Can Landlords Effectively Screen Applicants Online?

Every landlord has heard horror stories about tenants who have brought in bed bugs, dropped bowling balls through the floor, refused to leave the property, or some other atrocious lease violation that leaves the apartment in bad shape. These stories aren’t made up either – oftentimes you will find landlords who have had to deal with many bad situations like these and who, hopefully, have learned something from each one. The good news is that by effectively screening potential rental ... Read More

Avoiding Discrimination as a Landlord

How to Gather Information When Screening Rental Applicants Without Appearing to Discriminate Landlords are not allowed to discriminate against applicants based on gender, age, race, religion, and other criteria. You are also not allowed to ask questions about those subjects. A seemingly harmless “How old are you?” could be taken the wrong way and land you in trouble. Many landlords fear that the appearance of discrimination may prevent them from getting enough information in the ... Read More

Landlords and Real Estate Licenses

Should Landlords Take the Plunge and Get a Real Estate License?   As a landlord, you've probably heard whispers about the tax advantages and other benefits of getting your real estate license. What you've heard is true: the tax advantages alone can justify becoming a real estate professional. However, if you have a full-time job or only own a couple of rental properties, the advantages are less clear cut. Potential Benefits of Being a Real Estate Professional Let's f ... Read More

Illegal Activity Warning Signs

Illegal activity in a rental unit can cost landlords a lot of money. No matter how careful the tenant is with their illegal activity, neighbors will suspect something. People will become less likely to want to stay in an area with suspected illegal activity, and this reputation will prevent potential tenants from being interested. The problem doesn’t just impact you today, but far into the future. Once your property has a reputation for illegal activity, it can be difficult to get rid of t ... Read More

Legal Documents to Update Every Year

Renting property is a great way to make money, but there are plenty of legalities that landlords must follow. As the laws change, you may need to update your documents. Make sure you check for updates on these four types of documents. If you don't, you could unintentionally break the law or give up some of your rights. Rental Lease Applications As your business grows, you may want to make changes to your rental lease agreement application. Doing so can help you choose tenants who match ... Read More

Can You Deny Prospective Tenants Based on Their Jobs?

Landlords can reject applications for all kinds of reasons. At the same time, they are not allowed to discriminate based on certain criteria. These two statements leave a lot of gray area for landlords when it comes time to review the applications of prospective tenants. Requiring an Applicant to Have a Job A landlord can require tenants to have jobs and to disclose their employment information. You are allowed to ensure that the people you rent to can afford to make the monthly rent payme ... Read More

What's Better than Passive Income?

It's a dream for many—achieve a steady stream of money that works for you while you do something else, like travel, work a different job, or stay home with the kids, but tax implications are everywhere and quickly become complex. There are many things you need to consider when evaluating the right mix between passive and active income. Passive Stays with Passive In the eyes of the IRS, passive losses can only come out of passive income, so if you see major losses from rental prop ... Read More

Purchasing a New Vs Used Rental Property

If you’re buying a home to live in for a while, it makes sense to purchase property that feels right to you: a home in the neighborhood you prefer, a home with the charm or vibrancy you’re looking for and a home that is easy on your eyes. However, if you’re buying a property for investment reasons, such as renting it out, the picture gets blurrier. Here are considerations to weigh when deciding to invest in a new property versus an older property. Maintenance When you&rsq ... Read More

When is it Time to Hire a Property Manager?

A good property managers can be a valuable asset to any landlord. Not all landlords want to deal with the everyday issues and problems that arise, and many of them have more units than they can effectively manage. The factors in the decision to hire a property manager will not be the same for every landlord. Here are some criteria to help you decide if it is time for you to move in that direction. Do You Have Numerous Units or Are They Spread Out? If you have a lot of rental units or separ ... Read More

Top 5 Things New Landlords Should Watch Out For

You've finally bought a rental property and are looking forward to your new role as a landlord. Owning a rental property offers a dependable source of monthly income, but if you want to keep that cash flowing, you should watch out for a few practices that can affect the success of your new endeavor. 1. Getting Too Friendly with Tenants Although it’s important to maintain a cordial relationship with your tenants, it’s best to find friends elsewhere. If you become too friendl ... Read More

Tenants with a Record

Should you ever accept a tenant with a criminal record? Some landlords use tenant screenings to ensure they do not place people with criminal records in their properties. The logic behind this is that people with criminal histories are more likely to cause problems at the property and that they are too irresponsible to pay rent on time. In reality, the situation is not that simple. There are several factors that you should consider before accepting or rejecting a tenant based on that person& ... Read More

Slander on Social Media

The Fine Line Between A Warning and Slander As a landlord, you probably want to warn other property owners about non-paying, irresponsible or otherwise undesirable tenants. Social media sites offer a convenient platform to share your concerns with a lot of people. Unfortunately, they could also put you in danger of committing libel. It's important to know how to distinguish the differences between posting a warning and spreading a libel. If you don't, a tenant could sue and win a co ... Read More

Top 10 Twitter Accounts You Should Follow

There’s no question that social media plays a role in real estate these days. Buyers and renters use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to find properties, while landlords and sellers also use those platforms to market their properties. For landlords and property managers, another great use of Twitter is following accounts to keep abreast of news that’s important to them. Here are the 10 top accounts you should consider following. @zillow: Follow the king of real estate lis ... Read More

How social media has changed the rental business

Social media has changed the way we share and receive information, so it’s not surprising that it has had a significant impact on the rental business. According to Statista, 73 percent of Americans have a social network profile. If you ignore social media, you’re overlooking a valuable tool that can help you target and find quality tenants. For better or worse, social media has had an effect on the rental business in the following ways. Lower Advertising Costs Thanks to social ... Read More

How to choose a trustworthy contractor

The DIY approach on your home repairs works when you have a limited number of properties, but what happens when you don't have the time to manage every problem that crops up with your rentals? You can't deny your tenants the comfortable use of their home because you aren't able to handle their issue in a timely manner, so you will need to turn to contractors. That being said, finding a reliable and affordable contractor is easier said than done, and many landlords end up dealing with ... Read More

How to talk to tenants

Sometimes the difference between a poor tenant experience and a great one is knowing how to talk to your tenants. You don't (and shouldn't) have to be their best friend, but establishing clear communication channels has multiple benefits, such as handling property issues, lowering tenant turnover and reducing how much you need to do once a tenant moves out. The Benefits of Open Communication One of the major benefits of open communication is encouraging your tenants to come to you ... Read More

Top 7 Facebook Accounts for Landlords and Property Managers to Follow

Changes in the rental landscape can cause your vacancy rates to go up and down. Regulatory changes can make shifting tenants more difficult or change the timeline needed to provide notice to vacate. As laws change and the real estate industry expands and contracts, you need to stay on top of changes to know how to keep your properties full, without spending time tied up in court. The best way to do that might be through social media. These 7 Facebook pages can help you keep up with new laws, exp ... Read More

Your obligations as a landlord if you provide information to credit reporting agencies

Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) prepare the reports that many landlords use to evaluate a prospective renter’s application. These reports include information like the applicant’s rental history and credit history. Landlords who do this must follow guidelines set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), meaning if they decide to reject an application based on information in the report, they must state so. If you’re a landlord who reports information about your tenants to a CRA, ... Read More

Popular New Trends Landlords Are Using

The rental market is strong in many parts of the country, thanks to a low 13.2 percent homeownership rate among millennials. However, these renters aren't looking for the types of rentals or features favored by previous generations. They're used to high-tech solutions, and they browse for these amenities. To appeal to this group, you'll need to identify and implement the features they seek; along the way, you can also discover time-saving options that help you run your property manag ... Read More

The Legal Issues with Informing Other Landlords of Bad Tenants

There are few things more frustrating than getting saddled with bad tenants because their previous landlord wanted them out. It would be easier to screen tenants who look great on paper but end up being nightmares if landlords could inform each other of bad tenants. The primary cause of landlords being unwilling to provide information on bad tenants is due to the legal risk. In the U.S., lawsuits can be brought to court for essentially any reason, even if the grounds for the suit are frivolous a ... Read More

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