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Pitfalls of Poor Tenant Screening Part 1

One thing to keep in mind while screening applicants is the federal Fair Housing Act, which:

“prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and disability.”

1Does this mean you can turn a prospect down because they don’t dress well?  Absolutely.  How about if they show up reeking of smoke?  Sure.  What if they just give you a bad feeling?  Yes.  None of these reasons are provided for in the FHA.  But here’s the rub.  What will stop a prospect from suing you for discrimination because you did not rent to them because they were minorities, and not due to the fact that they showed up to view in a car with trash falling out of it.  You felt that represented how they may keep up your property.  The problem is convincing the court this was your reason for not qualifying them.  Whether it’s true or not, you can run in to a lot of liability issues if you deny applicants who otherwise meet your screening criteria.

You should also be familiar with your state and local laws to make sure you are not violating any laws or statutes.  Please consult an attorney if you have any concerns.  I am an advocate of one of the prepaid legal programs.  I pay $25 per month and can ask them for legal advice when anything comes up. They will also review legal documents you have, such as leases, addenda, etc. to ensure it is legal.  Or have professional Charlotte property management companies handle things for you.

Just to reinforce the need to properly qualify prospects, here is another video showing the result of a Landlord who did not property qualify their tenant who moved in to a brand new town home:

One valuable trick is, while processing the application, if an applicant lives locally, visit them unannounced.  Tell them you were in the area and wanted to stop by for them to sign their application in person, or for some other reason.  This will give you a chance to see how they maintain their current unit.

Investing some additional time and effort into the qualification process can pay big dividends in the future.  What you save now could cost you more down the road.  Best of luck.

 

 

Tip Using Recycled Materials in Your Building Plan

The use of recycled materials in green homes and buildings proves to be one of the most common ways to demonstrate sustainability. In addition to economic benefits, seeing recycled materials or fuel never fails to absorb the feel-good factor of mood. Here are some tips on how some recyclable materials can be combined in your green home.

Recycled woods are as effective as finished wood but they are generally cheaper in terms of cost. Recycled woods aside from structural uses in walls and windows can seamlessly find uses in drawers, cabinets, and shelves.

Old newspapers should not only find its way into paper mache. In fact, they can be used as insulation. Carton egg trays an also serve this very same purpose. Hundreds of dollars can be saved from your pockets with this simple act.

Raid your kitchen of empty wine bottles and mason jars. If you think that they can be used only as pen holders and organizers of tiny tots, you’ll be surprised that they can actually be used to build a house. Search for various inspirations of the internet and see that there is actually a wine farm in Australia which used abu 13500 wine bottles to design water-heating facility. Similarly, there is a Canadian man who used 25000 wine bottles to design his house.

Dating back to the 1900s, empty wine bottles have found various uses in construction of homes. In the United States, you can find several homes which have walls with embedded bottles on them. The idea is like hitting two birds in one stone as it serves aesthetic and structural purposes.

Reimagine your bathroom by using sea-sourced materials. If you’re living near the shorelines, then it is a very wise idea to use natural materials you can find and pick from them. Shells and pebbles of various colors, shapes, and sizes can be perfect inclusions in the walls and floors of your bathroom. Isn’t this idea very refreshing to embrace? This one can also save you from the usual high costs of bathroom tiles in home depots.

Sustained life is an idea that may be difficult to overlook and pass by someone. But with the right thinking and inspiration, this is actually a business that can become an easy reality. Begin to train your environmentally friendly mind. And always remember that your own household waste can be a direct source of recycled materials that you can actually use to create a green home.

 

5 Simple Energy Conservation Ideas for Your Home

While most potential home buyers, consider their monthly mortgage payments (including principal, interest, and escrow / tax), many, fail to consider other monthly expenses, related to home ownership. Perhaps the most significant, is the cost of energy-related activities, including electricity, and heart. The purpose of this article is not to check alternate heating alternatives, including solar, geo-thermal, etc. However, to review some simple steps, one can easily take it, to make their home more energy efficient, and friendlier. . Let’s look at 5 simple energy conservation ideas and steps.

1. Windows and doors: What is the Energy Efficiency Ratio of your entry doors? What material are they made of? How are they hung? How much air is seeping out, through the spaces created, because of their alignment? Simply, assuring your door has a bottom sweep, and the spaces around the top, and sides, is reduced/ eliminated, will prevent heat escaping in the winter, and air conditioning, escaping during the summer. What type of blinds, or curtains are you using, and are you using them, to let sun in, when it is cold out, while reducing the entry of the heat of the sun, when it is hot? When was the last time you checked your windows, in terms of air – tightness, energy rating, and tinting (if your local climate indicates doing so)?

2. Insulation: Every form of insulation comes with some R rating. This number indicates the amount of insulation, but are you certain, all exterior walls and ceilings are properly insulated? Doing so, might potentially save a considerable amount of unnecessary energy costs.

3. Energy efficient appliances: Certain home appliances, especially refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners, have become far more energy – efficient, in recent years. How old are yours? Look at the rating, and it will indicate how much energy a particular appliance might be using. When I recently replaced my refrigerator, the new one was far more efficient (therefore, cost less to run), than my 15 – year old model. Similarly, today’s oil and gas burners and boilers are far more efficient, than they have ever been!

4. Water and toilet: Are there any dripping faucets or toilets that continue to run – on? Eliminate the drips, change faucet heads (especially in the shower), and check the efficiency of your toilets.

5. Lights/ fixtures: Begin by making the effort to turn lights off, when you leave the room! What type of light bulb are you using? Many bulbs today are four, or more times, more efficient (use less energy/ wattage), than older ones. Do a lights and fixtures – review on a regular basis!

These 5 ideas may seem basic and clear, but you will be amazed how few people think about them. If you are not wasting energy, and spending more than you need, using these simple conservation methods will save money, and reduce energy waste.