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The El Nino weather system is already wreaking havoc on the nation's roads, and it's just getting started. Some areas of the country are expecting historic amounts of rain and snowfall, and where there is that much precipitation, floods are sure to follow. So are you prepared?

You should already have a homeowner's insurance policy, but does that protect you and your home against floods and natural disasters?

What Are the Consequences of Breaking a Lease?

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as the saying goes. So, it's not unusual that your plans have changed and now you want to leave your apartment.

The consequences of breaking your lease depend on a number of different factors, most notably the reason for your departure and state laws where you live. But generally speaking, a lease is a contract or a legal agreement, and what will happen if you break the contract depends on the terms for termination outlined in your deal.

It's fun to tell ghost stories and imagine things that go bump in the night, so long as they don't involve your own home. Thinking of angry spirits stalking the halls of your new house doesn't exactly lend itself to a good night's sleep.

With Halloween just around the corner, many folks will be decorating their homes to look haunted, but what if it turns out your house is actually haunted -- is there anything you can do? Well, that may depend on whether the seller told you the house was haunted.

Ever since your neighbor got that drone for Christmas last year, he's been buzzing around your backyard and the rest of the neighborhood. Is there anything you can do about it? Now that they make a rifle that can shoot down drones with radio waves, can you take out your neighbor's annoying flying contraption?

While nothing would feel better than shooting that drone out of the sky, there are a few legal considerations you may want to think about first.

Can I Airbnb My Apartment?

You want to rent out your rental apartment or home on Airbnb. Can you do it? Well, it depends.

There are many factors that go into this answer and, ultimately, you do so at your own risk. Here are some things to consider and to research when deciding:

    Do Landlords Have to Allow Service Dogs or Assistance Animals?

    Your landlord must make reasonable accommodations for an assistance animal or service dog under the Fair Housing Act. For the purposes of the FHA, any animal that serves a person's disability is an assistance animal.

    The Fair Housing Act definition is much less restrictive than the one for service animals in the context of the American with Disabilities Act. The ADA governs accommodations to disabilities in the public context -- work, government buildings, etc. -- while the FHA governs the housing context. The allowances for assistance animals in the FHA apply to public housing as well.

    The struggle for LGBT equality continues, and while there has been some progress in certain areas, like employment, other areas, like housing, have been more resistant to change. As it stands, the federal Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation or gender identity protections. But that doesn't mean landlords are free to discriminate against LGBT tenants.

    What it does mean is that asserting your rights as an LGBT tenant may be more difficult. Here's a look at the legal protections in place, as well as legal resources for discrimination claims.

    How Landlord Insurance Protects Rental Properties

    A landlord's place is not in the home, which is why you need a special insurance policy when renting your place out to tenants. Your home is insured but you will still need coverage for the unique situations that arise in the context of rentals, and ignoring this need is a major risk.

    Homeowners' insurance policies assume owners live in the home. If the owner doesn't live in the home, then claim coverage can be easily denied. Additionally, your landlord insurance will cover contingencies that do not apply to standard ownership situations, like loss of rent.

    Handling Landlord Retaliation the Right Way

    Home is where the headache is when your landlord has no heart. Although it may be easier to just move on if an owner responds to reasonable requests with threats and retaliation, you do have rights as a tenant, and you cannot be punished or evicted for exercising them.

    The reason states have retaliation statutes, however, is because some owners do try to push out renters who insist on their rights. Here is a quick primer on protecting yourself in a difficult rental situation.

    Even the most reasonable landlords and the most responsible tenants have the occasional dispute. Fortunately, the vast majority of these disputes never need to see the inside of a courtroom.

    For a minority of these cases, however, you may need to sue a property management company in order to enforce your rights as a tenant. So here are a few things to keep in mind if and when you do: