Popularity of pet-friendly rentals sparks growth in dubious online services

The popularity of pet-friendly apartments has led to development of dubious services on the Internet designed to get owners out of paying high pet fees. The services allow people to obtain phony dog service certification deeming the animal an “emotional support pet,” a designation that not only exempts owners from pet fees but often grants the animal access to rentals that are not pet friendly.

The problem with such efforts is they are sparking more scrutiny from landlords and more calls for increased regulation on issuing emotional support pet certification, which ultimately may make it difficult for people who legitimately need it.44334346_s-228x300

Many of the dubious services have online “therapists” who provide documentation that an emotional support pet is needed. Many provide the “doctor’s note” within 24 hours. As I was looking at some of these websites, one was summoning me to register a pet with them via a pop up. They are very persistent. These services provide a method for people to avoid pet fees and a way to have a pet in a residence that does not allow pets. Pet rents range from $25 to $75 monthly and up front pet fees range from $250 to $1,000 on average per pet.

Emotional support pets are companion animals that provide a therapeutic benefit to individuals with a verifiable mental or psychiatric disability. Emotional support pets are one type of assistance animal, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An emotional support pet can be any type of animal and is allowed as a reasonable accommodation in a residence that does not otherwise allow pets. This allows dogs, cats, alligators, any type of pet at all with no restriction. You do not have to pay pet fees to a landlord for an emotional support pet.

The difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal is a service animal is trained to perform certain tasks to help people with disabilities, while an emotional support pet is not trained. Unlike service animals, an emotional support pet is not granted access to public places such as movie theaters and hospitals.

HUD does not require a tenant to disclose their disability to a prospective landlord, but they will need to provide documentation from a doctor or other health care professional that the assistance animal lessens one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of an existing disability.

A companion animal can also travel with their person in the cabin of a plane, as allowed by the Air Carrier Access Act, without fees. Typically, the fee to have a pet fly is about $125.

The Transportation Department formed a panel of advisers to look into the issue. Airlines are concerned about the safety of the passengers around the untrained animals and want to know whether their owners legitimately need them for emotional support or are just trying to avoid a fee. The panel was disbanded without a solution, experts say, but with the increase of animals on flights this is bound to come up again.

There is no standardized form that can be used to prove an emotional support pet’s status.  The increase in people fraudulently identifying their pets as assistance animals has led to a consideration of  more regulations for identifying an assistance animal.

An online petition being circulated through Change.org is asking Anna Maria Farias, HUD’s assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, to reform laws surrounding emotional support animals. While supporting people who legitimately need comfort animals, the petition wants the government to stop allowing owners to get doctors’ notes for emotional support pets online for a fee. The petition asserts these online methods are not credible.

More regulation is needed to prevent people from falsely claiming their pets as companion animals. Let’s hope the regulations will not hinder the process for people who have a legitimate need for an emotional support pet.

 

Source: washingtonpost.com

Southwest Wake County’s growth spike shows it’s no longer a bedroom community

What used to be a mere cluster of Triangle-outskirt towns is now one of North Carolina’s centers for economic growth. Even by Triangle region standards, which have been significant, Southwest Wake County’s growth has spiked over the last two decades.

The Census Bureau recently reported growth rateCaptures of approximately 26 percent in Apex, 35 percent in Holly Springs, and 44 percent in Fuquay-Varina, outpacing Raleigh in 2016. Residential growth in Holly Spring

 

s alone is expected to grow so rapidly that for every three residents today, there will be five by 2025.

As a site selection specialist and a local resident, I have seen the impact this has had on the workforce. Joanna Helms, Apex Economic Development Director shared, “Most people don’t realize that Apex has over 50 thriving companies that range from advanced manufacturing, wholesale distribution and precision machining to information technology, computer gaming and software development, as well as micro brewing.”

 

Following the population growth, retail market vacancies have been competitive, and are currently at 2.8 percent according to CoStar. It seems that almost every week, another grocer, restaurant, or other retailer announces an opening. As of November 2017, Southwest Wake had almost 30,000 square feet of retail space under construction, as well as five shopping centers proposed. Current mixed-use developments in Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina create tremendous retail and mixed-use opportunities for business owners and consumers alike.

While retail development will always follow the rooftops and urban areas continue to thrive and grow, a new trend is emerging where many companies are migrating closer to their workforce. This has not only reduced geographic and traffic concerns during the recruiting process, but has also developed a quality of life for employees that, in turn, improves the quality of the company. Names such as Dell Inc., Rovisys, and Sequirus are located in the heart of Southwest Wake, producing thousands of jobs and catalyst for economic growth.

 

“Town leaders have strategically positioned the assets of the community to attract more life science companies. Highlights include: more than $100 million has been invested in roads, water and sewer projects and parks and recreation facilities in the last 10 years,’ said Holly Springs Economic Development Director, Irena Krstanovic.

Southwest Wake currently has over 75,000 square feet of industrial and flex space under construction. These properties are in addition to almost one million square feet of proposed development. Local municipalities are looking to grow their commercial tax base, as well as offer incentives for businesses to join their communities.

This, along with land availability, provides development opportunities for any

 

thing from spec space to owner-occupancy. Additionally, the construction of “Complete 540” project going through the southwest, there will soon be expedited access to RDU and other parts of the region. According to Economic Development Director, Jim Seymour, “Fuquay-Varina continues to see strong growth in the expansion of our medium to large manufacturing firms. Our geographical location is one of our community’s greatest assets for manufacturing and distribution.”

Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2017/12/12/southwest-wake-county-s-growth-spike-shows-it-s-no.html

 

General rules to follow for an efficient and fire hazard free dryer:

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General rules to follow for an efficient and fire hazard free dryer:

1. Clean the lint trap screen after each dryer cycle.

2. Wash the lint trap screen after 20-30 loads. Let it air dry before replacing.

3. Use a vacuum hose to suck out any remaining lint inside the dryer where the lint trap is stored.

Happy Ask a Stupid Question Day

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Happy National Ask A Stupid Question Day! Now’s your chance to ask us questions you’ve always wanted to about #Leasing and #PropertyManagement, but didn’t because you felt they might be “stupid”.

Property Manager… solving problems you didn’t know you had in ways you can’t understand.

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Although few outside the profession may understand what we do and how we do it, the basic facts remain unchanged: Property Managers play a critical role in a landlord’s success. As the rental market grows increasingly tumultuous, property managers toil quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to come up with solutions to problems that the average landlord doesn’t understand or even know he has.

Bev Roberts Rentals Presents: Festive Decorating Contest 2016

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Hello tenants, we have a new contest for you to get excited about!  The Bev Roberts Rentals family is bringing to you a chance to embrace your creativity with the Festive Decorating Contest!

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of fall?  Is it spooky spiders for Halloween, is it pumpkins and falling leaves for Autumn, or is team spirit for football season?  Whatever that is, send us your photo portraying your festive indoor or outdoor decorating!  The winning resident receives a $50 Visa Gift Card!  Please read the above flyer for more details.

The contest officially starts October 1, 2016.  Winner will be chosen on November 30, 2016!

Planning a Non-Renewal

ask-the-attorneyThe Landlord Protection Agency®presents John Reno, Esq.,a highly experienced Landlord – Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Q:  Dear Mr. Reno:

My tenants lease will expired the end of May. I do not wish to renew the lease, planning on remodeling. What would you recommend. I anticipate that the tenant may be difficult.
Thank you,
Lee Fadavi

A: I would notify them as soon as possible, that their lease will not be renewed. Also, review your lease carefully about what notice, if any, is required and how to give it. But even if no notice is required, I strongly recommend it.

Legal Disclaimer
The Landlord Protection Agency’s “Ask the Attorney” column is for informational purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney – client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.

Searching for the Needle in the Haystack?

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Searching for the #NeedleInTheHaystack? Search no longer! We are the top-rated property management firm in the #TriangleArea!

#Apex #Cary #FuquayVarina #HollySprings #Morrisville #Raleigh

An Advisor Helps Your Investing Career

1Any competent real estate investment advisor will tell you it’s easy to make your fortune with a real estate career – as long as you know what you are doing. The first advice your real estate investment advisor should give you is to not jump in with both feet right away.

Before making your first investment, you need to do some studying. First of all, do you want to invest in residential or commercial real estate? Which one you chose affects the real estate investment advisor you work with and what you need to be studying.

Your Real Estate Investment Advisor Shortens Your Learning Curve

Once you have a real estate investment advisor, he or she will help you decide what books and articles you need to learn from. If you go into commercial real estate, you will have a ton of options to choose among. Your advisor will give you the pros and cons on subjects like industrial properties, apartment buildings, retail space, office space, etc. It will greatly increase how fast you conquer the learning curve.

With your new knowledge from a general overview, you’re advisor will help you narrow down a more detailed reading list. Now is also the time to start talking to everyone in your chosen market segment that will give you a few minutes of his or her time. You want to advance your career with knowledge gained from other investors, attorneys, brokers, appraisers, mortgage brokers etc. Your real estate investment advisor will have contacts he or she puts you in touch with.

Next, you want to select a geographic market and learn everything you can about it. If you decide to get into retail space, pick the brain of your real estate investment advisor to learn everything you can about the current market conditions and for tips selecting a geographic subsection of your local market. Then talk to existing tenants in the market to learn what is going well and not so well for them.

Your Advisor Teaches You Creative Financing

Having cut your learning curve substantially with the help of your advisor, you will now be ready to make your first investment wisely. In all likeliness, you’ll have come across several potentially highly profitable investment opportunities during your studies.

This is where your real estate investment advisor brings invaluable knowledge to your first real estate investment. It’s all about the money. You’ll gain great help performing your first due diligence. When the numbers make sense, you’re advisor will show the ins and out of creative financing. You’ll learn about low cost and no cost techniques such as sandwich lease purchases and seller financing. There are also many sources of private funding available.

Source: realtybiznews.com

Looking for the Perfect Tenant? Seek out These 6 Traits!

1Your most important decision that will determine the success or failure of your rental is the person you put in the property. A bad tenant can potentially cause years of stress, headache and financial loss, while a great one can provide years of security, peace and prosperity.

So, don’t underestimate the importance of renting to only the best tenants. While it’s not possible to know with 100 percent certainty what type of tenant your applicant will be, here are six telltale signs and traits that will give you a pretty darn good indication that this person is great tenant material:

1. The ability to pay

The first and foremost quality of a good tenant is his or her level of financial responsibility and ability to afford the rent. Without proper payment, the landlord may be forced to evict the tenant and face potentially thousands of dollars’ worth of legal fees, lost rent and damages.

Most landlords require that a tenant’s (documented) income equal at least three times the monthly rent. Many tenants believe that they can afford more than they really can — so it is the landlord’s job to set the rules to protect his or her investment. If the tenant is already financially responsible, income that amounts to three times the monthly rent should be sufficient.

2. The willingness to pay on time

While some landlords look at late rent as a benefit because of the extra income from the late fee, a late-paying tenant is more likely to stop paying altogether. The stress generated when the rent doesn’t come in is not a pleasant experience and can be avoided by renting only to tenants with a solid history of paying on time.

3. A positive long-term outlook for job stability

While a tenant may be able to pay the rent and pay it on time right now, his or her ability to do so in the future is often determined by the job situation. If this person is the type to switch jobs often or has had long periods of unemployment, you may find long periods of missed rent.

4. Cleanliness and housekeeping skills

No tenant stays forever — and upon departure needs to leave the property in good condition. As such, it is important that the tenant’s day-to-day lifestyle be clean and orderly. This means taking good care of the property.

5. An aversion to crime, drugs, and other illegal activities

A person who has no regard for the law will also likely have no regard for your policies. Tenants who engage in illegal activities will cause you nothing but stress and expense. So, be sure to run a background check on your prospective tenant to ensure he or she doesn’t have a shady past.

That said, keep in mind that a prospective tenant’s past history of drug or alcohol abuse could be considered a medical problem — and thus something you can’t reject him or her over without being guilty of violating fair housing laws. If this person is selling drugs, that’s different from using. Be sure to study up on the fair housing laws in your area.

6. The ‘stress quotient’ — how much stress will this person cause you?

The final quality of a great tenant is something I call the “stress quotient” or, in other words, the amount of stress a tenant will cause you as landlord. Some tenants are very high maintenance and constantly demand time and attention. Others simply ignore the terms in their lease and need constant babysitting, reprimands and discipline (late fees, notices, phone calls, etc.). This type of tenant will only be a thorn in your side.

So, is a perfect tenant even possible?

Obviously, no tenant is going to be 100 percent perfect, so deciding how much near-perfection you require is a personal choice that largely depends on your desired involvement and the community in which your property is located. If tenants are difficult to find, it may be financially advantageous for you to rent to a less-than-perfect tenant in order to fill a vacancy.

Notice the use here of “less-than-perfect tenant,” and not “anyone.”

On the other hand, if you have plenty of applicants to choose from, you can be significantly more picky. Just remember, it’s much better to have your unit vacant a little longer while you wait for the right tenant than to rent to the wrong person.

So, how exactly do you weed out the bad tenants and find those quality tenants? The answer involves setting strict qualifying standards and screening your applicants to verify whether or not they meet those standards.

Source: stamfordadvocate.com