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Landlord Newsletter # 19

The LPA Newsletter,
May 2005

Dear Fellow Landlord,

In this issue of The LPA Newsletter:
We have a short article, "How do I make sure the tenant will take good care of my property?"

  • I'd also like to introduce you to our May 2005 LPA Landlord of the Month, Timothy Spangler. He is a fellow LPA member who has recently authored a new real estate book that I think you will enjoy. It's called, "From the Rat Race to real Estate".
  • The latest Tenant Excuses for not paying rent
  • Landlord Do's and Don'ts ... concerning Screening the landlord reference
  • More Quotes for Success & Inspiration

    Please e-mail us if you have any questions or would like to add or share any material / information. I hope this month's newsletter finds you well and in a successful landlording season.
    John Nuzzolese



    How do I make sure the tenant will take good care of my property?

    By John Nuzzolese

    One of the biggest concerns landlords have is how the tenant will treat the property. We all hear horror stories of what tenants can do to a rental. Many of us have lived through the horror of having our beautiful rental property destroyed by a bad tenant. The fact that we have invested great expense plus gallons of blood, sweat, and paint in the property only to see it trashed and desecrated by a tenant makes it even worse.

    Some landlords still believe that finding a good tenant is a matter of luck, while more and more of us are taking steps to make our own luck. Have you heard the old adage, “Luck = Labor Under Correct Knowledge”?

    So how do we protect your rental property from getting trashed by a tenant? There are a few very important steps to follow.

    • Complete tenant screening. It sounds like a no brainer, but how often do you do complete tenant screening? Part of your standard screening is to try your best to actually verify the past landlord’s reference. Call him and talk about the tenant. Ask questions. The Landlord Reference Qualifier form can make it easier to do this.
    • Drive By. Another important part of the screening process is to actually visit or at the very least, drive by the property the tenant is about to vacate and assess the condition. Chances are the tenant will treat your property the same way he treats the one he’s currently in.
    • Photographs & Video Before conveying possession to the tenant, maybe even at the lease signing, mention or show the tenant that you have dated pictures and a video of the property condition before occupancy. Having this supports you on the next powerful step in making sure the tenant takes care of your property.
    • Property Condition Report & Checklist Before turning your rental over to the tenant, I suggest you prepare a complete Property Condition Report to document the undamaged condition of the property. By having the tenant agree and sign this inventory and condition checklist, the tenant realizes he is now on record, not only by signing the lease, but also for signing this additional legal document, the Property Condition Report.

    By following these steps along with your normal screening process, you will become a landlord who has better luck with how tenants take care of your property. Remember, “Luck = Labor Under Correct Knowledge”.

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    Landlord Do's & Don'ts

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

    Tenant Screening: Checking the Landlord Reference

    • Use the Landlord Reference Qualifyer form when interviewing the applicant's current & past landlords.
    • Be aware that the person you are speaking to might not actually be the true landlord. The tenant could have lied on the application
    • Verify the tenant's address with the county tax records if possible.
    • Verify the landlord's phone # in the phone directory. (If listed.)

    • Be afraid to ask your questions.
    • Be fooled by an extremely glowing reference. Sometimes the current landlord will say anything to get rid of his headache tenants!
    • Forget to verify all the other information on the rental application to make sure everything checks out.
    • Run a credit report untill after you have verified and are satisfied with all of the screening information the applicant has given you.


    Rent Excuses...

    Excuse of the Day for 5/03/05:

    "I cant pay your rent because I'm saving for the deposit and first months rent on a different apartment. "

    She got her pay or quit tenancy the next day. Duh!!! - Tara in Michigan

    Excuse of the Day for 5/02/05:

    "I spent so much of my own money fixing up your place, that I didn't have any left over for the rent."

    He was actually hired by the previous owner to remodel, and went over budget. Then he decided he didn't need to pay rent because the amount he went over budget was in lieu of rent. Not my fault he doesn't know how to price a job. - Joshua W., Bountiful, UT

    Excuse of the Day for 4/25/05:

    "My brother in law is an attorney who eats landlords like you for breakfast."

    I thought that was kind of unprovoked. All I did was ask if the rent had been sent yet. But I have to be thankful for the tenant's honesty and stupidity because I would have waited another week if she asked me to. - Frank M, NV

    Excuses of the Day for 4/22/05:

    I read about you in the "Apartment Magazine." I'm not a member of LPA, but I wanted to share the excuses I received, all from just ONE tenant, starting with the first month he moved in, and lasting for the 3 months he lived in my rental unit:
    • He traded a "singing bird" for the late fee (the bird has brought me happiness, unlike the tenant!)
    • An alleged "general contractor," he suddenly specialized in roofs and "couldn't work" during the 2 weeks we had unusually heavy rains. (Funny, I thought that's when everyone realizes they have roof leaks!)
    • He had to chase down a former customer who "owed him money" (while I was chasing HIM down for the rent!)
    • His current customer's father (a member of a legendary rock band) had gone on tour (that part IS true!) without telling my tenant or paying him for the work he allegedly did on the rock star's son's roof.

    I'm taking both my former tenant AND his mother, a co-signer on the lease (due to his BAD credit!) to court. I'm not worried about getting the unpaid rent- he told me she's a "millionaire." I'm still waiting for her to pay........(smile) - Cheri Woods, Los Angeles, Ca.

    Excuse of the Day for 4/21/05:

    "The bank made a mistake. I had all the rent money in the bank, but now they have no record of it."

    This isn't the first whacky excuse out of these tenants. - George B., NY



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

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

    "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." - John F. Kennedy

    "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

    "Become the change you want to see - those are words I live by." - Oprah Winfrey

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

    A Way of Being
    - Gary Link, Attorney at Law


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