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

Running your rental business: Steps to take when your tenants want to leave early

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

Running your rental business: What should you do when tenants want to renew, but only for a lower rent?

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?