Archive for February, 2015

Accurate Credit Bureau Tenant Screening

Tenant screening is much more important than the lease. Sure, you sould look at all the normal things like work history, residence history and where the tenant currently lived, but I even checked out things like the car they drove, and previous landlords and employers (not just the current ones). But the number one “must do” is a credit, eviction, and criminal background report. These can be done for as little as $39.95 at Accurate Credit Bureau.

As for credit, look over this carefully as well but this could vary depending on location of your rental and could sometimes be overcome through an additional amount in their security deposit. When screening a Section 8 candidate do the same checks you always do but also look at things like length of time in the program, because the longer someone is in the program the better the odds are that they’ll stay in your property and abide by section 8 rules and guidelines. Also, when dealing with section 8 tenants, consider their children’s ages because if they have children about to come off the program their voucher (dollar value) could be downgraded to a smaller size unit with fewer bedrooms.

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Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord Tenant relationships – please hide your weed!

Landlordology 101

Sometimes the landlord/tenant relationship can be a difficult one. But it does not have to be that way, and it certainly does not have to start out that way. As landlords, we try to get this relationship off to a good start and keep it that way by taking care of our properties and tenant concerns. Here are 14 things Landlords wished their tenants followed. You might want to print these off and give it to your tenants. For tenant screening use a reliable tenant screening service like Accurate Credit Bureau.

1. Pay your bills on time. Seems fairly obvious, I know, but many tenants believe they can pay every other bill before they pay the rent. Want to stay on our good side? Please pay your rent on time.

2. Always try to be polite. I will, too. Being polite and calm really does go a long way. You would not like it if I left you snarky or angry screaming messages on your voicemail. I know sometimes issues can seem to linger on and on, but we really are doing our best to get things resolved.

3. Listen to our instructions. We tell you things for a reason. If we show you how to trip a breaker or turn a gas valve off, listen. It may just save your butt. If we tell you there will be a hard freeze tonight and to please let your faucet drip, don’t call us the next day and complain that your pipes have frozen and you need to do laundry. I can’t control the weather, so you will just have to wait until it warms up.

4. Help us. We try to take care of our properties, but we can’t be everywhere all the time. Is there something we need to know about? Tell us. Is something broken? Let us know. Help us by being our eyes and ears.

5. Tell the truth. Did you or your kid flush something down the toilet and stop it up? Then tell us the truth so we can get the problem resolved as quickly as possible. After a dozen years in this business, we can almost always determine the culprit anyway.

6. Please just leave me a message. If we do not answer your call, do not hang up and call over and over again. There are times we simply cannot take your call. How do you think we are going to feel when we finally answer you after you have called five times in a row? It had better be a matter of life or death.

7. Understand that we have a lot going on. Sometimes other tenant’s issues may take priority. We know about your issue, and we will get to it just as soon as we can. We might for example need to make sure everyone has heat before taking care of your dripping bathroom sink.

8. If you get in a bind, talk to us. Communication is key! Tell us what is going on. Did you lose your job? Has your roommate gone off the deep end? We have been there before, and we know what it is like. But if you do not talk to us, there is no way we can help you. Please do not put your head in the sand and hope whatever problem you are having will go away. It will not, and things will only get worse.

 9. Treat my property and the people who do work for me with respect. You would not believe how many people are just plain rude to the people we send over to try and fix their problems. Plus, how do you think we are going to react if we see that your place is a mess or that you are causing damage? Disrespecting our properties or our help is a sure way to create an adversarial relationship.

10. Work with me. We know you have a busy schedule. So do we, and trust us, we want your issue resolved as quickly as possible too because we have a dozen or so more to deal with. It all goes much easier if you work with us on times and arrangements. You might have to put up your dog for a day or allow us into your apartment on your day off. We hate to disturb you, but we will be done and out of your hair just as soon as we can.

11. Trust me. We are not going to steal your stuff or try and stiff you. Yes, we know some landlords might, but not us. If we say we need to get into your home, it is for a legitimate reason.

12. Follow the rules. They are there for a reason. They were explained to you when you moved in, and you agreed to follow them. It just makes life harder for all of us if you choose to ignore them. If you could not live with the rules, then you should not have moved in.

13. Respect your neighbors. Would you appreciate a loud party the night before you need to make a major presentation at work or before your final exams? No, you would not. Remember that you live in an apartment building, and you have neighbors — sometimes very close neighbors. Think about how your actions might affect them. I’m not saying do not have any fun; just try to be considerate.

14. Hide your weed. Just please do this. It is technically against your lease, and you really never know when there will be an emergency and who will need to access your place.

Accurate Credit Bureau Tenant Screening Landlord Services

Accurate Credit Bureau strives to provide our customers with the most comprehensive and affordable tenant screening tools available. For more than 15 years, customers have relied on Accurate Credit Bureau to help minimize their daily tasks while providing them with affordable tenant screening services and unmatched customer service.

We continually are researching cutting-edge screening products which assist us in developing new ways to help pre-screen and eliminate bad tenants before they are housed. With Accurate Credit Bureau comprehensive web-based screening tools, you will have at your fingertips the ability to:

Do a Background Check including Criminal Record Reports

Gather Accurate Eviction Searches

Research Tenant Credit

Verify their Identity

For more information on a professional tenant check visit Accurate Credit Bureau

Accurate Credit Bureau How to Evict Grown Children From a Parent’s Home

Many people allow family members to move in and live with them because of tough economic times or a sense of duty. Unfortunately, cohabitating with relatives doesn’t always work out. If you ask your family member to leave and he refuses, your only other option may be to legally evict him. Evicting a family member from your home is a tricky task that should be carefully contemplated and executed by following all of your local laws.

Instructions
1

Download, print or pick up the correct form to serve your relative with a legal eviction notice. The correct form will depend on your legal reason for the eviction. For example, if nonpayment of rent is the reason for the eviction, serve a “Notice to Pay or Quit.” This gives your family member an exact date and amount that rent has to be paid, or he must vacate the premises. If there isn’t a lease or it’s expired, a written notice to “Vacate the Premises” is all that’s needed.

2
Fill out the form using clear, precise, professional language. Leave personal issues and annoyances off of your legal paperwork.

3
Serve your relative with the legal notice required in your county. Ask him to sign and date the notice, then give him a copy. If he doesn’t comply with the reason, such as paying rent that’s owed or altering legally unacceptable behavior, he must leave by the deadline given. If he doesn’t leave by the deadline, you can have him physically removed by law enforcement. Most counties require a 30-, 60- or 90-day notice.

Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord 3 Day Eviction Notice

A landlord may serve a written 3-day notice to a tenant for any violation of the lease or
rental agreement
. A violation may include non-payment of rent, causing a nuisance to
other tenants, use of the rental unit for unlawful purposes, or damage to the rental unit.
If the violation can be corrected, such as failure to pay rent, the notice must describe the
violation and give the tenant the option to correct the violation or quit the premises
within the 3 days. If the violation is severe, such as unlawful activity on the premises,
the landlord may serve a 3-day notice to quit with no option to correct. A 3-day notice to
pay rent or quit must indicate the name, address, and telephone number of the
responsible party to whom rent is to be paid. A 3-day notice to pay rent or quit must
accurately indicate the amount of rent due without including additional charges such as
late fees. The landlord is not obligated to accept rent, or accept compliance with requests
to correct other violations, after the 3-day period has expired.

WHAT CONSTITUTES PROPER SERVICE OF A 3-DAY NOTICE?
A landlord may serve a 3-day notice by one of three methods: personally serving the
written notice to the tenant; posting the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental unit
and sending a copy of the notice by 1st class mail to the tenant; by substitute service to
someone of “suitable age and discretion” at the rental unit or at the tenant’s place of
employment and by sending a copy of the notice by 1st class mail to the tenant. The
posting and mailing method, and the substitute service method, may only be used if the
landlord is unable to personally serve the notice to the tenant at the rental unit or the
tenant’s place of employment.

HOW DO I COUNT THE THREE-DAY PERIOD AFTER SERVICE OF A 3-DAY
NOTICE?
The three days begin the next day after proper service of the 3-day notice to the tenant. If
the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the notice is extended to
the following business day.

I WAS SERVED WITH A 3-DAY NOTICE TO PAY OR QUIT. I CAN’T AFFORD TO
PAY THE FULL AMOUNT. CAN I PAY PART OF THE AMOUNT DUE?
The landlord may voluntarily choose to accept a partial payment. However, the
acceptance of any payment cancels the 3-Day notice to pay or quit. The landlord would be
required to serve a new 3-Day notice to pay or quit for rent still unpaid.

WHAT IF I FAIL TO COMPLY WITH A 3-DAY NOTICE?
The landlord has the right to file an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit in order to evict you and
regain possession of the property, after the 3-day period has expired.

For more information on tenant screening, rental leases, rental applications and Landlord Services visit www.accuratecredit.com

Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord Legal Questions Rental Lease and Rental Agreement

A written agreement will define the obligations and rights of the tenant and the landlord. A tenant lease agreement or rental agreement should include:

The names of the tenants and the landlords
The address of the rental unit, including the apartment number
The term of the tenant’s occupancy
The rent amount the tenant will pay
The amount of the security deposit
Whether the tenant may have pets
Whether parking is available
Whether the landlord or the tenant pays for utilities
Whether subletting is allowed
How many people may live in the rental unit
The reasons the landlord may enter the unit
The party responsible for paying the legal fees when a dispute arises
Rental and lease agreement forms are usually available at office supply stores and in books about landlord and tenant rights, or in FindLaw’s form store.

What provisions are prohibited in residential rental agreements and leases?

State laws vary, but rental agreements and leases may not contain certain provisions. The most common prohibited provisions include:

The exclusion of tenants based on race, color, national origin, or sex
The prohibition of children, unless the property is a senior housing facility
A tenant waiver of the right to sue the landlord
A tenant waiver of the right to a refund of a security deposit
A waiver of the landlord’s duty to keep the premises habitable
In some states, when a landlord includes provisions prohibited by law the lease or rental agreement is invalidated. The tenant may be able to recover damages and attorney fees if the landlord was aware that the provisions violated the law.

Is there a difference between a rental agreement and a lease?

Yes. A rental agreement, or a periodic or month-to-month agreement, is a written contract for a short-term tenancy. Most rental agreements are for 30-days, but can be for other periods. With a short-term tenancy, the landlord may also change the rental terms, such as the rent amount, by providing proper notice to the tenant.

A lease agreement, or a fixed-term lease, is a written contract for a term of tenancy that is usually six-months or a year. For the term of the tenancy, the rights and obligations defined in the tenant lease agreement cannot change until the term expires or upon the tenant’s agreement in writing. When the lease expires, the parties may create a new lease, the landlord may decline to renew the lease, or if the tenant remains in the rental unit, the tenancy automatically becomes a month-to-month agreement.

Are there limits on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit? What can a landlord use a security deposit for?

In at least half of the states, a landlord may not require the tenant to pay more than one to two times the rent for a security deposit. In many states, the landlord must place the security deposit in a separate account, and in some cases, the landlord must even pay the tenant interest on the deposit.

A landlord may charge the tenant a security deposit to cover the cost of unpaid rent, damage, and for cleaning dirt and grime beyond normal wear and tear. Once the tenant moves out, the landlord can use the deposit to make repairs that did not result from ordinary wear and tear. A landlord, for instance, may not charge a tenant to replace a worn hallway carpet, but can charge the tenant for the cost of fixing large holes in the wall. The landlord must return any unused portion of the security deposit within the time specified by a state’s guidelines.

Under what circumstances can a landlord raise the rent or evict a tenant from a rent-controlled property?

Rent control laws limit the amount a landlord can charge for rent and the reasons for terminating a tenancy. California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia are the only states with rent control laws. Rent control boards, either elected by voters or appointed by the mayor or the city council, determine the amount of rental increases. Rent controlled properties are usually limited to older buildings built before a specific time.

Rent control ordinances allow a landlord to increase the rent under certain conditions. The most common include:

Annual rent increase: the rent control board sets the amount, usually a percentage, that a landlord can increase the rent each year
Increased operating costs: a landlord may request the board approve a rent increase when the cost of maintenance or property taxes have risen
“Vacancy decontrol”: when a tenant vacates the property or renews the lease, a landlord may raise the rent as much as allowed by a specified percentage or by as much as the landlord determines
Rent control ordinances also control when a landlord can evict a tenant. Typically, ordinances allow eviction under a few circumstances:

The tenant violates a tenant lease agreement or rental agreement term, such as the failure to pay rent
The landlord plans to live in the unit
The tenant is a nuisance or engages in illegal activity
The property will no longer be used as a rental
A landlord may not evict a tenant unless there is a legal reason for doing so.

Accurate Credit Bureau Eviction Notices

The Purpose of an Eviction Notice

An eviction notice is meant to inform tenants that a legal process of eviction is about to begin if the landlord grievance cannot be resolved. If the eviction is not based on a particular grievance, there is generally a much longer deadline to respond – up to 30-60 days (as opposed to 3-5 days for many issue-specific notices in some jurisdictions).

If the issue is confronted and legal requirements are adhered to quickly and competently, a tenant may be able to delay the process for weeks or even months, or even prevent the eviction from happening altogether.

Eviction Notice Requirements

In any jurisdiction, an eviction notice must provide all the information a tenant may need to understand the landlords reason for eviction and all the information needed to respond within required time frames, in order to be valid. Legal eviction processes begin only if a tenant doesn’t use that information and respond appropriately before the deadline. Courts determine what kind of information is necessary and how it must be presented.

Landlords often hire legal counsel to assist in the eviction process. It is not required that a tenant hire an attorney, however, many tenants’ rights/housing lawyers offer legal aid clinics and other free or low cost legal assistance services, so it may be worth considering.

Eviction Notices Must Contain Accurate Information

A landlord’s exact grievance must be stated on the eviction notice itself, along with instructions on how to fix the problem within the time limit. Often, these grievances involve accusations of a tenant breaking terms of their lease, (e.g., failing to pay rent, disturbing neighbors, engaging in illegal activity, making frivolous complaints, etc). It’s important to refer to any personal records and compare them to landlord claims.

Eviction Notice Procedure

After receiving a notice, a tenant must respond in a timely, if not urgent, manner.

The typical 30 day eviction notice, as the name indicates, requires a response within 30 days of receiving it. State and local jurisdiction laws, as well as the specific circumstances involved, can also impact how long a tenant has to respond. It will indicate at the beginning of the notice exact time frames, and deadlines to respond will never be upheld in court if a notice did not clearly communicate them to the tenant.

Types of Eviction Notices

It’s important to note that the following types of notices are reasons for receiving a notice, not reasons for being evicted:

Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

If a tenant doesn’t pay rent when it’s due, a landlord can serve a notice, giving the tenant some time in which to pay the amount owed plus any associated late fees (as listed in the signed rental agreement), or move out. The time period given is usually 3-5 days. If the tenant pays the full amount in the given time, there can be no eviction on this notice. The landlord must start all over again with a new notice and new time period if there are other violations that need resolution.

Notice to Correct a Violation of the Lease or Quit

In some states a landlord can give a tenant a notice to fix some violation of their rental agreement, such as a junk car in the front yard, a pet that is not allowed by the lease, or more people living in the unit than is allowed in the agreement.

The notice must state the amount of time the tenant has to correct this. For example, state law may give the tenant 5 or 10 days. As long as the tenant corrects the violation in time, there can be no eviction on this notice.

Notice to Quit

In some states, a landlord may give a notice for a tenant to move without any possibility of correcting something. In most cases, this can only be done if the tenant has seriously violated their rental agreement.

For instance, a tenant is repeatedly late with the rent, causes damage to the rental property, threatens the health or safety of the property or other tenants (sometimes called nuisance), or grows or sells drugs on the rental property. The time given to move depends on state law. If the tenant is shown to have done what the landlord is accusing him or her of, they must move or be evicted.

30-Day or 60-Day Notices

In most states, a landlord can give an eviction notice for a tenant to move without giving any reason. The time allowed under state law for such a notice is usually 30 or 60 days, but it may be as short as 20 days or as long as 90 days. There may be different time periods if the tenant has lived in the unit for a long time, is a senior citizen or is disabled.

The requirements also vary if the tenant is receiving federal housing assistance, or if the reason for the eviction is a condo conversion. Some states or cities require landlords to pay relocation expenses to senior citizens or disabled tenants or for units that are being converted to condos.

A landlord can’t give this kind of notice to a tenant with a lease until the lease period is over. He or she also can’t give such a notice for reasons of discrimination, or as retaliation against a tenant (e.g., for reporting violations or insisting on legal repairs). This type of notice may also not be allowed in rent controlled buildings or buildings protected by rent stabilization laws. You may further find out what your State Laws and Regulations from previous Accurate Credit Bureau Posts.