Municipalities Can No Longer Invade Tenant Space

Municipalities Can No Longer Invade Tenant Space

Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 107 into law on November 28, 2017.  The bill, popularly called the “Tenant Permission Bill,” was promoted by the Rental Property Owners Association of Michigan (RPOA-M), Apartment Association of Michigan (AAM) and the local Rental Property Owners Association in Grand Rapids (RPOA).  The law, now Public Act 169 of 2017, will take effect 90 days from the Governor’s signature which is February 26, 2018.  The law changes various aspects of the Housing Law of Michigan rental inspection enforcement regulations.

 The most prominent change under the new law is the removal of the right of a municipality to enter a rental premise for an inspection—without the tenant’s permission–under the landlord’s contractual right within a lease to enter the premises.  Several U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, have ruled time and time again that municipalities must obtain permission from a tenant before entering their unit for a rental inspection, except in cases of an emergency.  This new law will now require municipalities to obtain permission or an administrative warrant or wait until the unit is vacant before entering for an inspection.

 Specifically, the new law requires a tenant to allow a municipality entry in the following situations:

·                   The lease authorizes an enforcing agency inspector to enter the leasehold for an inspection. (A clause in the lease must specifically state that the tenant agrees to allow the enforcing agency inspector to enter the premises for a municipal rental inspection.)

·                   The lessee has made a complaint to the enforcing agency.

·                   The enforcing agency serves an administrative warrant ordering the lessee to provide access.

·                   The lessee has given consent.

What about units where there are more than one tenant/leasee?  Requesting and receiving permission from one leasee satisfies the permission for the entry requirement.

 What about a landlord’s rights?  The same Federal courts which have ruled that tenants must give permission have also ruled that municipalities have a right to carry out rental inspections for health and safety purposes and may enter a unit if the tenant gives permission—with or without the consent of the landlord.

 Under the previous and new modified Housing Law, landlords must, in good faith, seek to obtain permission of the tenant for a municipal inspection.  Landlords are not allowed to discourage, in any way, a tenant’s choice to allow entry.  Doing so could endanger the landlord’s protections under the law.  This does not, however, mean that a landlord cannot inform the tenant of their right to refuse the inspection.

The law also includes two very important protections for the tenant and the landlord, namely that neither the tenant nor the landlord can be discriminated against for the tenant exercising their right to refuse an inspection.  For the tenant this means the municipality can’t threaten the tenant with condemnation of their rental unit or otherwise fine the tenant for refusal of entry.  For the landlord, this means that the municipality cannot condemn the property, remove a certificate of compliance or otherwise charge a fee or fine for the tenant’s refusal of entry if the landlord has fulfilled their obligations under the other parts of the law.

 So, when do landlords have to allow the municipality entry?  Here are specific circumstances under the new law when a landlord must provide entry:

 ·                   The lease authorizes an enforcing agency inspector to enter the leasehold for an inspection. (A clause in the lease must specifically state that the tenant agrees to allow the enforcing agency inspector to enter the premises for a municipal rental inspection.)

·                   The lessee has made a complaint to the enforcing agency.

·                   The leasehold is vacant.

·                   The enforcing agency serves an administrative warrant ordering the owner to provide access.

·                   In cases of an emergency.

 The changes to the law were necessary to protect tenants from aggressive municipal tactics that used threats of eviction and more to enter a rental premise—all of which were contrary to the rights of all citizens under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Clay Powell, Director of the RPOA-M and RPOA, stated that it has taken nearly four years to get these changes made and wishes to thank all the legislators that were involved along the way to make the changes reality and bring Michigan into compliance with Federal Law.

As always, except in cases of an emergency, a landlord/property manager must give tenants a 24-hour notice before entry.

Property Owners and Tax Time

Property Owners and Tax Time

The key to saving money on your tax return is to take advantage of the many deductions offered to full-time rental property owners. Your property is considered a full-time rental if you allocate fewer than 15 days for personal use.

Some of the most basic deductions that landlords could easily overlook are costs related to cleaning and maintenance, property taxes, management fees, mortgage interest, advertising, and even property insurance.

Want to save even more money? You can also deduct expenses related to traveling to manage your property, depreciation of your property, HOA fees, insurance claim deductibles, operating expenses, and even your utilities. Basically, any cost you incur to keep your rental property up and running can be filed as a tax deductible expense.

If your rental property expenses exceeded your rental earnings, you can even deduct your losses. If your annual income (adjusted gross income) is below $100,000, you are eligible to deduct up to $25,000 of your rental losses. As your annual income increases, the rental loss deduction is reduced.

One of the best tips any landlord could get is to keep meticulous records or better yet, hire a professional property manager to keep these records for you. You must treat your rental property like a business. The more expenses that you document, the better chance you have to get those tax deductions and keep more of your money. Rental Management One provides detailed expenses reports and even copies of expense receipts for our Owners to turn into their CPA making this important task a “non-stress” related task.

New to the Rental Game

With the popularity of travel websites such as Airbnb, many people are interested in the opportunity to turn their primary and/or secondary home into a money making property, which is a great idea I might add. The good news is, for rental experts and noobs alike, you can dramatically benefit by adding a professional property manager to your business team. The cost is low but the value is worth every penny. Call Rental Management One at 248-208-3882 and start getting the most money out of your rental property.

DIY Upgrades That Make Your Property Feel Like a Luxury Rental

DIY Upgrades That Make Your Property Feel Like a Luxury Rental

Renovations can be expensive, especially when you want to turn your property into a luxury rental to attract higher-paying tenants. While materials and furniture can be expensive, the prices really start to climb when you bring a professional into the mix. Luckily for your budget, that isn’t always necessary.

Instead, try these DIY upgrades, all of which will make your property feel like a truly luxurious rental.

Update the Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen isn’t just a place to cook and eat; it’s often the space where tenants spend time with friends and family. A simple way to turn the kitchen in the most lavish space in the home is to update the kitchen cabinets. This gives the space an instant facelift at a fraction of the cost of re-doing the entire space.

The lowest-cost update is to paint the cabinets a fresh new color. If you have a little more budget, consider refacing the current cabinets or replacing them altogether. Finally, take it one step further and replace the hardware on your cabinets for another visually impactful, yet simple DIY project.


Update the Fireplace

The fireplace is a coveted feature, but one that’s not in top condition can be an eyesore and detract from your property’s value. Not to mention, it’s a centerpiece of the home, which means the smallest changes can make a big difference. A few ways to upgrade the fireplace include:

1. Replace the doors with tinted glass: Tinted glass looks classy, and keeps the mess covered: “Your fireplace is the ugliest place in your home. It’s covered with soot, ashes, and is a grayish blackish mess. Glass doors with tinted glass do a great job of hiding the unsightly mess. It’s like closets. No matter how well organized they are, most people still like a door to keep them out of sight,” says Sam Wilhoit, of Brick-Anew.

2. Paint the brick: Bring your fireplace to life with a fresh coat of paint. Consider re-staining or painting the mantle as well to create an entirely new look that elevates the entire room.

Update the Backsplash

An easy and economical DIY project is updating the backsplash in the kitchen. Fresh tile has a significant visual impact without being expensive. “This is another tenant appreciated upgrade that can be very economical if you get tiles on sale and install yourself. Even if the tiles are not on sale, you’re usually only covering an area that is 2 feet by 10 feet = 20 square feet of area = 20 tiles,” shares Nathan Richard with

If you want to skip the sometimes-tricky installation, go with peel and stick subway tiles instead. These are both inexpensive and easy to use, giving the kitchen a luxurious look without the high price tag or extensive sweat equity.

Update the Garage Door

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to boost curb appeal and the value of your property is to replace the garage doors. Having worn out or out of date garage doors can make a poor first impression, losing potential tenants before they even step inside.

The best part: garage doors can easily be replaced, and you can also upgrade or replace the hardware on the doors to make an impact without the extra work of a full replacement.

Upgrade Lighting

Lighting has an immediate impact on the feel of a home, making it feel dark and closed off or well-lit, open, and inviting. “One of the worst things about rental units has got to be the outdated light fixtures. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest switches. Simply swap out that light fixture for something more your style. Just be sure to reattach the original fixture before moving out,” says Keri Sanders with

Updating lighting fixtures can be as inexpensive as your budget needs, with a wide variety of options at varying price points. Consider some of the most popular modern styles, including unique chandeliers and wood and metal materials.

Finally: Clean the Property

Never underestimate the impact of a clean rental, especially if you want it to have that luxurious feel—it’s hard to sell relaxation when the space is filthy: “Nothing will turn off a potential renter more than a dirty place,” says Patricia-Anne Tom with

It can seem almost too simple, but a good cleaning is a great opportunity to make the rental shine—literally—to prospective tenants. Deep clean the rental twice yearly, if possible, and hire a professional if possible. Don’t forget the often overlooked areas like baseboards, window treatments, ceiling fans and appliances.

A small budget can go a long way to turning a mediocre rental into one that looks could be in a luxury home magazine. Use these ideas to take your space up a notch and attract renters who are ready to spend more.

Find out which rental property kitchen and bath trends are making a statement in 2017.

Original article:

Hey Real Estate Agents, we can help you!

Hey Real Estate Agents, we can help you!
  • Do you  have a client interested in leasing their home while they work abroad for a few years?
  • Do you have a client currently underwater on their home but would like to buy a new home?
  • Do you have a client who wants to lease their home but is nervous about being a landlord or lives in another state?
  • Do you own investment properties and want to see how property management services could make your life easier?

Rental Management One (RMO) is a great resource when dealing with any of the above scenarios. We are a full service property management company and proud to be a part of the Real Estate One Family of Companies. We have the entire state of Michigan covered offering operational oversight, efficient leasing and marketing strategy, financial reporting and top notch Owner and Tenant Services.

Here are a few things we offer your clients:

  • 24/7 Online Owner Portal
  • 24/7 Online Resident Portal
  • Careful 5 Point Tenant Application Screening
  • Rent Collection including e-payments
  • Direct Deposit of Owner Proceeds
  • Emergency, Preventative and Routine Maintenance Coordination
  • Lease Docs and Compliance Review
  • Complete Security Deposit Handling
  • Property Inspections
  • Owner Reports & Tax Statements
  • Payment of All Property Expenses
  • Eviction & Legal Services

What we offer you:

  • Agent Referral Fee – We will pay you a referral fee (See attached Agent Referral Program)
  • Lead Loyalty – We carefully protect your lead so if the Owner should want to buy another home or sell the current one, you are given back the lead.
  • The ability to offer your clients an additional option when selling isn’t possible.

Other Important Information:

  • We do not list and sell real estate. At Rental Management One we manage commercial, single family, multi-family and vacation property exclusively. Because we do NOT list and sell homes, local brokers and agents have found us a reliable ally and partner in their efforts to service their customers and clients.
  • We have a combined 75+ years in property management experience on our team. When the client you refer experiences our professionalism and quality service they will thank you.
  • We can manage all your rental inventory.Most Brokers or Agents manage rentals because they feel they must in order to get repeat listing and sales from their clients. Now you don’t. We will take over your inventory of rentals, pay you a referral fee, give your clients and customers great management service, and when your client is ready to sell, or purchase again, you get the client back. We have done this for other brokers and agents and it works great for the both of us. It really is a win, win.
  • You can refer the property management services and still do the lease listing. Many agents don’t recommend management services because they don’t want to lose the leasing commission. However, this is not a problem. You have the option to refer the lease and management services or just the management. Many agents prefer to refer both as a lease listing can be very time consuming but you do always have the option to refer management services only. We will still provide you with support for your lease listing such as lease doc preparation and tenant screening services.

To send your referral to Rental Management One, it’s easier than ever. Just visit our website at and click on “client referrals”.


5 Ways a Property Management Company Can Benefit Your Portfolio

5 Ways a Property Management Company Can Benefit Your Portfolio

Your rental portfolio is growing, and managing resident requests is getting more difficult. Maintenance at some of your properties needs extra attention, and renewals are just around the corner. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for you. Just keeping up is leaving opportunities on the table.
It may be time to enlist the help of a property management company to handle the details.

The obvious upside to owning rental property is passive income. With owning investment properties comes negotiating obstacles that require time and extra money if not managed efficiently. Failing to efficiently navigate the difficult issues inherent to property management can stall growth opportunities and ultimately stall the portfolio’s growth.

“Property management is a problem-based business,” says Amelia Christensen, Director of Property Management for Homespot Property Management LLC . “If we don’t have problems, we really don’t have a job.”

Relationships are everything in property management

Christensen, who has been a property manager since 2011 at the family-based business in Portales, N.M., says even the smallest of single-family owners can benefit from letting someone handle the details. Property managers can be a buffer between owners and the resident and help find common ground with issues that concern both parties. In addition, companies like Homespot Property Management, LLC, can help with the entire scope of asset management so owners can improve their portfolios.

The key, Christensen says, is to work with a property manager that focuses on relationship-based management. Forging mutually beneficial relationships is how Homespot Property Management, LLC, has organically grown from managing 35 single-family properties in 2011 to more than 350. A couple of owners have about 30 properties, but smaller portfolios compose the rest the company’s business.

“Working with a property management company is a relationship based thing,” she said. “You need to have a good relationship. There are going to be mistakes made, there are going to be problems and you want to be working with someone who you’re comfortable working through problems with.”

A strong working relationship also helps create a greater bond with residents. With a property management company, the owner can let someone else help with unpleasant issues while improving relationships with residents.

“I have owners who talk to tenants and they’ll always say, ‘Go talk to Homespot for the details’,” Christensen said. “They don’t want to be the bad buy, they want to be the happy, good guy.”

It’s also a good idea to clearly understand the fees for the property management company’s services.

“You want to know what they are going to charge, how they charge it,” Christensen said. “Do they charge whether the property is rented or not, are there flat fees involved, or is it a percentage based off of rent, are there associated fees for handling maintenance repairs, that kind of thing.”

5 Benefits of working with a Property Management Company

Here are five benefits of working with a property management company, according to Christensen:

1. Keeping an eye on the details

A property management company keeps an eye on the little things entailed in day-to-day property management. Managing leases and renewals are key functions, as well as handling maintenance issues. Also, PMCs help plan for bigger maintenance issues like tree trimming, painting, repairs and owner improvements.

2. Charting a path

Determine what you want your rental portfolio to look like and enlist the help of a property management company to help plan for the future. A PMC can help the property owner take a look at the bigger picture and ultimately determine how the asset will be used toward achieving an end goal.

3. Asset and financial planning

In addition to handling the books through a property management system like Propertyware, PMCs can help owners know what to ask of their accountant for tax planning.

4. Handling the dirty work

Christensen says owners can empower experienced PMCs to do the background checks, collect money and manage the tough issues that go along with rental properties. She said often unknowing owners can duped by residents who want to take advantage of the system. “Most owners want to be the hero, you want to help someone out, but sadly there are people who take advantage of kindness.”

5. Provide that special touch

Christensen says good property management revolves around great relationships with owners. When the PMC and owner work in harmony, good things are accomplished. A PMC should be able to work with you to provide a level of service everyone is comfortable with.

“You have to have someone you can work with during the good times and even in the bad times,” Christensen said. “You have to be able to celebrate wins but be able to trudge through the losses. It’s part of owning rentals.”

Original article here

Positive 2017 Forecast for Rental Property Investors

Positive 2017 Forecast for Rental Property Investors

According to Real Property Management’s economic report for landlords, which analyzes market conditions expected to contribute to the health of the rental industry. It predicts 2017 to be a bright year for single-family property investors, with key factors being rental and vacancy rates.

“Rental rate increases will outpace inflation in the coming year, while vacancy rates will remain stable,” said Bob Pifke, CMO of Property Management Business Solutions, LLC. “The market conditions that have made single-family home investments attractive in the past will continue in 2017, though it may be more challenging than before to find new rental properties. Foreclosure rates, housing price changes and mortgage rates will be important for those planning to buy or sell rental units.”
The following are predictions for investors in rental and single-family residences in the coming year:

  • Rental rates will increase faster than inflation. The current $1,459 rental rate for a three-bedroom single-family residence will exceed $1,500 in 2017. The supply of single family rentals is unlikely to increase enough to offset new household formation and population growth. Meanwhile, the consumer price index was 1.6 percent for the twelve months ending October 2016. Moving forward, inflation is likely to exceed 2 percent, but will still lag the year-over-year 4.8 percent rental increase at the end of the third quarter of 2016.
  • Vacancy rates will remain in the low 5 percent range. Vacancy rates for three-bedroom single-family residences through the third quarter of 2016 was 5.2 percent, down slightly from the 5.3 percent rate at the end of 2015. We expect vacancy rates to remain at this level, because rental increases will stabilize demand.
  • Mortgage rates will increase. In December, the Federal Reserve announced its second Fed Funds rate increase in ten years. It is extremely likely that additional increases will be made during 2017. That means mortgage rates in the 3% range will disappear. We expect rates to be in the 4% range for 2017.
  • Foreclosures will remain at a low level. Per CoreLogic, the seriously delinquent rate for foreclosures is currently 2.6 percent – the lowest level since August 2007. Barring a shock to the economy, Real Property Management expects foreclosures to remain low in 2017. This will make it more challenging for investors to find deals.
  • House prices will increase faster than inflation. According to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller, the national home price increased 5.39 percent through September 2016, and is now $274,000. However, housing prices have not yet returned to their 2007 peak. With an improving economy, it is likely housing prices will continue to grow. As mortgage rates increase, many homeowners who previously refinanced will find a replacement home more expensive. This will dampen their willingness to sell their existing house and limit the supply of existing homes for sale. Builders did not increase new home construction in 2016 compared to 2015.

Call Rental Management One to assist you with your Michigan investment properties! 

View source version on

Copyright Business Wire 2017

Michigan Landlords Can Say No To Marijuana

Michigan Landlords Can Say No To Marijuana

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that lets landlords prohibit medical marijuana patients from growing or smoking the drug on leased residential property.

The law enacted Tuesday adds another exception to a 2008 voter-approved law that legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

That law already does not require insurers to reimburse people for medical marijuana, nor does it mandate that employers accommodate employees’ use of the drug for medical purposes.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, says two rental homes in his district were destroyed after they were “turned into greenhouses to grow marijuana without permission.” He says growing marijuana for medical purposes “doesn’t trump safety or private property rights.”

Jones says the law codifies a 2011 state attorney general opinion.

Original Article: