Monthly Archives: December 2016

Arizona Tenant Screening

Arizona tenant screening is a topic that landlords should know all about. That’s because in the Grand Canyon State, the laws are set up to protect both tenants and landlords.

Today’s post introduces Arizona landlords to several important topics related to tenant screening, to ensure that the best landlords and the best tenants connect to do business.

Topics include:

  • Arizona tenant screening laws
  • Free resources for Arizona landlords
  • Comprehensive view of a typical screening process
  • Finding the right tenant screening service

Arizona Tenant Screening Laws

In Arizona, tenant screening laws determine all kinds of things, from fees to procedures. Arizona landlords are definitely going to do a better job in choosing wonderful tenants when they know the law.

Arizona tenant screening laws include:

  • Landlords are allowed to charge an application fee, payable when the person turns in their completed application
  • Arizona puts no limit on what landlords can charge for an application fee
  • Application fees in Arizona are non-refundable

An application fee is never considered a part of the security deposit, which is paid after the landlord selects an applicant and offers them a lease. If a landlord wants to refund the application fee for any reason, however, they can do that.

For more detail on laws involved with Arizona tenant screening, click here.

A Screening Mistake Too Many Landlords Make

Landlords who don’t know any better think they can just run a background check on anyone. However, if you don’t have a signed consent form from the applicant, you can’t do it and you won’t find out whether or not the applicant has been a good tenant.

Right now, check to see whether your rental application has a section requesting signed consent from the applicant. If not, make the changes before your next vacancy.

For example, here’s how we treat it on the forms we use here at RentPrep.

 

Arizona-tenant-screening-services

 

Top red arrow:  Notice that the application fee is non-refundable, so applicants are not confused about whether they get it back.

Bottom red arrow: Space for the applicant to sign, which gives consent to run a background check.

Resources for Tenant Screening in Arizona:

Arizona landlords really will benefit from these free forms and resources. At RentPrep, we want to help you find the best possible tenant for your rental.

*A no blank space policy means that you don’t accept any applications that are not completely filled out. It usually screens out applicants with a questionable history because they don’t like filling in that information on an application.

Arizona Tenant Screening Process

Landlords have an idea of the kind of tenant they want in their property, but if they don’t write down a list of screening criteria, they could end up picking a bad tenant by relying on their gut instead of info.

Typical screening criteria could include:

  • No smoking
  • Only dogs up to 10 lbs allowed
  • No water beds
  • Income has to exceed three times the monthly rent
  • No criminal conviction
  • No past evictions

Don’t allow your criteria, marketing, or screening process to ever discriminate against one of the protected classes. You can learn all about this at hud.gov.

Using the same screening criteria list will protect you from a lawsuit if ever a denied applicant tries to claim you were discriminating against them.

That’s why it’s important to be consistent whenever you are screening tenants. If you make changes to the criteria between each vacancy, it looks like and may be discrimination. Then, you could get into big legal trouble.

The Arizona tenant screening process will help landlords like you separate the bad news applicants from the ones that will make good tenants.

  • The application fee can be whatever you want, and most landlords ask for enough to cover the cost of the service
  • Arizona law only allows landlords to charge up to 1 and 1/2 months rent for the security deposit.
  • The application fee is not refundable, meaning it is separate from other fees and goes to the landlord.

You’ll learn more about the process when you read this Arizona landlord/tenant guide.

How to Screen Tenants

This post covers some of the specifics of tenant screening without going too far into the weeds.

If you’d like to learn the specific system used by thousands of landlords you’ll need to check out our tenant screening tutorial.

The guide will show you every step to get the best possible tenant in your rental.

Choosing the Best Screening Service

After following all these steps, you should have a handful of applicants that you want to do a background check for.
As you look for a screening service, make sure the company includes the following items:

  • Eviction history
  • Bankruptcy search
  • Judgements and liens
  • Prior address history

Let the screening service do the hard work of digging up each applicant’s past so you can make the right decision. Trusting your gut is only going to lead to a headache.

We will happily serve you and other Arizona landlords, because at RentPrepk, we’ve worked with over 21,000 landlords over the past 10 years.

Check out our tenant screening packages to see the services we offer.

Our FCRA certified screeners do the best work of providing the best tenant screening report available.

The post Arizona Tenant Screening appeared first on RentPrep.

ScreeningWorks Reviews From An Industry Insider

We recently reviewed 11 of the best tenant background services on the web. ScreeningWorks reviews were included in that breakdown and in this post we’re diving deeper into this service.

Full disclosure, here at RentPrep we are a tenant screening service but our purpose of this Screening Works review is to give you perspective on the service from an industry insider who has more knowledge on what to look for and what to avoid.

Every screening service has good aspects and bad aspects.

At a snapshot here are features worth discussing about ScreeningWorks that stood out compared to most other services.

  • Credit Evaluation Included
  • Public Records Team
  • State Dependent Pricing
  • Criminal & Eviction Data
  • Judgements & Bankruptices Data
  • National Eviction vs. State

ScreeningWorks Reviews – The Good

+ Credit Evaluation Included

ScreeningWorks is a product of Yardi Resident Screening. Most landlords and smaller property managers won’t use this service because it’s meant for large property management and costs a hefty monthly fee.

ScreeningWorks is a way for Yardi to offer their tenant screening services to individual landlords under a different name where a monthly membership fee isn’t required.

Because of that relationship Yardi has a credit check evaluation they offer as part of their screening service.

That screenshot shows an example of what the credit evaluation consists of.

This credit evaluation is not as comprehensive as a credit report from Transunion or Experian but it is better than no data at all.

The fact they include it in their base pricing is nice because typically a credit check or credit report is an additional fee (which is true for RentPrep as well).

Here’s an excerpt from their FAQ page explaining how this credit evaluation differs from a full credit report.

+ Public Records Team

The large majority of tenant screening services are 100% automated. This means that the service is just software that takes your money and collects data from their providers and spits back a report instantly.

The problem with these types of services is that the data provided many times has errors or is incomplete.

ScreeningWorks has a “Public Records Team” which is not offered by other instant solutions.

From their FAQ page you can see the answer above. At first blush most people would think the quick 90 second report is good and it is bad to have to wait 24 hours for criminal.

General rule of thumb with tenant screening services is that they’re kind of like eating at a restaurant.

You don’t want to see your report come out 1 minute after ordering, you want to have to wait for your report so you know it’s being put together properly.

ScreeningWorks seems to be in that middle space between an instant solution (bad) and a hand-compiled report by a professional screener (good).

+ State Dependent Pricing

As of right now the pricing ranges $25 – $30 and it might you leave wondering why the difference?

To pull data on eviction and criminal history it varies State to State and even County to County. I think it is commendable that they’ve broken out pricing by State.

On average their pricing falls in the average range of $20 – $40 you see for screening reports.

ScreeningWorks Reviews – The Bad

Criminal & Eviction Data

The image above is again pulled from the FAQ page on ScreeningWorks website.

They’re basically admitting that they can’t pull data from all states because they rely on “instantaneous access.”

This means that they use automated software to pull your data which is not a good thing.

As of right now there are 10 states that you cannot access criminal data from:

If your rental is in one of those states I’d suggest not using an instant service because you won’t have criminal history on the report.

Here’s a snapshot showing the difference from Connecticut vs. Massachusetts.

ScreeningWorks review

Basically if you’re State costs $25 for a report it won’t include criminal data on the applicant.

If you’re State costs $30 for the report you’re being charged extra for that instant criminal data.

Even if you’re paying for that criminal & eviction data for your State there are still 10 states being excluded. You can see them in this graphic.

screeningworks pricing

Judgements & Bankruptcies Data

If you take a look at a sample report from their site you will see that there is no mention of judgements & liens on the report.

This is unfortunate because as a landlord I would want to know this data.

Nationwide Criminal & Eviction Data

I find it confusing because there are so many loopholes on the actual data you will receive.

This is from the FAQ page.

Basically it sounds like you’re getting “Multi-State Eviction” and “Multi-State Criminal” data.

We already know that there are at least 10 states (possibly 11) that don’t have criminal data including two of the largest rental states in the US with California and NYS.

However, when you look at the sample report they provide it shows the following:

ScreeningWorks Reviews

Notice the state(s) search for an Illinois report.

For the evictions it is only IL and then there are only 39 states shown for criminal search.

Why should this matter?

Eviction data is by far the most important data you can see on a report.  If your applicant has an eviction you do not want to rent to them.

Using the sample report as an example. Chicago, IL is about 15 miles from Indiana and 45 miles from Wisconsin.

It’s not unreasonable to think that rental applicant may have lived in Indiana and commuted to work in Chicago in the past. You won’t see that eviction history.

I find this concerning when you combine this with the fact that they’re not doing a true nationwide search criminal.

Closing Thoughts

No screening solution is perfect. It really depends on what you’re looking for in a service and what you value.

If you really value a full credit report and don’t care about everything else than I would suggest looking into a service like SmartMove.

The things that are nice about ScreeningWorks I believe can be found in other services.

Here at RentPrep we’re not perfect either. We offer a credit check which isn’t as comprehensive as SmartMove’s credit report.

However, we have actual FCRA screeners hand-compile your report. This means we dig for data and can do true nationwide eviction and criminal searches because we’re not “instantaneous”.

Feel free to check out our Pricing & Packages and be sure to check out our sample reports too.

 

The post ScreeningWorks Reviews From An Industry Insider appeared first on RentPrep.

Massachusetts Tenant Screening

Are you a landlord in the Bay State who doesn’t know much about Massachusetts tenant screening? If you know all the ins and outs of tenant screening, you will manage your real estate business so much better.

Massachusetts tenant screening laws and regulations are somewhat different than other states, so it pays to know what’s going on.

We’re here to help you sort through all the different topics around tenant screening so that you can rent to the best applicants out there. Here are just a few areas you need to know about:

  • All about Massachusetts tenant screening laws
  • Where to find free resourcs for landlords
  • The complete screening process
  • Locating the best tenant screening services

Massachusetts Tenant Screening Laws

Did you know that each state’s laws on tenant screening are just a little different from each other? As a Massachusetts landlord, it’s a good idea to take the time to learn about your state specifically.

Landlords must be compliant with tenant screening laws so they stay out of legal trouble and also to locate the best applicants out there.

For example, you should know this about Massachusetts tenant screening laws:

  • As of August 2014 landlords may NOT collect application fees from applicants
  • Massachusetts law does not limit the amount of the application fee a landlord can charge. Some states place a maximum limit on this limit.
  • You must keep security deposit funds in a separate interest bearing account.

Of course, you know that an application fee is different than the security deposit. Collecting an application fee is the first step in finding a great tenant.

Landlords can learn more about Massachusetts tenant screening by clicking here.

Don’t Make These Common Screening Mistakes

When you are starting the process of finding the best applicants, it’s not unusual to make one of the biggest mistakes in tenant screening–not getting a signed consent form that allows you to run a background check. Massachusetts tenant screening won’t allow you to run a background check without such a form.

Check your rental applications right now to see whether or not there is a request for an applicant’s signature. If not, get a new application form or amend the one you are using to include it. It’s necessary to run a background check.

If you need help with the language on your application form, see what we do here at RentPrep.

 

massachusetts-tenant-screening-services

 

The lower red arrow indicates where the rental applicant needs to sign to give consent for you to run a background check.

The upper red arrow clarifies the application fee payment and states that it is non-refundable.

Resources for Massachusetts Tenant Screening

Every landlord should have the tools they need to locate the finest tenants for their properties. You should never have to figure out Massachusetts tenant screening on your own, so RentPrep has provided these links to free forms and helpful resources.

*Reminder: Avoid applicants with something to hide by implementing a personal “no blank spaces” policy. This means that each part of the application must be filled in to help with a comprehensive background check. Often, applicants who don’t want landlords asking about an area of their lives will leave it blank. You can eliminate a lot of hassle when you don’t accept any blank spaces.

Massachusetts Tenant Screening Process

Each of your rental properties should have a screening criteria list attached to it. If you haven’t written one out yet, start now. This list of qualities you must see in an approved applicant should help you screen out unwanted tenants.

Here’s an example of some possible screening standards:

  • No pets
  • Smoking is allowed
  • No prior arrests
  • Income to rent ratio is at least two times the monthly rent
  • No past evictions

There are several factors and features that you are not allowed to include in your screening list. These protected classes go beyond race and ethnicity. For more details on what exactly a protected class is, please look at the guidelines on hud.gov.

Once you have a written list of the screening criteria, apply it to every application you get. Stay consistent so you don’t get hit with a discrimination lawsuit.

Experts recommend staying very consistent when screening applicants. Never make exceptions or operate on a case by case basis because this can look like or actually be discrimination. You’ll stay out of trouble when you follow your screening criteria list.

Massachusetts landlords like you need to learn all they can about the do’s and don’ts of tenant screening laws.

  • Massachusetts landlords have no limits on screening fee charges
  • A security deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent in Massachusetts
  • Security deposits are refundable where application fees are not.

Massachusetts tenant screening details are available in this document.

Find Your Perfect Renter

Finding the right tenant can be a headache if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That is why we’ve created a tenant screening guide for you to find the perfect renter.

Check out our free tenant screening guide and learn how to find the perfect renter.

How to Choose a Tenant Screening Service

If you have narrowed down the applicants according to your screening criteria and gotten signatures of consent, it’s time to run a thorough background check to finish up the process.

Background checks must include:

  • Address history
  • Prior evictions
  • Bankruptcies
  • Any judgments or liens

Never sign a lease with any applicant that doesn’t meet all your criteria and that doesn’t pass a background check. You are only asking for trouble with a bad tenant if you do.

At RentPrep we know what we’re talking about because we’ve worked with over 21,000 landlords over the past 10 years.

Check out our tenant screening packages to see the services we offer.

Our FCRA certified screeners are hard at work to deliver the best tenant screening service available.

The post Massachusetts Tenant Screening appeared first on RentPrep.

Washington Tenant Screening

Do you know everything there is to know about Washington tenant screening? You can make your real estate business so much better when you know the rules and laws on the topic.

Washington tenant screening laws are somewhat unique, and its important to educate yourself on how they can impact your business.

At RentPrep it’s our goal to guide you on several different topics that get you the best tenants in your rentals. In this post we’ll discuss:

  • Washington tenant screening laws
  • Free resource links
  • Screening process overview
  • All about tenant screening services

Washington Tenant Screening Laws

Washington tenant screening laws are just a bit different than the rest of the country so you should understand all there is to know about the laws.

Not every state has the same laws when it comes to tenant screening, so it’s important to learn the laws of Virginia so you stay compliant and do things the right way.

These are just a few of the things you should know:

  • The laws in Washington allow landlords to collect application fees from interested applicants.
  • In Washington, the application fee must be the exact amount that the screening service costs, and no more.
  • Washington landlords must provide a receipt to the applicant showing the actual cost of the background check.

You should already know that an application fee is different than the security deposit, a separate payment that you collect from an approved applicant. An application fee is generally the first one collected.

Landlords can learn more on Washington tenant screening here.

What Common Screening Mistakes Are You Making?

One of the biggest mistakes that landlords make for Washington tenant screening is failing to get a signed consent form from applicants. You won’t be able to run a background check without one.

If you haven’t got a space on the rental application for a signature,  you should add one right away so your next applicant provides you with a signature. That way, you can legally run a background check.

Check out the requirements we have on our application forms at RentPrep.

 

washington-tenant-screening-services

 

The upper red arrow indicates to the applicant that the application fee is non-refundable. Many applicants have questions about this.

The lower red arrow clearly points out where the applicant must sign, in order to provide consent for landlords to run a background check.

Resources for Washington Tenant Screening

No landlord should have to figure out tenant screening on their own. That’s why we provide you with links to these helpful forms and free resources. We want every landlord to find the best possible tenant for their properties.

*Don’t forget the “No Blank Space” policy, which is when landlords won’t accept applications with any blank spaces. Sometimes, when applicants don’t want landlords looking too deeply into one area of their lives, they leave the answer blank. If you insist on no blank spaces, you’ll get the most comprehensive background check.

Washington Tenant Screening Process

Do you have a list of screening criteria yet? If you haven’t written one down for each of your rental properties, it’s never too late to start. A screening criteria list will solidify what qualities you need in an applicant.

A few suggestions on screening criteria include:

  • Pet restrictions
  • Smoking restrictions
  • Criminal past or arrest restrictions
  • Income to rent ratio
  • No eviction history

Remember that it is illegal to discriminate against protected classes as listed on hud.gov.

Write the screening criteria down and apply it to everyone who is interested in the rental property. You always want to be consistent so you don’t get tangled up in a lawsuit for discrimination.

Consistency is the best way to check out applicants. If you stick to your list of screening criteria, you will have an easy reference point. If you always make exceptions, you are asking for trouble.

Washington landlords really need to pay attention to the tenant screening laws and more.

  • Landlord can only charge the amount of the screening costs
  • Washington landlords have no restrictions on how much they can charge for a security deposit
  • Landlords are required by law to provide a screening cost receipt to the applicant.

Washington tenant screening info can be found in more detail in this guide.

Laugh Out Lout at this Tenant Screening Guide

Ready for something funny? We’ve created a silly but instructional guide that goes through all the steps you should consider.

Click on the image to see how we used Guess Who to create a tenant screening board game.

tenant-screening-guide

Picking the Best Tenant Screening Service

Once you have the handful of applicants, you need to run thorough background checks to get the full story behind each one. Remember that at the very least, background checkers should look at:

  • Previous address history
  • Any eviction history
  • All bankruptcy history
  • Every judgment and lien

While you may get a good feeling about an applicant, it doesn’t make sense to rent to someone without getting a good idea of what kind of tenant they will be based on their past. You can depend on RentPrep, where we’ve worked with over 21,000 landlords over the past 10 years.

Check out our tenant screening packages to see the services we offer.

Our FCRA certified screeners are hard at work to be the best tenant screening service available.

The post Washington Tenant Screening appeared first on RentPrep.

Virginia Tenant Screening

When it comes to Virginia tenant screening, landlords are doing the right thing by following all the unique rules and regulations in this state.

Our post today is a comprehensive look at several different topics that will help landlords like you find the best tenant to occupy your rental properties. These topics include:

  • Virginia’s tenant screening laws
  • Links to free resources
  • Comprehensive overview of screening
  • Finding the best tenant screening services

Virginia Tenant Screening Laws

As a landlord in Virginia, there are some things you need to be aware of.

Not every state has the same laws when it comes to tenant screening, so it’s important to learn the laws of Virginia so you stay compliant and do things the right way.

These are just a few of the things you should know:

  • Virginia law says that landlords cannot charge more than $50 for an application fee.
  • The application fee must pay for the screening services, and a separate application deposit can be collected.
  • If the landlord doesn’t rent the unit to the applicant, the application deposit must be refunded within 20 days.

Remember that an application fee and an application deposit are not part of the security deposit that tenants must pay. They are entirely different and are subject to different laws than security deposits.

If you want even further detail on laws involved with Virginia tenant screening, check out this document.

Avoid This Common Screening Mistake

Did you know that you cannot run a background check on an applicant unless you have a signed consent form from them?

Check your rental application form to see if there is actually a section that requests a signature from the applicant to run a background check.

If you need an example, here is an excerpt from the language we use on our forms at RentPrep.

 

virginia-tenant-screening-services

 

See how the first red arrow shows the application fee is non-refundable.

See how the second red arrow shows where the applicant must sign, giving consent to run a background check.

Resources for Tenant Screening in Virginia

You can’t afford to skip over these free forms and helpful resources to aid you in finding the best possible tenant for your rental.

*If you don’t already do the “No Blank Space” policy, you should start to follow it on all future rental applications. It’s a policy where you don’t accept applications with any blank spaces on it. That’s because applicants with something to hide may not fill out certain areas, leaving them blank. By not accepting rental applications with blank spaces you can potentially weed out bad applicants.

Virginia Tenant Screening Process

Smart landlords come up with a list of screening criteria for each of rental property. This list helps clarify the factors that would qualify someone to rent from you.

Screening criteria generally includes such things as:

  • No smoking
  • No history of violent crimes
  • Acceptable credit score range
  • Must have worked at the same job for past 6 months minimum
  • No previous evictions

While you can create a list with as many factors as you want, you cannot discriminate against any of the protected classes as outlined at this website: hud.gov.

When your screening criteria is written down and you use it for each application, you can avoid a lawsuit from a denied applicant or government agency.

In other words always be consistent when screening applicants and use the list every time. Never make exceptions and always stick to the criteria on the list. Avoid choosing a tenant using a case-by-case scenario. Instead, using the same list of screening criteria can help you avoid discrimination claims.

Remember that the tenant screening process is pretty basic but there are a few things to remember for Virginia landlords.

  • There’s a limit to how much a landlord can charge for an application fee
  • Virginia landlords can only charge up to two months rent for a security deposit
  • Virginia law allows for application deposits as well as application fees

For more on landlord-tenant laws and Virginia tenant screening, this guide can help.

Laugh Out Lout at this Tenant Screening Guide

Ready for something funny? We’ve created a silly but instructional guide that goes through all the steps you should consider.

Click on the image to see how we used Guess Who to create a tenant screening board game.

tenant-screening-guide

Choosing the Right Screening Service

So now you’ve managed to narrow the search down to a few applicants, and now it’s time to find a screening service to run a background check.

A good background check should always include the following items:

  • Address history
  • Eviction history
  • Bankruptcy search
  • Judgment and lien

Never trust your gut feeling when it comes to choosing a tenant. Instead, rely on the tried and true method of background screening.

Here at RentPrep we’ve worked with over 21,000 landlords over the past 10 years.

Check out our tenant screening packages to see the services we offer.

Our FCRA certified screeners are the best and work hard to provide the best tenant screening report available.

The post Virginia Tenant Screening appeared first on RentPrep.

What Landlords Want To Improve On In 2017

We surveyed our RentPrep subscribers two weeks ago and asked the following questions:

  • What’s the one reason you got into real estate and being a landlord?
  • What’s your biggest frustration as a landlord?
  • If you could improve one thing in your life, what would it be?
  • What suggestions or improvements do you have for RentPrep in 2017?

We had 54 responses to date and wanted to share what some fellow landlords had to say.

In the word cloud above you can see all 54 responses of the one thing people wanted to improve in their life in 2017.

The most common answers had to do with the following:

  • Lowering stress
  • Improving work/life balance
  • Working towards financial freedom
  • Improving time management
  • Improving relationships

The reason we asked these questions is that we’re relaunching our podcast in 2017. We want to talk about the things that matter to our clients and landlords.

We’re still formalizing the content but it will have a focus on living a balanced life for landlords.

If you want to subscribe to our podcast you can do so via the following links:

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

We want to thank you for your insights and wish you a happy and healthy New Year in 2017.

… and congratulations to our three winners who entered our survey…

  • Marlon M.
  • Megan P.
  • Amy G.

We will be reaching out to you via the email you provided to get you your gift card.

Have a great 2017!

The post What Landlords Want To Improve On In 2017 appeared first on RentPrep.

Does A Landlord Have To Provide Lockout Service At All Hours?

We’ve all been locked out at some point but some people seem to fall victim more than others.

Here’s what you need to know if you have a tenant that is calling too frequently because they’re locked out.

Our friends over at Avvo touch on this in their webinar with Zillow addressing landlord responsibilities concerning lockout service.

 

The audio file above addresses this question as Avvo’s chief legal officer, Josh King, weighs in with his thoughts.

Below you can read the transcript of the conversation:

Legal Disclaimer: The materials and information available in this webinar are being provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Zillow Group does not make any guarantees as to the sufficiency of the information included in this guide or its compliance with applicable laws. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The opinions expressed in this webinar are the opinions of Avvo and may not reflect the opinions of Zillow Group.

green-lime

Transcription of the audio file above

 

Interviewer: As a landlord, am I obligated to provide lockout service at all hours?

Josh: I would certainly hope not. There’s not gonna be any requirement that you did that unless you put it into your lease, which I can’t imagine any rational landlord would do. I mean you’re obligated to give your tenants keys, or at least a key, but really, they have to have a certain amount of responsibility, themself.

Now that said, I mean there’s certainly, you’re going to have irresponsible tenants. You’re gonna have people who lose their keys. And I think this is one of those things where, you’re never going to get sued over something like this, but as a landlord, it’s a great opportunity for communication where maybe you can set something up where they have multiple sets of keys. Maybe you even have a way where they have a lock box.

You may find that if it’s becoming a problem, it’s becoming increasing affordable to put in place key coded locks so they don’t have to carry around a physical key. Or if it’s a persistent problem, you may even consider entering into a business arrangement with a local locksmith who can provide that 24-hour access so they have a phone number they can call. And it’s obviously going to cost them to have that person come out and let them in, but you would have that arrangement so that they wouldn’t have to run through any of the additional verification procedures in order to get into the apartment.

But at the end of the day, you’re not obligated to be on a 24-hour pager just because you’ve chosen to be a landlord.

green-lime

Our thoughts at RentPrep :

Josh touched on key coded locks in his answer and I think this is worth mentioning again.

There are many ways to deal with tenant issues, usually good communication and fair but firm enforcement of rules are a great starting point.

In this instance, I think updating your locks is the easiest answer.

Here’s a touchpad* you can purchase and install for $65.

I’m not a fan of being an enabler but in this instance I think the best course of action is to update the locks.

I’d also make sure that tenant knows to keep their keys on them in case the battery dies on the keypad. It may stop a future late-night call and also let your tenant know that you’re responding to the issues they’re having as a tenant.

If you’re still unsure what to do in your particular situation, you can search and consult with a lawyer by clicking here. That link will take you to Avvo and give you 15% off your consultation.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.

*Lock link is an Amazon Affiliate Link

The post Does A Landlord Have To Provide Lockout Service At All Hours? appeared first on RentPrep.

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most affordable home improvement projects to tackle prior to a home sale that can make a big difference. Sara McLean, color expert and blogger for Dunn-Edwards Paints, offers some of the following tips on how to choose interior colors that will appeal to the biggest […]

CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee Honors Three Leaders for Years of Dedicated Service to their Profession

The following is a press release distributed on December 2, 2016.

Sacramento, CA – Community Associations Institute’s California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC), the nation’s largest advocacy organization dedicated to monitoring legislation, educating elected state lawmakers and protecting the interests of those living in California homeowners associations, announced today the designation of three of its long-serving members as Delegates Emeritus.

Honorees include:

  • Wendy Bucknum, Vice President of Business Development for Associa Professional Community Management, AAMC
  • Judy G. Campion, Principal, Campion and Company
  • Dick Pruess, President, Castlegate Homeowners Association

The Delegate Emeritus honor is awarded to CLAC delegates who have worked tirelessly to advance the committee’s goals and legislative objectives.

“CAI-CLAC would not be where it is today were it not for the vision, dedication and leadership of these three fantastic committee members,” said John MacDowell, Chair of CAI-CLAC. “We greatly appreciate their contributions through the years and welcome their continued support and guidance moving forward.”

Wendy Bucknum, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, serves as Vice President of Business Development for Associa-PCM. An employee with the company for over 23 years, Ms. Bucknum spent much of that time as Governmental and Public Affairs Manager onsite at Laguna Woods Village. She is Past President of the Orange County Regional Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and currently serves on the Chapter’s Legislative Support Committee. She is also a Delegate at-large on CLAC and serves on the Federal Legislative Action Committee.

Since November 2014, Ms. Bucknum has served on the Mission Viejo City Council, currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem. In this role, she also serves as commissioner on the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and chairs the Jobs and Economic Development Committee of the Association of California Cities, Orange County (ACC-OC).

Judy G. Campion, AMS, PCAM, established Campion and Company, a portfolio management firm specializing in service to community associations, in 1990. A member of CAI’s Greater Los Angeles Chapter (CAI-GLAC) since 1982, she served as a member of CAI’s National Faculty from 1998 to 2013. An outgoing Delegate to CLAC, she served as the Committee’s Treasurer for nearly 10 years. She also chaired GLAC’s Trade Show, Education and Programs Committees and is past winner of the “Volunteer of the Year” award as well as the “Outstanding Service Award to the Homeowner Interest Group” for CAI-GLAC.

Ms. Campion is known throughout the industry for the workshop she created and presented at multiple national and local CAI conferences entitled “How to Deal with Difficult People.”

Dick Pruess, currently president of the Castlegate Homeowners Association in Pasadena, has served on the Executive Committee of the California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) for seven years, including two as Chair. In 2009, he was recognized as “Volunteer of the Year” for his role helping revise the Davis-Stirling Act, the law governing every community association in California.

In 2004, Pruess received the CAI Award for “Excellence in Chapter Leadership” and the GLAC President’s Award following his year serving as CAI-GLAC Chapter President. In 2013, he was awarded the CAI National “Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs.”

Bucknum, Campion and Pruess are among 15 individuals that have been named Delegate Emeritus since 1973.

 


New Year Brings New Laws that will Impact California Community Associations

The following is a press release distributed December 20, 2016.

Sacramento, CA – Community association managers, board members and residents living in the nearly 50,000 community associations throughout California will be directly impacted by several new laws when they wake up January 1, 2017.

AB 968

Chief among them is Assembly Bill 968 (Gordon), which amends the Davis-Stirling Act governing common-interest developments, or community associations, as it relates to exclusive use common areas.

Prior to AB 968, individual homeowners in community associations were responsible for the maintenance of exclusive use common areas. Meanwhile, the association was responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of non-exclusive use common areas such as swimming pools and landscaping.

AB 968 clarifies the association is responsible for the repair and replacement of exclusive use common areas. The homeowner will still be responsible for maintaining such areas.

“Think of a patio or deck,” explained John R. MacDowell, attorney specializing in community associations with Fiore, Racobs & Powers, and chair of the California Legislative Action Committee of the Community Associations Institute. “Homeowners will still be responsible for keeping the area clean and maintaining trees, plants and other items.”

“But the association will now be responsible for repairing the structure of the deck; repair of common area walls and fences in patio enclosures; repair of utilities that serve just one unit, as well as anything else designated as “exclusive use.”

AB 918

Assembly Bill 918 (Vidak) requires that owners in community associations keep their board informed as to whether or not their home is owner-occupied, vacant or rented out. Additionally, they must notify the board as to the primary and secondary addresses where notices are to be delivered, as well as the names of owners’ legal representatives or other contact persons in event of the owners’ extended absence.

“Many residents, board members and managers grow frustrated when the owner of a home can’t be reached either because they don’t live in the area or have moved and they can’t reach the renter,” explained MacDowell. “This can also be a public safety or maintenance concern if there’s ever a problem such as flooding or after an earthquake.”

Other new laws that will likely impact residents and managers of community associations include:

AB 1978 (Gonzalez) – Creates additional registration, investigation, enforcement, training and criminal liability on employers and individuals in the janitorial business as well as joint liability for those who contract for janitorial services. This includes community associations and community management companies who often contract such businesses as vendors to maintain common areas.

AB 814 (Hill) – Prohibits excessive water use by residential customers, including those living in multi-unit housing complexes during prescribed periods such as water emergencies and drought.

AB 2362 (Chu) – Details the process by which owners in community associations are to be notified regarding the application of pesticides. Associations, for example, must provide notice to a homeowner and, if applicable, the tenant if pesticides are to be applied without a licensed pest control operator. It also authorizes owners and/or tenants to agree to immediate pesticide application.

Community association boards are encouraged to review their rules and procedures to ensure they are in line with these laws, which go into effect at midnight on January 1, 2017.

About CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee

Community Associations Institute, or CAI, is an international organization providing education and resources to community associations, their volunteer leaders, and the industries that serve them.  CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee, CLAC, advocates the interests of the over 50,000 community associations in California and educates legislators about homeowner association living and governance.  CLAC’s delegates, appointed by the eight CAI chapters in California, include homeowner volunteers, community association managers, and other industry professionals. Visit http://www.caiclac.com to learn more.

In addition to state and national legislative advocacy, CAI provides information, tools and resources to community association volunteer leaders, community managers and management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to community associations. For more information, visit www.caionline.org or call (888) 224-4321.