How to be a New Landlord

Being a landlord can be tough. It's not a profession that you can simply kick back and watch the income flow in at all points. There will be good times and there will be times when you want to pull your hair out, but doing the proper research in the beginning and understanding what goes into being a landlord before you even buy a property is very helpful. Talk to people that have been in the business for years, research property management companies (even if you don't plan to hire one, you can p ... Read More

How Do you Warn Other Landlords About Delinquent Tenants?

Depending on what state your property is in, the process of evicting a tenant can be brutal. It's never a fun experience, no matter which state it is happening in. If it has come down to an eviction, that generally means that your tenant has breached the lease in a way that cannot be fixed. It can be anything from a non-payment for rent to a criminal offense being committed on the property. No matter the why, if you have to go through the trouble of evicting a tenant you'll likely want to make s ... Read More

Walkthroughs and Why They're Important

When an applicant becomes a tenant and you both sign a lease, you provide your property to them for a select amount of time as long as they abide by the rules set forth. Often, along with their first month's rent, a landlord will also ask for a deposit to cover any damages (excluding normal wear and tear) done to the property. The goal for both parties should be for the landlord to provide the full deposit back to the tenant at the end of their lease. If you do, it's a win-win scenario. The tena ... Read More

The Accidental Landlord: tips on preparing your home for rental

Not every landlord goes into the rental business because they want to. You may have found yourself with a property that needs to be leased out for any number of reasons. Perhaps your job called you away and you either couldn't sell the house or would like to go back someday. Perhaps a family member passed away and you inherited it, but didn't want to sell it. The possibilities are endless, but if you fall into being what is considered an accidental landlord, you may not be as prepared as you'd l ... Read More

Tenant Cleaning Checklist

It's that time again. A tenant has delivered their written notice and you find yourself busy marketing the rental for the next tenant. The last thing you want to do is clean up behind your previous tenant if you can help it. Incentivizing the tenant to make sure that the unit is in good condition when they leave helps both you and them. If you don't have to come in and pick up trash, haul out items that they've left behind, or any number of other little things that they should have d ... Read More

Comparing single- and multi- family properties

When you decide to jump in and invest in real estate with the goal to rent it back out to a tenant, there are decisions that have to be made. You'll need to decide if you'll be investing locally or outside of your home town. Will you be hiring a property manager to handle it or will you be going at it on your own? Then there's an equally important question: will you be investing in a single- or multip-family property? There are many differences in the kind of property that you choose to invest ... Read More

The Move-in Checklist

When an applicant becomes a tenant and signs the lease, it's a good practice to offer them a walk through to check for any damage or spots that they'd like to make note of. This will help you know if any maintenance needs to be done (that had been missed before or that you hadn't been alerted of) and will allow them the peace of mind to know that you know exactly what the conditions of the move-in are. You may offer to accompany them on the walk-through or simply request that they provide you wi ... Read More

Checklist for a Tenant Move-Out Inspection

When a tenant moves out of your rental property it is a good practice for both of you to do a walk through inspection. This allows you to go over any issues you find and it gives them time to fix them before moving out, therefore losing their deposit if it's left too dirty. While normal wear and tear is expected, there are certain places that you should look at carefully to make sure there is nothing beyond that and alert the tenant if there is. It's to be expected that there will be some nail h ... Read More

Landlord-Tenant Laws in Regards to Military Tenants

Landlord-tenant laws are set up to make sure that both parties are protected from any wrong-doing. They provide securities to both landlords and tenants that encourage both sides to be responsible adults in the way they conduct their business. They are not perfect and there will always be people will try to find a quick and easy way around, but in general they're meant to keep everyone happy and safe. As with most rules, there are exceptions. While the majority of tenants that come through your ... Read More

What Is Considered Normal Wear and Tear?

When a tenant moves out you'll need to determine if you're keeping their deposit, and if you are how much. This will depend on the state of the property when you do your inspection. Normal wear and tear is expected and should not warrant any less of their deposit being returned, but damage may allow you to keep part of the deposit to cover those costs. Telling the difference between normal wear and tear and damage is where many landlords find themselves in difficult territory. As with all landlo ... Read More

First Time Renters

No two renters will be exactly alike, and in today's real estate market, many people are choosing to rent for the first time rather than buy a new property. They may have moved for a new job or simply needed to sell their home before they found themselves underwater with it. There are countless possibilities, but it's always good to remember that those that have never rented a property before likely will not approach it as those that are seasoned renters. If they're young, fresh from school and ... Read More

What You Should When a Tenant is Late Paying Rent

When the rent is late it can be a problem for everyone involved. As a landlord, you are relying on your tenant to pay you (as agreed) so that you, in turn, may pay other bills. You may have the mortgage to pay on the property or a large maintenance bill that the rent helps to cover. There are a number of bills that come with being a landlord, but if you're in the business for any length at all, you're likely to have a tenant that eventually pays late. While this doesn't necessarily mean that the ... Read More

Choosing to Hire a Property Management Company

To hire a property manager or manage the property yourself is a decision that all landlords must make. Granted, if you live in a different city than your property resides in, that makes it an easier decision than if you're right there, but there are always various pieces of information that you'll need to consider to make an informed decision, no matter what you choose. Personality and knowledge play a big role in which way you'll likely lean. If you're a do-it-yourself styled landlord that has ... Read More

Who does a property manager work for?

When you decide that it's time to take a step back and hire a property management company to help you with your properties, remember that you are doing exactly that: you are hiring them. They are an employee of yours, and as such, you'll want to conduct thorough interviews to make sure that you are hiring the best company for your business. Not every model works for every landlord, so check them out and make sure your money is going to the right company that will work well with you. There are a ... Read More

Owning and Managing Your Own Rental Property

When you buy a property with the intent to rent it out yourself (versus hiring a property manager) there are things you should be prepared for. Even if being a landlord is considered receiving a 'passive income', it is anything but passive. If you are the owner and the manager, you're going to have your work cut out for you even if you rent to the best tenant on the planet. As an owner/manager you will be responsible for everything. Granted, even if you hire a company to manage the property for ... Read More

What to do When You Accept a Troublesome Tenant

There are many things that can go wrong when you're a landlord, but troublesome tenants often cause the biggest headaches. It can be frustrating when you screen each person that applies for the property, go through your search, and choose the one you think is going to be the best... and then they seem like an entirely different person once they move in. Maybe they pay late or they've caused damage to the property. The possibilities of what a tenant can do to be troublesome really can be endless ... Read More

Legalized Marijuana

Up until recently it was pretty clear that if a tenant were to smoke marijuana in a home that they were renting that it would be grounds for eviction. Illegal activity is not acceptable under a lease and the landlord is well within their rights to evict when someone commits a crime on their property. Things became a little less clear when the state of Colorado decided to legalize marijuana. Because Colorado is the first state to legalize the drug and yet it is still considered illegal on a fed ... Read More

Types of Tenants

There are many ways to invest in real estate. Some people buy up houses to flip them, others invest to rent them out and earn what we hope is a steady income from them for the long-term. If you own your home and need to move quicker than you can sell your current property, you may choose to rent that out while you are away. Just as there are many ways to fall into the rental business, there is more than one way to find yourself with a tenant. You may go the traditional route by posting advertise ... Read More

Choosing to cover utilities for a tenant

When you list a property for rent you'll need to decide what bills you'll pay for the tenant, if any. In some part of the country it makes sense to pay for certain utilities, such as heat or hot water, but not others. It also may depend on the type of property that you're renting out. Are any of the utilities shared? If they are, are they easily divided up so that you are aware what charge should go to the tenant? There are times that it may even make sense to pay part of the bill. In other word ... Read More

How to Avoid Terrible Tenants and What to do if They Make it Past Your Screenings

Screening tenants will always be the first step to avoiding terrible tenants. While good credit and decent recommendations may not grantee the best outcome, it certainly is a good starting place. It will help you work through the (hopefully) many applications you receive for your property and allow you to narrow it down to a collection of promising applicants that would be a great fit. You're likely looking for a good credit score, a clean criminal and eviction record, and high recommendations f ... Read More

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