How to Handle Utilities as a Landlord

Handle Utilities as a LandlordIf you were like me as a landlord starting out, you are buying older properties.  Probably multifamily rentals, if you can afford it.  Often older properties are not set up for multiple families, even though they are being used for that purpose.  There are single meters in a multifamily property.  Even large properties have single water meters.  You probably wonder how to handle utilities as a landlord.

Here is how to handle utilities as a landlord for your properties, multifamily or single family.

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Returning a Renter’s Security Deposit

Saving-MoneyIf you are a landlord, you are certainly taking a renter’s security deposit at some point.  You may call it a damage deposit, security deposit, or just plain extra rent.  In most cases, you will have to return all or some of it back to the renter at some point.  And you have to return it correctly.

If you are going to be sued as a landlord, this is the number one reason why you will be sued, and you will likely lose.

States have various laws on how the deposit is supposed to be kept and how it must be returned.  Here is how I do it in Minnesota.

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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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When Should You Evict a Tenant?

Evict a tenantThere comes a time in most landlord’s life, when you have to evict a tenant.  It’s not a fun thing to do, but neither is paying someone else’s rent, which is what you do when you let a tenant skip a rent payment.   It is not fun to see a new TV in the living room of your tenant, and wonder why your rent is not paid.  Maybe you see a new hair style, or manicure, and no rent paid.  Maybe it is a trip to Disney Land, Baja, or Cancun and no rent paid.  You need to learn when to evict a tenant.  Here is what I go by.

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Tips to Help Enhance The Curb Appeal of your Rental Property

The following article is a Guest Post by

Tips to Help Enhance The Curb Appeal of your Rental Property

As a landlord, the last thing you want is for your property to remain vacant for long. That translates to a loss of rental income. Hence, you need to make every effort to ensure your units are market ready and always inviting to prospective renters. An effective way to do so is by enhancing the curb appeal of your rental property. Homes with presentable exteriors rent quickly and tend to fetch higher rental prices. If you are looking for ways to go about it, the following are simple tips to get you inspired.

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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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How to Manage Out of State Rental Property

how to manage out of state rental property.I get asked quite a bit whether a real estate investor should buy out of state rental properties.  When you do not live in the same state, or even within a few miles of your rentals property, things can get very complicated.  You have to learn how to manage out of state rental property, or learn how to manage them when you are out of state.

How do you turn and show a property?  How do you check to see of a simple repair is needed?  Can you just flip a circuit breaker, or do you need to call in a electrician?

My rentals are all within about 10 miles of my own home, most are within 3 miles.  Now that I no longer have a full-time job, I do not want to be tied to my home base.  There are business meetings, and conventions in out of state areas that I may want to attend.  I may want to set up an off-site corporate meeting for my own company, and yet still manage the properties myself.

Here is a recent example of how I handled several repairs while I was on a trip to Branson, MO. Continue reading “How to Manage Out of State Rental Property”

How to Manage Out of State Rental Property

Out of state rental property
The Deck (at 50 degrees)

For those of you who follow my Blog, you know that my properties are very close to my own home.  All are within a few miles; the furthest is seven miles away.  It may not always be that way, and sometimes you will need to manage your properties from a distance.  Even if your properties are close, if you move, perhaps to a retirement location, you will need to know how to manage out of state rental property

I wrote a previous article on long distance property management about this a while back.  I also wrote about the disadvantages of having to manage out of state rental property.

The secret to managing any property is to have great tenants. Great tenants can think ahead, and can anticipate issues before they occur.  They take action to avoid having a problem.

Regardless of where you live in relation to your properties, you need to be able to manage them effectively.  Whether they are 7 miles away, or 700 miles away, you need to set yourself up so that you do not have to be on-site as often.

My recent trip to Florida will illustrate an example that can help.

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How to Fix a Delta Shower Faucet Leak

Delta Shower ValveWhen you are a landlord, you can either hire out all the maintenance, or do some of them yourself.  I do much of it myself, and it saves a TON of money.  When you are in doubt about how to fix an item, odds are, there is someone out there, with a YouTube video, who has dedicated their life to helping you fox the issue.

This bit of maintenance to fix a shower faucet leak started simple enough.  It was a quick text by a tenant saying her bathtub faucet was leaking.  Then a phone call.  When you get a text and phone call, it becomes a bit more serious…

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How to Handle Tenant Disputes: Part II

tennis-court-338537_1920In an earlier post, we talked about using the good cop/bad cop method to resolve tenant disputes.  But if you own and manage the property by yourself, that doesn’t really work.  If you fully commit to the split personality, you might be sent to a mental institution.  So if you’re flying solo, you have to take a different approach.

This post is compliments of Amy aka “YETInvesting”.

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