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

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

5 Options for Tenants For When The Landlord Wants to Evict, but No Broken Lease

You have tenants in your rental, but you want to take back possession of the property. Your tenants may not be breaking the lease, but they may have other issues and are draining your time and resources. Another situation where you may need the tenants out without breaking the lease is to sell the property or occupy it yourself. If you want to get your tenants out without a broken lease, here are some options. Coming to an Agreement The first option is simply talking to the tenants and see ... Read More

Dealing with troublesome tenants

If you have not had a nightmare tenant yet, consider yourself lucky. These tenants miss payments, sneak in pets despite the terms of the lease, and generally break key agreements you established with them. When a tenant breaks the terms of the lease, ideally you will have clear and legally enforceable expectations for what happens next. That could include warnings, penalties, and even eviction if the issues are serious enough. However, what do you do when you have troublesome tenants who are mak ... Read More

Do Your Research: How Separate Providers and Suppliers Can Save Money on Electricity

Electricity is a necessary evil for everyone. Whether you own a home or a whole building, there will be costs for both the supply and the actual provider of the electricity. While you'll always have to pay for this utility, there is hope for owners who live in one of the sixteen states (the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Texas) that hav ... Read More

Several Critical Tips to Pre-Screen Possible Tenants

Pre-screening potential tenants can save you time, money and headaches. While many landlords opt for face-to-face meetings as their primary screening tool, it's simply not the best way to determine a good candidate. You may be a good judge of character, but character is one consideration among many when it comes to finding reliable and responsible tenants. Follow these critical tips to make sure you get a complete picture of each candidate. 1. Interview Questions Conducting an intervie ... 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

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

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

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

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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