New Services Are Offering Protection for Landlords

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An end-unit townhouse in Gaithersburg for $399,900

If a single-family house costs more than your budget will allow, you can still become a homeowner, if you’re willing to consider a townhouse. An end­unit townhouse, in particular, can give you the space and privacy you want.

For example, the townhouse at 132 Goucher Terr. In Gaithersburg, priced at $399,900, is an end unit with a deck and a patio. Homeowners association fees are $64 per month, and property taxes are $3,983 annually.

The three-level townhouse, built in 1994, has 1,560 square feet, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The main level has hardwood flooring, with an open living room and dining room and a powder room. The dining room has a pass-through window to the kitchen, which has a breakfast bar, as well as space for a casual dining table. Glass doors open from the kitchen to a deck. The lower level has a family room with a wood-burning fireplace, a door to the patio, a laundry room and access to the garage. Upstairs are three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

The townhouse is a short drive from the Shady Grove Metro station, shopping centers, and commuter routes.

Assigned schools are Washington Grove Elementary and Forest Oak Middle, both rated average, based on test scores by, and Gaithersburg High, rated below average by GreatSchools.

For information, contact real estate agent Stacie Hatziyannis of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty at 301-928-7465.

New services are offering protection for landlords

More than 19 million single­ family houses in the United States are occupied by renters, according to real estate data firm ATIOM Data Solutions. Many of the properties are owned by large institutional investors, but the lion’s share belongs to landlords with one property or only a handful of them.

Although owners who rent out their property to tenants need landlord’s insurance and often require tenants to buy renter’s insurance to protect their personal belongings, new services have been introduced to mitigate risk for landlords.

The American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) offers LeaseGuarantee, a new program that reimburses owners for up to $10,000 for unpaid rent, property damage and legal fees incurred during eviction proceedings. The service, which costs a minimum of $299 for one year of $2,500 in protection without a deductible, can be paid for by the landlord or tenant.

Tenants might prefer this program because it costs less than a traditional security deposit. Whether the tenants are eligible depends on a screening by AAOA. Rates depend on the amount of coverage requested, and the tenant’s credit and eviction history. Protection is available at higher rates for up to $10,000. The program is available to owners of single-family rentals, as well as multi-unit houses and apartments.

TenantCloud, a rental accounting software company recently partnered with Assurant to offer renter’s insurance through the TenantCloud app. Landlords using the TenantCloud software can require renter’s insurance because the policy covers a tenant’s personal property and also provides liability coverage for the property that reimburses owners for accidental damage caused by renters.

For information, visit american-apartment-owners­