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Random Investment Property Landlord Advice

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Every now and then I seem to get a revelation, an epiphany, an “ah-ha,” or whatever you want to call it, and these little nuggets of information have been building up in my frontal lobe for 20 years now!  Thus, for today’s post I thought I would basically just rattle off some of the more crucial tips and landlord advice that I have learned in my investment property career so far (in no particular order).

First, line up your financing before you try and go after that rehab project you’ve been eyeing.  The reason is that a fixer upper strategy usually requires non-traditional financing because the banks do not like to lend money in these situations.  Therefore you will likely have to pay cash, or get a private lender.  You don’t want to have an awesome fixer upper acquisition fall through at the last moment because your lender declines the loan.

Another tip is to always try to put 20% down whenever you buy a property.  The reason is that any down payment of less than 20% will trigger PMI (private mortgage insurance), which can run $100 or more and offers you as the investor zero value.  Keep in mind that the 20% does not have to be cash; you could tap a HELOC, get a secured loan, do some 401K investing, etc.

In terms of being a landlord, here are a few random tips:

  1. Always collect the maximum landlord security deposit allowed by your state’s landlord-tenant laws because this reduces your financial risk and motivates tenants to behave better.
  2. Never allow pets in apartments, it is simply not worth the aggravation.
  3. Always have tenants pay for their own heat and electricity.  I’ve literally seen tenants crank the heat up to 90 degrees in the winter with the windows wide open because heck, they’re not the ones paying the bill!
  4. Always address tenant complaints quickly, because you never know what a tenant might do if problems and ill-feelings are allowed to fester.
  5. Be courteous and respectful at all times
  6. Get a PO box to receive rental payments
  7. Always take action against late or non-payers immediately.  There’s no sense in waiting because you can always cancel your eviction filing later if they pay up.

That’s it for now.  Please visit the website if you’d like even more detailed tips and landlord advice.  Good luck!

One Response to Random Investment Property Landlord Advice

  1. Good tips. I agree with all 7.
    Property Mgmt Columbia SC

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