Make Your Landlord Give You Cash

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landlords are hooking you up with cash referralsYour friend (even a frenemy) may net you $200 in Arizona.

Landlords, bless their money-grubbing, cheap-to-a-fault, never-repair-things-quickly hearts, have hit on hard times. Poor petals. No wonder they're suddenly interested in chatting up your friends. In Arizona, landlords are offering as much as $200 per referral that pans out.

That's twice the amount that was legal a week ago....
On Friday Democratic Gov. Jan Brewer signed a measure that allows landlords the ability to pay you $200 for each referral that pans out. You can get paid more than once, too: 'lords are permitted to pay you up to five times a year.

Is it time to start going down your list of Facebook friends and figuring out who to pitch to your landlord next? Not so fast.

Not everyone agrees with the legislation. State Rep. Andy Biggs claims that incentives should be a private matter between landlord and tenant.

But the free market isn't the only thing that drove the legislation.

It appears to be a deal between landlords and real estate agents, instead. Surprised? Well, it turns out that the number of tenants working to find new tenants for their landlord (and earn a financial reward) mushroomed when there was no limit. As a result, a "'cottage industry' of tenants were "acting basically like licensed (real estate) agents," Courtney Levinus, lobbyist for the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA), told the Verde Independent.

It's the real estate agents -- with their certification, membership fees and overhead -- who aren't too happy about all these amateur renters referring their friends. The AMA's figures indicate that between 19 and 40 percent of vacancies are filled by renter referrals. Certainly real estate professionals would prefer to be part of the solution.

Political debate about the measure lingers in Arizona. Republicans such as Biggs would prefer that restrictions be repealed to allow for a free market solution. If that happens, you could find yourself a new job as bounty hunter for fellow tenants. Start growing and bleaching your hair now...

Meanwhile, ever feel like living the "Melrose Place" lifestyle? If so, find five of your friends -- it could be worth a cool grand.

Or if you're looking for a new rental, you can check the listings on AOL Real Estate.
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