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Landlord Newsletter - Good tenants into Better Tenants

The LPA Newsletter, December 2004


Dear Fellow Landlord,
The holidays are upon us. Are your tenants on your good list or on your bad list? I hope they are on your good list because that means they are paying your rent and behaving themselves. If any of those tenants are on the naughty list, don't hesitate to enforce the terms of your lease. The holidays should not be an excuse to slack on the rent, although thousands of tenants use it every year.

In this issue of The LPA Newsletter:

  • Our latest "Landlord Special Report", "6 ways to make Good tenants into Better Tenants" offers tips on guiding tenants to be at their very best.
  • A peek at the latest New Landlord Forms that have just been added to your Essential Forms collection.
  • And last but not least, Landlord Do's and Don'ts ...

    Please e-mail us if you have any questions or would like to add or share any material / information. I hope you find this month's newsletter helpful and enjoyable. Best Wishes to you & Happy Holidays!
    John Nuzzolese



    6 Ways to ...

    ...Turn Good Tenants into Better Tenants

    By John Nuzzolese

    We already know that the key to a successful tenancy is to first find a good tenant. Havenít we often secured good tenants only to find they drift to the wayside and gradually become bad tenants? Why is that? There are a combination of reasons that this happens. Those reasons are what I refer to in The LPAís article, "The 6 Biggest Landlord Traps". Let's explore how to make good tenants even better and how to keep them that way.

    Now that you have a good tenant you have already screened, accepted and signed a lease with, you may be tempted to feel like your job is finished for now. The property is rented! Now you can take a vacation, right? Wrong. The job is never over unless you sell your rental property and retire somewhere nice, never to see or speak to another tenant again. Are you going to do that anytime soon? OK, so lets talk about making good tenants even better.

    1. Emphasize the most important lease clauses. If you havenít already done so when you carefully went over the lease personally and emphasized the important items to your tenant, do it as soon as possible. (I hope you used my LPA Lease - Iím personally biased.)You can even do it with a follow up letter welcoming the tenants to their new home an reminding them of those key elements in your lease that are most important to you. Some landlords even send the tenant a spare copy of the lease with certain clauses highlighted.
    2. Tell the tenants that you report to "National Tenant and Credit Reporting Bureaus". The reason I phrased it like that is because I donít want you to feel like you may be telling a lie. Reporting to a "National Tenant and and Credit Bureau" could mean the LPAís "National Tenant Rating Bureau or Deadbeat Database"Ö. Or it could also mean that you are ready to use The LPA site to "prepare a delinquency report" to the three major credit bureaus. Youíd be amazed at the results I have achieved by telling new tenants not to pay late because it can affect their credit rating. I inform them that they may not qualify for a car loan or mortgage in the future if they are not careful about their rent payment. I say, "PLEASE DONíT RENT FROM ME if you think you will have trouble paying the rent on time. You seem like such a nice couple. Iíd HATE to ruin your credit and damage your financial future."
    3. Enforce your lease with "Essential Landlord Forms" that will support your lease. When a tenant gets out of line, correct the situation with a professional form. Nip the problem in the bud before a small problem becomes a disaster. If you do not send a late notice as soon as the rent is late, the tenant will continue to be late. If you are inconsistent with sending the late notice, the rent may consistently be late. Have you ever heard the old adage "Familiarity breeds contempt" ? Well, when a tenant becomes comfortable enough to think the landlord is a friend, he often loses the professional respect he may have once had. So, enforcing the lease with professional forms is the way to go.
    4. Enforce penalties such as late fees. Using a professional form is great, but it has to pack a punch to get the results you want. Donít be afraid to hit a tenant with the late charge whenever the tenant is late. Iíve had tenants tell me they were late just to see if the late fee would be enforced! Use a "Late Charge Due Notice" or an "Urgent Late Notice" to collect rent and late fees before too much time passes by.
    5. Allowing an Early Payment Discount is another effective tactic to get the rent paid on time or early. Everyone wants to save money. And that money adds up over the year, so make sure the tenants know about it. If you didnít use the clause in your lease, you can always send them the "Early Payment Discount Voucher" found in Essential Forms.
    6. Routine Inspections arenít always as important as the expectation of routine interior inspections. When the tenant is expecting an inspection of the premises by the landlord or manager, the property is usually kept ready to pass the inspection. Many landlords will inspect on regular intervals prearranged with the tenant. Others will do surprise inspections, and some just emphasize that they will be doing inspections, but just donít get around to it. Even if you canít get around to it, it may be a good idea to send the tenant a note from time to time to tell them of an upcoming inspection. The main thing is that your property is cared for properly.

      Keeping good tenants good or better is an ongoing process that we as landlords continue to improve with experience. It all starts with understanding and agreeing with each other. After that, itís just a matter of professional communication.

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      Essential Forms - New Releases:

      New Rental Forms Landlord Form In the Spotlight:
      The LPA Garage Rental Agreement -The LPA Garage Rental Agreement outlines certain key landlord protection leasing elements with a garage or storage tenant. [Introduced: 11/19/03]

      New Rental FormsLandlord Form In the Spotlight:
      Property Management Agreement

      - The property management contract allows the owner of rental property and the property manager to specify the details of their responsibilties towards each other concerning a specific or multiple rental properties. [Introduced: 11/24/04]

      New Rental FormsLandlord Form In the Spotlight:
      Sub-Lease Agreement

      - Holds tenant and sub-tenant fully responsible for all the terms and conditions of the original lease. [Introduced: 11/24/04]

      New Rental FormsLandlord Form In the Spotlight:
      Criminal & Credit Background Release Form

      - Removes any doubt of whether the tenant is being up front with you. Not only will you have the tenant's full authorization to do a criminal report with law enforcement agencies, but also the written authorization required to obtain a credit report. (The LPA Rental Application already includes credit authorization and screening fee agreement) [Introduced: 12/01/04]

      New Rental FormsLandlord Form In the Spotlight:
      First Notice of Past Due Rent

      - A friendly non-intimidating first notice to alert the tenant that the rent is late and that a late fee may also be due. [Introduced: 12/04/04]


      Landlord Do's & Don'ts
      Late Rent

      What The LPA says you should do and what you shouldn't do:

      • DO Be quick to send a late notice as soon as the rent is late. Very often, landlords don't want to seem too eager for the rent that they will give the tenant an extra day or two. That procrastination usually turns into at least a week. Before you know it, the tenant is in serious violation of the lease. That's why we have to be on top of the rent right away. Be ready to use these forms in order:
        1. Notice of Past Due Rent
        2. Urgent Late Notice
        3. Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

      • DON'T be a procrastinator. Don't get into any heated discussions with the tenant & Do not invite them to any holiday parties!


      Rent Excuses...

      Excuse of the Day for 12/3/04:

      "I did my Christmas shopping early, so I can't give you the rent till after the holiday."

      I have a mortage to pay and will not be able to purchase the gifts for my own family because she is irresponsible. I will make her pay the late fees. - Submitted by Jeanne, FL

      Excuse of the Day for 11/28/04:

      "My wife and I are having problems. Please don't tell her I'm late with the rent. If you tell her, it could destroy my whole family. My daughter is going through a very difficult time. I'll have it all next week- PLUS the next 2 months."

      This went on for too many months along with many other lies and excuses so I had to evict them. - Submitted by Jack K., Merrick, NY

      Excuse of the Day for 11/22/04:

      "We just bought a brand-new car, so that's another bill we have to pay and it's kind of hard having a rent payment and a new car payment now."

      - Submitted by Jen, PA

      Excuse of the Day for 11/19/04:

      "You are going to waive the rent for next 2 or 3 months. You will not argue with me young man. You do not want your taxes tripled if I have to report an illegal apartment."

      - This arrogant woman has gotten wind of our Nassau County Tax Assessor who is causing kaos with his attack on landlords. I sent this bit$# an LPA Urgent Late Notice with the eviction status warning and she has apologized and paid the late fee. - Submitted by Steve S., NY

      Excuse of the Day for 11/10/04:

      "I have relatives who want to help me purchase the house."

      - The house is not for sale. I asked for the rent. - Submitted by Mercedes, NY

      Excuse of the Day for 11/09/04:

      "I haven't abandoned the premises, I've just moved out."

      - Well, sounds reasonable to me.....NOT!! The lawyer has been contacted and proceeding to the next step. - Submitted by Pam, Marion, Ohio



      eleanor roosevelt quotes Yogi Berra quotes Thomas Edison quotes Benjamin Franklin success quotes

      "Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think."
      - Dale Carnegie

      "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."
      - Dale Carnegie

      "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."
      - Sir Winston Churchill

      "A mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to it's original dimension."
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes

      "How much did your last tenant problem cost you?"
      - John Nuzzolese


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