#TuesdayTips – The Importance of a Lease

Leasing property is a business and with any business a well drafted contract is a necessity.  Your lease is your contract. 

On this week’s #TuesdayTips article, the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC want to stress the importance of obtaining a well drafted lease for your rental property.  As landlords you are entrusting a tenant or multiple tenants with taking care of your property and timely paying rent.  Despite your best investigative skills you may end up with tenants that are the opposite of what they seem on paper and ultimately destroy your property, fail to pay rent, or some other violation.  What do you do?  How can you protect yourself from these harms?  It starts with a well drafted lease.

When a tenant doesn’t pay rent or destroys property some landlords just think “I’ll evict my tenant.”  The process of evicting a tenant can be long and administratively cumbersome.  It requires notices, filings, a court appearance, a waiting period, abiding by local eviction procedural rules, scheduling an eviction, and then waiting for the date to arrive.  In the meantime, months have passed and your tenants may have destroyed property and/or failed to pay rent during that period.

Many landlords choose to download free leases from the internet and are left in a precarious situation when they cannot evict a tenant, charge late fees, collect attorney fees, or sue for the damage done to the property.  A well drafted lease will include many provisions to protect the Landlord’s interest and remedies in the event of default.  Additionally, these leases will have clauses which will permit the collection of late fees, attorney fees, bounce check fees, security deposit policies, authorized uses of the property, duties of the tenant and landlord, and similar provisions.  A sloppy or poorly drafted lease could result in your tenant getting away with damage, rental loss, etc. and leave you without any opportunity to collect.

Leasing property is a business and with any business a well drafted contract is a necessity.  Your lease is your contract.  Call the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC today and ask about our fixed fee leases!

#TuesdayTips – When to NOT Do-It-Yourself

Many individuals find themselves in a precarious situation when they decide to handle certain matters without an attorney.  These “cost saving measures” sometimes result in quite a heavy burden.

This week’s #TuesdayTips article comes one day after a recent United States Tax Court ruling in the case of Summers v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Docket No. 32259-15).  Many individuals find themselves in a precarious situation when they decide to handle certain matters without an attorney.  These “cost saving measures” sometimes result in quite a heavy burden.

In this specific case, Mr. Summers and his wife divorced amicably and decided to move forward without attorneys.  Pursuant to their agreement, Mr. Summers was to withdraw funds from his IRA and provide them to his wife.  Typically, this is done via a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).  Pursuant to 26 U.S. Code Section 72(t)(1), distributions from a QDRO are exempt from the 10% additional tax typically imposed on early distributions.  Unbeknownst to Mr. Summers, taking an early distribution made directly to himself would not qualify for the tax exemption even though he immediately transferred said funds to his wife for her sole benefit.  As a result of an honest mistake, Mr. Summers was forced to suffer the 10% early distribution tax.

Don’t let yourself fall victim to an honest mistake.  The attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC offer fixed fee QDRO services!  Call us today at (443) 906-3566.