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All Property Management Acquires Rental Property Reporter

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By Henry Hall

Today, All Property Management announced the acquisition of Rental Property Reporter, the oldest and most trusted online resource for do-it-yourself landlords.

There are about 28.1 million property investors in the U.S., of which only 30 percent use professional property management services. The acquisition allows All Property Management to expand its market-leading tools, services, and content to support investors who are not yet ready for professional property management. The newly redesigned website is now live at www.rentalpropertyreporter.com.

“Do-it-yourself landlords play an essential role in America’s housing recovery, and they need the same high quality information, tools, and services used by professionals, but tailored to their special needs,” says Reggie Brown, CEO of All Property Management. “Rental Property Reporter’s 16-year archive of content, plus three unique books, is a gold mine of practical wisdom for do-it-yourself landlords. We’re excited to use the reach of All Property Management to help even more property investors leverage this content to make smart decisions.”

Rental Property Reporter, founded in 1997, is a pioneer in online real estate investing, management, content and advice. After the acquisition, the site’s design, functionality and editorial focus were updated to address the key needs of individual investors who manage their own property today but may require professional property management services as their portfolios grow.

The residential real estate investment and property management markets are both large and growing. Recent trends include:

  • Sixty five percent of individual investors plan to purchase additional properties in the coming year
  • Individual investors account for $120 billion in residential property purchases annually
  • Professional residential property managers generate about $51 billion in annual revenue
  • Wall Street firms have amassed over $10 billion to acquire and manage residential real estate as an institutional asset class.

“Lots of people think managing investment property is simple,” says Brown. “It’s not. You not only have to know how to manage an asset, but also tenants, contractors, attorneys and vendors as well. Whether you’re a rental property mogul or renting out your current home because you can’t sell it, our expanded set of products will help you grow and protect your investments.”

May 7, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Are You Liable for Tenants’ Pets? Maybe

By Henry Hall

If you’re trying to keep your rental occupied, it’s pretty difficult to exclude renting to tenants with pets. Some industry studies show that landlords who exclude pets suffer vacancy rates as much as 4% higher than those who don’t.

But having a pet-friendly rental can pose liability problems.

If one of your tenants has a dog that bites another tenant, you might end up with a law suit on your hands and possibly covering the damages for any injury to victims. In fact, dog bite incidents are so frequent they’ve almost become a legal specialty. While a dog’s owner is initially liable for the actions of his pet, the landlord and property manager may be on the hook if:

  • it is reasonable to assume that the property owner or property manager should have known that a tenant’s pet was vicious and did nothing about it, or
  • the property owner or property manager should have foreseen a problem and didn’t take care of it, such as by failing to maintain a fence that enclosed an animal.

Another factor comes into play as well: Who has deeper pockets? If a tenant who owns a vicious dog is of modest means and doesn’t carry sufficient renters insurance, lawyers will come after the property owner and property management company. At best, the owner and property manager will go to court and possibly be exonerated. At worst, they’ll be hit with a judgment. In either case, time and money will be spent on mounting a defense.

Related: Five Landlord Liabilities That Might Surprise You

Make sure you have adequate liability insurance if you rent to tenants with pets. And speak with a lawyer to get advice on how to protect yourself and your tenants.

April 24, 2013 | 2 Comments More

Are Landlords Liable for Unsupervised Kids? You Betcha!

By Henry Hall

When you leased your house in the country to a family with young children you told the parents they were getting a rent discount because the home came with an slight eyesore: a rusted out piece of farm equipment you were storing in the back yard. Nonetheless, the home sat on over three acres and there was plenty of room for the kids to play and parents to walk and garden. The farm equipment hadn’t been used in a generation, and you just hadn’t gotten around to disposing of it.

You cautioned the tenants to make sure they didn’t let their kids play on the machinery. You didn’t think it was dangerous, but you also knew it wasn’t a toy. Both mom and dad agreed. To an adult, an old tractor, a car sitting on blocks or an empty shed, wouldn’t get a second look. But to a precocious child with a vivid imagination, they are extremely attractive objects for exploration and hours of make-believe fun. And in tort law, these items are known as “Attractive Nuisances.

Related: Five Landlord Liabilities That Might Surprise You

As a landlord, you are financially liable if a child is injured while playing on or around something you should have foreseen would be too interesting for a child to ignore. That would be the case for the children of your tenants, even if they were unsupervised. And, in some cases, it might even apply to kids who found your potentially dangerous object so interesting that they trespassed on your land to play with it.

Here are some common precautions to avoid liability for an attractive nuisance:

  • Have old appliances hauled to the junkyard
  • Tow away non-running vehicles
  • Dispose of any construction materials immediately after the work is complete
  • Lock and secure all power tools
  • Remove doors or covers from large appliances awaiting garbage pick up

Most importantly, if you’re not sure whether you have an attractive nuisance on or near your property, talk to your insurance professional. And consider making renters insurance a condition of tenancy. Regardless of the precautions you take, you can’t think of everything.

Being a landlord comes with a lot of responsibility.

 

April 24, 2013 | 0 Comments More

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