Tag Archives: home for sale

Landlord Liability When a Tenant’s Dog Bites Someone

Military Working Dogs

There’s an old saying in journalism: When a dog bites a man, that is nothing new, but when a man bites a dog, that is certainly news!

If you’re a landlord, however, and your tenant’s dog bit someone, it’s newsworthy to you. You need to know whether you’ll be held responsible.

Like most landlord-tenant issues, the answer to what happens when your tenant’s dog bites someone is that it depends, and the answer can vary by state as well.

This post will go through some scenarios to help you determine what could happen if your tenant’s dog bit someone. Please know that these are just hypothetical situations and should not be taken as legal advice. But first …

The Importance of Renter’s Insurance

If you require your tenants to carry renter’s insurance, you most likely won’t need to worry about being sued if your tenant’s dog bites someone. The tenant’s renter’s insurance will cover that.

Renter’s insurance protects you if your tenant’s dog bites someone.

The exception is if the injuries to the bite victim are so extensive that they go beyond what the renter’s insurance covers, and that doesn’t happen too often. Even if you are sued for the balance, there needs to be a case against you.

The rest of the scenarios we’ll cover will be focused on tenants who do not have renter’s insurance.

Sample Lease Clause

Dog Bites: The Good News

In most cases, you are not responsible if your tenant’s dog bit someone. So breathe a huge sigh of relief.

In most cases, you are not responsible if your tenant’s dog bit someone.

You are also not responsible if you know there’s a dangerous dog on the property, but you can’t do anything about it. This could happen if you buy investment property that’s already occupied by a tenant who has a lease. As soon as the lease comes under your control, however, you need to correct the situation.

Dog Bites: The Bad News

There are some other instances where you could be held responsible if your tenant’s dog bit someone.

Scenario 1: You knew the dog was dangerous

Let’s say that when you interviewed a potential tenant, they had their dog with them. The dog was big, bared its teeth at you, and lunged at you. When you asked the potential tenant what’s up with the dog, they were honest and let you know that the dog had bitten someone before. They then explained that this is their guard dog.

You consider the story, and you like the tenant (who passed your background check). So you decide to rent to this person and allow the dog, even knowing the dog is dangerous.

In this case, if the dog bites a visitor to the property or bites someone in the common area, you could be held responsible for the injuries. Why? Because you knew the dog was dangerous and let the dog live on your property anyway. Some courts consider landlords who knowingly rent to people with dangerous dogs irresponsible and negligent.

Scenario 2: You didn’t enforce your own lease

You might not allow dogs in your rental unit, and you have a provision in the lease that states this policy. That is not enough to protect you if you don’t enforce your no-dog policy.

Let’s say that you know that your tenant is keeping a dangerous dog on the property — a direct lease violation. You’ve seen the dog when you stopped by for a maintenance call. The dog was chained outside and barked ferociously at you. Yet, you did nothing. You might be held responsible if that dog were to bite someone.

Scenario 3: You take care of the dog

You live on one side of a duplex and rent out the other side. You struck an arrangement with your tenant that you’ll take care of their dog when they need to go out of town for work. The dog bites someone while it was under your care. In this case, you would be considered an owner and would probably be held responsible.

Dog

Scenario 4: You didn’t fix the gate

Let’s say that you rented your property to a dog owner.

You have a fenced-in yard that you use as a selling point in your rental ad, even. But now the gate is broken and no longer latches.

The tenant let you know immediately and is concerned because the dog keeps getting out, and this dog is a pit bull who has a history of attacking other dogs. You plan to get around to fixing the gate, but the dog bit someone before you fixed it. You could be held responsible.

Scenario 5: Some people sue even when they have no case

People can and do try to sue for anything and everything, but that doesn’t mean they have a case. For example, if your tenant’s dog bites someone while your tenant is away from the property with their dog, you would almost never be responsible. However, if you know that your tenant keeps a dangerous dog on your property, and you know that the dog roams the neighborhood all the time, a court might find you responsible if that dog injures someone.

Take Precautions

If you allow dogs at your rental property, take the necessary steps to help ensure guests to the property and neighbors are safe. If you know the dog is dangerous, don’t let your tenant keep it if you have control of the situation.

Nolo has a fantastic list of historical cases regarding landlord liability for dog bites. If you want to see how judges have ruled in the past, check them out.

You may also want to suggest or require that your tenant carry renter’s insurance, and make sure that you have adequate liability coverage from your landlord insurance policy … just in case.

credit to Laura Agadoni

Laura Agadoni is a landlord and journalist whose articles appear in various publications such as Trulia, The Houston Chronicle, The Motley Fool, SFGate, Zacks, The Penny Hoarder and azcentral.

homes for rent, homes for sale,
homes for rent, homes for sale, newstarrealty.com
Please follow and like us:

Style a Master Bedroom as a Sleep Retreat

There’s big buzz these days about the importance of getting enough Z’s for health, happiness, and productivity. Help clients analyze if a master bedroom can incorporate all the essentials to promote a good night’s sleep.

Resized_bedroom_MJCDKIYd

 

Adults spend more time in their bedroom than in any other room in their house. But you wouldn’t know it from the home sales process. Buyers and sellers alike often pay more attention to kitchens, master bathrooms, closets, and yards than they do to this vital space where they will usually spend more than a third of their 24 hours each day.

“Who spends that kind of time in the kitchen?” asks sleep expert Nancy H. Rothstein, founder of The Sleep Ambassador in Chicago, a source for education, consulting services, and resources that optimize healthy sleep.

Yet more attention is being paid to the importance of getting adequate sleep, from high-profile advocates like Arianna Huffington, who recently published her book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time (Harmony, 2016), to medical professionals. “Fewer than six hours [a night] can lead to diseases — a higher rate of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, and even shorter life spans,” says Dr. Susheel Patil, clinical director of Johns Hopkins Sleep Medicine in Baltimore.

While there’s no magic figure for the amount of sleep one should get, Patil suggests adults try for seven to eight hours on average. Dr. Michael Breus, a board-certified sleep specialist in Los Angeles known as The Sleep Doctor, uses his household as an example of the variation. “I need between 6 1/2 and 7 hours while my wife needs between 8 and 8 1/2,” he says.

Buyers and sellers alike should strive to furnish a master bedroom that contributes to high-quality sleep. Updating or remodeling the room offers another benefit, says certified color consultant Michelle Mohlere, a salesperson with Gibson International in Los Angeles. A nicely designed bedroom is likely to bring in more money at resale than one without these touches, she says.

Rustic Bedroom In Traditional Farmhouse

Sellers looking to better stage this room will also gain from the following six steps:

1. Stage the bed in a choice spot. Connecticut architect and author Duo Dickinson prefers the bed be set away from the room’s entrance to keep it out of the main circulation path. Kathryn Baker, vice president of design services with Polaris Pacific, a real estate sales and marketing firm in San Francisco, likes to place a bed in a spot so occupants can enjoy the best view — whether that’s inside (maybe toward a fireplace or favorite piece of art) or outdoor (with views of trees or water where possible). Chicago designer Michael Del Piero suggests pairing a bed with an upholstered headboard for those who like to sit up in bed and read; she dresses up the bed with decorative pillows, a duvet, and a throw to personalize it and make it more welcoming to tuck in for sleep.
2. Install the right window treatments. Minimal is the design mantra when it comes to much of the standard room décor today. But while no coverings in some rooms, such as kitchens and living rooms, allows in more light and views, some amount of treatment in a bedroom is needed to block outside light and provide privacy. Del Piero likes to use a blackout shade behind a transparent shade or drapes or a woven wood shade with blackout drapes. Baker favors motorized shades to make opening and closing a task that can be performed from the bed or set by a timer.

3. Use the right lighting. Dickinson discourages installing recessed cans since they chop up a ceiling and aren’t attractive to look at while in bed. He prefers task lighting from lamps on night tables or wall-mounted sconces. Michigan designer Francesca Owings likes hanging one decorative fixture in a ceiling’s center for an aesthetic punch. Sensitive sleepers might appreciate the new Good Night Biological LED bulbs that claim to help regulate a body’s natural circadian rhythm through the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps control sleep and wake patterns, says Breus.

4. Conceal or banish electronics. For years, scientists and health professionals have known about the danger of the blue light that comes from certain electronics equipment and adversely affects melatonin production, says Patil. But only recently have they suggested that you can enhance unwinding and falling asleep by turning off TVs, smartphones, and iPads at least an hour before bedtime. Shutting them off also helps train the brain that the bedroom is primarily a place to sleep rather than stay awake, Patil says. If the temptation is too great, home owners might consider making the master bedroom a no-electronics zone. Baker’s company furnishes model bedrooms in its residential projects without TVs and other electronics technology to demonstrate this idea. “People have responded favorably, and some put TVs in a second bedroom or home office” instead, she says.

5. Pick a soothing palette. Of course, color is a personal preference, but color experts can offer guidelines. “You can’t say one is soothing for all and will make a person feel calm,” says Jessica Boyer, a Chicago designer with Susan Fredman Design Group. Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams, says colors that aren’t extreme are more restful. “They’re neither too bold, dark, bright, or intense. Rather, soft and calming,” she says. Designer Kimba Hills of Rumba Style in Los Angeles prefers a palette of pale blues, greens, beiges, grays, and whites for the bedroom. Boyer also likes to bring in bedding in white and light creams because she finds they’re calming. “It’s the equivalent of sleeping in a cloud with nothing to distract me. What’s important isn’t what’s trendy but nurturing,” she says.

6. Add creature comforts. If the room’s size allows, consider adding a chaise, chair and ottoman, and night tables. Also, a large area rug or wall-to-wall carpeting can help deaden noise and provide warmth underfoot, says Owings. If the room is located so it opens directly to the outdoors, play this up. Mohlere says real access to bucolic scenery can contribute to a sense of tranquility even more than just viewing the outdoors can. If outdoor access isn’t possible, check to see that windows are operable for fresh air. Other amenities worth considering: a gas- or log-burning fireplace for coziness, artwork for eye candy, and good storage for tidiness. “Too much clutter is distracting,” Rothstein says.

At the end of the day — or the beginning of a new one — real estate pros can emphasize the master bedroom as one more “fabulous room where you spend time in your new home,” Rothstein says.

Credit to Barbara Ballinger

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer and the author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling

Please follow and like us:

Welcome to the Real Estate of California !

New Star Realty & Inv.

Real Estate

A~G  H~P  R~Z
Adelanto
Agoura Hills
Alameda
Albany
Alhambra
Aliso Viejo
Amador City
American Canyon
Anaheim
Anderson
Angels Camp
Antioch
Apple Valley
Arcadia
Arcata
Arroyo Grande
Artesia
Arvin
Atascadero
Atherton
Atwater
AuburnCounty
Avalon
Avenal
Azusa
BakersfieldCounty
Baldwin Park
Banning
Barstow
Beaumont
Bell
Bell Gardens
Bellflower
Belmont
Belvedere
Benicia
Berkeley
Beverly Hills
Big Bear Lake
Biggs
Bishop
Blue Lake
Blythe
Bradbury
Brawley
Brea
Brentwood
Brisbane
Buellton
Buena Park
Burbank
Burlingame
Calabasas
Calexico
California City
Calimesa
Calipatria
Calistoga
Camarillo
Campbell
Canyon Lake
Capitola
Carlsbad
Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carpinteria
Carson
Cathedral City
Ceres
Cerritos
Chico
Chino
Chino Hills
Chowchilla
Chula Vista
Citrus Heights
Claremont
Clayton
Clearlake
Cloverdale
Clovis
Coachella
Coalinga
Colfax
Colma
Colton
Colusa
Commerce
Compton
Concord
Corcoran
Corning
Corona
Coronado
Corte Madera
Costa Mesa
Cotati
Covina
Crescent City
Cudahy
Culver City
Cupertino
Cypress
Daly City
Dana Point
Danville
Davis
Del Mar
Del Rey Oaks
Delano
Desert Hot Springs
Diamond Bar
Dinuba
Dixon
Dorris
Dos Palos
Downey
Duarte
Dublin
Dunsmuir
East Palo Alto
Eastvale
El Cajon
El Centro
El Cerrito
El Monte
El Segundo
Elk Grove
Emeryville
Encinitas
Escalon
Escondido
Etna
Eureka
Exeter
Fairfax
Fairfield
Farmersville
Ferndale
Fillmore
Firebaugh
Folsom
Fontana
Fort Bragg
Fort Jones
Fortuna
Foster City
Fountain Valley
Fowler
Fremont
Fresno
Fullerton
Galt
Garden Grove
Gardena
Gilroy
Glendale
Glendora
Goleta
Gonzales
Grand Terrace
Grass Valley
Greenfield
Gridley
Grover Beach
Guadalupe
Gustine
Half Moon Bay
Hanford
Hawaiian Gardens
Hawthorne
Hayward
Healdsburg
Hemet
Hercules
Hermosa Beach
Hesperia
Hidden Hills
Highland
Hillsborough
Hollister
Holtville
Hughson
Huntington Beach
Huntington Park
Huron
Imperial
Imperial Beach
Indian Wells
Indio
Industry
Inglewood
Ione
Inskip
Irvine
Irwindale
Isleton
Jackson
Jurupa ValleyKerman
King City
Kingsburg
La Habra
La Habra Heights
La Mesa
La Mirada
La Palma
La Puente
La Quinta
La Verne
Lafayette
Laguna Beach
Laguna Hills
Laguna Niguel
Laguna Woods
Lake Elsinore
Lake Forest
Lakeport
Lakewood
Lancaster
Larkspur
Lathrop
Lawndale
Lemon Grove
Lemoore
Lincoln
Lindsay
Live Oak
Livermore
Livingston
Lodi
Loma Linda
Lomita
Lompoc
Long Beach
Loomis
Los Alamitos
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Angeles
Los Banos
Los Gatos
Loyalton
Lynwood
Madera
Malibu
Mammoth Lakes
Manhattan Beach
Manteca
Maricopa
Marina
Martinez
Marysville
Maywood
McFarland
Mendota
Menifee
Menlo Park
Merced
Mill Valley
Millbrae
Milpitas
Mission Viejo
Modesto
Monrovia
Montague
Montclair
Monte Sereno
Montebello
Monterey
Monterey Park
Moorpark
Moraga
Moreno Valley
Morgan Hill
Morro Bay
Mount Shasta
Mountain View
Murrieta
Napa
National City
Needles
Nevada City
Newark
Newman
Newport Beach
Norco
Norwalk
Novato
Oakdale
Oakland
Oakley
Oceanside
Ojai
Ontario
Orange
Orange Cove
Orinda
Orland
Oroville
Oxnard
Pacific Grove
Pacifica
Palm Desert
Palm Springs
Palmdale
Palo Alto
Palos Verdes Estates
Paradise
Paramount
Parlier
Pasadena
Paso Robles
Patterson
Perris
Petaluma
Pico Rivera
Piedmont
Pinole
Pismo Beach
Pittsburg
Placentia
Placerville
Pleasant Hill
Pleasanton
Plymouth
Point Arena
Pomona
Port Hueneme
Porterville
Portola
Portola Valley
Poway
Rancho Cordova
Rancho Cucamonga
Rancho Mirage
Rancho Palos Verdes
Rancho Santa Margarita
Red Bluff
Redding
Redlands
Redondo Beach
Redwood City
Reedley
Rialto
Richmond
Ridgecrest
Rio Dell
Rio Vista
Ripon
Riverbank
Riverside
Rocklin
Rohnert Park
Rolling Hills
Rolling Hills Estates
Rosemead
Roseville
RossSacramento
St. Helena
Salinas
San Anselmo
San Bernardino
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Clemente
San Diego
San Dimas
San Fernando
San Francisco
San Gabriel
San Jacinto
San Joaquin
San Jose
San Juan Bautista
San Juan Capistrano
San Leandro
San Luis Obispo
San Marcos
San Marino
San Mateo
San Pablo
San Rafael
San Ramon
Sand City
Sanger
Santa Ana
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Clarita
Santa Cruz
Santa Fe Springs
Santa Maria
Santa Monica
Santa Paula
Santa Rosa
Santee
Saratoga
Sausalito
Scotts Valley
Seal Beach
Seaside
Sebastopol
Selma
Shafter
Shasta Lake
Sierra Madre
Signal Hill
Simi Valley
Solana Beach
Soledad
Solvang
Sonoma
Sonora
South El Monte
South Gate
South Lake Tahoe
South Pasadena
South San Francisco
Stanton
Stockton
Suisun City
Sunnyvale
Susanville
Sutter Creek
Taft
Tehachapi
Tehama
Temecula
Temple City
Thousand Oaks
Tiburon
Torrance
Tracy
Trinidad
Truckee
Tulare
Tulelake
Turlock
Tustin
Twentynine PalmsUkiah
Union City
Upland
Vacaville
Vallejo
Ventura
Vernon
Victorville
Villa Park
Visalia
Vista
Walnut
Walnut Creek
Wasco
Waterford
Watsonville
Weed
West Covina
West Hollywood
West Sacramento
Westlake Village
Westminster
Westmorland
Wheatland
Whittier
Wildomar
Williams
Willits
Willows
Windsor
Winters
Woodlake
Woodland
Woodside
Yorba Linda
Yountville
Yreka
Yuba City
Yucaipa
Yucca Valley

NS_Blog_Web_Banner

Please follow and like us:

How an Architect Can Save Your Listing

achi

You likely have forged relationships with real estate lawyers, bankers, and appraisers, among other professionals, calling on their expertise when you and your client need help navigating an aspect of the transaction. Have you considered when you might need an architect’s point of view?

Recently, a real estate agent called me about a house she had listed that had a “unique” floor plan. The first floor was awkwardly designed, and there was no place that leant itself to an intuitive seating arrangement to simply relax and watch television. As soon as buyers walked in, they turned right back around and walked out. The agent told me that none of her buyers could envision living in the house.

Here’s where my perspective came in handy. As an architect, I’m an “idea guy,” and where people see problems with a home’s layout, I see opportunities. Like most architects, I have a vivid imagination and the ability to think and visualize in three dimensions. So when agents need a fresh set of imaginative eyes to look at a property, I’m the guy they often call.

So this agent wanted some ideas about how the house could be adapted to become more appealing to buyers. We spent an hour doing a walkthrough together, and I was able to visualize a simple renovation plan that she could present to her clients. I advised taking down a wall, moving a door to an adjacent room, and creating a proper entry foyer. The job would be far less extensive than she expected, and now armed with ideas, she was able to present the house in a new light. She had something to be excited about, and she could convey that excitement to her clients.

Focus on the Positive With Older Properties

Home inspections are designed to show buyers all the flaws in a home so they can make an educated decision about whether they want to purchase. Even if they like the location of a home, the home inspection report can take the wind out of their sails if it needs a lot of work. Soliciting the advice of an architect at this moment could help buyers keep their vision alive and refocus them on the positive aspects of the house.

I don’t tell them about rotted window trim or leaky gutters; I tell them about how they can open up the kitchen, let more light into the great room, add more garage space, add on a first floor master suite, or create outdoor living spaces, all while reassuring them about the structural integrity of the house. I advise on the feasibility of remodeling and the opportunities that lay hidden within a home. That feedback can help a buyer see the pros more than the cons and keep the transaction on track.

Build the Vision for New Construction

If you sell building lots or raw land, you know how important visualization can be. I’ve walked building sites with agents and their clients, and I ask the buyer what they would like their new house to be. Will it be private or will it make a statement? Will it need a walk-out basement? How large will it be?

Then we discuss the opportunities for each property. We talk about where the sun rises and sets. Which way will they approach the house? Where would the garage and driveway be? Is the lot too steep or does it have a drainage problem? Where are the view opportunities? Through this discussion, we end up determining which lot suits their goals for their new house best. The buyers can now more easily make a choice and buy a property with confidence.

Architects help practitioners and their buyers unravel the uncertainty that can block them from submitting an offer on a property. We don’t sell anything; we remove doubts and open doors to new opportunities. If you’re wondering whether architects “give away” free advice like I do, I can say that the smart ones will. For a few hours of their time, the architect can be introduced to potential clients who may be building or remodeling a house and need their services. Beyond that, the architect and agent get to know more about how they both work and relate to clients. If that goes well, it leads to valuable networking and mutual referrals.

If you don’t already know an architect, contact builders in your area for referrals or contact your local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The AIA will have a membership directory that often describes each architect’s specialty. When you make friends with an architect, you will broaden your vision for properties while helping your clients be more confident in their decisions.

 

Credit to William J. Hirsch

William Hirsch, author of Designing Your Perfect House, is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He’s the former president of the Delaware Society of Architects and a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

NS_Blog_Web_Banner

Please follow and like us: