1

How To Get Rid of Squatters

If you have a tenant who has stayed on without paying rent, they’re what’s known as a holdover tenant. This is often called “tenancy at sufferance” in the legal profession.

You might, however, consider them a squatter. A Squatter is defined as:

a person who settles on land or occupies property without title, right, or payment of rent

In other words, a squatter is someone who lives in your rental unit, but does not have the legal right to be there. The worst thing about squatters, is that in some more “enlightened states”, it can be almost impossible to get them removed from your property. California – we’re looking at you!

The rise of house sharing platforms like AirBNB or VRBO has created a huge rise in squatters, or previously paying tenants who now have stopped paying the rent. Why, you ask? California, and many other states, have laws that define tenants as anyone who has lived in a property for 30 days.

If you rent out your AirBNB for more then 30 days, in those states, your “guests” would become tenants. If they stopped paying, that means you’re going to need to evict them.

Trespassing Squatters

Hopefully you don’t have rental units just lying vacant. But if you do, you may end up with the worst kind of Squatters – the kind that trespass and refuse to leave. As a law abiding landlord, is the law on your side?

It depends, as always, on the city and state you live in. If your squatters manage to fulfill certain requirements, the law might recognize them as lawful residents. For example, in some states, just getting utilities hooked up under the squatter’s name can be considered residency!

If the squatters establish this important distinction, then the police are not going to help. You’re going to turn to the civil courts, a process that may take months or years. In the meanwhile, you’re up the creek while your unit is in limbo.

Warning! Don’t Do These Things To Your Squatters!

If you end up with either illegal squatters or tenants requiring an eviction, then it’s important not to do things that may harm your cause later in the eyes of the law. In other words, don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

Don’t:

  • Lock the tenant out, put padlocks up or change the locks
  • Attempt to shut off the utilities
  • Intimidate the tenant/squatter physically or verbally

Help! I have a squatter, what should I do?

If your vacant rental unit ends up being squatted, here’s what you should do right away:

  1. Call the cops. Let the police know immediately that you have a trespassing problem. If they consider the matter a civil issue, it’s time to start eviction right away.
  2. Start the eviction process. You can find more details in our eviction guide.
  3. Call the Bailiff. The squatter probably won’t move when served with an eviction notice. The law is now on your side – have the local sheriff proceed with the actual eviction.

You need to be careful with your rental property, and protect yourself at all times against squatters. If you do end up with them, make sure you know exactly how to handle them according to your state and local laws before going forward.

4

Alabama Rental Laws

An Overview of Alabama Landlord-Tenant Laws

It is highly beneficial for both tenants and landlords to be aware of their rights, and what the law stipulates about a rental property and the relationship between tenants and landlords. As a landlord or tenant, this knowledge can be quite handy when you are faced with a challenging situation related to a rental property. This article offers a summary of fundamental Alabama Landlord Tenant Laws, which apply to residential rental properties.

Alabama Laws on Security Deposit

The Alabama Landlord Tenant Laws (Alabama Code § 35-9A-201) limits how much security deposit a landlord can demand from a potential tenant; this deposit is set at an equivalent of one month’s rent.  This stipulated security deposit does not cover pet deposits and any alterations that may be done on the premises such as undoing staircases to accommodate a physically challenged individual.

The security deposit is usually intended to cover any damage to the property after the tenant moves out. This deposit also cushions the landlord from incurring any rental loss if the tenant moves out early, without paying rent.  The deadline for returning this deposit is set at 60 days after the tenant moves or after the lease has expired. The landlord must also present an itemized list of all the deductions he/she made the deposit such as the cost of repairs.

Alabama Notice Rules on Outstanding rent and Entry

The state Landlord-Tenant Laws in Alabama require the landlord to give a notice period of at least 30 days for the tenant to raise rent; this is unless a rental agreement that states otherwise was agreed upon by both parties.  On the other side, a tenant has seven days to pay his/her rent; otherwise, the landlord is allowed to file for eviction. The law also instructs a ten-day notice to quite a lease or remedy in the event a tenant violates a lease agreement.

The Required Notice before an entry is two days.  The law also allows entry for maintenance and repair purposes, but there has to be a notice given before entry.  In the event, the tenant has an extended absence (more than 14 days) unannounced entry is permitted by law but with good reason. The landlord is also allowed to show the property but only when a notice has been issued.  The law also allows for emergency entry when there is no notice.

Lease, Rent and Fee Rules

Alabama Landlord Tenant Laws demand that the following be spelled out included in all lease agreements:

•    The amount of rent a landlord should charge a tenant. There are no limits set on this rule.

•    The contract should indicate where and how rent should be remitted. For instance, payment should be sent to the landlord’s office via mail.

•    How rental payments should be made (money order, credit care or cash or cheque) and the date for remitting rent.

•    It should state the consequences a tenant will incur for failure to pay rent on time, such as termination of tenancy.

•    The lease must stipulate everything that the landlord is obligated to do. For instance, the landlord may agree to be responsible for maintaining the property such as repainting it once in a while.

State laws in Alabama concerning rental property do not stipulate the notice period a landlord must give a tenant in order to increase rent or change other terms of the lease agreement. However, the general rule is the notice period of rent increase is the same time a landlord must provide when terminating tenancy which is 30 days unless the rental agreement states otherwise.

Regarding rental late fees, the laws in Alabama are “silent”. However, if a tenant does not pay rent on the stipulated date (by rental agreement); the landlord may charge him/her a late fee. However, if the terms of late fees are not stated in the rental agreement, the landlord may not impose them on the tenant.

Small Claims court limit

The Law in Alabama allows tenants to sue their landlord for a limit of $6,000 in a small claims court when they fail to return deposits. Once a complainant has been filed the defendant may respond in written form within 14 days. The law allows both the tenant and landlord, to have an attorney represent them in this court, and so does a collection agency that is suing to collect a debt. You should note that the small claims court does not hear matters related to eviction notices; these are instead arbitrated upon by other higher courts.

Required Landlord Disclosures

Under Alabama Landlord Tenant Laws (Ala. Code § 35-9A-202) landlords are obligated to disclose accurate information to their potential tenants and tenants. For instance, the address and name of the property Management Company or individual that is authorized to take any action on the landlord’s/owners behalf, in matters related to receiving and issuing notices and managing the property. This information is usually contained in the lease or rental agreement

Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent

In most states the tenant usually has the right to withhold rent in the event that he/she has carried out necessary repairs on the property; this is usually referred to as the right to “repair and deduct”. However, this right does not exist under the Alabama Landlord and Tenant Laws.  When a landlord fails to make the necessary repairs such as a leaking roof or broken heater, the tenant should request these repairs by issuing the landlord with a written notice.  The notice period allowed is 14 days, after which if no action is taken the tenant has the right to move out of the premises. The tenant also has the right to remain in the premises and sue the landlord for damages. This rights are stipulated under Ala. Code § 35-9A-164.

Termination and Eviction Rules in Alabama

The state’s landlord and tenants laws stipulate how and when a landlord can terminate a tenancy. For instance, if a tenant has been found in possession or uses illegal drugs in the premises, the landlord has the right to issue an unconditional quit notice. This notice gives a tenant seven days to vacate the premises; otherwise, the landlord can file for eviction.

Local Ordinances which Affect Alabama Landlords and Tenants laws

Counties and cities will often pass local ordinances that may affect the state laws. For instance, a county may stipulate antidiscrimination rules, health and safety standards and regulations on noise and nuisance. It is important as a landlord or tenant to be conversant with these local rules.  These local ordinances can usually be found on municipalities or city websites.

As a tenant, you have certain rights under the Alabama landlords and tenant laws such as, the right to live in a rental property that meets the basic health and safety standards. The landlord also has rights under this law, such as the right to get rent in a timely and convenient manner (according to the lease agreement). Both the rights of the landlord and the tenants are protected under law, and hence the need to be conversant with these rules and regulations. This article has covered some of the fundamental laws, which should act as a guide when you are renting property. It is, however, important to study these laws in depth when faced with certain legal rental related issues, or consult a lawyer in such an event.

1

Rent Increase Letter

How To Write a Rent Increase Notice

There are a lot of good reasons to raise the rent. In fact, training your longer term tenants to expect a yearly rental increase can be one of the best ways to guarantee an increase in the return on investment of your rental properties. Additionally, it serves as a good hedge against inflation.

Some Landlords feel bad or awkward about raising the rent, but remember, it’s just a cost of doing business.

Below, you’ll find tips on how to increase the rent without losing your tenants, as well as a free rental increase template for you to modify.

Tip #1: Make the rent increase part of the rental contract

In your initial rental contract, add language that, on renewal, mentions a rental increase. You can either mention a real number or use a percentage. Try not to overcharge, 3-5% is usually a good bet. Of course, if rents skyrocket in your market at the end of the lease, you’re not required to renew with that tenant.

Check with your local landlord association to make sure this is legal in your state.

Tip #2: Give Ample Notice, In Compliance with Local Laws

Let the tenant know way in advance that you’re going to raise the rent. If they don’t want to stay, then you’ll have time to properly market and rent out the unit, lowering your vacancy rates and keeping your cash flow going.

You can send the letter via email, or mail. It’s up to you if you want to explain why you want to raise the rent. Sometimes, mentioning an increase in your expenses (such as local taxes, heating, etc), may make the tenant more open to a rental increase.

If a new lease is required, make sure to send it to the tenant to get their signature and renewal.

Tip #3: Use This Sample Rental Notice as a guideline

[Date] [Tenant’s Name] [Tenant’s Address] [City/State/Zip Code]

Re:Notice of Rent Increase

Dear [Tenant’s Name],

Your lease at the property listed above will expire on [Lease Expiration Date].

Effective [Rent Increase Date], the monthly rent for this property will increase to $____. This represents a change of $___ from your current rent, $____ per month.

If you wish to continue with your [lease agreement/month to month tenancy], you will be required to pay this new amount. The rest of your lease agreement shall remain the same, with all terms in force and effect. Should you not wish to renew your lease agreement with us, please provide us with notice as soon as possible, but note then the legally required date of [Last Day Notice Date].

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you have, at [contact information].

Sincerely,

[Signature] [Name]

Tip #4: Know The Law about Rental Increases!

As always, the law has something to say about rental increases. If you are a landlord in an area with rent control or rent stabilization, then there are significant restrictions on your ability to raise rents.

Additionally, you cannot raise the rent in the middle of a fixed lease contract. If you rent to section 8 tenants or through another HUD or local agency program, there may be additional restrictions on rental increases.

For tenants who signed a lease, you cannot arbitrarily raise the rents until the period is up. If you placed a clause in your lease agreement to allow for rental increases within the term, note that many courts frown upon this and may invalidate your entire lease agreement.

For month to month tenants, you can raise rents as long as you provide proper notice. The notice period will vary by state. Your notice must be provided in writing. As with any important communication with a tenant, we strongly suggest registered mail at a minimum.

Additionally, you cannot raise the rent in a way that is discriminatory. Meaning, you can’t raise a rent due to race, religion, or something else you don’t particularly like about the tenant.

If a tenant has filed a complaint or exercised a legal right, raising the rent within a certain period may well be viewed as “retaliation” by the courts.

Tip #4: Know Your Local Market Rents!

You can’t charge whatever you want for a rental, because tenants will go elsewhere. Make sure to know your local rates. Keeping your rates within the market range will ensure that tenants stay, even when you raise the rents a bit.

 

How To Evict a Tenant

This guide will take you through the eviction process, and will give you the steps necessary to properly evict/kick out a tenant from rental property. Note that we are not lawyers and the aim of this guide is to provide general guidelines. Contact legal counsel before proceeding.

Important notice to landlords in California, Florida, and New York: You will have extreme difficulty in evicting tenants in these states. These states are notoriously tenant friendly, and you may not be able to evict. Please contact your local landlord association or attorney before even beginning the process.

Evictions: The Process is Part of being a Landlord.

If this is your first time having to evict someone, don’t bee to hard on yourself. Evictions are simply part of the process of being a landlord. Even great tenants sometimes have issues. Your job is to be sympathetic but firm. In other words, pay or get out.

While it may seem harsh, at the end of the day, your job is to make money from your rental properties. Letting someone stay in your unit rent free is a surefire way to lose your shirt in the real estate business.

Don’t get me wrong – it can be really depressing to evict a tenant whom you have a relationship with. But sometimes, you don’t have a choice. And when it comes to being nice or making sure you get paid, you need to get paid.

The eviction process starts with having a valid reason to evict a tenant.

Let’s get started:

How Eviction Laws Work

Eviction laws are different from state to state (see our above notice, for example). More so, eviction laws can even be different by county. Some counties enact ordinances or requirements that may make it more difficult then the minimums set by the state.

Because evictions are a legal issue, it’s important that you start from a solid legal basis. We recommend using a lease agreement that is written by lawyers, designed specifically for you state. Your local landlord association or real estate broker may have a standardized set of lease agreements for you to use.

If you’ve used a custom lease agreement, it’s important to take a few minutes and make sure that the lease you used will allow you to evict your tenant. Otherwise, you may lose your case in eviction court when the time comes.

You Can’t Just Throw a Tenant To The Curb

As much as you’d like, you can’t just kick the tenant out after they’ve violated their lease. These type of evictions are illegal and unlawful and may completely wreck any attempt at actually getting the tenant out.

Specifically do not:

  • Enter the tenant’s property without consent
  • Remove their property to the curb before being awarded an eviction by the court
  • hire someone to physically remove or intimidate the tenant
  • change the locals on the tenant’s apartment
  • shut off utilities (electric,gas,water,heat,etc)
  • Harass the tenant in any way or form (stink bombs, loud music, etc).

Remember that evicting someone is a legal process that can take time. If you act rashly or outside the scope of this process, you can seriously harm your case in court.

Do you have a good reason to evict someone?

You can’t evict someone just because you don’t like them. You need to have a legitimate, legal reason for attempting to evict a tenant.

Typical good reasons for evicting a tenant include:

  • Not paying the rent
  • Doing something against the lease/rental agreement (pets, airbnb, criminal activities, drugs etc)
  • Damaging the property
  • Breaking local ordinances such as noise, occupancy or health codes
  • Causing harm or danger to other tenants

Make sure you have proof (the more, the merrier), so you can prove your case in court.

Should you try and talk to your tenant?

This is a good question. It really depends on the situation, why you need to evict, and what the rental market is like in your area.

For example, in a soft rental market, where you may not be able to get another tenant, attempting to reason with a tenant who is a bit behind on the rent might make sense.

Conversely, in a strong market, you probably can afford to be much stricter with your tenants.

Generally speaking, it’s best to have a written process in place and enforce it equally among all your tenants. Otherwise, you open yourself up to both Fair Housing lawsuits, and the possibility that you may lose your eviction case as well.

File an Eviction Notice or “Notice to Quit”

Once you’ve decided you want to evict your tenant, you need to provide the tenant with an eviction notice. In legal jargon this may also be called a “notice to quit”.  Below we’ll provide a general guidelines of eviction notices, however it’s important to note that this process varies greatly by state.

How to File an Eviction Notice

  1. Include a deadline to pay or move out.
  2. Include amount owed, including fees.
  3. Make sure you provide ample notice before the actual eviction. This differs from state to state and can be anywhere from 3-60 days!
  4. Provide a copy to the tenant, and make sure to send a copy certified mail with return receipt requested via US Mail to provide proof.

At this point, the eviction process has formally begun.

Hopefully, your tenant will “cure” the issue by paying the rent or making repairs, but sadly that’s not often the case. Now the clock starts ticking, and once the specified time has passed, it’s time to file in local court.

How to File an Eviction Notice in Court

The next step is to go to your local court, and file the eviction paperwork. If you’re a bigger landlord with several units, you may have an attorney on retainer who does this for you. In some states, you must file eviction with an attorney. In other states, you can file yourself.

Go to the appropriate court or their website, and ask the clerk for the paperwork necessary to file an eviction. At this point the clerk will issue a summons, and your tenant will need to show up in eviction court.

(Bonus:If your tenant doesn’t show up, then you win the case by default!… Usually.)

 

Getting Ready for Eviction Court

Assuming your tenant hasn’t already flown the coop, then it’s time to go to court and win your case.

Bring as much documentation as you can, including:

  1. lease agreements
  2. bounced checks/failed credit card or debit payments
  3. communication records (emails, phone, letters, text)
  4. any other proof for the eviction (pictures of damages, police reports, complaints, etc)
  5. a copy of the notice provided to your tenant
  6. proof that the tenant received your notice, with the date.

The court will usually decide at the time of the case.

If you’ve won, then read on.

Evicting the Tenant

Once you’ve won your eviction case, you can now evict your tenant.

If your tenant hasn’t physically left, you can go the local sheriff or bailiff who will help you evict the tenant. In general, it’s better to have the law do this for you. Eviction processes have been known to get violent, so you’re best making sure a professional gets them out if they haven’t already.

How To Get Good Tenants

Alright, your eviction is done. Hopefully it won’t happen again. Here are some helpful hints to help you get better tenants:

  • develop a better screening process – did this tenant have a bad record?
  • check for previous eviction processes. Often they may be in several states. Sometimes their filed as unlawful detainers.
  • Run a thorough employment and credit check – can the tenant really pay the bills?
  • Nervous? Demand a qualified guarantor.

These are The Fattest Cities in America

In the US, Obesity is fast becoming the biggest health crisis of our generation. There are lots of reasons, from fast food to lifestyle changes and a changing way of working, but the bottom line is we’re getting fat.

In this map, we plotted the percentage of obese people within the larger population. Some of the results, are, quite frankly, scary:

  1. On average, at least 30.8% of the population is obese. Remember, we’re not talking about putting a few pounds on after your thirties. We’re talking life altering, health threatening obesity. If you take three people, one of them will be obese. That’s INSANE!

 

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Here are the top 10 fattest cities in America:

 

1 42.3% Opelousas, LA
2 41% Orangeburg, SC
3 40.2% Hammond, LA
4 39.7% Saginaw, MI
5 39.5% Roanoke Rapids, NC
6 39.4% Houma, LA
7 39.2% Pine Bluff, AR
8 39.2% Rocky Mount, NC
9 39% Lumberton, NC
10 39% Huntington, WV

 

How Does Obesity Affect America?

Healthcare Costs.

  • Obese people spend 42% more on healthcare. The estimated cost of obesity related medical treatments is between approximately $147 Billion dollars. That’s nearly 10% of all annual spending on healthcare in the USA
  • Childhood obesity is responsible for $14.1 billion in direct healthcare costs.

Reduced Productivity

  • Absenteeism related to Obesity costs $4.3 billion each year.
  • Lower productivity because of obesity costs employers $506 per obese worker per year.
  • As obesity and BMI rises, sick days, medical claims and costs go up as well.
  • Obese workers have close to 10 times the costs in medical claims and indemnity claims!

 

 

11 38.9% Atlanta, GA
12 38.8% Tullahoma, TN
13 38.7% Greenville, SC
14 38.4% Laurel, MS
15 38.2% Memphis, TN
16 38.2% Wilson, NC
17 38.1% Morgan City, LA
18 37.8% Fort Polk South, LA
19 37.8% Nashville, TN
20 37.7% Talladega, AL
21 37.6% Lake City, FL
22 37.5% Kansas City, MO-KS
23 37.3% Lafayette, LA
24 37.2% Omaha, NE
25 37.2% Nashville, TN
26 37.1% Danville, IL
27 37% Aberdeen, WA
28 36.9% Florence, AL
29 36.9% Albany, GA
30 36.8% Oxford, NC
31 36.7% Clarksville, TN
32 36.7% McAllen, TX
33 36.7% Beaumont, TX
34 36.7% Virginia Beach, VA
35 36.6% Niles, MI
36 36.6% Muskegon, MI
37 36.6% Florence, SC
38 36.5% Jonesboro, AR
39 36.5% Jackson, TN
40 36.4% Alexandria, LA
41 36.4% Shawnee, OK
42 36.3% Charleston, SC
43 36.2% Ozark, AL
44 36.2% Fort Smith, AR
45 36.2% Portsmouth, OH
46 36.1% Mobile, AL
47 36.1% Indiana, PA
48 36% Pittsburgh, PA
49 35.9% Ionia, MI
50 35.9% Chillicothe, OH
51 35.9% Enid, OK
52 35.8% Palatka, FL
53 35.8% Kinston, NC
54 35.8% Athens, TN
55 35.7% Flint, MI
56 35.6% Searcy, AR
57 35.6% Baton Rouge, LA
58 35.6% Columbus, OH
59 35.6% Tulsa, OK
60 35.5% Allentown, PA
61 35.5% Hagerstown, MD
62 35.4% New Orleans, LA
63 35.4% Florence, SC
64 35.3% Kokomo, IN
65 35.3% Longview, TX
66 35.2% Albertville, AL
67 35.2% Chicago, IL
68 35.2% Monroe, LA
69 35.1% St. Joseph, MO
70 35.1% Moses Lake, WA
71 35% Cullman, AL
72 35% Raleigh, NC
73 35% Longview, TX
74 34.9% Marion, IN
75 34.9% South Bend, IN
76 34.8% Gadsden, AL
77 34.8% Augusta, GA
78 34.8% Somerset, KY
79 34.8% Salisbury, MD-DE
80 34.8% Columbus, MS
81 34.8% Lawton, OK
82 34.8% Kingsport, TN
83 34.7% Sebring, FL
84 34.7% Statesboro, GA
85 34.7% Fayetteville, NC
86 34.7% Muskogee, OK
87 34.7% Bloomsburg, PA
88 34.6% Shreveport, LA
89 34.6% Lafayette, LA
90 34.6% Hobbs, NM
91 34.6% Tiffin, OH
92 34.5% Columbus, GA
93 34.5% London, KY
94 34.5% Goldsboro, NC
95 34.5% Gaffney, SC
96 34.5% Fairmont, WV
97 34.5% Beckley, WV
98 34.5% Stevens Point, WI
99 34.4% Battle Creek, MI
100 34.4% Hattiesburg,MS

How We Built This Map

The CDC recognizes that obesity is a problem (as do most professionals). They have an entire department that deals with obesity and diabetes. We used their data, and then ranked cities with at least 50,000 people based on the most recent US Census data available.

These are The Most Sexually Diseased Cities in the USA

Despite our puritan heritage, Americans really love to have sex. It turns out, a lot of us like to have sex without protection, too. Using publicly available data sources, we’ve mapped sexually transmitted diseases across most major cities in the USA. The military helped cities rank strongly in the top 10, with Norfolk Naval Base, Ft. Hood, and Ft. Bragg all pushing their cities to the top.

 

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The Top 10 Most Sexually Diseased Cities are:

Rank City Total STDs Total STDs per 100,000
1 Montgomery, AL 4371 1899.20
2 St Louis, MO 5942 1867.54
3. West Memphis, AR (Part of the Memphis Metro) 859 1717.29
4. Philadelphia, PA 26151 1689.77
5. Norfolk, VA [Norfolk Naval Base] 4013 1632.74
6. Baltimore, MD 10134 1630.98
7. Richmond, VA 3248 1544.39
8. New Orleans, LA 5614 1520.37
9. Killeen, TX [Ft. Hood] 4887 1512.83
10. Fayetteville, NC [Ft. Bragg] 4826 1489.2

We have received many requests from the media for additional rankings, so we have expanded this list to include the top 100 most sexually diseased cities in America:

 

Ranking City Total STDs Total STDs Per 100,0000
11 Washington, DC 9060 1432.812
12 Bronx, NYC 19847 1409.115
13 Monroe, LA 2178 1401.878
14 Amarillo, TX 1701 1390.444
15 Jackson, MS 3453 1388.738
16 Indianapolis, 12608 1371.96
17 Shreveport, LA 3461 1346.205
18 Milwaukee,WI 12832 1343.377
19 Pine Bluff, AR 992 1327.57
20 Virginia Beach,VA 1270 1316.471
21 Carbondale, IL 786 1308.452
22 Rocky Mount, NC 716 1279.623
23 Gallup, NM 916 1254.52
24 Lafayette, LA 902 1218.935
25 Orangeburg, SC 1091 1192.663
26 Memphis, TN 11068 1176.491
27 Sumter, SC 1271 1176.285
28 Detroit, MI 21056 1174.761
29 Decatur, IL 1293 1174.152
30 Clarksville, TN-KY 2118 1148.167
31 Hattiesburg, MS 882 1147.034
32 Hampton, City 1566 1144.436
33 Greenville, NC 1974 1143.99
34 Cincinnati, OH 9076 1131.617
35 Greenwood, SC 786 1126.785
36 Birmingham, AL 7267 1101.046
37 Newport News, VA 1988 1100.008
38 Cleveland-, OH 13733 1085.517
39 Tallahassee, FL 3068 1081.161
40 Columbus, GA 624 1079.211
41 Jackson, TN 1040 1054.168
42 Longview, TX 1286 1048.444
43 Little RockAR 4063 1044.599
44 Lynchburg, VA 805 1043.923
45 Peoria, IL 1954 1043.502
46 Kansas City, MO 7050 1040.779
47 Roanoke, VA 1014 1040.331
48 Anchorage, AK 3102 1038.813
49 Show Low, AZ 1110 1036.473
50 Lawton, OK 1309 1035.683
51 Albany, GA 978 1034.91
52 Florence, SC 702 1030.247
53 Mobile, AL 4249 1026.487
54 Macon, GA 1602 1023.891
55 Greensboro, NC 5121 1022.403
56 Denver, CO 6453 1017.398
57 Augusta, GA 2037 1005.494
58 Durham, NC 2789 997.3502
59 San Francisco, CA 8141 985.7567
60 Opelousas, LA 824 984.9155
61 Gainesville, FL 2471 982.8293
62 Florence, SC 1350 978.6296
63 Corpus Christi, TX 3395 976.4417
64 Jacksonville, NC 1786 974.5557
65 Boston, MA 7246 973.3674
66 Manhattan, New York City, NY 15706 970.0511
67 Roanoke Rapids, NC 523 968.4109
68 Bakersfield, CA 8224 960.5704
69 Belleville, IL 2567 954.7791
70 Lumberton, NC 1285 948.3675
71 Tuscaloosa, AL 1882 947.6525
72 Odessa, TX 1365 945.7821
73 Columbia, SC 3724 945.5857
74 Meridian, MS 745 928.6961
75 Dothan, AL 953 921.6456
76 Winston-Salem, NC 3274 914.1753
77 Columbus, OH 10916 913.0625
78 Waco, TX 2179 912.8346
79 Louisville, KY 6842 911.2606
80 Charleston SC 3270 895.493
81 Lubbock, TX 2545 890.6075
82 Houma, LA 996 890.1361
83 Jacksonville, FL 7815 888.47
84 Champaign-Urbana, IL 1804 887.4634
85 Washington, DC Beltway (Prince George’s County) 7767 881.4737
86 Springfield, IL 1754 880.2084
87 Valdosta, GA 1008 879.9497
88 Gadsden, AL 915 876.5039
89 Chicago, IL 45834 876.1408
90 Fresno, CA 8257 871.088
91 Morgan City, LA 463 862.2456
92 Kinston, NC 510 861.0938
93 Gaffney, SC 478 858.7546
94 Brooklyn, NY 21987 856.9808
95 Toledo, OH 3753 856.8532
96 Dover, DE 1428 851.8965
97 San Antonio, TX 15193 850.8129
98 Newark, NJ 6700 850.5301
99 Huntsville, TX 580 847.8541
100 Fort Polk South, LA 456 846.498

How We Collected and Created This Data

The data used here comes from the CDC for 2013, and reflects reports of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. (Herpes data is not collected).  To normalize the data, we measured rates per 100,000 people. We chose only to show cities with a significant amount of population, so rural counties are not show on this map.

 

Specifically, we only rankied cities with a population of at least 50,000 or more. We ignored absolute STDs and only used the rate per 100k to establish rankings. We opted to treat Washington, DC. as a city and not a state. We also chose to represent each borough of NYC separately. They represent very different populations and should be treated as such.

The CDC makes available a wide range of statistical, anonymous data about STDs in America.

 

 

The 30 Best Surf Spots in the USA

Perhaps not as American as things like apple pie or Walmart, surfing still has its place in the hearts and minds of many who hail from the land of the free. There is nothing like harnessing the forces of Nature to do something incredible, and whether you’ve never tried surfing or have been doin’ it since you were barely out of diapers, surfing is a pretty darn incredible feat. You’re throwing yourself down the face of a wave of moving water and trying not to fall off—easier said than done—all while maneuvering a strange fiberglass board and keeping balanced. As a famous surfer once said, that’s pretty gnarly, bro. Here are 30 of the best surf spots in the USA.

30. The Wall, New Hampshire

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Of all the US states that lie on either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, New Hampshire is the one with the least amount of coastline—just 18 miles. But even with very little exposure to an ocean swell, New Hampshire’s beaches pack a decent punch for surfing. The Wall is the pick of the lot, and especially during late summer when a hurricane is barreling in off the Atlantic, waves can get pretty good here. Just remember to bring a wetsuit!

29. Salmon Creek, California

Northern California is usually not the first place that comes to mind when surfers daydream about surfing this state’s legendary beaches. That’s good news for you though, because it means a whole lot more waves to yourself. The bad news is that the water is real chilly year-round, the currents here can suck you under if you do not know what you’re doing, and it is not uncommon to see man-eating Great White sharks trawling the waters for their dinner. They prefer seals, but probably wouldn’t say no to a piece of you.

28. Yakutat, Alaska

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Alaska! Really, Alaska? Yes, in fact, you can surf in Alaska. Of course, you have to be a diehard surfer to ever consider donning a wetsuit (the thickest one you have) and grabbing your longboard. Hazards of surfing in Yakutat, an isolated and gorgeous community halfway between Juneau and Anchorage, include hypothermia and potentially hitting stray ice bergs. On the other hand, the views of Mt. Elias and the surrounding snow-capped mountains are beautiful to the point of surreal and the air and water are clean as can be. It can’t hurt to dip your toe into the water and take your board for a ride or two. To see more incredible pictures of Yakutat click here.

27. The Zoo, Michigan

Somewhere in Michigan’s desolate Upper Peninsula is a place called The Zoo. It’s unclear if The Zoo is just one beach or a series of them in one place or another along the southern shores of the vast Lake Superior, but wherever it is, the waves here can get pretty awesome. Like most lakeshore breaks, The Zoo is best surfed when there’s a storm brewing and you’ve got some good surf experience under your belt, or are at least completely reckless and throw caution to the (gale-force) wind. But if you can survive the paddle out, by all accounts The Zoo is one of the best freshwater waves you can surf in the USA or anywhere else, for that matter.

26. Ocean Beach, California

 

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Ocean Beach is where local surfers from San Francisco are most likely to go if they want to surf a wave in a pinch—you don’t even need a car, in fact, since the Muni goes all the way across the city. The water here is cold, the currents are strong, and the waves can easily go overhead, especially during the wintertime. Like most of Northern California, you do have to watch out for hungry sharks, but the reward is uncongested beaches, even when there are five foot barrels.

25. Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, as the name would suggest, offers miles and miles of sandy breaks for anyone brave enough to withstand year-round frigid temperatures. Mostly the beaches here are sandy, so you don’t have to worry about underwater rocks that will snap your board (or you) in half. The waves here won’t get too big, but there are plenty of rip currents, so you probably don’t want to surf here unless you really know what you’re doing.

24. Klamath River, California

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Way up in northern California, the Klamath River mouth is one of the best surf spots on the west coast for more experienced surfers. Why do you need to know what you’re doing here? For starters, there’s an extremely strong current, due to the confluence of the river with the driving Pacific Ocean. This means that the barrels here are to die for, but you could literally die—either from drowning, or also because the huge seal colony here, not to mention the salmon runs that happen in autumn are magnets for Great Whites (there are also migratory Gray Whales nearby, but they won’t bother you). Also, this place is deep in Klamath Indian territory, so remember that if you do come out here, respect the locals—this isn’t just a beach to them.

23. Ocean City, Maryland

This boardwalk town is a popular Maryland getaway for residents up and down the mid-Atlantic coast. During late summer it also features some pretty solid waves, especially if there are any storms brewing offshore. The jetties here help to create some decent peaks, and on a big day waves can go overhead. Better yet, the currents coming up from the south mean that you won’t freeze your buns off. But this is the East Coast—so you’re not looking at year-round surf here, just something to do between July and October.

22. Cape Kiwanda, Oregon

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Cape Kiwanda is one of those surf spots that is about the scene outside of the water as much as it is about the waves you catch. While the waves here can get pretty big (up to 15’ during a heavy swell), it’s the surf shop—run by longtime local Bob Ledbetter—in nearby Pacific City (which is anything but city-sized) that is just as much of an attraction as the waves themselves. With an idyllic, laid-back vibe and a surf tournament in August that attracts plenty of big West Coast names, Cape Kiwanda is the real deal for surfing, as long as you bring a wetsuit, of course.

21. S Turns, North Carolina

Ask any die-hard surfer where the best surfing on the East Coast can be found and they are more than likely to tell you a break somewhere along North Carolina’s famed Outer Banks. With close to 300 miles of pristine sandy beaches and a front row seat directly in the path of the best swells that the Atlantic has to offer, you can surf in the Outer Banks almost year-round. S Turns is by most estimations the pick of a generous lot of beaches to surf at in North Carolina.

20. Windansea, California3018507729_df76216157_m

 

Windansea is a one of San Diego’s best-kept secrets, the sort of place you do not step in the water unless you are an old pro or have a buddy who goes out there. Known as much for an unforgiving reef as it is for aggressive locals, the payoff at Windansea—assuming you do not get your butt kicked by either the local surfers or the reef itself—is a gorgeous, peaky wave that holds shape up to overhead. Especially in winter, Windansea is a gorgeous challenge for any experienced surfer.

19. Narragansett, Rhode Island

The Ocean State may be small, but it has a ton of shoreline thanks to the many inlets and rivermouths dotting the coast. Out of all of these beaches, perhaps the best is Narragansett, which is well known for being gentle on beginners. Another great reason to pay a visit to ‘Gansett is because the local brewery here, Narragansett Beer, makes some of the easiest drinking suds in the Northeast. Not to mention the legendary ‘Gansett Girls, the beer brand’s famous pinups who have landed this coastal enclave on the map. Beers, babes, and most of all, great waves: How could Narragansett not be one of the best surf spots in the USA??

18. Silver Strand, California

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The beaches of Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles, are sometimes overlooked thanks to their more famous sisters to the south in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties. However, Silver Strand beach, which abuts a couple of huge jetties and is opposite the Channel Islands, can go head to head with pretty much any other break in Southern California. Powerful waves and long barrels characterize the waves here, and while the locals have been known to make things tough for visiting surfers, you can’t really blame them for wanting this world-class break to themselves.

17. Cocoa Beach, Florida

This beach would otherwise be more remarkable for its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, except that the undisputed best surfer in the world, Kelly Slater, grew up here and learned how to surf on the gentle waves here at Cocoa Beach. Yes, I’ll say that again: Kelly Slater. The guy who brought surfing into the mainstream, gave it a face that could market to the public—he learned how to surf here. So don’t stick your nose up at Cocoa Beach; if it was good enough for the world’s greatest surfer, no doubt it’s good enough for you.

16. La Jolla Shores, California

 

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La Jolla Shores, just north of downtown San Diego, is a great place to learn how to surf without worrying about what will happen when you inevitably take off too early, or too late, and end up with a face full of whitewater. The waves here never get much bigger than two or three feet during the summer, there’s a sandy bottom here so you will not have to fret about breaking your neck, plus there are tons of good looking people getting their tan on to keep your mind on other things while you try and conquer the waves.

15. Swamis, California

Swamis is famous for its perennially hollow right-handed breaks, and especially during the winter storm season can hold up to triple overhead height better than just about any other wave in Southern California. The currents are not too bad and the wave breaks within a reasonable distance from shore, which means that the paddle out will not tire you out too much like at other beaches. Swamis is definitely a great place to go if you want to take your surfing skills to the next level.

14. Wilderness, Puerto Rico

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You might not think of Puerto Rico as a major surf destination, but it’s one of the top places in the Caribbean to catch a wave—in fact, probably one of the best spots in the USA to surf. Wilderness is one of those wild places where you’ve got to be quick on your feet and smart on your board. The reef here is punishing to those who fall in, but your reward for charging a wave here and staying upright is a beautiful, beautiful ride.

13. Laguna Beach, California

Perhaps made more famous by the MTV show of the same name, Laguna Beach is a quality wave in one of the most beautiful—and ritzy—surfing spots in America. Waves here are especially solid during the winter months, when a big swell easily stacks waves over 6 feet+, and the reef at Laguna Beach is a great place to surf some beautiful left handers when the timing is right. The only thing to remember is you might want to bring your own lunch, because nothing in Laguna Beach is cheap, especially not by the beach!

12. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

 

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Cape Cod is most notable as being a place where the rich and famous go to enjoy a week or two of relaxing sand and sun in their Walmart-sized mansions, but do not be fooled: there are some gnarly waves to be had here. One of the best beaches to get absolutely pitted on the East Coast can be found at Marconi Station—famous in its own right for being the site of the first trans-Atlantic cable message—and if the swells are right and you’ve got the guts, there are some beautiful hollow waves here to catch.

11. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay offers an embarrassing assortment of riches to those who surf. Arguably the best area for surfing on the island of Kauai, Hanalei Bay has something for everyone, no matter what your skillset. Breaks with names such as Impossible and The Bowl are for speedy, agile surfers, while Pinetrees break has some of the most consistent walls to surf on the island. If you’re up for it, you can even do a tow-in at nearby Kings and Queens.

10. Banyans, Hawaii

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Banyans is probably the most popular beach for surfing on the Big Island, and that is not an accident. It features beautifully hollow rights during the winter season and shorter, aggressive lefts during the summer. The only catch, of course, is that like many local favorites, catching a wave here if you’re not from the ‘hood will probably prove to be impossible. But you can still try!

9. Newport Beach (The Wedge), California

Not too far from high-end Laguna Beach is equally prestigious Newport Beach, which is famous for the steep and aggressive Wedge. Positioned against a jetty, the Wedge is maybe one of the best artificially-created waves that has ever been built by man. It’s steep, rolling waves have been known to break boards (and occasionally necks) and you really have to know what you’re doing out there. But for anyone with some decent sized huevos and the skills to back them up, The Wedge is one of the top spots for surfing in not only California, but the entire country.

8. San Onofre, California

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San Onofre is unique for a Southern California beach because unlike anywhere else between the stretch of coast from the Mexican border up until Malibu, there is basically no one here. This is no doubt because of the nuclear power plant which was online for the better part of three decades in north San Diego County. No one wanted to be too close in case the plant here—which was crudely nicknamed after a certain pair of appendages unique to the female anatomy—had a meltdown. Fortunately, those days are over and now the plant is online. Not that a little bit of radiation ever scared away the surfers here; San Onofre has been surfed for many decades, allegedly in part because the normally frigid Pacific Ocean was never quite as cold within the vicinity of the power plant. I wonder why?

7. Haleiwa, Hawaii

This break on Oahu’s North Shore is great because it offers something for both hard-charging veterans and beginners who have less experience. The offshore break has seen some of Hawaii’s best tackle the lightning-fast waves and brave the punishingly aggressive riptide. Closer to shore, the waves that reform are much gentler and great for beginners to practice on.

6. Trestles, California

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Near San Clemente, Trestles Beach is one of the best surfing beaches on the West Coast and has hosted multiple pro surfing tour events. The waves here are consistently shaped, with just the right combination of swells, wind, and current keeping things the right height and form to do some pretty crazy things on them with a surfboard. Along with the friendly locals and gorgeous mountain backdrop, Trestles is a great place to come surfing and live the California dream.

5. Waimea Bay, Hawaii

THE big wave spot on Oahu’s mythical North Shore, the only reason you should ever come out here is if you’re willing to go into the belly of the beast in search of 20 ft+ giants that will punish you if you make even the smallest mistake. The currents are super strong, the shallow reef below will tear you to shreds should you fall in, and even the shorebreak is not to be messed with. But Waimea is high on this list for a reason: for those who know what they’re doing, rarely will there ever be a wave more thrilling to ride. There is a reason that the Eddie, one of surfing’s most fabled tournaments, only happens at Waimea.

4. Jaws, Hawaii

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The most intense, mind-blowing, and sheer breathtaking waves ever surfed anywhere in the USA, ever, have been surfed here. Jaws is the undisputed biggest wave you can surf in Hawaii, and also the most famous break that Maui has to offer. It is probably not a good idea to surf here unless you have years of experience surfing or are otherwise compelled to kill yourself in the most spectacular fashion possible: if you wipe out on Jaws, you can expect to have a wall of water literally the size of two houses crush you to the bottom, pummel you for hundreds of feet and toss what’s left of you onto the slippery rocks on Peahi beach. Sounds good?

3. Maverick’s, California

It doesn’t get any bigger, badder, and more intense than Maverick’s, the legendary break at Half Moon Bay near San Francisco. The combination of frigid Pacific currents, deadly rip tide, occasional shark siting, and jagged rocks should you get thrown off your board make for a menacing wave that only the best and bravest have ever conquered. Maverick’s has claimed a fair share of lives before—it’s the kind of wave that should be respected, but if you have what it takes it makes for the ride of your life.

2. Huntington Beach, California

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There can only be one Surf City, USA, and it happens to be Huntington Beach, in Orange County, California. The combination of beach boardwalk, tanned fit bodies galore, a long pier, and plenty of great bars and other nightlife in the vicinity make it a great place to visit. And, oh yeah, the waves are pretty good here, too. The US Open of Surfing usually happens in Huntington Beach during the last week of July and runs into August, attracting many of the world’s best surfers and putting on a show for all who attend.

1. Pipeline, Hawaii

Arguably the most famous and coveted of all Hawaiian beaches, Pipeline has seen the world’s best surfers—not to mention the people who invented the sport—surfing its legendarily hollow waves for centuries. For its beautiful barrels, its gorgeous turquoise water, and equally treacherous reef lurking just under the surface—there can be no pleasure without pain—Pipeline is the best spot for surfing in the USA.

View NYC’s Crime Stats Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Curious about how good (or bad) crime has gotten in the Big Apple? We took years of major crime statistics from the NYPD, and created a time lapse, by precinct. Click the Green Play button to start the time lapse.

 

About this Map

The NYPD has been using CompStat for many years to manage resources and crime. Those statistics are made publicly available . We chose to focus on the 7 major felony crimes in this map, as opposed to more nuisance and quality of life issues.

Note that how the data is created over the years has changed slightly. Certain precincts were created, others removed. Corrections data is no longer included, although it used to be.

 

 Embed This Map on Your Website:

<iframe src="https://d11crtb5sd24b1.cloudfront.net/map.html" width="100%" height="800"></iframe>Timelapse of NYC Crime Data created by <a href="https://www.rentapplication.com">RentApplication.com</a>
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The 30 Best Universities for Real Estate Studies

Real estate is a constantly changing industry that holds a lot of opportunity for those looking to launch a career. At one time, real estate was an industry that anyone could enter easily and with very little training. Now that over half of all wealth in the United States is invested in real estate, with the industry responsible for over 8 million jobs, that is changing. Education and a solid understanding of best practices are necessary for real estate professionals who want to contribute positively to the industry. What do you need to get started?

  • Accreditation and Certificates: Many schools offer certificates and accreditations that give students a foundational understanding of real estate practices. These programs are great for students who want tfo start working right away in entry-level development and brokerage positions. Some of these programs are state specific, so make sure you choose one that will allow you to work where you want to.
  • Undergraduate Programs: Some universities offer undergraduate degrees in real estate while others offer business or finance degrees with a real estate concentration. These degrees are great for launching a career or continuing on to further schooling. The business or finance focus of each degree will give you a good understanding of which industries and positions the program will best prepare you for.
  • MBA’s and Advanced Degrees: These degrees put you on the fast track for high-level executive jobs in the real estate and financial investment sectors. Many of them also include coursework in economics and urban development, making them a good choice for those who may want to enter into government fields.

This information should help you get started on your search for the right university for your real estate education. When choosing a school, be sure to keep your goals in mind. Which sector of the real estate industry you want to work in will affect which school and which program is right for you.

1. University of California at Berkeley

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This prestigious institution offers an undergraduate degree in real estate through the Fisher Centre For Real Estate and Urban Economics. The program has a high level of student satisfaction and consistently ranks as one of the top three real estate programs in the country. Students studying here also have the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Real Estate Club, where they can hone their professional skills and network with professionals in the industry.

2.Washington State University

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Washington State offers a B.S. in Business Administration Real Estate through the Carson College of Business. This college is accredited by the Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which as an accreditation held by less than 5% of business schools worldwide. The program offers lots of opportunities for networking and career assistance.

3. California State University

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California State offers a B.S. in Business Administration with a real estate focus. The program is offered at their Fresno, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Northridge and Sacramento campuses, giving students lots of locations to choose from. All of the university’s locations regularly rank very high among public universities in the US for both academics and student satisfaction.

4. Marquette University

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Marquette University offers an undergraduate degree in Real Estate that focuses on practical applications in the industry. They also stress the importance of ethical practices in real estate, and the accountability real estate professionals have to residents and businesses using developed space.

5. Colorado State University

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Colorado state has an undergraduate program in real estate that is offered through their Everitt Real Estate Center. They provide a high level of student support through the center, including a large amount of career assistance upon graduation.

6. Indiana University

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Indiana University has an undergrad program in Business Administration Finance with a real estate concentration. The degree is offered through the Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies, which offers a good level of student support by helping them to gain experience in their industry.

7. University of Wisconsin

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The University of Wisconsin offers both undergraduate degrees and an MBA program in Real estate. They are the home of the James E. Graaskamp Centre for Real Estate, where students can make professional connections within the industry. These programs have an international scope and a focus on social responsibility in the real estate market.

8. University of Connecticut

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The UConn School of Business Center for Real Estate is ranked #1 in the United States for real estate research. It is among the top 10 undergraduate real estate programs in the U.S., with the center acting as a professional resource for those already working in the industry. The program focuses not only on real estate business practices, but also on urban economics.

9. DePaul University

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Despite being a relatively small school, the DePaul business program is very well ranked on a national level. The program has a highly professional focus, and surveys have shown that both recruiters and alumni rate the school very highly. The Princeton Review ranked the program in the top 25 nationwide for potential entrepreneurs. The program has a heavy focus on financial success, investment and industry analysis.

10. Virginia Commonwealth University

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Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate. The program combines a mixture of accounting, general business courses, real estate specific courses and high-level finance. It is very practical, focusing on building concrete skills that serve graduates well in a rapidly changing industry. The ultimate goal is to provide students with the knowledge they need for professional licensing and designations.

11. University of Texas

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The University of Texas offers a B.S. in Business Administration with a real estate concentration through their Naveen Jindal School of Management. The program is offered at many different campuses, including Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Arlington. Many of their classes can be used to fulfill requirements for the Texas Real Estate Commission’s licensure program.

12. University of Northern Iowa

This is the only real estate program in Iowa, and they offer a B.A. in Real Estate through their department of finance. The program has a very practical lean, focusing on real-world skills that will help students function well as professionals in their field. Because it’s the only program in the state, this school has a strong connection with the Iowan real estate industry, making it a great place to form professional connections.

13. Southern Methodist University

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Southern Methodist University offers an undergraduate degree in real estate through the Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate. The program has a wide focus, encompassing academics, research and community outreach. The school’s location in Dallas makes it a great place to find professional connections, since Dallas is a major center for real estate holdings.

14. University of St. Thomas

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The University of St. Thomas is a small university that offers solid business foundations along with a series of specializations. Students can earn a B.S. in Real Estate where they will gain knowledge on specialized subjects like urban development and government assisted housing law. The school offers internship opportunities, as well as the option to join their Real Estate Society and build professional connections that way.

15. University of South Carolina

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The University of South Carolina offers a B.S. in Business Administration Real Estate through their Darla Moore School of Business. Darla Moore has a very good reputation as a business school, particularly their international MBA programs. The undergraduate real estate program focuses on investment, analysis and urban economics, while also giving students the opportunity to study international business practices.

16. Clarion University

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Clarion offers a B.S. in Business Administration Real Estate, as well as a Letter of Completion in Real Estate Appraisal and a Letter of Completion in Real Estate Brokerage. Their undergraduate degree is offered online as well as on campus, making it a convenient choice for students who don’t wish to relocate. The program combines field projects and in-class academics to give students both practical and theoretical experiences.

17. Florida State University

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Florida State offers an undergraduate business degree with a major in real estate. The program aims to help students enter the mortgage banking industry as well as real estate brokerage and investment, giving it a highly financial focus. Students have access to the Real Estate Society as well as the FSU Real Estate Network for the purposes of career development and networking.

18. University of Miami

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The University of Miami offers an undergraduate program for business majors in real estate, as well as a unique MBA/Bachelor of Architecture joint degree program. Students save about a year of schooling using the combined program to get both degrees at once. Real estate undergraduate programs at the University of Miami have a heavy focus on different markets and the particulars of working within them.

19. Temple University

 

Temple University’s real estate undergraduate degree is offered through the Fox School of Business, a highly ranked and well-regarded business school. The program leans toward the financial sector, with students studying analysis of investor and lender perspectives. The university has it’s own professional organization, known as the Temple Real Estate Organization where alumni, professionals and students can network freely.

20. Portland State University

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Portland State offers an undergraduate certificate in real estate as well as a master’s degree in real estate development. Their master’s program is very unique, offering a focused approach to the development side of the real estate industry in a way that no other school does. They have a strong community built around the program, which gives them plenty of opportunities for their students to interact with the professional world.

21. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Real Estate that combines general business knowledge with real estate specific course work. Their cooperative education program allows their students to gain relevant work experience while also earning credits toward their degree. Students are also given opportunities to study in fields that impact the real estate industry like geography, civil planning and construction.

22. Cleveland State University

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Cleveland State offers an undergraduate business degree with a focus on real estate, as well as both undergraduate and graduate certificates in Urban Real Estate Development and Finance. The certificates are quite unique, offering plenty of opportunities for students to get first-hand experience along with their regular coursework. All of these programs are taught through the Pal J. Everson Centre for the Study of Real Estate, which has a very good reputation for cutting-edge research and professional networking.

23. New York University

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NYU offers a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and certificates in the field of real estate through both the Schack Institute of Real Estate and the Furman Centre for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The university’s location in one of the real estate capitals of the world makes it a good place to launch a career in the industry, especially if students take advantage of the many internship opportunities available.

24. Thomas Edison State College

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Thomas Edison State College offers a variety of certificates and accreditations that are aimed at working adults. The college offers many of their degree courses entirely online, and students who are looking to start their career quickly will find what they need at Thomas Edison.

25. University of Nevada

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The University of Nevada has a B.S.B.A. program with a real estate focus that is taught through the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies. The institute produces great research in the field of urban real estate development and provides opportunities for students to meet people working in the industry. Just like NYU, the university’s location in a city where real estate and development are constantly the focus of much economic attention makes it a great place to launch a career.

26. University of Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska offers an undergraduate degree in Real Estate and Land Use, a unique program they have been offering for over 50 years. The focus of the program is very practical, meant to assist students in functioning well in careers in private real estate, government and investment.

27. Eastern Kentucky University

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Eastern Kentucky University offers undergraduate finance programs with a real estate focus, as well as several certificates and professional development courses. The professional development courses do not specifically require a degree, making them a great choice for those already working in the industry who want to hone their skills. Students can train in real estate sales, real estate law, or a career in the mortgage and estate industry.

28. St. Cloud State University

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St. Cloud University describes their undergraduate real estate program as the most diversified in the midwest. Students are exposed to many aspects of the real estate industry, including business, finance, law and brokerage. They offer plenty of internship opportunities, as well as a student association that can help launch a career. Members of the students association, known as the Real Estate Association, can even compete in an annual competition put on by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

29. University of Michigan

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The University of Michigan offers a Bachelors of Business Administration, an MBA and a PhD program in real estate. The faculty are well respected professionals who publish regularly in the Real Estate Economics Journal, which is published by the University of Michigan. Students study both practical industry skills and macro economics in urban development.

30. University of Baltimore

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The University of Baltimore offers a B.S. in Real Estate and Economic Development, as well as a specialized law degree in Real Estate Practice. The former has an interesting partial focus on the large-scale effects of land development from an economic perspective, while the latter is unique in it’s level of specialization.

The Complete Guide to Accepting Rental Payments Online

Introduction

Decided to make the switch from checks to online rent payment? By the end of this guide you should be able to:

  1. Understand the basic process of getting set up to collect your rent online.
  2. Figure out which method is best for you.
  3. Open an account to start collecting rent.
  4. Collect your first rent payment digitally!
Start Accepting Rent Online

One of the biggest pains in being a Landlord is collecting the rent. Whether “The check is in the mail” or consistently late tenants, what makes owning rental property so rewarding (the money), can often be the most difficult part of ongoing property management. That’s probably why  it’s  one of the most important parts of the job.

Over the past few years, more and more companies have entered the online rental payment space, targeting different markets and users. They use different technologies and different options, but the desired end result is the same: fast, effortless rent collection.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Is Getting Paid Online Better Then Getting a Check?

In a word, yes. Having your tenants set up to pay online every month, is one of the best things to happen to Landlords and Property Managers. Keep in mind that most people (especially millennials), don’t even use checks anymore. So not only do they have to write you a check, they have to remember how to use a check in the first place!

Start Accepting Rent Online

What are the benefits of using an online rent collection service?

When you switch from receiving checks to processing direct deposits, you make life a lot easier for both yourself and your tenant:

  1. It’s automatic! No more running after tenants to get paid. A tenant can either set up an automatic recurring monthly payment, or opt to receive an automated email every month when their rent is due.
  2. It’s fast! Most landlords will receive their money within 24 hours – that’s faster then a normal check can clear.
  3. It saves time! No more messing around with excel or quickbooks – your rental payment will automatically be entered into your online ledger.
Start Accepting Rent Online

Comparing the Different Ways to Accept Rent Payments Online

There are a few different methods that you can use to get paid online. Each has their own pluses and minuses, and we’ll discuss them here:

ACH/Online Direct Deposit

ACH stands for automated clearing house, and is what the banks use to handle transferring money to each other. If you’ve ever used direct deposit as an employer or employee, it’s basically the same system.

The primary benefits of ACH include:

  1. Same day and next day payment receipt.
  2. Difficult to dispute (which is good for Landlords).
  3. Can be automated.
  4. Very low costs, compared to credit cards or paypal. (Compare $2 a transaction vs 2-3% of a rental fee!)

This is the cheapest system to use, and is also the most secure. It’s also the one that powers our online system, which you can sign up for here.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Accepting Credit Cards For Rent Payment: Good Idea or Bad for Business?

In theory, accepting credit cards seems like a good idea. Almost everyone has one, everyone knows how to use it, and you don’t have to worry if your tenant can’t afford the bill later on.

There are two main problems with credit cards for Landlords, which makes accepting them a bit of a risk, as well as expensive:

  1. Cost: Accepting credit cards can be very expensive. Transaction costs are usually 2-3% + 50 cents of a transaction, depending on which company you use. If your rental costs $700 a month, you could potentially lose up to $21.50 a month just on credit card fees. You could try and make your tenant pay for it, but most will fight with you. Compare that to a $2 fee for accepting direct deposit, which you can directly charge your tenant, and it makes direct deposit a clear winner.
  2. Chargebacks: The little spoken, but much bigger risk of credit cards, is chargebacks. This is when the credit card holder (in this case, your tenant), calls his bank and disputes the charge. The bank then takes the money back out of your account AND charges you a fee – anywhere between $25-75 every time. Now you have to fight with your bank to get that money back, and you often lose!
  3. Start Accepting Rent Online
When does it make sense to accept credit cards?

If you work with a lot of low income tenants, offering the option of credit cards can allow a third party (a well to do relative or friend) to pay the occasional payment on time. Additionally, if your tenants don’t have bank accounts, they may prefer to use prepaid bank cards that they can buy at places like CVS, Wallgreens or Krogers.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Should I Use Paypal to Get Rent from Tenant?

Paypal has been around since the beginning, and is a well trusted name in the payment space. That being said, it’s important to understand the risks involved with taking any kind of money from paypal:

  1. Chargebacks again! PayPal can and will remove money (even if sent as a “check”) from your bank account, if it decides you are defrauding the person who sent you money. The burden of proof with PayPal lies solely on the Landlord, never on the tenant!
  2. Account Freezes: Do some Googling. Find out how many people have had a paypal account frozen! When you accept money with PayPal,it’s not your account!
  3. High Fees: PayPal charges very high fees to accept payments.
Start Accepting Rent Online

Demand Draft – Printing Out a Check for Your Tenant

Demand drafts are these little known method for accepting checks. Mostly used by telemarketers, the idea works like this: You receive permission from your tenant each month to print a check in their name, with their account information. It doesn’t need to be signed. There is special software that does this for you. Then, you take this to the bank and deposit it like a regular check.

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Paying at a Kiosk

Services like PayNearMe let’s the so-called “underbanked” (people who don’t have bank accounts, typically lower income), pay rent in cash at places like 7-11.

FAQ About Our Payment Service

Is it safe to pay and collect rent online?

Yes, our service is 100% safe and uses the same level of encryption and security that banks use, as well as companies like Amazon.com.

How much does it cost?

It currently costs $1.99 for each rental payment you accept.

How do I start collecting rent online?

Simple, click here to get started.

Start Accepting Rent Online