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Struggling with a tenant?

Being a landlord can be rewarding in a number of ways, but it can also be quite challenging as well. Despite one taking all possible precautions, there will be a time when one has to deal with a problematic tenant. It just happens, and that is okay. What does the state of Missouri allow landlords to do when facing certain tenant-related struggles?

How landlords attack various tenant-related problems obviously depends on what the problems are. There are several issues landlords often find themselves having to deal with. Some of them might include:

  • Lack of payment
  • Damage to property
  • Neighbor complaints
  • Contract violations
  • Security deposit misunderstandings

Missouri estate planning: Do you have a health care directive?

No one in Missouri can predict the future. No one knows if or when they might suffer a medical issue that leaves them incapacitated. Sadly, it happens, and if one lacks the proper estate planning documents, one's wishes may not be known or honored.

If a person becomes incapacitated, someone has to make medical decisions for them. Who gets that responsibility? By using a health care directive, the person granting the power gets to decide who his or her personal representative will be.

What to do when residents want to change association bylaws

Running a homeowners association is not an easy thing to do. It is impossible to keep all residents happy all the time. In fact, some HOAs in Missouri may find themselves dealing with residents who want to change certain things, such as the bylaws. How can a situation like this be handled?

Bylaws are the rules for how an HOA is to be run. Residents may request changes if they are not happy with how the board is handling things. Sometimes, changes may be required if the bylaws seem irrelevant. Whatever the reason, when a request to modify the bylaws is made, it is something that should be looked into.

Yes, having an estate plan is a good idea

Some Missouri residents like to live in the moment and not plan too far ahead. Then there are others who do prefer to plan things out several years in advance. Whether you are a planner or a live in the moment kind of person, there is one plan you may benefit from having sooner rather than later -- an estate plan. No one wants to think about their own incapacitation or death, but failing to have a plan in place for when either of these things occurs can leave your family in chaos.

Many people mistakenly believe that an estate plan is something they don't need to worry about until they are old and gray. However, there are numerous reasons to prepare an estate plan now, even if you think you are too young for it. You see, an estate plan is not just about protecting assets; it is about protecting people; and it is about protecting you.

Different ways to handle a landlord-tenant dispute

It is not uncommon for landlords in Missouri and their tenants to see differently on a number of issues. When a landlord-tenant dispute does arise, there are several ways in which it can be resolved. Litigation is one way, but it does not have to be the first thing one tries.

The first thing a landlord can do to attempt to resolve a dispute with a tenant is to try to talk out the problem. Talking can go a long way if both parties are willing to engage in the conversation. Many issues that arise between landlords and their tenants are the result of misunderstandings or miscommunication. Talking may clear the air and make sure everyone is on the same page. When going this route, discussions can take place in private with attorneys present, or a mediator may be brought in to help move the process along.

3 Terms you cannot enforce in a lease

When you have a tenant sign a lease agreement, you want to ensure that the terms and conditions meet both parties’ needs and satisfy all legal requirements. That being said, if you include anything in the agreement that does not abide by landlord-tenant laws, you could be facing some harsh penalties. Here are just three stipulations to be mindful of in a property lease.

 

Don't make these estate planning mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life. It is how people grow and learn. Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning, there is no room for errors. Mistakes will cost Missouri residents and their loved ones a lot in the end. Here are a few of the most commonly seen estate planning mistakes.

Mistake number one: failing to plan for illness or incapacitation. Many Missouri residents believe that estate plans only cover what is to happen to their assets when they die. This simply is not true. A solid estate plan will also include plans for illness or incapacitation. This means the proper insurances will be put in place and personal representatives designated.

Using an HOA lien to collect unpaid dues

Homeowner associations serve a valuable purpose -- they keep neighborhoods beautiful, clean, safe places to live, as well as manage community funds. Unfortunately, there are many HOAs in Missouri and elsewhere that find themselves dealing with residents who refuse to pay their monthly or yearly dues. When this happens, HOA boards can take specific actions to seek payment. Filing an HOA lien against a resident homeowner is one option, though it is typically used as a last resort.

What does an HOA lien allow an HOA to do? If a resident fails to pay his or her dues after repeated requests, an HOA lien grants the association rights to the title of that resident's home. When the lien is due, the HOA then has the right to seize the property. With this type of lien in place, HOAs are given priority over other creditors, meaning, if other creditors have also placed liens on the property, the HOA will be the first to collect.

Common mistakes made by landlords

Owning and renting out property can be a great investment. However, landlords need to be careful or risk losing money rather than making it. Here are some common mistakes made by landlords in Missouri and elsewhere that can end up costing them a pretty penny.

Mistake number one: not properly screening prospective tenants. Yes, screening can be burdensome, but it is worth it. Without performing a proper screening, how can one know if a potential tenant is responsible and in a good enough financial place to afford the rent? Failing to take time to vet a tenant often results in the need to evict that individual down the line, which is not an easy or inexpensive process.

Estate planning for when sibling rivalry is an issue

It can be tough to see one's children fail to get along. Sometimes, there is nothing a parent can do, though, but let them try and work through things on their own. When it comes to protecting one's estate when sibling rivalry is an issue, there are some optional estate planning steps Missouri residents can take in order to make sure their wants and wishes are known, and to help avoid conflict during the estate administration process.

Optional step number one: write a letter outlining who gets what. Known as a letter of instruction, this is not necessarily a legally binding document. It is meant to serve as a roadmap of sorts so that children have a clear understanding of what their parents want to have happen with their assets.

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