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Showing posts from 2010

Do I Really Need An Eviction Report?

The answer is YES, YES, and YES! If you’re only looking at criminal records and a credit report, you’re not getting the whole story. In today’s economy not only are homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure, people who rent are losing their homes to evictions. Lost jobs, medical bills, poor credit decisions and divorce have caused the number of evictions to skyrocket over the past few years.

If you’re not looking for eviction records you’re not getting one of the most important pieces of screening information a property owner can use to make an informed rental decision. Someone who has been evicted has given up one of the basic necessities of life, shelter.

If you’re not ordering a separate eviction report and rely solely on the credit report for eviction information, you’re missing out on 75% of the evictions filed. The only eviction records that show up on the credit report are monetary judgments which can take up to 90 days to show up on the credit report.

If you’re not getting a…

Don't Let the Co-Signer Off the Hook!

Many property owners ask for co-signers in situations that involve students with limited income or renters with poor credit. If you ask for a co-signer you will need them to complete a separate agreement that stipulates that they agree to pay rent and damages if the primary tenant fails to pay.

Most property owners get into trouble when they make changes to the lease with out the co-signers written approval. This can be adding or deleting a person to the lease. Adding pets to the lease or even renewing the lease if the co-signer does not sign the new lease.

How do you avoid problems? Its easy, just make sure you get the co-signers signature every time you make a change to the lease agreement.

Warranty of Habitability

If you own rental property in Colorado have you updated your Move-In Move-Out sheet? If you haven’t your opening your company and self up to potential liability. As a property owner or manager you should have a signed Move-In Move-Out sheet for every rental unit that includes this specific verbiage: After inspecting the premises, resident acknowledges that the premises contain no condition constituting or posing a material danger or hazard to resident’s life, health or safety. If you don’t have this form you can download from theRental Services Website.

Time To Look At The Credit

Last month we talked about the income of your applicant. I wanted everyone to focus on how important it is to make sure they have enough money to pay the rent. Now that we know they have the money, lets look at the next step in screening your applicant. Yes, it's time to talk about credit.

The credit information is valuable if you use it as a part of the overall screening process. The reason we want to look at an applicants' credit is to review their payment patterns. An applicant with poor payment patterns has demonstrated that they are a greater financial risk.

When looking at the credit report you should look at the credit score, percentage of delinquencies, collections and bankruptcy records. This information can be used to paint a picture of your applicants' credit worthiness. Make sure you have credit criteria established so you can qualify each applicant using the same standards. If you don't know how to read a credit report, you should look at a scoring model li…

Whats First?

I talk to people about tenant screening on a daily bases and everyone is always concerned about credit information. As a property owner you should really be concerned about the applicants income level. If someone has great credit and makes $3,000 a month they may seem like they would be a good renter, unless of course the rent is $2,800. Living on $200 a month is next to impossible and your applicant will struggle to pay their bills.

To decide how much money an applicant needs to qualify to rent your property you need to come up with a rent to income ratio. It's best to establish a ratio as part of your rental criteria so each applicant knows your expectations. The rental housing industry generally uses a 3/1 ratio for income to rent. What this means to you is if the rent is $1,000 the applicant would need to make $3,000 or rent x 3. This is an easy way to make sure your applicant can afford the monthly rent and pay their other bills.

You may not believe this but some applicants li…

Do you have your free online ad?

Rental property owners we work with are having great success using free tools like Craigslist.com. The more successful property owners and managers tell me they use Craigslist along with HTML to add multiple photos and a link to their main website to contact the property and set an appointment. This action demonstrates that your applicant has a real interest in your rental property. Several of the property owners we work with have told us that if the prospect contacts them from their website, they have a higher closing ratio then from other traffic sources. If you’re not advertising on the internet, Craigslist is a great starting point, and if you have been advertising on the internet for years adding you probably already know Craigslist can be very cost effective.

Identity Theft Made Easy!

Have you ever used a copy Machine? Have you ever made a copy of personal information? Does your business have a copy machine? If you answered yes to any of these questions I would recommend you watch this video.

Video Link

DUMBREGS

SmartRegs proposals move forward to Boulder Planning Board and City Council.

After 10 months of working group meetings, open houses and community feedback, the SmartRegs (DumbRegs) project moves forward to be considered by the Planning Board at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.

The SmartRegs proposal has three main components:

• Adoption of the 2009 International Property Maintenance Code with amendments to incorporate features of Boulder’s existing housing code;
• Adoption of administrative revisions and fee changes to the Rental License Code; and
• Adoption of an energy efficiency requirement for existing residential rental properties.

The proposal, most recently amended to address comments from the Environmental Advisory Board and Landmarks Board, is available on the SmartRegs Web site for public review prior to the Planning Board meeting. The meeting will include a presentation and public hearing. Community members are encouraged to attend and provide feedback.

Why should you attend this mee…

Finally Some Good News!

SB 185-Warranty of Habitability by sponsors Senator Brandon Shaffer-D, Longmont and Representative Michael Merrifield-D, Colorado Springs, has died in the House Business Affairs Committee.

Committee members, Stephens-R, Bradford-R, Priola-R, Liston-R, Balmer- R and Rice-D voted to oppose to the proposed legislation.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF = FREE RENT

After weeks of committing to a NO vote, Senator Chris Romer
(D-Denver) flipped his vote on SB 185 (Shaffer/Merrifield), Warranty of
Habitability.
The bill is now assigned to the House Business Affairs Committee.
Please contact these members of the Business Affairs and Labor Committee and ask
them to vote NO on SB 185.


This bill would undo several months of negotiation that took place ONLY
18 MONTHS AGO.
Those negotiations cost the taxpayers of Colorado upwards of $20,000 for
mediation.
This bill REMOVES KEY COMPONENTS that were negotiated to achieve a
balanced policy for all parties involved.
This bill expands the definition of a violation of the Warranty of
Habitability. HB 185 changes the definition of a violation from
"materially dangerous or hazardous to the tenant's life, health or
safety" to "materially affects health or safety." This
greatly expands what could be considered a violation of the warranty and
opens the door for increased frivolous law suits. Can a tenant…

The Government Makes The Rules!

We need your participation! The Financial Reform
Act Will Give the FTC Expanded Rulemaking Authority over the background and
tenant screening industries.

Hidden inside the financial reform bill are provisions that
would grant the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the equivalent of extraordinary
legislative powers. These provisions have already been passed by the House
(H.R. 4173) and are currently being considered by the Senate.
NAPBS and NASA have great concerns with the following sections of this legislation:Unbridled authority to create
rules about "unfair or deceptive acts or practices" across all but
a few sectors of the American economy;
Power to seek immediate civil
penalties for "unfair or deceptive acts or practices without first
giving companies the opportunity to change their practices;"
Authority to go after
companies for allegedly "aiding and abetting" others in an FTC Act
violation, even without actual knowledge of the violation; and
Power to seek such …

VOTE NO on SB 185!

Please contact these select Senators below and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 185!
This new bill aims to:

Expand the definition of a violation of the Warranty of Habitability.
·This bill would undo several months of negotiation that took place ONLY 17 MONTHS AGO.

·Those negotiations cost the taxpayers of Colorado upwards of $20,000 for mediation.

·This bill REMOVES KEY COMPONENTS that were negotiated to achieve a balanced policy for all parties involved after five years of work.

If a warranty of habitability case goes to court, it allows the court to
quickly resolve the notice issue. This allows the court to focus on
the real issues of determining whether a breach of the warranty of
habitability occurred and how a breach should be cured. SB 185 places greater strain on the court system through INJUNCTIVE RELIEF and
broadens the definition of a violation of Warranty of Habitability. By
allowing the tenant to obtain injunctive relief in county courts, including
small claims courts, this bill will gene…

LEGISLATIVE ALERT 3/22

The Senate has scheduled SB 185 for the Senate Floor TODAY. Please contact these Senators below and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 185!

This new bill aims to:1. Remove the requirement that a tenant must provide written notice to a landlord in the case of a breach.2. Expands the definition of a violation of the Warranty of Habitability.3. Adds new treble damages language.This bill would undo several months of negotiation that took place ONLY 17 MONTHS AGO. Those negotiations cost the taxpayers of Colorado upwards of $20,000 for mediation. This bill REMOVES KEY COMPONENTS that were negotiated to achieve a balanced policy for all parties involved. This bill removes the statutory requirement for written notice. Required written notice is a fundamental protection for both tenants and property owners. Since it is real and tangible documentation, it is easy for either party to prove that notice was given or received. A tenant can easily prove he or she gave notice if a property owner denies recei…

Rent Control Passes Committee

House Bill 1017-concerning Rent Control was heard late afternoon yesterday in the Local Government committee of the House. Of the eleven committee members, we had six confirmed votes of opposition (NO) on House Bill 1017 prior to the hearing. After three hours of testimony from 20 testifiers, Democrat committee member, Rep Sue Schafer-D, Wheat Ridge, who had long committed and repeatedly confirmed her opposition to the bill the day before the hearing, changed her mind mid-hearing and voted YES on the bill. HB1017 now goes to the house floor.

Rep Schafer cited reasons of democrat caucus pressure for her change in vote.

We will now target select democrats in the house. The bill could come up for second reading as early as this Friday.

Special thanks go to Lauren Brockman, Rex Gambrell, Terry Simone, Brandon Rich, Mike Papantonakis, Stephanie Avery, and Gordon Von Stroh who delivered excellent testimony in the committee hearing.

Please continue to watch for alerts. We will need to make a str…

Rent Control Update

Colorado State legislature will consider the Rent Control bill in House Local Government Committee next Tuesday, February 23 at 1:30 in Rm 111.

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP TO DEFEAT THIS BILL. PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND TELL THEM TO PLEASE VOTE NO on House Bill 1017

WHEATRIDGE/GOLDEN
Rep. Sue Schafer (D-24)
Email: sue.schafer.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-5522
Home: 303-918-2660

WESTMINSTER/ARVADA
Rep. Cherilyn Peniston-Chair (D-35)
Email: cherylin@cherylinpeniston.com
cherylin.peniston.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2843
Home: 303-428-1945

THORNTON/NORTHGLENN
Rep. John Soper- Vice-Chair (D-34)
Email: john.soper.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2931
Home: 303-428-8281

AURORA
Rep. Cindy Acree (R-40)
Email: cindy.acree.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2944
Home Phone: 303-748-9534

COLORADO SPRINGS
Rep. Dennis Apuan (D-17)
Email: dennis.apuan.house@state.co.us
dennis@dennisapuan.com
Capitol Phone: (303)866-3069
Personal: (719) 291-9898

WESTERN SLOPE
Rep. Laura Bradford (R…

Rent Control Bill (Colorado)

Colorado State legislature will consider the Rent Control bill in House Local Government Committee this week Thursday morning.

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND TELL THEM TO PLEASE VOTE NO on House Bill 1017

WHEATRIDGE/GOLDEN
Rep. Sue Schafer (D-24)
Email: mailto:sue.schafer.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-5522
Home: 303-918-2660

WESTMINSTER/ARVADA
Rep. Cherilyn Peniston-Chair (D-35)
Email: cherylin@cherylinpeniston.com
cherylin.peniston.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2843
Home: 303-428-1945

THORNTON/NORTHGLENN
Rep. John Soper- Vice-Chair (D-34)
Email: john.soper.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2931
Home: 303-428-8281

AURORA
Rep. Cindy Acree (R-40)
Email: cindy.acree.house@state.co.us
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2944
Home Phone: 303-748-9534

COLORADO SPRINGS
Rep. Dennis Apuan (D-17)
Email: mailto:dennis.apuan.house@state.co.us
dennis@dennisapuan.com
Capitol Phone: (303)866-3069
Personal: (719) 291-9898

WESTERN SLOPE
Rep. Laura Bradford (R-55)
Email: laurabradford55@gmail.com
laura@BradfordFo…

Top 10 Reasons to Vote NO on House Bill 1017

TOP TEN REASONS TO VOTE NO ON HOUSE BILL 1017

#1
Any form of rent control is a matter of private property rights because it forces one property owner to subsidize housing for others.

#2
We do NOT need this legislation. The process in place today is working. Six court cases in Colorado illustrate this. Don't try to fix something that is not broken. (see #10)

#3
Rent control is NOT a government program. It is unfair regulation of private property that is NOT practiced in 46 states! Rent control is outlawed in most states - Forty-six (46) states have no rent control policies and thirty-five of those have statutes which make rent control illegal. In fact, the liberal state of Massachusetts voted to repeal rent control because it was not providing housing to those truly in need and the negative economic impact rent control created on access to and availability of rental housing.

#4
Rent control is a failed housing policy. It does the wrong things to the wrong people. Rent control has the perve…