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"Landlord Advice for Multifamily Property Investors"

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The landlord advice below was derived from years of experience and should hopefully answer most of the common landlord questions out there.


  • Never allow pets in apartments
  • Tenants should pay all utilities except water & sewer. If you ever consider purchasing a property without separate meters, make sure an appropriate discount is built into the purchase price. Personally, I wouldn't do it.
  • Require a 1.5-month renter deposit (or the max allowed by your state's law).
  • Provide ovens, refrigerators, and blinds on all windows for your tenants.
  • Avoid showboating in front of tenants. In other words, do not show up to your rental properties driving a fancy car and dressed to the nines. Why? Because the more cash tenants think you have, the more likely they may be to, for example, attempt a frivolous lawsuit. Nurture the perception that you are a busy landlord just trying to put food on the table.
  • Address complaints, and make repairs, as quickly as possible.
  • Adopt and execute a regular rental property maintenance plan.
  • Be courteous and respectful to tenants at all times.


  • Top ways to find a new tenant: "for rent" sign, newspaper ad, Section 8 posting, or existing tenant referral.
  • Conduct tenant verification on all prospective tenants
  • Treat all prospective tenant calls as sales calls by being respectful and upbeat, but retain a skeptical view so your "B.S. Radar" is on high alert.
  • Utilize a "cheat sheet" that highlights your property's selling points (click here for immediate access to this plus 24 other free landlord forms). This way, you won't forget to mention something while on the phone.
  • If you're unavailable, always try and return a prospective tenant's call that same day.
  • Beware of any and all prospective tenants who:
    1. Seem desperate
    2. Want to move in very quickly
    3. Go overboard selling themselves to you
    4. Do not ask questions
    5. Do not have adequate documentation
    6. Have poor credit or high job turnover
    7. Proactively bash their former landlord and/or apartment
  • Make your move-in / move-out inspections as comprehensive as possible.
  • Include a smoke detector amendment that encourages new tenants to replace the batteries when necessary. While this may be the landlord's responsibility depending on the state, a little encouragement to have your tenants "pitch in" can't hurt.


  • Do not let time lapse when the rental property income is late – call the tenant immediately. This shows them you mean business, and if you aren't aggressive from the get go then it becomes a slippery slope type of behavior that could worsen over time.
  • Enforce the late payment fees within the tenant lease to deter future slow payments.
  • If the rent is 2 weeks late with no acceptable excuse, file the eviction notice immediately. In most municipalities, you can cancel an eviction if the issue is resolved prior to the court date.
  • Send your good tenants a Christmas card with a coupon for a nominal discount off of January’s rent ($25-off). They'll appreciate this & it will aid in retention.

My hope is that you will follow this random landlord advice to help avoid the pitfalls that befall even the most experienced investors.

In the final analysis, the quality of your tenants will make or break your experience. Heed the landlord advice on this and other pages within this site and you should be able to minimize the bad seeds.

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3 Responses to Landlord Advice for Multifamily Property Investors

  1. The guru says:

    Good stuff here man. The more landlord advice I get, the better off I am. I especially appreciate your comments about rent payment policies, those are excellent tips.

  2. Jones H says:

    Anyone got any tips on how to handle a tenant who moves in another occupant without my permission? As an added “bonus,” it’s a 1BR apt. so it’s not allowed from a city occupancy standard perspective. I’ve seen lots of landlord advice online but nothing that addresses my question. Any thoughts?

  3. fool says:

    Here is some good landlord advice: never follow suggestions from a 3-legged camel!

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