Author - Selzer

An Ounce of Prevention – Home Safety Edition Part IV

This is part of my series on home safety, and it continues on last week’s theme of protecting kids. Previously, I talked about indoor hazards. This week, I’ll talk about outdoor hazards and gun safety. Once kids get into the yard, dangers abound: power tools, sharp objects, low-hanging branches leading to...

An Ounce of Prevention – Home Safety Edition Part III

This is part of my series on home safety, this time focusing on kids. Little kids explore and get into stuff. They put things in their mouths. They climb and leap from heights. It’s what they do. It’s how they learn. As adults, we must do everything we can to thwart...

An Ounce of Prevention – Home Safety Edition Part II

There’s no way to be perfectly safe unless we live in a bubble. However, there are plenty of things we can do to reduce risk. This is the second in a three-part series on making your home safer, inside and out. During this time of year, it seems prudent to review...

An Ounce of Prevention – Home Safety Edition

Every day, hospital emergency departments are full of patients who didn’t expect to be there. Life has a way of throwing surprises our way—some good, some bad. Although we cannot avoid all the nasty surprises, we can reduce risk to increase our safety, and our homes are a great place...

New Rules About Accessory Dwelling Units

In 2017, the State of California passed a law preventing local governments from unreasonably restricting homeowners from adding a second unit to their property, commonly referred to as mother-in-law units. Officially, they are called Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs. An ADU must be big enough to include a kitchen, a...

Being a Good Renter

The real estate market continues to evolve into a seller’s market. Prices are up, inventory is down, and buyers outnumber sellers. However, if you would rather rent than buy right now, here are some tips on how to be a savvy renter. Find a property that fits your needs. You...

Who Pays for What: Renters v. Landlords?

Before I jump into the topic of who pays for what on a rental property, let me say that contracts trump all. If you sign a contract that gives away your rights or requires you to pay for uncommon expenses, it doesn’t matter what’s “typical.” You have to comply with...

Rise in Rental Fraud

It’s always puzzling to me when a landlord goes through the trouble of collecting information from a potential tenant, and then doesn’t bother to verify it before handing over the keys. About a third of residential rental applications include some form of fraud. Sometimes it’s fairly harmless, like pretending a...

Bizarre Rental Rules

Sometimes when I’m scrolling through information online, I find an entertaining and informative blog that pertains to my line of work. This happened recently when I found a blog titled, “Odd, Bizarre, and Restrictive Rental Rules” by the Tenant Screening Center (www.tsci.com). They rightly point out that one of the toughest...

Can Security Deposits Be Used to Cover Unpaid Rent

Landlords sometimes wonder whether they can use a tenant’s security deposit to cover unpaid rent. The answer depends on whether the landlord planned ahead. Although security deposits cannot be used to cover “normal wear and tear,” California law allows property owners to use security deposits and pet deposits to pay...