How Lying to Your Landlord Can Cost You

3344771391_e73b2404ed_oLying on your rental application or while being a tenant may feel like it’s saving you money and potential rejection, but those lies can cost you! The “costs” may not always be monetary, but can cause a bigger burden to your future rental attempts than you’d expect.

The most common lies revolve around hiding a pet, subletting your space without letting your landlord know what’s going on, faking your job (or references), and whether you smoke or not. Getting caught in a lie obviously has consequences, but how far can these lies bring you down? The list below is classified by ascending severity:

Don’t expect to receive a friendly rental reference if you have lied to your landlord. On the flip side, you shouldn’t lie about who your landlord is when applying to rent other properties because they will catch on and see through what you’re doing.

If you have broken your rental agreement, it is very likely that fees will follow. This may include a pet deposit fee, a fine for hiding this from your landlord in the first place, or a fee to cover any damages that may have incurred.

Any unpaid fees that result from lying to your landlord and breaking your agreement have the ability to affect your credit score. For example, if you defy your landlord’s trust to the point of eviction, future unpaid rent can damage your credit score by around 50 points!

When you break the rules and lie to your landlord, it is within their rights to evict you. This is especially true when you have let a new roommate move in without letting your landlord know, not paying your bills on time (if at all), or having a pet that you aren’t allowed to have. In the pet case, if you are found out, the landlord could make you to get rid of your furry friend in order to maintain residency.

In the case of withheld money or property disputes, a small claims lawsuit may ensue. A lawsuit could also become an issue if your hidden pet inflicts damage on someone, or your secret roommate causes damage to your rental property.

Though it may add more charges to your monthly bills, it is much smarter in the long-run to find a rental place that accommodates all of your needs without having to lie. What may seem like a small white lie now, could impact your credit and future in many different ways.

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How to Survive Living in Your “On-Market” Home

Annual open house event for the Wayata Community Sailing Center, Wayzata, Minnesota U.S.A.

Putting your current home on the market isn’t the most relaxing task in the world, especially if you’re still living in it. Since your home needs to be showing-ready at a moment’s notice, here are a few tips to alleviate your stress and keep a somewhat normal routine:

Pack up and organize your belongings now

Assuming everything goes to plan, you’ll be moving out soon so it’s best to pack up your belongings now. While you’re going through this process, organizing similar items and donating/dumping what you no longer use anymore can save you time and space in the future. Buyers will be turned-off by a cluttered home, so only leave out the belongings you’ll need until the potential sale of the house.

Rent a storage unit

While you’re clearing out any clutter you may have, take this time to invest in a storage unit if you have excess furniture as well. Buyers are willing to spend more for open space, so any extra furniture that may hinder that appearance should be removed. Storage units are a great place to put furniture with sentimental (but not essential) value while staging.

Secure your belongings

Since people will be looking through drawers and cabinets during showings, it’s a good idea to lock up or hide any valuables. This will include, documents, passports, jewelry, electronics, prescription medication bottles, check books, etc. Check bedside tables for any additional belongings you may have forgotten about. Your listing agent can insist that agents accompany their buyers throughout a showing. If you don’t have a safe place to lock up these items in your home, temporarily storing them in the trunk of your car can work as well.

Pamper your pets

Send your furry friends on a vacation to family or friends’ houses! If showings last an extended period of time, boarding your pets may be the best option. It’s hard to be apart from your pets, especially during a stressful time period, but you wouldn’t want a prospective buyer to let them get out! Don’t forget to hide their toys and food bowls as well.

Get ready for show time! 

Once you’ve finished preparing for a showing, leave your home as clean and as soon as possible. The goal is to have the prospective buyer see your house as their own, which will be hard if you’re still around. The nicer you make your home look, the fewer days you’ll have to deal with it being on the market!

Summer Savings: Easy and Affordable Fixes

The hot weather has finally arrived! Of course this means blasting the A/C in your house, and spending quite a bit of money doing so. Check out the following tips for quick ways to save money, and energy, during the scorching summer months:

Insulate & Seal:
According to Energy Star, proper insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs as much as 20 percent. If you can only afford to insulate one place in your house, start at the attic or your highest floor. Those places can hold more heat, which will radiate down throughout the rest of your house. Insulation can stop this flow of heat, which will make your air conditioner work less, saving you money.

Caulk up those windows and weather-strip doorways. This makes your home more energy-efficient by sealing up major sources of air leaks, cutting down on your heating or cooling bills in the process. A simple do-it-yourself caulking job will only cost you around $50 for all the materials, while saving you much more in the future.
caulking

Clean Filters:
Dirty air filters can significantly block airflow in the house, reducing your system’s efficiency. By cleaning your filter, you can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%. Clean your filters monthly during the summer for optimal performance.

filters

Shades & Blinds:
During the summer, awnings reduce solar heat gain by up to 65%. Consider installing adjustable or retractable awnings, so that sun can still warm the house during winter. On the sunniest and hottest of days, close the blinds on your windows. According to the U.S. Energy Department, this can reduce heat gain by approximately 45%.

Closing drapes on windows that get direct sunlight can also prevent heat gain. Use medium-colored drapes with white plastic backings for the best reflection of heat (this reduces gains by 33%).

blinds

Unplug:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average household spends $100 a year on plugged-in devices, even those not being used directly. Nationwide, these unused appliances use up 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, costing around $11 billion in total.

The EPA reports that computers account for 2-3 percent of overall US home and office energy use. Your best option to reduce this is to unplug your computer entirely, not just put it in sleep mode. You can also invest in a power strip that can sense when your computer is in sleep mode, which then turns itself completely off.

unplug

Finally, unplug that garage or basement fridge! You know, the one with the expired sodas and ketchup bottles in it. If you are hosting a party, keep the fridge unplugged until the night before. This gives plenty of time to cool those beverages and apple pie.

Fix up your home now to sell it later. Sell your home fast for cash with Buck Buys Houses.
http://www.zillowblog.com/ , epa.gov