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. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]