i’ve been trying to get a partner to invest in the city, but my friends are scared. so it looks i’m going to go about it alone. What is your everyday experience in managing a couple of units part time in not the most desireable block in the neighborhood?
screen your tenants well - regardless of where the unit is located.
your friends are scared of the business, not the neighborhood. they’re not going to live in the place.
do u collect the rent personally, by mail, or by property manager?
Been doin it for about a year now. I’ll share my revelations if you forgive my spellins’
It helps if they think you are a little crazy. The key to this is to be weirder than them. Yes it’s a psychological game. I’ve found lately when they are late, before I drive over and bang on their door, take a shot of whiskey so they can smell it on your breath. They are scared of drunks and I try to use it to my advantage. When you are counting change for the rent, I like to take my gun out of one pocket and put it in the other and mumble something about your previous prison time has persuaded you to now carry a gun.
Here in the south, I’ve noticed that the only thing these people respect or hate is religion. Use it to your advantage. I have taped jesus posters in the windows to deter theft. Also when you get bummed for a dollar, tell them you don’t have it but you have a prayer for them. Start asking them to attend you local church and just start preaching about the word of god. Trust me, they will not ask you anything again.
I’ll try to think of some more later
What steps do you take to screen a tenant? Is there a checklist you use?
It helps if they think you are a little crazy. The key to this is to be weirder than them. Yes it's a psychological game. I've found lately when they are late, before I drive over and bang on their door, take a shot of whiskey so they can smell it on your breath. They are scared of drunks and I try to use it to my advantage. When you are counting change for the rent, I like to take my gun out of one pocket and put it in the other and mumble something about your previous prison time has persuaded you to now carry a gun.
I feel compelled to comment on this post. I hope that you were joking, but I’m afraid that you weren’t. Taking a shot of whiskey and playing around with a handgun when interacting with tenants is a VERY POOR IDEA. Furthermore, talkiing about doing time in prison in combination with showing your handgun (or mumbling something about it) would give the tenant good reason to call the police as convicted felons are prohibited from carrying concealed handguns in most states.
I would strongly urge you to take carrying a handgun a LOT MORE SERIOUSLY! Trying to intimidate tenants with a handgun could easily land you in jail, which would be completely justified in my opinion.
I’ve never been a landlord and when I become one I won’t have direct contact with the tenants. My step dad has owned single family rentals and currently owns 4 apartment complexes.
His “trick” to dealing with tenants is that there is no trick, regardless of the neighborhood. Screen your tenants well and if they are late on the rent… evict them. Rent is due on the 1st and if it’s late he starts the eviction process.
The whisky and gun game your playing sounds a little crazy to me…
Screening tenants begins with a written list of application requirements. This helps to prevent discrimination lawsuits, and it lays your cards on the table. Applications are processed, one at a time, in the order received, and qualified applicants are offered lease agreements, one at a time, in the order received:
Applicant must be at least 18 years old or legally emancipated, or married to a person who is at least 18 years old or legally emancipated. All adults must fill out a separate application and pay a separate processing fee.
Credit: Applicant must have acceptable credit history. No history of 30 day late pays on rent, no more than one rent late pay per year, no bad credit, followed by bankruptcy, followed by more bad credit, no evictions, and no credit history will be considered to be negative credit history.
Occupancy: Our policy is 2 people per bedroom plus 1.
Income: Legal and verifiable applicant income must equal 2.5 times the monthly rental rate; at least one applicant must qualify for the income requirement. Debt to income ratio should demonstrate the ability to pay rent.
Rental History: Applicants must have a positive verifiable rental history for the previous four years. Lack of rental history will be considered negative rental history.
Co-signers: We do not accept co-signers for bad credit or insufficient income. This Property is not a Section 8 rental.
Pets: Pets must be negotiated in writing with an increase in the security deposit of $400.00 each for cats or dogs, $300.00 for each birdcage or cage. Aquariums greater than 12 gallons must be completely insured. Service dogs are not considered pets.
Smoking: No smoking in living areas.
Application Fees: Each application must include a fee to cover the costs of obtaining information, not to exceed 30 dollars per person. This is a flow through expense.
Criminal: We have a legal responsibility to prevent or stop behavior which may present a nuisance or danger to persons or property. Criminal convictions will be evaluated in compliance with this mandate.
Screening: Manager may research applicant history for income, expenses, credit, crime, employment, and evictions. The application may be denied for any of the following reasons: charge offs or bankruptcy, prior eviction or foreclosure, insufficient income, unfavorable references, incomplete or unverifiable application information, false application information, or dangerous behavior.
The “incomplete or unverifiable application information” is an ace in the hole…most prospective tenants who will be problematic lie on their applications…you just need to figure out where.
You should still be able to get credit reports, but you need to have your business inspected.
You should be able to go to the county website and find out if they have been a plaintiff or defendant in criminal or civil lawsuits.
Go to the National Apartment Association and find out if they have any local entities (For me, it’s the California Apartment Association and the Rental Housing Association of Sacramento Valley). Not only do I use the CAA forms, but I also have taken property management classes through the Rental Housing Association; as memory serves, the classes are a few hundred dollars, but worth every cent.
The lease agreement specifies that the tenants are supposed to mail the rent to PO Box blah blah… and that if the rent is postmarked after the 3rd, then they have a late charge.
I have found that many poor people are honest and hard working. I would not have a problem buying in a low rent or low income district. I would not buy in a war zone. If the area is notorious for street gang violence, would starting a neighborhood watch program result in violent retaliation? I would not want a constant interaction with these types of people, and I would happily pay more money down to cash flow a property in a nicer area. Also, starter homes in middle class neighborhoods are much more likely to appreciate than fourplexes in inner city slums.
Easy now, I don’t suggest getting drunk and going over with a gun, but you have to understand what your dealing with. These are uneducated border line criminals who only understand harder street life that many of us don’t know. Furthermore, my tenants constantly size me up. And I try to let them know I am not a push over. These people have zero respect for law abiding citizens. They need to be scared of me, or at least a wee bit afraid of what might happen BEFORE they cause trouble. Rules defined in my lease or state tenant-landlord laws just don’t have the same response as an apparently belligerent landlord.
Isn’t there a better class of tenant that you can find that you don’t have to do this to? I mean, if someone is a borderline criminal that you need a gun, why the hell are they in your units? Surely you can screen for better tenants. I think your asking for trouble with your tactics. Keep in mind that you may “scare off” or “piss off” GOOD tenants. Good tenants will ( and rightfully so) find a landlord who won’t treat them like scumbags. So all you’re left with are the riff raff that can shoot you in the back on your way to your car. :shocked