Hot answers tagged

70

There are a few economical reasons to rent instead of buy including if the cost are similar. The first is that you anticipate that you might be moving soon. It is typically expensive to transact real estate and this would include closing cost and loan origination fees. If you know you are going to be moving in a year or two, then it is probably better to ...


58

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say, based on the facts you presented, that the letter didn't come from your landlord, and someone else is trying to scam you! Here's why: As you pointed out, you have proof that all of the checks were deposited, and your bank can verify it. After the first month your landlord would have contacted you if you hadn't ...


55

Is it normal that rent cannot be paid using electronic methods such as a credit/debit card, or a bank transfer, or Paypal, or anything electronic? It's fairly common, especially with smaller companies/independent landlords. Many of the other more convenient payment methods carry transaction/merchant fees, and many landlords don't have the kind of ...


42

In theory, partner treats home as 1/2 rental unit. This creates a far more complex tax return, forces depreciation and expensing of half of all costs, including all utilities and maintenance costs. They must charge you a 'fair market' rate for rent or have that number considered imputed income. In reality, I don't imagine that any significant number of ...


39

Is it normal that rent cannot be paid using electronic methods such as a credit/debit card, or a bank transfer, or Paypal, or anything electronic? It's highly dependent on the landlord/property manager. Can checks be obtained without going into a physical bank? Yes: online bill payment. (I configured my online bill payment service to automatically snail ...


36

The carpet seems suspect too unless you trashed it. The $177 feels illegal to me. I might go as far as leaning that way even if the rental agreement included the rule! (Just because something's in an agreement doesn't make it legally enforceable.) Had you taken it upon yourself to reduce your last month's rent by 3 days because you turned the keys in early, ...


35

(ANSWER ASSUMES QUESTION IS U.S. BASED) --- UPDATE --- IN RESPONSE TO DISCUSSIONS IN THE THREAD, it would be helpful if everyone knew whether you've actually talked to your landlady, or is your only communication the letter you say you received? It's also fair to ask, have you (or any other tenant you're aware of) had an issue with your landlady in the past ...


34

You're right, at best this is very strange and at worst they are trying to scam or steal from you. I can not think of a single reason why a landlord would tell the current renters to collect applications and fees from potential tenants. Sometimes a landlord will waive any lease-breaking fees if the current tenant finds someone to replace them immediately ...


28

Buying means you are taking on the risk associated with the price fluctuation of the property. If the property goes down in value, it's possible you end up underwater on your mortgage when you decide to sell - or when you have to sell. Even if you're planning on buying one property and staying for the long term, you could have a major health issue, or a ...


27

As of 2016 in the U.S., 42% of rent payments are made by check, 22% by cash, 16% by money order (so: 80% by some physical paper transaction). Only 20% or less were by electronic payments. https://www.bostonfed.org/publications/research-data-report/2016/how-do-people-pay-rent.aspx This is not exactly the same as landlords refusing electronic payments. But ...


25

I've personally encountered a scam with these kind of features, twice. Both times it happened to a friend - one was a tenant applicant and the other was a landlord. The scammer rents a property for a week or two e.g. on AirBnB. They advertise the property as a long-term rental, claiming to be the landlord or representing the landlord. They take as many ...


17

Assuming you are not married, the rent payment would be income to your partner which they would have to claim as such on their tax filings. It would also likely complicate their tax filings somewhat. As to your concern with being "docked 30%" that doesn't make much sense. First, it won't be anywhere close to 30% unless they have a very high income. ...


17

Check with the town/city/county/state regarding landlord-tenant help. They usually have a website or document that discusses what steps are supposed to happen, and when those steps must occur. Assuming the fee isn't justified, the jurisdiction they suggest you go to arbitration, or you might have to file a claim through small claims court. The limits and ...


14

Simple answer, they are in the banking business not the landlording business. The same reason a coffee shop won't sell you a car even if there was some scheme where it benefitted them.


13

There are already great answers that cover most of it. Here are a couple of other considerations. Be sure you understand the cost of ownership. The other answers have covered this pretty well, but make sure you calculate the actual cost of ownership. This will include your mortgage, maintenance costs, insurance and taxes at a minimum. Depending on where/...


12

At some point, you have to discuss renewal with your landlord. Saying nothing about the rate increase and moving out does no good for you, you miss out on a chance to negotiate a better rate and also have the hassle of moving. In my view, as a landlord, the earlier you communicate things the better. If you've already done the legwork to find alternatives ...


11

Just one other tack that I didn't see in the other answers: If someone refuses to pay rent, it takes months of annoying work to evict them and even then the recalcitrant tenant might do a bunch of damage. But if someone writes you a bad check, there's a whole new pile of laws that you can bring to bear on them. Even if you don't have any money, creditors ...


10

If your partner can take rental expenses, this can work rather nicely. I'm not a tax accountant, so I'm not going to say definitively that this is allowed in a housemate situation. But it would definitely be if the property was a duplex. The fractional rental, if legal, gives your partner advantages that others have not mentioned. These won't turn the ...


9

You should only do this if you can comfortably pay 100% of the mortgage and expenses in case a roommate doesn't pan out. It's much better to treat a renter in your own home as a bonus rather than a necessity in case your situation changes. This also gives you more flexibility when picking a roommate. You should also ensure no complications due to local laws ...


9

Make them prove it Every single time I've moved out I have had the landlord attempt to charge me for carpet. And every single time, there was a grain of truth to their argument, but it sure wasn't a whole sandbox. My first apartment, my dog had an accident that irreversibly stained the carpet (trust me I tried) in the living room. Understandably, the ...


9

Confirm that the letter does come from your landlady/lord. Call them and talk directly. At that point, you can inform them that you have solid evidences of having paid the rent. Don't argue over anything; cut the conversation short if they confirm. If they confirm, get a lawyer. They know you paid by check, they know checks leave traces at the bank, so there'...


8

You are underestimating the costs and risks to the bank The basic idea here is that buying a house isn't a cost-free process, owning and renting a house isn't cost-free or risk-free, dealing with a delinquent tenant isn't cost-free or easy, and the bank doesn't get much value out of your happiness or housing satisfaction. Buying a house costs a lot of money. ...


7

I don't have statistics handy, so I don't know what percentage of landlords want a paper check. But it's certainly not unheard of. Especially if the landlord is a small time operation with just one or two properties. As to can you get checks without going to a physical bank, sure. I haven't gone to a bank office to buy checks in decades. There are companies ...


7

Perhaps this should be a comment, but I feel like it's too important to leave buried there. As with the other answer, this assumes the question is US-based. I would recommend talking to a lawyer or a housing counselor sooner rather than later. Ideally, you want this resolved prior to any suits being filed. If a landlord files an eviction suit against you, ...


7

Verify the letter came from the landlord and the apartment number, name, and landlord info is correct. Take a picture and send to landlord or stop by the office to verify the letter. Show cancelled checks to landlord Stop by the office and state there must be a mistake and show cancelled checks. If you cannot show in person, then send via certified ...


7

Part of the trillions in stimulus was set aside for rent assistance. In California you need to apply through this site: https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/ If one or more individuals in your household meet all of the following, you are eligible to apply: Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred ...


6

The other answers seem very US centric, so here some thoughts for western-europe: Buying is the better option in the long run. As others mentioned, you have a lot more responsability compared to renting, but some of those concerns are under false assumptions (at least here in EU): maintenance cost: When renting property, you pay also maintenance (like water,...


6

It certainly is an uncommon arrangement, but I don't think it is a scam: In Germany, he cannot open a bank account without identifying himself (Government-issued ID card or Passport), so the bank account number you have will lead to him, and the police would get him through that (and he would know that). In other words, he has little chance to run with that ...


6

"An individual or a property management company makes you jump through hoops and prove income, provide a credit report, undergo a background check etc." for a couple purposes: Risk assessment: how likely are you going to hold up your end of the lease, leave the property in good shape, not open a meth lab, get arrested, be a nuisance to the ...


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