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Landlords Win Suit With City

BELOIT, WI — A group of landlords, including a woman running for Beloit City Council, has won a civil lawsuit against the city over its rental permit system.

The group claimed the city’s system violated the state-passed legislation from last year.

Rock County Circuit Court Judge Michael Fitzpatrick ruled in favor of the landlords in an initial order given Wednesday. The ruling shows municipalities can only require rental units to be registered for the purpose of having an authorized contact person associated on the rental property’s address.


In Real Estate, Scammers Are Getting Unbelievably Tricky

A hip-looking website and a realistic-looking payment invoice. Real estate professionals in Florida were recently hit with a scam in which they were instructed to pay a fee to maintain their membership listing with the Florida Board of REALTORS®, but there is no such organization.


L.A. Landlords Fight ‘Unconstitutional’ Housing Inspections

Landlords sued Los Angeles in a federal class action this week, claiming a rental ordinance gives city officials and employees law enforcement-like powers that violate protections against unlawful searches and seizures.

Pasadena landlord Brandi Garris and Venice landlord Jason Teague on Wednesday also sued Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, formerly known as the Housing Department. They claim that City of Los Angeles Housing Code is “facially unconstitutional,” under the Fourth Amendment, and allow city employees to seize evidence and make arrests.


Florida, Texas & Tennessee see fastest home value appreciation

The nation’s fastest-growing home values are no longer in their traditional California markets, having shifted to markets in Florida, Texas and Tennessee, according to Zillow’s latest Real Estate Market Report.

U.S. home values are up 7.2 percent over the past year, to a Zillow Home Value Index of $195,300, with some new growth leaders seeing annual home values leap by double-digits.


Landlords Are Taking Over the U.S. Housing Market

As Wall Street backs off of buying rental homes, small investors are picking up the slack.

As rising home prices, slow new home construction, and demographic shifts push homeownership rates to 50-year lows, the U.S. is increasingly a country of renters—and landlords.

Last year, 37 percent of homes sold were acquired by buyers who didn’t live in them, according to tax-assessment data compiled in a new report published by Attom Data Solutions and ClearCapital.com Inc.


Landlord: Tenant violated his lease by dying

Debra Tolbert at the White Center house where her brother, Dennis Hanel, had been living.   

Debra Tolbert’s brother had been battling stage four kidney failure when he died last month of a heart attack.

But a grieving Tolbert was hardly prepared for what she heard from property managers of Dennis Hanel’s White Center rental house when she tried to collect his security deposit and last month’s rent.

Her brother “violated the terms his lease” when he died, a representative of the rental and management company told her. “She said to me, ‘He’s not getting anything back,’ ” Tolbert said.


Fla.'s Housing Market Ends 2016 With Price Gains, Fewer Sales of Distressed Properties

Florida's housing market wrapped up 2016 with more new listings, higher median prices and fewer sales of distressed properties compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

"This past year was marked by tight housing inventory throughout Florida, particularly in the range of $200,000 and under," said 2017 Florida Realtors® President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "Buyer interest was high and home sales likely would have been even stronger if there had been enough available for-sale supply to satisfy demand. Realtors across the state stand ready to help buyers and sellers understand their local housing market trends.

"Florida's economy is in growth mode, more jobs are being created and mortgage interest rates, while rising, remain at historically low levels, which will continue to spark buyer demand in the coming months."


This Florida Landlord Will Only Rent To Large Dog Owners (And Pit Bulls Are Preferred)

Pet-friendly residences can be hard to come by, but pit bull-friendly rentals seem next to nonexistent. One Florida landlord is doing her part to change that, though, by opting to only rent her house to someone with large dogs — and she's giving preference to tenants with pit bulls!

Meet Jade Rouzeau, the proud owner of two pit bulls who happens to be putting her three-bedroom ranch in Jacksonville up for rent. As Rouzeau told "Today" in an email, it isn't that she dislikes cats or small dogs, she just doesn't anticipate their owners will have all that much difficulty finding a rental that allows their pets.

"While we appreciate their interest, we politely decline to rent to them," Rouzeau said.


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.