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Thursday January 19, 2017
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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
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,
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.
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.
How Vulnerable Are Your Assets as a Landlord?
If you own rental property, you own assets that are at risk. Just as large corporations protect their assets, landlords must be sure their investments are protected, even if they have just one rental property.
When Your Property Is Under Siege, Where's the Legal Line?
What happens when landlords enter a rental property without notice, or let others in, even in an emergency? A case study from the San Bernardino tragedy.
HUD Proposes Banning Smoking in Public Housing - Should You Follow Suit?
As HUD proposes making all of its public rental housing smoke-free, should private landlords follow suit and ban smoking in their rentals?
6 Trends Among Landlords, and Tips to Outperform the Norm
Here are trends affecting landlords around the country, along with some tips on how you can earn even better ROI than the average landlord.
The Rise in Homesharing: Redefining Single-Family Homes
A growing number of Americans are trying homesharing, and joining multiple families and generations in a single home for pooled responsibilities.
Could Home Values Suffer the 'Presidential Election Year Effect' in 2016?
There's some evidence to suggest that fewer Americans buy real estate during presidential election years; could 2016 see an election year housing slump?
North Carolina Resurrects the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act
While the troubled federal law lapsed in 2014, North Carolina passed its own version of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.
Big Data Is Watching: How Companies Predict Your Real Estate Moves
Real estate companies are finding new and innovative ways to gain disturbing insight into which property owners are likely to buy or sell.
How Homes Have Evolved Since the 1950s: A Guide for Real Estate Investors
Fashion may recall prior decades, but home designs have changed radically in the last fifty years. Here's what real estate investors need to know.
Supreme Court Ruling: Didn’t Intend to Discriminate? You Can Still Get Sued
The Supreme Court ruled that landlords can be sued for Fair Housing violations regardless of intention, based on the disparate impact rule.
Counting on Social Security? Fudged Numbers Are More Reason to Diversify Retirement Income
A recent report found systematically false forecasts by Social Security, further demonstrating that Americans need other retirement income.
Are There Any Advantages to Accepting Rent Through Virtual Currencies?
Accepting rent in bitcoins and other virtual currencies may appeal to some landlords, but do the risks outweigh the potential benefits?
Are "Birth Tourist" Renters a Risk for Landlords?
Increasing numbers of foreigners are visiting the US to give birth for the citizenship rights, but authorities are cracking down.
Are Renters Losing the Wages vs. Rents Battle?
With incomes stagnant, many renters are feeling the pinch between higher rents and few prospects for boosting incomes in the short term.
The Changing Face of America’s Renters – and What It Means for Landlords
With homeownership rates down, today's renters are more diverse than ever... here are the rental trends that landlords should know.
When Airbnb Goes Terribly Wrong – Family’s Calgary Home Ruined by Vacation Renters
A family's home suffered $150,000 in damage when Airbnb renters threw a massive party and nearly destroyed the short-term leased property.
8 Wild Real Estate Facts that Must Be Proven to Be Believed
Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction, as these wild and unbelievable real estate facts just go to show.
How Does Raising the Minimum Wage Affect Rents?
Raising the minimum wage would push rents and housing prices higher, a boon to landlords and homeowners, but tough for renters and buyers.
How Would a Sustained California Drought Affect Housing Prices & Rents?
California's drought may have a profound impact on housing markets, as it crushes agriculture and threatens water and food price spikes.
How Surprising Neighborhood Factors Like Trees & Trash Impact Crime Rates
Cleaner streets actually do mean less crime, and factors like the height and density of trees are surprisingly correlated with lower crime.
A Tale of Three Cities: Real Estate Volatility in Largest Canadian Cities
Three of the largest cities in Canada are seeing rapidly shifting market conditions, as interest rates keep dropping and prices move quickly.
7 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Leasing (and Homebuying) Process
Millennials are rapidly changing the rental and real estate industries; here's what you need to know as a property manager or landlord.
Think Tinder’s Age Penalty Stings? Study Finds Virtually No Income Growth After 35
Disturbingly, a new report finds that almost all of Americans' income growth occurs by age 35, and only the wealthiest continue to earn more.
Real Estate Sales Softer, But Rental Markets Stronger in Early 2015
While the housing data from the close of 2014 is mixed, one trend is clear: the shift towards leasing is still alive and well.
Top 10 US Cities to Invest in Vacation Home Rentals in 2015
Vacation home rentals can be both fun and lucrative; here are ten US cities that Zillow named as the best places to buy vacation rentals.
First-Time Homebuyers Struggling, Near 30 Year Low in US
First-time homebuyers are making up a smaller proportion of real estate purchasers, alarming economists and frustrating would-be homeowners.
6 Signs that Spring 2015 Won’t Leave US Real Estate Markets Too Chilled
Real estate prices nationwide continue to normalize, and spring 2015 housing markets look to be appreciating at a healthy pace.
Report: Average Workers Can't Afford to Buy Median Homes in Most US Cities
The average US city resident is slowly being priced out of America’s largest cities, risking a host of social and economic problems.
How to Legally Lease Using Airbnb in NY, When 72% of Rentals Are Illegal
With the majority of New York Airbnb rental transactions illegal, how can short-term landlords stay within the bounds of the law?
Where Young Adults Are Migrating... and Why It Matters to Real Estate Investors
Young adult migration patterns are a strong indicator of future economic growth and housing demand, marking good areas for real estate investment.
Canadian Real Estate Buyers Spending More Money for Less House
A new survey of Canadian real estate buyers shows that they are expecting to pay more for less house. Rental investors and homebuyers beware.
The Skinny on Micro-Cottages: Rental Income, Mobility & Minimalism
Micro-cottages can be great for bringing in vacation rental income from Airbnb, as guest lodging, or a million other inventive uses.
"Coming Soon" Listings: Smart Marketing Strategy or Harmful Gimmick?
As Zillow launches a new premarket listing option which could help sellers and landlords sell/lease faster, some realtors are fighting back.
Science Fiction? Virtual Reality Poised to Reinvent Real Estate & Rental Listings
Virtual reality tours of real estate combined with interactive features, could revolutionize the way people initially browse rental listings.
Rent Affordability: How Do Incomes Stack up to Rents, Since 2000?
Surprisingly, a closer look at the rent affordability gap reveals relatively stable rents, while real incomes are down since 2009.
The Great American Rent Divide: Why & How Rents Are Diverging Nationwide
Not all rental markets are created equal. We take a look at some of the most expensive - and cheapest - leasing markets, and examine causes.
Investor Forecast: Projected Higher Vacancies in the South for 2014-2015
Get ahead of the curve with this housing market forecast for investors. Learn why vacancies are projected to be higher in the southern states for 2014 & 2015.
Airbnb Nightmare: Short-Term Vacationer Refuses to Leave, Months-Long Eviction Process Required
A recent squatting case in California reveals the limitations of Airbnb's ability to protect vacation rental owners.
The Forgotten Few: Best Rental Investing Markets Overlooked by the Big Boys
Here are the top 25 rental investing markets in the US, based on housing market data provided by RealtyTrac and RentRange.
Editorial: Why Real Estate Professionals (& All Business Owners) Should Offer Military Discounts
Military service members have given a great deal for our society, so EZ Landlord Forms is proud to propose the Military Discount Movement.
New Harvard Study Shows Housing Recovery Will Slow Without Millennials
Harvard's annual State of the Nation's Housing study found that the ongoing real estate recovery will depend on millennial participation.
Canada’s New Real Estate Bubble: Realtors
Canada is seeing an explosive growth in the number of real estate agents, concerning analysts who worry the market cannot sustain them all.
U.S. Real Estate Market Gains Continue into Summer... But Slower
Real estate values and rents continue to rise, but at a slower pace than the last several years' impressive gains.
International Real Estate Investing: The Top Ten Places to Invest in 2014
Real estate investors looking to expand their portfolio overseas should consider these oft-overlooked gems, which are still affordable.
Highbrow Investors Snatch Up Trailer Parks in Surprising - and Profitable - Trend
With investing icons like Warren Buffett and Sam Zell spending millions buying trailer parks, more mom and pop investors are taking interest.
Is Flipping Real Estate Still Viable in 2014?
Flipping homes may seem very 2006, but it is rapidly recovering in popularity (and profits) after a post-Recession slump.
New Gallup Poll Reveals Which States Residents Want to Leave
A fascinating new poll by Gallup shows what percentage of each state's residents wants to move away, revealing deep discontent in many states.
San Francisco Landlords Under Fire from Protesters
Angry renters have been harassing tech employees and landlords in San Francisco, where rising rents have caused increasing social unrest.
RealtyTrac Backpedals & Reverses Move to Display Controversial Neighborhood Data
RealtyTrac reversed course this week, rescinding its recent move to include comprehensive additional data alongside real estate listings.
Why Are Mortgage Loans at a 14-Year Low?
Many analysts are scratching their heads as mortgage originations reach a low not seen since 2000, as several causes of the problem emerge.
RealtyTrac Introduces New Neighborhood Details with Listings, But Sellers May Not Thank Them
RealtyTrac has started displaying a massive amount of neighborhood data alongside its listings, but the data may hurt many sellers' prices.
Study Reveals Both Landlords & Tenants Disturbingly Unaware of Laws
A recent survey taken by Zillow reveals some troubling results, as few landlords truly understand some of the basics of landlord-tenant law.
Existing Home Sales Tumble 5.1% in January, Reaching 18-Month Low
Existing home sales have dropped precipitously, leading real estate analysts to wonder if market fundamentals are weakening.
Real Estate Companies Increasingly Targeted by Patent Trolls
Once confined to the tech sector, patent trolls are becoming more aggressive and targeting massive real estate companies.
Who's Buying Real Estate? Not Young People
The demographics of homeownership are changing, with adults waiting longer before buying real estate... if they end up buying at all.
A Sticky Situation (Pt. II): Are There Opportunities for Landlords & Real Estate Investors in the Legal Marijuana Boom?
The the legal marijuana industry expanding, what can landlords and real estate investors do to capitalize on the changing times?
A Sticky Situation (Pt. I): Can Landlords Ban Legal Marijuana Usage & Growth on Leased Premises?
With many states legalizing marijuana usage in some form, can landlords legally prohibit cannabis use in their rental properties?
Landlords and Regulators Crack Down on Subleasing Through Airbnb & Others
As short-term subleasing becomes increasingly popular, more landlords and municipalities are trying to prohibit tenants from doing so.
Two Real Estate Tax Breaks that Expired at the End of 2013
The residential energy efficiency tax credit and the mortgage debt forgiveness tax break both expired at the end of 2013, raising taxes for millions.
Home Prices Drop in November for First Time in a Year
While residential home prices dropped slightly in November, they increased when seasonally adjusted, and are up 13.7% year over year.
Reurbanization and the Growing Trend Towards "Walkability"
Walkability has been a growing buzzword and trend in residential real estate in the last five years; what does it mean for savvy landlords?
What Investors and Lenders Need to Know About Dodd-Frank as It Goes Into Full Effect
As of 1/10/14, there are new restrictions on mortgage loans, even seller-financed loans. Here's the breakdown of the new Dodd-Frank law.
Household Energy Usage in 2013 Drops to Lowest Level Since 2001, But Landlords Given Scant Incentives to Upgrade
As households become more energy efficient and Americans use less power, scant incentives exist for landlords to upgrade rental properties' energy efficiency.
Multi-Generational Housing a Growing Trend Entering 2014
More families in the US and Canada are sharing a home with multiple generations, and developers are now building homes to accommodate them.
Housing Starts Leap 22.7% in November
With a spike in new construction starting in November, homebuilders and apartment developers have shown they see a strong 2014 for housing demand.
Foreign Money Crossing the Border into U.S. Real Estate Markets
As U.S. real estate markets continue a steady recovery, foreign money has flooded in to scoop up investment properties at perceived bargain pricing.
Are Renters or Homeowners Happier?
The data comparing homeowner and tenant happiness is intriguing... and intriguingly mixed.
Making Sense of the Contradictory Recent Housing Data
The housing data has been largely mixed about purchase activity and home prices, what exactly is going on in the real estate industry?
Rent Control Battle Boiling in High-Rent San Francisco
San Francisco's rents have become too high for many low and middle-class residents, while new housing construction is often blocked. Rent control battles ensue.
Canadian Landlords Grapple with How (and Whether) to Lease to Immigrant Tenants
With many immigrants lacking credit histories or documented income, Canadian landlords struggle with foreign rental applicants and complex legal requirements.
EPA Tightens Regulations on Lead in Water Pipes, New Laws Reveal Growing Concern
New laws starting in January 2014 tighten the regulations on lead in water pipes, indicating a growing concern about lead poisoning from older water pipes.
Wall Street Ramping Up Its Foreclosure-to-Rental Investments
Private equity firms have invested billions of dollars in the last few years converting foreclosed properties into rental units, concerning local landlords.
New Report from ULI Projects Real Estate Trends for 2014
The ULI has just released its forecasts for 2014 real estate market trends and industry projections - where are North American rental markets heading in 2014?
Billions in HELOCs Due to Reset from 2014-2017, Fueling Fears of a Coming Storm
With hundreds of billions of dollars in HELOCs about to reset to higher payments, borrowers are in for payment shock, which may ripple across housing markets.
Rents Still Rising, Expected to Rise Another 16% Over 5 Years
Rents have been rising for several years, and most economists forecast them to rise even faster in the coming years, as demand is up and supply is down.
Are Tenants & Condo Owners Entitled to Post Signs as a First Amendment Right?
The First Amendment protects rights to free communication, but does that mean tenants and condo owners can litter their lawns and windows with political signs?
Research Reveals Surprising Link Between Homeownership & Unemployment Rates
Research reveals a strong correlation between an area's homeownership rate and it's subsequent unemployment rate between the years of 1950-2010.
Changes to Flood Insurance May Leave U.S. Real Estate Owners Underwater
The NFIP loses billions of dollars every year on flood insurance, which may mean flood premiums could rise by up to 2,000% for coastline residents.
What Do Negative Birth Rates Mean for the Future of Real Estate Markets?
Some developed nations are already witnessing the economic pain that comes with lower fertility; how do negative birth rates affect real estate markets?
Why Is It So Hard to Buy Flood Insurance in Canada?
Flood insurance is nearly impossible to buy in Canada, yet flooding is Canada's most common natural disaster, leading landlords and homeowners to wonder "Why?"
The "Growing" Problem of Canadian Grow-Ops... And Why They ARE a Problem
Marijuana grow-ops are no laughing matter for landlords and neighbors whose properties are damaged, or people harmed by the security mechanisms to guard them.
The Growing Specter of State “Exit Taxes” as Residents Abandon High-Tax States
More taxpayers are leaving high-tax states like Massachusetts for lower-tax states like Florida, but high-tax states are not letting residents go quietly.
Do Looks Matter in Real Estate Transactions? Apparently Yes – By a Lot
What impact does attractiveness have in landlord decisions such as hiring property managers and Realtors, and placing tenants?
Are Micro-Apartments the Next Big Rental Trend in Pricey Cities?
In high-rent cities like Seattle, micro-units can help meet the desperate demand for affordable housing, but controversy follows as some activists object.
Is Rising Demand for Affordable Housing an Opportunity for Investors?
Rising demand for rentals has led to a shortage of affordable housing in many places across the U.S., creating an opportunity for savvy investors.
More States & Municipalities Requiring Landlords to Accept Section 8 Tenants
You're either for or against renting to Section 8 tenants, but the choice is being taken away from landlords as more states outlaw the rejection of Section 8.
What Impact Will New Obamacare Taxes Have on Real Estate Investors & Landlords?
The Affordable Care Act has an affect on a variety of new taxes that affect real estate investors and landlords, including these specific three new tax rules.
Federal Court Ruling Against Landlord Law Firm May Spook Attorneys, Raise Rates & Paperwork
A recent ruling against a law firm representing a large apartment landlord raises questions about who is liable for what, and raises expectations of attorneys.
Who Is “Wealthy”? The 5-Step Ladder Between Middle Class and Wealthy
The definition of wealthy changes depending on who you ask, but this five-step ladder offers a universal guide to the different levels of wealth - and tips!
Landlords Gone Wild: Crazed Conniptions & How to Avoid Expensive Landlord-Tenant Disputes
Landlord-tenant disputes are often heated, and can even turn violent. Here are several ways to improve both your cash flow and relationships with your tenants.
NYC Landlord Ordered to Charge $1 Rent for $2,100 Apartment
A lawsuit brought against a New York City landlord led to a tenant scoring $1/month rent for a $2,100 apartment, in a cautionary tale for landlords everywhere.
What’s REALLY Going On with Housing Markets Right Now?
There's been a lot of debate about U.S. housing markets this summer. What are the facts and how does the real estate recovery actually stack up at the moment?
President Obama Goes Online with Zillow to Tackle Questions, Housing Agenda
President Obama appeared online earlier this month to take public questions and promote his housing agenda, in a Q&A forum hosted by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.
Are Millennials Finally Ready to Enter the Real Estate Market?
Millennials reported lower interest in owning real estate during the Great Recession, but has that changed in the years since?
Mobile Technology Transforming the Property Managment Business? Maybe
Mobile technology is gradually altering the way some property managers and landlords handle their business, but it comes with its own risks.
Blueprint for a Real Estate Recovery (Infographic)
This easy-to-read infographic explains the fundamentals of real estate market cycles, and lays out where we are currently in the cycle of recovery.
Deck Collapses During Tenant Party, Injuring 8 Guests: Who's Liable?
When a deck collapsed during a tenant's Fourth of July party, several guests were injured. Who is liable if they decide to sue over the accident?
The Rise of Solo Households - And the Implications for Real Estate Investors
One-person households are on the rise, which means higher demand for housing - good news for real estate investors nationwide.
Maryland Tenant Awarded $800,000 for Bedbug Infestation
An Annapolis tenant received an $800,000 judgment against her landlord, after he failed to address a bedbug infestation.
NYC Landlord Investigated for Harassing Hispanic Tenants in Gentrification Scheme
A corporate landlord in New York City is under investigation for allegedly harassing and pushing out Hispanic tenants to make way for more expensive rents.
Is There a “Great Senior Sell-Off” Looming over the Next Decade?
As baby boomers start reaching retirement age, the question arises whether a glut of suburban housing is waiting to flood markets across North America.
Say Sayonara to Low Mortgage Interest Rates
Why are mortgage interest rates increasing? Here are the basics behind the Federal Reserve and how it influences interest rates.
New Smartphone App Pinnum Provides Safety Tool for Landlords & Property Managers
Landlords and property managers often venture into high-crime neighborhoods, but a new smartphone app lets colleagues and family know exactly where they are.
Landlord Left with Tenant's $19,000 Water Bill
After her tenant moved out, one Atlanta landlord had a shock in store for her: an unpaid $19,000 water bill that the city is demanding she pay.
Covington, Kentucky Provides Landlords With a New Resource to Screen Tenants
Covington, Kentucky is experimenting with a unique but simple approach to helping landlords screen tenants, to slash vacancies and defaults.
10 Cities Where Rent Will Rise the Least in 2013
While rents are forecast to rise 4.1% nationwide, some rental markets will see slower growth in rents. Here are 10 rental markets forecast to grow slower than average, where rental investors should be aware of slowing growth.
RealtyTrac's Top 10 Markets for Single-Family Rental Investing (By Cap Rate)
Despite the leap in home prices nationwide, there are still markets where cap rates for single family rental investments remain excellent. RealtyTrac breaks down the top 10 by cap rate.
New Credit Scoring Models Offer Better Payment Predictions, But Will Anyone Use Them?
New credit scoring models are available to borrowers which may improve their chances on getting approved for mortgages, auto loans, and more!
Study Shows Americans Are Dangerously Under-Investing for Retirement
Many American workers have no money saved for retirement. Fortunately, rental properties offer some excellent advantages as retirement investments.
10 Cities Where Rent Will Increase the Most in 2013
While some U.S. cities are hurting, others are booming! These 10 U.S. cities are the likeliest to continue seeing strong rent increases through the end of 2013.
Proposed Oregon Legislation Restricts Landlords' Background Checks
This article includes information about a proposed bill in Oregon that restricts landlords from using certain criminal information when screening applicants.
Spring Real Estate Report: U.S. Housing Market Improving in Upward Spiral
Spring 2013 is looking brighter for real estate since the Great Recession reared its ugly head, and there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic!
Over 1 in 3 U.S. Counties Dying Off, As Young Adults Migrate to a Handful of Southern & Western Cities
As the economy creates more jobs, many young adults are leaving their rural counties in the Midwest and Northeast and moving to the West and the South's cities.
Ohio Landlord Spanks Tenant Over Unpaid Rent
In a mildly absurd landlord-tenant episode, an Ohio landlord allegedly spanked a tenant who had failed to pay his rent. Lawsuits and shenanigans ensue.
Florida Landlord Gets Jail Time for Altered Lease Agreement
A Florida landlord changed the term on the signed lease agreement to favor his eviction case... and wound up in jail.
Superstorm Sandy Leaves Landlord Out in the Cold... Still
Many New Jersey and New York landlords are still struggling to repair rental properties damaged by Superstorm Sandy, and in some cases being forced to pay for repairs to public utility lines.
FHA to Boost Fees & Rates... Again
Homebuyers will be paying more to buy homes starting this spring, as the FHA hikes its fees and rates once again.
The World's Strangest Eviction Cases
Every landlord has seen a strange eviction case in their day, but these are a whole different story, from Peeps pyramids to a "crazy rat lady."
What Happens When Homes Cost More to Demolish than They Are Worth?
Detroit proves a fascinating case study of a major American city crumbling under its debt, half of whose homes would cost more to demolish than they are worth.
Foreclosure Trends & Their Effect on the 2013 Housing Market
The foreclosure rate has been slowing for several years, and in many states has passed entirely. Where are we today with the foreclosure crisis?
The Year in Review: Housing Trends in 2012 and into 2013
Review some of the best market indicators for the everyday landlord and investor, including where housing markets stand and how they look for 2013.
New Law Holds Harrisburg Landlords Liable for Disruptive Tenants
Should landlords be stand-ins for police, forced to evict disruptive tenants? Harrisburg is not alone, and is merely the latest city to adopt this stance.
How Would Housing Markets Respond to the Fiscal Cliff?
How would housing markets respond to the fiscal cliff, with the end of the year nearing and no ample progress made on budget negotiations?
Carbon Monoxide from Furnace Causes Tenant Death in Colorado
Tragedies like this should serve as wake-up calls to landlords, tenants and property managers about their responsibilities for furnaces and smoke/CO detectors.
Apartment Complexes Experiment with the Little Free Library Project
A small but growing number of property managers are experimenting with creating small, free book exchanges to boost renter engagement and sense of community.
Landlord Charged in Tenant's Pit Bull Attack
When a Pennsylvania landlord accidentally let a dog out of her tenant's house, it attacked a child, and the landlord now faces criminal charges.
Housing Sales & Rental Markets Today vs. Four Years Ago - An Overview of Market Indicators
As the election looms, now is a good time to take stock of the current real estate and rental market statistics, and how they compare with four years ago.
America's New Giant Landlords: Private-Equity Firms
The new multi-billion dollar trend among private-equity firms began buying foreclosures en masse, and keeping them as rental properties.
How Demographics Will Affect the Canadian Housing Market Over the Next Decade
While real estate has boomed in Canada over the last decade, demographic changes are likely to bouy the Canadian real estate market over the next decade.
Tenant Tries to Sell Landlord's Furniture & Belongings
In a disturbing cautionary tale, an Oregon tenant attempted an "estate sale" of the landlords' furniture that had been leased with a furnished rental agreement.
Landlord Convicted, Sentenced to Prison for Lead-Based Paint Violations
Anti-lead paint regulations have grown teeth, and landlords are now being prosecuted as criminals for failing to adhere to the letter of lead-based paint laws.
Satellite Dish Destruction! New Case Against Satellite Providers Rules in Favor of Landlord
A recent lawsuit may urge more satellite television providers to require a landlord's signature if changes to the rental property are required for installation.
State of the Rental Industry - Early 2012
The rental industry has had a good year or two, compared to the rest of the American economy, but where does the American rental market stand now?
Year in Review: Real Estate Trends in 2011, Predictions for 2012
This overview examines housing market trends in 2011 and where we are headed for 2012, as well as the rental boom, new construction, shadow inventory, and more.
A Brief Overview of the Economics of Real Estate & Employment
There is a self-reinforcing cycle at work among unemployment, real estate markets, credit markets, and government solvency, which is worth a closer look.
Flippers Reluctantly Turn to Leasing Investment Properties
Real estate investors who normally bought, renovated, and resold are now finding themselves unable to sell, and signing a lease until they can find a buyer.
Rental Industry Gaining Momentum Nationwide
While the economy overall suffers and real estate values remain flat, the rental industry is surging forward with rising rents, and a high demand for rentals.
Tax Updates Affecting Real Estate Investors: Capital Gains & 1031 Exchanges
Federal tax law changed the capital gains rate for some filers between 2011-2013. But 1031 exchanges remain an option for many real estate investors.
Lessons from 2010: Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2011
The uncertainty and mixed news that characterized the 2010 real estate markets around the country is not about to clear instantaneously, but there are a few trends and predictors that we in the real estate industry can take away from 2010, and watch in 2011.
Designing Spaces Features EZ Landlord Forms!
Telly Award-winning TV show Designing Spaces invites ezLandlordForms' CEO Kevin Kiene and legal counsel Paul Cohen to offer some landlording tips and advice.
The Real Estate Downturn and a Rental Market Case Study: Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin provides a useful case study in how cities can survive and reverse real estate downturns and depreciation.
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Move-Out & Eviction
Recent Educational Articles
Should I Call My Tenant's Previous Landlords?
Applicants for your rental property completed their forms, agreed to a background checked and showed you recent pay stubs to verify their income. You've met with them and have a good feeling in your gut. It's decision time, right? Well, not quite. You have a few more questions to ask before you should sign a lease with these applicants. But the answers are only a phone call away. Obtain your applicant's permission, and then reach out to current and former landlords and interview them. These people have, or had, a relationship with your applicant. Ask if the tenant pays or paid rent on time. Ask if they took care of the unit during their time there. Ask whether neighbors ever complained about the tenant.
Read More »
Real Estate Investing
The Accidental Landlord: Should We Try Renting Out Our Old House?
Carrie Kirby and her family faced a tough choice when they left Chicago in 2012 to return to California. The Chicago Tribune columnist wrote about having to decide between selling her and her husband's Illinois home at a loss or becoming landlords. They chose the latter. Many homeowners confront this same scenario, as circumstances force a family to move. It could be landing a new job, searching for better schools or even inheriting a property. With the housing market beginning to pick up, many hope that selling the old house will be a snap, but the fear is that if it doesn't sell quickly, there will be two mortgages to pay.
Read More »
My Tenant Backed Out of the Lease - Now What?
You gathered a pile of applications for your rental property. You narrowed it to several finalists and, after screening a few backgrounds, you finally settled on the best candidate for your next tenant. Now, that tenant is backing out of the lease at the very last minute. What should you do, besides tearing your hair out? It depends on whether or not the tenant signed your lease agreement, and whether you obtained a Hold Deposit. Also, did your lease include an Early Termination clause? Know the answers to these questions before reading further - they matter!
Read More »
Move-Out & Eviction
Should I Call a Lawyer?
Property management revolves around legal contracts – purchase agreements, loans, leases – so, the law is integral to every aspect of the rental business. Usually, after the rental property is purchased, most “contract time” will be spent on writing strong leases. A good lease that meets state laws provides protection from tenants who mistreat the rental, fail to pay utility bills or stop paying rent. However, even the very best leases get tested. Maybe a tenant gets a new job one month into a yearlong lease and wants to move. Or a departing tenant insists that the carpet was stained when he moved in and demands the return of his full security deposit. Perhaps roommates have a fight, one moves out and the remaining roommate invites in a
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General Property Management
What documents do I need to get started as a landlord?
When you’re thinking about entering the market as a landlord, the considerations are many. Before you get caught up in the minutiae of advertising the property, making cosmetic upgrades, or screening for the perfect tenant, be sure to consider the paperwork that may need to be completed before you may legally rent your unit. The requirements to move a tenant into a property vary greatly by municipality. A landlord should be prepared to encounter a process of legal filings, fees, and inspections, and should anticipate potential roadblocks. While the local requirements will dictate what must be done, a general understanding of the terminology and other considerations may make it easier to navigate this process.
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Real Estate Investing 101 with Industry Expert Paul Cohen, Esq.
Two real estate attorneys and two real estate investing experts answer common property investing questions from financing to taxes to repairs.
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