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Landlord Newsletter Mid-August 2006

The LPA Newsletter
Mid August 2006

Dear Fellow Landlord,

The back to school rush is in progress as we prepare new tenants for September occupancies. Is it me, or are there fewer qualified tenants than usual to choose from? Stick to your guns. Screen carefully and remember: "95% of tenant problems can be eliminated in the screening process."

In this newsletter:

  • Free Attorney's Fee Clause (for your non-LPA lease)
  • Avoid Major Problems with Minor Maintenance by the LPA's Ann Kaprat
  • In case you missed your Free Downloads of The LPA's latest Essential Landlord Forms and clauses, I've included them again in this newsletter.
  • Landlord Tips
  • Recent Tenant Excuses

    Please e-mail us if you have any questions or would like to add or share any material / information. Have a great month.
    John Nuzzolese


    This Clause Has Saved Me Thousands of Dollar$ !

    FREE Lease Clause (as included in The LPA Lease):
    Tenant Pays Attorney's Fees

    I am surprised at how many landlords do not have a clause in their lease adressing the issue of attorney's fees and collection, in case of a default by the tenant.

    Here is the clause to insert into your lease agreement, so that if in the future you will have legal fees and collection expenses covered as being the tenant's responsibility. If you are already using The LPA Lease, the below clause is already included in your lease.

    By having these costs classifed as "added rent", the same way we classify late fees as "added rent", a court will more easily grant a full judgement to the landlord for all past due charges, such as owed rent, late fees and legal fees.


    Recent FREE Downloads:

    • Agreement by No Response Clause for Notices of Increase, Renewal or Changes
    • Credit Reports for Collection Purposes Rental Application Clause
    • Tenant Finder Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet (PDF Format)
    • Tenant Finder Prospect Qualifying Chart (PDF Format)
    • Gives the tenant reasons to avoid the eviction processEviction Ramifications Notice (PDF Format)


      Avoid Major Problems with Minor Maintenance

      By Ann Kaprat

      The other day my in-laws had their refrigerator serviced. The drain tube was blocked causing a flooding in the refrigerator. They have all the extended warranties on their appliances. When the service technician came to repair the refrigerator he was able to fix it with little effort and explained to my mother in law with her warranty she is entitled to once a year maintance check up at no charge. He said this would have been picked up on a maintance call and she could avoid a problem.

      This made me start to think….avoid the problems. As a landlords, we are always there to fix a problem, but wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the problem.

      We recently had a plumbing pipe begin to leak. We had a plumber come in to replace the pipe, the carpet cleaners to clean up the carpet and the sheet rock to be replaced. This was something we could not have prevented. It made me think about the other pipes around this area. I had the plumber come back and inspect all the pipes in the area. Sure enough, we had a hairline crack starting on another pipe. This was easy to fix with a little epoxy. The problem was solved. We avoided another pipe leak.

      When we purchase homes we normally have inspectors look around the house. Why not be your own inspector for your rentals on a regular basis and avoid problems? Examine exposed pipes, look for any cracks, check faucets and spigets for drips, change washer hoses as recommended . Cover yourself by having a maintance or service contract on your appliances.

      It sounds like such a common sense thing, but in our busy lives we sometimes put off the things that are not problems. Lets reconfigure our mind set to avoid problems before they happen.


      Landlord Tips

    • Let the tenants know at the lease signing that security may not be used as rent. Then ask for their word of honor- that they will not break the agreements in your lease. Point out that if the tenant stops paying rent- even if they are giving notice to vacate asking you to use the security deposit as the rent- that they will be breaking their word of honor sealed this day with their signatures. And if this happens, you (your manager or your lawyer can be the "bad guy") have no choice but to use the security deposit for attorneys fees to swiftly evict them and destroy any good credit they may have because if their word and their signatures are NO GOOD, why should you believe that they'll move out when they say they will?

    • Have a chart or calendar to remind you when to send a renewal form to the tenants. Put it where you will see it and refer to it. I suggest making a spreadsheet of your tenants or the Quick Glance Tenant Chart from the Essential forms page. It's so easy to miss those renewal dates.

    • ***********************************************

      Tenant Excuses

      "My husband's car burned up on the highway. The rent was in the car. It was cash."

      I was almost a believer and then she said it was cash. They have never had the rent in full and in cash before. - Madge R., SW FL

      "We don't have it right now. My husband has been out of work and he had a heart attack last month. The pipe under the sink is leaking and now we have toxic black mold making my baby girl very sick."

      Wow. I'm sorry about the heart attack. He's gonna hate being evicted too. My attorney's not cheap when he knows the tenant is paying. (They used the heart attack and mold excuse last year, the dead grandmother a few months ago, the car accident, you name it. These people are a great source for new excuses.) BTW: I passed the husband on the road today. He was having a great jog. - Jack Klein, NY

      "It has been so hot we needed the air conditioner on all month. The electric bill was sky high, so we don't have the rent."

      The electric bill didn't come yet for this period. Besides, what's more important - a cool home or having a home? - Thomas William, Rockaway, NY


      eleanor roosevelt quotes Yogi Berra quotes Thomas Edison quotes Benjamin Franklin success quotes

      "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

      "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

      "Succeeding is not luck - it is a decision." - J. Garrett

      "Failure to recognize my opportunities is the greatest mistake I made. " - J. Garrett

      A Way of Being
      - Gary Link, Attorney at Law

      "How much did your last tenant problem cost you?"
      - John Nuzzolese

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      Interested in past LPA Newsletters?
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