LANDLORD OF THE MONTH
- November 2002
Landlord Since 1981
Property Type: Residential Homes
Times are stressful. The economy is fragile, and job security is almost
non-existent. The only safe place for your retirement money is in a can
buried in the backyard. But the truth remains. I have to pay my rent or I am
out on the street. Same goes for my renters.
Philosophy of the Working Landlord
Treat people the way you would like to be treated. We provide a clean,
updated, maintained property, attractive inside, as well as out. Why? Why
not? Providing dignity for someone provides us with a respectable
reputation. We aren't making millions on the rent. I guess that is not God's
plan for us. But we will still do the right thing, and hopefully what you
give, you get back.
How We Do It
Prayer (and alot of it), along with a level headed husband helps.
Being a do-it-yourselfer is a must unless you
want to kiss any profits you make, (& some of
your own savings) good-bye.
Develop a relationship with the neighbors and
let them have your phone number in case of
daytime emergencies, or nighttime
Meet the cops assigned to your property area.
Let them know who you are, and which property
is yours. I felt alot safer knowing how to get a
hold of them when I worked alone late nights
at the house while it was empty and being
repaired. Peace of mind is a good thing.
Usually handled by my husband. Prospects were screened as best as the law
allows, but things change once they are in. I call it the Jeckle and Hyde
Syndrome. What seemed like a decent family turned into a nightmare after 2
years. He left her (unfortunately he did all the upkeep and repairs), she
went on disability, took in "roommates" to subsidize the rent, sent rent
late, or sometimes not at all. Y'all know the drill.
Being a member of LPA has provided us with valuable information and an
education we would normally have been learning the hard way. We even have
rights! Who knew?
John Nuzzolese has certainly done his homework to show us how to protect
ourselves, our property, and our investments. I only wish
I knew about LPA alot sooner! Thanks, John, for providing a much needed
service! Knowledge is power!
TIPS ON LANDLORD/TENANT RELATIONSHIPS
Lay a good relationship foundation with new
tenants. Supply them with useful phone #'s (util-
ities, deputy #'s, maintenance boards, etc.) as
well as area info.
Be fair, but firm. Find a comfortable balance
between a personal and business relationship.
Being too tough only gets your place trashed.
Managing The Rentals...
Look into AMERICAN HOME SHIELD service plan.
Once a member, repairs for electrical, plumbing, appliance ,airconditioning, etc. are covered for the cost of a service call ($35 in Houston). Well worth it for these older homes.
ARS is also a good company nationwide that
services property maintenance problems at a
fair price and excellent, prompt service .
All repairs are covered initially by the tenant
up to $75. (our requirement.)
Being specific and playing hardball with
habitual dead beats is the only language they
know. Most of them know the system better than
than we do, and know how to abuse it.
Never needed one yet, but it's not a bad idea
to have a good property lawyer on hand.
If a tenant is habitually late with rent, might
as well raise it to cover your late fees to
protect your credit.
Changes to property must be approved by us.
(right down to nail holes for picture hanging.)
AND.....NO PETS. PERIOD. SORRY.
Legal Tips and Words of Wisdom:
Listen to the right sources (i.e. John Nuzzolese)
professionals, or other successful landlords.
We all have horror stories to tell, but I'd rather
hear the viable solutions, not get into the pity
Do the right thing. Don't compromise your good
reputation in a fit of anger.
Thank you, LPA, for recognition as Landlord of the Month!
The LPA would like to thank Susie for all her 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.