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

Public Records, Tenants, and Landlords

A public record refers to any city, state, or federal court record available for public viewing. These records are not considered confidential, and the information is used commonly for credit scoring and background checks. Public records represent significant, useful information when you're screening a tenant interested in your properties, since rental and financial red flags show up from this documentation. These public records will stay on a potential tenant's credit report for approxi ... Read More

How to Share Information about Bad Tenants with Other Landlords

Sometimes those who seem like they would be great tenants end up being complete duds. While you might be ready to say good riddance when they finally leave, it's important to take steps to keep these tenants from repeating their bad behaviors elsewhere. There are several ways that you can help other landlords avoid these tenants, and stop the cycle of bad tenants in an effective, professional way. Avoiding Lawsuits Avoiding lawsuits is often at the forefront of landlords' minds whe ... Read More

3 Reasons a Criminal Background Report May Be Missing Information

A criminal background report is an important aspect of tenant screening. This report provides you with the information about a potential tenant's conviction and arrest record so you can make educated decisions on whether to accept their rental application. However, criminal background reports are fallible and sometimes don't show the whole picture of a tenant's criminal history. Here are a few reasons why the report may be missing information. 1. Unreported or Inaccurate Data I ... Read More

Compliancy as a landlord

Whether you’re renting an apartment in New York City or offering a house in California, you must remain compliant. Your specific responsibilities depend on the state and locality of your rental property, but there are some general requirements in place nationwide. Here’s what you need to know about being compliant in the U.S.: Know Your State and Local Laws Most states, cities and towns post landlord-tenant laws on a website, while others may have a pamphlet you can get at a lo ... Read More

Limitations of traditional background searches

Flaws in traditional background searches have long been a common sticking point when it comes to topics such as gun control and immigration. As the National Association of Professional Background Screeners says, “There is no single government database containing complete and up-to-date records regarding a person’s criminal history.” These types of searches also fall short with tenant screenings, but if you understand the limitations of traditional background searches, you can b ... Read More

Avoiding Scams

All landlords know that running a rental property comes with a whole host of responsibilities. But there are plenty of hidden responsibilities that many property managers aren’t even aware of. For instance, imagine someone showing up at one of your properties to view it because she’s interested in renting it. You’re confused because the property is occupied and not for rent, but she insists that she saw it for rent on Craigslist and shows you the ad. Guess what? Your property h ... Read More

Tips to Extend the Rental Season

If you have a rental in a vacation hot spot, you will probably be faced with a peak rental season and a slow season. Landlords often worry about their rentals sitting vacant during the slow times of the year, fearing a possible painful loss of income. Nobody wants to lose money on a rental investment, and there are several tips that you can take to help extend the rental season and keep your income flowing. Tenants – If you want to keep your rental unit rented year round, be extra pi ... Read More

How to Screen Applicants That You Can't Meet in Person

Landlords have to be smart about accepting new tenants. The screening process is a vital, as it keeps your property well maintained and your other tenants happy. However, it's sometimes not feasible to meet with an applicant in person, whether you manage your properties from afar or if the tenant is applying from a distance. Despite this distance, there are still numerous ways to properly screen remote candidates, through video conferencing services like Skype. Remote Pre-Screening Fir ... Read More

5 Community Features Every Landlord Should Seek Out

Many landlords are content with renting out a single property to keep things simple, but if you're more interested in expanding your investment portfolio, you may be ready to look for a new property. If you're going to make this type of commitment, remember the main rule of real estate: Location is key. Fortunately, you can easily research several aspects of a community to see if it's right for you. 1. High-Ranked Schools Local schools are one of the main things renters look fo ... Read More

Need the tenants out -- but have a lease? Here's what to do next!

Most landlords have experienced the annoyance of a tenant breaking a lease before the term is up. There are also situations, though, when you may need a renter to vacate your property prior to the lease's renewal date. While several methods exist to evict prior to the renewal date, only a few won't land you in hot water. By following the appropriate legal avenues, you stand a good chance of evicting your tenant. What Landlords Can't Do It's just important to identify techni ... Read More

How the Top Presidential Candidates Could Impact the Real Estate Market

Soon a new president will be elected, and the race is starting to heat up. For landlords and property owners, it’s important to understand how the 2016 presidential race will impact the industry. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Jeb Bush are leading in polls in a very crowded field, and each has different views on the real estate market that could affect you if elected. Donald Trump Donald Trump’s name is synonymous with real estate, the industry in which he m ... Read More

Donald Trump and Real Estate

Presidential candidates are making their views known before the debates, which is prime time to figure out how these views could affect the real estate and property management market. While it could take time for major shake-ups in laws and regulations to really impact your bottom line, knowing about the political views of candidates gives you time to prepare. The Republican candidate Donald Trump comes from a background with extensive real estate experience. His father, Fred Trump, handled ... Read More

Property Speculation as a Landlord: How to Avoid Violating the Rights of Tenants

Real estate speculation is when you purchase real estate with the expectation that you'll be able to sell that property for a profit, usually within a relatively short time frame. Obviously, there is risk of a loss in this, which is why many landlords choose to rent for some time before advertising a certain home for sale. If you have a property you wish to sell because you feel you can make significant gains, but currently have tenants, there are certain things you must know and do to ensur ... Read More

6 Tips for Removing a Tenant Who Hasn't Broken the Lease

Sometimes there comes a point where you’d like a tenant to leave even though that particular tenant hasn’t broken the lease. You could have a bad relationship with that tenant, think that your property could earn a lot more with a new tenant, or you might even want to move back into your property. Here are six tips to help you ease a tenant out even when the lease is still in place. Offer Your Tenant an Incentive to Leave It’s not always easy to remove a tenant who you wa ... Read More

5 Tips For When Your Applicant Doesn't Have A Credit History

As a landlord, you might be confronted with situations where your applicant has no credit history. This is normally a problem, as a credit history can tell you whether an applicant has a history of making payments on time, previous issues with landlords and outstanding debts that they’ve failed to pay. However, the fact that an applicant has no credit history doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t make a great tenant for your property. Here is a guide offering 5 tips for what you ... Read More

Getting Tenants To Leave When They Haven't Violated Lease

As a landlord, you always hope that things will work out exactly as stipulated in a lease. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Situations arise that result in tenants needing to leave early, but there are also times when a landlord may need current tenants to vacate the property early. Unfortunately, this will not be easy, but with the right preparation and willingness to negotiate, it is possible for landlords to terminate a lease early. Be Fully Prepared in Rental Agreement Benja ... Read More

6 Great Tips for Researching a New Property Investment

If you’re new to property investing or simply want more information about making informed decisions about taking on new property, it’s important to be aware of the right approach to investment. New property is alluring, but it takes a data-driven approach, attention to detail, and a certain amount of savvy to ensure that you’re getting the right property for your money. Here are 6 great tips to property investment that will help ensure you make the right choices every step of t ... Read More

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