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Lou & Krista Russo

Landlord Since November 1999
State: New York
Property Type: Residential

How we got started:

We rented a part of our house because we could not afford the mortgage on our own. Realizing we were living free and gaining equity we bought another and another etc… Now we have 5, manage 1 for a friend and are building a vacation home upstate NY. A Dream come true all from real estate.

Philosophy of the Working Landlord

Treat people as you would want to be treated.

How I Do It

Well I know I’m doing it with the help of my wife. She stays on top of setting up the maintenance stuff and most of the bills which is a full time job. Because of her I can stay at my full time job as an office manager.

The Lease...

I had nothing but problems at first with a generic lease. Then I was referred to the LPA site. I joined and read everything they offered. Downloaded all of the forms and started using them right away. My problems all slowly went away. Thanks to this site.

Tips on the Landlord / Tenant Relationship

Be caring in what tenants have to say but be firm in laying down the rules and never let them break them. Always and I mean always use a 3rd party as a reasoning for all your rules. “My lawyer will not let me take this out of the lease.” “My partner is giving me a hard time because you haven’t been paying on the 1st.” This way it is out of your hands. Don’t try to become the tenants “good friend” this is a business and if they feel they are friends with you they become lax about things like paying the rent on time and signing the new leases right away.

Managing The Rentals...

We have hired someone the tenants can call for maintenance or any problems. He will schedule a date and time with them to take care of whatever they need. He keeps us informed of what the outcome is of all his service calls. If we need to get involved we will. We try to make the leases expire close together so we can renew them all at once.

The LPA would like to thank Lou and Krista for their valuable input and sharing of knowledge with us. Landlords everywhere have the opportunity to benefit from the lessons and knowledge brought to us by our Landlords of the Month.

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