How to Deal with a Deceased Tenant (Follow-up)

Podcast Episode 43:
There’s A Dead Guy In My Suite! (Follow-up)”

This Tale follows up on the previous one about what you can do when a tenant passes away. Our example shows the steps taken by a landlord to deal with next of kin, and what happened when the family didn’t end up taking responsibility for the tenant’s estate.

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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How to Deal with a Deceased Tenant

Podcast Episode 42:
There’s A Dead Guy In My Suite!

What do you do when a tenant dies? Most landlords will want to re-rent their property as a soon as possible, but wills and estates can take a long time to resolve. There are, however, still legal ways of preceding that can be quicker.

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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Condo Diligence

Podcast Episode 41:
Rubik’s Cube Condo: An Investor’s Near-Miss.

Purchasing a condominium unit as an investment can be tricky business because of the many other parties you need to deal with. There are also laws surrounding condos that you need to take into account. As always, due diligence is the key to avoiding a bad deal. This Tale looks at a condo that seemed fine, but turned up a puzzling array of problems upon closer inspection.

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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Zoning Bylaws

Podcast Episode 39:
Fourplex Diligence.

A ‘fourplex’ is not a legal term, and so we’ve done some digging through bylaws to show how this idea is actually expressed in the law. Many duplexes have illegal basement suites, and so you need to do your diligence before purchasing a so-called fourplex. Always confirm that the zoning allows it and that all building/development permits are correct.

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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Real Property Reports (Part 3)

Podcast Episode 38:
Do I Need a Real Property Report (RPR)?

Diligence is one of these most important aspects of success as a real estate investor. In this third part of our series on Real Property Reports, we look at three more examples of how a Survey Certificate can save you a lot of time, trouble, and money.

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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Real Property Reports (Part 2)

Podcast Episode 37:
Who Needs a Real Property Report? (Part 2)

Continuing from our previous Tale, we have another example of what can happen in a real estate deal without getting a proper survey done first. In Alberta, the seller is supposed to provide a Real Property Report and written confirmation that the property complies with municipal bylaws. No matter where you are, insist on this before you agree to purchase!

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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Real Property Reports (Part 1)

Podcast Episode 36:
Who Needs a Real Property Report?

Before buying a piece of real estate, make sure to get an up-to-date survey of the property done by a professional. This report will help you to insure that there are no encroachments and that everything complies with municipal bylaws. This Tale illustrates the kind of problems that can occur if you don’t get a Real Property Report or Survey Certificate.

Download the audio file HERE and the text/handout HERE.
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Water, Sewer, and Drainage Plumbing

Clogged Pipes

Plugged Pipes = Pricey Problem!

Spending a beautiful afternoon in my garden, I was watching EPCOR (City of Edmonton Drainage Branch) dig up the road in front of my house. Hard water deposits over the years had almost completely blocked the existing water pipe.

The EPCOR guys said that in older neighbourhoods, along with the constricted water pipes you also have to watch for plugged sewer/drainage pipes. Those pipes leak and tree roots love to find a leak and grow into the pipe, sometimes resulting in a total blockage.

EPCOR takes responsibility for replacement of the water pipe and clearing out the roots or installing a new sewer/drainage pipe at their cost. However, they only replace the pipes that run from their main pipe to the property line. Blockages don’t stop at the property line. Not surprisingly, you are responsible for blockages from your property line to your home (the homeowner’s portion). Big ticket items like this could be very, very expensive! Continue reading

Invest Like Sherlock Holmes

Invest Like Sherlock

‘There is nothing like first-hand evidence.’
-A Study in Scarlet.

Harvey Schachter of the Globe and Mail wrote a great article, “Hunting For Success? Make like Sherlock“. He quoted Matt Heron, who says on his blog Lifeoptimizer.org that if we want to be successful, we can figure out what it takes by imitating Sherlock Holmes. Guess what—Sherlock would’ve made a great real estate investor.

Here’s how I think Mr. Holmes would go at real estate problems.

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Mortgage Fraud (Part 2)

mortgage fraud

Holy Fraudsters, Batman!

Tales From The Trenches™ are real life stories from homeowners and investors just like you. In my last post, Tales talked about mortgage and real estate fraud. There is just no end to fraudster’s tricks. Courtesy of a news bulletin from the Law Society of Alberta, here are some other examples of fraud. Keep your eyes wide open!

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