"Landlord Advice for Multifamily Property Investors"
The landlord advice below was derived from years of experience and should hopefully answer most of the common landlord questions out there.
GENERAL LANDLORD ADVICE
- 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
(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
- Be courteous and respectful to tenants at all times.
LANDLORD TIPS: NEW TENANTS
- Top ways to find a new tenant: "for rent" sign, newspaper ad,
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
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.
LANDLORD TIPS: RENT PAYMENT POLICIES
- Do not let time lapse when the rental
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
to deter future slow payments.
- If the rent is 2 weeks late with no acceptable excuse, file the
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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