Signs Your Property Has a Pest Problem

By: Becky Bower

Victor-MousetrapThere’s nothing worse than finding out that your rental has been infested with pests. From rodents to insects, knowing what steps to take to exterminate the infestation and prevent future outbreaks is a vital aspect of being a landlord. As some infestations are natural and some are caused by tenants, it’s important to understand where your responsibility lies with pest control, and know the warning signs of common pests.

Continue reading

Are Nuisance Ordinance Laws Discriminatory?

By: Becky Bower

9621528515_4e6d9d2377_oPublic nuisance ordinance laws have been critiqued by U.S. Senators like Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow as being discriminatory. In their letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), they urge that, in recent years, these laws have disproportionately affected domestic violence survivors. While it has yet to be decided if these local ordinances are indeed discriminatory by HUD, it poses the question of whether nuisance ordinance laws are beneficial for landlords overall.

Continue reading

Pros & Cons of the New Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program

By: Becky Bower

airbnb new partner programHorror stories detailing tenants illegally subleasing their homes on Airbnb, a vacation rental website, have unfortunately become increasingly common. In fact, the issue got so bad that the Gothamist reported late last year that, in New York, “55% of Airbnb’s users [were] renting out their entire apartments while they’re gone, rather than a single room when present, which for most residents [was] against the law.” While the influx of Airbnb cases last year has certainly left many landlords with a bad taste in their mouths, the company’s new Friendly Building Program might cause you to reconsider.

Continue reading

Diagnosing and Preventing Mold

By: Becky Bower

No matter what time of the year it is, there’s always the possibility of mold. cleaning mold in rentalsUnfortunately, mold doesn’t usually only grow in one place. As long as there is moisture around your rental property, you’ll always have to be on the lookout. While you’ve probably seen all kinds of mold as a landlord, it’s important to know how to diagnose and prevent it before it gets out of hand.

Diagnosing the Contaminated Areas

While the legal requirements for mold vary state by state, dealing with the contamination should be your priority regardless. If the mold grew from a broken pipe or is developing in the walls, you’ll benefit from diagnosing and dealing with the hazard yourself, preventing further (costly) damages. Make sure to look up your local and state-wide legislation on mold. For example, in California, visible mold in a dwelling is considered a substandard housing condition and a citation can be issued against you if you do not address the problem (SB 251).

Continue reading