NJ Fiscal Folly

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NJ's Shadow Government

I've recently discovered a small group called the Union County Watchdog Association, that also has a blog, The County Watchers. As you might surmise, their primary focus is Union County: political activity, financial issues, freeholder shenanigans, etc.

This is a good idea that needs to be duplicated elsewhere in the state. NJ county government is neither transparent nor accountable, and this situation provides ample opportunities for corruption and waste. NJ county government also tends to operate in the shadows, dominated by county party organizations and outside the spotlight usually focused on state or local government activities. For example, what do you really know about the background, powers, and activities of your own county executive or freeholders?

Thanks to the internet, watchdog groups and blogs now have much better tools to monitor county government, accumulate relevant data in easily accessible formats, and communicate their findings to taxpayers, voters, and other interested parties. The internet also makes it possible for an individual or small group to have a large impact.

Whenever I read about proposals for municipal consolidation or regionalization, I shudder to think that my own town or our schools might fall under the control of Bergen County politicians and bureaucrats. If more NJ counties had groups like the UCWA, we would increase the visibility and accountability of such people, and greatly reduce the corruption and waste that constantly plagues our state.


At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tips for Being a Successful Landlord

In today’s apartment rental market there are several things that are “must do’s” for becoming a successful landlord. The reason you’re playing the real estate rental game is to have the check in your mailbox on the first of the month, right? Here are a few tips that can help you to achieve this with as little aggravation and frustration possible.

First and foremost is finding the right tenant to rent your apartment, house or other rental. This is the most important ingredient in the recipe. Checking the prospective tenant’s credit history to make sure they are paying their bills is one of the best ways you can screen. A tenant that pays their bills on time most likely will send you their rent on time. Establish a clear system on collecting rent, handling complaints from the tenant and how you will contact them if you need to gain access to the apartment.

Secondly, get all the important terms of the tenancy in writing. You have the option to have a basic rental agreement or draw up a formal lease. Whichever you decide, the important thing is to document the terms that you and the tenant agreed to. Clarify who is paying the utilities, the rental price and any other agreements made between you and your tenant.

It’s a good idea to stay on top of the repair and maintenance needs of your property. When you are notified of something that is broken or not working, repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damages. You may also lawfully enable the tenant to withhold rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions or move out without notice.

On a similar topic make sure you are carrying enough property and liability insurance to cover yourself in any situation. A well designed insurance program can protect your rental property from losses caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary, vandalism, and personal injury lawsuits.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. Just remember, as long as you follow these simple tips you will be on your way to a happy and fulfilling landlord future. Best of luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Goldstein, associated with www.AllSpacses.com which Conveniently Connects All People with All Spaces in All Places, has been dedicated to the real estate rental market for over 8 years. He has assisted over 25,000 landlords with their renting needs. Any questions about renting apartments, houses or other rentals feel free to visit www.AllSpaces.com or email him at Eric@AllSpaces.com.


Post a Comment

<< Home