Where’s the Real Estate Market? Landlord to Landlord “Just use my Security Deposit …”

Where’s the Housing Market and where is it going?
Everyone seems to be an expert and know exactly what to do. Except most of those folks are not in the Real Estate business. (Actually reminds me of President Nixon
who told us that he had a “roomful of Economists” in his Administration and Staff. When he asked them where his economy was going they all pointed in a different direction!)
OK So here’s the Statistics for Single Family houses in Peabody, MA Let me know what you think about the Real Estate Market there? I’ll give you my “read” Thursday.
Last month
Units – Average List Price – Average Sale Price – Days On Market
40 – $349,608. – $338,634. – 63.85
Same month last year 2011
21 – $345,529. – $336,626. – 79.19
Same month two years ago 2010
31 – $343,441. – $328,445. – 69.61
Active Currently on the Market
113 – $336,601. – ? – 99.44

Landlord to Landlord
what Do I Do When … the Tenant wants to use the Security Deposit as RENT?

by John Nuzzolese
So your Tenant asked to use the Security Deposit as RENT? This happens to Landlords everywhere, every day. The Rent isn’t paid, you ask the Tenant for the Rent and they say:
“We don’t have the Rent this month, couldn’t you just take it from our Security Deposit?” or “We are moving – you’ll just have to use our Security.”

Most Landlords are caught off guard and are just dumbfounded when this happens. Beware this is a common occurrence in the Landlord business.

How can we be prepared for this situation?
First it is very important that your Rental agreement contains a good Security Deposit clause. *
I believe it is very important to read the Lease to the Tenant before the Tenant signs it.
The Security Deposit clause explains how Security money may not be allowed to be used as Rent. That’s when I warn the Tenant against trying to use their Security Deposit as Rent.
These are the points I try to make clear to the Tenant:
_ Security is to be kept in a special Escrow account for the entire term of the Tenancy.
– Security may not be used by the Landlord for any reason other than Physical or Financial damages as a result of the Tenant’s failing to comply with the Lease contract.
– Failure to pay Rent is cause for eviction which will result in the destruction of your credit rating.
– I report delinquencies to the credit bureau.
– Your Lease agreement states that Security Deposits are not to be used as Rent, so if you ask me to do that, you would be breaking your Contract and your word.
– If your word and signature are no longer good, then I may not believe anything you say about when you want to leave. So I’ll be forced to begin legal action.
– In the event you default on your Rent, you are responsible for my late fees, collection costs and attorney fees.

I’ve been able to counter this particular type of “Tenant attack” by being ready with the right comeback:
Tenant: I don’t have the Rent this month. You’re going to have to take it from our Security Deposit.
Me: That’s too bad. I hope you remember the consequences you agreed to in your Lease.
Tenant: Oh yeah! What’s that?
Me: Security Deposit is not to be used as Rent … ever. Non-payment of Rent is a breach of this Lease subjecting you to late charges, delinquency credit reporting, attorney fees, etc
Do you really want to incur all these charges, flush your credit down the drain and have to go to Court over your last month’s rent?
Tenant: No. Thanks for setting me straight.

OK the Tenant doesn’t usually say that. He may say a few things I don’t want to put in print here but will usually snap back in line. Sometimes the Tenants will bluff to see what you do,
but when they receive an Attorney’s letter, that show’s you weren’t kidding, they should pay up and follow the rules.
Try to remember these points or have this page ready to refer to in case the Tenant pulls the old “Use my Deposit as rent” trick.
Landlord Protection Agency, Shawnee Co landlords Assn. GLA

* (like our local Massachusetts Lease does. Available to Members of www.MassRealEstate.net on our website.) MH (Mike Hurney)
** When we have Housing Court Judge Kerman speak to us for our annual review, he always spends time on the Security Deposit issues because that’s the area with the most violations
in Tenant-Landlord situations and the legal requirements are VERY clear. MH (Next is landlords not treating this as a Business.)
*** The “Tenants Guide to Legal Action” is available for purchase. You can email: [email protected] And don’t forget to ALWAYS treat everyone involved with the utmost respect. A situation can unnecessarily deteriorate very quickly.

Movers and Shakers Friday July 20, 2012 7-8:30PM Denny’s of Danvers. Main Meeting Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:30-9:00PM. See you soon, Mike

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