LANDLORD OF THE MONTH
Landlord Since 1988
State: New York
Property Type: Residential Homes & Apts
After working for years in a pharmaceutical warehouse filling orders and loading trucks, I realized that I was never going to live the life I dreamed of. That scared me. From watching late night infomercials like Ed Beckly and Carleton Sheets, I started really thinking. By the way, I thought those courses were a waste. For me anyway.
My neighbor was selling his house in a hurry and asked me if I was interested. I didn't really have much money saved, so he offered to finance the down payment for me if I would take over the mortgage. I rented out the house with a positive cash flow and that's how I got started.
Philosophy of the Working Landlord
If I can make it a good deal for the tenant as well as myself, I'm happy.
I have had tenant problems. Some real bad ones. That is why I like your (The LPA's) forms. They make it much easier to deal with situations more effectively and faster. You'd be suprised how long it takes me to write a letter.
How I Do It
I do my best to make sure the rents come in on time. I call the tenants if the rent a few days late. Then I send a late notice a few days later asking for a late fee. Unless there's a real problem brewing, that usually works. I try my best to actually collect the late fees too, even though everybody thinks they can negotiate their way out of paying it.
I'm not very handy, so that's another reason I like your forms. When the tenant is responsible for most of the upkeep, it makes my life easier. I've found a few good handymen I call for taking care of things the tenant or I can't.
My old lease was something I picked up in Staples. It was very generic and written to please both parties, but didn't cover much of what I feel really needed to be covered. I'm happy with the LPA lease. I customized a few parts of it on my computer to better fit my properties, and my lawyer was blown away by it. Thanks.
Tips on the Landlord / Tenant Relationship
I know it's probably best not to see my tenants much, but I love to see my properties. So I stop by once in a while to say hi and check things out. Yes, they do complain and give me wish lists every time too. I should probably stop visiting the properties like this.
I always treat the tenants respectfully, even if they don't deserve it. It is a lot like retail. Dealing with the public. It is a business, so I think it's the only way to be.
Managing The Rentals...
Besides getting stuck with odd jobs from stopping by, I rely on my handymen. The forms really help me in managing the rentals.
Legal Tips and Words of Wisdom:
Just don't forget that tenants are people too. Give them a nice place and teach them how to treat it. Also try to check out their last home before you take them on. Be careful with screening. That's probably the most important thing.
Thanks for picking me as landlord of the month.
The LPA would like to thank George for all his valuable input and sharing of knowledge with us. George has been a contributer in our Q & A Forum and Deadbeat Database. Landlords everywhere have the opportunity to benefit from the lessons and knowledge brought to us by our Landlords of the Month.