LANDLORD OF THE MONTH
Landlord Since 1983
Property Type: Residential Homes
Here's my story: I started out as a real estate agent and fell in love with owning houses. It started when one of my listings was giving me a problem. The seller was desparate and was lowering the price every week. I finally asked if he would lend me the downpayment so I can buy the house. He said "ANYTHING to get out of here!"
Philosophy of the Working Landlord
Be ready to pounce on tenants when they test you. I am a quick enforcer. I don't charge top dollar so tenants don't seem to give me many problems.
How I Do It
I collect a years worth of rent checks at the lease signing. They are all due the 1st of each month. If anything bounces they pay a late fee as in the LPA lease. I have one tenant who lives on a reduced rent in exchange for handyman work on the properties. He's happy and I am too for the last few years.
I make it clear from the start. No funy business or your out. Period. I use a strong lease and I expect it to be respected.
Tips on the Landlord / Tenant Relationship
I give the tenants a welcome present when they move in. It always starts them off with a happy feeling.
We keep it friendly. My wife has a calendar with all of their birthdays and she sends them a card. It sounds silly, but they appreciate it and it shows. They like being treated as people with feelings.
I know I said we like it to be friendly, but I tell them that friends don't stiff me for the rent or go back on their word. If anyone breaks their lease, they are no longer a friend. That's it.
Managing The Rentals...
Collecting the rent is easy because I already have the checks for each month. If one bounces, they owe a late fee, bounced check fee which they must pay in cash.
Legal Tips and Words of Wisdom:
Don't only join The Landlord Protection Agency, read everything on the site. It's a great tool. Join a local landlord association in your area. I like talking to other landlords and exchanging information about rentals.
The LPA would like to thank Richard for all his 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.