January 2015

Found 8 blog entries for January 2015.

Home for Rent

Renting to friends and family can either be a very positive or very negative experience. It is imperative that you continue to treat your rentals like a business and treat your tenants as tenants even if they are friends or family. In the following we will explore the Pros and Cons for whether renting to friends and family is right for you.

Pros

  • The Background Check

Obviously you know this person. Maybe you know them extremely well, and if you don’t, then it will probably be very easy for you to get the information that you need to know. The “professional” tenant has very crafty and sneaky ways of getting around a standard background check.

  • It Feels Good to Help Someone Out

There are many situations that someone might find themselves

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Question Mark - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/desiitaly/2201907500

If you are handy and competent then you can save yourself some money and fix whatever the problem might be in your rental. But what do you do when the problem is out of your scope and expertise?

Hiring a Local Contractor will more than likely be your next step. However, most Landlords make bad decisions when they to hire Local Contractors. The majority of the time it is because the landlords is being frugal and trying to save money.

Ten Important Questions to Ask When Checking References

Try to avoid the nightmare of hiring a bad contractor and hiring them for the wrong reasons. Ask specific questions and ask for references.

  1. Did the contractor stay in touch during the project?
  2. Did everyone on the crew show up on time?
  3. Did you feel
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Eco-Friendly House

Many people are going “green” lately with increased recycling, carpooling and even adding “green” elements to their homes. Homes use up resources with energy and water use but when you rent, you have less control of the usage. While you can watch your water and heat usage, you can’t change the insulation or install a programmable thermostat like a homeowner can.

What can landlords do to become more eco-friendly in their properties? Here is a look at how to become more eco-friendly as a landlord and how to advertise this to tenants.

Why you should be eco-friendly

US residents pay over $130 billion annually in wasted energy. Water consumption has increased 127 percent from the average amount used back in 1950. It’s becoming increasingly important

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Landlord

Landlords have to decide on whether or not to create an LLC, or Limited Liability Company, on their rental property. It’s a common discussion among landlords because it covers two main issues that landlords run into; tax liability and legal liability.

All landlords are going to have unique tax situations which will require an accountant or tax preparer before finding the right answer. Here are a few points to keep in mind when determining if you should form an LLC as a landlord this year.

Legal Liability

Landlords always have to worry about potentially being sued by a tenant. The LLC structure isn’t going to completely protect you against personal liability. You’ll probably be personally liable for neglecting a job that affects the safety of a

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Electronic Payments - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmrcgovuk/9899159484

How does a Landlord know if they should accept Electronic Payments for rent? The check has become an outdated form of payment. There are many options available with today’s technology.

The most popular form of payment seems to come in the form of direct rent deposits. This can be done by Direct Deposits into the Landlords account or Automatic Withdrawal from the tenant’s bank account.

There can be some risks, but it very convenient, especially for out-of-town Landlords. Here are a few of the many forms of electronic payments landlords may want to consider accepting.

Automatic Withdrawals

Other than the tenant not having sufficient funds in their account or funds available on their credit card, there is little risk to the Landlord. It decreases

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Landlord

In most cases the landlord may not even realize that they are harassing their tenant. You need stay educated to deal with times of frustration properly.

What exactly is Landlord Harassment?

Landlord Harassment is a certain set of behaviors that are designed to encourage the tenant to abandon the rental property or break the lease agreement. This type of harassment can be difficult for tenants to prove. However, the courts and landlords are becoming more aware of Landlord Harassment.

Landlord Harassment will often happen in situations where a landlord would like to place a new, higher paying tenant and does not want to wait on proper methods to do so.

The following are some examples of Landlord Harassment:

  • Refusing to accept or acknowledge
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Vacant Rental Property

For landlords that are trying to rent out a property, there will come a time when you’ll have to show your vacant rental property to interested prospective tenants. This happens dozens of times as a landlord.

You might be worried about picking the perfect tenant, but the perfect tenant may turn down a property if their viewing wasn’t a pleasant experience. Increase your pool or applicants by following these tips for showing your vacant rental property.

Treat it like a business meeting

Meeting a prospective tenant is the way in which the tenant and yourself will get an impression of one another. Treat it like a business meeting in which you are showing off your property to convince a well-qualified applicant that this is the perfect place for them

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Cat - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pics4dawn/12474422135

Pets are always a difficult decision for landlords. Most people want pets or already own pets, so banning pets from your property is a sure way to detract a huge chunk of your customer base. For those that own pets, it can be difficult to find a rental because pet rules are strict everywhere they go. Many rentals will allow dogs, cats, fish and even reptiles, but this can be a noise issue, cause odors and disrupt neighbor’s style of life. Here is a look at the worst pets in rental properties.

Fish

Fish seem like a harmless pet to have in a rental unit. Most people will allow fish tanks at their properties but you may want to consider a size limit. If the tank breaks, you’ll have flooding bad. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about noise complains

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