Screening Potential Tenants Can Protect Your Real Estate Business from Financial Loss

Illinois real estate attorneysWhen renting out property – be it commercial or residential – landlords are encouraged to conduct a thorough screening of all prospective tenants. The reasoning for this is simple: tenants can cost you thousands of dollars in property damage, lost rental fees, and court costs. Learn more about how to ensure you have done your due diligence on a potential tenant for your property, and discover how a seasoned real estate attorney can help protect your real estate business.

The Pre-Screening Process

There are many ways to conduct a tenant screening, but most landlords find a two-step process preferable, which starts with a pre-screening, and it typically includes questions like:

  • Why are you moving?
  • Can you meet the income requirements?
  • Do you have pets?
  • When do you want to move in?
  • Will anyone else be living/doing business with you?
  • Are you willing to undergo a background and credit check?
  • Can you provide me with past rental references?

With these few questions, landlords are often able to filter out tenants who might be problematic. Some may even remove themselves from the pool of tenants because they are uncomfortable with the questions or cannot answer them satisfactorily. At the very least, these questions allow the landlord to focus their efforts on the tenants who seem to be the “best fit” for their property or situation.

Digging Deeper Into a Prospective Tenant’s Rental History

Although it may be possible to screen out problematic tenants with the pre-screening questions, one should never rely solely on this phase of the screening process. There are “professional tenants” that know how to difficult it can be to evict someone. Able to make themselves sound like model tenants, these seemingly charming and charismatic people often have a slew of evictions on their record. Alternatively, they may not have active employment and may, instead, offer you invalid employer information to get themselves into your property. Avoid such issues by ensuring you always conduct a criminal background check, credit check, and a rental history check. Also, always verify employment and call a prospective tenant’s references before moving forward with a lease.

Adding Another Layer of Protection to Your Real Estate Business

Although many landlords choose to handle tenant matters on their own, savvy business owners recognize that it is often best to delegate some of your more taxing or complex duties, such as screening tenants or fighting a problematic tenant in court. It is here where the aid and assistance of a seasoned real estate attorney can become valuable.

With over 40 years of experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC can add yet another layer of protection to your real estate business. Able to assist you in developing a clear and concise rental agreement, and capable of aggressively representing you in court if a tenant defaults, our DuPage County real estate lawyers make your financial future our top priority. Learn more about how we can assist you in growing and protecting your portfolio by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 630-655-2500 today.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/03/08/how-to-screen-potential-tenants-and-save-thousands/#7adb48b0332c

When is Probate Necessary in Illinois?

Illinois probate lawyersProbate is a court-supervised procedure in which the court determines who is supposed to inherit the assets of a deceased person. Though not always necessary, it is sometimes required. The following sections can help you learn more about the probate process in Illinois, including when it may be needed and how a seasoned attorney can help improve the outcome for entitled heirs.

When is Probate Necessary? 

Illinois’ probate laws are not dependent upon whether there was a valid will at the time of a person’s death. Instead, they focus on the assets that the individual owned and how they were titled. For example, assets that are found to be joint- or entirety-owned may be distributed without probate. Assets held in trust, assets assigned to a designated beneficiary (i.e. retirement accounts), and real estate assets with a transfer-on-death deed may be distributed without a will or probate as well. In contrast, an estate may be required to go through probate if:

  • The estate’s value exceeds $100,000,
  • Assets belonging to the deceased party were held solely,
  • There are concerns over the validity of the will,
  • The will contains confusing language,
  • Heirs cannot be easily identified,
  • Creditors make claims against the estate, or
  • The executor is suspected of wrongdoing.

Illinois’ Probate Process

To start the probate process, the estate executor must file paperwork with the Circuit Court in which the deceased party resided. (Note: If an executor of the estate was not named, or if there was no will, a vested party must step forward and ask to be appointed the estate’s administrator.) They must then gather, inventory, and safeguard all assets until they can be distributed. Typically, this occurs after creditors have been notified and valid claims have been paid. Taxes, which may be owed on estates that exceed $4 million at the state level and $5.45 million at the federal level, must also be paid before a distribution occurs.

Executors can usually navigate the process without gaining clearance from the courts, but there are situations in which the executor must gain clearance before every step. The latter is highly complex, and the assistance of a seasoned, competent attorney is highly encouraged. In all other cases, the path forward may depend greatly on the exact details of the case.

Contact Our Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyers

If you or someone you know needs assistance with the probate process, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is the firm to call. Our knowledgeable Wheaton estate planning lawyers are backed by more than 40 years of experience, and we preserve the best interests of our clients at every turn. Schedule your free and personalized consultation by calling 630-225-2500 today.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60

University Says Illinois' Economy is Experiencing Slow and Stable Growth

Illinois business law attorneysIt has taken the country years to recover from the 19-month recession of 2007, and in some states – like Illinois – the recovery has been slow to the point of painstaking. There have been gains, however. In fact, the University of Illinois recently released its annual index, which showed that Illinois is currently experiencing slow but stable growth. That makes now the perfect time to start your new business. Learn more about what to expect in the future regarding potential business growth, and discover how a seasoned business law attorney can help you make a successful start.

Standing Strong Against Potential Threats 

The development of bitcoin and some other potential threats to the economy (artificial intelligence, vehicle automation, trade wars, etc.) may be impacting the current market in negative ways, but the economy remains strong, regardless. The University's index, which measures the financial market, made e a slight dip in March, going from 104.6 to 104.5, but it has continued to remain in the 104 to 105 point range. The University says that anything above 100 indicates economic growth. The last time it fell below 100 was in February 2012.

Why Start Your Business Now?

While the economy should never deter you from pursuing a business venture, there are legitimate reasons why you may not want to open your doors in a volatile or downward market. In fact, some potential business owners have put off their business ventures because they simply did not have the will or ability to assume much risk. Thankfully, it appears that now could be the perfect time to move forward – and not just because the market is growing and stable. The new tax plan is expected to "restart" some of the commercial development cycles, and that could lead to more growth and stability for business owners in other markets.

Opening Your Business – Making the Initial Step

While you do not need an attorney to start a business, many entrepreneurs find that the assistance of a legal professional helps to ease much of the process. They can help you with everything from deciding the structure of your business to ensuring you obtain all the licensing and permits that are necessary for daily operations. An attorney can also advise you on how to protect your business from litigation, and they can represent you if an issue should arise.

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we are committed to helping you achieve success. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, our DuPage County business law attorneys offer personalized, comprehensive services to suit your needs. Schedule your personalized consultation to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today.

Source:

http://qconline.com/business/illinois-economy-in-slow-stable-growth/article_9b7c37ce-f035-5d79-b1d9-a4082e8901ac.html