LANDLORD PROFILE INTERVIEW:
Any Unique 'Local' Landlord Requirements?
The city requires any building with an entry door leading to more than 3 apartments must be fully equipped with an automatic closer and each apartment must have a buzzer/intercom system to unlock the door from within their apartment. This law really irks all the landlords because the tenants don't want it (they keep the entry door propped open so they don't have to bother using a key) and the city acknowledges the tenants don't want it. Regardless you have to have it in place in order to get your rental permit which is required each time you rerent. The cost of such a system professionally installed runs over a thousand dollars and it is money down the drain.
Number of Rentals?
Years of Landlording Experience?
Evicting non paying tenants.
Your Biggest Mistake?
Not initially charging market level rents.
New Landlord Advice?
(1) Screen applicants thoroughly.
(2) Charge market level rents.
(3) Keep buildings in good repair.
Favorite Type of Resident?
Middle aged couples with no kids living at home.
Best Way to Find/Attract Residents?
Referrals from existing residents and 4-rent signs combined with good curb appeal.
Favorite Application Question?
"List any other names you have gone by including maiden or former married names" - I've found some eviction history this way which I otherwise would never have discovered.
One Way to Keep Good Residents?
Keep buildings in good repair and provide periodic upgrades to their apartments.
Favorite Rental Clause?
Any payment received will always be first applied to outstanding balances, late fees or other charges, with the balance of the payment applied to the rent due. This allocation by the landlord takes precedence over any designation that tenants may write on check or money order.
Money Making Cash Flow Tip?
Separately rent out garages and extra storage room space (not even necessarily to existing tenants). Our garage renters are our favorite tenants - never a call about backed up toilets!
Money Saving Maintenance Tip?
Replace all light bulbs on landlord meters with fluorescents instead of incandescents.
How Do You Encourage On-Time Rents?
With Massachusetts laws against most late fees or early discounts, our only course is to issue eviction notices consistently on the 5th of each month to tenants that haven't paid yet.
How Have You Collected Past Due Rent?
Once eviction proceedings are underway the tenant seem to be more eager to cooperate. We will accommodate reasonable payment plans if they aren't problem tenants. We usually proceed with the eviction paperwork and have the court ratify the payment plan such the eviction gets issued if the tenant doesn't live up to their agreement.The judge's signature on the agreement tends to encourage compliance more often than not.
Trick A Tenant Played On You?
We had a tenant apply under their married name although they were divorced and evidently living under their maiden name for a few years. Surprisingly the credit report showed up with some okay credit. After 3 months of bad behavior and a messy eviction, we found out that all her bad credit and her previous eviction history was somehow only under her maiden name. We now ask for any other names and aliases and check them all out.
Favorite Real Estate Book?
Managing Rental Properties For Maximum Profit by Greg Perry.
What's Rewarding About Being A Landlord?
Rapid accumulation of wealth.
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