Many stories are popping up concerning Airbnb and the legality of it in certain states under their leasing laws. New York City has been fighting it for a while now, as the city has a law that states that no one may sign a lease for under 30 days.
A rent stabilized tenant has been renting out her Tribeca apartment since September of 2012. Tribeca is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in NYC, averaging around $7K+ a month for an apartment the size of the one that Eileen Hickley-Hulme was rent ... Read More
There are plenty of myths that surround the profession of being a landlord. Some people think that it's easy and that they will simply buy a property and sit back and collect the extra income. That's rarely true. Landlords work hard at their job, even more so if they're managing the property as well. Though there will always be months that are slower than others and moments of peace, there will also be moments that feel like utter chaos. Repairs need to be made, rent hasn't come in, and you find ... Read More
Marketing your property for a new tenant is something that every landlord eventually has to face. You receive that letter (either good or bad) that your tenant will no longer be staying in your property and that it's time to find a new one. You'll want to jump into action as quickly as possible. Don't wait around for this or you may lose money if the property is vacant for any length of time.
Even though you may be racing against the clock to fill the property, don't forget to fill it with quali ... Read More
A tenant in San Fransisco has been renting a room through Airbnb and was given 30 minutes to leave the premise instead of the traditional 30 days notice. Beth Rifkin, a freelance writer, had been staying at Ernest Thayer's five-bedroom house for seventy-five days, and therefore had assumed that she was considered a long-term tenant and fell under the same rules as other tenants in San Fransisco. When she fell behind on her rent (multiple times, according to the landlord) Thayer called Airbnb for ... Read More
When you first accept an applicant as a tenant you do so with the understanding that they're going to abide by the contract that you have both signed and that you will provide them with full access to the property that they are renting from you. If you have not been in the rental business very long, it's entirely possible that you've only come across those fantastic tenants that meet all expectations. They pay on time, keep the property clean and picked up, and let you know if anything needs to ... Read More
Investing in real estate can be a fantastic way to make extra money. Some people become 'accidental landlords' which means that they never really meant to fall into the business. Perhaps they inherited a property that wouldn't sell or they needed to move away and didn't want to let go of the property forever. There are any number of reasons that you might become a landlord, but if you're investing then you'll need to do your homework when it comes to the particulars. Not every city and not every ... Read More
The Fair Housing laws are meant to help ensure that potential tenants are treated fairly and that they are not discriminated against based on the rules set by the laws. One of the groups that is protected under these laws are applicants with disabilities. As a landlord looking at a variety of potential tenants, there are a couple of things that you'll need to understand about this specific group and what these laws mean.
You may not choose to not rent to an applicant solely because they are dis ... Read More
Artist Rifka Milder has put her Upper West Side townhouse up for rent. Part of the home is set up perfectly for another artist with track lighting in the loft that can second as an art studio, but the rent of $24K a month may be out of most artists' range to pay. Others, though, might be attracted by the restored wood, stained glass windows, a master bathroom that's been uniquely decorated with colorful tiles, well landscaped garden.
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Many laws are made with good intentions behind them, but some of the more strenuous laws that are meant to help protect tenants go as far as to hurt landlords and even keep would-be landlords from renting out their properties. Some cities have tougher laws than others, with San Fransisco, New York City, and Washington DC leading the way, and in these cities part of the problem with certain tenants finding a place to live may just be the laws themselves.
Property owners that may have become land ... Read More
Have you ever been sitting around a table with a few other landlords, swapping stories, and wondered where on earth they find these crazy tenants that they seem to have had at some point in their career? The stories stick with them and they were (hopefully) learning experiences that both they and you can take to heart to avoid in the future. Listen carefully, though, because the craziest stories might happen to you.
No one goes into a leasing agreement assuming that their new tenant will drive t ... Read More
Family status is protected under the fair housing laws, so you cannot simply deny an applicant because you find out that they have children. It's true, unruly and unsupervised children can get into a surprising bit of mischief, but instead of hedging close to breaking or bending the discrimination laws, you may want to take a look at your property rules and policies across the board. You shouldn't specify rules for the property specifically to children if you can help it. In many cases a broad r ... Read More
When you sign a contract with a tenant (and a lease is a legally binding contract) you and the tenant are both committing to a set of agreements between you both. Neither party can pick and choose which agreement that they wish to keep at any given moment, but must abide by the lease at all times or face potential consequences. This is why going over the lease in detail at the beginning is so important. In the same way that the tenant must pay rent on time, keep the property well maintained, and ... Read More
There are more scenarios that a landlord or property manager can see in a lifetime than could ever be noted. If you're in the business for any length of time you'll see good tenants, bad tenants, bad tenants that you thought were good in the beginning, and tenants that started off a little rocky but evened out in the end. While each scenario is different, that doesn't mean that your process should change for each person. Tenant screenings are a necessity, even if you can't possibly imagine a nic ... Read More
If you have hired or are looking to hire a property manager for your property, you'll want to make sure that you bring in the right one. Don't miss warning signs that could save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Remember that when you hire a property manger that they are your employee. All business people check references when setting out to hire new employees, so following up on a property management company's background should be no different. If they've been around for a while, you'll be ab ... Read More
It's that time again, or maybe it's the first time. You're in the market for a new property to use as a rental unit. This is an exciting time full of possibilities, but finding the right property is key to making the profit that is likely your entire reason behind deciding to invest. You'll need to do your research and decide where you'd like to invest. Some landlords prefer investing in their home cities. This allows them to manage the property easier, react quickly to the tenant's needs, and h ... Read More
You've marketed your property, listed it, and gone through a rigorous tenant screening process to find just the right tenant for your rental, and now that you've found them, it's time to relax, right? Not quite. The lease signing process is a great time to sit down with your tenants and really make sure that everyone is on the same page. It's true that the rules are detailed out in the lease and that when they sign their name to the bottom line that they're agreeing to abide by those rules in or ... Read More
April 15th has come and gone and scammers are out to take advantage of another tax season gone by. One intricate scam that has been moving across the country involves an individual supposedly calling from the IRS and saying that there is something wrong with the taxes paid for this previous year. The individual is noted as often being very difficult to understand, but often provides an IRS badge number and, at times, even the last four digits of the person's SSN. The call comes in showing on the ... Read More
Troublesome tenants are every landlord's worse nightmare. When you first list your property for rent you do so in hopes of find the best tenant possible. This would be a tenant that pays rent on time, keeps the property and home neat, and promptly alerts you of any maintenance that needs to be handled. With proper screening and follow up with prior landlords and other references you will increase the likelihood of landing one of these great tenants, but there are times when people look better on ... Read More
There are times when you might come across a tenant who is considered a 'hoarder.' This is actually considered a mental illness and is linked to obsessive compulsive disorder and is covered, in part, by the Fair Housing laws, but that doesn't mean that you have no hope of making sure the tenant complies with safety regulations and the lease that he or she signed.
When a tenant suffers from the symptoms of a hoarder, they may have things piled to such a degree in the home that it actually may be ... Read More
Unless you have major repairs to do on a property during the turnover period it's likely that you'll be showing the property to interested applicants while your current tenant still lives there. This is a common practice and if the outgoing tenant has had a pleasant experience in their home, is leaving of their own free will, and is a thoughtful person, you'll likely not have any trouble in this. Many tenants will make sure that the property is picked up and cleaned up to the best of their abili ... Read More