Category Landlord Basics

Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries! (Plus More Tips For Winter)

smokedetbattery

It’s that time of year again.  We’re about to “fall back” and gain an extra hour in our day.  In addition to changing your clocks, PLEASE be sure to change your batteries and TEST all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace units over 5 years old.  Replace any unit that has been painted over.  And replace any unit that appears damaged, or does not test properly.

Here are a couple other things you should be considering, as we enter the winter season here in Buffalo:

1.  Have your furnace serviced.  Don’t just change the filter!  Have the unit cleaned, the thermocouple checked, be sure the pilot is lit, be sure the unit is operational, and have your heat exchanger checked for cracks.  A cracked heat exchanger can expel deadly carbon monoxide gas!
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Landlord Basics: Should You Keep A Bad Tenant?

drywallhole

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

From time to time as you purchase buildings, you may inherit tenants that come along with them.  If a tenant is paying their rent on time every month and taking care of the property, this is a very good thing.  However, if a tenant is not taking care of a property, it can cause issues down the line when that tenant moves out.  Some of these tenants will pay rent on time every month, and never call with concerns.  Others will make themselves more evident by either not paying rent, calling constantly, or both.

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Landlord Basics: Checking Tenant References

tenantscreening

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

Tenant screening is an important, but often overlooked, responsibility of the investor.  Prospective tenants are not always truthful on their rental applications (assuming one was filled out to begin with!).  Because of this, it is important to check prospective tenant references.  This is a quick and dirty guide to the questions you should ask.

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Landlord Basics: Setting Up For A Showing

brokershowing

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

Showing apartments can be a headache if you don’t have a system down for scheduling showings and preparing yourself for the showing.  Not being prepared can have a negative impact on your showing, and potentially lose a renter.  Take these steps to get ready for a showing, starting with scheduling appointments!

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Landlord Basics: Collecting Rent & Payment Methods

collectrent

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

One of the best parts of being a landlord or real estate investor is collecting the monthly rent check.  Deciding what forms of payment you will accept can determine the amount of work you will have to do on the back end.  Some payments are more beneficial than others, but ultimately most investors elect to use multiple methods to make the tenant’s life (as well as their own) easier.

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Landlord Basics: Move In Move Out Condition Inspection Reports

inspection

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

Tenants come, tenants go.  Over the course of your career as a real estate investor, you’ll likely see a lot of tenants come and go, both good and bad.  Being able to protect yourself when a new tenant comes and an old tenant leaves is important, especially when it comes to returning the security deposit.  Having a move in and move out condition inspection reports will help you document the state of a rental before and after tenant use.

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