Importance in Lead Paint disclosure for Rental Properties

(Re-posted from my old blog)

By Kevin J Potters

Last night I happened to watch a few episodes of Forensic Files on TV.  One of which was about a family of refugees seek American dream from Egypt.  Their American dream was shuttered when the youngster kid all of sudden died.  The cause of dead was high concentration of lead in her blood.  Through a lot of effort, it was traced back to when the toddler spent a lot of time playing at the porch where loose paint were found.  It would’ve cost a few hundreds or thousand of dollars to get it painted to have avoided the tragedy!

What’s more! As the official followed up on the documents, they found the landlord/property manager forged the lead paint disclosure because they never disclosed the lead paint information to the immigrant tenant.  The tenant received $700,000 in compensation for the death of their youngster.  The landlord/property manager was fined for $40,000 and 15 months in jail.

The moral of story,  landlords/property managers owning properties older than 1978, is to make sure lead paint disclosure form explained and signed by the tenants, and paint your properties regularly, so there is no flakey, loose paint laying around.

Home Security: Locking Your Doors

Locking Mechanisms for your Home

The earliest locking mechanisms found by archaeologists date all the way back from ancient Assyria. Unlike modern locks these were simple and relatively bulky. When the industrial revolution came around in the 18th century the complexity of locks increased as the supplies to make them and the reasons to keep items secure increased as well.

During the Industrial Revolution the Pin Tumbler lock was invented using a series of small springs and cylinders to prevent the lock from working without the correct key. This type of lock was much smaller than previous locks and is still used today. This is what you now see on many doors both commercial and residential.

 

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Source: torontolocksmith.com

 

When choosing locks for your home choose the best one for your purposes. Interior doors may not need a lock, and while many homes come with them installed the type used is usually ineffective enough that an intruder can easily bypass them with a bit of brute force. Your entrance doors on homes most likely have a deadbolt and a knob lock. While this set up is decent enough many homes also tend to have windows right next to the entrance door allowing thieves to break the window to turn the knobs.

Here are a list of various types of door locks and the purposes behind them. Please note this is not exhaustive of all lock types.

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Padlocks:

Padlocks are portable locks not usually used for homes but for sheds, fences, shop shutters, lockers and luggage backs. Some use keys while others use combinations. They are relatively easy to break and can be cut with a saw if not case hardened. You are probably not going to use these for your home but for garden sheds. Remember to take a good brand, cheaply produced locks can be broken into by removing the locking mechanism with a screwdriver.

Knob Locks:

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These common locks are the ones you most likely already have on all of your bedroom doors and front door. One side is usually a keyhole while the other is a knob. While easy to use it is relatively weak against brute force. A hammer is all it takes for someone to smash off the knob and then remove the lock. In addition the actual mechanism is usually vulnerable to being picked. The main use of these locks is to provide privacy in your home.

Lever Handle Lock:

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The lever handle lock is basically the commercial equivalent to the Knob Lock. They are easy to open for handicapped people and are common in office buildings and sometimes apartments. Depending on the model the lock can be forced by with a torque attack thanks to the long handle.

Deadbolt:

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Usually found on entrance doors the deadbolt’s main weakness is that the inside side usually has an easily turned knob to disengage the lock. Most doors have small windows (Sidelites) that allow you to take a look at guests outside but can be easily smashed to allow an intruder to turn the deadbolt. You can remedy this by installing a deadbolt that uses a key on both sides. However this can be a major hazard in the event of a fire where someone will need to get a key to unlock the door. Therefore you should leave the key near the door, possibly on a wall or a in a box. Alternatively metal bars or reinforced glass can be used to prevent access to the knob from the outside.

Mortise Locks:

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Mortise locks can be found on your storm doors, commercial doors and apartments. They are harder to install but more durable than other locks. They work as both a door knob and a dead bolt.

Euro Profile Cylinders:

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These locks can be considered a smaller version of a deadbolt they are found mainly in sliding doors in the United States but in Europe and Asia they are used in homes. Like a deadbolt they come in both single side lock with thumb turn knob and double side lock varieties. Unlike deadbolts they are much more fragile, because the connection between both halves of the lock is thin allowing someone with pliers to snap it it half.

Jimmy Proof Deadbolt:

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The last lock on this list is the Jimmy Proof Deadbolt. These do not require as much modification to the door because they go on the surface. These are resistant to being forced from the outside and may have a toggle to prevent lockpicking. These are common in apartments and double doors.

 

What Is An Open Listing Contract?

for Sale SignPosted by Kevin J Potter

The legal document which allows a licensed real estate broker the right to offer a property for sale is known as a listing contract. In the state of New Jersey, there are the three types of listing contracts: (1) exclusive rights to sell listing, (2) exclusive agency listing, and (3) open listing.

Listing Contracts

Each type of listing contract provides a different form of relationship between the agent (the real estate broker) and the principal (the seller).

  1. An exclusive rights to sell listing is the most common listing contract. As the name suggest, this listing allows one real estate broker to be the sole and exclusive agent for a seller and assures that the agent is compensated even if the homeowner sells the property himself.
  2. An exclusive agency listing also allows one real estate broker to be the sole and exclusive agent for a seller but allows the homeowner to sell the property himself without compensation to the owner.
  3. An open listing not only allows the homeowner to list the property with more than one broker but also allows the homeowner to sell the property himself.

listing Contract

Open Listing Contracts

Of the three listing contract available in New Jersey, an open listing is the most appeasing to a seller; however, the qualities that make it so beneficial are also what make it so detrimental to a seller.

The Potential Benefits

Open Listing HomeUnder an open listing contract, since any broker is allowed to sell the home, any broker is allowed to market the home. This results in multiple picket signs placed on the lawn and a heightened amount of advertisement and promotion – due to several brokers marketing the home rather than just one. Having six different real estate brokers market your house and only having to pay one (if any, since the homeowner can sell the house too) is of course the best way to sell a home. But what the expectations of an open listing is different from the reality of it.

The Realistic Consequences

An open listing is appeasing to a seller but not so much to a real estate broker. Brokers do not like “friendly” competition nor do they like the idea of not being paid for their efforts. Thus, little effort is given. After all, if you are not going to give a broker your full attention, why should they give you theirs? A brokers will rarely market a property under an open listing contract, unless they are certain they can prove a potential buyer was produced by them. So all that advertisement and promotion the homeowner thought they would get falls down to little to none.

Conclusion

The natural tendency of an open listing require the homeowner to do their own marketing. If the homeowner is inexperienced or unskilled, than the result could be the property being left on the market for much longer than expected. This is not to say that an open contract is completely useless. In some cases they can be more more beneficial than an exclusive agency listing or an exclusive rights to sell listing, but only to those who understand the real estate business and/or marketing. It is highly recommended for a homeowner to use a exclusive rights to sell listing or at least an exclusive agency listing. However, if you think you have the skill and time, then use an open listing. Just be sure you understand the challenge, and do not mistake it for free marketing.

Importance in Lead Paint disclosure for Rental Properties

Last night I happened to watch a few episodes of Forensic Files on TV.  One of which was about a family of refugees seek American dream from Egypt.  Their American dream was shuttered when the youngster kid all of sudden died.  The cause of dead was high concentration of lead in her blood.  Through a lot of effort, it was traced back to when the toddler spent a lot of time playing at the porch where loose paint were found.  It would’ve cost a few hundreds or thousand of dollars to get it painted to have avoided the tragedy!

What’s more! As the official followed up on the documents, they found the landlord/property manager forged the lead paint disclosure because they never disclosed the lead paint information to the immigrant tenant.  The tenant received $700,000 in compensation for the death of their youngster.  The landlord/property manager was fined for $40,000 and 15 months in jail.

The moral of story,  landlords/property managers owning properties older than 1978, is to make sure lead paint disclosure form explained and signed by the tenants, and paint your properties regularly, so there is no flakey, loose paint laying around.