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Distressed sales decline in Florida

Distressed sales accounted for 17.5 percent of all home sales in Florida in February, according to real estate researcher CoreLogic.

That was the fourth-highest share of distressed sales in the country, and well above the 11.1 percent U.S. average.  But it was down from 22 percent over the year.

Distressed sales — short sales and properties owned by lenders — peaked nationwide at 32.4 percent in January 2009.  The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region reported a 19.1 percent share of distressed sales, third highest among the nation’s 25 largest metro areas.  Read More

Rents Rising Faster in SW Florida Than in Nation

Apartment rents grew in Southwest Florida faster than the national average in April, a new report by ApartmentList.com said.  The San Francisco-based apartment listing firm calculated the numbers using listings on its website, using same-unit comparisons.

The report isn't seasonally adjusted, but Andrew Woo, data scientist for the company, noted that balmy Southwest Florida is out of lockstep with most places in the nation in temperate climates, where rents tend to slow down in the winter and pick up in the spring and summer.


Binghampton NY May Require Landlords to Order Background Reports

Binghamton City Council is weighing legislation that would require landlords, realtors and others who rent or sell property in the city to complete criminal background checks on prospective tenants and buyers.


Note to Single-Family Rental Investors: Check These Markets

Investors who are looking to increase their footprint in the single-family rental (SFR) market should consider looking in one of the top 10 U.S. markets with the highest cap rate, according to data released by HomeUnion on Tuesday.
The cap rate on an SFR property is calculated by dividing the net annual income on a property (gross annual income minus operating expenses) by the home’s market value.


Single-Family Built-for-Rent Market is on the Rise

The increased popularity of the single-family rental (SFR) market in the last two years has led to an increased number of SFR homes built for the expressed purpose of renting. The market for detached SFR homes built-for-rent is on the rise despite a falling market share in the last three years, according to Robert Dietz, Vice President for Tax and Market Analysis for NAHB.


Florida, Louisiana Dominate Top 25 U.S. Markets for Rent Increases in 2015

According to a new report by RentRange, housing markets throughout the South region in Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee account for eight of the top ten increasing rental markets in the U.S. in 2015.


EPA Inspection Reveals Violations of Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule by Home Renovation Company

Release Date: 02/04/2016
Contact Information: Angela Brees, 913-551-7940, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Feb. 4, 2016) - EPA Region 7 conducted a recordkeeping inspection in response to a tip and complaint regarding Home Pro in Joplin, Mo., that revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. As part of a settlement with EPA filed in Lenexa, Kan., the company has agreed to pay a $5,978 penalty to the United States.

Proposal would hold North Adams landlords liable for ignoring drug activity

NORTH ADAMS, MA — Landlords who turn a blind eye to drug activity on their properties could face sanctions from the city under a proposal introduced this week by Councilor Keith Bona.

The ordinance, which was referred to the council's public safety committee for review, would levy fines upon landlords who do not take immediate action to evict a tenant arrested for drug-related crimes.

"If they do know and don't care, a hefty fine and their name attached to the illegal activity of allowing it to continue may be the persuasion they need to remove those tenants," Bona wrote in a letter to the City Council.


U.S. Announces Settlement with Illinois Landlord for Failing to Provide Lead-Based Paint Disclose Forms

52 apartments to become lead-safe under terms of the agreement

WASHINGTON – November 25, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with a Rockford, Illinois landlord to resolve a claim he failed to inform tenants, some with young children, that their homes may contain potentially dangerous lead.

The agreement requires Dennis Hardesty to replace windows and clean up lead?based paint hazards in 50 rental properties containing a total of 52 units (see attached list of properties).  In addition to the $308,000 worth of lead abatement work, Hardesty agreed to pay $5,000 in penalties.


Couple claims discrimination after landlord wouldn’t rent to them because they’re gay

DENVER -- A Colorado couple has filed a federal lawsuit against a property owner for discrimination. The same-sex couple, one of whom is a transgender, claims the landlord refused to rent them a home because they are gay.

On Thursday morning, attorneys with Lambda Legal and Holland & Hart joined Rachel and Tonya Smith to announce they would be filing a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Colorado against the Boulder County property owner for discrimination on the basis of sex and familial status.

“We would want assurance that other families like us will be protected from this happening in the future,” Tonya Smith said.  Read More

New York Mayor De Blasio Vows to Punish Landlords Who Reject Homeless Vouchers

"A housing voucher should be treated like you showed up with a stack of cash or a platinum card. It has to be respected," he said. "Any form of discrimination against those who have valid government support is illegal in this city and we will very aggressively enforce that law."

The city's Human Rights Commission is investigating 85 landlords. The mayor said that will send a message.

"We are going to make examples of people," he said. "A landlord who thinks they can get away with it then sees another landlord suddenly hit with a huge fine will wake up real quick."  Read More

More landlords come forward to expose tenants who converted 3 bedrooms to 10 - Video

NEW YORK— Last month we reported on a landlord in Elmhurst, Queens who said he was being scammed by two tenants.

Landlord Eddie Shiew rented the top floor of his three bedroom home to Burak Firik and Dogan Kimilli. Without permission , Firik and Kimilli renovated the three bedroom apartment into ten small sleeping quarters. They then allegedly advertised the bedrooms on Airbnb.com for $35 dollars a night and up.

When Shiew, who does not live in the building, found out, he tore down the renovations and changed the locks.  He ordered the tenants to vacate the apartment, but they went to court and a judge ruled the landlord has to go through formal eviction proceedings to get Kimilli and Firik out.  Read More


Countdown to Right to Rent: 1 February 2016 England's Landlord Obligations

On 1 February 2016 the Right to Rent immigration checks scheme will go live across the country. This means that all landlords in England will be responsible for checking that new tenants are allowed to be in the UK before renting out their properties.  Read More

Castro Fans Flames of VP Speculation

The HUD Secretary raised his public profile with an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night on the eve of the State of the Union address, furthering speculation that he could be running for vice president on the Democratic ticket.  Read More

Absentee Landlord Scammed When Someone Else Leased Homes

Crafty fraudsters tricked tenants into leasing 80 homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties in a scam that generated more than $100,000 a month, federal prosecutors charged.

Three people were accused of taking over dozens of rental houses owned by a Georgia company, cutting off lockboxes and leasing them to unsuspecting tenants who thought they were doing business with the properties' real owner.  Read More

Build to Rent Strategy Gains Popularity Driven by Lack of Inventory, Surge in Rental Demand

A combination of a lack of housing inventory, especially discounted and distressed, and a surge in demand for rental housing has caused more investors to turn to the build to rent strategy—that is, building a single-family home with the specific intent of renting it rather than sell it to an owner occupant.

Recent research from John Burns Real Estate Consulting indicates that approximately 10 percent of detached single-family households in the country (12.7 million out of 120 million) are renting. In fact, Burns said 25,000 single-family detached homes were built for rent last year—a number he expects to increase over the next few years.  Read More

4 Ways to Screen Your Landlord

It’s standard practice for landlords to screen potential tenants. References, work history, banking information, and even your Social Security number are fair game. But what about your landlord’s references? How concerned should you be about trusting someone with your private information and the stability of your home without some background details?

Be it a company or an individual, before you hand over your Social, you might consider doing some research of your own. Here are four ways to screen your landlord or property manager before you sign a lease.

Fla. home sellers convicted of keeping sinkhole secret

On Thursday, a federal jury in Tampa, Florida, decided that Glenn Jasen and wife Kathryn Jasen, of Spring Hill, Florida, were guilty of wire fraud, which is a federal felony.

Prosecutors alleged in the case that the Jasens "did detect a sinkhole" in 2009, filed a claim with their insurer and then "elected to receive a check in the amount of $153,000 but did not ever fix the sinkhole."

According to the US Attorney's Office, the Jasens deposited the insurance check into a bank account. They then failed to disclose the sinkhole in real estate documents and later sold the home to another family, according to the indictment.  In court, US attorney Tom Palermo told the jury that "the defendants put lipstick on a pig and sold it to suckers."  Read More

Foreclosure rate falls, turning south Florida into seller's market

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Encouraging news was released Friday if you're trying to sell your home.  CoreLogic, a property information and analytic company, announced foreclosure rates for July 2015.

The numbers show a significant decrease in the amount of foreclosures in the West Palm Beach/Delray Beach/Boca Raton market compared to July 2014.  The foreclosure rate in July 2014 was 4.41%. In July 2015, it fell to 2.28%, according to CoreLogic.  Read More

Suit Accuses Landlord of Discriminating Against Tenant With AIDS

David Goode, 27, poor and living with AIDS, thought he had found the answer to his homelessness when he saw an Internet listing in February for an apartment in New York for around $1,100 per month.

But when he told the landlord that his rent would be covered by a subsidy from a city program for residents with H.I.V. or AIDS, he said an agent for the company repeatedly told him that it did not accept the subsidy. So on Tuesday, Mr. Goode filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn against the landlord, Goldfarb Properties, accusing it of violating a city law barring discrimination based on the source of a tenant’s income.  Read More

Opportunities Still Exist for Real Estate Investors Despite Foreclosure Inventory Decline

global-investingMany opportunities still exist for real estate investors to acquire properties despite the decrease in inventory of foreclosed homes, according to new quarterly data from HomeVestors, the ‘We Buy Ugly Houses’ organization, and Local Market Monitor, a real estate forecasting solution.

The data points out markets that will make profitable rental markets and where home prices are likely to increase at a good rate over the next few years. These markets must have a population that is growing at a rate of 4 percent or better with people coming into the area in search of jobs. Additionally, the current job growth rate must be 2 percent or better and unemployment must be low.  Read More