Sunday, June 17, 2007

Three Tips For New Landlords

New to land lording?

It isn't a walk in the park but it also isn't all 4am broken toilets. In fact it has never been 4am broken toilets for me. One reason is that our properties are managed by an outstanding property manager. Caroline is incredibly efficient and really good at anticipating any work that may have to be done. She deals with all the day to day stuff so we can focus on the big picture.

So my first bit of advice is:
1. Get a property manager- if you are too busy now with work, kids etc then adding property management into the mix will be too much. A good property manager is hard to find so get references and check them. Their rates vary but are in no way indicative of the PM's quality, an expensive PM isn't necessarily the best- just the most expensive.

Tenant blues?
Tenants are your business partners. They take care of your investment and hopefully leave it in a condition that builds equity into the property rather than decrease value. Singularly the most important part of your real estate experience should be to find quality tenants. The ideal situation is to build a relationship with your tenants where you provide safe, clean, attractive housing and they proctect your asset.

2. Screen, Screen, Screen
Check your tenants out like your are going into business with them because you are.

*Get references and call them. Past landlords not current as they might try to pass along a problem tenant with a good reference

*Photo copy their ID and keep it on file. If you can't spell their name you can't take any legal action against them.

*Know everyone who lives in the property and get their names first and last. If the person who is on the lease leaves but her roommate, who isn't stays, you are in a bad way legally. Get everyone on the lease again get ID.

*People look good and dress nicely but it doesn't mean they keep their homes that way. Visit your potential tenant at their current residence so you can see them on their home turf.

IF You have good tenants, TREAT THEM WELL.
They are like gold. Let them know that you appreciate what they are doing.

3.Treat Good Tenants Well-We give our tenants rewards for long contracts or for a house well maintained. If they have to move we try and help them get into one of our properties in their target location.

Useful Links:
REIN-an incredible group of investors who together own over $1 Billion in Canadian Real Estate
Landlord Source Center-a lot of resources for landlords including a bad tenant list.

No comments: