Our First Home

Owning your own home is a great pleasure. It is nice to know that you finally have something to call your own. It is a milestone in your life. You have saved and now have something that is all yours. You are independent. You no longer have to live with your parents. However, before you can get the keys to your new home, and start moving in all of your belongings, you first have to complete all the paperwork. These documents were not written by the average person. Instead, they were written by a team of skillful lawyers, using lots of legal jargon. It is extremely important that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to do. Las Vegas real estate lawyers will be able to help you in this journey. They can explain and advise you on the contract and all the paperwork involved. Contact them today to be able to live in your home tomorrow.

Real Estate

In real estate, there are many things that you probably don’t know. That is okay though. Dealing in real estate is not something that most people do on a daily basis. Unless you sell real estate, or are deeply involved in selling and buying, then you probably do not do a lot of dealings in the business. If that fits you, like it does so many other people, then you should not feel bad about anything. When you are dealing with different contracts, or trying to make sure that you are obeying all the laws during your transaction, then it is smart to contact Las Vegas real estate attorneys who can help guide and protect you. They can advise you as to what you should do in certain situations, as well as help you to understand state laws regarding the property. There is a lot that you can do by yourself, but if you have any question as what to do, then it would be smart to contact an attorney. When it comes to your new property, you want to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. That will help give you the relief that the purchase you just partook in was done correctly and well and that you will have no problems in the future.

Tenant Privacy Rights

As a tenant, it’s important to understand your right to privacy. There are landlords out there who will try to make you think that frequent and random “inspections” are necessary and legal.

Before you accidentally forfeit your legal right to privacy, understand this quick guide to tenant privacy rights provided by a reputable real estate attorney in Las Vegas.

Know the Facts

In general, there are only certain circumstances that allow a landlord to enter your rental space.

  • If you give permission.
  • If there’s an emergency.
  • If there are repairs to be done.
  • If the property needs to be shown in order to re-rent or sell.
  • If the landlord thinks you have abandoned the space without notice.

Of course, there are specifics regarding these rules that vary by state. That’s why it is important to have a Las Vegas real estate lawyer on your side. An experienced legal professional will be able to guide you on the tenant privacy laws specific to Nevada in order to ensure that you have trustworthy information.

Sometimes, however, it is possible that your state laws will not contain a specific statute to protect you. If this happens, you want to ask that an access clause be added to your lease. Discuss what “reasonable” entry will be and get it in writing. This will protect you from any misunderstandings in the future.

Also, before you ever sign a lease, do a little research on your landlord. You may find that he or she tends to have legal discrepancies with tenants. If this is the case, you’d be better off finding a new place to rent.

Take Appropriate Action

Unfortunately, knowledge doesn’t always prevent privacy violations. It only prepares you to handle them when they arise. If you find yourself dealing with an overzealous landlord, there are a few steps you may take to address the issue.

1. Put everything in writing. If you complain to your landlord about their behavior, put it in writing. If the landlord agrees (or disagrees) to adjust his or her behavior, put that in writing as well. These documents will come in handy should you decide to sue.

2. Pay your rent. If your landlord violates your privacy with unauthorized entry, it’s common to want to withhold rent. However, this is unwise. Withholding your rent will only muddle your case if you head to court.

3. Go to court. Sometimes, detailed letters and level-headed requests just don’t work. It’s smart to take the most severe privacy violations to court with the help of a real estate attorney in Vegas. The right expert will be able to help you build a case for trespassing or emotional distress. If worse comes to worse, you may be advised to move out.

Now that you have a better understanding of your privacy rights, you have to protect them. For this, you can hire an attorney at Marc Simon Law. These professionals have over 30 years of experience so you can trust that your interests are in good hands. For more information about this Vegas real estate attorney, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

Understanding Tenant Rights to Representation

When it comes to landlord-tenant laws, landlords are not the only ones who should have a real estate attorney in Las Vegas on their side. While many of the problems tenants face can be solved by just reading the lease agreement, there are situations in which it is wise to have legal representation.

You should hire a real estate lawyer if:

  1. You’re being evicted, and you want to fight it. You’ll want a lawyer on your side who is familiar with Nevada landlord-tenant laws to be sure that you have a real chance at winning your case.
  2. You’re being evicted the wrong way. Landlords are supposed to follow a relatively strict set of court procedures in order to evict a tenant from their home. If your landlord is just locking you out, shutting off your utilities or following other extreme measures, you need a lawyer. It is absolutely illegal for a landlord to take your things or threaten you even if they may have the right to evict you.
  3. You’re being discriminated against. If this is the case, hire a lawyer and consider filing a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Be sure that you really have grounds for a discrimination claim before you start this messy and lengthy process.
  4. You need repairs that aren’t getting done. You have the right to live in property that is habitable. That means having running water and heating that operates in the winter. Make sure your repairs are handled in a timely manner by hiring a real estate lawyer in Las Vegas to help you. This assistance can also be beneficial if you wish to properly withhold your rent until the repairs are made.
  5. You’ve been hurt in your unit. Of course, this only applies if the injury occurred because your landlord was negligent. Hire a lawyer to help determine negligence to see if you have grounds to take this issue to the next level.

Available Options

If you feel that you need a real estate attorney in Vegas to protect your interests as a tenant, you have options:

First, you can hire a lawyer as a coach. This is the best option for people who don’t really have the budget for extensive legal guidance. So, look for a lawyer who will consider meeting with you every so often to provide counseling and guidance to handle the situation at hand armed with correct information.

Another option is for you to see if there is a clause in your rental agreement that mentions attorney fees. If the clause is there, you may be able to have your attorney fees reimbursed once you win your case. This clause may make it easier for you to find an attorney to represent you.

At the end of the day, the only way to know for certain if you need an attorney is to contact one and ask questions. A safe bet is to reach out to the attorneys at Marc Simon Law. Because these professionals have over 30 years of experience, you can feel confident that you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. For more information about this Vegas real estate attorney, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

Trying to Rent Out Your Property Quickly? Check These Tips

Once you have chosen the perfect investment property with a promising cap rate, the next step is to get the unit rented. Here are a few suggestions from a real estate lawyer Las Vegas trusts that can help you rent your unit quickly and efficiently.

What To Do

Look at the rent – If you are charging too much rent in comparison to similar properties in the area, you are going to have a hard time renting out your property. When you get ready to set the price for rent, do comparison research to make sure that you are offering a competitive rate to your future tenants that is also still fair for you.

Look at the unit – Making sure your unit is in good shape is one of the fastest ways to rent it out. If you have the budget, consider upgrading the appliances, flooring, and countertops. This will make your investment look irresistible in the eyes of future tenants.

Look at the ads – If you don’t have any advertisements up, consider changing that. The right ads in the right places make it a lot easier for you to rent out a unit in a shorter amount of time. Consider placing an ad on Craigslist to get your ad seen by thousands of people.

Look at your policies – You can consider allowing tenants with pets to really give your unit an advantage. While that may seem like a bad idea at first, many landlords find that pet owners are more appreciative of the opportunity to rent a space with their furry friends. They turn out to be more responsible and care for the unit better than many tenants without pets.

Look at your incentives – Incentives are a great way to fill rental properties quickly. If you own many properties that need filling, you can create a resident referral program. This program can offer incentives for referring new tenants such as discounted rent, free parking, or free cable. If you don’t own many properties, you can still offer the same valuable incentives. Just make sure that you offer all your potential tenants the same incentives to avoid any discrimination claims.

What Not To Do

One thing you definitely do not want to do is have lenient screening requirements for new tenants. In the grand scheme of things, a bad tenant is going to cost you a lot of money and create a lot of headaches that could have been avoided.

Once you decide you are ready to rent out your investment properties, make sure all your legal affairs are in order. Marc Simon Law offers a great real estate lawyer Las Vegas can trust to create well-drafted lease agreements that protect your investments and your tenants. For more information about this real estate attorney Las Vegas trusts, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

10 Legal Mistakes Every Landlord Should Avoid

There was a time when knowing and complying with the law was not such a large part of being a landlord. Now, federal and state laws are inescapable when you become a real estate investor. If you are not moderately familiar with these laws, you can get yourself and your business into legal trouble. Therefore, a trustworthy real estate attorney Las Vegas investors rely upon created this list of 10 legal mistakes that you want to make certain to avoid.

Avoid Generic Lease Forms

As a landlord, you absolutely need a written lease agreement with your tenants. Because of this, there are places where you can buy “standard” forms for a nominal price. Our suggestion is that you stay away from such generic forms. There is a good chance that they are not customized to specifically address the landlord-tenant laws of your state. There is also a chance that they are out-dated. The safest thing you can do is have a Las Vegas real estate attorney draft a lease agreement specific to your tenant and property.

Avoid Asking the Wrong Questions

When choosing your tenants, you want to screen them to ensure you are selecting the best possible occupants. Avoid asking questions that may be considered discriminatory. That means you want to stay away from questions that don’t directly relate to either your applicants’ ability to pay rent and care for your unit while they occupy it.

Avoid Setting Discriminatory Policies

It is illegal to establish policies that prevent certain people from renting your unit. For example, it is illegal to exclude families from renting because you want to prevent excess wear and tear on your unit. At the very most, you can place a limit on how many people are allowed to occupy the unit (i.e., two people per bedroom). This is definitely an area in which you must tread lightly. Consult with a real estate lawyer Las Vegas investors can trust for sound guidance.

Avoid Making Promises

While it is important to make competitive offers when showing your unit, don’t promise to provide services that you may not deliver. If you promise a parking space, cable or a new paint job and don’t deliver, you can end up dealing with costly court proceedings should your tenant argue promises were made and not kept. Again, a written lease, containing all agreements, is critical.

Avoid Excessive Late Fees

Late fees are necessary however overdoing it can get you into trouble. Your late fees should closely resemble the damages you face when your tenant pays late. For example, they may be equal to the late fee assessed to you by your mortgage holder.

Avoid Violating Tenants’ Rights

Most states have strict rules that detail when and under what circumstances you are allowed to enter an occupied unit. Those laws generally also indicate the minimum notice you need to give before you can show up at a tenant’s door. Check with the trustworthy real estate attorney Las Vegas offers for guidance in this area. Repeat offenses can lead to termination of the lease or even court-ordered money damages that you need to pay to the tenant.

Avoid the Misuse of Security Deposits

Security deposits should only be used for repairing general wear and tear, cleanings and unpaid rent. Using a security deposit to upgrade appliances or other cosmetic improvements may be improper and lead to tenant complaints.

Avoid Dangerous Conditions

As a landlord, you are required to provide housing that meets basic health and safety standards. Make sure the unit is in compliance with all health and safety ordinances. You also want to be sure that you timely address any security issues or environmental hazards that may arise.

Avoid Keeping Security Deposits for Broken Leases

In some states, it is illegal to keep a tenant’s entire deposit merely because they broke the lease. This varies by state, so discuss the proper course of action with a real estate attorney Las Vegas can trust.

Avoid Refunding Security Deposits the Wrong Way

Most states have laws that declare a window of time during which security deposits need to be returned. If you wait too long and a tenant claims that you retained their deposit in “bad faith” you may end up suffering penalties exceeding the amount of the original deposit.

If you are guilty of any of these mistakes, schedule a consultation with the Marc Simon attorneys with over 30 years of experience in real estate law. Make the appropriate changes before messy and costly legal battles ensue. For more information about this Las Vegas real estate attorney, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

Am I Obligated to Provide Alternate Housing For Tenants During Pest Extermination?

As a landlord, you have expressed as well as implied responsibilities to your tenants. Because your tenants signed a lease and pay rent every month, there are a number of obligations on your part as well.

You are responsible to for providing a safe, clean and inhabitable environment for your tenants to occupy. Depending upon the terms of your lease agreement, this may mean providing necessary pest control services.

As a matter of practice, it should not be necessary for you to provide pest control services for your tenants beyond the first 30 days of their lease. If a tenant reports a pest problem during the first 30 days of their lease, they should request an initial pest control spraying that should be scheduled and paid for by you. The lease should provide that the tenant will be responsible for any pest control services required thereafter.

It seems to be less clear whether or not you are obligated to provide alternate housing for your tenants in the event of a more thorough pest extermination. It may be a wise choice to speak with a real estate attorney Las Vegas landlords trust to navigate this issue to avoid unnecessary concerns to both landlord and tenant.

If you do decide to provide alternate housing for your tenants, there are a few different ways you may elect to do so:

First, you can take the tenant’s rent and divide it by 30 to determine how much it costs for your tenant to rent your unit per day. You would then take that daily amount and multiply it by the number of days the tenant will be expected to be out of the residence. You can offer to accommodate the tenant with alternate housing up to that dollar amount.

Another way to provide alternate housing to your tenants would be to offer accommodations similar in nature to the unit they are currently renting. This can be a costly option, however, if your tenant is renting an expensive penthouse apartment.

To avoid placing yourself in a potentially complicated legal situation, seek the advice of a real estate lawyer Las Vegas investors rely upon. The experienced attorney at Simon Law, LLCis dedicated to making sure your interests are protected. For more information about this real estate lawyer Las Vegas trusts, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

10 Tips For Prepping For Your First Tenants Move-In

Before you can fill your investment properties with tenants, there are a few things you want to make sure get completed. The real estate lawyer Las Vegas investors trust most has compiled a list of tips to help you prepare for your first tenants to move in:

  1. Buy insurance. Reach out to an insurance broker to get a landlord insurance policy to ensure you are protected from losses. Make sure the policy includes clauses about fire, vandalism, injuries, and losses suffered by the tenants or their visitors.
  2. Get the utilities in your name. Also make sure everything is turned on before you begin showing the unit. This will make it easier for you to rent out the unit. When the unit is rented, make sure the tenant puts any applicable utility services into his or her own name.
  3. Call the tax collector to make sure that the property tax and water bills are sent directly to your mailing address. You don’t want to accidentally miss a payment and have a lien placed on your property just because of misdirected or possibly discarded mail.
  4. Repair the property to make sure the unit is ready to be rented. Check on things such as the furnace and A/C to be sure everything is in working order. You don’t want to chance waiting until you get a disgruntled call from your tenant in the middle of the night.
  5. Buy major appliances such as a washer, dryer, and refrigerator if the unit does not have them already. It will be difficult to rent a property without them.
  6. Fill the oil tank, if necessary. Depending upon the state, your renters will expect a full tank of oil at the start of a lease.
  7. Connect with tenants. There is a chance that your new investment property already has tenants living inside. If this is the case, take the time to connect with the tenants. Make sure any applicable security deposit, lease agreements, and other rental documents are transferred to you. Also, your tenants will appreciate knowing who their new landlord is. Just remember that you cannot terminate a tenancy without following applicable state law. If the tenant is in good standing and the previous owner had no issues with them, it may be wise to allow them to stay. That way, you have rental income from day one covering your costs.
  8. Set up a system to keep track of your records. Create a system that will organize your available tax deductions, a running ledger of rents paid and owed, and tenant complaints. You’ll want to be sure that you have in order all documents related to owning and managing your property.
  9. Learn the landlord-tenant laws in your state pertaining to renting a property, picking your tenants, security deposits, and more. Whether you manage the property yourself or outsource the property management, you are still legally responsible for anything that goes wrong. Protect yourself by contacting a real estate attorney Las Vegas investors recommend for landlord-tenant protection.
  10. Rent your unit. You can do this on your own or with the help of a real estate agent or a property management firm. You can also manage tenant screening yourself if you would like. Should you decide to do this yourself, remember to allow adequate time to show the unit to potential tenants. Once you collect rental applications, you will have to run credit checks and collect deposits. If that is too time consuming, hire someone to help you in order to make sure you have a stream of rental income flowing as soon as possible. Have the trustworthy real estate lawyer Las Vegas relies upon to prepare a rental agreement for you.

Don’t approach the process of renting your investment properties without the help of an experienced lawyer. Schedule a consultation with the Marc Simon attorneys. For more information about the real estate lawyer Las Vegas trusts, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

Hiring a Resident Property Manager? Here’s What to Look For

When it comes to real estate investments, investors are likely to need assistance to manage their properties. An investor can find this assistance in the form of a property management company or a resident manager. If you decide that property management is too pricey, you should know the ins and outs of hiring a resident manager. So, here is a quick guide from the real estate attorney Las Vegas investors trust for accurate and relevant information.

There are many things you need to keep in mind when you consider hiring a resident manager. Ask yourself the following questions to see if this is the right route for you to take:

Why hire a resident manager? It is a good idea to hire a resident manager if you need someone to help manage the daily details of investment real estate such as screening new tenants, handling maintenance, and collecting rent.

For what will your resident manager be responsible? Before you begin the process of hiring a resident manager, clearly detail everything for which your resident will be responsible. This will make it easier to determine which candidates are most qualified for the job.

How often will your resident manager need to work? Next, you have to decide if you want your resident manager to work full- or part-time. Also decide whether you want to have a manager that is on premises 24 hours a day or is available primarily by phone.

How much will you pay your resident manager? Generally, resident managers are paid hourly anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour. You also have the option to pay hourly if that would be easier for you. If you are unsure of the right amount to pay, you can reference what other landlords are paying their resident managers. It is not recommended that you offer your resident manager a discounted rent in exchange for services. This may lead to problems should you need to terminate and/or evict such person.

How To Hire A Resident Manager

  • Before you invite a candidate for a face-to-face interview, make sure you clearly explain everything he or she will be responsible for in exchange for the payment that will be received. You can weed out a lot of weak links this way.
  • Conduct face-to-face interviews with the strongest candidates. Just remember to ask everyone the same questions to avoid being charged with discrimination. You also want to make sure you are only asking questions that are relevant to the job that is expected to be performed. Have candidates fill out an application to help organize the most important information.
  • Check at least two references of each candidate to gather more information about the candidate. Ask about each candidate’s work ethics, strengths and weaknesses, previous responsibilities, and reasons for leaving the last job.
  • If you want your resident manager to handle money, it is a good idea to perform a credit check. Just make sure you get the candidate’s consent before doing so.

Once you have chosen your resident manager, there are some legal matters that need to be addressed in order to protect yourself, your investments, and your new employee.

  • Prepare a written Property Manager Agreement that clearly details the terms and conditions of employment. The best real estate lawyer Las Vegas relies upon can assist you with that.
  • As an employer, you will want to make sure you have everything in order to comply with work and hour laws, Social Security related concerns, and deal with taxes related to payroll. You can hire a payroll tax service or an accountant to manage this aspect for you.

Make sure all your affairs are in order to hire a resident manager with the help of the best real estate attorney Las Vegas offers. Schedule a consultation with the Marc Simon attorneys. For more information about the real estate attorney Las Vegas trusts, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.

When To Hire a Property Management Company

Now that you have taken the dive into investment real estate, you need to decide if you would like to hire a property management company. There are a few factors that should be considered before you make this important decision. Here is a brief explanation of the inner workings of property management companies from the real estate attorney Las Vegas investors trust most.

Why Property Management?

A property management company will manage the details related to filling your investment properties so you don’t have to. A good management company will collect rent, handle maintenance and repairs, and address any complaints from your tenants. If necessary, they will even evict a tenant for you. Property management companies will do all of this as an independent contractor so you will not become an employer.

Is It Time to Hire a Property Manager?

While property management may be an expensive service, there are definite advantages to using one. Ask yourself these questions to see if property management is a good fit for you:

  1. Do you have a lot of rental properties or units? If you own many properties, it can be a headache to try to manage all of them yourself.
  2. Do you have investment properties in a different state? If there is a large distance between you and your properties, hiring a property management team may be a wise decision. There are some landlord-tenant issues that you just won’t be able to take care of long distance.
  3. Do you want to be a hands-off landlord? If so, hire a property management company with the help of the best real estate lawyer Las Vegas offers.
  4. Do you have a tight schedule? If real estate investing is something you do on the side of full-time employment, you may want to consider a property management company. This is also wise if you are a full-time investor who wants to focus more on building your business portfolio.
  5. Can you afford it? In most cases, property management companies will charge a fee that can range anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of the rental income.
  6. Is your business growing? As your business expands and you acquire more properties and units, there may come a time when you feel there is just too much on your plate. A property management company can relieve some of the stress by absorbing some of the more time consuming management tasks.
  7. Do you want to avoid becoming an employer? Instead of a property management company, you might hire a resident property manager or other employees to help manage. While this may be a less expensive option, it can come with more frustrations. As an employer, you will have to worry about payroll, taxes and employee related insurance. You can avoid all of that by hiring a property management company.
  8. Do you have property that is part of an affordable housing program? Landlords with properties that are a part of an affordable housing program receive financial assistance on behalf of their tenant from the government in a number of ways. The only way to qualify for such incentive payments is to meet a long list of complicated rules. A property management company that has experience with affordable housing programs can be an invaluable asset.

If using a property management service sounds like the way to go, make sure you choose the right one. Schedule a consultation with the best real estate lawyer Las Vegas offers at Marc Simon Law for assistance. For more information about this Las Vegas real estate lawyer, contact 702.451.7077 or info@marcsimonlaw.com.