear and tear and property damage.

Retaining the Tenant’s Security Deposit

The purpose of the security deposit is to protect the landlord from damage that may be above and beyond the perimeters of normal wear and tear. The deposit can either be retained in part or as a whole. The money from the deposit goes towards replacing or repair of fixtures, fitting, appliances, and other utilities.

In the instance that a landlord retains part or all of the security deposit, Florida State Laws have provisions that need to be followed. Florida law states that the landlord should prepare and give the tenant written notice within 30 days of terminating the lease. The notice is should be sent to the tenant’s last known address and must explain the reason for retaining part or all of the deposit.

It’s recommended that landlords and tenants read Florida Statute 83.49 which touches on matters relating to deposits and advanced rent payments. Being on the right side of the law will protect all parties from legal issues down the line.

landlord-tenant agreements in Florida

Take Photos of the Unit

It is recommended that both landlords and the tenants take photos of the rental property during the move-in process. The security deposit is a contentious issue and the photos can serve as proof for both parties about what damage was already in the property before the move in. The proof of photos allows for either the landlord or tenant to argue their case and allow for reasonable and logical dialogue.

Managing Normal Wear and Tear

When your property is vacant you are going to need to make the unit renter ready. This means cleaning the spaces and making small repairs to get them ready for the next tenant.

Here are some steps to take when preparing for a new tenant to move in:


You should hire a professional cleaning company to clean every inch of the property especially if the previous tenant left it in bad condition.


Without a doubt, your walls won’t have the same shine or gleam as they did before. In addition, the walls might have nail holes, scuff marks from furniture, or dirt and grime. If cleaning the walls doesn’t freshen up the spaces sufficiently, landlords should consider putting a new coat of paint on the walls.


It is the landlord’s responsibility to have all lightbulbs working before a new tenant moves in. Once the new tenant moves in, however, this responsibility will shift to them.

Appliances and Products

Appliances and other household products will deteriorate over time, with frequent use. Manufacturers typically indicate the life expectancy of their products. This can help you gauge how long you have until you need to replace the item. However, with reasonable maintenance, these products and appliances can last even longer.

That being said, if at the time the tenant moves out an appliance is damaged, the tenant cannot be charged for the full cost of its replacement. You might need to take into consideration the remaining shelf life of the asset in question.

Hire an Experienced Property Management Company

When you hire a professional property management company, like Cavalier Estates LLC, you benefit from their industry knowledge and expertise. They can answer your questions regarding normal wear and tear and ensure that you follow security despite laws.


It’s important to follow Florida’s rental and security deposit laws to protect your Tampa property. Knowing the definition of normal wear and tear and understanding how it differs from property damage will help protect you and your investments.

If you have more questions about this, or any other facet of property management Cavalier Estates LLC works closely with clients to optimize their investment. Thanks to their experience and industry knowledge, clients can rely on them to offer sound and professional advice.

Get in touch with the team of real estate professionals at Cavalier Estates LLC today and learn how they can help you!

Investing in Clearwater Real Estate Cavalier Estates

Top Tips When Buying Investment Property in Clearwater

Are you thinking of buying an investment property in Clearwater, FL?

The strength of owning rental properties provides real estate investors with a lucrative option to grow their income. The opportunity to broaden your wealth in the future is within reach.

Clearwater ranks high as one of the top places to invest in real estate. The economy is strong as tourism is a major contributor to it. As a result, the rental demand is high, projecting an increased property appreciation. Investors can expect immediate ROI for their property investments here. At present, short-term rentals are restricted to the City’s Tourist District but long-term rentals are permitted to operate outside the district. So it’s best to choose the location of your Clearwater real estate investment wisely.

As a beginner investor, it’s important to gather data and learn about local laws to make sure you’ll earn optimal income. Investing in rentals can be the start to a more financially independent lifestyle. But before that, it’s best to look at the data and analyze the factors that can affect your investment.

In this article, we here at Cavalier Estates LLC will offer simple information about purchasing an investment property in Clearwater. You can refer to our recommendations to ensure you’ll earn the maximum income for your real estate property investment.

Clearwater investment properties

What Is the Clearwater Real Estate Market Like?

Here’s a snap picture of Clearwater’s real estate: higher ROI (well-above Florida state), the second-best city in the US for retirement, and a high appreciation rate even historically. The city’s low unemployment rate and solid job market growth lead to positive future projections.

Among its strong appeal is Clearwater Beach and the tourism draw as evidenced by its Airbnb’ s high occupancy rate in the tourist district area. Aside from that, nearly half of the local population are renting, ensuring a high level of demand for real estate.

Top Tips for Real Estate Investments in Clearwater

#1: Find Properties in Your Price Range

Checking your investment budget is the first step to take when scouting for real estate. Given the number of property choices in Clearwater, it would be easy to experience overwhelm. You need to decide if your priority is having a property in the tourist district or in other neighborhoods. You want to evaluate your options and the financial budget you’re allocating for real estate investment.

When you have weighed in the price that you can afford, it’s easy to filter other properties beyond your price range. You also need to consider the HOA fees and taxes as this can add up in the final computation of the real estate purchase.

#2. Opt for High-Rent Neighborhoods

Location is essential if you’re planning to earn a high ROI. Even if a property is cheap, if the rental demand in the neighborhood is low, this can reduce your profitability. So be on the lookout for high-rent neighborhoods. These can be areas where there’s high tourist traffic or near the downtown area or work locations.

It’s also practical to account for renovation fees in your rental improvement projects. Make sure that you’re performing the necessary alterations to make up for the expenses. Your income must increase as a result of the additional housing work you’ve conducted.

Clearwater investment properties

#3: Consider the Benefits of Professional Property Management Services

Managing and owning a rental home are two different things. As a landlord, you’re required to be alert to your tenants’ needs. Regular inspections are encouraged. You must be vigilant about repairs to keep your Clearwater property habitable at all times.

This can be a challenge for new real estate investors since you must also be well-versed in several landlord-tenant laws. To retain long-term tenants, you must learn how to cultivate good relationships with the renters and communicate well.

Engaging in the services of a trusted property management company can make the task of running a rental business smoother. As professionals in the industry, they have efficient systems, skilled staff, and deep resources that work favorably to your advantage.

#4. Crunch the Numbers

Purchasing your Clearwater real estate must not be an impulsive action. Run different calculations to check your prospective ROI. Stick with conservative projections since the economy is not going to hit high every year. It’s much better to underrate your possible profits than overrating it.

In the future, when your Clearwater property appreciates, you’ll be happier to choose conservative figures than building super high expectations. Picking reasonable scenarios is always better than being disappointed with astronomical projected incomes.

#5. Find the Right Neighborhood

To determine your future profitability, conduct an analysis of the current market. Study how similar properties in the neighborhood you’re eyeing are performing. Be aware of where the market is moving and the neighborhoods that are projected to grow. Check the rental prices and gauge the profitability of the real estate.

Research on new infrastructure and projects on developments in Clearwater. If you spot new amenities, communities, and facilities being developed then this can indicate progress. It can also be your ticket to landing a great location where growth is substantial.

Clearwater investment properties

The Bottom Line

Real estate investing entails having a vision of the property type you want and can afford to invest in Clearwater. Then you need to assess neighborhoods where rental demand is high to maximize your earnings. Crunching the numbers prior to purchasing the property will help you gain a realistic perspective when using conservative estimates. Lastly, you must evaluate the benefits of buying a piece of real estate in certain neighborhoods. Look for growing communities in terms of infrastructure developments and tourist attractions.

When you have invested in a rental property in Clearwater, you can consider hiring a property manager to make your rental operation efficient. Rental management can eat up a lot of your time and makes it hard to balance other priorities such as managing your family life and a full-time career. An outstanding property management company can support your financial goals of growing your Clearwater property investment. Contact Cavalier Estates LLC today to find out how we can help you!

Cavalier Estates

Reasons to Invest in Clearwater Real Estate

What makes Clearwater real estate an excellent investment choice?

Real estate is considered one of the safest options for investors all over the world. Compared to other alternative investments such as stocks and bonds, it offers the surety of better returns in the long run.

Investors have placed their resources into rental properties and reaped benefits. Real estate also appreciates over time. If you decide to sell, you can enjoy the increase in property value.

Whether you’re a first-time investor or a seasoned one, investing in real estate requires knowledge in the local market. Cavalier Estates LLC is a reputable real estate company that is committed to offering exceptional real estate and brokerage services in the Clearwater area.

What Drives Clearwater Real Estate

Located in Pinellas County, Florida, Clearwater has been slowly but consistently drawing investors from Tampa and St. Petersburg. Keep reading to understand why wise investors are looking at Clearwater.



With its white beaches and welcoming waters, it is no wonder Clearwater is a popular tourist destination. Tourism ranks high in the city’s economy, attracting a number of visitors throughout the year. The revenue from tourism spills over to other sectors of the economy such as infrastructure and real estate.

Clearwater hosts many sporting, music, and food-related events. These activities provide another incentive for tourists to visit the city. The city is famous for its Gulf sunsets and festivals to celebrate this beautiful sight, featuring various artists, craft vendors, and magnificent views.

Beach tourism

The last Friday of every month in Clearwater is known to feature a host of delightful entertainment and vendors, attracting visitors and buyers from various backgrounds. Another popular event during the fall is the Clearwater Jazz Holiday brings top national and local artists in to entertain locals and domestic tourists.

Investors have to option to either go the traditional leasing route or profit off the large crowds of tourists during the peak season. If you choose the second option, you can use your property as a vacation home through online booking platforms such as Airbnb, Expedia, and


A Strong Local Economy

Over the years, the city has dedicated itself to creating a pro-business climate. More affordable means of doing business has attracted businesses and investors to Clearwater. An increase in support services has also played a role in boosting the local economy.

Another contributor to the local economy is the talented and diverse workforce in Clearwater. The skilled manpower available is able to meet the needs of the new businesses in the area. Nova Southeastern University is an educational institution in the area responsible for Clearwater’s diverse and talented workforce.

Tech Data Corporation is one of the largest wholesale IT distributors and a fortune 500 company whose headquarters are located in Clearwater, Florida. Other companies are also choosing Clearwater as their regional headquarters. The possibility of growth and the talented workforce in Clearwater makes the city a great choice for investment.



Clearwater has a growing population as evidenced by the current consensus reports. An increase in population creates a huge demand for rentals in the area.

The cost of living in Clearwater is lower than the national average. Affordable housing, transport costs, and living expenses have also attracted people to the area. Clearwater is located just 30 minutes from Tampa and is a good spot for families and young professionals to settle down.

Demand for space is driven by an increase in population; and not just any population but one with the means to pay. Real estate investors can enjoy a stable revenue stream with a rental property in Clearwater.


Flexibility of Investment

Clearwater has a variety of real estate investment opportunities. This is an important factor since not all investors have the same investment goals or financial capabilities. You can invest your funds in any of the suburban residential neighborhoods, condominiums, or beach houses.

It’s also important to note that not all real estate options perform equally, even in a vibrant market such as Clearwater. However, the experience of a property management company can guide you to make an informed decision.

strong investments


Favorable Weather Conditions

The weather in Clearwater is mild and pleasant, blessing the beachside paradise with gentle breezes all year long. In winter, the average highs rest comfortably in the mid-seventies, and summers are sure to please residents and visitors with temperatures in the low to mid-nineties.

Clearwater receives an averagely of 361 days of sunshine every year, making it favorable for family vacations. The suitable climate is also a huge boost to the city’s tourism industry!


Wide Range of Outdoor Activities

To take advantage of the good weather, Clearwater has a wide range of outdoor activities to partake in. Apart from popular beach activities, locals and tourists are known to enjoy hiking, fishing, canoeing, and cycling. Pinellas Trail is one of the most popular outdoor spots.


In Conclusion

Real estate is significantly affected by other sectors of the economy. From the demographic statistics and state of the economy, Clearwater is an ideal opportunity for investors. Investing in the area promises strong potential profits due to the area’s probability of growth, strong local economy, and tourism activities.

What’s more, with the expertise of a local, property management company you can trust them to help you make smart investments in the city. Cavalier Estates LLC is the company for you! Our team of experts can help you navigate the dynamics of Clearwater’s real estate market and ensure your investments thrive.

Best Areas to Invest in Tampa

Best Areas to Invest in Tampa

Are you looking to invest in Tampa, FL real estate?

Tampa has always been among the top 10 of in-demand real estate across the nation. Purchasing rental properties here is lucrative since it’s still considered as a fast growing city. People move here because properties are affordable, the unemployment rate is significantly lower and it’s a tax-friendly area.

Due to plenty of people moving to Tampa, the demand for housing still remains high. This is an opportunity that investors maximize to generate more income and grow their wealth. In Tampa, you have your choice of neighborhoods, each matching a different price range. By focusing on what kind of property you’re budgeting for and your target demographics, you can begin your journey as a real estate investor.

In this article, we here at Cavalier Estates LLC will go over the top areas in Tampa that you could consider for your next property investment. You’ll learn about the neighborhoods that are most promising for real estate investors in this part of Florida.

Best Tampa Neighborhoods to Buy Real Estate

Downtown Tampa

The recent move to transform Downtown Tampa into an entertainment and cultural hub makes it an exciting neighborhood to invest in. This means tourists and locals will keep moving to this area to enjoy the attractions it offers.

Some of the things that residents and vacationers can enjoy in Downtown Tampa are concerts, festivals, museums  and waterfront activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking. Residential properties are in demand in this area since families enjoy the recreation offered here.

Tampa Channel District

Another area of Tampa that has seen a facelift from a warehouse-occupied area into a cool neighborhood is Tampa Channel District. It’s now teeming with upscale condo units, luxurious homes and hip apartments.

tampa channel district

In congruence with the urban and trendy vibe of Tampa Channel District are fancy restaurants, popular bars and chic shops. The population continues to grow, massively attracted to the contemporary lifestyle scene this neighborhood offers. The entertainment that Tampa Channel District provides, from arts and culture to music, ensures that residents and renters will constantly be enamored in experiencing its offerings.

Davis Islands

Although man-made, Davis Islands remains an idyllic setting to raise a family. You’ll find green spaces, waterfront homes, dog parks and a conducive place for outdoor recreation. It’s proximity to the beach makes it an inviting place to reside or rent.

Investing in property here can require an above average budget. However, its limited area also makes it attractive since traffic is nil. Your target market is also clear since you’re mainly working to capture the interest of families. Those who value a high quality living for their kids as well will be taken to living in Davis Islands.

Historic Hyde Park

Considered an affluent neighborhood, Historic Hyde Park is a worthwhile investment. The property values in this area remain consistently high. Its miles of green space near the waterfront makes it a breathtaking area to live in. This charming neighborhood has top ranking quality schools and zero crime rate.

Most people would pay for this kind of peace of mind. Thus, investing might require higher funds but the potential for income is also great.

hyde park

Residents can frequent stylish shops and restaurants around the area. They can also shop for organic produce at the farmers markets and purchase one-of-a-kind craft items during the weekend art bazaars. Aside from that, Historic Hyde Park offers fun entertainment drawing the younger set.

Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights

Focusing on cosmopolitan entertainment, Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights provides cultural recreation to its residents. You can find a hub of art galleries, quaint dining spots and fashionable boutiques. As an investor, you will want to purchase luxury apartments where hip and urban residents will be looking to stay in.

Tampa and Seminole Heights is also ideal for families since there are several family-friendly spots in this neighborhood. Some are looking for urban dwellings where they can catch up with the luxurious and trendy lifestyle.

You can also target young professionals who enjoy the lifestyle scene that Tampa and Seminole Heights offer. Properties you can check are hip loft-style apartments. The artsy vibe of the area plays a major attraction to its residents.

As an investor, you’ll do well to purchase properties like Tampa and Seminole Heights given its property values are in an upward climb, even as recently as 2019.

New Tampa

Exuding a resort vibe straight from its planned communities, New Tampa continuously attracts families. You can take your pick among the various selection of properties available. You’re bound to find something that matches your budget.

new tampa

New Tampa’s amenities are irresistible to residents given that there are well constructed facilities aimed at providing a healthy lifestyle. Among the amenities that one can enjoy here are excellent golf courses, well paved paths for hiking and biking and well-maintained sports fields and courts.  Residents are also able to find their favorite food and retail chains around the neighborhood.

Plant City

Nicknamed as a strawberry capital, Plant City draws visitors in droves during their annual Strawberry Festival. As an investor, you can capitalize on this highly popular tourist attraction.

Plant City is a charming small town that also contains historic buildings. You can take your pick when it comes to purchasing simple home properties to larger stately manors. Although Plant City does not offer metropolitan entertainment, its unique charm makes it a delightful destination. Thus, you might want to put up short-term rentals in this area.

In a Nutshell: Best Real Estate Markets in Tampa

Tampa has always enjoyed its prominent place in the top list as a hot real estate given its consistent appreciation in terms of property values. The strong redevelopment of its different neighborhoods is also encouraging. Moreover, Tampa is tax-friendly so the population is seen to further increase over the long term.

If you are looking to purchase Tampa real estate, you may want to consider Downtown Tampa, Tampa Channel District, Davis Islands, Historic Hyde Park, Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights, New Tampa and Plant City.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have questions about investment opportunities in Tampa, FL!

How to Know if Your Rental Meets Safety Standards

How to Know if Your Rental Meets Safety Standards

As a landlord, you have a duty to keep your rental safe. It’s part of the warranty of habitability you provide to tenants. The state laws ensure that landlords are kept accountable. For self-protection, legally and financially, it’s wise to focus on meeting the safety standards for your rental properties.

Landlords who spend a good amount of time ensuring safety for the tenants reduce their overall stress. Conducting regular inspections and preventive maintenance will help you catch the early signs of damage. Doing so results in well-maintained properties and you providing more value in the long run.

Here are areas to focus on when it comes to providing safety in your rentals:

1. Heating

Check your boiler situation. Broken heaters that aren’t fixed once a tenant makes a complaint can subject a landlord to a lawsuit. It can also cause a fire, putting the tenants’ lives at risk.

Ideally, heaters should be regularly inspected. They should also be kept away from combustible resources. For any heating source in your rental unit, make sure to place a screen to minimize the risk of fire.

2. Plumbing

Plumbing issues can result in flooding, which can be an expensive property damage to deal with. Water damage wrecks furnishing, floors and the walls of a home. Because of the expensive costs associated with plumbing problems, it’s essential to conduct preventive maintenance in this area. Leaks and clogged toilets also represent inconvenience, leading a tenant not to sign a renewal lease.

plumbing issues

To address this problem, you should pay attention to gutter and drainage efficiency. Being proactive in cleaning helps resolve most plumbing dilemmas. It’s also helpful to spend more on quality pipes to reduce leaks. However, if leaks occur, make sure to address them promptly.

3. Electricity

An electrical issue can be serious, as it places your tenants’ lives at risk. Old properties tend to need upgrades to meet the current standards of the electric safety codes. As a landlord, it’s vital to hire a certified electrician that knows these safety standards.

Nowadays, GFI outlets or Ground Fault Interrupter outlets are required. If your home lacks these, install a GFI breaker to improve the safety in your rental. It will do you well to prevent electric shocks and reduce the possibility of a fire.

4. Doors and Windows

As entry and exit points, the importance of doors and windows cannot be emphasized enough. Is the door strong and sturdy? Most intruders enter a home through the door, so it makes sense to ensure that the main doors are more than adequate. Putting a good barrier from the outside ensures your tenants remain safe from unwelcome intruders.

On the other hand, when you need to get out of the rental during emergencies, it’s best that your access is easy. It would be terribly unfortunate to have broken latches or doorknobs that it would take a while to exit out of the property. Just as doors have strong hinges and frames, windows should also be sturdy. Tempered glass and solid locks must accompany windows since they’re the second entry access from outside.

5. Floorings, Walls, and Ceilings

If your target demographics are retirees or families with children, be attentive to the flooring material of the rental home. A slip can be fatal, so waterproof non-slip surfaces are recommended. Go for a foundation inspection if the floors appear to be uneven or sloping.

foundation inspection

For the walls, cracks can be signs of foundation problems. If you notice warped walls, stained walls, or peeling wallpaper and bubbling paint, this can indicate water damage. Have it inspected by a licensed contractor right away.

Ceilings are required to be a minimum of 3 meters high. It’s recommended to choose materials with low thermal conductivity. This ensures that your tenants will be safeguarded from extreme heat. Proper insulation of the home is vital.

6. Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

As carbon monoxide can be odorless and colorless, it’s hard to detect its presence. Having functional detectors helps your tenants mind their safety. This applies to sudden fires as well. So, when smoke appears in the late hours, the alarm would wake them up and they can go out to safety.

Take time to check if these detectors are working properly and test them out. You don’t want these to fail at the time they’re needed the most. In fact, landlords can be sued for negligence if smoke detectors fail.

7. Appliance Maintenance

One should maintain appliances well to meet property safety standards. You want to avoid an appliance overheating or exploding because it’s damaged. It could also be that it’s already too old and the internal wires aren’t functioning efficiently.

Having a list of the life expectancies of each appliance in your home lets you track normal wear and tear. This helps you determine if the appliance needs to be replaced or sent for repair.

keep a list of appliance life expectancy

It’s also good to inspect the quality of the appliances you have furnished your rental home. You might have bought some items cheap, which can serve as a huge risk.

8. Paint Safety

Most landlord-tenant laws require disclosures of lead in paint materials. In particular, residential units built before 1978 have a strong presence of lead. This can be toxic to a tenant’s health. Make sure to test the paint in your home and find a remedy from experts.

You want your rentals to be always safe and habitable. If you have renters that have young kids, it’s even more critical to pay attention to this. Kids can be curious and get paint on their mouth and hands. You want to prevent lead poisoning and keep them safe.

9. Pest Infestation

Pest infestation can be a common cause for tenant complaints. It goes against the warranty of habitability. As a landlord, you must take the presence of rodents, bugs and termites in a home seriously. Not only is it inconvenient to the renters, it will also progressively destroy your property.

Hiring exterminators regularly can fix this problem. Even if the infestation has stopped, it’s still a good idea to remain consistent. The possibility of a recurrence significantly reduces when you maintain a regular inspection schedule.


If you’re looking for some help regarding property management, contact Cavalier Estates. We aim to support your rental investments and ensure your tenants’ wellbeing.

tampa fl investment property

Top Tips When Buying Investment Property in Tampa

Thinking of investing in Tampa real estate? If so, you’ll be glad to know it can be one of the most lucrative decisions you’ll ever make. That is, of course, if you do it right!

Over the past couple of years, real estate investment opportunities in Tampa have skyrocketed. This has led the competition between buyers to rise exponentially. 

In order to land a great investment deal, due diligence is key. The following are some tips to help you in this regard. 

Tip #1: Have a Goal in Mind 

Having the finances available for a real estate investment is a start, but it’s not enough. It’s beneficial to also have a financial trajectory in mind to help guide your investment decisions. How you chose to spend your money on making the property a successful investment is key. 

To help you come up with your goals, try asking yourself the following questions: are you buying or holding? Are you looking to build a property from scratch? Do you want to flip a property? Each of these options offers vastly different routes to your investment goals. 

Tip #2: Look for Affordable Properties

The Florida real estate market boasts about having many affordable properties. However, you’ll have to do proper research before choosing a property. 

Of course, the city center and downtown areas tend to have costly properties because of the high demand. If you’re working on a budget, it’s recommended to look at other areas where demand may not be as high. These include the suburbs and the semi-rural areas. 

tampa real estate investment

Tampa, in particular, is a real estate haven thanks to its affordability and good rate of return. The average rent, according to, is $1,085, $1,174, and $2,050 for a studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom homes respectively. 

Tip #3: Search Online Listing Sites 

This should be the first step towards buying a real estate property. It’ll help you get an idea of what to expect even before approaching a realtor or a property manager for help. 

Some of the most popular sites include, Trulia, Zillow, LoopNet, RealtyTrac,, and HotPads. 

In fact, did you know that one in every two buyers found their home on the internet? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that’s the case! The same statistics also found that only 28 percent of buyers in 2019 used a real estate agent to find their new home. 

Tip #4: Work With a Local Realtor 

Do you have a good understanding of the local real estate market? If not, it’s in your best interests to hire a local realtor who understands the local market dynamics. 

A good real estate agent will know the best areas for property investments and can help make the purchase easier. Typically, all a real estate agent does is buy and sell real estate properties on behalf of their clients. As such, they will usually have a good understanding of the current market trends. 

business investment opportunities

So, how exactly do you find the right realtor? Well, you can do this in multiple ways. You can get referrals from your network. You could also carry out your own research and interview the potential candidates. 

Tip #5: Choose the Best Location 

Location, location, location – this is every real estate agent’s mantra for a good reason. When it comes to real estate investing, location can make or break your investment. 

Basically, the best location is one that has a solid population. Lucky for you, the demand for single-family homes in Tampa has been consistent. 

Tip #6: Visit the Neighborhood You Want to Invest In 

Using billboards and placards remains one of the most popular ways buyers advertise their properties for sale. So, if you have the time, take a ride in your car and look around the neighborhood. 

Not only will this help you find the right property, but it can also give you an opportunity to be familiarized with the neighborhood as well. 

Tip #7: Avoid Buying a Fixer-Upper 

Buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to get a good deal and personalize a home. That said, if this is the first property you’re buying, the idea can be anything but good. 

The two exceptions to this are if you already have a contractor who you’ve worked with before or if you’re skilled at large-scale home improvements. 

Otherwise, go for a rent-ready property. It’ll usually be clean with no pending repairs and is available for occupation by tenants. 

business opportunities in florida

Tip #8: Determine Your Return 

So, what return should you realistically expect from your Tampa real estate investment? Bonds may pay 4.5% while stocks pay 7.5% cash-on-cash return. 

As a landlord, anything above 6 percent in your first year should suffice – especially because the figure will keep rising over time. 

Tip #9: Hire a Property Management Company 

Working closely with a local property management company like Cavalier Estates, LLC can be extremely beneficial, especially if you’re planning to invest in rental units. We work closely with landlords and tenants and know where the demand for rentals is highest in the city. 

Of course, besides helping you buy in the right neighborhood, a property manager like Cavalier can also help you manage your property. Remember, owning and managing a rental investment are two different things. While anyone can certainly buy one, not anyone can manage it – at least not successfully. 

Successful rental management requires, among other things, time, skills and experience. So, if you lack these, hiring an experienced property management company would be in your best interest. 

Remember to have realistic expectations. Just like other investments, real estate isn’t going to buy you a Lamborghini right away. If this is your first investment property, consider hiring experienced partners like Cavalier to help reach your investment goals.

Reasons to Invest in Tampa Real Estate

Reasons to Invest in Tampa Real Estate

Are you interested in Tampa, FLorida real estate investments?

Investing in rental properties allows potential for long-term growth. You can boost your monthly passive income and generate personal wealth down the road. As with any other investment, it pays to thoroughly understand the market and assets you invest in.

Real Estate investing in Tampa is a great idea. The local economy, tourism sector, climate, and infrastructure make it a valuable asset for any real estate investor. Purchasing a rental in this Florida city comes with the potential for solid, long-term growth.

In this post, our Florida management company is going over all the reasons why Tampa is a good investment location. This is the ultimate guide for investors!

Tampa Real Estate Investment: Six Reasons You Should Consider Tampa, Florida

In this article, we’ll delve into the top reasons why you should consider an investment in Tampa, Florida. You’ll learn how this Florida area has strong reasons for sparking interest among successful property investors.

1. Great Property Appreciation Rates

The real estate in Tampa is appreciating fast. When you look at the statistics of the past decade, you’ll note that Tampa real estate has appreciated over 32%. Even a nationwide housing market downturn can’t reverse this trend in Tampa.

The current projections aren’t predicting a decline in this regard. It’s more likely that your Tampa property is going to appreciate over time, giving you that financial edge coveted by property investors across the nation.

2. Tampa (and Florida) is Tax-Friendly

As an investor, it’s crucial to think about your tax situation. The state of Florida has zero individual income tax. While you may have to pay state franchise tax, you’ll still enjoy a lower tax burden compared to most states elsewhere.

investment opportunities in tampa fl

This is why Tampa is one of the best places to choose property investments. You may also enjoy rapid growth in other areas, but will you enjoy a similarly low tax burden? No investor wants to see tax bills topping their mortgage payments.

3. Real Estate Investing is Affordable

Back in 2019, Tampa real estate market was named one of the nation’s hottest markets in numerous lists and analyses. The main reason behind this was the relative affordability of the investment properties for first-time buyers.

This means that you can get more for your investment in Tampa than in many cities elsewhere. You are able to purchase more valuable properties or leave some of your cash for future investments.

4. Lower Living Costs & Population Diversity

Even though Tampa is a huge city, the average cost of living is lower compared to the rest of the state and comparable areas across the States. This fact alone leads to more interest in moving to Tampa, Florida for many people.

At the same time, you have a very diverse population living in Florida. The varying backgrounds create a living environment that is inclusive and engaging. The welcoming nature of Tampa allows for further diversification to take place in the city.

5. Endless Sights & Activities

Tampa, Florida offers an abundance of dining options, entertainment areas, and outdoor activities in the city and its surroundings. Let’s look at some of the top opportunities available to Tampa residents and visitors alike:

  • Cycle, jog or walk on the Bayshore Boulevard that spans 4.5 miles and offers some of the best views of Hillsborough Bay
  • Get your chow on at Tampa Food Halls, the biggest food hall in the city with incredible views of Downtown and Hillsborough River

tampa food hall

  • Experience the Tampa Riverwalk, a beautiful promenade that winds through the Downtown area
  • Explore the historic district of cigar manufacturing, Ybor City, which now boasts microbreweries and trendy bars
  • Visit the Florida Aquarium with your friends or family, as this attraction has enough things to see to fill an entire day

6. Wide Variety of Neighborhoods to Choose From

As one of the most populous places in Florida, the city of Tampa and its surrounding areas provide many different communities to invest in. Let’s take a look at some of the top options available to you in Tampa, FLorida:

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a great option for anyone looking to stay near the sweeping vistas of Bayshore. Since most of the housing in Hyde Park retains its original architectural style, many residents value this neighborhood for its historic look.

Channel District

Do you want to invest in a vibrant community? Located in the Downtown area, Channel District offers a superb mix of condos and apartments. The walkability score of Channel District is high and its residents are never too far away from Tampa’s major sights and attractions.

West Meadows

Growth-minded property investors shouldn’t discard West Meadows from their list of potential investments. This is a quickly growing neighborhood that has been booming since the 1990s.

west meadows neighborhood in Tampa

Plus, the quality of life in West Meadows is great as it’s close to wonderful retail outlets and dining spots.


Spanishtown has been known to long-term residents as South Tampa. This neighborhood stands out from the rest due to its potential for outdoor lifestyle, low crime rates, and plenty of access points for high-quality education. However, the cost of living is higher in Spanishtown when compared to many other Tampa neighborhoods.

The Bottom Line: Reasons to Invest in Tampa

As an investor considering Tampa real estate, understanding the market is important.

Tampa got hit hard by the Great Recession. However, the city kept pushing against economic hardships and reinvented some of its major areas along the way. Today, Tampa offers exceptional investment opportunities for in- and out-of-state real estate investors.

The real estate purchase and day-to-day living costs are affordable in Tampa when stacked against the rest of Florida and comparable cities across the nation. Once you have purchased your real estate, it’s likely that you’ll see good appreciation rates in the long run.

Some of the best neighborhoods for real estate investing in Tampa include Channel District, Hyde Park, and Spanishtown. Since Tampa is a big city, you’ll find many other communities that are worth looking into.

We hope you got value from this post!

If you’re in search of a company to help you manage your Tampa, FLorida rental estate, contact Cavalier Estates LLC today. We are a full-service company that provides all management services to help you as a rental investment owner.

Making the Perfect Tampa FL Rental Agreement

Making the Perfect Tampa, FL Rental Agreement

So, you’ve got a new rental property in Tampa, Florida, and you want to create a solid rental agreement. Focusing on crafting one that’s comprehensive and doesn’t leave room for loopholes is ideal. Too many conflicts can stem from rental agreements if they are vague and subject to different interpretations.

For instance, say you state that repair costs for damage found when a tenant ends the lease will be deducted from the security deposit. However, a tenant can contest this simple statement. How do you define property damage? What type of property damages are considered deductible?

If you don’t list specific types, anything can fall under the umbrella term “property damage.” This can be avoided when your Tampa, Florida rental agreement is detailed and clear.

Here are essential items that should be present in your Tampa, FL rental lease:

1. Name and address of the property

The rental agreement must contain the full name of your Tampa rental property. It should also state the complete address, including number, street, town and zip code. If it’s an apartment, then the unit number must also be included. This information differentiates your property from the rest. Therefore, proper identification of the full location is required.

2. Name and address of the parties of the contract

You must include the full name of the landlord or agent/property manager in the rental agreement of your Tampa rental unit. Avoid using nicknames since this is an official document and can be part of supporting proof when presented in court.

supporting documents could be used in court, so all names must be in full

The full addresses of the parties must also be found in the lease. This is helpful when a tenant has moved out, and the landlord needs to communicate by sending postal mail.

3. The validity of the rental term

To avoid confusion, be specific with the start and end dates of the tenancy. Contract validity will be from this (day, month, year) to this (day, month, year). If you use a general term such as a period of one year, then a tenant can keep extending the day or month.

Some rental terms can also last for a few weeks or months, depending on the type of Tampa, FL rental unit you have. So, if it’s a vacation unit, your rental agreement should still state the exact start and end dates. However, you can stipulate a month-to-month extension in your rental agreement for flexibility. Just make sure to have specific conditions.

4. Due date and rent amount

Issues regarding rent payment tend to result in frequent conflicts. Be specific about when the rent will be collected. Again, use day, month and year.

The rent amount must also be stated in figures and words, and include the currency. Make sure to mention the rent due per month and the whole year to be transparent. If there are other charges to be collected, that will also be part of your Tampa, FL rental agreement, but in a different section.

5. Rental clauses of the contract

Different landlords have varied clauses, but there are still intersecting ones that are part of every rental agreement. Neglecting to do so would create a potential disagreement.

different clauses must be stipulated in the lease agreement

Thus, ensure that your Tampa, FL lease contains a security deposit clause, pet policy, penalty policies and tenant possessions conditions.

Security deposit

Under the security deposit clause, key details must be present such as the amount of the security deposit and the specific date that it’s to be handed to the landlord. It should also state the location in which the security deposit is being held, be it a bank or another financial institution. The renter also has the right to know the interest rate, so this is also included in the Tampa, FL rental agreement.

To prevent debating over the deductions from the security deposit after the tenancy ends, enumerate the conditions. For example, if there are repair costs for property damages, the rental agreement must mention the types of property damages that will affect the deposit. This way, the renter is aware and will try to keep the unit in excellent condition to get a full security deposit refund.

Pet policies

Whether or not you decide to welcome pets into your Tampa, FL rental property, this decision must be stated. You can’t hold a tenant accountable for sneaking in a pet when the leasing agreement doesn’t state its prohibited nature. However, if you permit pets, it’s also important to categorize the types you’re accepting. Otherwise, a tenant can bring any kind of pet without regard to its size, breed or permit requirements.

make it clear if pets are allowed in the rental

It’s also important to add specific requirements such as vaccines and additional insurance. You’ll also have to state the pet fee if you’re collecting a pet rent or pet deposit. This prevents many arguments with a tenant, especially in terms of payments, policies and expectations.

Penalty policies

When violations are committed in your Tampa, FL rental property, there must be a guideline on the topic of penalties. For instance, a renter failed to pay on the stated due date. How will this be addressed? You can mention late payment fees, grace period and additional fees when checks bounce.

Policies about tenant possessions

When a tenant exits your Tampa, FL rental unit, a couple of belongings may be left behind. A 10-day collection period, if the notice was hand-delivered, is allowed under Florida law. If the notice was mailed, the tenant can pick up his remaining items within 15 days. A tenant must be aware of this provision, and so it’s helpful to include it in the rental agreement.

Landlord and tenant signature

For your Tampa, FL rental unit, the signatures of all parties must be on the leasing agreement. All the tenants beyond 18-years old must print their signatures on the contract, including the date of signing. This means that the terms specified are mutually understood and agreed upon.

Bottom Line

Your Tampa, FL agreement acts as a protection of your rights whether you’re a landlord or tenant. It will also remind you of your responsibilities and guide you on the procedures for specific situations. If you have any inquiries regarding this post or other subjects regarding property management, contact Cavalier Estates LLC. Work with us today and find out what we can do for your rental investments!

Fair Housing Act in Florida

Fair Housing Act in Florida

All prospective home buyers and tenants in Florida have a right to be treated fairly and equally. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was enacted with the sole goal of stamping out discriminatory practices in housing matters. Every homeowner seeking to rent out their dwelling must adhere to the laws associated with the FHA.

Examples of practices that would pass as discriminatory include:

  • Setting varying prices for the sale of a property or a rental unit.
  • Not performing repairs or maintenance for renters with certain characteristics.
  • Denying or limiting facilities, services, or privileges to some renters that others enjoy. 

What is the FHA? 

The FHA prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of a dwelling based on certain protected characteristics. At the federal level, the characteristics are color, race, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, and religion. 

Florida, just like some other states, has added more classes to protect its citizens from discrimination. These are age, sickle cell trait, AID/HIV diagnosis, citizenship status, and genetic information. 

The Act gave every American the right to seek a dwelling without the fear of being discriminated against based on the aforementioned protected characteristics. 

How can Florida home sellers and landlords violate the Fair Housing Laws?

The following are common ways in which real estate advertisements in Florida can discriminate against potential home buyers or renters. 

1. Religion 

You cannot use statements that exclude a person from certain religious organizations. For instance, by stating “Catholics preferred” or “No Muslims.” 

2. Sex

Avoid using verbiage that can be considered discrimination on the basis of a person’s particular sexual orientation or gender. For instance, “Men only” or “Straight couple.”

department of housing and florida commission on human discrimination against person with disabilities

However, it’s perfectly acceptable to use terms that describe the property. For example, “Bachelor apartment,” “Mother-in-law suite,” and “Master Suite.”

3. Race, Color, National Origin

It is also unacceptable to use any language that describes a neighborhood or a house ethnically or racially. For example, by stating an apartment is located in an African-American or Hispanic neighborhood. 

4. Familial Status

It’d be okay to say that a dwelling is a 2-BR home or that it has a family or nursery room. But, you cannot make outright statements prohibiting persons based on marital status. 

5. Disability or Handicap

When advertising your dwelling or rental listing, you cannot make any statements that discriminate against the disabled. For instance, stating “no wheelchairs are allowed,” would be considered discrimination on the basis of someone’s disability. 

Even with a “no pet” policy, you cannot turn away a person with service pets. In this case, the law requires that you make reasonable accommodations to make access easier for a person with disabilities. 

When was it enacted? 

Attempts at stamping out housing discrimination began as early as the mid-1800s. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement began that any real change took place. 

Before the FHA’s enactment, two unsuccessful attempts were made to address issues of housing discrimination. These were the Rumford FHA of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

florida commission on human relations and housing discrimination against families with children

But the real change kicked in with the enactment of the FHA in 1968. It was signed into law just one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

How does the Fair Housing Act combat discrimination in housing? 

The FHA has a 3-part approach to tackle housing discrimination against protected characteristics. It does so in any of the following ways. 

1. Home Selling & Renting

  • Refusing to negotiate, sell, or rent housing to home buyers and renters with certain characteristics.
  • Making a house unavailable or lying that it isn’t available for renting or selling when it indeed is.
  • Setting varying terms or conditions depending on the characteristics of the seller or renter.
  • Providing renters with different amenities or accommodations.

2. Mortgage Lending 

  • Appraising a unit using discriminatory practices.
  • Refusing to make loan information available.
  • Establishing different requirements for loan purchasing.
  • Setting different fees or interest rates on a loan.
  • Refusing to purchase or make a mortgage loan.

Who enforces the Fair Housing Laws in Florida?

The government body mandated in enforcing the FHA is the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It enforces the FHA in two chief ways.

  • By using testers. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can hire a person to pose as prospective home buyers or renters to see whether there are any discriminatory practices. That’s why landlords need to be careful when advertising their rentals or screening a tenant.

department of housing and the Fair Housing Act

  • Investigating claims. A Tenant or homebuyer who has reasons to believe they have been discriminated against can file a claim with the HUD. The department will then investigate the matter and see whether any merit exists.

What groups are exempt from the Fair Housing Act?

Certain groups are eligible for exemption from the provisions of the FHA. Those groups include:

  • Members-only organizations and private clubs.
  • Owner-occupied homes that contain more than 4 units.
  • Single-family homes that are sold or rented without brokering services.

How can home sellers and landlords avoid potential discrimination lawsuits?

Treat all prospective home buyers and renters equally. Know what questions you can ask and which ones you must stay clear of. 

As a landlord, always make sure you have a pre-determined set of questions and qualifications for all your applicants. For example:

  • When are you planning to move in?
  • Are you ready to pay for all move-in costs?
  • Can you provide some references?
  • How much income do you make per month?
  • How many people will be living with you?
  • Have you ever been evicted?
  • Do you mind if we run a background check on you?

Overall, ask questions that are based on valid business reasons. In this case, ask questions that are geared towards helping you land a good tenant. 

You also want to make sure that you ask every person the same set of questions. Asking different questions to different tenants can qualify as discriminative. 

Moreover, once your tenant has moved in, make sure you stick to the provisions of the lease agreement. The goal here is to remain consistent in all situations. 

Do you still have more questions about housing discrimination? If you do, Cavalier Estates, LLC can help. We are an experienced property management company that can help manage your Florida home honestly and professionally. 

Disclaimer: This article is in no way a substitute for legal expert advice from a qualified attorney in Florida. Laws change from time to time, and this post might not be updated at the time of your visit.

about brandon florida

Pros & Cons of Living in Brandon FL

Brandon is part of Hillsborough County in Florida. It was named after John Brandon, who established the area in 1857. Like Tampa, Brandon has a humid subtropical climate. Brandon is known as a bedroom community for Tampa, Florida.

Brandon’s population is tallied at 113,000 people but increasing daily. The primary language spoken here is English, followed by Spanish, German and Tagalog, respectively.

If you’re wondering whether to move to the quaint community of Brandon, here’s a list of pros and cons you can review to know if it’s for you:

Pros of Living in Brandon

1. Cheaper Homes for Purchase

Purchasing a home in Brandon is considerably cheaper compared to Tampa, with the median home value being $164,000. Renting, however, is slightly higher at an additional $300 than the average rental rate in the city. A variety of housing styles are available in Brandon.

When it comes to property taxes, they’re also fairly reasonable. It makes sense to buy a property here, as you can also find several homes below the $100K range.

2. Low Cost of Living

With a fairly high median family income and low home price, Brandon is a great place to settle down. You’ll only spend around $750 a month for a medium-sized apartment. In terms of utility bills, the costs will depend on the number of occupants living in the unit and the level of utility usage. Other cities in Florida, like Miami and Orlando, can be expensive to live in compared to Brandon.

3. No Extreme Cold Weather

If you don’t like the winter cold, then Brandon is perfect for you. The temperature hovers between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit, making for an average of around 62. Winters are considered mild and dry.

Winters in Brandon are not extreme

Snow is rare, so this means you can participate in plenty of outdoor activities. You won’t need to worry about canceling your outdoor adventures with the predictable weather in Brandon, Florida.

4. More School Choices

Brandon has several schools in the area, making residents with kids satisfied with its strong educational foundation. You can have your pick from the 11 public schools, 6 private high schools and 41 private primary schools. Among the most popular ones is Brandon Academy, an IB (International Baccalaureate) certified academe.

Tampa’s proximity also makes it easy for college students to commute to universities such as Southeastern Florida University and Tampa College. They can also choose to conduct their studies at Hillsborough Community College.

Elementary Schools

  • Brooker Elementary School
  • Kingswood Elementary School
  • Mintz Elementary School
  • Limona Elementary School

Middle Schools

  • Mann Middle School
  • Burns Middle School
  • McLane Middle School
  • Yates Middle School

High Schools

  • Brandon High School
  • Brandon Academy
  • Faith Baptist Christian School
  • Central Baptist Christian School

5. Proximity to Tampa

Residents in Brandon have the option to travel to Tampa in as quickly as 19 minutes by car. This means having a job in Tampa is feasible, given the minimal distance. If residents want to find other entertainment options outside Brandon, it’s also not difficult to do so.

6. Ease in Finding Employment

In Brandon, access to jobs is simple. You can apply in the healthcare or retail industry. If you prefer to work in the city outside Brandon, there are also major employers in Tampa. Among them are Baycare Health System and JP Morgan Chase.

become employed in the health industry

In Hillsborough County, one can also work for large companies such as the School District of Hillsborough County, MacDill Air Force Base and Hillsborough County Government. For retail jobs, there‘s plenty of work available at Westfield Shopping Center Mall.

7. Available Amenities

In Brandon, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches. You can explore Gardenville Beach, Davis Islands Beach, Bahia Beach, Apollo Beach Preserve and Ben T Davis Beach.

For parks, you can visit Brandon Park & Recreation Center, All Persons Rotary Park, Paul Sanders Park and Bertha and Tony Saladino Park.

When it comes to dining establishments, try O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill, Boston Market, Olive Garden, Tibby’s New Orleans and Crafty Crab Restaurant.

For retail therapy, head over to the area’s largest mall, Westfield Brandon, where you’ll find JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears.

Looking for live music? Go to O’Tooles Irish Pub, where they also have delicious meals and drinks. Some of the other best bars in the area are Fox & Hounds British Pub, The Stein & Vine, Linksters Tap Room, Windmill Taphouse, The Vapers Manor and The Winghouse of Brandon 60.

Just like any other place, Brandon has its drawbacks. Here are some issues residents have raised:

Cons of Living in Brandon

1. Heavy Traffic

Brandon’s population has started to grow, leading to heavy traffic during rush hours. People choose to stay in Brandon for its low-cost housing and short commute to Tampa.

one of the area's cons is heavy traffic

With limited public transportation, however, people drive their own cars, causing congestion on the roads.

2. Limited Transportation

The public transportation options in Brandon could use some improvements. There are no local trains or trolley. The bus routes are also limited.

3. Humidity

Brandon may not have freezing weather. However, since it’s close to the coast, the humidity can be intense, especially during the summer. The summers can be long and hot, averaging 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 degrees Celsius.

4. Not a Big City

Even if Brandon has been progressively growing with plenty of incoming residents, it still cannot be considered as having a big city lifestyle. Although its proximity to major cities makes it an ideal place to reside in.

Bottom Line : Pros and Cons of Moving to Brandon, Florida

Overall, Brandon has plenty of advantages. It’s family-friendly with a multitude of schools to choose from. Finding a job is not challenging, and it’s an affordable place.

In terms of amenities, Brandon delivers well with its fantastic range of restaurants, bars, shops and beaches. With a short distance to major cities like Tampa, you’ll surely have an endless number of things to do and places to explore.

For further inquiries, contact Cavalier Estates, LLC.