Though this year’s Super Bowl is irrelevant because of its lack of Eagles, there are apparently still enough people out there who want to attend the festivities that the illegal short-term lease market is booming in New Orleans. [More]
Tom and his wife are facing a scary proposition: termites. In their home. They’re renters, so they called the landlords. That’s why people rent, right? So they have landlords who will take care of this stuff. And their landlords are happy to take care of it: by calling in exterminators to tent the house and kill any pests inside. That’s okay, but requires vacating the house for a few days. Tom and Mrs. Tom don’t have the money to cover a motel stay up front for the time they’ll be required to be out of the house. Sure, they could sleep in their car and hang out at the library or something when they’re not at work, but they have dogs. And they live in Florida. It’s August. Even the cheapest motels that allow dogs are too expensive. What should they do?
Grumbling over the rising price of rent? You’re not the only one — across the country, it’s becoming more expensive to rent, with rates rising at a pace that hasn’t been seen since before the financial crisis. Fear of even higher rents might be keeping tenants in their apartments as well, as the vacancy rate was the lowest it’s been since 2001.
Yesterday, we shared with you the story of Z, the room he rented in a small city in central California, and the landlord who thought it was totally okay to stay in his bedroom while he was out of town. We didn’t expect to get an update this soon, or for the story to get even stranger. It turns out that while the owner of the house may be mentally ill, according to local police, she has definitely been running a scam for at least the last few months that consists of collecting rent and deposits, then terrorizing renters so they move out. Whether the “terrorizing” part is intentional or not isn’t clear.
When you’re searching for your next place to rent, it’s easy to be swept up in attractive amenities, blinding yourself to potential pitfalls. That’s exactly the type of mentality swindlers are counting on when they attempt to bilk money out of lazy rental hunters.
If you own a home with an extra room, you could be sitting on a potential easy income stream. The proposition of taking in a boarder could be especially attractive to those who have basements, since the relative privacy of the bottom floor makes renting the room out less intrusive.
Sure, there are Netflix-style rental services where you can rent designer dresses and accessories by mail, but would you swap toys with strangers by post? A few recent startups are betting that you will, at least to try out new and pricey toys before buying them, or to reduce clutter.
I was cruising down I-95 to Maryland to see my uncle’s bluegrass band with my step-father in the passenger seat and my wife in the back, when I noticed my Hertz rental wasn’t steering as responsively as before. The tire pressure indicator light went on, then the passenger-side airbag light was on steady, and so was the car temperature gauge.
Investors have been snatching up houses in Philly and then applying a “rent ’em n’ forget ’em” policy. Once-picturesque blocks where neighbors competed to have the nicest flowerbed have degenerated into ones where they seem to be fighting to see who can have the highest unmowed lawn.
Netflix’s much-maligned price increase kicks in today, but not for all customers. The new pricing plan, which charges $7.99 a month to stream movies and another $7.99 to rent one DVD at a time, doesn’t go into effect until your September billing date. Depending on when your bill is due, you can squeeze a few extra days of the old rates out of your plan before either canceling or choosing either streaming or disc rentals to avoid the bill bump.
Although the depressed housing market has made things easy for home buyers, it seems to have had an adverse effect on renters, who face more competition with perhaps fewer openings than ever. Thanks to former homeowners who suffered short sales or foreclosures and are forced into the rental market, there are more renters playing musical chairs.
D. hates her current apartment, and is looking for a new place to live. The catch? She works as a temp, and has had some credit problems. She has a steady work history, and also a decade-long history of on-time rent payments to the management company she currently rents from. She wonders: what advice does the Consumerist Hive Mind have for her as she looks for a new home?
According to a recently filed lawsuit, a big rental chain installs physical hardware and software into its rented computers, capturing the keystrokes, screenshots, and even webcam images of unsuspecting customers. The only way to disable it is by waving an electronic “wand” over the device. The spyware was revealed when a store manager for the chain showed up at renter’s house to try to repossess the laptop and showed the renter a picture of him taken by the webcam, unbeknownst to him, by the leased laptop.
S. rents a house in Florida, and the refrigerator needs repair. Her dilemma is that her landlord wants to use a specific repairman, who is only available when S. and the rest of her household aren’t available to wait around. The landlord has offered to let the repairman in, but S. isn’t comfortable with having anyone in her home when she’s not around. What would you do?
Being a landlord can be a dream, with an easy stream of income with little ongoing effort required, but the career can also be a nightmare of repair bills and troubling tenants.
Do you share an apartment or house with multiple people, but aren’t sure how to divide up the rent? Not all bedrooms are created equal, but the Split the Rent calculator can help you figure out who owes what. It accounts for variables like bedroom size, private bathrooms, windows, closet space, and the amount of common space in the home.
Personal finance blogger Romeo of How We Prevent Wealth recently had a lucky near miss: he put down a deposit on a new rental home, then purely by chance learned that the same home was about to enter foreclosure. He was able to avoid the situation and get his deposit back, but he might not have been so lucky.
We’ve been getting a few emails about a new kind of rental scam where they try to lure you into giving over your credit card and personal information to a “free credit score” site. One was from Reader Benjamin, who was looking for a house to rent when he and his wife stumbled across a too good to be true deal, a fully-furnished 3-bedroom house in Maryland for only $1200. Seeing as they had nothing to lose, they emailed the lister, just to see what would happen.