Skip to content Sitemap

What Is Negative Equity — and Can You Reverse It?

When you have negative equity in your home, it means that you owe more money on your mortgage than your home is worth. Some lenders refer to this as an “underwater mortgage.” But if lenders won’t loan you more money than a home is worth, how is negative equity possible?


What You Need to Know About the Fair Housing Act

As a provider of property management in Philadelphia, DJCRE knows that being a landlord can be tough. You need to chase your tenants down for rent, make sure maintenance is done in a timely fashion, and handle evictions. However, in addition to the day-to-day operations of being a landlord, you also have a responsibility to understand and follow the Fair Housing Act. If you go against the laws and protections listed in the Fair Housing Act, you might find yourself in a courtroom or on the receiving end of a large legal bill.

The Fair Housing Act is an ordinance that protects renters from discriminatory landlord practices. The Fair Housing Act is a federal mandate and is valid in every state. The Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on the following classes:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • County of origin
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Familial status
  • Disability

Housing discrimination isn’t just refusing to rent to someone because of their race or because they follow a certain religion. The following are also examples of housing discrimination: 

  • Requiring a larger security deposit or a higher rent because an applicant is of a certain race.
  • Advertising that a certain religion of people will receive preferential treatment if they apply for the space.
  • Using different income or credit standards based on an applicant’s gender.
  • Refusing to make reasonable accessibility adjustments to the space for disabled men and women.
  • Falsely deny that the rental is available once you find out that an applicant has children.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of ways that landlords might discriminate. If you violate the Fair Housing Act, a tenant or applicant may choose to sue you for discriminatory housing practices.

Navigating housing laws can be tricky. Property management companies in Graduate Hospital like DJCRE can help you rent out your space without worrying about housing laws. Give our team a call today at 215-720-1097 to learn more about what DJCRE can do for you!

The Dos and Don’ts of Communicating With Tenants

If you have a rental property, you’ve probably dealt with at least one sketchy tenant. From throwing parties late at night to being consistently late on rent, there are plenty of reasons why you might be annoyed with a tenant. However, as a landlord, you have to pay special attention to the methods and words you use when you communicate with your tenants. Speaking or communicating with tenants in a way that’s hostile or threatening (even if unintentional) can land you in court.

Need to have a tough conversation with a tenant? Use these simple “dos” and “don’ts” to help you stay on the right side of the law. (more…)

How to Write and Serve a Legal Eviction Notice in Pennsylvania

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an attorney to serve an eviction notice. Any landlord can begin the eviction process in Pennsylvania, by themselves or with the help of an eviction service in South Philly. However, if you don’t take the right steps and follow the legal eviction process, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a massive fine or lawsuit. A legal eviction begins with an eviction notice. Here’s how to write and serve an eviction notice and begin the process the right way. (more…)

4 Reasons Real Estate Investors Are Flocking to Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital Neighborhood

One of Philly’s Hottest Areas:

Graduate Hospital is one of Philadelphia’s most eclectic and popular areas to reside. Here at DJCRE, we’re honored to be one of the leading property management companies that Graduate Hospital and surrounding area residents and businesses use to promote their latest real estate treasures. Since 2010, we’ve seen the Graduate Hospital area steadily increase in popularity, with many listings being sold or rented within their first 40 days on the market.

Vibrant and Eclectic:

This Southwest Center City neighborhood is just a ten-minute walk from the popular Rittenhouse shops and restaurants. Affectionately called “G-Ho” among locals, Graduate Hospital also has a range of eateries and hidden getaways that give the district its character and vibrant appeal. This area is very popular with young professionals and families due to its low crime rate, safety, and significant street lighting.

Renovated and Established:

Over the years, new construction and renovations have been prevalent in the Graduate Hospital area. This resulted in increased gentrification, seeing the area become ever more popular with university students and young professionals. Popular spots such as Grace’s Tavern, Resurrection Ale House and Sidecar Bar attract visitors from all over the city. It’s also less pricey than Rittenhouse and Washington Square, giving the area a city feel without a city price tag.

Historical and Eventful:

Graduate Hospital is an area that is mostly comprised of 19th and 20th century three-story row homes. There are many unique bars and restaurants with live music and events scattered across the district. Due to the recent renovation in the area, a lot of the homes here are brand new and beautiful. During the summer months, bands play in the area’s green spaces, and there are always unique events for the residents and visitors of Graduate Hospital to attend.

A combination of all the above factors is the reason that real estate investors are keeping property management companies in Philadelphia busy. On a daily basis, our professional agents are prospecting and creating valuable opportunities and partnerships for the Philadelphia real estate industry. Check out the unique investment opportunities that DJCRE offer in the Graduate Hospital area today.

3 Ways to Use Lighting to Make Your Rental Property Look Larger

As a property owner, you want to make sure that you’re getting as much money as possible out of your rental property. However, renovating a space to add more room can be expensive and, in some cases, impossible if your property is located in a tightly-packed urban area. Luckily, our Philly property management company knows that there are a few lighting tricks you can use to help your space feel bigger at little-to-no extra cost. Use our tips to help improve your rental property’s aesthetic value!

  • Take advantage of natural lighting. Natural lighting makes interior spaces look larger quickly and easily. Avoid placing heavy or dark curtains in your rental properties, as these can block off light even when the window is open and make it more difficult for light to reflect and fill the space. Placing mirrors across from sources of natural light will open the space even further.
  • Use the right light bulbs. Did you know that different light bulbs can affect how large a room looks? It’s true! If the interior of your property has overhead lighting, try swapping out current fluorescent or LED bulbs for incandescent bulbs; these light bulbs emit a warm, inviting glow that makes rooms look more spacious and inviting.
  • Take advantage of task lighting. Does your property have a room with no lighting fixtures or lightning that leaves a dark corner? Task lighting fixtures are affordable to install and can quickly clear up lighting issues, making the room appear larger.

No time to manage your property? Let DJCRE’s local property management in Philadelphia make the most out of your space! DJCRE connects property owners with reliable tenants and helps take care of the day-to-day maintenance and repairs needed to keep properties looking great. Give our team a call today at 215-720-1097 to learn more!

How to Legally Evict a Tenant in Pennsylvania

No one likes to think about the possibility that a tenant might not pay their rent. Unfortunately, the reality of being a landlord often includes knowing and using the eviction process to remove stubborn tenants. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just tell a tenant to hit the road after he or she has failed to pay rent. Following the proper steps to evict your tenant will help keep you within the bounds of the law. If you need to evict a tenant in Pennsylvania, follow these steps.

  • Draft a Notice to Quit. A Notice to Quit is a document that gives the tenant a warning that he or she is going to be evicted. Your Notice to Quit should include the name and contact information of the landlord, the address of the rental property, the tenant’s name, the date by which the tenant must move out, and the reason for eviction. If the tenant is late on rent, the notice should also include the amount of rent owed. In Pennsylvania, you must give your tenant at least 30 days’ notice before eviction if the lease was for one year or more and 15 days’ notice if the lease was for less than one year.
  • Serve your Notice. You must serve your tenant a physical copy of the Notice to Quit. You may personally deliver the notice to your tenant, or post the notice on a visible space on the property, such as the door. Do not mail the notice. Write down the time that service occurred and, if a tenant was not personally served, photograph where you posted the notice.
  • Contact an eviction lawyer. If the tenant does not move out by the Notice to Quit date, you’ll need a lawyer to file a Landlord/Tenant Complaint with the magistral judge. The judge will schedule a hearing within 15 days of receiving the complaint.
  • Attend court. If you are not working with a company providing property management in South Philly, you will want to personally attend court along with your lawyer. Bring evidence that you served the notice and information on why the tenant is being evicted. The judge will hear all evidence and make a decision within 3 days of the hearing.
  • Claim your Order for Possession. You and your tenant will receive a copy of the judgment in the mail. If the judgment is in your favor, the magistrate will issue an Order for Possession 10 days after the ruling. After 10 days have passed, both you and the tenant will receive an Order for Possession that states the date you will reclaim the property. The tenant may use these ten days to appeal the ruling. If the tenant does not appeal the ruling or the appeal is denied, and they still refuse to move, the tenant will be forcibly removed by the constable.

The eviction process is long, arduous, and annoying. At DJCRE, we provide complete property management in South Philly — which includes placing great tenants who will pay their rent and the entirety of the eviction process if they don’t. Give us a call today at 215-720-1097 to learn more!

Make Your Rental Property Feel Like Home With These 6 Tips

If acquiring your dream home is still out of reach, getting a rental might be a viable option for you. The downside to renting is lacking that feeling that you’re “at home,” especially if you’re dealing with a small, temporary space. Luckily, with a little makeover, your rental property can resemble the interior of your dream home.

If you’re looking for property management companies in Philadelphia, our team at DJCRE knows how to help people find the best rental that works within their budget. We understand how important it is to not only find a space that fits your budget, but that also fits your personal style. We encourage people to make their living space as cozy as possible, which is why we have comprised a list of ideas to help tenants transform their property into a space that is comfy, visually pleasing, and feels like home.

6 Ways To Enhance Your Rental

Ask Your Landlord  

When you rent a property, the last thing you want to do is upset your landlord by damaging the space you’re temporarily living in, as this can lead to further expenses or fees. The fear of property damage forces you to live in a space as it is. What most people don’t know is that landlords are often quite understanding when it comes to home decor. If you want to make your living space more comforting, don’t be afraid to ask your landlord how they feel about painting the walls or hanging shelves and pictures — the worst thing they can say is no. There may be cases where you’re required to paint the walls back to their original color at the end of your stay. However, it’s possible that your landlord may agree on a color that is suitable for both of you.


Windows provide much-needed light, especially in small living spaces. Enhance your rental property by adding window drapes. Even if there are existing blinds or curtains, replacing them with some that are more your style will make your living space feel cozier.


The best way to improve the ambiance of your rental property is by adding statement lighting. Floor lamps, desk lamps, and candles are a great way to enhance an otherwise dull atmosphere. By choosing lighting that complements the style of your living space, you’ll be sure to create a welcoming atmosphere.


With people moving in and out of the same property year after year, the carpet is likely to experience a lot of wear. Not only do you have to live with a dingy carpet, but that eyesore is going to be out in plain sight for your guests to notice. The best way to feel more at home in your new living space is by laying a couple rugs over the existing carpet. Not only will these new rugs accentuate your style, but you’ll feel more comfortable in your space.  

Personal Touch

Displaying your favorite items such as books, decorations, and knick-knacks will transfer your personality and style into your space, making it feel more liveable. When you decorate your place with items that express who you are, you’re essentially creating a space that is meant for you — making it enjoyable for the duration of the time you spend there.

Maximize Space

Some rental properties come with built-in shelving or mantles that should be utilized to maximize the space you’re given. For an added touch, get large mirrors that prop up against the wall to create the illusion of more space.

There are many different ways to add a personal touch to your living space to make you feel “at home.” Use these tips to spice up your rental property to make your stay even more enjoyable. Interested in property management companies in Graduate Hospital? Call us at 215-720-1097 to learn more.

5 Money-Saving Holiday Tips for College Students

Life can be expensive for college students, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still embrace the holiday season! Here, we share our money-saving holiday tips for college students so you can enjoy a season full of cheer—not bills!

  • Buy travel tickets home early. No matter if you’re planning on catching a flight home or taking the bus, tickets become scarcer and more expensive as the holiday approaches. Buy your tickets as soon as possible to save both money and stress!
  • Put a price limit on gift exchanges. If you and your friends are planning a holiday gift exchange, institute a price limit to help everyone save. Banning gifts that cost over $20 isn’t only great for your wallet—it also forces everyone to be creative, which can result in some seriously silly memories.
  • Pay your credit card bills on time. If you’re charging gifts to a credit card this holiday, make sure you pay the minimum balance on-time to avoid excessive interest charges. Set alarms on your cell phone to remind you to pay your bills a few days before the due date or sign up for automatic bill pay through your credit card provider.
  • Ask for practical gifts from mom and dad. Instead of asking for fun gifts from family members (like a new eyeshadow palette or the latest video game console), ask for practical gifts that will provide value throughout the year. Gifts like or grocery gift cards, cooking utensils, or home improvement supplies can make your life easier—and leave you with more cash throughout the year!
  • Consider saving money by moving off-campus. On-campus housing may be convenient, but it can also be a massive drain on a student’s budget. Property management companies in Philadelphia can help students find their perfect off-campus pad at a price they can afford!

There’s still plenty of time to secure your off-campus apartment for the upcoming spring semester! Providers of property management in Philadelphia like DJCRE know how to help college students save money and live with more space by moving into an off-campus home or apartment. Give our team a call today at 215-720-1097 to learn more.

4 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Tenants

Property managers in Philadelphia know that difficult tenants can make life unnecessarily difficult and stressful for landlords. Bad tenants may cause property damage, may not pay their rent on time, and can break the terms of their lease by throwing crazy parties and collecting noise complaints. If you’re currently dealing with a bad tenant, use these four tips to make the process a little easier.

  • Don’t threaten them. Remember the golden rule—you should always treat people the way that you would like to be treated. Threatening your tenants with eviction should be saved as a last resort and should only be used in the most extreme cases of tenant issues.
  • Open lines of communication. Most tenants don’t want to have problems with their landlords. Responding quickly to text messages and emails and addressing maintenance concerns as soon as they are made can do wonders for improving the attitude and behavior of your tenants.
  • Document everything. Keeping written records of everything will help speed up the eviction process if you need to remove your bad tenants. Communicate only through email and text message, write dates on all written communication you have with the tenant, and take photos of any notes you leave on a tenant’s door. When inspecting your property, take photos and videos of damage because this will save you time and stress if a tenant argues with you over a security deposit when they move out.
  • Don’t break the rules. It doesn’t matter if your tenant hasn’t paid rent, won’t leave after their lease has ended, or has destroyed your property. As a landlord, you are bound to a set of behavioral rules that must be followed by law. Even if you are frustrated, avoid taking illegal actions like shutting off utilities or popping by without at least 24 hours’ notice.

Sick of dealing with bad tenants? A property manager in West Philadelphia can help you go back to enjoying your rental income without the stress! To learn more, give DJCRE a call today at 215-720-1097 or browse our website.