Make us your home page
Instagram

Pasco couple's business helps remote owners monitor homes

Mike Martyniak, 64, co-owns POV Home Watch, which monitors homes for owners who live far away or are away on vacation.

Courtesy of Brenda Martyniak

Mike Martyniak, 64, co-owns POV Home Watch, which monitors homes for owners who live far away or are away on vacation.

HUDSON — Last year, Mike and Brenda Martyniak noticed a problem in their neighborhood.

"Squatters lived across the street from our house," said Brenda Martyniak, 56.

At first, nobody knew that the squatters had moved in to what had been a vacant house, she said. Then nobody could prove that the people in it shouldn't be there.

So she wondered if businesses exist that help protect remote owners of vacant homes from problems not limited to squatters. She and her husband ended up starting one: POV Home Watch.

POV stands for "property on-site verification." The business, which has offered its services in Pasco, Hernando and northern Pinellas counties since October, is multifaceted: The Martyniaks can monitor snowbirds' homes in spring, summer and fall; vacation rental homes whose owners live afar, and homes when their owners take frequent or extended vacations.

POV Home Watch does not provide property management, Brenda Martyniak said, but services for homeowners who "don't feel as though they could afford a property manager but don't want to burden their next-door neighbor to watch their home."

Services can start with a photo shoot of the home's exterior, interior and contents.

"Should there be a fire, a theft, a severe storm, there's a photographic record of everything inside and outside of the home," said Mike Martyniak, 64. "It provides evidence of what you had, the value of what you had, so that you can get a more appropriate claim when you have a problem."

The rest of POV Home Watch's services are intended to prevent problems, or to fix problems that couldn't be avoided.

"We make sure the home appears to be maintained and lived in, which provides a crime deterrent," said Mike Martyniak. "We are tasked to monitor the home and to report any anomalies or areas of concern that need attention."

The cost for services depends on the size of the home, said Brenda Martyniak. For a 1,200-square-foot home, the cost starts at $75 per month for biweekly visits. Additional features such as docks, decks or other assets on the property incur additional fees.

Problems POV Home Watch might find could include leaks or pests.

"Imagine walking into your house after three months of a water leak," said Brenda Martyniak. "You now have mold and all kinds of issues you wouldn't have had. A $10,000 problem instead of a $2,000 problem."

Some homeowners have used security systems to monitor their homes from a distance, said Brenda Martyniak.

But "the security camera can't use your nose, and can't see things like bugs and rodent droppings," she said.

POV Home Watch can do that, she said, and the Martyniaks recommend that clients have the business check their houses every two weeks.

"If a problem goes unreported for over 14 days, the insurance company will most likely decline the claim for reimbursement," said Brenda Martyniak.

If a problem arises, POV Home Watch serves as an advocate for the homeowner, said Mike Martyniak. He documents the problem and reports it to the homeowner so that the homeowner can hire somebody to fix it in time to prevent further damage. The Martyniaks open the home for repair professionals and stay on site while the problems are fixed. They also can recommend electricians, plumbers and other professionals.

"We're really like boots on the ground for homeowners," said Brenda Martyniak.

For information about POV Home Watch, call (727) 868-6059 or visit POVHomeWatch.com.

Pasco couple's business helps remote owners monitor homes 02/24/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 5:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  3. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  4. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]