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New Law Keeps Landlords From Hiking the Rent, and You'll Never Guess How

When a landlord jacks up the rent, tenants are usually stuck between two costly and indisputably crappy options: Pay the higher rent, or move out (which requires coughing up more money for movers, of course). But now, in Portland, OR, there’s a third option that’s causing quite a stir: Move out and demand your landlord foot the bill! Is that divine justice or what?

More to the point: Will this catch on in other cities across the U.S.?

This new law, passed by the Portland City Council last week, aims to address Portland’s housing emergency, which has been in effect since October to call attention to a frightening fact: 1,800 Portlanders are now living on the streets, unable to find affordable housing.


Report: Time to Update the Mortgage Servicing Industry

The Urban Institute released a report Thursday calling for an update to the mortgage servicing industry to make it easier for creditworthy borrowers to get a mortgage.

The report, written by Institute experts Alanna McCargo and Laurie Goodman, said mortgage services have historically been a “behind-the-scenes” component of the housing and mortgage industries, until the 2008 financial crisis.

“After the 2008 housing crisis, servicers were thrust into the spotlight as an unprecedented number of borrowers started having trouble paying their mortgages and entered foreclosure,”


10 Housing Markets to Envy in 2017

The national housing market is largely predicted to moderate in 2017, but a handful of metros are expected to beat expectations. In fact, 10 markets are looking like hot-beds for growth in the new year.

Realtor.com®’s research team has flagged markets that will likely see average price gains of 5.8 percent and sales growth of 6.3 percent in 2017. Those gains would exceed next year’s anticipated national growth of 3.9 percent in home prices and 1.9 percent in home sales.

As such, real estate professionals in these 10 markets should expect a booming business in 2017. Realtor.com® notes these are the hottest housing markets to watch in the new year, based on price and sales gains:

  1. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
  2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.
  3. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
  4. Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, Calif.
  5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
  6. Jacksonville, Fla.
  7. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.
  8. Raleigh, N.C.
  9. Tucson, Ariz.
  10. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.

Why are expectations so high for these 10 markets? Realtor.com®’s research team notes that strong local economies and population growth are helping to fuel sales. Also, the top 10 housing markets have other commonalities, such as relatively affordable rental prices, low unemployment, and large populations of millennials and baby boomers.

Source:  Realtor Magazine Online

Justice Dept. warns landlords on the use of criminal background checks

The Obama administration's Justice Department has filed a legal brief warning landlords against using practices that make it hard for former criminals to get affordable housing.  The brief was filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a case brought by an organization that helps ex-prisoners find housing. The case involves the practices of an affordable rental apartment complex in Far Rockaway, Queens.


Foreclosure Lows Are the Needed Boost to Housing Stocks

Foreclosures and foreclosure inventory are definitively down. Compared to a year earlier, the foreclosure inventory nationally in August was 30 percent lower, while the actual number of completed foreclosures was down by more than 42 percent, according to CoreLogic’s August 2016 National Foreclosure Report.


Anonymous Donor Gives $500 to Craigslist Apartment Renter

After an NBC 5 Responds report about two North Texas women who fell victim to a Craigslist apartment post, an anonymous donor decided to help.


Foreclosure and Delinquency Rates Plummet From the Past Year

Foreclosures and foreclosure inventory are definitively down. Compared to a year earlier, the foreclosure inventory nationally in August was 30 percent lower, while the actual number of completed foreclosures was down by more than 42 percent, according to CoreLogic’s August 2016 National Foreclosure Report.


Concerns Over Rent Affordability Aren’t Going Anywhere

Annual growth in median rents nationwide have slowed from last summer’s extreme pace. But according to the Zillow Rent Forecast, just because rental growth is slowing down, doesn’t mean it’s not still expected to grow in some of the nation’s hottest markets, contributing to continued affordability concerns.


The Real Estate Investors of Today and Tomorrow

Recent findings from a national survey of U.S. investors by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate recently showed that confidence and intrigue in real estate investment ranks high, with 89 percent of U.S. investors showing interest in incorporating real estate into their investment strategies.


Cortez landlords pay to settle Section 8 housing fraud charges

Two landlords who rented homes to low-income residents in Cortez have agreed to pay nearly $74,000 to the federal government as part of a settlement in which they were accused of charging excessive rent to Section 8 tenants.


Squatter Found Guilty Of Renting Homes He Didn't Own

One of the four men behind a plot to illegally rent houses they did not own in Beverly and Morgan Park was found guilty Friday afternoon.


Woman sues over landlord's dog policies

A Bethel Park woman sued her landlord late Friday, alleging that she was denied her right to an emotional support dog at a Shadyside complex, and was not fully accommodated when she moved to the suburbs.


Parents of baby poisoned by lead sue landlord for $1.3M

A Portland couple is suing their landlord for $1.3 million after finding that the home they rented contained high levels of lead that poisoned their toddler.


Single-family rentals on the rise in South Florida

Nearly a quarter of all single-family homes in South Florida were occupied by tenants or available for lease last year, according to a report that underscores the changing profile of renters


The Curious Case of Reluctant Homeowners

Rental BHConventional wisdom has long suggested that renters rent because they can’t afford to buy homes. But Zillow has posed the question of whether renters are renting out of necessity or choice.

Zillow’s latest look into homeownership rates found that almost 14 percent of renters are qualified to buy the median property in their market, based on income and credit rating.
Silicon Valley renters are especially in a position to buy, despite living in the nation’s most expensive home ownership area. San Jose, in fact, was the only large market Zillow analyzed where the share of on-market renters with strong credit and high incomes exceeds the share of those with weak credit and low-incomes.

In most places, Zillow senior economist Aaron Tarrazas said, were high-earning renters with relatively low credit scores.


Landlord Nation: Baby boomers' new retirement plan is millennials paying rent

Pete Pollinger and his wife, Julie, are relocating from Boca Raton to Melbourne, a city of about 70,000 on Florida’s Space Coast, named for its proximity to NASA rocket sites at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.

They weren’t just hunting for a place to live. As they get ready to move this year, they’re also looking for single-family homes they can buy, fix, and rent out.

“We want to be more in control of our financial destiny,” said Pollinger, 51, a computer systems consultant. “As far as traditional investments go, we have less control of what really happens to those.”

He and Julie hope to build a portfolio of about 10 homes, buying when they see good value or selling a fixed-up home when the market presents the opportunity to take a profit.


Housing Bust Foreclosures Drove Up SFR for Metro Areas

Metro areas that experienced more foreclosures during the housing bust have seen a larger increase in the share of single-family homes that are rented, according to a recent report from Zillow. The increase in the share of single-family homes that are rented has shown to be most prominent in the Southwest United States.


Three NH Companies Face EPA Penalties for Alleged Lead Paint Violations

Three New Hampshire companies face significant penalties from EPA under two civil complaints filed by EPA alleging that the companies failed to follow federal lead paint regulations at a commercial and residential property in Manchester.  EPA seeking nearly $150,000 in fines.



Anaheim-based firm fined nearly $60,000 for lead-paint violations

An Anaheim-based company has been fined nearly $60,000 for failing to comply with federal rules regarding lead-based hazards when painting and repairing properties built before 1978.

Clearview Home Improvements, which operates as Clearview Home Energy Solutions, performs energy-efficient home improvements, such as installing windows and vinyl siding. An inspection by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that in 2013, the company failed to meet federal standards while working on homes in Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo and several cities in Los Angeles County.


OMG Landlord Inspects crazy Grossest Hoarder House Ever

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Police: Florida man places bucket bomb in landlord's home

A Florida man was unhappy with the lack of money being returned to him by his landlord so police said he decided to place a bucket bomb in the landlord’s home.

Gregory Hiler, 44, was upset with his landlord, who he accused of not paying back all of his rent deposit by May 23, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Police said Hiller went over the landlord’s home around 6:51 a.m. that day and placed a bucket bomb — which was filled with “screws, nails, BB pellets, razor blades, scrap metal and gasoline” — inside the house and detonated it, causing a fire with no injuries.