All across the country, renters are suing landlords for health problems caused by mold. These claims state that toxic mold in the building has caused health problems such as skin irritations, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, cognitive dysfunctions, and breathing problems like asthma. As a landlord, it's important you know what causes mold and how identify it as well as understand what you are responsible for when it comes to mold in a rental property.
Common Causes of Mold
Mold gro ... Read More
As an owner of an investment property, it can be tricky to decide how far to go with renovations. When choosing where to invest your renovation dollars, it’s useful to choose projects that will attract high quality tenants. It’s hard to put a dollar value on a tenant who will treat your property with the same care as they would their own property. But landlords know that these tenants add a hidden value to their properties, not only by providing a steady rental income, but also by mi ... Read More
Tenants bring lawsuits against landlords and property managers for many reasons, including property damage, injuries due to negligence, breach of contract or lease agreement, Fair Housing Discrimination, retention of security deposits, wrongful eviction, and even illegal credit reporting. Here are the most common lawsuits landlords face, and how they can prevent them.
1. Wrongful Eviction
When a landlord or property manager evicts a tenant without following through the proper required proc ... Read More
In recent years, Houston has become one of the top rental investment cities in the United States. ABC News reported that in 2013 an investor could conceivably recoup a gross yield of 11.2 percent of his initial investment in the first year. In subsequent years the investment potential in the city has risen even higher. As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston is more than just a thriving metropolis. It has become the gateway to Latin America and the energy capital of the world. I ... Read More
Owning a rental property opens you up to liability, and your job as a smart investor is to mitigate this liability where possible to protect yourself. One way that you can lower your risk of being the target of a lawsuit is by requiring tenants to carry renter's insurance.
Avoid the Financial Burden of Injury Claims
If your tenant fails to put salt down after it snows and their friend slips while walking up the stairs of your rental property, who would be to blame? While your tenant ma ... Read More
Prospective tenants for your rental property are more likely to sign on the dotted line if units are well maintained. As a property manager, you understand this, which is why you spend money on new carpeting, repainting walls, and keeping hardwood floors in mint condition.
But the first impression tenants have doesn’t come from the interior of your rental units. The first thing they see is the exterior, and nothing will kill a deal as quickly as driveway potholes, chipping paint, and ... Read More
Suing a landlord for negligence is a long and difficult-to-prove legal process. Negligence on the part of landlords and property managers is basically defined as a failure to conduct prompt inspections, repairs, or maintenance in a property and/or building. If a tenant can show that a landlord or property manager willfully failed to carry out his rental agreement with his tenant," then he or she is guilty of negligence. However, being sued for negligence is dependent on many factors, and th ... Read More
San Francisco is arguably one of the hottest rental markets in the entire country, and for good reason. With a booming economy, hip neighborhoods, newcomers constantly streaming in, and a vibrant culture, demand couldn’t be higher. There’s a mountain of data that shows San Francisco is one of the country’s leaders when it comes to fetching high rents, and also plenty of evidence that supports continued growth going into the future. If you’re interested in seeking out new ... Read More
The Small Claims Court is a great system for recovering small amounts of money that are owed to you. In exchange for a filing fee, you can have your case tried by a judge who may order a tenant to pay you what is due.
The best thing about Small Claims Court is that you don't need a lawyer. Some states even ban lawyers entirely in Small Claims trials. You'll need to pay a filing fee, which can be as low as $15, but the sort of skyrocketing expenses that can happen in other types of trial ... Read More
The business of real estate can often get messy. There are countless bits of paperwork, different properties to manage, repairs to make, tax records to keep safe, and new tenants to review. While some landlords don’t believe much in technology, it’s important to understand how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can completely transform the way you do manage your real estate, connect with new tenants, and keep on top of the needs of current tenants. Here are what features ... Read More
There is a lot of pressure on landlords right now to ensure that their properties are at optimal energy efficiency. In New York, a city of creaky old buildings often in need of repair, Mayor de Blasio launched a program to encourage private landlords to improve their buildings, with a $3.5 million grant helping to fund the Building Energy Exchange, a resource center for those looking for help. Landlords can choose to make these upgrades... for now. The announcement contained some dark hints abou ... Read More
Making upgrades to your rental property that are energy efficient can cut down on ongoing costs, but the savings don't stop there. Tax benefits connected to the installation of upgrades like solar panels, wind power, and green roofs can cut down on the cost of installing equipment and appliances. These upgrades will not only reduce your energy bill, but they will also make your property more attractive to prospective tenants.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The 2009 American ... Read More
Smartphones these days can be all kinds of things, from personal assistants to sophisticated business management tools. If you carry an Android phone with you, then you'll need these apps to turn your device into a high-powered mobile office.
1. Google Now
You may know this as "the thing my phone keeps trying to authorize every time I use Google." Google Now can be a little insistent about elbowing its way into your life, but it will change your life when you start using it. ... Read More
In today's diverse business world, it is not unusual for real estate to have multiple owners that have partnered together to purchase one property. The owners may be friends, family or just business partners. Each owner wants an accounting of the monthly checks and bills that come in and go out for the property they own; they want to rest assured that money is being well spent and the property adequately managed. Each owner also wants to feel that he or she is successfully doing their part t ... Read More
Regardless of how well landlords vet their tenants, situations will still sometimes arise that can land them in civil court. This could be anything from eviction procedures to suing for damages or unpaid rent. Unfortunately, there are a variety of mistakes that novice property managers often make that can leave them on the losing end of these cases. Identifying and preventing these potential mishaps can go a long way in a court of law.
One common reason that landlords l ... Read More
The life of a landlord once involved doing everything in person. From putting up "For Rent" signs to speaking with contractors, handling property management was a time-consuming process. While being a landlord still requires a ton of work, almost everything can now be done electronically. In fact, using just the following tools can simplify a property manager's work immensely.
Listing the Property
The first part of renting out a property involves getting the home or apartment ... Read More
Many individuals, landlords included, are opting to "go green." By making a property more eco-friendly, a landlord reduces the environmental impact of that home, but in addition to this benefit, there are a variety of ways it can also save them money.
1. Utilities Savings
While some landlords leave it to their tenants to have all utilities turned on, many also offer certain utilities, such as water and gas, as part of the rental agreement. By installing water-saving technologies, s ... Read More
When a former tenant disappears while owing you money, there are a couple of things you need to do before you can collect on the debt: find out where they live and get the court to issue a money judgment against them. Once you’ve obtained the new address and a money judgment, you’re in a much better position to take action and collect what is owed. The legal system provides several solutions for landlords trying to collect unpaid debts from their tenants, including these four options ... Read More
As a landlord, you may face many challenges when managing your rental properties. One of the most frustrating challenges is recovering money that is owed to you if a tenant leaves and hasn’t paid their rent. Tracking down deadbeat ex-tenants can seem like a lot of trouble, but the money they owe is lost income that you deserve to be paid, so don’t give up too quickly. Even if they didn’t leave a forwarding address, you can still track down non-paying ex-tenants if you use these ... Read More
Security deposits can trigger the age-old “he said, she said” debate in landlord and tenant relationships. While the onus is on the tenant to preserve their rights to their money by documenting the condition of the property when they moved in, it is still the responsibility of the landlord to implement best practices in their dealings with tenants. Here are five things both landlords and tenants should be aware of when it comes to security deposits:
1. Get it in Writing
One of ... Read More