5 Questions To Ask Tenant Applicants From Out of your State

You've set up a great process for screening local applicants, but what do you do when you receive an application from outside your state? That's a different screening process altogether. But that doesn't mean you have to rule out the applicants completely, especially if they're willing to pay full rent without negotiation. Here are some questions to ask out-of-state applicants so you can make an informed decision. Why Are You Moving to a New State? Perhaps this question sou ... Read More

4 Checkpoints When Considering Applicants From Out of State

Is your property located near a college or a large company? Although you're blessed with a potential surfeit of tenant applications for your rental property, you may be at a loss because most of them are from outside the state. Accepting tenants from your own state can be daunting on its own. For your out-of-state applicants, you'll find yourself in a much better position if you streamline the process. Don't assume you will run into a problem. Instead, conduct proper research and fol ... Read More

4 Things Landlords Need to Understand About Energy Regulation and Deregulated Markets

There are countless things landlords have to worry about on any given day, and when several states decided to deregulate their energy markets, it created one more potential concern. In regulated markets there's not much for you to worry about, but if your property is in one of the states that has deregulated energy, a few things might have changed for you. Either way, it's important for all landlords to understand a few things about energy regulation and deregulated markets. Underst ... Read More

How to screen without getting sued

Finding the right tenant can be time-consuming, stressful, and difficult. Every landlord has heard horror stories about tenants who can't or won't pay rent, damage the property, or make unrealistic demands. It's critical to screen carefully to weed out the worst applicants, but landlords must be careful in how they screen potential tenants. With numerous federal, state, and local laws on housing discrimination, there are many ways in which you can end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit ... Read More

4 Legal Documents That Landlords Should Never Create on Their Own

In years past, landlords could spend hours researching rental laws at the local library and sometimes still end up needing legal help. The Internet, however, has changed this to an extent. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can find the legal codes of your state and even necessary legal forms to help rent out a property. There are certain legal documents, though, that should stay outside of the realm of "do-it-yourself." Randomly downloading these documents, or typing them up yours ... Read More

The History of Electricity Deregulation

In 1935, Congress passed the Public Utility Holding Company Act, which limited electrical companies to certain geographical areas. Along with gas companies, the law forced electrical suppliers to shed any subsidiaries they might have. As a result, electrical consumers ended up being tied to their local utility company, accessed via a state-owned network. The Start of Deregulation The regulated system remained largely unchanged until the 1970s, when the oil crisis led Congress to enact the ... Read More

The Top 7 Legal Documents Every Landlord Must Have/Keep

There are definitely certain documents (both legal and non-legal) that all landlords and property managers must have on hand for situations like new applicants, evictions and more. Listed below are the top seven legal documents every landlord and property manager must have. 1. Rent or lease agreement This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many new and even experienced landlords don’t have a solid rent or lease agreement contract available. Here are a few basic ... Read More

How to Verify That a Renter Is Trustworthy When They Have No Credit History

If you're only renting units or homes to tenants with an excellent credit history, you might be waiting a while before you get an acceptable application. While it's true that a good credit history normally equals timely payments, that's not always the case. There are many potential renters out there who haven't yet had the opportunity to boost their credit score; they're simply too young or too financially inexperienced to have any credit history worth mentioning. Others may ... Read More

4 Awesome Ways To Prepare Your Home For Renting Season

It's renting season once again! Are you ready to find the perfect tenant? Renting has become a great way to maintain a steady stream of income while you are focused elsewhere. It's important to receive the maximum possible return value from your rental home, whether you're giving it to residential tenants or temporary vacationers during the busy summer months. Remember that homeowners only attract good tenants when they have something great to offer. You need to stand out during the ... Read More

Rental Applications: Be A Social Media Sleuth!

Evaluating potential tenants is an important step for any property manager, and is especially important for non-professionals, who may be trusting guests with their personal, intimate spaces. But while it's easy to get to know a potential renter in person, it can be much harder to evaluate applications when they come from out-of-town or out-of-state, making face-to-face meetings impossible and giving property managers less of a chance to get a good gut-feel for things. Thankfully, with the r ... Read More

Can You Spot These Common Application Red Flags?

You can get a good feel of a prospective tenant by having a phone conversation with them before meeting, but there are some things that you won't figure out until you have a rental application in hand. These applications are an important part of the screening process, but some landlords simply accept these applications at face value. There are numerous red flags that may not stand out, but if you ignore these tell-tale signs, you could be in for a world of hurt. Numerous Mistakes on Ren ... Read More

5 Warning Signs That You Shouldn't Take A Particular Applicant

As a landlord, it’s clear that not all tenants are created equal. Some don’t pay their rent, some break their lease and others are perfectly reasonable tenants who pay their rent on time. Often, you can save yourself some serious hassle by screening them thoroughly from the very beginning. Often, the warning signs are subtle and other times there’s a big red flag that should be obvious to any landlord. Here are seven warning signs that you need to pay attention to for every app ... Read More

Effective Skype or Phone Interview Questions

Technology has changed the way landlords work, and if you've been in the business for more than a few years, you've already seen some far-reaching changes. Just imagine what a landlord would have said a decade ago, for instance, if they were asked to do a Skype interview. Now, however, Skype and phone interviews are the norm. When conducting these types of non-traditional interviews, though, it's important to ask the right questions. What is your income level? There are plenty ... Read More

How to Stand Out in the Summer

Summer may be the time to take it easy in most professions, but for landlords it can mean a lot of extra work. Maintaining lawns and gardens can require a lot of time and money; air conditioners that have been out of commission all winter often need maintenance, and you may need to take advantage of the good weather to complete some overdue exterior renovations. When you have to also find new tenants, the workload becomes even bigger. In most rental markets, there is extensive turnover in the s ... Read More

Top 3 Ways of Screening Prospective Tenants Who Have No Credit History

Landlords come across all manner of people when screening prospective tenants. It's necessary to look a variety of factors to find out who is most likely to pay rent on time and take good care of the property. This is challenging when you've got an otherwise stellar candidate who has no credit. Fortunately, there are several screening alternatives available that will help you predict if an applicant will make a great tenant. Assess Prior Rental History When a prospective tenant doe ... Read More

How to Convince Renters That Your Home Is the Best

When the rental market is small, you'll have little trouble finding a suitable tenant for your home. However, when the market is flooded, you'll need to do a little advertising to convince prospective tenants that your rental is the best option for them. When you're developing an advertising strategy, make sure you include these key points. 1. Create a website with great images. This is the digital age, and nearly everyone uses the internet to make big decisions. If you don' ... Read More

4 Work-Arounds When A Tenant Applicant Doesn't Have Strong Credit History

While every landlord dreams of having a tenant with great credit history and awesome references, there's a good chance that you find someone who's just starting out and doesn't have a strong credit background. Weak credit histories have become a fairly common phenomenon in recent times, with banks and lenders pushing out more loans than people can repay. Or perhaps your tenant is a student with a part-time job who doesn’t have a credit history -- yet. That doesn't mean you ... Read More

Adaptations for Tenants with Disabilities

As more people qualify for mortgages, it is important that landlords find new methods that attract a larger potential pool of tenants. One way is to make your rental homes friendlier for people with disabilities. In fact, landlords of properties with more than four units may be required to set aside a certain number of units under a number of laws. Nevertheless, many independent disabled persons have good jobs and are reliable tenants. There are many federal laws governing rental discrimina ... Read More

Managing expectations for outgoing tenants

Few people enjoy moving. Whether it involves a rental or a home you own, moving can be an expensive hassle. The same is true for your leased properties. The turnover process can be a fraught time, with conflict, confusion and surprise expenses. It doesn't have to be, though. With a bit of planning and lots of communication, you will be able to have a smooth turnover process with your outgoing tenants. Communicate Early and Often As with many aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship, ... Read More

Reasonable Modifications to A Rental Property to Accommodate a Disabled Tenant

As a landlord, you may be faced with a disabled tenant who has recently suffered from an auto accident, stroke, or some other life-altering event. In such a situation, you will automatically start to wonder what reasonable modifications you should allow your tenant to make to your rental to make his life easier. What Are "Reasonable" Modifications? In most states, a disabled tenant can make reasonable modifications to his or her home to make it more disability friendly. As a land ... Read More

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