Category Real Estate

Response To House Flipping Rate Decline

Warning: This is an rant editorial!

Recently, the Buffalo News published an article [here] about the declining rate of home flips in the Buffalo, NY area.  The article sites stricter regulations for out of area purchasers as well as other “anti-flipping measures” that have been put in place to prevent someone from purchasing cheap real estate and immediately flipping it for a large profit.

Having worked in real estate and property management, I have seen this happen a few times.  There are even some companies and agents who are well known for such practices.  I’m not calling out anyone on their ethics here, but this is a practice that should rightfully be stopped.  These are the people who give out of area investors a bad name, usually slumlord.

My problem is the limits the new...

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Landlord Basics: Writing A Letter Of Violation

(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.)

Update: You can now get a sample Letter of Violation [here].

It should come as no surprise that occasionally, a tenant won’t do what they are supposed to.  It could be something as simple as not moving the garbage bins back from the curb (which is a $55 fine in Buffalo, last I checked), to not mowing their lawn (also a fine in Buffalo, but I can’t recall the amount.)  If these are things that the tenant is responsible for in the lease, you should write and serve a Letter of Violation.

A Letter of...

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Landlord Basics: Entering Occupied Apartments

(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.)

Entering an occupied apartment can be a challenge for a landlord.  Many tenants will not have an issue with the landlord entering their property as long as they are notified.  However, uncooperative tenants insisting that you can’t come in, even to do maintenance, can be a real headache.  And the tenants do have their rights. Generally, as long as the tenant is quietly enjoying their apartment as defined in their lease, you must provide notice before entering their unit.

If a tenant calls in a maintenance item, be sure to clarify a few fa...

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Landlord Basics: Organizing Property Files

(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.)

Organizing the files you keep on a rental property can become a real challenge, especially as your portfolio grows.  By starting early, and having a defined system for dealing with paperwork as it comes in, you can lower stress and prevent paperwork overload!

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A Rental Story From Mom

I was speaking to my mother today, on the phone.  My mom, who owned several rental properties at one point, decided to tell me about one of the tenants that she thought was just peachy, until they moved out.

These were the model tenants, the kind that every landlord and investor hopes to get, for every unit, every time.  They were a younger couple with no kids, but they had 2 cats.  Their rent was always in on time (if not early!) every month.  They kept the place well.  He did a lot of the little repairs himself, and there were never any problems.

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Landlord Basics: Lease Clauses

(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.)

The Landlord Basics series has covered a few different aspects of leases so far, from basics such as what a lease is and what it does (here), to security deposits (here), to late fees (here).  The lease is between a landlord and tenant is so important, that I wanted to do another entry on some various clauses you may want to consider adding to your leave to protect your investment.

These are just ideas from clauses, and if you are looking for specific wording you should check with your lawyer, a local real estate agent, or perhaps someone in your investment club.

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