Abandonment of Rental Property

bill-new-100What to Do if a Tenant Abandons the Property


by Attorney William BronchickLegalwiz.com

Have you ever had a tenant leave in the middle of the night or the middle of an eviction?  Did you ever wonder what to do?

Basically when a tenant abandons the property, you do not need to file an eviction or wait for the sheriff.  You can change the locks.  As for the tenant’s stuff, in most states you can simply toss it.  You should check your state or local law to see what your legal obligation is to store the items for the tenant.

HOWEVER…

If you are not certain whether the tenant has abandoned the property, you should not change the locks.  If you have the keys, you could enter the premises, but KNOCK FIRST.  Whether or not the tenant has abandoned is often a judgment call, looking at a combination of factors, such as:

  • Did the neighbors see them move?
  • Are the utilities shut off?
  • Did the tenant put in a change of address at the post office?
  • Is there any significant furniture left?
  • If you have access, are there sheets on the beds?

In some cases, the tenant has been arrested or is in the hospital, which would explain why he hasn’t been around.  Or, maybe the tenant has moved, but left behind some furniture to pick up later on.  Even if the tenant is not sleeping there, they are still “in possession” if they have their personal belongings in the unit and have not shown an intent to abandon these items.

Some states have specific laws regarding PRESUMPTIONS of abandonment.  For example, Connecticut law states:

Sec. 47a-11b. Abandonment of unit by occupants. Landlord’s remedies.
(a) For the purposes of this section, “abandonment” means the occupants have vacated the premises without notice to the landlord and do not intend to return, which intention may be evidenced by the removal by the occupants or their agent of substantially all of their possessions and personal effects from the premises and either

(1) nonpayment of rent for more than two months or
(2) an express statement by the occupants that they do not intend to occupy the premises after a specified date.

You can find a state by state guide to landlord tenant law by clicking here. If you do intend to claim abandonment, take pictures, gather evidence and cover all bases to prepare for a possible wrongful lockout claim.  If you have ANY doubts, call your landlord-tenant attorney and do the proper legal eviction proceeding.

The Landlord Protection Agency would like to thank William Bronchick for supplying the article above.

About the author…
William Bronchick, Esq. is an author and attorney who regularly presents workshops and do-it-yourself seminars at real estate and landlord associations around the country. He is the president and co-founder of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors. Bill specializes in all forms of asset protection and is the author of several great home study courses.

Read more articles by William Bronchick at Legalwiz.com.

Source: The Landlord Protection Agency, Inc.

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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

 

9 Sneaky Fees to Watch for When Hiring a Property Manager

security-deposit-piggy-bank-moneyTo many landlords, property management services are superfluous, cutting their profit margins to a minimum in exchange for basic services. But the reality is that property managers can make your life extraordinarily easier—and most charge a reasonable enough rate that you can draw a monthly profit from your properties (headache-free).

However, when you’re searching for a property manager to handle your landlord responsibilities, it’s important to note that not all fee structures are the same. If you don’t understand how a manager’s fees work, you won’t be able to compare apples to apples, and you might end up shaving your profit more than necessary if you aren’t prepared for those fees when they come up.

9 Fees to Watch For

These are some of the most common “hidden” fees, extra fees, and differences in fee structure to watch for when comparing providers or finalizing a contract:

1. Rent Due and Rent Collected

Many property managers will charge fees as a percentage of rent, but watch how this is worded—there’s a difference between charging as a percentage of rent due and a percentage of rent collected. A percentage of rent due means your company will charge you based on how much money a tenant owes you; a percentage of rent collected means your company will charge you based on how much money a tenant actually pays you—and is generally more favorable. If you’re charged based on rent due, you’ll end up paying for property management even when your property is vacant and you have no money coming in.

2. Early Cancellation

You may also be charged an early cancellation fee should you break the contract with your property manager before the end of its outlined term. For example, if you agree to work with them for a year and you want out after eight months, you might pay an additional few hundred dollars. Be especially wary of this fee with untested property managers.

3. A La Carte Management Fees

“A la carte” management fees refer to a suite of extra fees a property manager may charge you in addition to basic services. Usually, a property manager will either charge a higher price (and no additional fees) or a lower price, with multiple additional fees, somewhat evening out. Accordingly, it pays to know what fees are applicable and what they might run you. The remaining items in this list could all be classified as a la carte management fees.

4. Vacancy

If a company isn’t charging you the full cost of management while your property is vacant, there may still be an additional vacancy fee. Rather than collecting a percentage of rent due, they may collect a smaller amount from you as a kind of retainer.

5. Advertising

When it comes time to seek a new tenant, some property managers may charge you an additional advertising fee. This would cover the cost of creating media (such as taking photos) and placing it on sources like online listings or paper publications.

6. Leasing

A leasing fee may apply when you find a new tenant for your property. This covers the cost of drafting and securing a new lease agreement and is generally low in cost. If the cost here is high, it should raise a red flag, especially if your resulting tenant turnover seems to increase.

7. Lease Renewal

Lease renewal is even simpler than initial leasing, but it may still require a fee. You may need to draw up new paperwork or renegotiate terms with a tenant, and that means your property managers will be doing a bit of extra work. Expect minimal fees here as well.

8. Maintenance

Property management fees should cover basic instances of maintenance and repair, but some companies may charge extra for big jobs, or for an inspection between tenants.

9. Eviction

Eviction can be a messy process, and if you ever need to evict, you’ll be grateful you have a property management service in your corner. Most property managers will handle the eviction completely on your behalf, but some will charge you an extra fee for the extra work involved. Expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars for this process.

Apples to Apples

Different companies might charge money in different ways, but if they’re offering similar services, you’ll likely find the bottom-line price of each to be competitive with one another. The big difference here is how you plan on using your property management company; for example, if you’re looking for long-term arrangements, an early cancellation fee shouldn’t factor much into your decision. Try to consider all these factors and all price points when comparing providers and making your decision.

Source: biggerpockets.com

Is Evicted Tenant Responsible for Remaining Months on Lease?

ask-the-attorney

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

Q:  Dear Mr. Reno:

Thank you Mr Reno for taking my question. Once an eviction takes place, what is the status of the Lease Agreement as it pertains to lost rent? Is the evicted tenant still liable for lost rent for the remaining months of the Lease?
Charles, California.

A: Yes, yes, yes, the tenant is liable for the remaining months- but there’s a catch: Once you re-rent, you no longer can claim damages for lost rent. So you have to wait until you re-rent so you know how much to sue for.

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.

How to Set the Perfect Rent Price for a Rental Property

1If there is something that many landlords struggle with it is how to determine the perfect rent price for their properties. Naturally, most of them would wish to set the prices as high as possible so as to recoup their investment.

Doing so, however, will make the tenants view the landlord as unscrupulous and they will stay away from the units. Ironically, pricing your rentals too cheap is also counterproductive. The low price will attract low-quality and at times problematic tenants.
So, just how can a landlord go about pricing his or her rental units? The following tips should offer insight on how to go about it.

8 Tips for Setting Rental Prices

Find Out What Similar Units are Charging An effective way to determine how much to price is by finding out what houses similar to yours charge. The similarity should be regarding the number of bedrooms, square footage, location, and amenities. You can get this information from popular listing platforms like Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com. Bearing in mind that the rent price can affect how long a property stays vacant as well as the average occupancy rate, focus on those houses that do not stay unoccupied for too long and have a high occupancy rate. Chances are these units have the right rental prices.

Consider the Square Footage of the Unit If your efforts of locating a property that matches yours prove futile, do not despair yet. You can use the nearby units to calculate how much you should price yours. All you need to do is find out how much the surrounding units charge per square feet and use that rate to calculate yours.

Set the Price Based on the Real Property Value A common way of determining what to charge is to evaluate what the actual cost of your asset is, and multiplying it by a standard 0.11. Whatever figure you arrive at, that should be the fitting monthly rent you should demand. For instance, if the evaluation values your rental property at $ 150,000, then an ideal monthly rental rate would be $1,650. Even though this approach fails to factor in variables like the neighborhood, design features or surrounding amenities, it gives a general idea of what to charge.
Consider the Location of Your Property Where your rental property is situated significantly affects the amount of rent you can demand. For instance, if it is in high-end markets, near prominent school districts, reliable transport network, or essential social amenities, you can attract a premium rate. That is because high-quality renters prefer staying in such areas and wouldn’t mind paying whatever amount you ask. However, if your property is in the lower class markets, where insecurity is high, and infrastructure is lacking or rundown, you will have a daunting task charging a high rent.

Look at the Condition, Size, and Layout of the Property Besides the location, there are other factors like the size, design, and condition of the property which will affect its ultimate price. For example, a two bedroom apartment might cost less than a three bedroom one in the same area. However, if the three-bedroom unit is old or in a worn-out state, while the two-bedroom one is new and refurbished, the newer property is likely to cost more.

Inquire from Property Experts Another useful way for you to ascertain the perfect rent is to ask credible experts in the real estate industry. These experts include property management companies, real estate agents, and rental housing associations. Since these authorities are familiar with the rental property industry, they are in the perfect position to tell you what to charge in different markets. When looking for an expert opinion, though, take the time to determine that you are indeed consulting a credible and reputable professional. Otherwise, you might end up receiving the wrong investment advice, which will hurt your real estate goals.

Ask Other Landlords Even though industry experts will give you sound advice, in most cases you have to pay for that information. If you prefer unsolicited rental advice, why not get it from the horse’s mouth. Talk to other landlords and ask them how much they charge. While at it, do not shy from seeking their opinion on what you should charge for your property. Depending on your approach most property owners would readily give credible suggestions.

Ask the Tenants If getting the information from the landlords proves impossible, or if you suspect what the owner told you was questionable, you could identify surrounding units that are similar to yours and interrogate the tenants there, to find out how much rent they pay.
Conclusion By following the above steps, you should be in a position to get an average market rate for your rental property. From there, it is up to you to decide how to price your units so that they remain both attractive to high-quality renters, and profitable to you.

Source: realtybiznews.com

The Value of Having a Good Relationship with Your Landlord.

1#Tenants know the value of having a good relationship with their #landlord. A good relationship may give you a little clemency, but a bad relationship can make your living situation stressful. One way to nurture a positive relationship with your landlord is to be upfront and honest from the moment you sign the lease. One of the easiest ways to form a negative relationship with your landlord is to lie or hide things, like breaking the pet policy by hiding a pet. Hiding a pet from your landlord or #propertymanager is a breach of the lease and can seriously cost you in several ways.