Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Attention Landlords: New law takes effect Jan 1st 2011 regarding Handicap Parking signage

New law taking effect on January 1st, 2011 relative to posting Handicap Parking signage.

The law, passed on July 6th, 2010, establishes a penalty of $250.00 for failure to affix a sign to each designated Handicap or Disabled parking space on either public or private property. RSA 265:73-a Parking Signs; Disabled, states:

265:73-a Parking Signs; Disabled. A parking space on private or public property that is reserved for persons who are disabled shall be marked by a sign affixed to a post or a building. Said sign shall be clearly visible to anyone directly approaching that particular space. Failure to comply with the sign placement requirements of this section shall subject the property owner to a $250 fine, provided that the owner shall not be fined more than once in any 120-day period for the same violation.

Property owners and landlords should be aware that they are responsible for posting appropriate signage and assuring that it is in place after snow removal operations on their properties have ceased.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Revised IRS 1099 Requirements for Landlords

NOTE: This is a revised version of a previous eNews bearing the same title.
Please disregard the previous version, as this one includes updated information.

December 22, 2010

New IRS 1099 Requirements for Landlords

Click here for a short NAR podcast containing further details regarding the change. Starting in 2011, there is a new tax requirement for landlords. All landlords who receive $600 or more in rent for the year must send a 1099 to all service providers that the landlord paid $600 or more during the year, such as plumbers, carpenters, yard services or repair people.

The new requirement applies to owners of both residential and commercial property. Prior to 2011, this requirement had only applied to those involved in full-time property management, but now the requirement covers all types of landlords.

Landlords will need to gather federal tax ID numbers from service providers in order to file the 1099s. Failure to file the 1099s with the IRS can result in fines of $50per 1099 not filed. In 2012, these requirements will expand to cover providers of goods to landlords.

NAR actively opposed this change in the law and is working with others to have this requirement repealed or otherwise modified. Congress took this action in order to assure that income paid to contractors can be verified through a Section 1099. To read more about the history of the law as well as the actions NAR has taken to oppose this change in the law, click here:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Landlords Say They Lose Thousands To Bad Tenants

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Landlords call it a growing problem in a down economy -- tenants getting evicted and never paying their back rent.

Some said the overdue money is nearly impossible to get back, causing some landlords to call for laws to be changed.

"To me, it's like a theft," said landlord Thomas Rudinsky. "They basically stole the money."

Rudinsky said an eviction can take months by the time a tenant is legally thrown out of an apartment and ordered to pay overdue rent. He said the tenant can then disappear, and it falls on the landlord to pay a collection agency.

"It becomes good money after bad money," he said. "You could spend $1,000 to collect $1,500."

Even if they're found, many of the delinquent tenants admit in court that they don't have the money, landlords said. By law, someone can't be forced to pay a debt that the person can't afford, so many landlords said they don't try.

"The goal is, if they don't pay rent, to get them out," said Ronald Dupont of Red Oak Apartment Homes. "Very kindly, very compassionately."

Dupont said he rents almost 1,000 apartments through his Manchester company. Each year, he said, he loses $60,000 to $80,000 in unpaid back rent.

"Once they leave, they just leave," he said. "I don't bother with it 99.9 percent of the time."

According to the New Hampshire Property Owners Association, the economy has caused more evictions and more unpaid rent. The group said it wants the court system to do more to enforce orders that tenants pay up.

"A judge is entitled to bring them up on contempt charges and jail them if they do not pay," said Debbie Valente of the NH Property Owners Association. "They don't enforce that at all."

Valente said that for some tenants, that's a license to scam. She said they're called "career tenants" -- tenants who will move in, stop paying rent and stretch out the eviction for months of free rent.

"There's no ramifications, no consequences," she said. "So why should a tenant pay?"

Judge Edwin Kelly, head of the district court system, said people are sent to jail for failure to pay, but in most cases, the former tenant is broke, and no action is taken.

Some argue that landlords need to be more careful choosing who they rent to. Landlords can pay for a screening service such as Landlord Connection in Merrimack.

The service weeds out bad applicants through court and credit checks and keeps a list of notorious tenants.

"We had one woman who was so creative," said Jeannine Richardson of Landlord Connection. "She used eight different last names."

But landlords already on the hook said they believe the courts should do more. Rudinsky is pushing for a state law that would require more court help in the collection process.

He said that if the state did more to track down old debts, it would be a boost to the state budget.

If I'm not collecting that back rent, this is lost tax revenue for the state of New Hampshire," he said.

There is no statewide estimate for how much the state loses each year on taxes it would have claimed on rental revenue. But some landlords said the cost can be so much that it drives them out of business.

"We are a necessity to the state," Valente said. "Yet you're breaking us. You're crippling us."

Kelly said he doesn't think there is more the courts can do. He said it's the court's role to issue judgments, not investigate former tenants.

Watch Video here:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WMUR-TV to air special about NH Landlords

WMUR-TV (Channel 9) plans to air a segment on Thursday, December 9th 2010 on their 11:00pm news about how the economy has impacted NH Landlords, the low recovery of back rent and damages owed and several other topics of interest.

I was interviewed for the show as well as several landlords around the state. I think it's a good thing to make people aware that landlords aren't as rich as many like to think.

If you miss the show, I will post a link to the segment on Friday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

NHPOA Upcoming Landlord Meetings

12.09.2010 | 07.00 PM NHPOA Salem/ Derry Meeting
Topic: Evictions

12.13.2010 | 06.30 PM NHPOA Manchester Meeting
Topic: Taxes

For details, visit