BBB Tips For Short-Term Home Rentals

Turning your home into a short-term rental may be a good solution when you are looking to make some extra money. These types of rentals can be advantageous to both the homeowner and the renter. The Better Business Bureau suggests the following tips for homeowners who want to rent out their property:

1. Decide who will manage the property. If you decide to manage the property yourself, make sure you live close enough and are capable of handling any emergency issues that arise. If you don’t live close, make sure you know someone who can help take care of your property and address any issues a guest may have.

If you decide to use a management company, research the organization first at bbb.org. Get all fees involved with listing your property and booking your rental in writing. Request detailed descriptions, in writing, of all the additional services to be provided and how and when you can expect to receive payment. Also, consider whether or not the company has its own insurance policy to cover any damages caused by the tenant.

2. Write up a contract. BBB advises having an attorney go over the details of the contract. The contract should include:

a. Check in and checkout times

b. Whether smoking or pets are permitted

c. Details of any security or damage deposits, whether they are refundable and under what circumstances

d. A cancellation and rate change policy

e. The maximum occupancy and any fees associated with exceeding the limit

f. Parking restrictions

g. The renter’s contact information

3. Check state and city law. Various cities and states have their own rental and property laws. Check your city’s law on short-term rentals to make sure you’re not in violation.

4. Research renters. Get the appropriate contact information for renters and check them out. Consider a Google search or use an online screening service.

5. Check your insurance coverage. Ensure you have enough property or casualty insurance should anything go wrong. Also consider the costs of lost, stolen or damaged items and ensure your security deposit covers all the “what-ifs.”

6. Consult your rental agreement. If you rent your home or apartment, your contract could prohibit subletting. Be sure to check with your landlord or HOA about short-term visitors.

Read the entire article by the Better Business Bureau.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, having an attorney review the rental agreement can save you time and money down the road.  The Lawyer Referral Service of the New Hampshire Bar Association can help with a referral to an insured attorney experienced in landlord/tenant issues.  Call 603-229-0002 or request a referral online.

The Lawyer Referral Service of the NH Bar Association is not a member of, nor is it endorsed by the Better Business Bureau.

Do’s and Don’ts of Apartment Hunting

The Better Business Bureau has received hundreds of complaints against apartment complexes every year, consistently placing the apartment industry on the BBB’s top 25 list of most complained about industries.

This video filmed by the Rhode Show gives many helpful tips for apartment hunters:

If you are having issues with your landlord that you are unable to resolve on your own, the Lawyer Referral Service of the New Hampshire Bar Association can help with a referral to a competent  attorney who specifically represents tenants.  Call 603-229-0002 or request a referral online.

The Lawyer Referral Service of the NH Bar Association is not a member of, nor is it endorsed by the Better Business Bureau.

Many Landlords Don’t Understand the Legal System

Under New Hampshire law, landlords must have “good cause” to evict a tenant.  The expiration of the lease does not meet that standard according to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.  A bill to change that was tabled in the Senate last month.

Debbie Fuente, president of New Hampshire Property Owners Association, contends there should be an easier way to end the relationship between a landlord and tenant. She supported House Bill 1263, which would have added the expiration of a lease to the list of legal reasons property owners could terminate a tenancy.

Passed in 1985, RSA 540:2 sets out those legal grounds, including failure to pay rent, substantial damage, behavior that adversely affects health or safety and failure to comply with a “material term of the lease.” Someone also can be evicted if he or she refuses to pay higher rent or for “other good cause,” including “any legitimate business or economic reason.”

Otherwise, when a lease ends, the tenant can stay on under existing law.

Fuente said changing the law makes “common sense.” She blames a 2005 ruling by the Supreme Court for making it too difficult for landlords.

Read the entire story by Shawne K. Wickham for the Union Leader.

As pointed out in this article, many landlords don’t understand the legal process well enough to succeed in an eviction.  The Lawyer Referral Service of the New Hampshire Bar Association can help with a referral to an attorney who specifically represents landlords.  Don’t let your case get tossed because of a technical error.  Call 603-229-0002 or request an online referral.