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Steven S

Landlord Since 1991
State: NY
Property Type: Residential Homes

I became an investor shortly after marrying my wife, Berti. She is the prettiest Bertha I know and boy is she a business woman. She got us our first home equity loan to launch our investing career. Today we have 11 homes.

Philosophy of the Working Landlord

We learned alot of lessons the hard way and really appreciate all the good stuff on the LPA site. That is why we were happy to set up a 5 year membership with the LPA and plan to renew when the time comes. 3 of those years were used transforming our landlord business from a frustrating one to an almost "auto-pilot" one. I was a few tenant problems away from selling everything. There's only so much abuse you can take. So we turned the tables on the tenants and took control. We found the LPA along with a few other sites, but The LPA is my favorite.

How We Do It

As a team, we handle most of the management by ourselves. We collect the rent as a management company with a post office box. We use mostly LPA forms to handle different tenant situations that crop up from time to time. Using forms instead of talking in person with the tenants helped us turn things around for the positive. As far as our houses go, we try to pretend we plan to live in them when we prepare them for tenancy. If a place needs new carpeting, we'll get the carpeting even if we are short on cash. It is important to treat the tenants like respectable people so they will treat our property respectfully.

The Lease...

The LPA Lease. If you're going to be a landlord, do it right. 'Nuff said.

Tips on the Landlord / Tenant Relationship

  • Treat them the way you want to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • We highly value our privacy and try our best to separate business with our personal life. We don't reveal our home phone or address to our tenants. We want our privacy so we give the tenants their space.
  • Everything important is in writing. We have a form for just about everything. If the tenants get out of line, we fiercely enforce the lease.

    Managing The Rentals...

    Because we give our tenants minted out homes that we would be happy with ourselves, we don't have a lot of repair problems. We charge market rents even though we rent out better rentals than the competition, so our places rent much faster than others at the same price. It doesn't pay to be greedy.

    Legal Tips and Words of Wisdom:

    We cultivated a relationship with a good eviction attorney about our age after doing our first eviction. She is reasonably priced and does a good job. I think she's worth her weight in gold and we don't hesitate to use her. Letting the tenants know we have an attorney ready to go if need be makes a difference. If you're new to landlording, spend some time on The LPA site and read or print out some of the articles or form descriptions. There is so much good information on this site, it really made a difference in our lives.

    The LPA would like to thank Steve & Bertha for being our Landlords of the Month. We wish them continued success in life and the landlording business.

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