Tag Archives: tips

Eliminate Disputes over Spoiled Food Loss with Lobster Claws

Whoops…I meant with a Lobster Clause.

You may not have been there before, but eventually you will, and sooner rather than later if you own multiple properties. Scenario:

Tenant’s out for the day, or away for an extended period. Electrical malfunction results in the fridge circuit going down, and by the time the tenant returns, all their food has gone bad. It could even be that the fridge went on the fritz, and by the time you could get another one over there or get it repaired, all the food has gone bad.

lobster clause
“I’m not sure that covers it”

And they want YOU to pay for it all.

Oh, and by the way, they just went shopping.

Oh, yeah, and all those groceries rang up around $300.

If you haven’t clearly defined in your lease who bears responsibility for food spoilages as a result of legitimate equipment failure, then you are leaving the fridge door open for all kinds of claims of iceboxes full of shrimp and caviar that will be demanded to be reimbursed for spoilage from your tenants.

Lobster Clause
Didn’t your Mom ever tell you not to leave the fridge door open!?!

There are a few ways to insure that when a tenant comes a knockin’ for money for food loss, your budget won’t take a rockin’.

A few years ago, we built into our leases language that stated very clearly that failure of appliances was commonplace and unexpected, and tenants should be prepared to relocate food from refridgerators in the event of equipment failure. Another thing we did was to inform them that loss or damage of ANYTHING in their unit was to be covered under an appropriate renter’s insurance policy. We even pointed them to several insurance company’s in their move-in package so that they couldn’t claim later they couldn’t find anyone that sold those policies. Now, we have even gone the route of requiring rental insurance policies for certain properties (mainly newly renovated ones), and mandated that we be added as an additional insured until their move-out, but that is a topic for another post.

"Oh, Shrimp in Lobster sauce Lean Cuisine meals, sorry"- lobster clause
“Did I say REAL Lobster? Oh, I meant  Shrimp in Lobster sauce Lean Cuisine meals, sorry”

Any type clause in a lease designed to (justifiably) deflect liability for food spoilage back to the tenant as a result of food loss is known as a ‘Lobster Clause’, as a joking reference that whenever such claims are made, suddenly the spoilage consisted of $15/pound Maine Lobster, instead of what it actually is, like, say TV Dinners and Chicken Thighs.

I recently read a post on an investment group site that I’m on, where a landlord takes it one further, making the appliances on move-in all as-is. Here is how his Lobster Clause reads:

Although there may be appliances in the unit, their availability is not included in the rent. If TENANT wishes to use the appliances, they agree to assume all responsibility for care and maintenance. If TENANT wishes to use their own appliances, they may request that those in the unit be removed or stored.

An argument could be made that this clause may degrade your ability to attract a renter as a result of the possibility of having to buy new appliances at some course in their lease, but in that most its ok its a rental-500x500 lobster clauserenters treat appliances about as well as you or I treat rental cars, it certainly could be a substantial cost saver over time as appliances break. Only drawback is the moveout where the tenant bought their own appliances and takes them with them, and now you are forced to show without appliances, or offer to buy theirs. It still pushes an expense down the road a bit, though.

I hope that this discussion is yet another tool you can put into your lease to prevent drama in your landlording experience, and more importantly, hits to your cash flow.

REMEMBER, IT’s NOT ABOUT THE JOURNEY, IT’s ABOUT THE DESTINATION

The MAANLord

 

 

 

 

 

The JRPM Landlording Tips 2- New Tips!

Here are another 3 installments to the Landlording Tips series!!

 

KLT 114- landlording tips KLT 202  landlording tips
KLT 141  landlord tips

If you subscribe to our blog, you will not only get each of these Killer Landlording Tips Images delivered straight to your mailbox every time they are published without having to come back to the site to check, you will also get access to our Subscibers only Image Slider, which allows you to look at ALL the tips and tricks together without having to jump around between posts!

Subscribe today, and don’t forget that if you liked these Landlord Tips, to comment and share them with your fellow landlord acquaintances!

Pest Prevention and Control

The Following is a Great Article posted at landlordology.com!

Pest Prevention and Control

Fall in the northern regions of the United States can cause unwanted furry friends to take refuge in your home or rental property.

While managing properties in the Midwest, I have experienced issues with the following unwelcome visitors:
•Mice and Rats
•Birds and Bats
•Squirrels
•Roaches
•Ants and Other Insects

My best advice is to prevent pests from getting into your property in the first place. However, if you are reading this article, it may be too late for prevention.

Listed below are my tips for prevention as well as the best ways I have found for controlling or eliminating pests that have already found their way in.

Pest Prevention Tips

1. Educate Your Tenants

Finding out what maintenance issues are going on in your properties is much easier when you ask your tenants rather than waiting for them to tell you!
◦Educate them that doors and windows left open without a screen are open invitations welcoming nature in.
◦Inform them of the risk of damage and their financial responsibilities due to negligence on their part.
◦Impress upon them the importance of cleanliness and taking garbage out regularly.
◦Send a monthly or quarterly email updating them on the maintenance schedule and requesting that they inform you if anything seems out of the ordinary with the house or apartment.

It’s much easier to ask your tenants about issues rather than wait for them to tell you!

2. Perform Annual Preventive Maintenance…..

Read More button