VOLUME 4RNote from the Editor
I’ve been a part-time freelancer since 2005. When I transitioned to a full-time freelancer in 2018, I assumed my tax routine would be similar. The Internal Revenue Service thought otherwise—Schedule C forms, 1099 forms, Schedule SE forms and 1095-C forms. I’d been doing my own taxes for 24 years, but the paperwork was getting out of hand once it was my only source of income. It made me appreciate how detail-oriented accountants are.

Then I bought a condo unit the same year that I made the full-time freelancing decision. I remember what it was like trying to prove I could afford to pay for a home before leaving Corporate America. It’s safe to say this same headache can happen for self-employed renters. Whether you’re paying a mortgage company or a landlord, a home office may entitle you to self-employed tax write-offs. Do you know what they are? Read “Tax Write-Offs for Self-Employed Renters” to find out.

Unfortunately, quite a few suggestions in “Five Ways to Temporarily Redesign a Rental” and “Five Ways to Upgrade a Bathroom for Under $500” won’t make the cut for a tax write-off. While they’re great for personal use and a comfortable home office, light fixtures are probably the only hope for splitting home- and personal-use expenses. Consult a tax professional if you think other upgrades may apply.

Speaking of accounting and legal matters, are you a new tenant and wondering which Realtor you should work with? Who is the right Realtor for you? Maybe you found one but are hesitant to sign an exclusive contract with him or her. In “Exclusively Yours: Realtor Contract Pros and Cons,” we explore reasons why an exclusive contract makes sense and why it makes no sense. The final decision is up to you. Just remember “Eight Items To Look For During a Rental Walk-through” when you’re home shopping.

As is common in every issue of Go4Rent Magazine: Renter Edition, we provide interior design tips (as mentioned above). But this time around, we decided to provide tips for how to keep your current appliances in working order. Are you utilizing the tips in “Clean Laundry Appliances, Cleaner Clothes”? If not, there’s no time like the present.

We hope this fourth rental issue answers questions you may already have and some you didn’t even know to ask. Is there a topic you’d like us to talk about? Contact me at shamontiel.vaughn@go4rent.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Shamontiel L. Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief
About Shamontiel:Shamontiel L. Vaughn has been in the publishing industry for 17 years as a newspaper reporter, a web editor, social media specialist and a print editor. Her areas of expertise include K-12 and adult education textbooks; local and nationwide news; and health news. She's also completed approximately 235 interviews in a variety of areas, including business management; entertainment; internet technology; law (entertainment, business and real estate); nursing; and travel. Some of her bylines can be found in the Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune and CBS Chicago.

The unapologetic dog lover also owned two prior dogs (German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever mix) before becoming a two-year dog walker (510 walks with 89 different dogs) and adopting a third dog of her own on Juneteenth 2021: a Hound mix named Junee. When she's not writing, editing or playing with her dog, she's a current condo owner, former condo board president and treasurer, and a five-year officer for a community Toastmasters club.