Running your rental business: Should you lease to an ex-pat?

I try to buy properties in desirable areas, and take great care to maintain them, so quite often I get applications from ex-pats (workers from other countries that have been transferred by their companies, often for several years).  Should you consider renting to an ex-pat?    The answer is complicated. There are several universal issues … Continue reading Running your rental business: Should you lease to an ex-pat?

Running your rental business: An easy, sneaky, and efficient way to check up on your property

As a property owner, you're probably worried about if your renter is taking good care of your investment.   Sure you can drive by the property and get a feel for its condition, but you likely won't be satisfied with that!  I know that I'm not.   So, how can you get onto the property to have … Continue reading Running your rental business: An easy, sneaky, and efficient way to check up on your property

A landlord’s debate: should you show your property while the current tenants are still there?

Unless you give up on being a landlord immediately, you'll be faced with renting out a property after you have already have had it rented out.  This presents a different set of problems than, for example, having your own house up for sale.  With your own house, you know that you can keep it clean … Continue reading A landlord’s debate: should you show your property while the current tenants are still there?

Working with contractors: Get all details in writing!

Here's a scenario you're likely to encounter as an income property owner or manager: You're in-between tenants and decide that you need to update the flooring in your property.  Contractor Dave gives you a quote of $10,000, and needs half of it up front to cover materials.  You know several people who have recommended Contractor … Continue reading Working with contractors: Get all details in writing!

Property owner math: When more is less

As a property owner, you've probably considered upgrades in an effort to secure higher rent and perhaps better tenants.  Maybe adding landscaping, installing new windows, adding lighting, or updating fixtures.  Hopefully you've done research to figure out if you can actually list that property for a higher amount after doing that improvement, or if your … Continue reading Property owner math: When more is less

People you’ll meet as a property manager: The Perfectionist

About a dozen years ago, my realtor and I got a strange request for a lease that we were signing.  Our new tenants, as part of the lease agreement, wanted a new microwave.  That's it, just the new microwave.  They would supply the microwave, and leave it with the property when they moved out, but … Continue reading People you’ll meet as a property manager: The Perfectionist

The best way to protect your rental business — and yourself

It's a good idea to think about how to protect yourself and your business from legal issues that, however rare, may arise.  Here in the United States, the LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) is considered the gold standard. The idea behind the LLC structure is that you are legally separated from your business.  If you, for … Continue reading The best way to protect your rental business — and yourself

Running your rental business: An example of a Tenant Selection Criteria letter

I recommended setting up tenant selection criteria on my last blog (Running your rental business: Use established guidelines to clear potential tenants and avoid legal problems).  I recommend doing this for several reasons: It helps you focus on what kind of renter you are looking for, It will let the prospective tenant know what is … Continue reading Running your rental business: An example of a Tenant Selection Criteria letter

Running your rental business: Use established guidelines to clear potential tenants and avoid legal problems

Having an established list of criteria for each rental property/address will not only help you narrow your search for the perfect renter, but also will help protect you from legal issues from a prospective tenant who feels that you turned them down unlawfully. So how do you go about creating such a list, and what … Continue reading Running your rental business: Use established guidelines to clear potential tenants and avoid legal problems

Starting and running your rental business: another insurance mistake to avoid

I have an acquaintance that I'll call "George".  George was relocated and decided to rent out his property rather than sell.   He diligently called his insurance company and purchased renters insurance, signed the paperwork, paid every year, and didn't give it another thought. About now alarm bells should be going off in your head.  Why? … Continue reading Starting and running your rental business: another insurance mistake to avoid