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Advertising for Tenants & Showing the Rental Unit

Advertising for tenants might sound straightforward or extremely complicated; the truth is that some rental units are easy to fill, while others require landlords to kick in a free 70" LED TV and a full-time masseuse, depending on the market. Below is not a step-by-step directions list but a general roadmap, to help new landlords find the fastest, least expensive way to fill their rental unit with a qualified tenant.Read More »

How to Screen Tenants & Reject Bad Applicants – Without Running Afoul of Fair Housing Laws

Shoddy tenant screening is to blame for many tenant problems that landlords experience. Bad tenants will refuse to pay rent, ruin your rental property, invent reasons to sue you, and then tell the judge that you're evicting them unfairly. In short, they are an expensive nightmare.

So how do you spot these rotten apples?Read More »

Checklist for Executing the Lease Package & Transfer of Possession

After you’ve reviewed an applicant’s rental application, credit report, criminal background and verified their income and housing history, and you feel confident in their likelihood to pay the rent and treat the property well, it’s time to execute a legal contract to formalize your arrangement. Call the applicant, inform them of your decision to move forward, and schedule to time to meet them in person at the rental property.

If signing the lease agreement inRead More »

Raising the Rent: The Landlord's Guide to Successfully Raise Rental Income

Unfortunately, real estate costs rise over time, from property tax bills to insurance premiums to repairs and upkeep, so landlords sometimes need to raise tenants' rental payments. Raising tenants’ rent can prove a challenging conversation for many landlords, so here are a few suggestions to help make this discussion a successful one.
Tip 1: Planning Ahead
Many states require advance notice of at least 30-90 days when raising rent. This is something youRead More »

8 Ways to Reduce Rental Vacancy Rates for Better ROI

Vacant rental properties ruin the return on investment properties – period. Hazard insurance, mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, break-ins, vandalism, maintenance, and landscaping are just some of the costs associated with vacant rental properties. Reducing your vacancy rates to a bare minimum is extremely important, if you intend to have a successful real estate investing career.
The following eight tips will help minimize vacancy rates, and thus maximize your ROI.
Before You Invest…Read More »

Handling Lease Violations: Catching Tenant Violations Early & Why Written Notices Matter

Every landlord has encountered the messy, can't-be-bothered tenant, who has the attitude that “it’s not my property, so why should I care?” While every tenant wants their home to be clean and in good repair, not everyone actually bothers to do the work it takes to keep their home that way.

Nor are all lease violations about dirtiness, either. Tenants could be keeping a prohibited pet, or failing to keep smoke detector batteries working, orRead More »

Overview of the Eviction Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Eviction

The eviction process can be time-consuming and expensive, and a source of confusion for many landlords. Being (and staying) informed about the eviction procedure for your individual state is not only proactive but crucial to successful property management. Each state has its own set of eviction laws and regulations, and in many cases, eviction procedures may also be set by each jurisdiction as well. To make matters worse, the eviction terminology varies by location asRead More »

Preparing a Vacant Rental Unit for Showing to Prospective Tenants

Just like Elton John’s “Circle of Life”, there is of course a cycle to tenancies; new tenants come, stay a while, then move on (hopefully without doing too much damage to the property), and then it is time to find the next tenant to make your rental property their home.

The recent tenants have vacated your property, and you’re now paying the mortgage and anxious to find new tenants to occupy your vacant rental unit.Read More »

Recent News Articles

Are_Rental_Lease_Rules_Really_Different_From_State_to_State_SQUARE Are Rental Lease Rules Really Different From State to State?
Did you know that if you are a Pennsylvania landlord with a tenant who hasn't paid rent - and your written lease agreement states that no notice is required to evict for non-payment of rent - that you can legally start the eviction process without sending your tenant a notice? Yes, that's allowed by Pa. law. But you'd better not try that in the adjacent state of New Jersey. Rights of tenants in the Garden State cannot be waived. A N.J. lease agreement that declares tenant rights are waived, even if the tenant signed the lease, is unenforceable. Read More »
Why_Does_Eviction_Take_So_Long_SQUARE Why Does Eviction Take So Long?
You want your tenants out and you want them out today. You have been more than patient, your tenants are taking advantage of you, and things are only going to get worse. So, why can't you just kick them out immediately? Wouldn't any judge understand that eviction is appropriate under these typical scenarios? • Tenants haven't paid rent in months. • Tenants let other people move in and never told you or asked permission. • The last time tenants let you in to inspect, you saw the unit was trashed. These examples – among many others – are lease violations and landlords do not have to put up with them. And, yes, action is definitely called for. Unfortunately, far too many landlords make wrong assumptions about the action they are per Read More »
134844759_m A Proposed Federal Rule Change Has Landlords Anxious
Alarm is spreading among rental property owners over a proposal that would hold them liable if they failed to stop their tenants from harassing other tenants who are protected by anti-discrimination laws. The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development rule could be enacted as early as this fall. What has landlords with multiunit properties worried is that they would be held responsible for failing to stop discrimination action by one tenant against another tenant in a protected class – even if the landlord didn't know the discrimination was occurring. No need to panic, according to HUD. The rule is only a clarification of an existing policy. And since it doesn't call for any new duties on the part of landlords, HUD states, Read More »
Pokemon_Go_Away_V4_SQUARE Pokemon Go...AWAY!
Things were getting out of hand at the small senior center in Quebec City. Hordes of people gathered every evening on the lawn of the private center on a quiet residential street. Strangers set up chairs and spread blankets as if it were a public park. Using smartphones loaded with a hot new game, the crowds played late into the night. Some nights, according to seniors who live at the site, groups of more than 100 people played Pokemon Go until 3 a.m., keeping the neighborhood wide awake. The center director finally hired a security guard to shoo away trespassers, some of whom had been urinating on trees and dropping trash on the property. Read More »
Should_Your_Rental_Lease_Have_a_Marijuana_Clause_Square_V4 Should Your Rental Lease Have a Marijuana Clause?
Imagine that the single family home you own in a quiet neighborhood was just leased to a family that moved from out of state. You pop by a few weeks after lease-signing to drop off extra keys and see how they are settling in. Instead of beds, sofas and other décor, you find that each room has been fitted with grow lights connected to hazardous tangles of electrical cords. Your tenants have stripped your house of furnishings and converted it into a greenhouse for growing marijuana. Read More »
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