Ask The Attorney – Screening Question

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:

I have a couple applying for my rental. The gentleman has a good credit history but his girlfriend’s is horrible. If I just have him on the lease and he leaves the rental due to a break-up, do I have a big problem getting her out of my house? What would I have to do? We are in Maryland.. Thanks. Jane W., MD

A: It’s a package deal. You like’em as a couple, or you don’t. Does his responsibility outweigh her lack thereof? That’s your call. Leaving her off the lease doesn’t help you- it only helps her. That would give her the right to occupy the residence as his companion- but no liability for rent. Bad move.

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.

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Tenant Question: Guest Caused Damage, Am I Responsible?

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Tenant Question: “While on vacation, I let a friend stay in my rental home. My friend accidentally left the freezer door open, which allowed the freezer to defrost. Water soaked and ruined the kitchen hardwood floors. Can the landlord charge me with this repair bill?”

A. Yes. By law and per the lease terms, tenants are responsible for damage their guests cause to the rental. Don’t get sidetracked by the fact it was your friend, not you, who left the freezer door open. Your friend was there with your consent and, legally speaking, their mistakes while in your rental will be your responsibility.

The most painful aspect of home ownership is the buck stops with YOU.

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The most painful aspect of home ownership might be that the buck stops with YOU. Whether it’s mundane repairs like replacing fixtures, fixing toilet leaks, and touch-up painting, or big ticket items like new roofs, furnaces, or siding – it all comes out of YOUR pocket. What does this cost homeowners on average? U.S. News and World Report says that homeowners spend from 1% to 4% of a homes value each year on maintenance and repair.

Why most renters don’t want to buy homes right now

1Even though they’re becoming more optimistic about their financial situations, more people who rent their homes are foregoing buying a house.

One in five renters now say they have no interest in ever owning a home, up from 13% in January 2016, according to a report released this week by Freddie Mac. And nearly 60% of current renters expect to rent their next property when they make their next move, up from 55% in September.

This shift toward renting versus buying is occurring despite a relative improvement in the financial situations for many renters: 41% of them say they have enough funds to go beyond each payday, as opposed to living paycheck to paycheck or not having enough money for basic necessities, the highest level since October 2015, Freddie Mac found. Harris Poll surveyed more than 4,000 adults on Freddie Mac’s behalf, of which 1,282 were renters, to help produce the report.

And yet a sizable chunk of people are unhappy with renting. Nearly 40% of people Freddie Mac surveyed were dissatisfied to some extent with their rental experience, with young and urban renters — who are likely to be living in smaller, more expensive spaces — more likely to be displeased.

So why are they not buying? People’s attitudes toward affordability, which cut across generations, is a big factor. “Although their finances are better, renters are comfortable with continuing to rent with many believing renting will be more affordable or stay the same for them in the next 12 months,” Freddie Mac noted.

In particular, rising home values have hurt many would-be homebuyers. A recent report from real-estate website Zillow found that more than two-thirds of renters cite the down payment as the biggest obstacle to owning a home. Indeed, it can take more than a typical year’s salary in some markets to be able to afford one.

At the same time, rental markets have stabilized recently. “Rents have been relatively flat over the last year and we don’t expect them to rise much in the next year in most areas,” Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said. “That urgency that once existed is not there anymore.”

Affordability is just one factor though — the availability of homes also plays a role. “Even if you were to go out and try to buy a home, inventory is so constrained you’ll have trouble to find one,” Gudell said. “If there’s not much advantage to owning a home versus renting, people will feel comfortable in the decision to continue to rent.”

Source: marketwatch.com

Bev Roberts Rentals, “Think Outside the Leasing & Property Management Box”.

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#BevRobertsRentals turns the traditional perception of #PropertyManagement upside down. They have set forth procedures that streamline day-to-day operations to help maximize the bottom line. Their complete, full service property management system is based upon 25-plus years of experience in the business.
#ApexNC #CaryNC #DurhamNC #FuquayVarina#HollySprings #MorrisvilleNC #RaleighNC

Landlord Tip: Giving proper legal notice to tenant

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(This applies to month to month tenancies or if your lease allows you to make unilateral changes to the tenancy as the LPA Lease does.)
* It is important to remember that proper notice must also be given by the tenant or the landlord for the Intention of Non – Renewal. Even though the lease has an expiration date, the landlord must still require a written notice to vacate from the tenant.

If it is a 30 or 60 day notice, be sure that the written notice is served before the beginning of the next rent period. That means if the rent is due and payable on the 1st of the month, have the notice served before that date. Serving a notice in the middle of a rent period will not change the fact that the 30 or 60 days notice period starts on the first day of the next rent period. An official dated notice should be delivered / “served” to the tenant, (preferably by at least 2 of the following methods)

 

  • in person (preferable)
  • sent by certified mail- return receipt requested
  • regular first class mail combined with the above. We recommend getting a certificate of mailing receipt from the post office whenever you mail an official notice by 1st class (regular) mail.

 

Source: The Landlord Protection Agency

 

What Do Renters Really Want?

Renters aren’t so different from homeowners in their wish to live in single-family houses, a new survey indicates. Nearly half of renters consider choosing a single-family house, with roughly another third expressing interest in townhomes, says a recent poll by Zillow Group.

1Among homebuyers, 83% are in the market for houses, with 20% also viewing townhomes as a possibility, Zillow found. The online real estate database company determined that the top concern among both renters and homebuyers, though, is affordability — with 95% of renters and 78% of homeowners putting it high on their list of priorities. Safety ranked next among the drivers of home selection, cited by 60% of homebuyers and 54% of renters.

There’s a big gap between homebuyers and renters in terms of the dwellings they end up living in, though — and that may have to do with the issue of cost. Single-family houses comprised 78% of residential purchases, with townhomes making up another 10%. But only 28% of renters ended up in single-family houses. And more than half of renters landed in multiunit dwellings of less than 50 residences. The share of renters in townhomes, though, was only slightly less than that of homebuyers, at 9%.

The gap in median income is also large, with the typical homebuyer in Zillow’s survey having a household income at $87,500 annually while the typical renter’s is below $50,000.

2The typical homebuyer is also “is in their mid-to-late 30s or early 40s, married (67%) and college-educated (75%).” The typical renter, meanwhile, “is most often female (57%)” and below 50 (84%), with 56% of all renters being millennials (ages 18-34) and 28% of them members of Generation X (ages 35-50).

Most renters (58%) told Zillow they are looking to buy, though only 19% said they are “seriously” house-hunting. On the other hand, most homebuyers (52%) said that, even while searching for a home, they would consider renting as an alternative, with 23% seriously evaluating that option.

The survey, part of Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2016, was given as to consumers between April 27 and May 12 of this year and involved 3,000 renters who had moved in the previous 12 months and 3,003 homebuyers who had purchased their primary residences in that same period.

Source: investors.com