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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A local Renter v Landlord Dispute

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Without taking sides in the local renter vs. landlord dispute, I can say that Mr. Huffmaster should not be allowed to rent this particular trailer, because of the  condition it is in. The shoddy wiring I've seen on our local evening news is a fire hazard waiting to happen. We have laws to protect us from restaurant's operating in unsanitary conditions; an unsafe unlivable environment should be treated the same.

I've never been a landlord, but I know many who are, so I'm not completely in the dark about their concerns. I know that renters will ruin a carpet in a short period of time, damage the walls and put more wear and tear on the housing unit than the landlords can deduct on their income tax. Victoria's housing shortage allows them to raise their rent in a true supply and demand scenario, this allows them to recoup some losses from previous years.The housing shortage will go away but I seriously doubt the rents will come down accordingly.

I've had a chance to be a landlord a couple of times in my life;once when my mother left us her home and the other when I sold my first home.  I declined both times because I would have to hire someone to make the needed repairs but most of all because I didn't want the responsibilities that came with a good renter/landlord relationship.

Some will say that renters have the trump card because of the current laws of eviction notices, moving out without paying, and leaving more damage than what they paid in rent payments. That may all be true but in today's market, the landlord can afford to be more choosy and doesn't have to put up with as much because the renter doesn’t  have a lot of options. The better apartment units will investigate the renter's credit and renting history before they allow them to move in.

Donna Carr's history is none of my business, but I do sympathize with her plight. It's not hard for me to feel sympathetic for someone living with breast cancer and caring for a granddaughter with only $739 in monthly income. A local poster noticed that she had a cigarette in her hand and quickly calculated the cost of the habit of smoking and its health effects. I think that comment was more of a lecture coming from someone who thinks being poor is always preventable. From what I've seen, a cigarette might be the only gratifying thing this grandmother has, and she can't be spending too much on the habit, being she only has $739 coming in.

I liked the comment about 49% of Victoria's renters not being able to afford what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers a modest two-bedroom apartment. Whoever did the numbers didn't account for the housing shortage or scrupulous landlords. From what I've seen, paying $450 a month for that the double-wide trailer, the government is once again getting ripped off.

I guess this one story is ending well since the grandmother, and granddaughter have found a new four-year-old mobile home they will rent to own. On the other side, the landlord gets his wishes because his nemesis is leaving. I'm sure he didn't think he would get all the negative publicity or be ordered to fix the electrical wiring issue in 10 days.


born2Bme said...

We had a rent house for awhile and let me tell you, there is no profit in it. With the prices of insurance, both liability and structure, taxes, and mortgage payments alone, it's not worth it. Then, you have to put money away because it is a fact that most renters do not take care of other people's property. Most of them do not follow the rules set forth on the lease, so it is a constant battle.
Also, you have to be iron-#ss, which I am not.
With that said, I sure must have been undercharging for ours. We had a 1300 sq. foot, 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, brick house with a 2-car garage, sitting on 1 acre of land and all we were charging was $450. This was in the country at least 9 miles from any town

Mike said...

I heard horror stories from the landlord's side and a renter's side.

A friend of mine has been renting his first home to his daughter and her husband for several years.
That's worked out because they take care of it as if it was theirs;Which it will probably be in a few years.

It seems to be that you were undercharging no matter where it was. That's a lot for $450.

I think it's a business like no other; renters are never satisfied and landlords do the minimum.

born2Bme said...

Family is another story. They have to take care of it because they can't just move away and hide. *grin*.
I hope your friend is charging the going rate, because it can get sticky with the IRS if he is undercharging just because it is family.

Mike said...

My friend won't have to worry about related party issues because all the transactions are at arms- link. Fair market value is always going be subjective and he's not in the business of renting homes; just his former one.... As I understand, if he charges ridiculously low rent, the home will be treated as if he didn't didn’t rent it at all and he would have to report the income but could not deduct expenses.

Then again he could use his $13,000 annual gift amount but we are getting way off subject but it's interesting... :-_)

born2Bme said...

That's right. If he charges below fair market value, he has to count it as personal property and then he could only claim the income and forgo all the deductions.
The IRS expect people renting properties to contact a realtor, or someone who knows the prices in the area, to get the fair market value.

Mike said...

Believe me if you are going to stay in the rental business,you are going to know the going rate and you certainly won't go below that..In today's market ,you will probably go above it..don't ya think?

born2Bme said...

Yeah, because of higher and higher costs, leasors have to be smart enough to get what they can, although I have no idea how people can afford to pay that much rent and still have utilies and renters insurance to pay for too.

We started renting the house out in 2000, and at that time, people couldn't afford to pay too much. I refused to put an ad in the paper, so we could be a little choosy on who we put in there. Then, it was off and on until just last year.
My son now lives in it and we quit claiming it as rental property. I was never so relieved in my life.

Mike said...

Uh-oh , don't you still have to report the depreciation you are supposed to be taking?

You will have to recapture your depreciation when you sell the home.

You can amend your last three years if you haven't but this is friendly advice and not a professional opinion..:-)

born2Bme said...

We called our CPA and he said that if we stopped renting it out, then just don't claim it as a rent house anymore. Most of everything had already reached the 10-year cut-off anyway.

Mike said...

What's a 10 -year cut-off?

born2Bme said...

certain depreciations/deductions are set on a time limit. Depreciation for appliances for so many years, water well, so many years, butane tank, major plumbing, floors, etc. I'd have to go look up my old tax returns to say for sure. I think the structure might have been 20 - 25 years, but depreciation is a deduction against income. If you don't have income, than you don't take the deduction for depreciation.
That's why depreciation is like it is. They kind of count on people not depreciating things all the way before they decide not to keep renting it out.
At least that is the way I look at it.

Mike said...

Sorry for taking so long to respond but I just finished a grueling 3 hour session with the people who converted my company sponsored retiree health insurance for parts B & the one I have now... There were so many choices and twist and turns that makes me support single payer universal health care more than ever.... I had to listen to a 5 minute legal disclaimer and to submit my application for the supplements to Medicare and then another 5 minute legal disclaimer for my new prescription drug providers..... To be totally honest, I don't remember a word from the disclaimers. I'm lucky because I can still make reasonable choices but this process does not have to be this complex.

Anyway you threw me off with a 10- year cut off..... You were talking about property class values and residential Rental Property has a 27.5 asset life.

Depreciation as I was taught, is just recording a loss in the value of your property due to normal wear and tear. Depreciation is supposed to reflect this loss. You can still depreciate your rental home if it's in a temporary idle stage. I don't think the Internal Revenue really cares whether you keep the property that long or not because when the property ceases to be classified as rental property depreciation recapture laws come into play when you covert it back to personal property, sell it or abandon it....IMO

born2Bme said...

Yeah, I found out about the 27.5 year thing with the structure after I posted last night. We just decided to follow CPA's advice and just let it go. I don't think it's against the law to "not" claim a deduction. I will jsut about come out even if I don't have to pay a CPA to figure out my taxes anymore. That had risen to over $125 a year. I can now do my own taxes.