How to Deliver Bad News to Tenants

delivering bad news to tenantsNo one likes to give bad news, but with your tenants it’s a delicate art form to avoid potentially losing your clients. Whether you’re selling your rental property, increasing the rent, or are performing long term construction that requires the utilities to be cut off, you can generally expect that your news may cause frustration if not handled correctly. Learn some basic ways to prepare yourself before contacting tenants, so you can minimize the backlash and strengthen your relationships at the same time.

Should I give notice in person first?

delivering bad news to tenants in personAs a rule of thumb, you should give all news in person and in writing. This not only allows you to keep record of the event, but it lets you confirm that your tenants acknowledge the situation in person. However, whether or not you should break the news in person first is another story. Regardless of if you have a good relationship with your tenants or not, the way you tell your tenants the bad news should match with how you have delivered all of your news up to that point. By keeping all contact the same, you’ll maintain a professional front and won’t alarm your tenants of the unexpected approach. Continue reading

Use Apps to Deduct from 2016’s Business Tax Return

By: Becky Bower

rental property taxesCompleting your taxes is no easy feat. Getting as many deductions as you can is stressful and time consuming, so give yourself a pat on the back. You did it! Before you stow away those completed tax forms and receipts though, try to strategize new organizational ways to prepare for the 2016 tax year. You’ll appreciate the extra thought later on.

You want as many deductions as you can get, but you don’t want to have to sort for hours through receipts, invoices, and paperwork. Before you start filling up your filing cabinet already, consider going paperless. This doesn’t mean you need to invest time into scanning, if you own a smartphone or tablet, you already have the tools to stay organized. With these few apps, you’ll be able to effortlessly back up those handy property deductions. Continue reading

Save by Making your Rental Property Eco-Friendly

By: Becky Bower

going green for rental propertiesWith Earth Day around the corner (Friday to be exact), take this opportunity to consider some eco-friendly upgrades you can do to your rental property. By making these adjustments, you’ll not only attract applicants who are a little greener, but you’ll reap the benefits of reduced costs in the long run.

Eco-Friendly Improvements make Tenants Happy

One of the biggest ways to make your current tenants happy and attract applicants is to implement upgrades and maintenance aimed at reducing their utility bill. While this might not seem like a priority, if you pay a portion of the utilities (like water), going green can make a huge difference for your monthly expenses. Continue reading

New Rental Housing Legislation Proposed in California

By: Becky Bower

rental housing legislation CANew legislation has been proposed that (if passed) will greatly impact the rental housing industry in California. Keep up to date with new legislation that might affect you in the next few years, and determine which bills gain your support.

 

 Involuntary Enrollment into the Section 8 Program

This proposed bill requires all residential rental property owners to participate in the federal and local government’s Section 8 housing program by prohibiting property owners from denying an applicant on the basis that they will pay with a voucher. Additionally, this bill will make all owners accept government-mandated lease terms and regulations. Learn More About SB 1053. Continue reading

How to Think on Your Feet with Rental Applicants

By: Becky Bower

tips to fill rental vacanciesLet’s face it. Answering questions you’re unprepared for can be an unpleasant experience. No matter if you’re in this situation in your personal life or with potential applicants, a part of us still wants to revert back to grade school body language—head down, avoiding eye contact, and praying the teacher doesn’t pick on you to answer a pop question. The problem is if an applicant asks a question, they’re expecting you to respond confidently so they aren’t left with doubts. With this guide you’ll learn some tips and tricks on how to think under pressure, answering unexpected questions faster and more confidently than ever. Continue reading

How to Catch Your Applicants Using Fake References

By: Becky Bower

false tenant referencesFake references are nothing new. It’s well known that sometimes applicants, for one reason or another, have their friends or colleagues pose as their landlord or employer for rental and employment verification. While a simple Google search can help confirm if an applicant is lying to you, if they’re using a professional service, Google won’t be enough.

Unfortunately over the past few years professional services that offer fake employment, rental, and personal references have become prevalent. All you need is an internet connection and the ability to make payments online. While you could verify if the applicant’s written references are valid based off property ownership or business registration, these services have found a way around that. Continue reading

5 Questions You Need on Your Rental Application (Video)

improve your rental applicationYour rental application safeguards your rental property. Alongside background screening, it’s one of the few things that helps you decide if an applicant should live amongst your rental’s community. While it certainly can’t tell you a particular resident-to-be’s future, as long as you cover 5 key areas in your rental application, you can at least get a hint as to what type of renter they might become. Continue reading

HUD Bans Using Arrests Records

By: Ryan Green

HUD ruling on arrest recordsThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance on April 4th, 2016 that is going to require all single-family and multifamily rental professionals to revisit their policies.

In a decision that is aimed at protecting the rights of “returning citizens”, HUD is limiting the use of arrest records in tenant screening nationwide for both public and private housing. While they are not discouraging the use of criminal records in the background screening process, they are requiring a conviction be reported for the record to be considered in the decision. Using an arrest record without a conviction is being viewed as discriminating against a consumer who has not been found guilty of having done anything illegal. Continue reading