Friday, February 5, 2016

Another reason NOT to accept cash from tenants


During your career as a landlord, you’ll likely have a few tenants who pay with cash. Although cash is nice, I prefer checks since that gives us both a record of payment.

But there’s another reason that I never gave much thought to … counterfeit bills.

Do you know how to easily spot one? Truth be known, I don’t. And neither did a landlord in Ohio who says she’s in a hard spot because her tenants paid in fake money.


For more ideas on buying and managing rental properties, pick up a copy of What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord. It’s available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. You can also order it from Barnes & Noble, Booklocker, iTunes, and kobo

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Will you give more in 2016?


Charitable giving is expected to increase by 4.1 percent this year and 4.3 percent next year, according to researchers at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Those increases would exceed the five-, 10- and 25-year annualized average rates of growth in total giving, and would fall just below the 40-year average growth rate of 4.4 percent.

The main forces driving this growth are: the projected growth in the U.S. stock market, the rise in personal income, the change in demographics, and the increase in net worths for households and nonprofits.   

To find out who is looking to use their wealth to create a social impact and the tools nonprofits are using to engage these donors, click here for a comprehensive overview and a link to the full report. 

And for ideas on how to give to your favorite charities while saving a bundle on income and estate taxes, download a copy of A Donor’s Guide to Planned Giving for just $8.95.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What tenants want, and how they’ll find it


In many areas of the country demand for rental homes is outpacing supply. But you still need to beat the competition to get the best tenants. So what do today’s tenants want?

A new survey of nearly 120,000 apartment renters offered some answers …
  • 94 percent put fast internet service and parking on the top of the list
  • 80 percent want swimming pools
  • 60 percent prefer to live within walking distance of their jobs 

You can read the full survey here.

If you are an individual landlord with a few rentals, you probably aren’t in a position to add a swimming pool or additional parking. However, the survey did point out something you could easily do …  

The majority of renters (80 percent) visited the apartment community’s or property manager’s web site before they moved in. That should tell you that creating an online presence will give your property a distinct advantage over the landlord who only markets via traditional media, such as classified ads or a sign in the front yard.

It’s not that difficult either ...

You can quickly set up a Facebook page devoted to your rentals. Tumblr and Blogspot are easy to work with, too. Don’t forget Twitter. All of these platforms, and many others, will let you post photos and list the amenities you offer the moment your rental is available. You could include a Google Map of the property, a video of the neighborhood, and much more. And better yet … it’s all free!

For more ideas on buying and managing rental properties, pick up a copy of What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord. It’s available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. You can also order it from Barnes & Noble, Booklocker, iTunes, and kobo

Monday, January 25, 2016

Landlord disgusted with Section 8 housing



An Omaha landlord tried to help by renting to tenants who get assistance from the Omaha Housing Authority, but those tenants left his property a mess and the government won't help clean it up. Now he’s fed up. (You can read the full story here.) You can’t blame him. However, if he had understood the rules of Section 8 housing, as I point out in What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord, he might not have found himself in this pickle. 
The Housing Choice Vouchers Program (Section 8) is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s primary program to provide housing for Americans who are living in poverty, as well as the elderly and disabled.
People who receive Section 8 vouchers find their own rental housing and use the vouchers they receive from their housing agency to help pay the rent. Basically, the voucher means that the Federal Government will pay a specific amount of the rent directly to the landlord.
Ultimately, it is the voucher holder's decision whether to rent your property. And as the landlord, you would screen the Section 8 voucher holder just as you would any other prospective tenant.
The advantage of renting to these tenants is that HUD guarantees you’ll receive part of the rent. Most Housing Authorities deposit the check directly into your account. And if the tenant can’t pay their portion because of a financial hardship, the government will make up the difference. Still, if the tenant is simply trying to stiff you for their portion of the rent, you’re on your own to collect.
Simply put, just because they are on a government list doesn’t mean they’ll be good tenants. It just means they have Section 8 vouchers.
For more ideas on buying and managing rental properties, pick up a copy of What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord. It’s available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. You can also order it from Barnes & Noble, Booklocker, iTunes, and kobo

Friday, January 22, 2016

Landlords from Hell


As a landlord, I’ve written and read numerous articles about tenants from hell. You know them … the ones who punch holes in walls, don’t tell you about a leak in the roof, and leave four dead guinea pigs under a heap of dirty diapers when they skip out on the rent.

So for a change, here is a piece profiling what could be true Landlords from Hell

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tenant shrugs off shocking bedbug invasion!


Bedbugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found. So it shouldn’t surprise you if they pop up in your rental. But this is beyond extreme …  (click here for the full story)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tenant breaks ankles ... sues landlord


To be a successful landlord you need to run your rentals like a business that has customers. And if you want to keep good, long-term tenants, be proactive. That means inspect regularly, respond quickly, and be creative.