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
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
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
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
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