One of the most dreaded landlord moments is when a tenant calls about a water issue. In this case, my tenant texted me about water leaking into his garage. I know enough about my own buildings, that if water is leaking into a garage, and it is sub-freezing outside, it is not good. It could be a water heater leak, a drain pipe in the ceiling dripping, a supply pipe leaking, a water meter leaking, a bath tub over flow leaking, or a floor drain over flowing.
So, I had it narrowed down right away based on the text. It could be anything. I had to spring into action. Here is what I did.
There 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).
One 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.
If you are a landlord, you are likely interested in landlord tax planning. There is no better time to prepare for this year’s taxes than January 1 – of two years ago. If you waited too long, and are now worried about your taxes, there is only a limited number of things you can do.
I plan all year on my taxes. There are capital improvements to make, replacing items that may be working fine but will help keep a tenant or make it easier to get a new tenant. Ways to speed up expenses and possibly defer revenue.
Here are some things to ponder to help minimize any tax burden you have.
Once 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.
Risky tenants need co-signers. You are considering whether or not to allow a co-signer for a tenant. Should you?
Is the tenant a marginal tenant in terms of income, credit score or rental history? Or criminal record? Generally, a lower income person might want or need a co-signer to prove that they can pay. I understand the tenant needs help, but are you willing to take the risk? If the tenant is too high of a risk by themselves, can you mitigate the risk with a co-signer?
Here are a few of my thoughts on allowing a co-signer for a tenant.
If you are a homeowner, you likely have a garbage disposer. You may use it all the time. In a rental, it is a different story. It can be a constant maintenance item, it can leak, need to be replaced, or just plain smell bad.
Here is what I recommend on a garbage disposer in a rental property.
One of the most asked questions I asked of me, or I see on other forums, is how to hold rental property. Should it be an LLC, S-Corp, sole proprietorship, etc. I cannot speak to all the benefits of each method, but I can speak to what I have done with my properties. You may want to consult an expert (i.e. not me) to determine what is best for yourself.
Here is the way I hold rental property, and the reasons behind it.
When you are a landlord, you need to rent to good people. Screening tenants for your rental property will be the key to your success. The tenant can be of any race, religion, nation origin, etc. Screening tenants will determine the experience that you will have and how much money you have the potential to make regardless of any protected class. After all, making money is the goal of a landlord. Providing housing, is secondary.
I would say that almost all people with a credit score of 625+, and a household income of $45K a year with a rent of ~$1,125, with a minimal criminal background and a clean rental history will make for a decent tenant. Of course, a decent deposit will also be necessary.
Here are a few instances I recently came across with screening tenants, that shows what a landlord is up against in regards to tenant screening.