Landlord-Tenant Relationships Now and After the Pandemic

COVID-19 will eventually fade from the daily news. I don’t know if it will ever go away completely, but once there’s a vaccine, it won’t be on our minds the way it is now. Some effects, however, will stick around, including our awareness about how viruses spread—and that will likely alter expectations between landlords and … Read more

The Pros and Cons of Renting to Friends and Family

If you’re a landlord or property manager, you know how important it is to screen tenants properly. This becomes more complicated when you consider renting to friends or family members. It’s one thing to tell a stranger you need to run a credit check and confirm their income level; it can feel very different asking … Read more

Landlords’ Questions Answered

From the outside looking in, property management seems fairly straightforward. You own a property. You rent it to someone. They agree to stay for an agreed-upon term and take relatively good care of the place. You promise to fix appliances, plumbing and electrical problems should they arise. And everyone lives happily ever after. Except, that’s … Read more

Landlord-Tenant Issues – Who’s Right? Part IV

Landlords and tenants often see things from very different perspectives. Our property management service has dealt with all sorts of disagreements. Sometimes the landlords are right. Sometimes the tenants are right. Here are a few interesting cases. What Happens to the Lease Once the Property Sells? Imagine you own an investment property, a single-family home … Read more

Landlord-Tenant Issues – Who’s Right? Part III

After 45 years as a property manager, I’ve collected quite a few stories about what can happen when you rent your property to others—and some wisdom about what to expect. If you own a rental property, or are thinking about it, here are some things to consider. Raising the Rent Let’s say you find out … Read more

Landlord-Tenant Issues – Who’s Right? Part I

As I’ve said before, landlords and tenants often see things from very different perspectives. Having been in the property management business for decades, I have seen all sorts of crazy things. Sometimes the landlords are right. Sometimes the tenants are right. Many times, it comes down to the details of the lease agreement. Even though … Read more

What Are Landlords Responsible For?

Many people rent rather than own their homes. If this is true for you, you depend on a landlord to maintain your residence in good working order. At a minimum, landlords are responsible for ensuring homes are habitable and safe. The legal definition of habitable means the structure should be weather-tight with functioning heat, electricity, … Read more

Why Rental Agreements Beat Handshakes

While I like the idea of confirming an agreement with a handshake rather than a contract, I’ve seen a few too many handshakes turn into fisticuffs to recommend them, especially when the agreement involves an asset worth several hundred thousand dollars. This week’s column is dedicated to answering questions from a reader about how to … Read more

Who Pays for What: Renters v. Landlords?

Before I jump into the topic of who pays for what on a rental property, let me say that contracts trump all. If you sign a contract that gives away your rights or requires you to pay for uncommon expenses, it doesn’t matter what’s “typical.” You have to comply with the contract. When you own … Read more