How Private Are Tenant Screenings? (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series, we started examining the laws and ethics surrounding the information contained in tenant screenings. In the course of a tenant screening, you and your employees will handle sensitive information. Handling and relaying that information in an ethical, responsible way can be very difficult. State-by-State Privacy Laws As we discuss the legal aspects of handling sensitive information, keep in mind that privacy laws can be different from place to place, ... Read More

How Private Are Tenant Screenings? (Part 1)

When you're screening a tenant, you're going to come across plenty of sensitive information. This includes full names, dates of birth, previous addresses, employers, social security numbers, financial histories, and other information that is considered private and protected. This can end up being a concerning ethical and legal problem if handled incorrectly. When a tenant hasn't authorized information to be handled by a third party (such as an office manager or another landlord wo ... Read More

How Much Should You Disclose in the Tenant Screening Process?

When you're trying to fill a vacancy, you need to do a lot more than simply run a credit check. One problem tenant can eat up hours of your time (and cost you a lot of money in some cases), so it pays to put in some extra effort during the application process to weed out as many problems as possible. The clearer you are about your expectations, the less likely you are to run into problems after the lease is signed. Start With the Application Before you start narrowing down your list, l ... Read More

Setting Minimum Application Requirements for Tenants

When you first put together your minimum requirements for a tenant, it's important to have rules and stick to them. Fluctuating vacancy rates can make it tough to stick to your guidelines, but just a few false steps will make you remember why you put them in place to begin with. Before you sign an agreement with any tenant, you should have a fairly stringent application process. Decide on the application requirements, including the minimum credit score accepted, whether you'll do a backg ... Read More

Top Best Deciders When Choosing Between Tenant Applicants

You have several criteria to examine when looking at tenant applications. You learn about the tenant's' credit history, employment status, and background when conducting a screening. In some cases, you end up with multiple tenants who meet some or all of your qualifications. The top deciders for choosing the right tenants depend on your personal preferences, but these criteria are a good place to start. Income Consistency You want renters who have no problem paying rent month after ... Read More

How To Patch Nail Holes in Drywall

It's a landlord's worst nightmare: holes are everywhere in the drywall thanks to nails used to hang up pictures. In many jurisdictions, this is considered normal wear and tear and can't be charged against a security deposit. Yet you can't rent a unit when the walls are full of holes, right? Here's how you can fix that problem quickly and cheaply. 1. Clean The Wall. You'll want to have a clean surface before starting. Use warm soapy water for the best results. Don ... Read More

What is the Eviction Process in Rhode Island

Despite a thorough screening process, there are times when a tenant doesn't fulfill their obligations to a rental agreement. When this occurs, a landlord has the ability to seek an eviction. The eviction process in Rhode Island is simple and straightforward, so as long as each step is followed, there is a good chance that you'll win your case if it proceeds far enough to be heard by a judge. Most eviction cases are settled out of court and this typically allows the rental unit to be retu ... Read More

Easy Guide to Nebraska Landlord Tenant Law

The landlord tenant laws of Nebraska are consistently evolving, so each year having access to an easy guide which highlights key points is a helpful thing to bookmark. This guide is not intended as legal advice nor should be a substitute for legal help. It is intended for general informational purposes only. 1. Security Deposits and Pets Landlords are not required to allow pets. For those that do, a pet security deposit may be required. Nebraska requires a pet deposit to be capped at 25% o ... Read More

How To Patch Drywall Ceiling

One of the most common household chores that gets put off is fixing a crack in a drywall ceiling. Although this task can be somewhat labor-intensive, the actual step by step process is rather easy. Make sure you have a stepladder, scaffold, or platform that can let you safely reach the repair site. Once you do, you'll be ready to follow these steps. 1. Gather Your Necessary Tools And Equipment. You're going to need joint compound, a putty knife, and a drywall sander. If the crack i ... Read More

Top 6 Questions to Expect from Your New Tenants and Applicants

When prospective tenants express interest in a property, they often have a list of questions to review before signing the lease and moving in. Some of these questions are obvious and you probably already know the answers, but for others, you might want to think about creating some firm policies for reference and consistency. Become well-versed in your policies to avoid any miscommunication or seemingly preferential treatment. Here are the top six questions you can expect from new tenants and ap ... Read More

Should You Create a Presence on Social Media?

Facebook gets visited by 1 billion people every day, hosting countless conversations on everything from the weather to the latest restaurant in town. Other social media sites don't have quite as many users, but they are also hotbeds for everyday conversation. Sometimes this conversation swings around to landlord recommendations, property listings, and other topics relevant to your business. If you're on the fence about creating social media profiles for your properties or your business, ... Read More

Should You Hire an Individual Property Manager or a Company?

Whether you live far away from your properties, you're sick of fielding emergency calls from tenants or you're just too busy, you've decided to hire some help to manage your rentals. But before you pick up the phone to hire a property manager, consider whether you need a right-hand man or the might of an entire company to manage your real estate. When You Should Hire an Individual Property Manager Consider hiring an individual property manager if you have the following preferen ... Read More

Specialized Housing

How to Make Sure You're Matching Up with the Fair Housing Laws Specialized housing, which is intended to provide housing to a specific niche of the market, must also comply with the Fair Housing Act. This law, which was enacted in 1968, prohibits discrimination in the housing market based on gender, race, nationality, familial status, and disability. Because specialized housing, like student or senior housing, aims at a particular demographic by its very definition, complying with it can ... Read More

What to Do If Your Tenant Shuts Off Communication

Not even the best landlord on earth can avoid running into a situation where a tenant refuses to respond to your requests or won't answer the phone or even the door. It can be a very sticky situation for you, especially if the matter that needs to be resolved is not necessarily a breach of the rental agreement that allows you to begin the eviction process. If you find yourself trying to communicate with a tenant who you think is trying to avoid you, try these methods of getting in touch befo ... Read More

Taking a Holiday

How to Take a Holiday When You Do Not Have a Property Management Firm for Your Rental   Being your own boss makes it difficult to take a holiday. Even a sick day can set you back and leave your tenants in a panic if you don’t answer your phone immediately. But since everyone needs a break, especially overworked landlords, you can take time off and not regret it when you return to work by being organized and planning ahead. Get Caught Up Spend time before your vacation gett ... Read More

The Top 4 Most Expensive Mistakes That Landlords Make

No one becomes a landlord just because it seems like fun. You do it because you want to make money. Unfortunately, a lot of landlords make expensive mistakes that undermine their ability to earn as much money as possible. Whatever you do, try to avoid these top four most expensive mistakes that many landlords make. 1. Delaying the Eviction Process Although the eviction process varies from state to state, in most cases you can expect it to take about 30 days. Depending on the circumstances, ... Read More

Branding: why what people say about you on social media is so important as a landlord

Social media websites are used by 65 percent of US adults, and this figure goes up when you look at the millennial demographic. You may focus on word-of-mouth referrals from your current tenants to keep your properties filled, but social media digitizes these recommendations, and gives current and former tenants a far-reaching platform for their thoughts and opinions. Understanding what people are saying about you and your properties online, especially on social media sites, helps you improve yo ... Read More

How do you legally terminate a contract with a property management company?

Maybe you thought that the expertise of a property management company would help you run your properties more smoothly and allow you to expand your business, but things didn't work out as planned. Now you want to end your contract before the proposed date, but are wondering how, and even if it is possible at all. Terminating a property management contract can be a tricky situation, but if you are not getting the results that you think you should be, stop spending money on the service as soon ... Read More

What Is a Rent Stabilized Increase

In New York City and other urban areas where the free market rental rates can be higher than what some residents can pay, rent stabilized units are available at varying levels of vacancy. These units are not controlled by landlord-tenant negotiations or the free market conditions of scarcity. They are instead governed by a controlling board or group that oversees how much a landlord is allowed to raise their rent every year. If an apartment, flat, single family home, or other rental unit ... Read More

New Jersey Renters Rights Explained

Information is the key component of a good relationship between a landlord and tenant. The New Jersey renters rights explained here are not intended to cover every situation which may come up, but can serve as a guide for a better understanding of what is and what is not allowed. Because landlord tenant laws are reviewed from time to time, it is important to also review state statutes when finding a solution to a problem you're facing. Here are the key points to consider when looking at the ... Read More

Tenant Screening

Comprehensive credit & criminal screening.
Get access to bankruptcies, employment history, medical records, past addresses, evictions and more.

View Pricing & Get Started

Legal Forms

State-specific legal forms.
Lease agreements, rental applications, lease termination, eviction forms and much more.

Browse Our Legal Forms

Membership Pricing

Our paid membership plans now include free tenant screenings! Greater access to all of our features and the membership pays for itself!

View Pricing & Get Started

Landlord Tenant Laws
top 100 landlords