LANDLORD PROFILE INTERVIEW:
Any Unique 'Local' Landlord Requirements?
We pay an extra 18 mils property taxes on investment property in Michigan.
Number of Rentals?
Years of Landlording Experience?
Having to evict a tenant. Expensive, time consuming and stressful!
Your Biggest Mistake?
Agreeing to allow a tenant to finish the basement of a realtively new single family home in return for one months rent upon completion of the job. Two years later it still wasn't finished. When we inspected the site we discovered that although he had turned in receipts for construction supplies for "rent credit."... much of it was gone! He had returned the supplies to the store for cash! We ended up getting rid of the tenant and hiring a professional to finish the job. (AND redo the tenants substandard work!) Needless to say, we no longer trade rent for work.
New Landlord Advice?
Check and re-check a prospective tenants credit, background and references....... surprise! ........ people lie!
Favorite Type of Resident?
Divorced, middle aged male whose kids are grown and gone. (no child support) There is very llttle wear and tear on the unit because he's rarely home (it's a lonely place). The rent is never late because he's at the peak of his earning years with no family to support. And he rarely calls for minor repairs. (He knows how to fix things and he would rather do it himself than wait for a service tech.)
Best Way to Find/Attract Residents?
Advertise EVERYWHERE...... want ads, internet, flyers, BIG ATTRACTIVE sign in front. I even hang flower baskets on the sides of the signs! Make it pretty! ALWAYS have info sheets in a tube on the sign (you can get the tubes at Home Depot or Lowes).
Favorite Application Question?
"Why are you moving?" The answer to this one can reveal a lot!
One Way to Keep Good Residents?
SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE! Don't wait a week to fix that leaky faucet! Return calls PROMPTLY. Make sure your properties are always in tip top shape. You'll attract a better clientele.
Favorite Rental Clause?
The paragraph that allows me to "amend" the rules at anytime. With proper notice of course.
Money Making Cash Flow Tip?
Bi-weekly instead of monthly rent payments. Best if direct rent deposit is allowed.
Money Saving Maintenance Tip?
This sounds like a no-brainer, but I am amazed at how many landlords DON'T do this. A lease clause that makes the tenant responsible for any repairs made at any time that are his/her fault (i.e. the backed up toilet that ends up being due to little Johnny's sock) With this clause, they think twice about calling YOU to fix a problem THEY caused.
How Do You Encourage On-Time Rents?
The standard $50.00 "prompt pay" discount AND a $15 per day late fee. The seven day "notice to quit / demand for posession" goes out if they have not paid by the 3rd.
How Have You Collected Past Due Rent?
Sending out the "notice to quit /demand for posession" usually does the trick.
Trick A Tenant Played On You?
Several years ago, a tenant called to beg for "just a couple more days" to pay the rent and related a long, complicated story about her husbands paycheck being in his wallet which was "locked up at the plant"... etc . etc. I bought their story and allowed it. The next day they abandoned the property and closed on a new home.
P.S. Divine retribution! They lost the home in foreclosure about a year later! (I guess the late payment stories didn't work with the bank)....... And I no longer accept ANY excuses for late rent!
Favorite Real Estate Book?
"Buying and Managing Rental Property" it's an oldy but a goody.
What's Rewarding About Being A Landlord?
Being your own boss. Controlling your own destiny.
How Has MRLANDLORD.COM helped you?
Great tips. Wonderful advice! AND it's also fabulous "group therapy".