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
Although you and your tenants have signed a contract, the sad truth is that you really can't keep them there if they choose to leave. But there are several steps that you can take to make the situation go smoothly, and even turn into a positive for you! I know that your first instinct will … Continue reading Running your rental business: Steps to take when your tenants want to leave early
This week, as I've been painting two houses that are turning over, it's occurred to me that I've picked up a few good pointers (many specific to being a landlord) that I'm happy to share: Use the same paint color (including trim) on all your properties. This will save time and many a headache! Of … Continue reading Tricks of the trade: Painting advice from a property manager
As a landlord, at some point you'll be faced with this decision: Your tenants want to extend their lease for another year, but only at a lower price. There are several important considerations to help guide you through this decision. The first question I have for you may surprise you, but has played an important … Continue reading Running your rental business: What should you do when tenants want to renew, but only for a lower rent?
Of course you're becoming a landlord to make money, but part of your business's success comes at tax time. How you're taxed -- as active or passive income -- makes a difference to your bottom line. In future blogs, I'll discuss how to determine if you qualify for active/material participation, and the advantages of either … Continue reading Starting your rental business: Know the difference between active and passive income
When you are checking in your renters, they will be overwhelmed with information from you, in addition to all the stress of moving. Even if you go through these items when you meet with them, leaving printouts of instructions will be invaluable to them. Plus, if they know how to take care of your property, … Continue reading The Landlord List: Information to leave with your tenants
As a property manager, you will need to keep track of miles and hours for a variety of reasons, mostly tax-related. You also will find yourself making notes about when renters contact you and when repairs are made. I used to have a separate notebook for each property, and made copious notes. As … Continue reading Tricks of the Trade: An easy way to keep track of property management hours and miles
Make sure that your business and personal names match up on your mortgages and rental properties. If not, you could be denied coverage when you need it, based on a mere technicality. Often this is not easy. You will likely have to take out mortgages in your name, whereas your property will likely be … Continue reading Running your rental business: A quick tip to avoid an insurance nightmare
Maybe! Having your properties and management duties separated into different companies can have many advantages. The main advantage of creating a management company is that you can easily deduct office expenses (even if that's a home office), vehicle expenses, and employee costs. You can arrange healthcare for your employees, and set up retirement programs. A … Continue reading Running your rental business: Should you set up a separate property management company?
At some point, your renters will likely pay a bill for you. Perhaps they've been nice and done a repair themselves, and of course want to be reimbursed. The concern is the much more likely scenario: they have had to pay a bill when a repair was done, and you weren't able to set up … Continue reading Tricks of the trade: The easy way to get proof of expenses