A security deposit is often, but not always, equal to one month of rent. Ideally, it helps the landlord or property manager pay for any repairs or cleaning that the property needs when the tenants move out. When the cleaning is over, the landlord sends their tenants a check for what remains from the deposit.
It sounds simple, right? Unfortunately for novice landlords, it's hard to know exactly what to charge to a security deposit. Any miscalculating -- whether accidentally or on purpose - ... Read More
For landlords who encounter a tenant or applicant with a disability, it’s important to be familiar with federal and state law regarding housing and disabled persons. That means not only understanding what you can and can’t do in relation to disabled tenants, but also being familiar with what kind of modifications and allowances to your property you may be required to make if you have a disabled tenant. Here is the information you need to make sure you properly accommodate disabled te ... Read More
People with disabilities often struggle with everyday activities that most of us take for granted. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was created in 1990 to help make life easier for disabled people.
The ADA applies to rental properties as well, and landlords should be aware of pertinent ADA guidelines. Some of the laws vary depending on when the property was built. Homes, apartment and condos for rent that were built before the ADA took effect (January 26, 1990) have slightly differ ... Read More
One of the biggest headaches landlords have with apartments and other rental properties is high tenant turnover rates. The good news is that there are seven things landlords can do to keep their turnover rates as tight as possible.
1. Require Advance Notice of Tenants' Intention to Move
Even though you have your tenants sign a year-long contract when they first move in, you should also include a clause that states they must give you a minimum of 45 days’ notice if they don’ ... Read More
There's no need to feel intimidated by regulations for working with disabled tenants. With some commonsense application of the rules, you can expand your available tenant pool while complying with requirements. Working with renters who may be disabled is easy, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
Start with the Application
From the beginning, it's important to know that it's against the law to ask discriminatory questions in regard to an obvious disability or questio ... Read More
At some point, a landlord may come in contact with a tenant who requires a service animal due to a disability. That’s why it’s important to understand the laws guiding service animals, what your rights are as a landlord, and what your requirements are when it comes to accommodating a service animal.
The Laws Surrounding Service Animals
According to federal and state laws, tenants with a disability are entitled to a service animal. In fact, while most laws usually refer to &ldqu ... Read More
When you are the landlord or property manager of rental properties, there are going to be times when members of the disabled community want to rent from you. When this happens, it's important to know that there are certain things you must and must not do.
Don't Ask About the Disability
When someone who is either physically or cognitively disabled fills out an application to rent one of your properties, you must treat the application the same as an application from an able-bodied pe ... Read More
You could just hand your new tenants the keys, but it's a good idea to put together a welcome kit to help them get settled in. Your locality may also require you to provide them with information about the landlord-tenant relationship and how housing disputes are addressed.
Getting Ready to Move In
Give your tenants the numbers they need to contact service providers to have utilities, telephone, and cable turned on. Let them know how to schedule their move in date and if there are any r ... Read More
After acting as a property manager for a certain amount of time, bringing in new tenants becomes second nature to most. You put the property on the market, meet with several potential candidates, do the appropriate screening, and select the big winner. There are several aspects of preparation, though, that are sometimes overlooked. Putting more focus on these steps can make your life far easier.
Offering an Early Notification Discount
Rarely do landlords think of this, but how much easier ... Read More
Networking is important in almost all professional fields. Most of the learning you will do will happen on the job, of course, but the most successful professionals also cultivate relationships outside of the workplace. As a professional, you can learn more about advances in the field, hear about new opportunities and have a chance to get feedback on your ideas.
If you are already doing this in the workplace, why not extend it to your work as a landlord? Networking is arguably even more imp ... Read More
An important part of any interview process is obtaining references, but how do you know these references are legitimate? Here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re getting honest renters!
1. Your First Point of Reference: Interviewing the Tenant
Always interview a potential tenant first before calling references.
Some critical questions to ask:
“What is your monthly income?” - Verify this information with their current boss.
“What are your monthly debt obl ... Read More
We all wish for wonderful tenants who pay on time and stay until the end of their lease. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and renters will sometimes break their leases and vacate early. Here are some common warning signs of tenants who may vacate early, so you can better prepare for these situations:
1. Be a Good Listener
At times, a tenant will communicate something with you that indicates that they intend to leave. Perhaps they’ve asked you what your policy is for breaking a le ... Read More
The Pacific Northwest region offers a quality of life that is unmatchable in the rest of the United States, due to its abundance of natural wonders. Once a backwoods of timber and industry towns, the area is now attracting people from all over the world who are health conscious and want to pursue an "outdoor lifestyle". For those looking to buy rental properties in the Pacific Northwest, there are an incredible variety of places where prices are still low but the outlook remains strong ... Read More
One of a landlord’s most important responsibilities is to keep the property in good repair. Developing some useful preventive maintenance habits can go a long way toward keeping things running smoothly and fixing small problems before they turn into costly repairs.
Clogs inevitably develop in sinks and tubs, but there are some effective proactive steps that you can take to keep this from being a recurrent nuisance in your rental properties. Begin by installing drain sc ... Read More
Austin, Texas has a lot going for it with its "Keep Austin Weird" slogan. There's all types that find their home here, from a vibrant art culture to a number of tech companies. It's been declared as one of the best rental markets to invest in, causing plenty of landlord attention to be turned to this growing city. So what exactly makes Austin the place to put your rental investment dollars?
Austin has several large colleges nearby, resulting in an overall ... Read More
When you are looking at investing in rentals, you want to consider cities with the best climates for renting. These cities should be areas that are growing in population as well as income potential. The following three cities have a lot to offer real estate investors.
1. Fort Worth, Texas
When you see lists about housing and real estate in Texas, you often see Austin mentioned. However, Fort Worth has a lot to offer investors, especially with the growth of the oil business. More people are ... Read More
As a landlord, you can be accused of harassment if your actions motivate a tenant to willingly abandon the lease. This usually occurs when a landlord wants to evict a tenant but doesn’t want to go incur the cost and trouble of a legal eviction. Landlord harassment generally involves interfering with a tenants’ privacy or making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Breach of Responsibility
If you fail to properly maintain a property, a tenant may have a claim for landlord harassme ... Read More
Owners are often wary of making upgrades to their rental units, and for good reason. Why spend loads of money on things that can be damaged or otherwise devalued as soon as they are added? There are a couple of upgrades you can make that will not only add value right away but for years to come, and will make maintaining the property even easier than it was before. One of these is taking out the carpet and adding hardwood floors. Thankfully this is a relatively simple process that pays off in the ... Read More
Los Angeles features the type of rental property investments that pay dividends throughout your lifetime. It also represents a market with plenty of growth potential, a high proportion of renters to owners, and strong demand. If you’re interested in LA, you need to understand the data and fundamentals driving growth in this city. Here is a guide to why LA is so hot and even some neighborhoods you should consider when investing in a rental property.
The Los Angeles Economy Is Growing a ... Read More
Often, doing a few simple rental property upgrades will pay off in the long run; the landlord will benefit from the overall value of their rental property increasing. Giving the property a quick face lift with a few renovations also allows a landlord to asking a higher rent for a unit that outshines all rental competition in the area.
Here are five rental property upgrades that all landlords should undertake to see an increased return on their rental investment.
Landscaping -- Many woul ... Read More