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A Renter's Rights in New Mexico

Being an NM property management company, the well-being of our tenants is extremely important. Landlord-tenant laws in New Mexico help protect the tenant’s rights. Whether you live in the heart of Albuquerque or way out in Columbus, you probably want to avoid all the pitfalls associated with becoming a tenant. So, we have created a short guide on renters laws to help you out.

In addition to federal and local laws, New Mexico has a number of unique laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship. 

Looking to rent in New Mexico? Below are tenant rights you need to know of. 

 

New Mexico Tenant’s Right to Fair Housing 

disability

In New Mexico, you are protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act. The Federal Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination based on:

  • Disability
  • Familial Status
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Race
  • National Origin

Furthermore, New Mexico also has its own Human Rights Act. The classes of people protected by the Act are based on:

  • Spousal affiliation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ancestry
  • Gender identity

 

How can you recognize housing discrimination in New Mexico?

The following are some of the most common discriminatory practices:

  • Different terms/conditions: Discriminating in the enforcement of rules, security deposits, rental amounts, etc. 
  • Refusing to deal: Refusing to sell, negotiate, rent, lease, or exchange for a dwelling for discriminatory reasons.
  • Disability discrimination: discriminating against or failing to make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons.
  • Blockbusting: Engaging in panic-selling by representing that the racial composition of a neighborhood is going to change. 
  • Steering: Directing anyone’s rental property or homes in a specific area for discriminatory reasons. 

 

New Mexico Renter’s Right to the Security Deposit

 There’re certain rules and regulation for security deposits in New Mexico’s landlord-tenant law. A security deposit is money a tenant pays the landlord at the beginning of a tenancy to cover any damage when the tenancy ends. 

·         Security Deposit Amount

For leases less than a year long, a landlord isn’t expected to collect a security deposit that exceeds one month’s rent. You should, however, pay more if the lease exceeds one year. 

·         Security Deposit Deductions

Landlords must reimburse all or part of the security deposit after you have departed. This should be done within 30 days after the termination of the rental agreement or your departure. The landlord can make deductions for unpaid rent, unpaid utilities, damages above normal wear and tear, and other breaches of the lease. 

 

Tenant Responsibilities

clean

  • Cleanliness: As a renter, you’re required to keep the property clean and in safe condition
  • Damage: You shouldn’t negligently or deliberately remove, destroy, deface or damage any part of the rental unit.
  • Appliances: You should use all appliances including plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning systems in a safe and reasonable manner.
  • Compliance: You’re required to comply with all New Mexico rental laws and housing codes, which particularly affect safety and health.
  • Rule observance: You should abide by all rules and regulations. Including cooperative housing agreement, covenants, or laws of any neighborhood association not inconsistent with rights and duties of a landlord. 

 

New Mexico Tenant’s Right to Notice before Landlord Entry

Landlords must give tenants a 24-hours’ notice before they enter a tenant’s apartment. Reasons a landlord can enter a tenant’s unit include:

  • To show the unit to prospective tenants
  • To supply necessary or requested services`
  • To make necessary or requested alterations
  • To make necessary or requested improvements
  • To inspect the unit

The notice the landlord writes to you should include: 

  • Their purpose for entering the unit
  • A reasonable time frame of requested entry, and; 
  • Date of requested entry

 

Rental Increases

nm-security-deposit

In New Mexico, a landlord reserves the right to increase rent. Be that as it may, this can only happen at the end of the existing lease term. A 30-day notice is required for month-to-month leases before the rent is increased.

For week-to-week lease terms, the landlord must give a 7-day notice before termination of the lease. Leases that last a year or more require the landlord to wait until the expiry of the entire term. 

 

New Mexico Renters' Rights after Landlord Retaliation

Landlords are prohibited from performing any of the following retaliatory actions:

  • Filing to evict a tenant 
  • Decreasing services to the renter
  • Increasing a tenant’s rent

If a landlord is found guilty of retaliation, any of following could happen:

  • The landlord could be forced to pay a civil penalty that is twice your monthly rent
  • You could be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs

You will also remain to be a tenant in the premises for the remaining period of the lease.

 

Conclusion

Navigating landlord-tenant issues can be a daunting task, more so when you have to work with so many New Mexico rental laws. However, knowledge of these laws could really help you handle a situation on your own without necessarily consulting an attorney.

12-06-2017
New Mexico Renter's Rights
12-06-2017
Best and Safest Neighborhoods to Live in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque-NMAlbuquerque is the largest and most populated city in the state of New Mexico. The city sits in the high desert, situated in the north-central part of New Mexico state, straddling the Rio Grande. As of July 1st, 2016, the city population was estimated to be 559, 277.

Apart from being one of the most beautiful cities in New Mexico, Albuquerque is home to world-class universities such as the University of New Mexico. It also consists of wondrous nature, and not to mention the International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest gathering of hot-air balloons.

If you are planning to move to Albuquerque, you are going to move to one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the Southwest. It’s certainly a great place to raise a family considering the availability of a wide range of amenities, top class education, affordable housing, and low cost of living amongst other features.

Along with these incredible features, you are probably going to have a few questions concerning the safety of the city and its neighborhoods. Is Albuquerque a good place to live? Which Albuquerque neighborhoods are safe to live in? What are the crime rates in these areas? Well, we have reviewed 10 of the best neighborhoods in Albuquerque.

 

1. Heritage East

Heritage East stretches from Redmont to Paseo del Norte and Ventura to Holbrook. It is one of the largest neighborhoods in Albuquerque with over 1,240 homes located within its boundaries. Statistics indicate that the neighborhood is safer than 78% of the cities in New Mexico.

In every 100,000 people, the total crime cases are estimated to be 2552 which is lower than that in Albuquerque city and in New Mexico.

The neighborhoods boast of 24/7 security patrols and the residents have controlled access to the area. It’s definitely a great neighborhood to buy a home or ren and raise your family.

 

2. Vista Del Mundo

Vista Del Mundo is one of the best and safest neighborhoods in Albuquerque with approximately 2,532 crimes per 100k people. This finding is lower compared to Albuquerque’s 7,973.

Its significantly low unemployment rates contribute to its low crime rates. Crime statistics for the area indicate that the overall crime rate in Vista Del Mundo is much lower compared to other neighborhoods.

If you wish to move to Vista Del Mundo, you will enjoy a safe, quiet environment with numerous local amenities and quality schools for your kids.

 

3. Tanoan East

Tanoan is a great, close-knit community that also happens to be one of the safest neighborhoods in Albuquerque. Tanoan consists of homes in gated communities where security is top-notch.

Here, you and your neighbors have controlled access to the area. The total crime estimate for this area is 2,552, which is lower than Albuquerque’s 7,973 per 100k people. It’s a safe, comfortable environment and an ideal place to buy or rent a home.

Besides safety, Tanoan East has low unemployment rates (34% lower than the national average) and a median income of approximately 114,166 dollars.

security-patrol

 

4. Quaker Heights Road

Quaker Heights Road is a popular Albuquerque neighborhood located in SW Lubbock, between Quaker and Utica. This area of Albuquerque is more established compared to other neighborhoods as it has many homes. If you are thinking of moving to Albuquerque, Quaker Heights is a great choice. It is known for its safe and quiet environment with low crime level.

There is a large young population in Quaker Heights Road, with a median age of 34. The neighborhood is just a few minutes from the city and has plenty of places to visit.

 

5. Lousiana and Indian School

Another safe neighborhood to move to in Albuquerque is the area within Louisiana and Indian School. Crime statistics show that Louisiana is safer than 93% of the cities in New Mexico. It’s only a few miles away from Albuquerque city, plus the neighborhood is a good mix of businesses and residential areas.

 

6. Skyview Acres

The total crime for Skyview Acres is estimated at 4526 compared to Albuquerque’s 7,973. It’s a great neighborhood that sits in a safe and quiet environment close to the Paseo del Bosque Trail, a favorite spot for hikers, joggers, and cyclists.

The Skyview Acres community is generally safe with residents enjoying controlled access to the area and security patrols. The community has a sense of togetherness where good neighbors look out for each other.

Paseo-del-Bosque-Trail

 

7. North Valley

North Valley isn’t just one of the best places to live in Albuquerque, it’s also one of the safest. Not only that, it is well known for it significantly low crime level. It’s a nice neighborhood consisting of large homes, farm fields, horse stables and middle-class families.

The area follows the path of Rio Grande through the Albuquerque city. You will absolutely fall in love with the North Valley. It’s one of the greenest and lushest areas of the town with beautiful cottonwood trees and vineyards.

 

8. Peppertree-Royal Oak

Apart from being one of the best neighborhoods in Albuquerque for trick-or-treating, Peppertree-Royal Oak is also a safe neighborhood and a great place for raising a family. The area is 78% safer than all cities in New Mexico. 

Peppertree-Royal Oak is only a few minutes away from Albuquerque city. The neighborhood offers numerous activities and amenities that your family can enjoy.

 

9. Southside Farming Community

Located south of Albuquerque, Southside Farming Community is the ideal community for you and your family to settle in. In 2011, the area only experienced seven crime incidents and the rates have consistently dropped over the years.

Rio Grande River is not far from this neighborhood, plus you will be living close to the Paseo Del Bosque trail. If you like farm life or love living close to nature, the Southside Farming Community is the perfect spot.

Farm-land

 

10. Ventana Ranch

Ventana Ranch is a planned community consisting of about 10,000 residents and is home to Central New Mexico Community College’s west-side campus. Ventana Ranch is an incredible option if you are currently working in Albuquerque city and are looking for the perfect neighborhood to buy a house and maybe raise a family.

It’s a secure and peaceful neighborhood that is mainly inhabited by young families and empty nesters. The neighborhood also offers affordable housing, once again making it an ideal place for young families.

 

There are many important factors to consider when buying or renting a home, and the safety of the neighborhood is one of them. Albuquerque is a great city with some of the best and safest neighborhoods. If you are searching for a safe neighborhood, Albuquerque is high up there on the list.

11-08-2017
11-08-2017
How to Evict a Tenant

moving boxesA cordial relationship between a tenant and a property owner requires commitment, mutual respect, and compromise. In some cases, a tenant may fail to live up to his or her end of the agreement. Therefore. forcing the property owner to evict them after all other avenues of dealing with the problem have been exhausted.

Tenant evictions are something that most property owners in and around cities such as Albuquerque have to deal with, at some point. There are rules and regulations that govern the entire process of eviction. It is important for you to following all of them when evicting a tenant. This will help you avoid any legal trouble or technicalities that may prolong the process. 

When drafting an agreement, you should consider all the standard tenant-landlord laws. Make sure to include them in the agreement in order to prevent any legal complications in the future. Ensure that the property managers are familiar with the Landlord and Tenant Act. This will help them know exactly what to do when forced to carry out evictions.

 As a property owner or manager, always remember that most judges tend to sympathize with tenants and not the property owners. This however does not mean that the property manager’s chances are slim when it comes to carrying out a successful eviction. Evictions take little effort if done the right way.

 

The following are some of the basic steps any property owner needs to follow in order to evict a tenant successfully.

 

• Clearly explain the reason for the eviction

There are two main reasons that can cause an eviction. The first one is usually when the tenant, for whatever reason does not abide by the agreed terms such as paying the rent, avoiding disturbances, avoiding causing damage to the property, etc. 

The second reason could be one that may not be seen as a direct fault by the tenant. Here the property manager may simply want to sell the property, convert it into something else, perform major renovations or repairs on it, etc.

Whatever the case, the reason for the eviction has to be clearly indicated in order to avoid displacing the tenant and infringing upon his or her rights.

 

• Maintain calmness during the entire process

peace of mind

Evictions tend to elicit different reactions from people. In order to avoid any misunderstandings, have a face-to-face discussion with the renter. Come to an understanding before you officially begin the eviction process.

 A meeting will allow you to explain your decision and your need to carry out the eviction. This will also allow you to explain to the renter why avoiding any conflict will be in their best interest.

If the tenant offers resistance, explain to them how the process could potentially damage their credit score, their ability to get loans and more. If the discussions do not bear fruit, begin the formal process of an eviction.

 

• Do not carry out the eviction physically

Do not do anything that may make the judge rule against you. No matter how frustrating the process may become, do not take matter into your own hands.

Do not change the house’s locks, enter the renter’s residence, cut off utilities, or remove any of their property. Keep a level head at all times, the judge will very likely rule in your favor if the tenant has broken the terms of your agreement.

 

• Prepare the tenant a notice in writing

Depending on the regulations of the state you are in, fill up all the appropriate forms (https://eforms.com/eviction/nm/ ) and write a notice to the tenant stating why he or she needs to vacate the premises.

Wherever possible include the requirements they need to fulfill in order to avoid the eviction. The notice must be properly signed, dated, and clearly typed out so that the renter receives all the necessary information. The notice should also clearly indicate the date of the intended eviction. 

 

• Deliver the letter

This letter can be physically handed to the tenant, sent through mail, left in the mailbox, or simply slid under the tenant’s door. As stated earlier, it must indicate the date the tenant is required to move out and the due date for any money owed. Most state laws require the property manager to file the notice between 30 to 60 days before filing any paperwork with the court. 

 

• Moving to the court

court

If the eviction date to came and passed, and the tenant has not vacated the property, proceed to your local court and file the eviction papers. The court clerk will then schedule a hearing and notify the tenant. You will be required to pay a small fee during the filing. 

Prepare all the necessary paperwork to present to the court when your court date arrives. Ensure that you include the necessary proof that shows you gave the tenant enough time to vacate the premises.

If you follow these steps and carry out all the requirements under the Landlord and Tenant Act, you should be able to evict the tenant successfully, if there is good reason.

 

Even though you may not need to hire a lawyer for this process, it would still be advisable to seek legal counsel whenever you are in doubt.

 

10-17-2017
10-17-2017
Albuquerque's International Balloon Festival Overview

Albuquerque’s annual International Balloon Festival is truly the largest, most spectacular balloon festival in the world!  Each year almost 600 balloons set sail in the skies above the city for this incredible nine-day event that attracts nearly a million visitors.

Additionally, many of the locals enjoy the event too, whether it be attending the festival or watching from the comfort of their own homes. It is truly a must-see event. So how did Albuquerque’s International Balloon Festival get started? And why has it grown to such a huge event?  Let’s find out.

 

The Origins of the Festival

The International Balloon Festival has been an Albuquerque tradition since 1972. The local Albuquerque radio station, 770 KOB Radio, was looking for a way to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The station’s promotional director back then, Susan Johnson, found a man by the name of Sid Cutter flying a hot air balloon and asked him for help.

Sid was relatively new to flying hot air balloons at the time. He was a former Air Force pilot who accidentally drifted off in a hot air balloon when its tether was cut. He learned really quickly  how to fly it and was instantly hooked. Sid purchased his first balloon in 1971.

Sid and Susan developed a plan for a balloon race, and with the help of other enthusiastic participants, they set about to create the largest hot air balloon race in the world. There were 21 balloons invited. Thirteen of them came along with somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 guests.

This first event was held in the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Mall. Since then, the festival has continued to grow each year. In the year 2000, over 1,000 balloons were registered for the event, which now takes place on its permanent 350 acre home. So, what makes this event so dynamic?

International Balloon Festival Highlights

There are many reasons why New Mexico’s balloon festival has grown to the level of popularity that is it now. One of these reasons is due to the number of unique events that are a part of the festival. For example, since 1978, the Dawn Patrol has been a large part of the event.

Each morning during the festival, the Dawn Patrol launches at 5:45am. They have  special lighting that allows them to fly in the dark. Not only is it fun to watch them, but balloon pilots find it helpful because it gives them a better idea of the winds for that day. There is even a choreographed inflation launch of the Dawn Patrol on the mornings of Mass Ascension.

What is Mass Ascension? It is when all of the balloons that are participating in the festival launch around the same time. The launch begins at 7am when a balloon carrying the American flag launches into the sky to the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner. Next, the participating balloons launch in two waves filling the air with beauty, magic, and color.

The Balloon Glow events are probably one of the most popular attractions at the festival. The balloon festival hosts three of them throughout the nine days:

·         Twinkle Twinkle Glow™

·         Balloon Glow

·         Night Magic Glow™

Each of these events takes place at night allowing guests to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the balloons’ glow burners lighting up in the night sky. This event is usually followed by a grand fireworks display, called AfterGlow™,  to finish off the night.

Another extremely popular event, especially amongst families with children, is the Special Shape Rodeo. The Special Shape Rodeo includes over 100 different balloons of all types of shapes. These include things such as Darth Vader, a flying gator, a large bunch of bananas, and even a giant sneaker.

Visiting the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival

If visiting this festival is on your bucket list, you won’t be disappointed. However, you will be amongst about 80,000 other people on any given day, so plan ahead. If you want to attend a morning launch, try to arrive at the gates no later than 4:30am when the gates open. For evening activities, gates open at 3pm and you should arrive no later than 4pm.

A schedule of all of the events for the festival can be found online. So do a little advance preparation and enjoy the show!

 
09-26-2017
09-26-2017
Setting the Right Rent Price for your Rental Property

Running a rental operation can be a pretty solid business but sometimes, setting the right rent price can be quite challenging. Obviously, you don't want to set the rent too low because there is no point in running an operation that does not generate any profits for you. At the same time, you do not want to price your property too high because then you will not be able to attract tenants. Thus, the challenge is to find the middle ground.

Here are a few tips on how you can find the optimal rent price for your property:

Know the Value of Your Property:

First and foremost, you need to know how much your property is worth. This can be done by conducting a real estate market analysis. The value of your property is generally dependant on the property's location, size, age, conditions, improvements and enhancements, various features, amenities etc.

Calculate value

Calculate the Rent Based on the Value:

The general rule of thumb is to charge the rent in the range of 0.8 to 1.1% of your property's value. For a property that is worth $100,000 or less, you can charge between 1 to 1.1% and for properties that are worth $350,000 or more, you can calculate the rent at 0.8% of your property's market value.

Know the Market Rate:

While that formula for calculating the rent will give you a basic rent price that makes sense, you also need to check the rental rates around your property. If your rent is too high compared to similar properties in your area, then there is a very high probability that your property will not be an attractive option for prospective tenants. The most effective strategy in such a scenario is to charge a similar rent price as long as you know that these properties are similar in size, resources and other aspects. However, if you distinctly have something better to offer, then you can go ahead and charge a higher price for that particular feature. For e.g. if your property has a better view compared to another, similar sized property in your area, you can demand a higher rent price. Similarly, if your bedrooms are bigger or if your property has extra bathrooms, you can put a price on that. If you provide more utilities or have more amenities, go right ahead and maximize your profits based on the features you offer on your property. The key thing to remember is that you should have something value to offer. Charging tenants exorbitant rates for something that is already available at a lower price makes no business sense.

Follow the Basic Principle of Demand and Supply:

It is a given that any product/service, when in demand, can command a higher price. Rent prices are no different. If you have a seasonal property for instance, a beach house or a lake house, a cottage near the falls etc. you know that you can charge a higher rent during summer and spring as those are the months when more people rent cottages, beach houses etc. During off-peak months, you can offer discounts and promotions so that you can still generate some income. The lower price during low demand months can easily be compensated during your peak months. It's just changing the rent as per the market dynamics of demand and supply which can be a very effective pricing strategy.

Renting your Airbnb Property:

Renting

If you have a property on Airbnb, you can still follow the same strategies that apply to traditional properties but with some small amendments. Many properties on Airbnb charge their tenants a nightly rate. You can determine this rate by simply dividing your monthly rent by 30. Thiswill give you an approximate rent price per night. You should also compare your nightly rate to the rent rate of similar properties around the location of your property. If you want to stand out, you can offer added utilities or amenities that are not offered by other properties. Another good way of attracting prospective tenants is to offer a low rent price. This is especially useful for owners who are new to Airbnb and do not have any reviews or credibility on thesite. Once you have a few good tenants and some reviews, you can slowly increase your rent. This way you establish credibility and can attract better tenants. Airbnb rent prices are also dependent on demand. Prices per night can be higher during weekends, long weekends, summer and spring season, special events and festivals etc.

 

Keep in mind that your rental property is an investment and you need to ensure that as long as you keep within the market rates, your goal is to generate profits on your investment. This does not mean that you charge atrocious rent prices but this does mean that you understand the property area, the market, the rent trends, the high and low seasons and the property value and you use all these factors to determine the optimum rent price for your property.

08-17-2017
11-08-2017
Tips To Be a Successful Landlord

 

Rental Owner At Work

 

Many people today earn decent enough incomes by renting out their properties. Some use it as a strategy to earn their partial mortgage payments through rent while others are in the business of managing and renting out apartment buildings, town-home communities, and condominiums.

 

Whether your rental operation is big or small, there is no doubt that the quality of a tenant is extremely important. When you do find good tenants, it is well-worth your time and money to ensure you can retain them. One of the easiest ways of retaining tenants is by maintaining your property and providing exceptional service.

 

Here are some great tips on how to be a successful landlord:

 

  1. Make Timely Repairs:

    One of the biggest pet peeves of tenants are landlords that do not make timely repairs. Therefore, as a landlord, if you are notified of something that is not working properly, is broken or needs to be replaced, make the required repairs as soon as possible. Keep in mind that delays can result in your tenants becoming disgruntled and dissatisfied. In addition, they may withhold rent or sue you for an injury related to a defective appliance, broken steps etc.

 

  1. Minimize Your Turnover 

    This can simply be achieved by keeping the property clean, tidy and safe. This may mean cutting the grass regularly, picking up trash, replacing carpets and painting the building. Most of these chores do not require a lot of money but only labor. If done properly and regularly, you can ensure that both your property and your tenants fare well in the long-run.

 

  1. Secure Premises:

    Make sure your property is secure as this not only keeps the tenants safe, it prevents outsiders from damaging your investment. Premises can be secured through fencing, a proper lighting system and/or video surveillance. The safer your tenants feel, the more likely they are to stay long-term.

 

  1. Disclose Hazards:

    Sometimes you may have a water leak or a broken stairwell. If this is the case, make sure you notify your tenants about the hazards. Place clear signs that are visible for all to see and ensure there are no mishaps. The last thing you want is to be sued by the tenant for any injury that may occur due to this hazard.

 

  1. Insure the Property:

    No matter how perfectly you run your rental property, get adequate liability and property insurance.  We live in a world where people are happy to sue at the drop of a dime. You want enough insurance to protect you from any injuries suffered by your tenant, damage to your rental property (fire, vandalism, burglary) or any type of discrimination lawsuit.

 

  1. Do Not Increase Rent Abruptly:

    One of the most common reasons why landlords lose tenants is a sudden increase in rent. This is not to say you can’t ever increase the rent. You can, as long as you do it strategically. Alert the tenants of a rent increase in the near future and give them sufficient time to settle to that fact. Increasing rent requires a delicate balance between your property's’ value and what your tenant can afford. When you decide to increase the rent, conduct a rent survey to find out the average rent in the surrounding area. Make sure you're not overpricing or you risk losing your tenants.

 

  1. Be Understanding:

    Do not penalize tenants for every little mistake or slightly delayed rental payments. Be kind and show some respect and in turn, these tenants will always look after your property and respect you in return. This does not mean you let them stay for free. Be sure to communicate your rental policies. Make sure they know you are running a business but being understanding once in a while is not going to harm you in any way.

 

  1. Avoid Legal Situations:

    No matter how good a landlord you are, there will always be disputes with some tenants. The best way to get around these hassles is to be patient and resolve these issues amicably. Going to court is an expensive undertaking- and there really is no sense in evicting people on minor issues.Therefore, if the issue at hand can be dealt with internally, do it and come to a compromise that is mutually beneficial for both you and the tenant. If there is money involved, try small claims court first.

 

These tips outline how landlords can retain tenants by simply maintaining their property, being civil and understanding and resolving issues internally instead of seeking resolutions in court at the first sign of an issue. By following these tips you'll be able to create a mutually beneficial relationship.

 

If this seems like a lot of work, an alternative is to hire a competent property management company to maintain your rental property and deal with tenants. If this interests you contact us today to find out how we can help you grow your real estate business.

 

08-03-2017
11-08-2017

  • New Mexico Renter's Rights
  • A Renter's Rights in New Mexico
  • Best and Safest Neighborhoods to Live in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • How to Evict a Tenant
  • Albuquerque's International Balloon Festival Overview
  • Setting the Right Rent Price for your Rental Property