The Best (or Worst) Landlord Laws?

Welcome To Arkansas

I have always said that smarter landlords have to be very familiar with their state and local landlord laws as they can vary widely from place to place. As an example, check out this article about the landlord laws in Arkansas. It is amazing that someplace just over five miles away can be so radically different from what we deal with here in Tennessee. Give it a read. I think some of you in more restrictive parts of the country will be fascinated.   Rent…

What Is A No Fault Eviction?

Lease Agreement

The term “No Fault Eviction” has become a rather hot term in the headlines lately. Teachers in San Francisco want protection from them. Across the Country in Boston tenant groups are asking the city to stop landlords from using them. But what is a “No Fault Eviction?” How do they work? And why are people suddenly getting so upset about them? A so called “No Fault Eviction” is an eviction where the tenant is evicted through no fault of their own. They paid their rent…

Do You Now Have To Rent To Felons?

Jail

HUD recently announced some new guidelines that have been causing quite a stir in the landlording world.   You might think the stir was all caused by the catchy title, “Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate Related Transactions.”  Instead the stir was caused by the misconception that HUD was telling landlords they could no longer discriminate against those with felony convictions. That those with murder, rape or child pornography convictions could no…

My Tenant Said What?!?

Pregnant

Can what your current tenants say to potential tenants cause trouble? You bet it can. In this recent news story from New York one of an apartment owner’s tenants (who was also his son-in-law) answered the door for a prospective tenant. Upon seeing that his potential future neighbor was pregnant he allegedly said “no babies” and shut the door.   That is a big no no as familial status is a protected class. Landlords cannot discriminate against children, even unborn ones. The landlord was fined $5,000,…

After a Fire: Leases and Tenants

Firefighter

I have been writing about a major fire I recently had at one of my properties. I wrote about the initial shock and finding out the day after that my property was a complete loss and in need of a complete rehab. Most thoughts that next day were focused on getting the property rebuilt and up and running again. But there were tenants that had to be dealt with, and the fire had raised some interesting legal issues. We had of course signed leases with…

Can A Landlord Make A Tenant Move For Any Reason?

Can I Make My Tentnat Move?

Non-payment of rent is just one of many reasons a landlord may want their tenant to move out. Perhaps they want to upgrade the property.   Perhaps they want to sell the property. Or perhaps they just do not like the tenant and the drama they bring to your business. So, if you fall into one of these categories, can you as a landlord make a tenant to move for any reason at all, whatever it might be? It’s a good question, one that you should…

Filling Out A 1099? Get A W-9 First

taxes

It’s a new year. And while a new year can bring many good things, it also brings thoughts of something looming right around the corner, April 15 and income taxes. I despise taxes as much as the next person. But I despise even more all of the paperwork that goes along with them. Unfortunately, if you are going to be a landlord, you are not going to be able to avoid some of this paper work, especially if you hire folks to perform various services…

Familial Status and Quiet Enjoyment

Quiet!

This article directed towards tenants with children should be interesting to landlords for a couple of reasons. First, it provides a pretty nice overview of how otherwise well meaning landlords can end up running afoul of fair housing laws when dealing with children. Landlords need to always remember that familial status is a federally protected class. So what does that mean? It means you cannot deny an applicant a property because they have children. Most landlords get this one. But it also means that you…

Landlord-Tenant Law: A Beginner’s Guide

Law Books

Check out the Library of Congresses Beginner’s Guide to Landlord-Tenant Law. It contains a listing of several relevant books and websites relating to something all landlords show know – The Law.

Questions on Ebola, Apartments and Landlords

Haz Mat Team

I have been watching the recent news about the ebola virus just like everyone else. Amongst all of the news I noticed that the two victims here in the US lived in apartments. Now, I understand the threat that Ebola is and I also understand the need to contain it. Nonetheless, as a landlord certain questions pop into my head when I read headlines like the following: “Ebola decontamination begins at Dallas apartment of 2nd hospital worker” Questions like: Who pays for this hazmat cleanup?…

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