November 2014

Found 8 blog entries for November 2014.


Winter is coming which means ice, snow and cold temperatures to deal with. Landlords have to deal with the extra responsibility of ensuring their rental property is safe for tenants. In addition to worrying about snow removal, it’s important to take a look at the roof.

Roofs that are well-insulated can handle snow resting there until it melts but accumulation can harm the structure. Here is what landlords need to do to make sure snowy, cold weather doesn’t damage their property and become a hazard.

Icicle Danger

Make sure to look up from the ground because there may be some icicles up above waiting to fall. Huge icicles and ice dams usually occur when there is poor insulation in the attic or warm air leaking from the home to the attic.

Snow and

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Paying CashThere are many options for payment from your tenants.  Depending on your situation and your tenants will be the deciding factor on how you collect payment. Cash, credit/debit card, bill pay, check and PayPal are all acceptable payment methods. Here’s a quick look at all of them.

Personal Check

Due to check fees, bounced checks and stopped checks are why most landlords try to avoid accepting them. The upside is that they create an instant record when they clear for easy accounting.


You can rarely go wrong with accepting cash.  If you are not a professional landlord, cash is definitely the easiest way to go. It is always very important to provide a receipt when you receive cash.  You can risk being open to a lawsuit when you have no

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LandlordYou need to approach being a Landlord as a business and not as a hobby.  It will require your professional attention and care. Create less stress by approaching your rental properties as entrepreneurs that are successful in business. Here are some tips you should consider.

Create a Customer Profile

Also known as an Avatar, you need to decide what kind of tenant you would like.  Is it the young couple that is starting a family, an older couple that is on a fixed income or a young college graduate?

Once you know what you are looking for it will make your screening process that much easier.  You also need to keep in mind the type of tenant you will attracted based on where your rental property is located.

Tenants are Customer

You will want to keep

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Background CheckSocial media has changed the way we interact in our daily lives.  As long as you do this correctly you can use this valuable information, which is at your fingertips, to your advantage.  

Where Should You Start Looking

Even if you are a stranger to social media it is fairly easy to navigate some popular sites.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are very popular right now and full of useful information.

If your potential tenant has set their account to public, then anyone has access to this information without any risk of wrong doing.  People are more frequently documenting their daily lives, sometimes even hour by hour.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Some people are very quick to post pictures and videos of their lives.  You may find that you

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Professional TenantsJust as there are “Professional Students” (a lifelong student that never earns a degree or gets a real job), there are also “Professional Tenants”.  They like to complain and challenge you and they often know the legal ins and outs.  

They may legally challenge you and by the time you follow all of the proper legal steps they can vanish, leaving you with unpaid rent.  At times they can be difficult to spot, very slippery and good at this job.

What are the warning signs?

The more thorough you are during your application process, while screening your potential tenants and experience over time, the easier it will be to spot the Professional Tenant.

Some of these tenants will include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Bad credit, collections
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Assistance AnimalsAs much as we may like our furry, four pawed friends, they are enough to make any landlord cringe.  As a landlord you need to keep yourself up to date and well informed of the federal, state and local laws regarding Assistance Animal.  Due to the increased studies showing the benefits of assistance animals for the physically and mentally disabled, you very well might encounter this situation in the very near future.

Don’t Discriminate

You need to learn the rules and conditions of Reasonable Accommodations, so that you know what is expected of you and allowed in your rental.  You cannot ask disability questions due to discrimination. Some disabilities, such as a wheelchair are very visible. However, animal assistance is becoming more popular with

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NegotiationIf you own a rental property or multiple properties, don’t be surprised at some point for your tenant to ask for lower rent.  This is a very common practice especially around the time of a renewal of a lease.  It’s best to remain open and listen to your tenant.

Keeping a good relationship with your tenant will make your life easier.  Unhappy tenants can cost you more than possibly keeping a happy tenant that pays on time and respects you and your property.

Be Prepared

  • Know the Current Market - Just as the current housing market fluctuates, so does the rental market.  If you are charging above what your area is going for your renter may very well be deserving of a discounted rent amount.  If you lose that tenant it may be very difficult to replace
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Rules for FamiliesLandlords cannot refuse to rent to families with children, in most situations. This cannot be used as a reason not to rent to an applicant. However, the clutter, noise and other effects of children on a home may be mitigated by a landlord in the lease. This may not be legal, though and you may want to avoid adding rules for children in the lease.

Rules You Should Avoid

If you want to keep yourself out of legal trouble, avoid these rules:

  • Don't refuse to rent to families with children - This is illegal, unless the housing is set aside specifically for seniors.
  • Don't restrict areas children can go - If you require a tenant to take a lower-level apartment because they have children, you can get in trouble with the law.
  • Don't require children to
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