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

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?

Starting your rental business: Know the difference between active and passive income

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

Tricks of the Trade: An easy way to keep track of property management hours and miles

    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

Running your rental business: A quick tip to avoid an insurance nightmare

  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

Running your rental business: Should you set up a separate property management company?

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?

Starting your rental business: Should you buy a fixer-upper for your property?

    You may be considering buying a "fixer-upper", dated property, or property in distress to fix-up and use as your rental property.  Before you jump in, there are many things that you need to consider! First, what kind of market are you in?  Are you in a market where hardly any properties are available, … Continue reading Starting your rental business: Should you buy a fixer-upper for your property?