Fraud Prevention: When You Give, Don’t Let Them Take

Scammers know that many of us will make charitable donations as the year comes to a close, and they target our heartstrings as they attempt to fatten their wallets. This year we’ve partnered with a number of agencies and organizations, including the Better Business Bureau and the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, to help you avoid their tricks.

Over the holidays, be on the lookout for phony charities with sound-alike names designed to remind you of legitimate charities. To separate real charities from fakes or to identify charities that make the best use of your donations, check out a charity’s annual report with the Secretary of State’s Office. You can also use resources like Charity Watch and the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.

For best results, give to charities you’re already familiar with, and ones you can see doing good in your community. For more information, including tips for those who might be considering year-end investments and financial decisions, visit our “Don’t Get Taken in the Season of Giving” website.

If you think you’ve been victimized by any scam, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

Special thanks to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for content of this article.

 

Top 5 Reasons Why People Use Residential Property Management Services

Managing a rental property comes with a lot of work and responsibility. But using residential property management services can be a game changer if you’re a private owner or landlord.

Here are the top 5 reasons why people decide to use a property management company:

No. 1 – To Find Excellent Tenants

A landlord’s worst nightmare is having unruly tenants who don’t pay their rent on time or cause disturbances at the property. But a good screening process can save you from this common downfall. Unfortunately, many private owners fail to apply online for a proper background check and end up paying for it big time in the end.

A rental property management company will use a state-of-the-art screening process on all applicants and you won’t have to worry about a thing. They will find tenants with stellar rental histories, a solid work ethic, and quiet lifestyles.

No. 2 – To Have More Free Time

If you have managed a property by yourself, you understand how time-consuming even one rental house can be. But when you have a residential property management company working on your behalf, you won’t have to worry about spending the time it takes to properly maintain your residence.

This is a great option for landlords who don’t live near their property or don’t have the time needed to dedicate to managing it.

No. 3 – A Higher Tenant Retention Rate

If you have experienced a high turnover rate with your tenants, it might be time to consider other options. A good property management company knows how to look for, and find, long-term tenants.

This will save you time and money on the entire rental process that includes background checks, fresh coats of paint, new carpets and new locks – just to name a few.

No. 4 – Fewer Maintenance Costs

One of the most expensive parts about being a landlord is the repairs and maintenance you must perform on your rental property. However, residential property management services can help you reduce these costs by using their own contractors who are affordable and have been proven to provide quality work.

No. 5 – A Better Quality of Life

While some owners prefer to be hands-on when renting out their property, taking a hands-off approach can end up saving you a lot of time, money and resources that you can put to good use somewhere else.

Ransomware Best Practices

With the current local news reporting a Ransomware attack at our local government level, this is a friendly reminder of the issue and how we intend to keep T R Lawing Realty safe.

  • Ransomware is a type of encrypting malware that encrypts important company files and holds them for ransom.
  • Ransoms typically range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Cybercriminals made over $1billion dollars last year from businesses attacked by ransomware

Best practices to stop Ransomware:

  1. You should be aware that most ransomware attacks come in the form of an email attachment and you should exercise extreme caution when opening email attachments.
  2. Never open an attachment in an email you were not expecting to receive or that you do not recognize the sender.
  3. You should use the same caution when presented with URL’s that you do not recognize or came from an unknown sender.

With today’s advanced ransomware techniques you only have to visit a website to become infected with ransomware. Let me make that clear. You DO NOT have to click anything on the website to infect your computer with data encrypting ransomware.

In 2017 alone:

  • Ransomware emails spiked 6,000%
  • 40% of all spam email had ransomware
  • 59% of infections came from email

These numbers are scary but important for you to know, you are the first line of defense against ransomware.

With thanks to T. J. Wood, Director of Information Systems, who composed the original version of this message to the faculty & staff at Charlotte Country Day School.

Are You Looking For The Perfect Charlotte Rental Property ?

Are you looking for the perfect Charlotte rental property? Here are the top 3 things you should look for before signing any paperwork:

No. 1 – The Right Price

While cost shouldn’t be the only thing on your priority list, it is the most important. After all, you will be faced with this expense month after month and you’ll want to make sure you will always be able to afford it comfortably.

Before starting your search for the perfect Charlotte rental property, create a budget and set a maximum price for what you can spend on rent each month. Staying within your price range is vital to finding your dream rental. Take your time and wait for the right place to come along – at the right price.

No. 2 – The Right Neighborhood

Charlotte has so many great options when it comes to friendly and charming neighborhoods, but it all comes down to finding the right one for you.

If you have school-aged children, you might want to focus on finding a rental property in a flourishing school district like Fort Mill or Clover. Or maybe you want to be within walking distance to the hottest and trendiest spots in town in which case you might want to check out Uptown Charlotte, Plaza Midwood or the Art’s District.

No matter what your preference is, do your research before hitting the ground on your search. Knowing exactly what you want and where you want it will make the entire rental process much easier.

No. 3 – A Good Property Management Company

In many cases, you’ll be dealing with a property management company rather than directly with an owner when looking at rental properties in Charlotte.

But whether it’s the landlord or a property management firm, you’ll want to know you can have a good working relationship with them and open communication in the future.

When searching for your new home, contact the landlord or property management company directly to set up a viewing. Pay attention to the initial interactions and consider what it would be like forming a long-term business relationship with them.

Lastly, if you are considering renting a specific property, make sure you read through all of the terms and conditions of the lease to ensure it’s a good fit for everybody involved.