real estate

Home Warranties Issues and How to Avoid Them

1000 500 Taylor Witt

The most common complaints about home warranties consist of delays and denials. Many paying homeowners are unsatisfied because they do not seem to get what they are paying for. Frustration often takes over. Delays and denials for home warranty repairs cause discomfort to a family because of a malfunctioning home system. What are the causes of these setbacks? What could you do to avoid these common home warranty complaints?

Should you read home warranty reviews before you sign up?

kitchen house area

Possible Cause of a Home Warranty Repair Delay

Calling your home warranty provider about a system breakdown in your home may result in a delay. A warranty company’s job is to connect the client to a local service technician to perform the repairs or replacements. The warranty plans provide financial protection and access to licensed professionals during unexpected repair and replacement costs.

During an emergency home warranty call, the warranty provider works with the customer to find an available and capable technician. That way, the technician can diagnose and focus on the breakdown right away. The provider can authorize the customer to find the technician outside its network if the company cannot find a technician within an appropriate time frame. Delays can happen if both provider and client cannot find a technician in the area. This can be a problem for expedite or emergency cases.

Possible Cause of a Home Warranty Claim Denial

Knowing why your home warranty claim was denied is the first thing you need to do. You can start this by reading the terms of your contract. This will determine which systems and appliances your plan protects. Denial is firm if the item does not have coverage. Below are the possible causes of your home warranty claim denial:

  1. Exceeding coverage cap

Coverage cap is the limit your providers set on the amount they will cover. Your warranty company can deny your claim if the amount the provider will pay goes above the limit.

  1. Incorrect installation

A home warranty provider can deny your claim if the installation of the home system or appliance was poor. The company can deny your claim if the installation violates safety codes. Damage to the system or appliance beyond natural wear and tear can also cause your provider to reject your claim.

  1. Insufficient maintenance

Your provider may also deny your home warranty claim if there is an appliance or system with inadequate maintenance. That is why regular system and appliance checks are necessary. The technician will inspect the system or appliance during maintenance checks. The maintenance logs must be updated each time. The provider will deny the claim if the appliance is not working properly or not working at all.

How to Avoid the Refusal of Your Home Warranty Claim

Reading the terms, conditions, inclusions, and exclusions of your preferred plan can help you prepare well for your home warranty purchase. Knowing the requirements for extending your warranty coverage is also important. Reading and understanding everything can prevent confusion and unexpected surprises. Below are some of the main considerations you should remember:

  •   The standard 24/7 assistance may take up to about 48 hours to get in touch with a service technician. See if your provider offers online claim filing. This is a convenient way to file your claim using the online forms.
  •   Keep service and maintenance records accessible. Saving your home inspection report can help as well.
  •   File your claim as soon as the appliance or home system breaks down. The cause must be normal wear and tear. Never try DIY replacements or repairs.
  •   Finding out your provider’s coverage limit or cap will spark awareness if your provider does deny your home warranty claim.

Appealing for a Home Warranty Claim Refusal

You can appeal your refused warranty claim online. Calling your provider’s hotline can also start your appeal process. The company can help you complete your documents. Your provider can send the paperwork to your home address if the company does not have online links.

Avoiding a Home Warranty Claim Refusal or Delay Can Help You Maximize Your Plan

The goals of a home warranty coverage are to help you care for your home and save you from financial problems. Knowing your plan’s conditions, inclusions, and exclusions can prevent its denial. Learning how to find licensed repair technicians in your area can prevent any delay in your home warranty service. Completing your paperwork and understanding the plan you chose can help you get the most out of your home warranty.

Sources:

https://www.abc15.com/news/let-joe-know/how-long-is-too-long-to-wait-for-a-home-warranty-repair-even-when-its-considered-an-emergency

https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/guides/guide-to-filing-successful-home-warranty-claims/

https://www.angi.com/articles/home-warranty-companies-rack-complaints.htm

https://blog.reviewhomewarranties.com/home-warranty-claim-rejection-and-how-to-avoid-it/

https://abc11.com/broken-hvac-units-troubleshooter-abc11-diane-wilson/1464437/

Why Are Bed Bugs a Serious Problem?

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Bed bugs are pests, but they do not harm the structure of a home. Even so, they can still transfer harmful diseases. These insects are successful because they are too small to notice. Have you ever wondered why bed bugs are a serious problem to your health, furniture, and lifestyle?

blue bed and mattress with pillows

A home overwhelmed with bed bugs will need the help of an exterminator. Knowing about the bed bug exterminator cost in your area will help you save for and schedule a treatment. Trained and experienced pest control professionals know how to handle a bed bug infestation. They have the right chemicals that can eliminate bed bugs but keep your household safe.

Bed Bug Infestation

The eggs of bed bugs are about the size of pinheads. They are pearly white when less than five days old. These eggs develop an eye spot if they are already more than five days old. The average lifespan of bed bugs is about six to 24 months. These minute insects feed every three days or even every week. They can also survive for months to about a year without any food supply.

These pests can thrive in shelters, hotels, dormitories, apartments, and homes. You can also find them on ships, trains, and buses. They are so small that they can get into even the cleanest of homes. Bed bugs can hitchhike and live in your closet, mattresses, boxes, and furniture. These pests are common in households whose members travel all the time or entertain guests.

The Problem With Bed Bugs

Having bed bugs in your home can be annoying, irritating, and hazardous to your health. These pests may not target the structures of your home, but they can interfere with your lifestyle. You need the expertise of exterminators if bed bugs are causing serious problems already. Here are some of the significant issues that you can face during a bed bug infestation:

  1. Inadequate sleep

A severe bed bug infestation can cause severe itching and bites. This can lead to insufficient sleep. Even the thought of crawling insects on your skin will keep you up all night. This can leave you mentally and physically exhausted the next day. Insufficient sleep can result in appetite loss, lack of concentration, accidents, and heart diseases. It can cause family conflict and even low productivity.

  1. Secondary infection

Bites from bed bugs tend to be itchy. They can lead to a strong urge to scratch until the itchiness fades. These pests often bite while you are asleep in the middle of the night. You scratch the itch unconsciously. Fresh wounds then appear in the morning.

Tiny open wounds may not be that much of a problem, but the infection caused by bacteria can be problematic. The wounds can expand without any treatment. The redness around the wound, tenderness, and swelling are symptoms of a bacterial infection of the skin. This can even lead to boils, cellulitis, and impetigo.

  1. Stress and anxiety

It is not mentally healthy if you live in a household taken over by bed bugs. This can be frustrating and stressful. The home is supposed to be your sanctuary and place of rest. Constant bites and damage to the curtains or bedsheets can be disturbing. This stressful environment can lead to anxiety. Emotional and mental distress can lead to health issues and bad habits.

You can develop various infections, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate without the help of professional exterminators. Stress and anxiety can affect your digestion and state of mind. Any disturbance in the digestive system affects the immune system. This then leads to the onset of harmful conditions. This is why many people look for remedies for stress symptoms, such as by consuming delta 8 gummies and other THC products that help to relax them. 

  1. Allergic reactions

Bed bug bites can trigger allergic reactions in some people. This could lead to life-threatening episodes. Anaphylactic shock may occur in people who have extreme allergies to insect bites. Tightness of the chest, wheezing, throat constriction, itchy lips, and tongue swelling will need medical attention right away.

A Bed Bug Infestation Can Lead to Serious Problems Without Professional Help

Bed bugs do not cause significant structural damage to your home. They do affect your health and lifestyle on a deeper level. You can suffer from severe mental and emotional disturbances. These will then trigger physical disorders. Seeking the help of trained and experienced bed bug exterminators will help prevent these disorders from worsening into life-threatening conditions.

NNN Leases vs. Full Service Gross Leases

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Even if you’re just getting started in residential real estate, it can’t hurt to understand a bit of the commercial side as well.

And if you’re looking to get into a new lease or interested in getting started with commercial real estate investing, then you should know how different lease structures can affect you. Understanding the amount of management required in each lease structure is vital for new investors to know how “passive” each opportunity is. The level of management you want to deal with depends on which structure you go with, whether or not the building is full of tenants. Maintaining and managing the property can be expensive and timely, so how can you know which structure can work best for you?

This page will give you a brief introduction to these two lease structures and help you understand how each one can work for you and your desired level of risk and return. By breaking down the two structures, you’ll see the positives and negatives of both. 

What’s the difference?

green and white wooden board

The main difference between these leases is who pays for the commercial property’s common areas and maintenance expenses. This includes covering the maintenance and expenses for lobbies, parking lots, elevators, and more. In addition, the amount of management over the property depends on which one you choose. 

What is a Full Service Gross Lease?

red and blue love neon light signage

In this lease, the tenant has a monthly rental amount paid to the landlord, and the landlord pays for all of the property’s expenses. Usually, in this model, the base rent for tenants is higher, so the landlord can use the additional money on common area maintenance and other expenses. 

Pros: For the investor/landlord, rent rates are higher, which can translate to increased profit for you. However, there is a clear definition of who is responsible for extra expenses and maintenance of the property for the tenant. 

Cons for the tenant: Ultimately, the central unappealing aspect of this structure is the increased cost. Generally, rent payments in this model are usually higher than ones in a NNN lease. 

Cons for the investor/landlord: If taxes, premiums, or other costs go up, those costs need to be covered by you. Since the rent payments are determined by the lease, a landlord cannot immediately raise rent to meet the increased expenses. 

What is an NNN Lease?

Unlike the gross lease, this rent structure bundles the standard rent payment for the tenant with calculated percentages of the property taxes, building insurance, and building maintenance expenses. The calculated percentage of the additional expenses is outlined in the lease agreement and is usually based on the amount of square footage the tenant leases. These leases are common in bank branches, drug stores, and quick service restaurants because of how easily a majority of the responsibility can be passed on to the business owner or tenant. 

Pros: For the tenant, this means by only paying your share, you can usually see lower rent payments. For the investor/landlord, passing on rising expenses and maintenance costs to the tenant can increase the net income you could make. 

Cons for the investor/landlord: With this model, the landlord can have a more challenging time managing the property. It can be difficult to reconcile your actual expenses and those that are recovered by the tenant. 

Cons for the tenant: Even though rent can start low, you can potentially expect your rent to increase if expenses rise. In some cases, covering your share of the operating costs of your building/property can leave you with higher rent prices than a standard full-service gross lease. 

What you need to know before signing

person in orange long sleeve shirt writing on white paper

Whether you’re signing a new lease or getting started in real estate investing, there’s a lot you need to consider before signing. No one option is wrong, but both have their appeals. For the tenant, a Full Service Gross Lease can be an appealing option because of its simplicity and that the rent payment will be the same until your lease ends. The bulk of the responsibility falls upon the landlord in this structure. Depending on the amount of involvement you want in maintaining your property, full-service gross leases won’t be very passive income. 

For a more passive approach, NNN leases tend to pass off some of the burden to the tenant. This structure tends to be more popular among investors since they are considered to be low-touch assets. That means that while the tenant covers most if not all of the costs, you can pursue other investment opportunities. 

If you want to read more about real estate investing and lease structures, consider checking out First National Realty Partners’ blog on the subject.

3 Ways to (Instantly) Boost the Value of Your Home

1000 500 Taylor Witt

When you own your home, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your property well-maintained. By doing so, you’ll protect your investment and hopefully prevent its value from declining. However, there are things you can do to increase the value of your property too. If you want to maximize the value of your home, take a look at these top tips now:

Real Estate, Home, House, Single Family Home

Extend the Property

When you extend a property, you gain extra square footage, which should automatically increase the value of your home. From a straightforward attic conversion to an extensive, two-story addition, there are numerous options available. Furthermore, extending a property can be cheaper than you think. By using the existing structure to draw up plans, experienced contractors can minimize the amount of work involved to help you keep costs down. 

Enhance Curb Appeal

How your property looks has a major impact on its resale. While real estate investors may not be too concerned with curb appeal, potential homeowners or tenants will be swayed by appearances. To ensure you’re making the most of your property, landscape gardens, pave driveways and paint the exterior of your home at regular intervals. 

It’s important to remember, however, that you are usually held responsible for any repairs which are needed following work that’s been carried out on your property. If heavy equipment or vehicles cause pavement damage while accessing your property, you may need to pay to have this repaired. Fortunately, this isn’t an unusual problem and one that can typically be fixed quickly, easily and cost-effectively. 

Redesign Your Kitchen and/or Bathroom

When it comes to selling a home, it’s the kitchen and bathroom that really make an impact on potential buyers. If you’re going to redecorate or redesign any part of your property prior to putting it up for sale, these are the two areas you’ll want to consider first. 

Although there are buyers who will consider purchasing a property that’s in need of repair, selling your home without completing any outstanding work can substantially reduce its value. By repairing water leaks or replacing damaged shower trays, for example, you can restore your home and ensure you get a fair price for your property. 

When to Reinvest in Your Home

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, then you may want to make strategic changes now in order to enhance its value. However, even if you’re not planning to sell any time soon, it’s still worth keeping the value of your home in mind. When you decide what changes to make to your property, always consider the impact potential modifications will have on its value. 

There’s a good chance that your home is your most valuable asset, so you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure it retains its value in the future. By keeping it well-maintained, ensuring it’s aesthetically pleasing and making repairs when they’re needed, you’ll be well on the way to boosting the value of your home. 

improving home air quality

How to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

1000 500 Sam Radbil

The air quality of your home is more important than many people realize. If you have young children, the quality of the air in your home can affect their health and physical and mental development.

landscape of grass field under blue sky

Read our guide to find out what you can do to improve the air quality in your home and protect your family.

Keep it Clean

House cleaning and domestic chores can be a real pain. It feels like a job that never ends as there is always something that needs to be done to keep your home clean and tidy.

It is incredibly important to do, however, if you want to improve the air quality in your home. Dust and dirt are the primary air contaminants in any space, and the rooms in your home are no different. Try implementing a cleaning schedule in your home to make sure you stay on top of all of the chores. This can be great if you have children, as you can give them regular tasks to complete to help them maintain the home they live in and improve the air quality, which will benefit them the most.

Add Plants that Naturally Purify the Air

Plants can be very useful if you want to improve the air quality of a space and deal with odors. They can also add color and texture to your decor.

Not every plant offers these benefits. Flowers can actually decrease the air quality of a space by contaminating it with pollen, which can affect people with allergies and asthma, and by attracting insects or pests that can cause further problems. A great plant for air purification is Aloe Vera, which is also easy to maintain and very fashionable at the moment as it is a succulent plant. 

green leafed plant on clear glass vase filled with water

The leaves of the Aloe Vera plant have a large surface area, and so they absorb a lot of carbon dioxide from the air and release a large amount of oxygen for their size. They also have natural antibacterial properties, which is why it is used so much in hand soaps and natural cleansers, and this helps clean the air in the spaces they inhabit.

Invest in Air Purifiers and Fresh Filters

Air purifiers are a great addition to the home if you are suffering from poor air quality or struggling to deal with odors. 

A small air purifier is quite capable of purifying the air in any room or even a kitchen space and can give you the extra boost you need to get better quality air in the home. If you have air conditioning in your home, you should check your filters and replace them regularly. These can become blocked with contaminants over time and these particles will find their way around your home. Taking this simple step can improve the air quality in your home massively.

Clean Furniture and Fabrics Regularly

The furniture in our homes, such as sofas, chairs, and mattresses, can become magnets for dust, dirt, and contaminants. Regularly cleaning these furniture items should be one of your household chores if you want to improve your air quality.

Steam cleaning and vacuuming can be very effective at combatting this. You should also take some time to investigate what your home furnishings are made from. Some sofas and mattresses, particularly older ones, have been made with materials that can degrade over time and release toxins into the air. There are some modern mattresses available that are made from non-toxic materials and work at improving air quality while you sleep! Check what your mattress is made from and make sure you are getting the best possible air quality while you rest.

By taking just a few of these steps, you can make a massive improvement to the quality of the air in your home and reduce the number of airborne contaminants that can affect the health of you and your family.

Curb Appeal Upgrades for 2020 Sellers

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Are you looking at selling your home? Or are you simply wanting to do renovations? Whatever the case, we all like to have an attractive curb appeal. Everybody likes to have a nice front yard. Having an attractive curb appeal and a nice front yard are what will help homeowners to attract potential buyers. It will also help real estate agents to sell your home for you.

white and black house near to pond

Improving the curb appeal of your home is not as hard as you might think. In this article, we will have a look at how to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home, whether you are selling your home in New York, Michigan or in Canadian regions like luxury North Vancouver homes. We hope these ideas will inspire you to give them a go.

Give The Front Porch a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the front porch a fresh coat of paint will hide any noticeable wear and tare that may be lurking on your house. It will also make it look as though you care about the appearance of your house rather than let it age and look run down. Why not get creative with whatever design you decide to use. You could even get adventurous with the color of paint that you select as well. If you are not sure on what paint color to use, you can call in a professional to help you with this. Don’t be afraid to get second opinions before going ahead with painting.

Front Yard

The front yard is one of the first things that people see when they drive or walk past our homes. It can leave a good impression or it can leave a bad impression of your home and property. Giving your front yard a makeover is well worth the effort. From plants, to landscape lighting, to perfect symmetry, these can all drastically improve your front yard.

Planting Bed, Plants, Potted Plants and Flowers

Consider planting a variety of plants, potted plants, flowers and perhaps even a planting bed in your front yard. There are so many options that you can choose from so why not get creative in this. Again, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from someone professional if you don’t know much about gardening. Whether you have a small yard or a large yard, you can be sure that there will be something suitable to plant in them. You never know, you may soon fall in love with your new gardens and find yourself out in them every day.

Bird Feeders

Bird feeders make for fantastic decorations. From small bird feeders to large bird feeders, you can place them anywhere in any yard.

If you have a love for birds and they do not come to your home, then this could be one way to attract them. Just be sure to investigate the right type of bird feeder you need that also keeps away insects and pesky rodents like squirrels from eating all of the bird seed you put out.

Bird feeders can also come with water fountains that can be filled with water. The rain can also fill these feeders up. This will allow the birds to come and drink from your bird feeder and enjoy the yard that you have created.

Front Porch and Front Door

The front porch and front door are just as important as the front yard. This is the first place that people step on to before coming into your home. If you want to attract people in to your home, then the front porch should be designed to be attractive. It should also be kept neat, clean and tidy. Choose an attractive paint color and design for the front porch and front door. They should blend in well with each other. The door itself can also have its own special and unique design.

Install Window Boxes

If suitable, window boxes can also be installed on to the front porch of your home. These will allow you to have even more room for plants, flowers or herbs in them giving you more space to bring nature into you front porch. It is not as hard as you might think to install window boxes on to the front porch of your home.

Outdoor Lighting

We all need to see where we are going if outside after dark. Outdoor lighting also needs to be considered. Not only for the front yard also for the backyard. The lighting could simply be under your porches, or it could also be included in other areas of the yard. From large lights, to small lights, to lanterns and fairy lights. There is a wide range of outdoor lighting that you can choose from to help make your yards and porches attractive. As Garage is important too, you can also buy Garage doors online to enhance the beauty of the backyard.

Home Buyers

If you are going to be selling your home, you want to be sure to attract home buyers. You will not attract home buyers if you do not make the necessary home improvements to your home. You can be sure that real estate agents will know what they are looking for if you want them to sell your home for you. They will also be able to tell you what you need to do to make your home look appealing. The home’s curb appeal really has to be attractive enough for potential buyers.

Preparing your home for sale, requires time and effort. Don’t be afraid to start as early as possible. Do as much research as you can for design ideas. Don’t be afraid to go to professionals for help. They will be able to give you the best advice possible as to how you can Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home.

You can be sure that by doing all of the above will help you to boost your home’s curb appeal. You might even find yourself pleasantly surprised as to just how quickly you will be able to sell your home by making the necessary home improvements. Preparing your home in this way will be well worth the time and effort that you put into it.

For more information about using a Realtor to sell your house, check out the info below from our friends at Homelight.

When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House
Provided by When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House

pipes and plumbing

Should A Landlord Take Care Of Pipes And Plumbing?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Say you’ve invested in real estate and rented out your property to a tenant and one day you get a message that there are a broken pipe and plumbing issues in your renter’s home. If you’re new to being a landlord, you might be wondering to yourself if that responsibility falls under you, or if your tenant has to maintain upkeep.

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

Being a landlord is no easy feat as there are a plethora of property management responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. To help, this guide will provide you with some insight into what you should do if a situation like the above were to occur. That way, you’d be more prepared to handle various circumstances and avoid unnecessary issues with your tenants. 

What does the law say?  

While this can vary in different countries and states, it’s generally dictated that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair both the pipes and the plumbing in a rental unit, while providing proper maintenance to ensure that they’re in tip-top shape. This obligation falls under two theories of the lease requiring it, and something is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” 

selective focus photography of three books beside opened notebook

What happens if it has been violated?  

With a lease, it’s usually either a written or verbal agreement where the renter agrees to pay a stipulated amount of money for the rent to obtain the premise in a habitable condition. In the UK this is referred to as a tenancy agreement. In the US, many call it a lease agreement. 

red and blue love neon light signage

If the home that they’re renting is not maintained in the condition which is agreed upon – such as clogged waste disposal or improper plumbing, then this is considered a violation of the lease. With that, the occupant can choose to enforce it against you, as they’re not getting what they paid for. 

As for the second theory, it essentially refers to the rental unit needing to be safely habitable. This includes not having mold in the home to having working plumbing. For this particular theory, however, you don’t have to fix anything minor such as a drip. However, if there are larger plumbing issues that are affecting both the habitability and health of the occupant, then it must be addressed immediately. 

If not, the individual renting the unit can choose to pay rent into escrow until repairs have been completed. This not only pertains to plumbing, but also other issues like spaces within the property – such as the kitchen and bathroom not being properly maintained. In this instance, you should help in remodeling the space and convert it into something that’s aesthetically-pleasing and most importantly, safe. 

What if something serious happens? 

While one can hope it never happens, sometimes a massive leak can occur – resulting in the damage of belongings. In such a scenario, you would have violated a duty in maintenance which can be considered as legally negligent. When this occurs, you would need to pay for any losses which could encapsulate property damage, and any additional costs and expenses incurred. 

water coming out from gray pipe

It doesn’t just all fall on you though, the tenant also has to act responsibly and notify you early to alleviate the condition. If the water leak or plumbing issue occurred even with proper maintenance, or the occupant did something to cause the problem, then you’d be able to avoid responsibility altogether.  

Summing up

The best thing to do is to avoid such a situation from happening at all. While accidents do happen sometimes, it’s your obligation as a landlord to minimize such incidents. Before renting out your property, check that there are no maintenance issues and that all repairs have been made. After the property has been rented out, the tenant should also be made aware that if anything urgent were to happen such as a burst pipe or electrical problems, the occupant needs to alert you immediately.  

It’s a two-way relationship between you and whoever you’re renting to. Just as you’re making an effort to provide them with a comfortable living space, they should also help with maintaining the premise and common areas. With proper communication and both parties doing their part, it can reduce confusion and prevent any misunderstandings down the line.

managing rental properties

How the Right Tools are Saving Landlords Thousands Each Year

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Running a rental is like running any other business.

It requires attention to detail, careful accounting, and lean business practices. Having the right tools can mean the difference between profit and loss. There are numerous expenses that landlords need to keep track of, for example, in order to make the most of their deductions in their tax return. 

In this article, we explore how you can employ tools across the management of your real estate portfolio to save both time and money. 

Reduce Unnecessary Overheads

The first step that any financial advisor, any wealth-building blog or book will tell you is to cut your expenses, spend less so that you have more to invest. When thinking about improving the profitability of a rental portfolio this comes down to carefully scrutinizing your expenses and determining methods for reducing overheads.

If you cover utilities, for example, you might look for a new energy provider. One key expense for landlords is property managers. Often they take upwards of 10% of the monthly revenue plus expenses and additional costs for things like finding tenants. For some, the time they save is worth the price, however, if you are looking to cut overheads there are numerous tools on the market designed to allow landlords to self-manage, cutting their monthly management costs by a factor of ten or more.

Automate Tasks

Time is money, as they say. As your portfolio grows it will begin to consume more and more of your time. Whether it’s responding to requests from tenants, chasing up late rent payments, or managing your books, it can quickly add stress and take you away from those tasks which will actually help you build wealth.

The right tools will allow you to automate or simplify time-consuming tasks while simultaneously ensuring you maintain high professional standards across your rental portfolio management even as you’re reducing time and overall management costs.

Track Expenses as they Happen

Another reason to take a more hands-on approach when managing your portfolio is the additional tax benefits. Landlords can deduct up to $25,000 worth of expenses against their income each year. To take full advantage of the tax benefits, whether it’s mileage, tools and maintenance expenses, or depreciation, you need to ensure that you carefully and accurately track every deductible expense.  

When you use a property management app, you can quickly update your accounts on the go, digitize and store receipts in the app, organize emails to your tenants, set reminders so you never forget important appointments, and more.

Ultimately, what this means is you avoid the massive accounting tasks at the end of the month (or year) and you ensure you never miss a deductible expense.

Reduce Legal Fees

There are legal implications that come with owning and renting out a property. The most obvious example is of course evictions. They are an unfortunate reality for landlords. Even the best tenants, if hit by hard times may not be able to pay their rent. In this scenario, if you don’t have all the proper legal documentation you could be in for an expensive legal battle.

white and black knit cap

Your lease agreement, for example, needs to clearly stipulate everything from rent amount and due date to your policies on smoking and pets, and clearly outline your policies around subletting. Beyond that, there are inspection forms, notices, eviction forms, rent increase forms, transfer of title documents. 

Everything you do as a landlord should be done in compliance with the law – ignorance is no excuse. The right tools and services will inform and educate while offering cost-effective solutions to creating or obtaining legal documentation. That in the long run could save you thousands in fees.

For example, make sure you’re in compliance by adding fire door signs at your properties. This can help save you from a lot of trouble whilst also helping to save lives in the event of an emergency.

Refinancing Options

Refinancing your properties at the right time can be a great way to save money or find additional funds for further growth. For example, mortgage rates hit record lows in falling below 3% in 2020 and many landlords leapt at the opportunity to secure better interest rates.

person holding paper near pen and calculator

When it comes to refinancing you need to make sure you have all the data and documentation ready to prove the rental income is dependable – to essentially prove that you are a good investment for the bank. Documents you need will include an up to date profit and loss statement. This is where an effective income and expense tracker comes in.

Final Words

A landlord’s profits can be tenuous.

Taxes, fees, maintenance costs, vacancies, and missed rent payments can all see those profits disappear as though into thin air. Managing these expenses and staying on top of them using an effective property management software like Landlord Studio and taking relevant precautions will help you mitigate risks and ensure profitability.

Additionally, it is absolutely essential for a landlord to understand and take full advantage of the tax advantages which come with being a landlord. 

Who Takes Care of Plumbing Maintenance in a Rental?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Rental agreements and rights for landlords and tenants is a topic that is usually a bit of a grey area, with plenty of stories of landlords and tenants doing the wrong thing. 

Who is responsible for a leaking tap, and what is fair when it comes to damage vs. wear and tear in a tenancy arrangement? We explore this topic in this article and provide valuable information on where the responsibilities fall for each party. 

brown plastic bucket near white framed glass door

What are the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords?

The rights of both parties will be outlined in the legally binding tenancy agreement signed and provided upon the commencement of the tenancy. 

It is important that both parties review and understand all of the outlined information in the tenancy agreement to ensure there are no surprises in the event of repairs, maintenance, and even ongoing maintenance of the property. 

The law and the state rental legislation can be found within the tenancy agreement and the document will outline everything both parties should be aware of, from emergency plumbing contacts, through to who covers the water bill, the condition report, and much more. 

In these cases, an emergency plumber should be called to help solve the plumbing issue and minimize the damage.

Who is at fault if there is a plumbing emergency in a rental property? 

Plumbing emergencies are a pain, no matter what the situation, and it should be very clear of what the tenant covers in this situation and what the landlord needs to pay for in a plumbing emergency. 

Be aware that if the following issues are usually covered by the landlord in the residential tenancy act:

  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Broken or blocked toilets or sinks
  • Burst water services 
  • Flooding of the property
  • Leaks in the roof
  • Leaking tap
  • Storm damage to the property 

In these cases, an emergency plumber should be called to help solve the plumbing issue and minimize the damage. 

When is a plumbing issue emergency and when is it maintenance? 

According to 5 Star Plumbing, “If the issue is considered maintenance and non-urgent, this is also carried out on the landlord’s behalf, however, it is not usually taken care of by an emergency plumber and usually sorted in around 48 hours or so.” 

The landlord has a responsibility to ensure the property is safe for the tenant, and while there may be ongoing repairs and maintenance, if the issue is caused by misuse on the tenant’s behalf, they can be sent the bill for repairs. 

You can check with a plumber to see if the repairs are something that needs to be actioned immediately or if they can wait to be accessed by the landlord and taken care of by a registered plumber within 2 days. Landlords do have a duty of care, and it is important to note, if repairs or maintenance are not attended to in a timely fashion, the landlord can be slapped with fines.

Relocation Tips for 2020: Moving Advice After a New Purchase

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2 Boys and Girl Sitting on Brown Cardboard Box

Let’s admit that moving is possibly one of the most exhausting and overwhelming tasks. Just thinking about packing, organizing, and bribing your friends to help with your stuff is stressful. And not to mention how thinking about transportation and setting up all over again is enough to worry.

Initially, when you or someone in your family decides to relocate, or even if you’re considering selling a house, there are tons of questions popping into your head like: How will you pack everything up? Is there a right way? How much will everything cost? How can you prepare yourself if something goes wrong?  If that’s the case and you’re looking for ways to help make your move less stressful and more comfortable, keep reading. Here are some things to do when moving into a new house;

Get Organized from the Get-Go

As a rule, you need to remember to remain organized. Organization and proper placement/ management will help you avoid any mishaps or last-minute anxiety attacks. Unless you are leaving in a hurry, the chances are that you will have more than a month to plan. So here’s what you should do;

  • Get Boxes: Be thrifty and get your hands on as many moving boxes as you can. Most local stores and warehouses have them for free, and you can also check a couple of websites.
  • Make a To-Do List: Making a To-Do list is one of the most straightforward things to help you keep track of everything. If you despise writing it down on a paper or notepad, make one on your phone. Make elaborate lists and pen down everything you need to get through. Your listing should also consist of companies and numbers that you require to help you move. For instance, transport providers and furniture movers are a necessary consideration for relocation.
  • Map out Your Strategy: It would be best if you worked everything out before you start packing. If you only have to make a shorter move, ask your friends around, see if they would be available to help you move.

Keep Your Movers Updated

According to Easy Move Services, “Small boxes are one thing, but heavy furniture is a whole other story, and for that, you need movers. Please communicate with your movers to let them know what you expect from them during the move. If you have any delicate decorative pieces that require caution, you need to mention beforehand. These details are crucial for a smooth transition and a proper estimation of the total cost. They need to know how many and how heavy some of the things are so they can arrange equipment for it timely.”

Picking the Right Transportation

Among many things to do when moving into a new house, picking the right transportation for a smooth transition is vital. You need to choose the right truck size so all your things can get transported in one go.

  • Recommended Guidelines: In general, a 16′ cube truck is perfect for a one-bedroom apartment. 24-26′ vehicles will help transport 2-3 fully furnished bedrooms in one go.

Get Rid of What You Don’t need

Moving allows you to get rid of things hidden in your attic for ages. It is a great time to go through old clothes, books, furniture, and utensils to see what you need and don’t need. You can arrange them in different categories and have your very own garage sale. You can also sell some stuff household things and clothes online, or you can choose to donate to Goodwill. Many old magazines, pamphlets, old books, and notebooks can get recycled into new paper.

You Need a Packing Kit

Crop man taping carrying box with scotch

If multiple people are helping you pack, establish a system. Mark or label boxes with delicate items and keep tape and newspapers with more packing material to secure everything. It will help you divide the job and assign different roles to people. You will get done sooner than you initially planned.

Go Green

Granite Buddha bust in cardboard package

Moving day will be messy in terms of the amount of rubbish you will be leaving behind. Invest in some reusable plastic bins. It is hard to arrange things the minute you unload them, so reusable plastic containers can be their new home till you can find the time to arrange them in their proper place. Instead of bubble wrap, you can use linen cloths or hay for wrapping your breakables.

Taking Inventory

Taking inventory is very important among things to do when moving into a new house, especially if you’re hiring a moving company. A record of your household things and your boxes is useful in case anything goes missing.

You can either add it on paper or print out a spreadsheet and assign it to every box. With each number assigned, mention which contents are in the box. Not only will this making loading and tracking easy, but you’ll be able to easily find necessary items once you are in your new home. 

Label Your Boxes

Boxes, Moving, Moving Boxes, Cardboard, House, Home

It’s time for all nerds to shine and get their label makers out. Labeling boxes is essential because it helps you keep track of and manage inventory. You can use even a standard Sharpie marker, but remember to label all sides of the box.

A Moving Day Kit is Important

The day of your move will be hectic. Make sure to prepare your very own kit to help you along this tiresome journey. Your package should contain water bottles, some snack bars, soap, torches, sanitizer, toilet paper, trash bags, and a fresh change of clothes.

Move Back Your Delivery Date

If you’ve booked a few orders for furniture sets or anything you need at the new house, make sure you call them and update your status. Ask it to be delivered a day or two after your moving date to focus on the task.

Don’t Use Trash bags for Packing

Do not use trash bags for packing your clothes. You might confuse it with actual trash and accidentally throw it out

Find a Pet Sitter

Pets are susceptible and can be easily disturbed or traumatized by the move. Leave your pet over at a friend’s house, a friend that your pet is familiar with, or find a professional pet sitter. Make sure you arrange the time and get all details before the day of the move.  

Treat the people working hard for you

If your friends come over to help or have hired professionals, make sure that you take care of them. Set aside an area where they can rest and have refreshments available at all times. Order some food to show your appreciation.

Inform Your Neighbors

Moving may be hard for you, but it is also a very noisy task. The day before the move, visit your neighbors to say goodbye, and during the conversation, mention that you’ll be moving out tomorrow, and there might be a lot of vehicles.

Make sure your truck isn’t blocking anyone’s way. If you’re moving out during winters, it’s smart to clean the driveway and get rid of hard ice or snow. You could potentially slow down your move if you don’t plan.

Conclusion

Moving does not have to be tiring and boring. You can make it fun and enjoy the process. While relocating is hard, following proper steps and doing things the right way can help you make your move a lot less messy than it needs to be. And when you’re in need of basic moving tips and ideas and looking for a house, it can’t hurt to consider the points in the graphic below!

Graphic created by New City Moving.