latest articles from our blog

Are You Keeping Your Employees Happy?

Maryland Business LawyerAccording to a Gallup poll, 51 percent of workers say they're actively looking for a new job. That's not necessarily because they dislike their current job. Many workers are confident that a thriving job market may offer better, more engaging career opportunities. So what can you do to avoid losing your employees? Focus on ways to increase employee engagement. What Engagement Means An employee can be relatively happy and satisfied with a job and still not feel engaged. Engagement is a higher degree of care - a sense of pride in one's work and ownership of the company's mission. So a good way to begin building engagement is with leadership. Owners and managers who don't take pride in their work will never inspire employees to do the same. Leaders who are passionate about their jobs, interested in their employees, and who embody the behavior and work ethic they expect from…

Legal Services for Maryland Landlords

Maryland Landlord LawyerMaryland's patchwork of real estate laws can be confusing for landlords. For example, in Montgomery County, you can't list your home for rent on the online booking site Airbnb, unless you allow rentals of only one month or longer, or if you're licensed as a bed-and-breakfast. But in Baltimore County, it's legal to list your home on Airbnb. Whether you lease your home as a vacation property, manage an apartment complex with hundreds of tenants, or have only commercial tenants, you may encounter a number of legal challenges as a landlord. Thienel & Lusk, LLC, provides the legal guidance you need to operate a successful enterprise - from drafting legal documents to representing you in court, should litigation become necessary. Contact us today to schedule your consultation: 443-535-9715. Commercial Landlord Services Commercial landlords often need legal advice about which type of lease they should use for their properties. Depending on…

Poll Shows Consumers More Confident About Personal Finances

Maryland Business LawyerFor four decades, Gallup has conducted annual polls, asking people to rate their own personal finances. In January 2017, 49 percent of people Gallup surveyed said they were financially better off than a year ago. Americans haven't felt this confident about their finances since 2007, when 50 percent said they were better off than the previous year. At no point in the poll's history have more than 58 percent of people said they were better off than the year before. So this year's results are among the highest. And 66 percent said they expected their finances to be even better a year from now. These poll results are good news for businesses. When consumers feel more confident, they spend more money. In 1999, the year in which the highest number of Gallup respondents felt they were better off than the year before, consumer spending rose in all categories, according to…

Legal Services for Maryland Landlords

Maryland Tenant ScreeningMaryland's patchwork of real estate laws can be confusing for landlords. For example, in Montgomery County, you can't list your home for rent on the online booking site Airbnb, unless you allow rentals of only one month or longer, or if you're licensed as a bed-and-breakfast. But in Baltimore County, it's legal to list your home on Airbnb. Whether you lease your home as a vacation property, manage an apartment complex with hundreds of tenants, or have only commercial tenants, you may encounter a number of legal challenges as a landlord. Thienel & Lusk, LLC, provides the legal guidance you need to operate a successful enterprise - from drafting legal documents to representing you in court, should litigation become necessary. Contact us today to schedule your consultation: 443-535-9715. Commercial Landlord Services Commercial landlords often need legal advice about which type of lease they should use for their properties. Depending on…

Positioning Yourself for Success As a Landlord

MD Unlawful Detainer LawyerIf you're thinking about becoming a full-time landlord, take time to ensure you're aware of Maryland's landlord-tenant laws and have the legal documents you need to protect your interests. There are many points to consider before you begin searching for tenants. Following are some tips for aspiring landlords: Forget about being nice. Some landlords make the mistake of letting a friend or relative move into their rental property without a lease. But when those arrangements go awry, those kindhearted landlords may suffer financial losses - and a permanently damaged interpersonal relationship. Any tenant - even a relative - should understand why you require a lease. If you feel sheepish asking someone you know to sign a lease, explain that it protects their rights, too. Resist the urge to rent to anyone based on a "good feeling" - even the worst tenants can seem charming when you first meet them. Use…

IntraSpec Associates LLC

Client Spotlight: IntraSpec AssociateGerry Stephens is President of IntraSpec Associates LLC in Fulton, Maryland.  Gerry and his team have provided management consulting services to clients for over 25 years, specializing in all aspects of operations and strategic management for technology-based businesses.  Gerry combines a broad systems perspective and process orientation with a passion for teamwork to help small and mid-size businesses survive and thrive in the “whitewater” turbulence of our evolving business environment. As a result of his consulting activities, Gerry was invited to join the executive team of a variety of companies.  He has held executive positions in engineering, manufacturing, customer services, product development, sales and business development, marketing and finance in companies ranging from scientific and technical services to digital equipment manufacturing to software product development.  Gerry has held P&L responsibility for business units ranging from startup to $100 million per year.  Despite his success in these areas, he always preferred…

How to Handle Out-of-State Property in Estate Plans

Estate Planning AttorneyA person owning real property in more than one state who dies without an estate plan may leave behind complex financial and legal matters for their survivors. Unless that real property is included in estate plans, survivors will need to open probate cases in each state where the decedent owns property. That's a costly and time-consuming process, but avoidable. If you own real estate in a state other than where you are domiciled, there are a few ways you can pass this real estate to your heirs without complications and potentially avoid burdensome taxes in other states. Funding a Trust Transferring your real estate to a revocable living trust is one way to avoid estate complications with out-of-state real property. To transfer real property, you would need a new deed that names the trust as the property owner. When you set up your trust, you can specify how trust assets…

How the HOME Act Could Affect Landlords

Landlord InsuranceIn December, Delegate Stephen Lafferty, D-Baltimore County, said specifics for a 2017 version of his HOME Act legislation were in progress. Lafferty introduced the bill in the last legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly, but it did not move beyond the first hearing. If the 2017 version is not substantially different from last year’s HOME Act, it would – if passed – require landlords to accept Housing Choice Vouchers. The bill would extend discrimination protection to people participating in the voucher program; landlords would be prohibited from refusing tenants based on their method of payment. For Maryland landlords, the legislation could result in significant changes to how they conduct business. However, several Maryland jurisdictions already have local laws extending such discrimination protection to people participating in the voucher program, including Howard County. How the Program Works Formerly known as “Section 8,” the voucher program is federally funded, but is…

E3 Management Consulting

managment-consultingAt Thienel & Lusk, LLC, we provide legal guidance for a wide range of business clients, and we are continually impressed by their ingenuity. To showcase their work, and to support their businesses, we decided to write about our clients in monthly Client Spotlight e-blasts. For this installment of our Client Spotlight feature, we have chosen to highlight E3 Management Consulting. E3 is a certified Women-Owned Small Business and Economically-Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business providing performance improvement consulting for government entities and industry partners. It has also provided consulting for commercial enterprises. E3's consultants offer a range of services, including performance assessments and evaluations, identifying training needs, and developing training curriculum. It looks for ways to replace outdated processes with efficient and progressive solutions. And the "E3" in its name comes from its vision: "Through Engagement with our clients, we Enhance their capabilities, and Empower lasting transformations." As part of its…

Financial Decisions to Make at Age 65

Maryland AttorneyWhen you reach age 65, even if you have no plans to immediately retire, it’s time to start thinking about what benefits you may need in the future. Regardless of your financial situation, most retirement planning professionals would recommend applying for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older (which also covers some younger people with certain disabilities and diseases). Medicare has four components: Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient hospital care, hospice care, residency in a skilled nursing facility, and some home health care. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers some doctors’ services, preventive care, outpatient services, and medical supplies. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan) is a comprehensive plan through a private company that covers all benefits under Part A and Part B. Most of these plans offer prescription drug coverage, too, and they tend to cover more costs than federally funded Medicare.…