Tenant Bankruptcy: How to Protect Your Rental

Tenant bankruptcy is one of the more frightening things that can happen to a landlord. You may find yourself unsure if your tenant can or will pay their rent any longer, and ambiguities in the law can make it difficult to know if you can (or should) evict your them.

We’re here to help you tackle those questions. This article will cover:

  • How to proactively protect your rental
  • Types of bankruptcies tenants are most likely to file
  • Recouping lost rent
  • Lease options after the bankruptcy is filed

Be aware that laws may change quickly, and that there may be state or local-level laws that affect how landlords can handle bankruptcies. Always check with the most recent version of the law, and you may want to hire a lawyer if you have questions.

Avoiding Problems Down the Line

Let’s start with the best-case scenario: avoiding problematic tenants.

Tenant Screening is your first line of defense to protect your rental property. The score on the credit report will give you an at-a-glance description of the client’s credit, but don’t stop there. Look at the entire credit report to give you a broader understanding of your potential tenant’s credit history.

Armed with that information, you’ll be able to answer applicable questions like:

  • Does the potential tenant have a history of late payments?
  • If so, how long has the tenant’s credit been suffering?
  • Are the late payments due to a one-time emergency or are they a trend?

Multiple bills that have gone to collections in the credit report can be a red flag.

A tenant screening will help you form an educated opinion about the tenant’s ability to pay rent and avoid bankruptcy. If you’re unsure about anything in the report, you can ask them for clarity.

No matter how diligent you are in your screening process, you cannot predict every scenario. Even the best tenant may lose a job or be overwhelmed by expensive emergencies. Some will get back on track quickly, while others find themselves too far behind to catch up. Let’s take a look at the kinds of bankruptcies you may encounter from your tenants.

Kinds of Tenant Bankruptcies

There are several kinds of bankruptcy, each with its own considerations.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes called a “straight bankruptcy.” It’s most commonly filed by individuals, but it can be filed by a business as well.

When an individual or a business successfully files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a trustee. This individual handles the liquidation of the entity’s assets so that all creditors can be paid back as much as possible.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy will not liquidate assets. The entity will retain complete and independent control of their finances, but they must pay back their debts in full (plus some extra). They are given some extra time to do this.

If they fail to pay their debts, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If that happens, the court will assign a trustee and order the liquidation of assets and the payment of creditors.

Other Types of Bankruptcies

You may also see some other types of bankruptcies.

Chapter 12 deals with small-business fishermen and farmers and Chapter 13 is a rehabilitation program that focuses on regular wage-earners.

But these are more unusual, and most landlords will encounter Chapters 7 and 11.

Recouping Lost Rent

If you get that dreaded call that lets you know that your tenant has filed bankruptcy, your first thought will likely be how to recover any lost rent. To answer that question, first we need to understand how claims are filed.

Pre-Petition and Post-Petition Claims

The process of filing for bankruptcy is called “petition”.

Pre-petition claims are financial burdens that are put on a tenant before they file for bankruptcy. Post-petition claims are financial burdens placed afterward.

Rent is considered a claim, but when that rent was due will depend on what kind of claim.

There’s a chance your tenant will remain in your property after filing for bankruptcy. Any rent due during that time is a special type of post-petition claim called an administrative claim. Administrative claims are high-priority claims that tenants must prioritize paying off.

Alternatively, if money was due before the tenant filed for bankruptcy, that is a type of pre-petition claim called an unsecured claim. Unsecured claims are typically low priority for tenants to pay off, in comparison with other claims.

Now comes the big question:

Can I Still Collect Back Rent?

The court will institute what’s called an automatic stay when the tenant files bankruptcy. This means that most creditors cannot pursue any collection actions against the entity without the permission of the court. However, as the entity’s landlord, you are not subject to this restriction. You may still collect back rent as you normally would.

Remember that because back rent is an unsecured claim, it’s considered a low-priority payment and you may never get all of it back.

Terminating the Lease

Tenant Bankruptcy isn’t easy on anyone. If the tenant can’t pay you, they accumulate more debt and you lose income. Terminating the lease may be an option.

When the Landlord Terminates the Lease

There needs to be a breach of the lease to file a notice to quit or start the eviction process. Often this will come in the form of late or nonpayment.

There are some landlords or property managers that will add a clause to their lease stating that filing for bankruptcy breaches that lease. Keep in mind that many jurisdictions do not permit you to terminate a lease because a tenant has filed bankruptcy, and you may not put additional requirements on a tenant (such as increased rent or fees, or requiring payment in cash rather than a check) due to their bankruptcy.

Terminating the lease on your end may be tricky because of this, but there’s a chance that your tenant will want out as well.

When the Tenant Assumes (or Terminates) the Lease

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in particular, lets the tenant decide whether they wish to assume or terminate the lease. This means that they can reconsider the financial obligation of the lease in light of their current situation.

If they decide that it’s too heavy of a burden in their current state, they may choose to terminate the lease within 60 days without a breach of contract. If they cannot decide during that period of time, they may file a request for an additional 60 days to decide, so long as they give an explanation of their circumstances and the court accepts this.

In response to this request, you are within your rights to explain to the court the stresses that this puts on you as the landlord or property manager. If the tenant chooses to terminate the lease, they agree to pay all outstanding rent within a reasonable time (which may vary by the locality, but is often within 60 days).

If the tenant requires additional time to pay, they’re going to have to make a motion for that with the court.

Re-Leasing

If your tenant gives notice of termination, you cannot stop them from terminating the lease. In this scenario, you should start showing the property immediately. You may have already lost money during this period, and the last thing you want is to have your property sitting empty.

Because of how the re-leasing process works and how long it can take to get a new tenant into the property, most landlords try to block any motions from the tenant to extend the 60-day period of assumption or termination of the lease.

Three months is a very long period of time to not know if you’re going to need to start screening new tenants.

Conclusion

When your tenant files for bankruptcy, it can initiate a period of uncertainty for you, and possibly even create conflict between you and your tenant.

There’s no doubt that it’s going to be difficult, but if you educate yourself about the bankruptcy process and what it means for you, you’ll be able to save yourself and your business potential financial losses—and a lot of headaches. Again, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with local and federal laws. Reach out to your legal counsel if you need clarity at any step along the way.

Landlord Questions to Ask Employers

Part of the tenant screening process is to speak with a prospect’s employer. It is more than just a verification reference to find out employment status and salary.

Landlords can ask several questions of a prospect’s employer to determine if that individual’s background is able to meet the standards required to become a tenant.

The key to a successful reference experience is to have prospects sign a release of information.

This will allow employers to release personal information to you that they may not be able to do otherwise.

Question #1: What Is The Individual’s Income?

It is easy to inflate salary numbers of a rental application.

The employer is going to have the hard figures on that person’s salary.

You won’t gain access to pay stubs in most instances, but you’ll get a solid hourly, monthly, or annual salary figure.

This allows you to compare their income to their debt on their credit report to let you know if they’ll have enough money to pay on time.

Question #2: How Long Has The Individual Been Employed?

Having a high salary can be a good thing, but it isn’t as good when the prospect has only been working there for 2 weeks.

A common tactic is to emphasize the new salary levels at a new job while drawing attention away from a previous work history.

If a prospect’s average time with an employer is just 3 months, there’s a good chance that the high paying job is only going to stick around for about 10 more weeks before greener pastures are sought.

That’s a definite red flag.

Question #3: Is The Individual Actually Employed?

It is easy enough to make up a company, provide a false phone number, and claim that they were employed.

Sometimes tenants will even hand out the contact information for their friends so it appears that a good employment history has been established and able to be verified.

See if the company is real, look for corroboration from the prospect’s credit report, and use the primary number listed for the employer that you find online instead of from your application.

That can help you avoid the common tricks prospects pull today.

These landlord questions to ask employers may be basic, but they help to provide extra information during the screening process.

Some employers are very forthcoming with information.

Others may not even respond to your questions.

Keep it to these three key questions and you’ll be able to avoid any legal headaches by receiving information you may not be privileged to receive.

How to screen without getting sued

Finding the right tenant can be time-consuming, stressful, and difficult.

Every landlord has heard horror stories about tenants who can’t or won’t pay rent, damage the property, or make unrealistic demands.

It’s critical to screen carefully to weed out the worst applicants, but landlords must be careful in how they screen potential tenants.

With numerous federal, state, and local laws on housing discrimination, there are many ways in which you can end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

With some careful planning, you can screen applicants successfully and safely to get the best tenants into your property.

It requires some work upfront, but planning now will save you time and money over the course of the lease.

Learn the law
Tenants are exposed to many federal, state, and municipal laws.

While these can be intimidating, they’re important tools for making sure all citizens get the housing they need.

Federal laws protect renters in the following categories:

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Disability/handicap
  • Family status

States and cities often have their own additional protections.

In New York City age, occupation, sexual orientation, and source of income are protected.

If your potential tenant has a source of income that will cover the rent and is legally acquired, you can’t turn them away on those grounds.

This also means applicants who rely on Social Security, pensions, or public assistance are protected.

Familiarize yourself with federal laws and the laws that apply in your state and city.

Be consistent
These protections don’t indicate you must rent to applicants in those categories.

As a landlord, you have discretion with whom you sign a lease, and you have the ability to protect your property with careful screening.

These protections just ensure that you don’t use that discretion against applicants as a form of discrimination.

Disqualify an applicant for the right reasons.

The best way to ensure that you aren’t discriminatory in your screening process is to be consistent with all applicants. You should ask the same questions, require the same information, and follow the same credit and background check procedures for all applicants.

You may have a gut feeling that someone is the perfect applicant and want to skip the credit check, but you should continue to run those checks on all applicants.

Don’t invite a lawsuit into your process.

Solicit information strategically
Plan your screening process, and stick with it to the end.

Write out a list of questions that you will ask every applicant, avoiding anything related to the protected classes.

Steer clear of family status questions such as asking about plans for children, as these are easy places to make a mistake and imply discriminatory intent.

Decide how you formally screen the applicants.

Will you run a credit check and a background check?

Explain the process clearly to all applicants, and run it consistently with all who apply.

Keep yourself informed
If you know the law, you are much more likely to avoid a major legal headache.

Use these resources for additional tips:

 

Free Nights and Weekends? Why “Great” Electric Deals May Not Add Up

Some electric providers offer what sound like really great incentives, but their rates are actually more expensive in the long run.

When you choose an electric power supplier, a small error in judgment could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Learn how to calculate whether offered rates actually add up by keeping in mind these key factors.

Don’t Be Fooled by Variable Rates
Comparing variable rates can get you in trouble.

They always start low but then go up and never seem to come back down.

Variable rate plans can be dangerous because providers can increase the rate at any time without notice.

Sometimes fixed-rate plans work best because you know exactly what you pay at the end of your term, but keep in mind that fixed-rate plans in a market with falling electricity prices can seem expensive.

You may want to negotiate with your supplier to get a better deal: you’ll be surprised at the power of negotiation when suppliers deal with the threat of losing customers.

Know the difference between fixed and variable rates before you take the plunge.

Beware of Special Offers
It’s easy to fall for special offers like free nights, prepaid plans and free weekends advertised by many utility companies in Washington D.C. and the 13 states with deregulated electricity.

Many companies advertise low rates with the promise to charge unchanged prices.

These ads can be misleading.

A few plans may offer low introductory rates that later skyrocket.

Others may charge you high termination fees if you decide to get out of the contract.

Check for Over Billing
Many consumers pay their bills without double-checking the charges.

Electric suppliers are expected to provide an “electricity facts label” that contains standard information about fees, rates and contract rules.

As a rule of thumb, always check your bills to make sure it is similar to the signed contract.

You may find inflated rates that you don’t actually need to pay for.

Compare the cost per kWh with that of a public utility so you know whether you’re being overcharged or not.

Calculating Energy Bills
An electric company measures electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Bills may have multiple kWh charges, including transmission, distribution, generation, renewable energy and energy conservation.

Some companies have kWh charges only for generation and distribution, while others have added charges.

Find out how much kWh you pay with these steps:

  • Get a copy of your electric bill and add all the kWh charges mentioned along with the tax.
  • Check the kWh charged in summer and winter so you understand seasonal pricing in your area.
  • Compare your electric kWh rate with a public utility to know if a private provider is giving you a good deal.
  • Check your electric consumption because rates are tiered. For example, you might pay 10¢ per kWh for the first 300 kWh and 15¢ per kWh above that threshold.
  • Keep in mind that the average U.S. national retail price for electricity in residential homes is 12.35¢ per kWh. This should help you benchmark your electricity prices.

How to Choose an Electrical Provider in a Deregulated Market
A deregulated market promotes competition between electricity suppliers, which should lead to lower prices and good deals for customers.

Electricity costs depend on where you live, the season, how much you consume and your provider.

Before you start shopping, consider several factors that go beyond price.

Do research on reliability by checking online reviews and business ratings.

This will give you insight into previous customer experiences.

Check the load management and carbon footprint of each provider.

Is the provider supplying clean energy or coal-based energy that’s harmful?

Check for additional fees: sign-up fees, early-exit fees, switching suppliers and spiked prices during winter months are all typical examples.

Lower your energy prices by understanding your bills to effectively forecast, budget and choose between energy service providers.

 

What is Landlord Utility Responsibility

Landlords have three options when it comes to utility responsibility:

1. They can choose to pay all of the utilities for the rental property.

2. They can choose to pay a portion of the utilities and charge overruns to the tenant.

3. They can choose to pay none of the utilities.

Most landlords will require tenants to pay their own utilities simply because there is so much variation in cost.

More important than what amount is paid for the utilities, however, is making sure that a rental property adheres to all building safety codes that are in place. Here are some common examples where landlords wind up failing in their utility responsibilities.

1. With Smoke Detectors.

Some building safety codes require smoke detectors to be hardwired into the properties grid.

The same may be true for carbon monoxide detectors.

There are also placement issues to consider, as some codes may require a hardwired smoke detector in every room.

2. By Shutting Off Utilities Prematurely.

If a tenant is paying their own way with utilities, landlords have no authority to shut down the utilities.

Landlords that pay for the utilities themselves must keep the account current or risk breaking the lease.

Only the utility company can shut off a tenant.

3. By Sharing Utilities.

This is often seen in single family homes that are converted into multiple units.

Most landlords are required to have separate meters for separate rental properties. Some may even require independent heating and water systems as well.

4. By Not Providing Information About a Bill.

Most laws require landlords who do third party billing to give tenants information about how the utility bills are charged.

A failure to provide this information may be considered a violation of the lease.

5. By Overcharging Tenants.

Landlords are not allowed to overcharge tenants for their utility use.

If a budgeted plan is in place so that there aren’t summer/winter variables, then the same amount should be charged every month.

Tenants are able to take landlords to small claims court if they have evidence that they are being overcharged.

Landlords are required to maintain utility access whenever it is in their power to do so.

If a tenant isn’t paying their bill and the utility shuts them off, then that’s on the tenant, not the landlord.

If, however, a landlord shuts off the utilities without justification, it could lead to extensive litigation.

How to Repair a Concrete Walkway

Over time, concrete begins to get pitted, chipped, and cracked.

The signs of aging can appear at even when there is extensive precipitation or extreme weather conditions over the course of a single season.

The good news is that just about anyone can fix this problem when they know how to repair a concrete walkway.

Here’s what you’ve got to do.

1. Select a Concrete Resurfacer.

This product acts like a patch to the concrete that has begun to wear out.

It’s made of a cement and polymer combination and works to fill in all the problem areas that exist on the walkway.

If your walkway is 400 square feet in total, then expect to pick up 8-10 bags of concrete resurfacer for this job.

 

 

2. Patch Your Cracks.

Use the resurfacer in a 4:1 ratio with water to patch cracks, holes, and chips in your concrete walkway.

Place the paste that is mixed up into a caulking gun to directly apply it.

If a crack is more than 0.5 inches in size, then concrete repair caulk will be necessary instead.

Smooth all surfaces down with a putty knife.

3. Cover The Expansion Joints.

The large cracks in the walkway that are there to provide expansion of the concrete must remain. Use duct tape to cover them up.

4. Mix The Resurfacer As Instructed.

It works best to mix the materials in a 5 gallon bucket.

You’ll want to mix the resurfacer for at least two minutes or longer if instructed.

5. Apply The Dressing On The Walkway.

You’ll have a thick liquid dressing come out of your bucket.

You’ll need to spread this material out immediately.

It’s helpful to have a second person mixing up another batch of dressing as you smooth out the first.

Use a concrete trowel and press down firmly to make sure the resurfacer fills in evenly.

6. Brush And Let Dry.

A simple push broom creates a slip-resistant surface for you.

Then allow to dry.

Correct any bare spots you see as soon as you can.

Knowing how to repair a concrete walkway can improve the curb appeal of your home.

It only takes a couple of hours to get this job done, but it can be difficult work to do.

Grab your supplies, use this guide, and get started today.

5 Questions To Ask Tenant Applicants From Out of your State

You’ve set up a great process for screening local applicants, but what do you do when you receive an application from outside your state?

That’s a different screening process altogether.

But that doesn’t mean you have to rule out the applicants completely, especially if they’re willing to pay full rent without negotiation.

Here are some questions to ask out-of-state applicants so you can make an informed decision.

Why Are You Moving to a New State?
Perhaps this question sounds like it’s none of your business, but in reality it is exactly your business when dealing with tenants from out of state.

Listen to the answers, and see whether they raise any red flags.

This is especially important because you don’t have a local vouching for this particular prospect.

Watch out for tenants who are moving because of evictions, bad landlord relationships or job losses.

You’ll want to look for legitimate relocation reasons like a new job opportunity or moving closer to family.

Be wary of tenants who complain about their previous living situation — you’re likely to have a faultfinder on your hands.

What is your Monthly Income and Do You Have any Debts?
This is pretty standard for all tenants, but it becomes especially worthwhile when you’re dealing with an out-of-state prospect.

You’ll want a tenant with a steady job who can pay the rent and any fees on time every month.

The rule of thumb is that income should be at least thrice the rental amount to be able to pay without issue.

Make sure you check whether the tenant has existing debts, as this could severely impair ability to pay your rent and handle fees like security deposits and utilities.

Be wary of tenants who ask to pay the security deposit monthly or in installments — the half-now-and-half-later payment system for security deposits should be cause for concern.

Can I get a reference from your previous landlord?
Nearly every renter should be able to provide a reference from their previous landlord, barring the few who just moved out of their family home.

Here’s a key tip — ask for a former landlord rather than a current one, because a current landlord wanting be rid of his tenant may say just about anything.

Ask simple questions:

Did they pay rent on time?

Did they respect neighbors and properties?

And here’s another tip — get a neighbor’s reference from the landlord to get an objective point of view without any embellishment.

How Many People Will You Live With?
Be as upfront as possible when you need to make a decision about an out-of-town tenant.

Ask how many people will be living on the property.

Based on the number of people, you may want to adjust the security deposit or rent.

Keep in mind that most states have a law dictating that not more than two people can live in a bedroom.

Ensure your tenant knows and follows this rule.

And don’t forget to find out about pets, especially if you have a no-pet policy.

Can I meet you face to face to discuss the terms of the lease?
Frequently tenants from out of state will send their friends or family to inspect a prospective home.

But far too many landlords have seen deals fall through after the lease agreement has been signed, with no way to get in touch with the original applicant.

If your out-of-state applicant checks out in every other way, be sure to ask whether you can meet them in person to ensure you feel comfortable dealing with them.

If a literal face-to-face isn’t possible, consider Skype, FaceTime or other tool.

This direct dialogue will give you better insight when making your decision.

Communication is key when dealing with out-of-state applicants, so be sure to ask as many questions as you deem necessary before making your decision.

Determining If An Applicant Without A Credit History Is The Right Tenant For You

While a rental applicant without a credit history is a bit of a red flag, it doesn’t have to be a slammed door.

You’ll just want to use a thorough screening approach.

Once you review all of their information, interview them, and take certain precautions, you can determine whether a particular applicant is right for you even if lacking credit history.

Thoroughly Interview the Applicant
As a landlord, you’re allowed to ask questions related to an applicant’s ability to pay their rent.

Questions about their financial history are completely acceptable.

You can also ask how long a tenant plans to stay in your property and how long they’ve stayed in previous properties.

You don’t want a tenant with no credit history to jump ship after just a few months.

While many students and recent grads don’t have a credit history, sometimes you also run into an older individual no credit history.

Don’t immediately leap to conclusions.

Some people are very smart with their money and have decided to live an all-cash lifestyle, and you could be missing out on a great tenant.

Just be sure to ask why they don’t have a credit history, and determine whether their answers hold up.

Check Their Bank Statements
It’s perfectly legal to ask for a tenant’s bank statement.

If a tenant with no credit history has very little money in their account, there’s a good chance you don’t want to take that tenant on.

In other instances, a well-funded bank account might tip the balance in favor of a tenant with no credit history.

Review the statement to determine how much money they’re taking in each month and how much money they’re spending.

You can do a pretty quick financial analysis to determine whether this particular applicant has the means to pay their rent.

In some states, such as California, it’s an applicant’s legal right to deny you access to their bank statement.

However, this might just be the warning sign you need to pull the plug on that particular tenant.

Check Pay Stubs And Consider Going Beyond
You’ll want to request pay stubs from a prospective tenant to ensure they have a job that pays enough.

Often it’s a good idea to not just look at the income-to-rent ratio, but also determine what kind of job they have.

Have they been working there for a long time? Do they work for a large corporation, government entity, or hospital?  Or do they work for a startup business that might go under next week?

For a tenant without a credit history, you want someone who earns enough and also has a job that is generally considered stable.

You might also want to consider filing an IRS Form 4506-T, which allows access to the previous year’s W-2, 1040 or 1099 form. In some cases, applicants can fake a W-2 or pay stub, so taking this extra step can help protect you.

Ask For References
References aren’t always available from someone with no credit history — yes, some of these individuals are young and your property might be their first rental.

But many applicants without a credit history have rented an apartment or home before, especially while they were attending school. Unfortunately, many private landlords do not report credit histories to credit agencies since it costs money.

Ask the applicant for a reference, and if they have one, ensure that it’s positive.

Also consider asking for a job reference.

Make sure that they provide a phone number for their boss, and check the company website to verify that it’s an actual company number.

You don’t want to end up calling a friend or family member posing as a boss to give a good reference!

Ultimately, as long as you’re thorough and cover all your bases, you should have a solid idea regarding whether an applicant without a credit history is the tenant for you.

How To Repair a Plaster Ceiling

Over time, a home begins to shift and settle.

As this happens, the weak points of the walls wind up cracking under the increased levels of pressure.

One of the more difficult repairs to make is when the crack occurs somewhere in the ceiling.

By knowing how to repair a plaster ceiling, however, you’ll be able to maintain the aesthetic value of a home with only a little bit of work.

Here’s what you’ve got to do.

1. Determine The Cause Of The Crack.

Many plaster cracks in the ceiling are because of the natural aging and settling process, but there may be another issue present.

Water in the ceiling may cause cracking, as can added weight being placed directly on the ceiling from above.

If the wall is beginning to pull away from the structural supports, then there is a good chance that water could be the issue.

2. Remove Any Damaged Components.

If there is drywall that has been damaged, then it will need to be removed to complete the repair.

Look for mold, mildew, or a crunchy feeling to the texture or plaster when you touch it.

If it is loose, sometimes a simple drywall screw can fix the issue.

If there is just a crack present, then you can move to the next step.

3. Remove Any Loose Dust And Debris.

You may need a vacuum to remove extra dust or debris.

A damp cloth will work as well.

If you use a damp cloth, the area will need to dry before you can proceed to the next repair step.

This step is especially important if there is debris within the gap of sagging drywall.

4. Support The Crack.

Once you have the ceiling supported, you’ll need to begin supporting the crack so the issue doesn’t occur again.

You’ll need to create injection holes in order to do this.

A 0.25 inch bit usually works the best for this as it has the least amount of risk for causing additional damage while still giving you room to use adhesive.

Once the holes are drilled, you’ll once again need to remove debris before filling them.

5. Inject The Adhesive.

Using a latex product that is water-based is usually the best solution to fix a crack in a plaster ceiling, but there are plenty of other acrylic adhesives that can work as well.

You’ll need a caulking gun that can be inserted into the injection holes that you’ve just drilled.

Be careful not to inject too much adhesive into each hole because this can cause the plaster to come off of the ceiling.

Use a damp sponge to create a flush surface.

Repeat until done.

6. Allow To Dry.

It may take between 24-72 hours for the adhesive to fully dry.

You cannot begin the next step until the bond is solid.

Sand down any rough areas before beginning the final repair step as well and be sure to remove any dust or debris that is created.

7. Apply The Paste Filler To The Crack.

Now that the ceiling is fully secured to its foundation, you’re ready to use the filler paste that will help to repair the crack.

Look for a sandable paste that dries hard and quickly so you don’t experience a lot of shrinkage during the final step.

You’ll need to make the crack flush with the ceiling and this may take up to 3 different applications to make sure the repair holds properly.

Allow to dry according to your product instructions.

8. Use a Skim Coat Of Plaster Or Joint Compound.

After the crack has been filled and is flush, it’s time to cover up the repair site.

You can use a thin layer of plaster, joint compound, or a layer of paint for this step.

If you have texture that needs to be replicated, however, it may be better to avoid paint so you won’t have to paid twice.

9. Finish The Repair.

Once your covering component has dried, you’re ready to finalize the repair.

Paint the site to match the rest of the ceiling.

Then you’ll have a plaster ceiling repair that helps your room look as good as new.

Knowing how to repair a plaster ceiling means going through an extensive and labor intensive process.

When done correctly, however, the plaster ceiling can look as good as new for years to come.

Follow these steps to begin your own repair and you’ll find that what seems like a difficult job may be a little easier than expected.

Explanation of Tenant’s Rights and Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be a huge problem in any home.

It is particularly bothersome when they’re found in a rental.

It happens to even the best of rental properties because those pesky bugs can hitch a ride on virtually anything to enter the building.

As a tenant, you must report bed bugs right away.

An inspector will then come into the home to determine if an infestation has occurred.

 

Who Pays For The Bed Bug Removal?

This depends on how the bed bugs were introduced into property in the first place.

If the tenant has brought in the bed bugs, even unintentionally, then the cost of their removal will be their responsibility.

Otherwise landlords are required to provide habitable accommodations and that would make it their responsibility.

Does An Insurance Policy Cover Bed Bug Removal?

Sometimes landlord insurance will cover the cost of bed bug removal.

Although this limits the costs in the short-term to restore the property, any claims on an insurance policy will typically raise the rates of the next premium.

What Kind Of Rental Property Is It?

If tenants are renting a single family home and have been doing so for at least 6 months, then there’s a good chance that it will be the tenant responsibility to remove the bed bug infestation.

It can be more difficult to prove a specific tenant brought in bed bugs in an apartment complex, so in that circumstance it is more likely that the landlord will be stuck with the overall cost.

Can Tenant’s Withhold Rent For a Bed Bug Issue?

The answer to this depends on what the landlord/tenant laws happen to be.

In most instances, you’ll still need to pay rent as a tenant until the landlord has been notified in writing of the problem.

If the problem remains unresolved after a specific amount of time, then the cost of extermination can be paid by the tenant and then the amount of that bill can be deducted from the rent.

In most circumstances, the party responsible for the bed bug infestation is the one that will need to pay for the removal of them.

Make sure you know your rights and responsibilities under your landlord/tenant laws and what your leasing agreement says.

That way you’ll know what steps need to be taken to remove this pest for good.