I'm truly what you would call an accidental landlord. Like many couples, my husband and I found ourselves with a one-bedroom condo unit that we decided to rent out. We thought that we might make a little money, certainly at least break-even, and then sell the property for more money years later. That was in … Continue reading What kind of landlord do you want to be?
Putting your property's best face forward!
In the past, I've written about several insurance issues that I've learned about as a landlord: the importance of a certain detail (A quick tip to avoid an insurance nightmare), how misleading the term 'renter's insurance' is (Another insurance mistake to avoid), and even the pros and cons of buying an additional warranty (Should you … Continue reading Another insurance issue property owners need to be aware of…and why it matters
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 Should you lease to an ex-pat?
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
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?
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!
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
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
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