October 2014

Found 9 blog entries for October 2014.

VacationsSometimes, landlords think that once they have invested in a rental property, they can no longer take week-long vacations. However, this can be done, with the right planning.

Landlords deserve to be able to take a vacation without worrying about their property, while they are gone. Here are a few tips to help you take your well-deserved vacation even with rental properties.

Choose the Right Time of the Year

There are certainly times of the year that are much busier than others for landlords. Traveling at the holidays may not be the best idea and you may also want to avoid the spring and fall when maintenance may be needed. The best time of the month to take your vacation is after rent has already been collected, as well.

Hire a Temporary

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Making your rental property as appealing as possible will help you fill the property much faster. You won't have to worry about the property sitting vacant for very long in between leases. Here's how you can use flowers make your property more appealing to renters.

Boost Curb Appeal with Flowers

VasePlacing flowers strategically will help to ensure your prospective tenants see the appeal. You can use the flowers to help draw attention to the entryway or another area of the home. Flowers in the most high traffic areas can help in many ways.

If you don't want to dig up the yard to create flower beds, you can use potted flowers, window boxes and other flower displays to create the right appeal. Some of the most popular places to put flowers include:

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Performing a Credit CheckWhen you decide to start renting a home to a tenant, you may be wondering if it's work doing a credit check. There are a few things to look at and if you want to minimize your risk, a credit check is a good thing to do. Here are a few things to know about doing a credit check.

Avoid Discrimination

If you decide to do credit or background checks, you need to make sure you do them on all potential tenants. This will help you to avoid discriminating against anybody or being accused of choosing a renter unfairly.

Which Credit Report Should You check?

Whether you do a full three report check or you just check one, you should know what all three reports will show. You can get a FICO score from any of the reports, however.

Checking all three reports

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LandlordBeing a landlord certainly comes with plenty of stresses. However, it can be beneficial to stop and remember what you love about being a landlord. Here are some of the things you might want to add to your list.

Smart Investing

You should be proud of yourself because you've made, what most consider, a smart investment. Yes, you could have bought stock, but it will go up and down. Most real estate will simply go up and will not go down over the years you own it.

Value Control

Another thing you should love is the value control you gain from investing in real estate. You cannot add to a stock and make it more valuable, but you can with a home. You can upgrade the home, add square footage or add something else new to the property and see the value go

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UtilitiesIt's important for landlords to understand what happens with the utilities whenever they are in between tenants. Rental properties often include electric, water, gas, garbage and sewage for utilities. Some of these utilities may be worked into the price of the rent to avoid conflict with stopping and starting accounts with the utility providers.

However, in many cases landlords expect tenants to take care of the utilities and even put them in their own name. If this is the case, what will you be dealing with if it takes just a few days to get a new tenant into the property or if it takes a few months?

Using a Revert to Owner Agreement

The Revert to Owner Agreement is one of the best and most common ways to handle the utilities. This agreement is

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SmokingLandlords that rent out their property have decisions to make. Do they want pets allowed in the rental? Do they want to provide the furniture? Should they allow smoking?

Landlords may not like smoking in their rental property. Smoking has become a huge health concern and the laws are allowing landlords to claim this property as smoke-free. Since smoking isn’t a right and smokers aren’t protected under any legal class, it is acceptable in many states to designate smoke-free regulations. Here is what landlords should know.

Application Process

You have the right to not rent to a smoker. If someone applies to rent your property, you have the right to ask if they smoke. You can reject applicants that intend to smoke in your rental property. You are

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Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse has become a prevalent issue around the nation. It accounts for 1/5th of violent crimes and it’s typically taking place in a victim’s home.

Since so many people rent, landlords are faced with having to address this issue. What is the landlord’s responsibility when domestic abuse is taking place in their rented property? Here is what landlords need to know about responding to domestic abuse.

What are the Laws?

Landlords can’t evict a tenant that becomes a victim of domestic abuse that took place on the property, which includes stalking and dating violence. Landlords also cannot hold that victim to a higher standard than other tenants, such as allowing excessive noise and forgiving rental damage. Finally, landlords can’t refuse to rent

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As a landlord, do you know the laws regarding assistance animals? When you have a tenant renting from you that requires the medical need to have an animal, you need to be aware of your tenant’s rights and what federal and state laws say about the situation. Here is what landlords should know about this type of situation.

What are assistance animals?

Dog and Human Shaking Hands

Landlords need to understand that assistance animals are those which assist people suffering from a medical ailment. A person that might own an assistant animal would be someone that has a mental or physical impairment that limits lifestyle activities. This could include impairments in working, seeing, walking, dressing, cleaning, etc. If a person has a history of such impairments or is regarded as having

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Preventing Break-ins

Break-ins can happen anywhere and landlords can feel the extra strain of this concern when they are renting out their property.  Landlords and tenants can take precautions to ward off burglars, such as upgrading window locks, lighting up the exterior, and installing a home security system. Here are a few tips for landlords to help in preventing break-ins.

Install a Home Security System

While expensive, home security systems are the most effective prevention for theft. There are various options for these; some offer an alarm when the entrance is breached, while others are silent, but notify the police when activated.

Check Window Locks, Doors, and Locks

When you get a new tenant in your property, check all of the window locks by testing them. If

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