Do you have a tenant that is driving you crazy and who is running your business for you?
Almost every landlord has one tenant whose sole goal in life is to torment you until you give in and do what he or she wants you to do.
Dealing with tenants that can’t pay their rent is part of the job of being a landlord. Be firm, consistent and don’t alter your policies to meet their inability to pay rent on time.
Potential Tenant Has Terrible Credit
A potential tenant has terrible credit, but you won’t know unless you actually run the credit of every person that applies to rent your home. This person will do everything in his power to get you to rent to him without running his credit!
As a landlord, I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to run the credit of every single person that applies for one of your rentals because it will help you identify the tenant that has terrible credit. Think of it as like playing Russian Roulette if you don’t run credit checks.
Many potential tenants that you talk to will have bad credit but every so often one will be the worst you have seen to date. The key is to find a tenant with credit challenges that you can live with.
Being a Landlord is Not for the Faint of Heart
Being a landlord can be fun, exciting, scary and stressful all at the same time! Are you brave enough to be a landlord? We have talked about this before. Being a landlord can be very challenging and is not for the faint of heart.
First, you have to be skilled enough and in some cases lucky enough, to be in the right place at the right time in order to get a good deal on property.
Did you know you can rent your rental home using an open house?
Your rental home is ready to show, so what is the best and most time efficient manner to show your home to screened tenants? Quickly and efficiently rent your rental home using an open house.
An open house is a great idea for a home that has a lot of interest. Occasionally we have a house that the phones just ring off the hook for and scheduling that many appointments would be impossible. This is the perfect scenario to use to rent your rental home using an open house.
Should you allow pets in your rental properties? Let’s take a minute and talk about what can happen if you do because you need rules and policies in place. Allowing pets in your rental properties opens up your pool of renters but also increases your headaches!
Early one bright and sunny Tuesday morning, one of your tenants calls into the office with a maintenance issue. The kitchen faucet is leaking, could you send someone out right away to fix it.
The tenant won’t be home and Fluffy, his small dog, (which is on the lease) will be locked in a crate in the bedroom, so just come on in.You happen to have a maintenance person in the area who has time to run by to take a look at the problem.
[ctt template=”11″ link=”E229D” via=”no” ]I know many landlords that don’t allow pets and I know for a fact that the tenant usually just hides the pet. [/ctt]
BIG AGGRESSIVE DOG
The next thing you know, your maintenance person calls you. He angry because a large dog came out of nowhere, chased him out of the house and almost bit him!
“In the real estate business, you learn more about people, and you learn more about community issues, you learn more about life, you learn more about the impact of government, probably than any other profession that I know of.” — Johnny Isakson, U.S. senator
“Now, one thing I tell everyone is learn about real estate. Repeat after me: real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values and the least risk.” — Armstrong Williams, entrepreneur
SYSTEMS AND FORMS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS RUN SMOOTHLY
Effective systems are a must in order for any business to run smoothly. They make the day to day running of the business much easier to handle.
Anyone can have systems, but you have to have the right systems.
Systems can be formal or informal.
Informal procedures aren’t always written down. It might be an informal procedure that the first person in the office every morning makes coffee for example.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”t0bZ7″ via=”no” ]For a landlord, having systems in place and following them are imperative in order to be a successful.[/ctt]
Formal procedures or systems should have documented and well-established steps. For a landlord, having systems in place and following them are imperative in order to be a successful.
There should be systems in place for:
• Pre-screening a prospective tenant
• Showing your rentals
• Running credit
• Qualifying a tenant
• Signing the lease
• What they need at the lease signing
• Move-in packet
• Filing a maintenance request
• Resolving problems
• Move-out packet
Move Out Procedure
For example, a specific set of protocols need to kick in whenever a tenant gives notice to vacate your rental.
If the tenant mails their notice, someone should contact them via phone to confirm that the notice was received and then should be told about the move-out packet.
If the tenant calls the office, inform them that he needs to put it in writing and get it to the office as soon as possible.
In both cases, the packet needs to be mailed the same day. This is a formal procedure that should happen each and every time a tenant gives notice.
The date the package was sent should be noted on an online calendar and a note to follow up in five days to see if the tenant received it.
The tenant needs to be contacted 4 or 5 days later in order to discuss the move-out package over the phone with the tenant and make sure everyone understands what is expected.
Without the proper forms to help you manage all of this information, your business would be full of chaos, making it much more difficult to manage everything.
Failure to send the move-out packet can, for example, lead to tenants forgetting to call you to have the utilities switched. This may not be a major problem, but it is hard to do a move-out inspection with no utilities.
Having a system in place for utilizing quality forms to gather information and to track communications with your tenants is a great way to keep your business flowing smoothly. Using appropriate forms sets expectations for your tenants and they will know what is expected of them.
Systems Protected You
Having systems and forms that correspond with them will also protect you legally. Let’s say you need to evict a tenant.
You will need to have a lease that the tenant signed that has the address of the property, the effective dates and the payment amount and schedule, just to name a few things that must be on the lease.
Remember, the lease is a form and it is also a legally binding document. It is a very important part of your system.
A properly executed lease will allow you to go to court, establish that the tenant does indeed owe you money and that the tenant is in default.
Forms are great and are a necessary part of your business. Be sure and use them consistently, for every single situation where required. Don’t make exceptions and allow someone to not follow your systems.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”LH7mS” via=”no” ]Forms are great and are a necessary part of your business.[/ctt]
Don’t have any forms?
Grab this packet that we use for every single move-out.
This packet is easy to customize with your business logo, phone number, address, etc.
“Tenant Notice To Vacate” Form. This form is included in every single lease and we cover this form at the time the lease is signed. Some tenants are very organized, remember they have it, and actually turn it in when giving notice. However, if the tenant doesn’t have it, we either email it, fax it or mail it to the tenant. We ask them to fill in the date they called us on the form as the date they gave notice, fill out the form, then get it back to us. We put it in their file.
“Move Out Reminder” Form. This form is mailed out to the tenant when they give notice. It is in list form and details everything we expect them to do prior to moving out. It can be modified as needed. For example, our apartment tenants are not responsible for cutting the grass, so we remove that.
“Settlement Charges Guide” Form. This is simply a complete list of everything the tenant can potentially be charged for when they move out. Some tenants are great and leave the unit clean and ready to rent. Others trash it. This form will need to be customized by you to reflect your charges.
“Clean-up & Large Item Removal” Reminder. The biggest headache we face after the tenant moves out is having to dispose of all the stuff the tenant left behind. Computers, televisions, furniture, mattresses, etc. are a nightmare. Every effort is made to get the tenant to dispose of their stuff properly.
BONUS: “Eviction and How It Affects You” Letter. Many tenants have no idea how the eviction process works. This form is included in every lease packet and it is covered at the time the lease is signed. This letter is also sent out when the tenant gets behind on the rent along with the 7 day letter.
The Move Out Forms package is $9.99. Download it immediately and start using it in your business today.