When you become a landlord, you will need to get an accountant. Remember to consider your choice carefully, though, since the wrong accountant could leave you in a mess. Here are nine mistakes to avoid when choosing an accounting firm.
1. Not Understanding Fees
Some accountants charge one rate for each of the financial tasks they do, like preparing statements, compiling a new worth statement, or filing a tax form. Others charge for each minute, meaning every time you call them, you are goi ... Read More
While a short or month-to-month lease offers flexibility for both renter and landlord, most property owners prefer long-term tenants, and for good reason. Long-term lease agreements save property owners the expense of continually having to market and advertise a property to potential tenants. In addition, having long-term tenants ensures stable and continuous profit for the property owner.
Below are some ways to convert transients and seasonal renters into long-term tenants. The cost of these p ... Read More
Tax time is just around the bend, and while this time can be stressful for anyone, it's often particularly challenging for landlords who often have to handle somewhat complicated tax preparations for multiple properties and their own small business. One area of tax prep that many landlords have questions about is what to do about contracted people that do work for them -- like plumber, electricians, maintenance workers, and more. While business owners that contract work out usually have to f ... Read More
If you are a landlord in Boston, you need to thoroughly understand eviction laws when you need a tenant to vacate your property. Boston eviction law is considered to be relatively friendly toward tenants, but there are strategies that allow you to legally evict. Here is what you need to know about eviction laws in Boston.
Serving a Notice to Quit
Evictions can be frustrating and can present legal problems if not done properly. The first step is serving a Notice to Quit to your tenant, outl ... Read More
Landlords already know that when it comes to paying taxes, the system heavily favors landlords who are renting to tenants. Renters don’t get any tax breaks for renting, but landlords can reap great benefits if they are smart about filing. The U.S. tax code has many stipulations that let property owners reduce the amount of taxes they owe. Here are some tips on federal tax deductions for landlords that will be especially helpful to those who own multiple properties.
Current Expenses vs ... Read More
Section 8 is a helpful government program that subsidizes housing for low income tenants. While some Section 8 housing is public and government-owned, many Section 8 tenants live in housing owned and provided by private landlords. If you're planning to rent to Section 8 tenants, check out the list below for five steps to ensure you find great Section 8 tenants.
1. Apply to be a landlord
You must apply to become a Section 8 landlord, and can do so by contacting the housing authority in yo ... Read More
The real estate market in Washington, D.C. is booming, with increasing home prices leading to a high number of renters. But D.C. has one of the most strictly regulated rental markets in the country. One unique feature of D.C.'s rental market is that tenants have the right to opt for a month-to-month lease after their initial one-year lease expires. This means any tenant can choose not to renew their lease, but are allowed to remain in the unit under the same terms as their previous agreement ... Read More
Designed to help low income tenants find and pay for quality housing, Section 8 is a nationwide program in which the government pays up 70 percent of the tenant's rent for them. For landlords, Section 8 housing can seem like taking a dip into a pool of low quality renters, but this is not always the case. In fact, most of the nearly 2 million Americans who receive Section 8 vouchers are families with children just looking for affordable rents in a decent area. By offering Section 8 housing t ... Read More
Section 8 housing, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides housing subsidies for low-income renters. The program helps these families gain access to better-quality housing than they could otherwise afford. To qualify a property for Section 8 housing, landlords undergo an application process and a rental inspection to ensure you adhere to all local housing laws and regulations. Once you get through the application and inspection, your properties are eligible for Section 8 tenan ... Read More
Just because a tenant does not have a rental history doesn't mean that he or she is potentially a less qualified tenant than those with plenty of history. First-time renters have often just graduated from college, spent time in the military, or have been involved in roommate situations in which their name was not on the lease.
Although a lack of rental history shouldn't prevent you from renting to a potential tenant, you should still spend some time investigating his or her background ... Read More
You may have spent plenty of time researching the basics of being a landlord, but one thing you might overlook in the flurry of activity that comes with a new business venture is how to set yourself up for long-term success. It's hard to look past all the short-term tasks that need to be done, and take a look at the big picture. However, planning for long-term success is essential if you want to move from owning a property or two to achieving financial independence through property managemen ... Read More
Face it: Even if you're the best landlord or property management company ever, you're bound to upset some tenants eventually. Maybe you didn't have the resources to complete a maintenance request in time. Maybe you lost some records, and your tenant is frustrated. Maybe you didn't return an entire security deposit, and your tenants dispute the charges. Maybe ... well, maybe you didn't do anything wrong at all.
It was bad enough in the pre-Internet days when stories about bad ... Read More
Not all marketing tools and techniques cost heaps of money and time. Take social media marketing, for example -- a technique that every property manager can utilize, no matter their experience level or budget. Google+ is one social media tool that not only gives you the benefit of a robust online profile, but also provides you with direct communication to your followers. It also helps to improve your local search marketing efforts, which can garner the strongest leads on tenants.
1.&nbs ... Read More
At some point, almost every landlord encounters a bad tenant who doesn’t pay rent on time or owes money for a damaged apartment. While these situations may prompt you to take to a punching bag, this isn’t always the best course of action. Instead, consider reporting them to the credit bureaus. There are plenty of reasons to report your client to all three credit bureaus, and this article will help you understand the benefits of taking this extra important step.
Costs and Benefit ... Read More
One of the most troublesome aspects of being a landlord is tenants who skip on their payments. While doing thorough research into the tenants before renting to them can reduce the frequency of this, even the most thorough landlords are sometimes caught by surprise. When this happens, it’s important to know what your legal rights are. While the process varies from state to state, there are a few general guidelines to follow.
1. Perform an inspection
You have to give notice to the resi ... Read More
When tenants go bad, a landlord who knows how to tip-toe around an impending legal battle has more to gain by keeping the law on his or her side. For a common-sense approach to managing unwanted tenants, pay keen attention to these rights and limitations of landlords related to residential rental housing.
Eviction Actions to Avoid
1. Don’t change the locks on property entrances! There are times when tenants do things that are so infuriating that landlords lose their heads, especially ... Read More
No matter how good your tenant selection process may be, it's bound to happen. As a landlord, you will have a tenant who stops paying the rent. While showing up at the property, angrily demanding money, and refusing to maintain the property might make you feel better or teach your tenant a "lesson," none of that is a good idea. Follow these seven steps when your tenant stops paying their rent to find the quickest and most legal resolution.
1. Talk to Your Tenant
If this is a ne ... Read More
Renting is popular for those new to an area or saving for their own property. As a landlord, a good tenant is an asset and avoids problems such as non-payment, trashing a property and illegal activity. Landlords should take steps to avoid approving an application from a "tenant from hell." Here are some tips for finding good tenants:
Do Your Homework
Before your apartment is finished and ready to let, it is worth planning that advertisement to reflect the type of client you want. ... Read More
We're all familiar with the saying "what you see is what you get," but in real estate, this mantra could be a little tricky. Investing in real estate has many advantages, and that's generally all you hear about, but there are some downsides to investing too. The best thing to do—especially when you're thinking of investing in personal properties—is to weigh out all of the pros and cons before making a final decision.
Single Family Homes
Investing in a single f ... Read More
As a landlord, you may wonder whether you should allow dogs to live in your rentals or keep your properties pet free. There are at least two ways in which renters with dogs can actually save you money. Once you've read and understood the perks of having a dog on your premises, you may reconsider any existing ban on dogs. Here are some reasons why allowing tenants to bring dogs can save you money in the long run.
1. Dogs Can Substitute for Security Systems
Dogs are great at deterring crim ... Read More