Articles

Dealing With Mold In Your Apartments For Rent

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Articles, Real Estate | 0 comments

Any landlord who has been letting an apartment for a significant length of time will have received a complaint regarding mold. Mold is a fairly common occurrence during the cold months as condensation in the home gives life to these fungi. As a landlord, it’s important you understand the problem of mold, who is responsible and what you can do to stop the problem from occurring in the first place. The Problem Of Mold In Rented Apartments Mold is a serious problem to anyone who lives in an apartment for rent affected by the fungi due to the health risks associated with mold spores. Mold itself isn’t so dangerous to humans; however, the spores that it releases into the environment can cause a number of health problems, such as: Respiratory problems, difficulty breathing and exacerbation of the symptoms of chronic asthma. Allergic reactions in susceptible people. Sinus problems caused by blockages and irritation. Infections caused from inhaling mold spores that get caught in the lungs. Although any home is susceptible to mold problems, the issue is particularly troublesome to landlords due to the legal claims that can be brought upon them. The toxicity of mold has been the focus of a number of lawsuits, and some insurance companies won’t cover mold as part of their policy.  The Liable Party The issue of liability with respect to mold problems is one that has caused a number of legal headaches over the years. Landlords are adamant that the mold was not present before the tenants moved in, while tenants swear that the mold has nothing to do with their lifestyle choices. With both parties failing to give an inch, who can be considerable liable for mold problems? Well, the answer is that it all depends on where the mold source is coming from. If the mold problem is due to straightforward building problems that could have been avoided, then the responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders as a landlord. Any renovation to the structure itself, whether inside or outside, is the responsibility of the property owner and as such should be addressed by you. However, building defects are a fairly uncommon source of mold. While mold can develop in old buildings, the main cause of mold is undoubtedly condensation. Condensation is usually a problem related to the tenant, as it is their extensive production of moisture that causes mold to develop in the first place. Although mold doesn’t suggest that a tenant is unhealthy or unclean, the presence of mold is usually due to the tenant living with inadequate ventilation. If the tenant is producing excessive moisture through cooking or drying clothes etc., mold can easily form in the rafters of the property. Mold As A Recurring Problem Typically, mold doesn’t occur as a one-off event that disappears once the source is removed. Rather, once the conditions are in place, mold growth can occur in cycles that are extremely difficult to remove. The mold spores lay dormant in the property and once condensation has reached a high enough level, the mold begins to spread throughout the apartment. This means that the liability could fall on a previous tenant; however, this is oftentimes extremely difficult to prove. Older properties also experience mold problems as their structural integrity isn’t up to today’s modern...

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Apartment Hunting? 3 Ways To Avoid Common Problems

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Articles, Real Estate | 0 comments

Finding the right apartment for rent can be an exciting experience, but rushing your decision can lead to loss of money or dissatisfaction with your new apartment. Before you make a financial or contractual commitment to any apartment, there are several factors you need to consider. Use Online Listings With Caution Online classifieds are a common method of finding an apartment. Many private landlords and management agencies utilize the Internet as a free or low-cost method of gaining new tenants. Although there are many legitimate apartments for rent, you need to be cautious when considering an online listing. Once you have contacted a prospective landlord and you know the location of the apartment that is available, stop by unannounced during the daylight hours. You want to make sure that the address you are given matches an unoccupied apartment. If there were pictures posted in the advertisement, make sure the pictures match the apartment you are viewing. Unfortunately, some unsuspecting people are lured into making deposits on property that does not exist or is not actually available for rent. When you and the landlord have scheduled an appropriate time to view the inside of the apartment, do not feel pressured to meet at an unusual time of day, such as after dark. A legitimate landlord will find a way to make arrangements for a daytime viewing of the apartment, even if it means waiting until the weekend. Avoid Signing A Yearly Lease When possible, consider leasing your apartment on a monthly basis, although the rent will be higher. A month-to-month lease will give you the opportunity to explore your new apartment before making a commitment. There are many common problems that can arise after several months of living at your new residence, and you want to avoid either tolerating problems or being forced to pay expensive fees for breaking your lease. Plumbing problems can be a major concern, especially in apartments. Depending on the construction of the apartment, several apartments may share the main plumbing line. If a backup occurs in one apartment, it can have an impact on adjoining apartments. You want a general idea if there are recurrent problems with your apartment, and how responsive your landlord is regarding maintenance issues. Another concern is pests. One advantage of signing a month-to-month lease is that you may be able to discover any pest problems as the seasons change. If there are any pest concerns, they are typically not obvious during the warmer months, when pests often remain outside and away from air conditioned apartments. Once the weather cools down, pests may seek refuge in warmer apartments. Document The Condition Of The Apartment Once you have decided that you want a specific apartment, you and the landlord will usually walk through the apartment so the landlord can make note of any problems before you sign a lease. The landlord should make a note of cosmetic defects, such as scratches on the floor or a cracked tile in the bathroom. In addition to what the landlord writes down, you may want to take pictures or video of the apartment before you move in. Most deposits are refundable and accumulate interest as long as you are a resident. Some or all of your deposit may be kept by the landlord if repairs...

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Moving To The Big City? Tips For Actually Finding An Apartment You Can Afford

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Articles, Real Estate | 0 comments

For many adults, they haven’t really “made it” until they’ve moved into their dream apartments for rent in the “big city.” Whether your big city is New York, Chicago, Houston or San Francisco, be prepared for a culture shock – especially if you weren’t expecting the high price of real estate. With the right connections and a little homework, it’s actually possible to find an affordable apartment in an urban area: Bigger Is Generally Better From crowded elevators to the likelihood you’ll have at least one annoying neighbor, when it comes to living in a massive, multi-unit apartment complex, there are a few drawbacks. However, the potential savings that often come with renting in larger complexes with at least 20 to 30 units is well worth the little annoyances. Because the turnover is so much greater in multi-unit apartment buildings, the owner or landlord is often times less inclined to make unnecessary improvements or overly advertise – both of which will inevitably increase the rent. In addition, a lone apartment among many is also more likely to include one feature that urban buyers value above all else: rent-control. You’re more likely to find a rent-controlled unit in a massive apartment complex than an adorable – and often more desirable – townhouse or duplex. It Might Get a Little Noisy and Messy In the world of real estate, there is a cliché about the value of location and unfortunately in urban areas, this is most definitely the case. This is why if you don’t have thousands to spend on rent each month, the first thing you must do is eliminate the dream of living in a quiet, trendy location that is conveniently located in the city’s best school or shopping district. Instead, while you’re saving money for your dream apartment or house, look for a property that is near an area that isn’t as favorable, such as those near a major freeway. While the views and locations aren’t ideal, the money you’ll save on rent alone makes dealing with the noise that much easier to handle! Act Quickly Finding an amazing apartment at an even more amazing price requires a combination of luck and timing. Before you check out the ads online or pinned to a board at the local grocery store, it’s important to have everything you’ll need to fill out the application, handy. According to Apartment Guide, this list includes: Pay Stubs – Keep your last two to three pay stubs to show proof of employment. Bank Statement – Many landlords will insist on seeing a bank statement for one reason alone – to ensure you have the cash necessary to pay the rent each month. References – Create a list of at least 6 references – 3 friends or family members and 3 professional references. In addition, have your social security number, rental history and checkbook handy. Keep all of these items in a separate folder or handbag and the minute you see a promising apartment listing, don’t hesitate to head out and fill out an application straight away. The more tempting the monthly rent, the greater the chances everyone else looking for an apartment will jump on the listing, as well. Educating yourself about renting an apartment is one final and vital step you need to take – and this...

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4 Things You Have To Experience If You’re In Downtown Toronto

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Articles, Real Estate | 0 comments

Toronto is one of the most diverse major cities in the world. The area is ripe with culture and there are endless amounts of activities that you can partake in. One of the areas of the city that stands out amongst the rest is the downtown area. With so many things to do, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time. If you’re moving to downtown Toronto, or you’re just stopping in for a visit, here are 5 things you have to experience in the area. Casa Loma Sir Henry Pellatt is a name that most of the locals know well in Toronto. He was one of the most successful businessmen in the history of the country, but that isn’t how most people remember him. Pellatt had a keen interest in the local castles of his native Britain, so he wanted to bring some of that culture over to his new home in Toronto. By 1911, Pellatt had amassed a fortune, so it only followed that he had to build his dream castle in the city. His castle took about 3 years and $3.5 million dollars to build. The castle itself is the spitting image of a class Medieval castle. It is equipped with a main floor, second floor, third floor, underground lower level, and surrounded by lush scenery. Unfortunately for Pellatt, he was forced to abandon the home for financial reasons a few years later, but the castle is still alive today. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the castle each year, and there are multiple guided tours every day. The location is truly a unique experience. Distillery Historic District If you’re looking to see some of the richest history and culture in the world, you have to visit the Distillery Historic District. Founded as a distillery in 1837 and reinvigorated in 2003, the district has become one of the city’s top tourist attractions. The area is for pedestrians only, and it includes at least 40 Victorian style buildings all dedicated to promoting arts, entertainment, and unique dining. This is the perfect place to explore artisans honing their craft, as well as the premier location for theater and art in all of Canada. You are guaranteed to meet some of the most interesting people you’ve ever met. Hockey Hall of Fame Even if you’re not a sports fan, no visit to Toronto is complete without a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Founded in 1943, the building is home to some of the most cherished relics in the history of the sport. You can take guided tours and learn just how hockey grew from a small group of 6 original teams to the athletic powerhouse that it is today. As if witnessing the iconic history of hockey wasn’t enough, you can even get your picture taken with the most iconic trophy in all of sports: the Stanley Cup. Ontario Science Centre The Ontario Science Centre is internationally recognized as one of the most innovative science museums in the world. Since it opened in 1969, the centre has had over 40 million visitors, including hundreds of thousands of students annually. The centre’s main goal is to be as interactive with the community as possible in regards to teaching science and technology. There are a few thorough exhibits that explore...

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Becoming A Licensed Truck Driver In 3 Simple Steps

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

For many adults, truck driving is a career that can provide stress relief, time to think and ponder and decent pay and benefits.  In order to become a truck driver, you will need to complete 3 simple steps which include: researching the career to find out if it is a good fit for you choosing a truck driving school completing school and the necessary truck driver training By carefully evaluating and completing these 3 important steps, you will be heading in the right direction toward an enjoyable truck driving career. What Being A Truck Driver Entails If you are considering becoming a truck driver, there is a lot of information that you will need to consider in order to decide if this is the right career path for you.  Some questions that you might have about the job as well as answers to these common questions can be found below: What exactly does the job entail? Most truck drivers begin as Over the Road drivers (OTR) meaning you will need to be able to drive long distances for 2-3 weeks at a time.  As you progress in the career, you will be able to have more flexibility with your schedule and can either choose to travel across the country or remain as a local driver. What are the benefits of being a truck driver? Although this career is certainly not right for everyone, some of the benefits that you can enjoy as a truck driver are: making an average salary of $35,000, (starting pay) $45,000-$50,000 (after a few years on the job) and $100,000 annually (truck drivers who own their own trucks) having the ability to travel and see different parts of the country  being part of a large truck driver community getting retirement, vision, dental, medical and life insurance What are the truck driver requirements? To become a licensed truck driver, you will need to make sure that you have a(n): criminal history free from felonies that are under 5 years old driving record that does not have any DUI’s or DWI’s that are under 5 years old and one that is free from tickets or accidents in the last 3 years optimal physical health free from seizures, high blood pressure, severe diabetes, sleep apnea and outdated glasses or contact prescriptions high credit scores clean and stable employment history What is a truck driver’s schedule like? Some jobs will require that you are away from home for weeks at a time and some will allow you to be home on the weekends.  You should be prepared in any case to work any time during the day and night and for long periods of time.  Usually you will be working around 70 hours per week. Choosing a School After learning a little bit about the truck driving career, and ensuring that it is a good fit for you, the next step is to choose a truck driving school.  There are two different options that you can choose from: a private school or a company-sponsored school.  While both schools will help you to receive the education that you will need to pass your CDL exams and become licensed, there are some key differences.  Private truck driving schools are independently owned and require that you pay tuition up front, while company-sponsored schools are owned by...

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Moving Abroad: A Checklist Of Vital Tasks

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Experts estimate that approximately 2.8 million Canadians live abroad.  Are you one of the many Canadians considering an international move? While all moves require effort, moving abroad can be especially challenging. Make your move easier by completing the tasks on this categorized checklist. Documentation Paperwork and more paperwork–there’s lots of bureaucratic red tape associated with an international move. You want to make sure that you are living in your new country legally. Initial information on moving to a country can be obtained on embassy and consulate websites; however, you will eventually want to meet with an immigration official to ensure that you have the proper visas. Timing is important: there are deadlines to consider, and visas expire. If obtaining a visa is especially difficult, you may want to consult an immigration attorney, who can expedite the process. Remember to keep both hard and digital copies of all your important documents. This includes financial, health and immigration records.  If you and your family don’t have valid passports, you want to start the process of obtaining them at least 90 days before your move, as this can take time. Financial You don’t want to be stuck abroad without the ability to spend money on essentials. In addition, you want to make sure that there are no unresolved financial issues waiting for you back home. Contact your bank and let them know that you are moving abroad. If they don’t offer international accounts, you need to find a bank that does. The same goes for your credit cards. Resolve all of your bills before leaving; if there are bills that need to be paid after you leave, ask a friend to take care of them or use online access to do so. Online banking is a convenient way to take care of financial issues while you are on the move. If you don’t have online logins for your accounts, get them before you leave. Depending on where you are going, your employment and the length of your stay, you may have to work out tax payments. Consult Canada Revenue Agency resources as well as the tax agency of your destination country to see what your responsibilities are. If your employer is behind your move, they can provide support on this matter. Belongings Over the course of our lives, we acquire a lot of “stuff.” What are you going to do with your belongings? The first step is deciding what to ship and what to buy anew at your destination. This partially depends on the length of your stay. Does it make financial sense to buy new items or to ship your current belongings? For best results, start looking for an international moving company 90 days in advance. If you are leaving items behind, you have the option of selling them, donating them or simply leaving them with friends.  Are you going to bring your car? Arrange for it to be shipped as well. Be sure to see if you can legally drive your car in your new country, and see what sort of license you need to do so.  Health It’s easy to overlook the most important issue while you are busy preparing for a move: your own well-being.  Get medical and dental records from your doctor so that you have them available...

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4 Reasons It May Be Better For You To Rent Than Own

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Articles, Real Estate | 0 comments

If you talk to your parents about whether you should buy or rent a place to live, most likely they will encourage you to try your hardest to purchase a home and become a homeowner. In past generations home ownership was much more feasible, practical and was a good investment for people from every walk of life. Nowadays, however, often times owning a home just doesn’t make sound economic sense. If you are stuck between buying or renting, there might be a few reasons why it would be better for you to rent rather than own. Your Payments Might Only Be Going Towards Interest So you’ve calculated your income and discovered you can afford to take a mortgage out in order to purchase a good home in a good neighborhood with monthly payments that you can afford. The average mortgage payment hovered around $1,074 as of 2011, which might seem like a nice chunk of change going towards paying off your home. The problem, however, is that you probably have not taken into account how much of your home payment will be put towards the interest on your loan, rather than the principle. Mortgages can range from 10 to 50 years, and the money loaned to you does incur interest. If you are making your house payment monthly without realizing that you are paying hardly any of the loan’s principle and rather chipping away at the interest, you will be stuck in a place where you won’t ever be able to pay your home off. Spending less money on rent than you would be spending on a house payment, without being trapped for 50 years, is a better choice.   Renting Generally Doesn’t Have Hidden Costs When you purchase a home and run into a disaster, like broken plumbing, mold, damaged windows or having to replace your air conditioner, the responsibility and cost of repairing these things lie solely on you. You could, perhaps, allow your house to decay slowly, but owning a home should be an asset. To preserve your asset you need to be making repairs and keeping your home functional and comfortable. When you rent an apartment, any problem large or small that might spring up becomes the duty of the landlord to repair. Never having to spend money on surprise repairs or upgrades can add up over the long term. Not only that, knowing the responsibility is in someone else’s hands eases anxiety about what could go wrong and when. Renting Provides Increased Mobility Life circumstances are constantly changing, and where you will be in a year from now can differ drastically from where you think you will be. Renting an apartment allows you to be able transition to new locations without the hassle of trying to sell your house, negotiating real estate agencies and dealing with a fluctuating housing market. Losing a small deposit on an apartment or paying a minimal fee to break a lease if you find you need to move is a lot less of a blow than watching your down payment disappear due to a depreciated house value. Although Ownership is Touted as a Good Investment, That isn’t Always the Case Home ownership can be a good investment if you end up buying a home in an area where home...

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