11 Things a Landlord Cannot Do Before or After Leasing Out a Property

As a landlord, you want to rent out your properties as soon as possible in nearly all cases. It’s important to remember, though, that as soon as a rental agreement is signed by a tenant, there will be a list of things that a landlord cannot do related to the property.

For example, tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment, which means that landlords can’t interfere with a tenant’s day-to-day activities. And, even if a tenant violates the lease terms, a landlord cannot carry out an illegal eviction by moving a tenant’s personal belongings without permission. In fact, you can’t even change the locks.

If you are a landlord, it is crucial to follow state laws regarding a tenant’s rights—and the “implied warranty of quiet enjoyment.” Unfortunately, from a landlord’s perspective, it usually means the tenant has more rights to the property than the owner. Therefore, understanding what you can and cannot do is vital to running a successful rental business. That includes the 11 things listed below that you should never do if you are a landlord.

11 things a landlord cannot do leasing out a property

1. Discriminate against a tenant

Landlords cannot show any form of discrimination against a tenant—even before signing the lease. What this means is that you can’t refuse to rent to someone based on race, gender, national origin, religion, age, familial status, sexual orientation, or disability. After the lease agreement is signed, the same is true. You can’t harass or terminate a lease based on discrimination.

The Fair Housing Act also makes it clear that a landlord cannot ask certain things during an interview with a prospective tenant. For example, you should never ask the following types of questions:

  • Do you plan on having children?
  • Have you ever been arrested? (That said, you have the right to find out about convictions during the screening process.)
  • Are you sure you will like living in the neighborhood? After all, there aren’t many immigrants living here.
  • Do you go to church around here?

2. Enter the property without notice

Despite owning the property, landlords cannot simply enter a rental property anytime they want. Landlords usually have to give notice of at least 24 hours if they’re going to visit the property—and the notice must often be in writing—so as a landlord, you must follow these laws before vising a property. You must also state a valid reason for the visit and arrange the visit at a reasonable time.

In turn, the tenant must approve the visit. However, they cannot deny access to the property when the request is reasonable.

3. Force a tenant to leave the property

Dealing with delinquent tenants can be challenging, but as much as you would like to, you can’t just force a tenant out of the property. To remove a tenant from the property, you must go through the proper channels. This includes serving a “cure or quit” notice to the tenant. If the tenant doesn’t remedy the lease violation, you can start eviction proceedings.

However, you can’t create an environment that would force a tenant out. For example, you can’t start intimidating or threatening a tenant to pay rent if they have missed a payment. You must follow local laws on how to get a tenant to pay late rent instead. Several actions you may take would constitute an illegal, self-help eviction, so be sure to know what the local laws are regarding evictions.

4. Change the locks

Unless you have a court order, you cannot just change the locks to prevent a tenant from entering the property. If you do this, you could be guilty of trespassing in some cases, despite being the property owner.

5. Move a tenant’s personal belongings without permission

You may have reasonable cause to evict a tenant, but you can’t go through or remove a tenant’s personal possessions from your property without legal grounds. What this means is that you can’t just dump their belongings on the street unless you have an eviction order—and in some cases, you may not be able to do that even after getting an eviction order.

Let’s suppose a tenant moves from the rental unit without notice and leaves behind personal items. In that case, you must follow state laws on how to deal with their personal belongings. As such, you may need to contact the former tenant or wait for a specific period of time to pass before trashing their stuff.

6. Switch off utilities

Landlords also can’t just switch off utilities without notice. Doing so may seem like a great idea if you want to force them out of the unit—but it’s not. A judge will likely rule this type of action as an unlawful eviction, and you could face penalties for doing so.

7. Raise the rent arbitrarily—or without following the law

You may be thinking about regularly increasing the rent to force the tenant out of the apartment, but landlords cannot just raise rent arbitrarily. The monthly rent amount is in the rental agreement and typically can’t be changed before the lease runs out.

Plus, rent control laws in your area may restrict the amount in which you can raise the monthly rent. This usually also applies to rent renewals, too.

8. Refuse to make necessary repairs

Landlords have the responsibility to ensure “warranty of habitability.” This means that tenants have the right to safe and sanitary living conditions. As such, you cannot refuse to make necessary repairs that could put a tenant’s health or life in danger.

This includes refusing to do the following:

  • Fix broken plumbing, heating, or electrical systems
  • Resolve issues with mold, asbestos, or lead-based paint
  • Repair toilets or fail to provide proper sanitation
  • Remedy any problem that would make the unit unfit for habitation
  • Deal with any pest or rodent infestation
  • Fail to ensure the rental unit meets current building codes

9. Use a tenant’s space

Landlords cannot ask or force a tenant to allow them to use the space the tenant pays rent for. For example, if the garage is included in the monthly rental payment, you can’t store tools or other equipment there. Additionally, you can’t have a closet—locked or otherwise—in the rental unit where you keep personal items.

10. Prohibit service animals

Let’s suppose you have a “no pet” clause in the rental agreement but a tenant requires a service animal. In that case, you cannot refuse to rent to or evict the tenant due to the service animal being on the property.

That’s because a tenant’s right to their service animal is protected in the Americans with Disabilities Act. In some cases, you can ask to see appropriate documentation—but otherwise, you must afford tenants with service animals the same rights as other tenants, and you must allow their service animal to be on the property as part of their tenancy.

11. Refuse to return a security deposit over wear and tear

While it may be tempting, landlords cannot use the security deposit to cover typical wear and tear to the property. Wear and tear is the expected deterioration of items caused by everyday use, and could include worn or faded carpets, dirty grout in the bathroom, scuff marks on floors, or minor scratches on furniture.

However, you can use the security deposit to pay for property damage that occurs outside of wear and tear as a result of the tenancy. Some reasons to refuse to return part or all of the security deposit may include:

  • Chipped or broken countertops
  • Unauthorized renovations
  • Holes in walls or doors
  • Ripped curtains or upholstery
  • Burns, stains, or pet stains on carpets

Becoming a landlord is an excellent way to generate regular income from real estate investing. As a landlord, however, it’s vital to remember what you can and cannot do—and know what would violate a tenant’s rights. This means avoiding specific actions that could break the implied “warrant of habitability” or “covenant of quiet enjoyment.” As long as you deal with tenants within the bounds of state laws, you will avoid potentially costly lawsuits.


The ideal rental property investment budget

Becoming a great landlord begins long before signing a lease. It starts with owning a profitable rental property. And the sad truth is that most properties actually make terrible rental properties, because they don’t provide any cash flow. (Cash flow is the extra monthly income you get to keep after paying the bills.)

As you think about buying a property, it’s vital that you run all the numbers to ensure the property will actually cash flow.

The basic definition of cash flow is simple: Total Income – Total Expenses = Cash Flow

However, as with most things in life, the devil is in the details. How much can you rent a house for? (We’ll talk about that in just a moment.) And how much will you spend each month just to hold onto the property?

For example, if you are renting a house and don’t require tenants to mow the lawn themselves, you may pay between $30 and $80 per month for lawnmowing services.

While each property incurs different costs, some common line item expenses to consider may include:

  • -Mortgage payments
  • -Insurance and taxes, if you pay these out-of-pocket
  • -Pest control
  • -Lawn maintenance
  • -Property manager fees
  • -HOA fees
  • -Utilities that you pay, such as trash, sewer, and water, if applicable
  • -Local licensing and certification fees
  • -Capital expenditure repair reserve for roof, appliances, and other major systems—between 5% and 10% of the rent
  • -Marketing fees
  • -Cleaning fees
  • -Vacancy reserve—between 3% and 5% of the rent
  • -LLC costs, if you’re using an LLC for your rental property
  • -Accounting and bookkeeping fees

Property Management, a serious matter.

From the moment we have an asset , be it a property, a vehicle, machinery or anything that needs maintenance, we must pay attention to it. In this article we will focus on real estate properties and assets , houses, apartments, condominiums, land, warehouses, offices, etc. Surely if you are reading this, it is because you have a house for rent, an apartment in a condominium regime, a luxury house in a development or offices or premises that are part of your heritage and, surely some of them require maintenance and external administration . The good starts here.

The Property Management basically involves two vital parts:

the administrative document , which refers to the administration of accounting, income, account management etc., and the operational part that manages the corrective maintenance, preventive and predictive.

Let’s understand some definitions , any property is made up of simple and complex systems. The systems are all processes and equipment necessary to function properly, say as an example some of them:

  • Hydraulic systems, pumps, heaters, filters, tanks and everything related to water.
  • Sanitary systems, drains, pipes, drains and everything related to discharge water.
  • Gas systems, equipment such as boilers, stoves, firepits, tanks and LP gas lines.
  • -Systems of irrigation and maintenance garden.
  • -Automated systems for pool cleaning and filtering.
  • Automation systems, home automation, voice and data.
  • -Systems of heating and cooling with air conditioning systems.
  • Finishes, such as sealants, paints, waterproofing.
  • Carpentry, blacksmithing, gates.

So you could continue with an endless list of processes and systems that need permanent attention by highly trained people or with the necessary experience to be able to attend to these needs.

It has been more than 20 years since I started my first maintenance business for foreigners’ houses in front of the beach. Since then and until today, nothing has changed, the needs and problems remain the same. We currently provide very high quality services to serve first-rate clients in our Property Management area and, my surprise is to find high-end developments with Property Management departments and external companies that are not really. I will detail it below.

As I explained before and, as you can see, having a department that can attend to these very specific needs requires a high-performance team with very high technical capabilities. The problem that I find in most of the developments in Puerto Vallarta And Riviera Nayarit is always the same, personal without knowledge and without commitment Maintenance departments with personnel who are more than technical “MASTERS”, very good, by the way, “DON PEPE” is very kind and always gets me out of the problem, that is a very common phrase when I get to houses of 4 or 5 million of dollars. These types of systems and services should not be luck, they are complex systems that must be taken care of for what they are. If you realize it, when a new equipment comes out of its box it brings a “MANUAL” and technical data sheet for its operation. Did you know that 97% of installers don’t read it, much less save it? This directly affects the operation of the equipment and its preventive maintenance, since we operate systems without knowledge.

When I meet with those in charge of Property Management, supervisors or middle managers, I always meet personnel who have a Bachelor of Administration, Accountants, sometimes without profession, and operators say “DON PEPE”, because they do a little of everything. It tastes the same to masonry as it does to electricity, and this is the worst mistake that can happen when managing a property both technically and operationally. The developments and the clients must have personnel according to the discipline and I mean that the directors, managers, supervisors and middle managers must be personnel who meet the knowledge that this discipline requires: Industrial Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers, and their operators, they must be technicians. In other countries, to be a plumber you must have a license to work, but in Mexico it does not apply.

What must be done is to have adequate personnel for the position. Operators must be certified, trained and invested, running the high risk that exists in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit with staff turnover. We cannot allow an employee who was security personnel two months ago to maintain the hydraulic system in my house today, the risk is very high.

Another very delicate part is that we see Property Management companies everywhere, many of them “Duckling”. They all claim to be the best and the truth is that in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, this business is currently poorly regulated, which many people see as an opportunity to do business. No special licenses are required and what they do is SUBCONTRACT third parties to do things: repairs, maintenance and administration, in the end the only requirement is to speak English. What a terrible reality! Extremely expensive servicesno technical protocols or management processes for the direction of projects or methodologies, which results in annoying clients who must settle for what there is. For this reason we find gardens in terrible condition, leaks, equipment that fails because they do not know how to maintain it, subcontracted employees who party in the houses when the owners are not and “Duckling” companies that do not really exist and do not have assets, infrastructure or the necessary knowledge to be a company that requires a very high technical, operational and administrative knowledge.

Now that we have a bigger picture, let’s talk about solutions. Companies operating large developments need to train employees, operators and hire capable technical staff for middle and managerial managers. On the subject of private companies, the issue is very different, there are some very capable good companies in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit market, but in reality there are very few. Outside of that, most are SUBCONTRACTORS.

Here are some recommendations to choose correctly the company that will provide the technical services for your property and that will have access to the interiors of your house, be very careful with that.

  • -Verify that it is a company incorporated with a minimum of 5 years old.
  • -Verify your documents, operating license, charter, permits, records.
  • -Visit their offices, workshops, warehouses, assets, know their muscle, nothing will give you a better answer.
  • -Know the curriculum of its managers, middle managers and operators, paper talks.
  • -Verify that your employees are registered with your company and are not a subcontract.
  • -Verify the selection process of your staff, how they are selected and what requirements they have.
  • -Check the insurance policy for damage to third parties or theft. It will be useful to you when something happens in your house.
  • -Verify that their vehicles have an insurance policy and are in the name of the company.
  • -Verify that all your staff is registered with social security.
  • -It requires anti-doping tests and requires personnel with no criminal record.
  • -Verify that you pay taxes and generate invoices for each income or payment made.
  • -The technical person in charge must be an ENGINEER, without exception. No one can have an electrical, gas or hydraulic responsibility without being an engineer.
  • -Check their warranty policy for the work or services performed, remember if they do not read the technical sheets, your new pump will fail and you will have to pay for the next one.
  • -Verify that as in any company it has an internal administrative organization chart, never trust companies that a single person does everything, it must have an address, an administrative, accounting, operational, logistics department and the most important the technical department that executes the tasks.

Remember that your property is a high value asset, so it is not a game, much less a business opportunity for people who can put your assets at risk. Cheap is expensive and sometimes it is even more expensive. I always tell my clients, when you have heart surgery, do you go to a cardiologist, right? It is the same in this discipline, you need the cardiologist, not the nurse. The issue is serious and as such should be addressed.


Puerto Vallarta International Airport is getting ready for the construction of terminal 2

According to José Amador Lizardi, director of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, a new investment in the airport will take place. These works will include a runway, platform, taxiways, roads, parking lots, tower, among other facilities to optimize operations.

The director of the airport terminal said that the investments modernize the airport and provide greater comfort to passengers.

“Something in which we focus our investments is in the comfort of the passengers, as well as in their travel experience; that is why we remodeled the Passenger Inspection Point and the Sanitary Modules. The investment that will change the airport will be the construction of Terminal 2, since the surface area and passenger screening lines will have to be doubled and there will be 50 percent more telescopic aisles and checked baggage screening systems. All this gives more space to passengers and makes them enjoy their trip more,” he added.

This year, of the total number of passengers served at the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, 30 percent are national and 70 percent international. From January to October there were 3.1 million passengers, which means a recovery of 76 percent compared to the 4 million passengers in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The airport has connections to 40 destinations, 11 nationals and 29 international. The destinations with the highest passenger traffic are Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Tijuana, Denver, Monterrey, Panama and Calgary.


Exploring Puerto Vallarta’s Scenic Landscapes by Foot

Puerto Vallarta

Although Puerto Vallarta is famed for sun, sea and sand, hiking in the Sierra Madre Mountains and across an unspoiled jungle interior is an outdoor experience that cannot be overlooked. Easily accessible trails and a range of guided tours mean travelers can swap flip flops for active-wear and head to the hills.

Navagante Urbano PV offers several different options for exploring Puerto Vallarta’s southern coast. Outdoor adventurers can leave the city behind and join a local guide on a “Mountain Expedition” that starts on the trails connecting the Horcones Canyon to Vallarta Botanical Garden. Ranging from six to seven hours to complete, tracks wind through the town of Emiliano Zapata before ultimately arriving at the botanical garden for a menu prepared with locally sourced ingredients at the on-property restaurant Hacienda del Oro. After a Mexican feast, participants have free time to stroll through the tropical garden, exploring at leisure. Visitors interested in learning more about local flora and fauna during their hike can opt for the “Mexican History and Folklore” hike.

In Puerto Vallarta, Ecotours de Mexico offers visitors a five-hour snorkeling and hiking excursion on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays that follows a decades-old path to reach the villages on the south of Banderas Bay.

Guides will point out various types of vegetation and wildlife found along the trail, including fig trees, plumerias, hibiscus, leafy cecropias, papelillo trees, tropical birds and iguanas. Beautiful views of Banderas Bay are available throughout the hike until arrival at Colomitos, one of the smallest beaches in Mexico. Here, participants can trade their sneakers for fins to explore an underwater world home to pufferfish, angelfish, rays, and sea turtles. The secluded beach also features spectacular waterfalls for gorgeous photos.

Guided mountain bike tour company Ecoride offers a five-mile intermediate hike to the ridgeline of the Sierra Madres to El Salto, one of the largest waterfalls in the region. This guided experience includes transportation, water, snacks, and backpacks if needed.

Experienced hikers interested in heading out on their own should consider the Palo Maria hike that features a waterfall near the 1.5-mile mark, followed by 11 more waterfalls for hikers up for the challenge of rock climbing at higher elevations. Natural pools found along the way are perfect spots for cooling off. The trailhead is accessible by using the local orange buses that depart from Basillo Badillo, a street in the Romantic Zone, and disembarking at Palo Maria.


Puerto Vallarta’s Hidden Gems

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico draws in visitors of all types throughout the year. It’s an ideal destination for families with children of all ages, couples looking to celebrate their love someplace special and groups eager to reunite after months spent apart.

The activities are endless in Puerto Vallarta. Popular pastimes include whale watching, exploring the Malecon and taking a food tour, among many others.

Some travelers aren’t looking for the most popular tours though. Instead, they’re in search of the hidden gems – experiences that maybe not every tourist does during a vacation in this Pacific Coast destination. Here are a few to keep in mind.

The Marieta Islands

A stay in Puerto Vallarta puts travelers in a great location to visit the Marieta Islands. Here they’ll discover a hidden beach that’s only accessible when the tide is low. It’s a true oasis where guests will easily find relaxation.

Yelapa

A day spent in Yelapa might be just the “off the beaten path” experience avid travelers are looking for. The small beach town is located just 30 minutes south of downtown Puerto Vallarta, and visitors are sure to be at ease during a visit.

Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Another beautiful place tourists may not be aware of is the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. The 64-acre botanical garden showcases the vast diversity of Mexico’s plant species and is a great place to spend a morning or afternoon during vacation.

These are just a few of the many hidden gem experiences to see and do during a Puerto Vallarta vacation. To learn more about this ideal destination, contact a travel advisor or visit visitpuertovallarta.com.


THE ART & MARKET MARINA VALLARTA RETURNS

Due to the health contingency and after a year of not doing it, the Art & Market Marina Vallarta organizers have confirmed that this cultural festival will be back starting this Thursday, October 28th, 2021.

In this way, every Thursday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm during the winter season and until May 2022, the Marina Vallarta malecón will be held this farmers market that is ideal to enjoy gastronomic delights and buy typical items made handcrafted by local artisans.

“The Art & Market Marina Vallarta keeps  a very Mexican and very Vallarta style. This cultural event takes place in a sophisticated environment mixed with all the traditional of a town celebrating the beginning of a very promising high season,” says Antonio García, administrator of the Asociación de Residentes Marina Vallarta, A.C.

The Art & Market Marina Vallarta includes multiple cultural expressions of artisans, merchants, painters, artists and young people who seek to promote what they do best with their talent and skill.

Visit the Art & Market Marina Vallarta social networks.


DISNEY CRUISE SHIP RETURNS TO PUERTO VALLARTA AT THE END OF 2021

The Disney Cruise Line company confirmed that the Disney Wonder cruise ship will return to the Mexican Pacific in October.

Coming from San Diego, California, this cruise ship will arrive at our destination in November, on a 14-day route through the Panama Canal. As part of the itinerary, this ship will also visit Los Cabos, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

As a preventive measure, Disney Cruise Line announced that all passengers over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated to board, a measure that took effect on September 3rd, 2021.

In addition, passengers under the age of 12 can not be vaccinated should take a pre-trip rapid PCR test or laboratory PCR test for COVID-19, as well as a rapid COVID-19 test upon boarding.

This spectacular cruise line has capacity for 2,713 passengers, a length of 984 feet and its weight is 83,300 tons. In addition, it has helped position our port among the leading cruise destinations in the Pacific coast.


Los Cabos, Vallarta and Mazatlán receive more tourists than before the COVID-19

The airports of these three destinations achieved their best June in history; Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta serve mostly international travelers, while Mazatlán nationals

Recognized for being one of the main beach centers in the country, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán already receive more tourists than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The director of the Anáhuac Tourism Research and Competitiveness Center (Cicotur), Francisco Madrid, described the structural strength of tourism in these destinations as extraordinary.

The Cabo San Lucas airport received a total of 557 thousand passengers last month, being its best June in history, show data from Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP).

This figure is equivalent to more than nine times the volume registered in June of last year, when only 59 thousand tourists arrived and important restrictions were maintained by Covid-19.

The recent data also exceeds the 485 thousand travelers who arrived in June 2019, before the pandemic, and the 449 thousand who entered in the same month of 2018.

For its part, the Puerto Vallarta airport served a total of almost 381,000 passengers last month, 11 times more than a year earlier, according to the recent GAP report.

In addition, it is the first time that Vallarta reports a monthly flow of arrivals higher than it had before the pandemic, since in June 2019 370 thousand tourists entered, while in the same month of 2018 340 thousand arrived.

The majority of tourists who arrive by plane to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta come from the United States, where the authorities continue to request a negative test of contagion of Covid-19 to all passengers who intend to travel to that country.

For its part, Canada declared that, as of July 5, international flights were reopened for people who are vaccinated and who meet certain conditions issued by the government of that nation.

Considered the Pearl of the Pacific, Mazatlán is another destination that also already receives more tourists than before the pandemic, but, unlike Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, this destination serves mostly national visitors.

The Mazatlán airport received a total of 91 thousand passengers last month and it is also its best June in history, according to information from Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte (OMA).

This figure is equivalent to more than five times the arrivals of a year ago, and exceeds the 89 thousand registered in June 2019, before the pandemic, and the 76 thousand of the same month of 2018.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) pointed out that by 2025 it expects the number of passengers transported in Mexico to be 10% higher than that registered in 2019, mentioning that it foresees a rapid recovery in passenger traffic levels. , since it is the only country in the world that never closed its borders.


3 STEAKHOUSES TO ENJOY DURING RESTAURANT WEEK 2021

For several years, Sonoran meat has stood out as a tradition in the domestic gastronomy and it has also positioned itself as a quality dish on the tables of many countries where it is exported. Fortunately, along Banderas Bay, we can find many restaurants that offer those delicious cuts with the typical flavor the grills print.

During the 17th edition of Restaurant Week (September 15th to October 10th, 2021) you can experience this exquisite gastronomic style in one of the following restaurants that will participate in this culinary festival.

Enjoy them!


Arrecifes Seafood & Steakhouse

Located within the facilities of The Westin Resort & Spa, in this restaurant you can enjoy juicy grilled meat, as well as delicious fish and seafood, while you can appreciate the Banderas Bay from the open-air beach club.


Serrano’s Meat House

This restaurant specializes in top-quality cuts grilled to perfection. From this vantage point, you can enjoy the sounds of live dancers and musicians that frequently appear at Plaza Lázaro Cárdenas.


Sonora House

In addition to Sonora cuts (flank steak, New York and rib eye), this Vallarta grill offers hamburgers, grills, meat broth, melted cheese, quesadillas, salads and even shrimp and meat skewers, among other ingredients.

Organized by Vallarta Lifestyles Media Group, Restaurant Week 2021 is sponsored by Cristalería del Pacífico and Vinoteca. In addition, it is supported in its national and international promotion by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, as well as by the Riviera Nayarit Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

Visit the Restaurant Week website and social networks to know the participating restaurants’ menus.