Fair Housing Act Myths in Maryland

No matter the state or city they live in, every rental property owner should be aware of the federal Fair Housing Act. This act was created to prevent landlords across the country from discriminating against potential tenants for a variety of reasons. 

The Fair Housing Act is essential for tenant rights. That said, following its regulations can be difficult, especially when your local laws come into play as well. Here are a few common myths about the Fair Housing Act.  (more…)

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How to Know if Your Rental Meets Safety Standards

As the owner of a rental property, keeping up with your state’s standards for home safety is crucial. These standards are in place for a reason, and they help keep both your tenants and your property safe. 

Safety Must-Haves for Rental Properties

Not sure what features your rental property needs for optimal safety? Here are a few common examples. You can combine these and other safety features into a checklist to review between tenants or during routine mid-lease inspections. 

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be life-saving in the event of a fire or gas leak. That’s why both should be present on your rental property. Research local laws to learn about where in the house these detectors should be installed.  (more…)

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A Guide to Landlord-Tenant Laws in Maryland

If you’re going to have success as a landlord in Maryland, it’s important to know the laws. 

When landlords and tenants don’t understand their rights, it can lead to significant interpersonal issues. Additionally, you may have to get the legal system involved, which can be messy and expensive for both parties.

Renting in Maryland: The Basics

Here are some of the baseline landlord-tenant laws in Maryland. If you need help understanding these laws fully, our team at Reliable Property Management is here for you. (more…)

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How and When Should Landlords Perform Property Inspections?

As a property owner, it’s important to make sure your rental home is being properly maintained by your tenants. However, your tenants are entitled to privacy while renting your home, and this can make regular inspections tricky. 

Landlords have to carry out multiple types of inspections — some of them happen during a tenant’s stay, and others take place before and after. Let’s take a closer look at the different forms of rental property inspection. 

Move-In Inspections

This inspection is done by both the landlord and the incoming tenant, and it is usually done after the lease has been signed. Both parties will walk through the property together and take note of any existing issues.  (more…)

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How to Conduct a Rental Market Analysis

Before you market your rental property, you’ll need to know how much you can and should charge for rent. Charging too much can mean you’ll have trouble finding a good tenant. Charging too little can mean losing money on your investment property. 

Knowing how to conduct a rental market analysis for your area will help you focus on a good rental price range. 

Create Your Database

The first step is to use a spreadsheet, such as Excel, to create a database of comparable listings. You can ask a real estate agent for help, or you can get online and search the rental listings on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com.  (more…)

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How to Market Your Property to Potential Tenants

If you own rental property, any period of vacancy will reduce your income potential and may put you behind in meeting your financial obligations. 

Once your property is ready for a new tenant, you should begin marketing it to the public. Knowing how to reach more potential tenants is as important as knowing how to pique their interest in your property. 

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Social Media

Cultivate a strong social media presence and spend at least two hours per day interacting with your followers. When you don’t have a vacant rental unit to promote, share tips related to renting an apartment. Keep your posts engaging and informative. 

When you do have a vacancy, post it to your social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are the best sites for these types of posts. Make sure to include plenty of pictures of the available rental. (more…)

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What You Need to Know Before Signing Your First Lease

Most tenants know to read their leases carefully before signing them. While some tenants may not always seem thorough about it, they do understand the importance of reading this document. Just like tenants, you, as the property owner, should be diligent in examining the lease.

Understand What’s in the Lease

You might think you know the lease terms from top to bottom, but that’s rarely the case. It’s easy to forget something vital, especially for property owners who don’t hire managers. (more…)

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Why You Should Hire a Property Management Company

Even if you only own one small rental property, there are many reasons you should hire a third-party property manager. While working with this type of professional is not required by law, they can become a valuable resource. You’ll avoid many complicated financial and legal pitfalls with their help.

Keep Your Financials in Order

Even though you have done your due diligence, you won’t know every financial aspect of managing your rental property. This is especially true when it comes to paying your taxes. The tax codes change yearly, and you could be overpaying if you fail to keep up with the updates.

Property managers stay updated on IRS regulations to ensure they can manage taxes and other financials accurately. You can leave all the bookkeeping in your manager’s capable hands. (more…)

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The Benefits of Living in Your Own Rental Property

With everything, you’ll have to learn as you get started, investing in real estate can seem overwhelming. However, when you buy a multifamily home to use as rental income, you can get a more gradual start in real estate investing. You’ll have more opportunities to learn what it takes to become a successful landlord with real practical experience.  

Get Better Loan Terms

When you apply for a loan to buy real estate that you’ll use strictly for investment purposes, you won’t qualify for certain mortgage programs. The best terms you can hope to obtain in this situation are a 25% down payment with a 20-year term. You’ll also pay interest that’s at least 2% higher than the rate applied to homebuyers. (more…)

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Hurricane Relief Resources for Maryland Rental Property Owners

When you own rental property near a coastal area, hurricanes, and tropical storms are a significant concern. Your rental property could suffer severe damage that your insurance policy might not fully cover. While this can put you in a dire situation, there are resources you can turn to for help.  

Apply for Tax Relief

While you should look to your community for more immediate resources for hurricane relief, long-term relief is also available. Your property management company can help you obtain the Damaged Property Assessment Reduction Form from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.  (more…)

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