Living in Mexico

Ask Allan: Condo Questions

When I leave my condo for more than a few months do I need to take any special steps to keep it from smelling musty when I come back?  Julie

Hi, Julie! Thanks for your question.  If I was going to be gone for more than a few months or not sure when I was coming back, I would take preventive steps to help eliminate the mold and mildew.  One step would be to leave the fans on. Moving air does not stagnate as quick as moving air.  Sometimes people will try the hanging dehumidifier bags. These will work in a smaller enclosed area, closets or your car, but not too well in a one or more bedroom dwelling. The next step would be to consider getting one or more dehumidifiers. It is important to know what the correct percent of humidity you want to remove so it will work best for you. Too low and it won’t work properly, too high, and it will try to suck the air in from outside, (like trying to dehumidify the town of Playa del Carmen).  If the mustiness has gotten ahead of you, there is a way to get rid of most of the mold and mildew. An ozone treatment will work wonders on a musty smelling dwelling. If you have chosen the proper property manager, all of these items and knowledge should be available to you. Thanks again for asking. Allan

I own a two bedroom condo and I do rentals.  I know that the time to make hay is during the high season, but how do I know ahead of time who the right people will be for my unit?  I have had some very bad experiences, parties and too much drinking.  Thank you, Samantha

Hi, Samantha. Thank you for your question. If you are in the rental market, nothing is guaranteed. You should try to work with an experienced rental manager and someone who is concerned about your property, not just their commission. Most experienced and reputable rental managers have an experienced, dedicated reservation specialist who will do some very good screening for you. This might result in fewer rentals, but your condo will still be standing when you get back. With experience comes the knowledge of where the requests are coming from and what time of the year it is for.  For instance, if it is during spring break and we get a request for six or eight people we always ask for their ages first.  If there are more than four people and their ages are in the 20’s, the chances are that there might be eight people in your unit before the second day and there might be a lot of partying going on. Not all young people are partiers, but through communicating with them, we usually find out what their ultimate goal is. Bottom line, choose a rental manager that is more concerned about your well being and not just their commission. It’s also a very good idea to have an experienced property manager that is also your rental manager. This way they will control what your property looks like and who they are putting into it. If you have two separate companies, it could become a blame game when the renters call with a complaint. Thank you for asking.   Allan

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