Why You Need a Personal Property Appraisal in the Sharing Economy

Why You Need a Personal Property Appraisal in the Sharing Economy

Routine personal property and fine art appraisals are what The Appraisal Group is known for. In this new sharing economy many home owners are making ends meet by renting the family home while they go on vacation.  Too often rentals go bad. And that’s one reason to get a pre-rental valuation from The Appraisal Group.

Here’s an example. A gentlemen who spends the winters in Florida called me last year. He said he had been anxious to leave the frozen north and although he had never rented the family home before, decided this was the year to try it. He rented his Long Island home to a seemingly very nice family who moved from the West Coast. He did a credit check: it came in OK.   He felt secure leaving his fine antiques and a few pieces of good art on the wall.

fine art and antiques

This is the Eisenhower living room. If you have fine art and fine furniture, get a personal property appraisal.

The renters paid the first month’s rent and a security deposit. The second month, he didn’t get a check. He didn’t get one for the third month either. He called. He texted. He got promises of payments to come. At month five he called his attorney. They went to court to get a  money judgement and started the eviction process. The renters did not show up in court to state their case or make a deal. By the time the court papers were filed and went to the county clerk and sheriff’s office for processing another two months passed. On eviction day, the sheriff arrived. Low and behold, the original family had vacated and  “friends” were staying in the house. They were not the kind of people you and I would want to deal with.

The “friends” had to comply with the eviction. In retaliation, they claimed to the sheriff that all the furniture in the house, and all the art, was theirs too. Into the moving van it went. They literally walked off with the house.

The owner was powerless to stop them. He did not have a signed lease from these folks stating the house was rented furnished. He did not have a replacement value appraisal on anything.  He was caught off guard and could not prove the contents of the house were his.  The owner was distraught. He lost money. He lost furniture. He lost face.

Do I have to tell you there had been a small fire in the kitchen and the damage was evident? The renters and sub-renters had punched holes in the walls. There were broken windows.  Some of the damage was covered by the homeowner’s rental rider.  But the furniture and his art – that was gone forever. The insurance company wanted receipts that he could not produce.   So, he lost all his furniture and art and could not get compensation on it.

And, I couldn’t help because it was all after the fact. Goldberg-wmagnaifing-glass

If the homeowner had taken the time to call in the Appraisal Group for a routine personal property appraisal, he would have had clear replacement cost value. The insurance company would have had to pay on it.

A routine appraisal doesn’t take long. It doesn’t hurt the wallet. Certainly the cost, time and effort are far less than the angst and stress of seeing all your personal property vanish into a trailer truck. It is far less than having to buy new furniture, even if you shop thrift stores and auction outlets.

There are other reasons to get a routine personal property appraisal. I’ll discuss some of them. And then, when you’re ready, call me at The Appraisal Group and we’ll get started. A routine personal property appraisal on the contents of your home can assure your future security.



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