Dealing with Domestic Violence in a Rental

Domestic ViolenceThis article will likely offend a few people, but since I have never been one to limit my posts to only the non-offensive topics, here goes.  If you have rentals, you will likely have a problem with domestic violence at one time or another.  Especially if you take in low credit score tenants.  Here is how to deal with domestic violence effectively as a landlord.

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Should I Invest in my 401K or Real Estate?

401K or Real EstateThere are many people that have a 401K at their work place.  Some companies offer a 401K match.  So people wonder, should they invest in a 401K or Real Estate?   These people want some of the riches of real estate.  They want to purchase a rental property and they want passive income in retirement.  These people want to get rich, and they know many people have gotten rich with real estate.  It is their meal ticket out of their W2 job.

Here are my thoughts in where you should invest your money.  Remember, I am not an investment adviser (but I did stay at a Motel 6 several times).

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Landlord Tools for Maintenance

landlord toolsOne thing that will make you more productive as a landlord, is to be able to be more efficient.  Manage your time wisely, and you can be a Rockstar landlord.  When you get to a property, you should have the tools necessary to enable a common fix.  Some simple landlord tools.  If you have a few simple landlord tools, you can make a quick fix, and not have to make a special trip.  Or you can prevent damage that may occur if the fix is not done.

Here are a few landlord tools that I would not be without when I drive around to my rentals.  In fact, I always have them in my tool bag in my truck.  They are indispensable tools that I use regularly.

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How to Fix a Maytag F20 Error Code

Maytag F20 Error Code
Maytag F20 Error Code

This is a real-life example of how to diagnose and repair a  Maytag F20 error code on a commercial washer.  Specifically, it is Maytag model number MAH22PDAWW0.

When you have rental property, you are most profitable if you can do a few maintenance tasks yourself.  In this instance, the tenants texted me that the washer in the common area was not working.


Here is how I fixed the Maytag F20 Error Code.

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What To Do If Your Apartment Has No Heat

Rental Apartment Has No HeatOnce in a while, you will have a rental maintenance issue that you cannot permanently solve right away. When an apartment has no heat that is certainly one of them. There are several other types of issues like this. You may have a drain clog that you do not have the equipment to do yourself, it may be a weather-related issue, or it may be that you are just waiting on someone to do the work, or parts.

Here is an issue I came across in one of my apartments and how I eventually resolved it.

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Remodel On A Rental Property

DSC03956I am in the middle of a somewhat major remodel on a rental property.  It will require a few thousand dollars to get it back in shape.  The renter was not too bad, and they lived there for over six years.  They had good income, always paid on time, and left with proper notice.  Unfortunately, they were big-time slobs.

Although I was not able to show the unit while they were in there, as it was a bit messy, I was able to rent it for June 1st.  I rented it at a price $100 more to tenants without a pet, than the previous tenants rent that included a $25 pet fee.

Here is what I am doing to the property to turn it and prepare for future rentals.

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How to Purchase Rental Property at a Discount

DealA few months ago, I wrote a piece about another investment property purchase I was considering.  If you want to make money as a landlord in real estate, you must be able to purchase rental property at a discount.  As it turned out, that property never materialized, probably for the best.  I was going to be a partner on a $1.4M property, put up $100K+, and be a partner on a $1M loan.  I did not want to get stuck on a large loan, with limited mechanisms to get out.

As it turns out, all good things come to those who wait.  Here is a recap of my recent investment property purchase.  Remember, if you buy via the MLS, you are probably paying too much.

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How to Fix a Range Heating Element

Range ElementThis article is about how to fix a range heating element, but it is really about more than that.  It is about maximizing your existing revenue stream.  Making the most of what you have available to you.

When you own rental property out of state, you are at the mercy of everyone.  You need someone to respond to calls, you need someone to fix minor things, you need someone to drive by the property periodically, etc.  Every one of these events takes time and money.  Your money.  Your retirement and financial independence money.

This is a recent situation that happened to me.

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My Renter Bounced a Check

Bounced CheckIf you have been following along, you know that my rent collections are outstanding; this month I had trouble.  My renter bounced a check.  I have not had a truly late payment in several years, other than the one tenants that I inherited when I purchased the building.

I have had a few payments after the first, but always received before the late fee kicked in after the 5th, and have not collected late fees, or even waived them, for rent paid on or after the 6th in a long time.

However, I recently had a check returned to me from a payment that was not honored by the bank.  My renter bounced a check.  Yikes! my mortgage is due and I am short rent.

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How can I Vacation as a Landlord?

beach-641548_1280-PDIt’s been a few days (weeks?) since the last post.  All things are going well, September rent is starting to come in already.  I was out of the area in International Falls, MN for a few days, and did not have much of a cell signal.

I was able to keep in contact with my tenants, although no major issues were encountered.  As I begin the mental (and financial) transition to living on rental income alone, I have started to document the process and thoughts as I go.

While this blog is important to me, it has a lower priority than my real job, or my rental responsibilities.  It’s even lower than my daily 3-mile walks with my dog and girlfriend.  The dog certainly thinks so.  I do try to keep life in perspective, especially over the past year, as my true few ‘free’ hours are often commandeered by another higher priority task with very little notice.  I am slowly getting into the retirement mindset.

Here is how my recent vacation as a landlord went.

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