Childproofing Your Apartment: A Guide for Landlords and Property Managers

Landlords are prohibited by law from discriminating against renters based on the presence of children. That would be a violation of the Fair Housing Act’s provisions against discrimination on the basis of familial status.

Even the act of alerting tenants with children to a dangerous stairwell and suggesting a first-floor dwelling for their safety can amount to unlawful discrimination. Similarly, setting age limits on pool areas has resulted in HUD regulation enforcement action against property managers and landlords.

That said, if a child does get hurt on your property, the landlord or property manager could be held liable. If you have a family with small children moving in to one of your units, consider childproofing your apartment. Taking these simple, cost-effective steps to protect yourself and ensure the safety of all of your residents–even the littlest ones.

Childproofing Your Apartment: 13 Helpful Tips

  • Double-check banisters and railings of all stairways, balconies, and walkways. Expect kids to hang and pull on them. Wiggle them to make sure that they’re sturdy and well-mounted. Inspect the railings for gaps, and repair them promptly.
  • Check fences and gates around the pool. Ensure that gates are self-closing, and that latches are lockable or high enough that small children cannot easily unlatch them. Fencing should be no less than 4 1/2 feet high, and railings should be no more than 4 inches apart, with nothing for little hands and feet to climb on. If there are slats, they should be not more than 1 3/4 inches apart, based on the average width of a small child’s foot. If the fence is constructed properly, a child won’t be able to get a good foothold and climb the fence. There should be no more than 4 inches of clearance between the ground and the bottom rail. Take grass into account, which can make it appear that there is less bottom clearance than there really is.
  • Chain link fences around pools and other potentially hazardous areas should either have slats, or have a mesh size not exceeding 1 1/4 inches.
  • Download and read this document from for more information on how to construct standard child-proof fencing.
  • Remove and replace blinds and drapes with long cords that can cause children to asphyxiate. Use cordless blinds instead.
  • Prepare an emergency information sheet with up-to-date addresses and phone numbers for local emergency rooms, pediatric centers, poison control hotlines, and building security. Attach it to the refrigerator or inside of the front door, or include it with the tenant’s welcome package.
  • Have non-slip surfaces installed around the dwelling and pool. You can install as many “no running” signs around the pool as you want, but kids are still going to run. Remove any unnecessary slipping hazards–if kids do fall and injure themselves, you want to be able to show that you took reasonable and prudent precautions.
  • Install outlet covers, or give some to incoming parents as part of their welcome packet.
  • Install cabinet locks–especially for ground-level cabinets containing hazardous household chemicals.
  • Put up speed limit signs and speed bumps. Children are going to be playing in the parking areas, so setting a 5 mph speed limit and installing speed bumps is a reasonable and prudent precaution.
  • Install garage door sensors. Garage doors injure hundreds of children each year. Some of these garage door injuries are fatal. A sensor can detect when there is something obstructing the path of the garage door and prevent the door from closing. This may prevent a child from being fatally crushed; but there are additional hazards presented by aging garage doors, so you may want to replace them entirely. You should also consider replacing aging garage doors altogether. New garage doors do tend to be worthwhile when it comes to the value they add relative to the costs of installation.
  • Install window latches and screen locks on all upstairs windows.
  • Double-check smoke detectors and sprinkler systems. Children have been known to accidentally set fires, and parents need more warning in the event of a fire to rescue their children before leaving the building.

The post Childproofing Your Apartment: A Guide for Landlords and Property Managers appeared first on APM.

Water Line Insurance For Rental Property

Every once in awhile I wonder if I should have water line insurance for a rental property.

About 3 years ago I was living in my owner-occupied rental and and a few blocks away a friend had the water line burst at his rental.

I asked Rich if he would share his story and he was generous enough to provide the story below:

When I first purchased the house it had all new copper plumbing so the thought of any water issue was somewhat minimal. Who actually thinks something is going to go wrong with the waterline outside of their home right?

As always, you are offered all sorts of coverage options for your newly purchased home which I declined confidently based on my perception of the quality of the house. The mechanics were sound, no issues in the basement, roof was newer and the list goes on.

As it turns out, there was a leak in the waterline outside of the house, which was not discovered for a year or so after the purchase. And it wasn’t me who discovered but the City of Buffalo. The water pressure and cost was not impacted because it all happened before the meter and feed into the home. Nothing is better than showing up from a trip out of town to an open hole in your driveway and no water running to your house. The City of Buffalo Water had originally dug up the pipe because they had the impression it was an issue for the city to fix. After exposing the issue, they discovered that it in fact the homeowner’s responsibility for this particular portion of the line so they kindly left their boards but told me to take care of it. After calling several plumbers and getting quotes ranging from $2,500 – $6,000 it definitely made an impact on my impression of insurance. Hindsight is 20/20 for sure, but it would have more than welcomed at this point. The benefits of having a pre-approved network of tradesmen, a guide along the way and the cost covered is substantially better than trying to wrangle in a contractor for a small job, last minute and for a premium. The line was fixed over the weekend and the hole was filled all for a little north of $2,500 out-of-pocket. The portion of the driveway impacted remained as stone for quite some time until I got lucky and capitalized on a personal connection to a concrete contractor.

As a landlord, there is a lot of responsibility that goes into keeping a house in great shape. Insurance, while a small added cost, could definitely help reduce the stress levels and allow you to focus on future investments of time and money back into the home.

In our location in Buffalo, NY there is the main city water line which is owned by the city. Then, there is the water line that connects to the home, which is the responsibility of the property owner.

I’ve known for years that this pipe can burst causing $1,000’s of dollars in damage but it’s just not an immediate concern. So I’ve done nothing about it.

Until last night when a discussion started in our RentPrep For Landlords Facebook Group.

Here’s a snippet of that conversation:

First thing to note is my memory is pretty inaccurate. Rich got a screaming deal at $2,500 and the insurance is actually cheaper than $9.

Andrew, who responded, is a recent guest we had on our podcast.

I trust his opinion on matters like these, so I took the plunge and signed up for water line insurance for my rental.

Google “Water Line Insurance (city name)”

Do a Google search of water line insurance and your city name.

When I did this for my location it was “Water line insurance Buffalo NY” which got me this local listing.

My local site then pushed me to this website:

This allows you to put in your zip code and see available insurances.

I selected the “Water Line Replacement Program” at $4.95 a month.

To me, $59.40 a year to cover a potential $6,000 cost seems like a no brainer.

I look at this like a luxury purchase. I can afford the $60 a year and it removes the anxiety I get every few months when I think about what would happen if that water line bursts.

I understand that odds are that my water line doesn’t burst. However, the peace of mind is worth it for me.

Is Water Line Replacement Insurance Deductible?

This article covers the difference between a repair vs. improvement of a water line and how that differs with your taxes.

This article is a good read and says the following about necessary expenses.

You can deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses for managing, conserving and maintaining your rental property. Ordinary expenses are those that are common and generally accepted in the business. Necessary expenses are those that are deemed appropriate, such as interest, taxes, advertising, maintenance, utilities and insurance.

I would assume that the $59.40 spent yearly on water line replacement insurance is tax deductible on your rental.

Is Water Line Replacement Insurance Worth It?

Like many optional insurances, you never really know until many years from now.

If I have a break 2 years from now it’s probably worth it.

However, if I have this rental for 10 more years the total cost is $594.00. For me, I’ll pay the minor fee for peace of mind.




The post Water Line Insurance For Rental Property appeared first on RentPrep.

The Future of Fair Housing in Community Associations

The DFEH Housing Regulations Are Happening Now


The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) Fair Employment and Housing Council (Council) has been engaged in a historic rulemaking process to draft and promulgate Housing Regulations for the first time. To date, the Council has been working on Housing Regulations on various types of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and disabilities, including assistance animals. Further Regulations will be drafted and proceed through the formal rulemaking process over the next few years on additional areas concerning housing.

These Regulations will have a major impact on all community associations/common interest developments (CA/CIDs) on many fair housing issues, and will provide the statutory framework for the DFEH’s interpretations and investigations concerning complaints filed by residents against CA/CIDs for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

The DFEH is seeking input and comments on the proposed Regulation, and information generally regarding the CA/CID industry perspective on fair housing matters. We encourage you to look at the proposed Regulations on the DFEH Website at and to provide your formal input to the Council by email via or via Brian Sperber at

CLAC is also actively participating in the rulemaking process by reviewing and providing comments on the proposed Regulations and attendance at the DFEH Council Meetings. But this is a great opportunity for everyone to share your experiences and concerns with the DFEH Council. They value all information and appreciate learning about CA/CID perspectives.

You can also attend the DFEH Council Meetings and provide public comments at the Meetings which are held in various locations around the State quarterly. The next Meeting will be held on July 17, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, Auditorium, San Francisco. You may view the agenda for this Meeting and past Meetings on the DFEH Website at www.


Janet L.S. Powers is a senior shareholder and Director of Fiore Racobs & Powers and is a senior supervising attorney in Fiore Racobs & Powers’ Irvine office. Ms. Powers is a member of the prestigious College of Community Association Lawyers of CAI (CCAL). She is the former President of the Orange County Chapter of CAI. She has been actively participating in the process of the DFEH Regulations, and has spoken on several panels concerning the Regulations, and implementation once adopted.   

Tenant Screening Colorado Springs

There are few cities as ideal as Colorado Springs, and people are gathering here for both work and recreation. If any landlords have property they own in Colorado Springs, it can be very profitable as there are lots of applicants seeking rentals. Knowing more about Colorado Springs tenant screening laws can really help landlords find the best tenants and avoid the troublemakers.

This post will tell Colorado Springs landlords about:

  • Colorado Springs tenant screening laws
  • Free resources for landlords
  • Overview of the the tenant screening process
  • Locating tenant screening services

Tenant Screening Colorado Springs Laws

Landlords in Colorado Springs are definitely going to benefit from learning all about the laws that cover tenant screening. At each level, such as federal, state and municipal, there are laws that regulate how landlords and applicants interact and what they can and cannot do. It’s the responsibility of landlords to learn about and to comply with Colorado Springs tenant screening laws.

Here are some of the Colorado Springs tenant screening laws that landlords must know:

  • Landlords in Colorado Springs have no limits to what they can charge for application fees.
  • Colorado Springs application fees are not refundable.
  • Security deposits and application fees are separated transactions.

Learn more about Colorado Springs tenant screening laws here.

Avoid This Common Screening Mistake

It’s standard to use an application form with a vacancy, but far too many landlords in Colorado Springs are falling short of doing the one thing the must do to run a background check. Every application form needs to have a signature line for applicants to sign. A Colorado Springs landlord cannot run a background check on an applicant unless they have a signature of consent. Landlords should make changes to the application form to reflect this very important feature if it doesn’t have it already.

Here’s how the RentPrep form looks:



Top red arrow: Info about the non-refundable application fee.

Bottom red arrow: Signature line so landlords can do a background check.

Resources for Tenant Screening in Colorado Springs

RentPrep has gathered a helpful list of links for you to use in your real estate business. There’s no better way to find top tenants than to use the information here.

*Lots of landlords implement a no blank space policy for accepting applications. It allows them to deny any incomplete application where an answer has been left blank. It’s impossible to run a complete background check on an application with missing information, so it is denied upon being received.

Colorado Springs Tenant Screening Process

Colorado Springs landlords can further reduce the number of qualified applicants when they create a tenant screening criteria list. This creates a standard of tenant qualifications that they can be consistent with. A Colorado Springs tenant screening criteria list keeps landlords from being unfair or making decisions based on gut instincts or guesswork.

Here’s an example of a Colorado Springs tenant screening criteria list:

  • No smoking
  • No prior evictions
  • Credit score above 600
  • Income to rent ratio 3:1
  • No criminal history
  • Current renter’s insurance policy
  • One dog under 25 lbs with current vaccination records
  • No bankruptcies within the last 7 years

Colorado Springs landlords should be familiar with anti-discrimination laws in housing on a federal, state and municipal level. Discrimination laws were created to keep the application process fair and consistent, and landlords should never ignore discrimination laws. Colorado Springs landlords should check out this website for more information. Of course, landlords can reference federal housing discrimination issues at the website.

Colorado Springs tenant screening laws include:

  • Landlords have no limits for what they might charge for an application fee.
  • Colorado Springs has many anti-discrimination laws when it comes  to housing to protect certain classes.
  • Applications can be denied if they don’t meet a Colorado Springs landlord’s tenant screening criteria.

To learn more about the city’s landlord/tenant laws, landlords can visit this website.

Check Out Your Colorado Screening Guide

In many cases cities have their own screening rules and regulations while the state has another set of rules that govern the screening process.

Click here to go to our post on “Colorado Tenant Screening Process.”

Locating the Best Tenant Screening Services

Colorado Springs landlords should be able to run background checks on qualified applications. However, now they need to find a professional tenant screening service that will look into all the important details found on the applications. For a reasonable fee, landlords receive an in-depth report.

A good tenant screening company provides information on:

  • Previous addresses
  • Evictions
  • Judgments and liens
  • Bankruptcies

Once the background checks are completed, Colorado Springs landlords will know whether or not an applicant will make a good tenant. When landlords follow the Colorado Springs tenant screening process, they can avoid questionable applicants and find good tenants for their properties.

At RentPrep, we have experience 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 will put your mind at ease by providing the best tenant screening report available.

The post Tenant Screening Colorado Springs appeared first on RentPrep.

#161 10 Questions To Ask A Property Manager

Andrew Schultz is a property manager in Buffalo, NY and he shares a document with every potential client that covers the 10 questions you should ask a property manager before hiring them. He currently manages around 100 doors and in this episode he shares a wealth of knowledge on what differentiates one PM from another.

You can access this document in the files section of our Facebook group. Just request to join and answer our three screening questions.

Discussions in this episode:

Intro – Andrew Schultz and Realty Edge
1:30 – Picking a property manager’s brain
3:20 – It’s a business even if you own one rental
4:20 – #1 What certifications do you have as a property manager?
6:30 – #2 How many properties are you managing and what types are they?
7:30 – #3 What is your fee structure
10:10 – #4 How do you send reports and can I see a sample?
12:20 – #5 How are your tenants screened?
14:20 – #6 Who handles the maintenance work?
17:00 – What do you say to someone who says you profit from “church & burn”
18:00 – #7 How is rent collected?
19:00 – #8 Can I see sample documents that you use?
20:05 – #9 How long is the management agreement for?
22:00 – Understand what you’re getting into
23:50 – #10 Do you have references?
27:00 – Calling references
29:00 – Join the Facebook group!

Just search “RentPrep For Landlords” on Facebook to join the discussion.

The post #161 10 Questions To Ask A Property Manager appeared first on RentPrep.

Tenant Screening Omaha

Nestled on the banks of the Missouri River, Omaha is a vibrant economic center for Nebraska and the Midwest. For landlords that own rental properties in Omaha, things are looking up as properties are in high demand lately. Every landlord that owns or manages rental property here will be able to find the best tenants when they learn all about Omaha tenant screening laws.

In this post, Omaha landlords will gain understanding about:

  • Omaha tenant screening laws
  • Free resources for landlords
  • Tenant screening process overview
  • Locate tenant screening services

Tenant Screening Omaha Laws

Every rental property in Omaha is subject to numerous federal, state and municipal laws. These rules and regulations ensure that tenant screening is done fairly and legally for both sides. However, failure to comply can place a landlord in big trouble so it’s important that they learn all there is to know about Omaha tenant screening laws.

The Omaha tenant screening laws begin with these items:

  • Landlords are not limited on how much they can charge for application fees.
  • Application fees in Omaha are non-refundable.
  • The security deposit and application fee are separated financial transactions and are due at different times of the application process.

Check out this website for more information on Omaha tenant screening laws.

Don’t Make This Common Screening Mistake

When there’s a vacancy, Omaha landlords ask applicants to fill out a form. However, too many landlords are using forms that force them to make a common screening mistake. Unless the form asks for a signature, the landlords cannot run a background check.  In other words, an Omaha landlord cannot run a background check on an applicant unless they have a signature of consent. However, all current applications should be modified to include a signature line if they don’t have them already.

Here’s an example of how it is done on a RentPrep form:



See how the top red arrow informs applicants about their application fee and that it is not refundable? The bottom arrow presents a signature line that applicants must sign so the landlord can run a background check.

Resources for Tenant Screening in Omaha

RentPrep has gathered a helpful list of links for you to use in your real estate business. There’s no better way to find top tenants than to use the information here.

*Many landlords have a no blank space policy for new applications. It allows them to deny any incomplete applications people submit. Incomplete applications happen when the applicant has left blanks for answers.

Omaha Tenant Screening Process

Using a tenant screening criteria list is an excellent way for Omaha landlords to stay consistent and fair when reviewing applications.. This gives them a consistent standard to compare to. When landlords create their tenant screening criteria list, it should include basic qualities and standards they would set for their ideal tenant.

This example of an Omaha tenant screening criteria list can help:

  • No evictions
  • No smoking
  • Credit score above 580
  • Income to rent ratio at 3:1
  • No criminal history
  • One dog with current vaccinations
  • No bankruptcies

Omaha landlords should be careful to not discriminate against protected classes as defined by federal, state and municipal laws. If landlords aren’t familiar with protected classes, they can review at this website. Federal anti-discrimination information can be found at the website.

There’s a lot to know about Omaha tenant screening laws, including:

  • Landlords can charge whatever they want for an application fee.
  • Omaha landlords cannot discrimine against protected classes during the application process.
  • Applications that don’t meet the landlord’s personal screening criteria can be legally denied.

Learning about Omaha’s tenant screening laws is important and this city website is a good place to begin.

Check Out Your Nebraska Screening Guide

In many cases cities have their own screening rules and regulations while the state has another set of rules that govern the screening process.

Click here to go to our post on “Nebraska Tenant Screening Process.”

Locating the Best Tenant Screening Services

Landlords can now find a reputable tenant screening service so they can do a background check on the applicant. Instead of doing it themselves, smart landlords turn the task over to a professional tenant screening service. For a reasonable cost, the landlords get a full report.

An Omaha tenant screening company provides:

  • Previous addresses
  • Evictions
  • Judgments and liens
  • Bankruptcies

Omaha landlords can decide whether or not to offer a lease to an applicant based on the findings. When done right, the Omaha tenant screening process helps landlords avoid bad tenants and find the good ones.

At RentPrep, we have experience 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 will put your mind at ease by providing the best tenant screening report available.

The post Tenant Screening Omaha appeared first on RentPrep.

How To Verify Social Security Or SSI Income For Your Rental

If you’re considering a tenant applicant you should have a rent to income standard in place. You must accept all forms of lawful income but that might leave you wondering how to verify Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for your rental.

As of right now, sources of income are not considered a protected class under the FHA. However, your local state or locality can add additional protections. It’s always a good idea to keep up to date with your local laws.

In this post we will examine the different programs housed under social security and what that should mean to you as a landlord considering tenant applicants.

How Does Social Security Work In The US?

Our current social security system (as of June 2017) is structured so that when you work, you automatically pay taxes into Social Security. This money is then redistributed to the following individuals.

  • People who have retired
  • Disabled individuals
  • Survivors of workers who have died
  • Dependents of beneficiaries

You pay Social Security taxes based on your income earnings up to a certain amount.

The Social Security Administration says the following about your Social Security number.

Your link with Social Security is your Social Security number. You need it to get a job and pay taxes. We use your Social Security number to track your earnings while you’re working and your benefits after you’re getting Social Security.

In a separate article, the SSA lays out the differences of Social Security taxes based on working for an employer or being self-employed.

If you work for an employer, you and your employer each pay a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on up to $127,200 of your earnings and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax on all earnings. If you’re self-employed, you pay the combined employee and employer amount, which is a 12.4 percent Social Security tax on up to $127,200 of your net earnings and a 2.9 percent Medicare tax on your entire net earnings.

How To Verify Social Security Or SSI Income For Your Rental

Applicants with SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can request what is called a “benefit verification letter.”

This article covers how to get a benefit verification letter.

This letter is sometimes referred to as the following:

  • Budget letter
  • Benefits letter
  • Proof of income letter
  • Proof of award letter

The tenant applicant needs to setup or sign in to their account to get a benefit verification letter.

Phone Prompts To Verify Social Security Income For A Rental

If your applicant does not have online access they can call 1-800-772-1213 where they can request a letter for someone else.

I called the number to see what would happen. The automation instructs you to say what you’re calling for and going through a bunch of prompts from there.

Here are the prompts I said out loud up to the point of entering my SS#.

  1. “Benefit Verification Letter”
  2. “Yes”
  3. “Proof of Income”
  4. “Continue”
  5. “Yes” (agree to terms)
  6. Enter your Social Security number one digit at a time

At this point I dropped off the call because I do not have any Social Security income currently.

From what I gather, the tenant applicant would need to answer another verification question before being patched through to get a benefit verification letter.



The post How To Verify Social Security Or SSI Income For Your Rental appeared first on RentPrep.

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning a Bathtub (Based on the Type of Tub)

Contributed by A dirty and filthy bathtub with spots and scratches is hardly a relaxing sight. It can also act as a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Here we will be talking about some of the best ways on how to clean bathtub and how to protect it from dirt and spots. Materials Used […]

Tenant Screening Virginia Beach

Everyone knows life is better at the beach, and Virginia Beach is proof that this is true. This bustling seaside community has plenty of rental properties available for eager residents, and Virginia Beach landlords shouldn’t have to wait long to fill vacancies. Knowing the Virginia Beach tenant screening laws and regulations will help landlords sort through applications legally and fairly and select the best renters to live in their properties.

This post will definitely help Virginia Beach landlords know more about:

  • Virginia Beach tenant screening laws
  • Where to locate free resources for landlords
  • Overview of the tenant screening process
  • Find top tenant screening services

Tenant Screening Virginia Beach Laws

Virginia Beach landlords need to obey all federal, state and municipal laws when it comes to proper tenant screening. The laws are in place to protect landlords as well as applicants and ensure fairness for both sides. When Virginia Beach landlords follow the proper process, they stand the best chance of finding top applicants to fill their vacancies.

Here are a few of the Virginia Beach tenant screening laws that landlords should know about:

  • The state of Virginia won’t permit landlords to collect an application fee for more than $50 for tenant screening services.
  •  Landlords can collect the application fee to pay for screening services, as well as an application deposit.
  • If the applicant doesn’t rent the unit, the landlord must refund the application deposit within 20 days.
  • A security deposit is separate from an application fee

There are plenty of tenant screening laws that Virginia Beach landlords need to know about, and they can find more information here.

This Screening Mistake is Common Among Landlords

Running a full background check on an applicant is a great way to discover what kind of tenant they have been in the past. However, Virginia Beach landlords are denying themselves the chance to do this when they neglect to get a signature of consent from the applicant. A Virginia Beach landlord that doesn’t get the applicant’s signature cannot run a background check on an applicant. 

This is a RentPrep form with a consent line:



Look at the top arrow. It informs applicants that the application fee is not refundable in some conditions. Now look at the bottom arrow. It indicates the signature line so landlords are legally able to run a background check.

Resources for Tenant Screening in Virginia Beach

RentPrep has gathered a helpful list of links for you to use in your real estate business. There’s no better way to find top tenants than to use the information here.

*Smart landlords implement a no blank space policy when reviewing applications. This means they don’t process any applications with incomplete answers or blank spaces. It’s impossible to do a full background check on an application with incomplete answers, so it is denied automatically.

Virginia Beach Tenant Screening Process

A tenant screening criteria list is something that landlords can create to help them process applications according to a consistent standard. When landlords have a Virginia Beach tenant screening criteria list, applications are much easier to evaluate. The tenant screening criteria list includes all the qualities a landlord desires in a tenant. If an applicant meets the standards, they move ahead to the next phase.

This is an example of a Virginia Beach tenant screening criteria list:

  • No prior evictions
  • No smoking
  • Credit score above 625
  • Income to rent ratio 3:1
  • Proof of current renter’s insurance policy
  • No criminal history
  • One dog under 25 lbs or two dogs under 10 lbs each accepted
  • No bankruptcies

Virginia Beach landlords can be consistent and fair when reviewing applications when they have a tenant screening criteria list written up. If they use it for every application process, they are much less likely to be accused of discrimination. Metro areas like Virginia Beach usually have stricter anti-discrimination laws than the rest of their state, so landlords need to be up to speed on what to do. For more information on Virginia Beach fair housing, visit this website and learn more about federal housing discrimination issues at the website.

More about Virginia Beach tenant screening laws:

  • Landlords can’t charge more than $50 for an application fee.
  • Virginia Beach landlords can’t discriminate against protected classes when it comes to renting units.
  • Landlords can deny application that doesn’t meet their tenant screening criteria list.

Virginia Beach landlords that want more info on the city’ landlord/tenant laws should refer to this website.

Check Out Your Virginia Screening Guide

In many cases cities have their own screening rules and regulations while the state has another set of rules that govern the screening process.

Click here to go to our post on “Virginia Tenant Screening Process.”

Check Out Our Tenant Screening Tutorial

We’ve created a tenant screening tutorial that walks you through the entire tenant screening process.

This will show you the ins and outs of tenant screening.

Take the time to go through this guide and your future self will thank you.

Getting the Best Tenant Screening Services

When landlords have narrowed down the top applications from their search, they are ready to submit them for a background check. It’s important to locate the best tenant screening service for this task. Landlords can know they’ve found a good tenant screening service when they find one that delivers in-depth reports for a reasonable fee.

Virginia Beach landlords need a tenant screening company that reports on:

  • Previous addresses
  • Any evictions
  • All judgments and liens
  • Bankruptcies

Getting a complete background check report gives Virginia Beach landlords the information they need to pick the best applicant. When they follow the Virginia Beach tenant screening process from start to finish, they are the most likely to avoid those bad tenants.

At RentPrep, we have experience 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 will put your mind at ease by providing the best tenant screening report available.

The post Tenant Screening Virginia Beach appeared first on RentPrep.

8 Wildfire Prevention Tips for All 50 States

In 2015, wildfires consumed a record 10.1 million acres in the United States. Wildfire season is 2.5 months longer than it was 30 years ago, with 4 times as many large, long-duration forest fires occurring each year.

You might not think you’re at risk; but over the last 4 years, wildfires have occurred in every single state. What does this mean for you? No matter where you live, now’s the time to think about wildfire prevention.

Here are 8 wildfire prevention steps that we recommend taking now, before the weather turns hot and dry.

8 Must-Read Wildfire Prevention Tips

1. Design smart landscaping, using gravel walkways between sections of vegetation to create firebreaks. Choose plants that are high in moisture (like aloe) or fire-resistant (like French lavender); and avoid flammable trees like conifers. Keep grass short; trim dead branches; and remove unnecessary shrubs and thin trees.

2. Restrict open burning when it’s windy, dry, and hot.

3. Choose fire-resistant materials when it’s time for a new roof, deck, fence, or siding. For existing structures, apply a fire-retardant coating.

4. Clear debris from roofs & gutters, since dry leaves and branches are ready fuel for windblown embers.

5. Consider roof-mounted sprinkler systems, which may qualify for FEMA grants in your state.

6. Store combustible materials safely. Don’t keep items like gas containers where they could heat up or tip over. A cool, dark, ventilated storage area away from residential structures is ideal.

7. Establish communication procedures between staff and residents for imminent threats, and hold safety drills periodically.

8. Make sure you’re covered. If a home is at an elevated level of risk, property insurance companies may help with risk assessment and wildfire prevention efforts. Make sure that tenants have renters insurance for what’s inside their homes, too.

Last, consider hiring a property manager, whose expertise and assistance will be invaluable to you under any circumstances. When you’re ready to get free quotes from property managers in your area, All Property Management will be here to help.

The post 8 Wildfire Prevention Tips for All 50 States appeared first on APM.