Archive for November, 2011

General Landlord Obligations

“Oh no, you’re not letting some slumlord take your hard earned money. I’ll fix it. I used to do that kind of thing all the time when I was a slumlord” (NBC’s Community http://www.nbc.com/community).  This might seem like a funny line to you, but it is also something that can get you into a lot of trouble.  Following is a checklist of things you must accomplish before, during, and after occupancy for your tenants and yourself.

  1. Property: The Property must be in livable condition.
  2. Repairs:  Must be made before the tenant moves in.  Also, any repairs during occupancy must be fixed by you, the landlord..
  3. Utilities:  Do not turn off your tenant’s water, electricity, or gas.  Make sure to inform your tenant when the disconnect will occur upon their move in. They will need proper time to transfer the utilities into their name.
  4. Move: If you plan to sell or transfer ownership of your property you MUST notify your tenants of the change immediately.
  5. State by State Statutes:  Each state has its own laws.  NOLO has a great posting of each one  http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chart-landlord-tenant-state-laws-29016.html

Remember that it’s your business.  You want to make sure you’re not liable for anything, and following these basic principles is a start.  You will want to look up your individual state’s laws as well.

 

Thanks,

 

Brandon C Varn
President Accurate Credit

 

 

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Landlord Tenant Communication

Remember those fights with your parents or siblings when you were younger?  Well believe it or not, these types of back and forth fights are easy to come by. Especially as a landlord.  You will be surprised by the type of ‘conversations’ you can manage to get yourself into with a tenant. Keeping the Tenant Landlord lines of communication open are essential to good business relations.  There are many factors that you want to consider when addressing your tenants.  It is important to remember that what your tenants are doing and thinking is very important.  Without this knowledge, chaos can ensue.  Some of the more note worthy steps you will want to take are.

  1. Contact: Ensure an easy way for your tenants to get a hold of you.  Whether it’s through an email you check daily or a cell phone you have on you at all times.  Making sure your tenants know how to contact you is very important.
  2. Honesty:  Never be afraid to be open with your tenants, and let them know they should always be open with you.  If for some reason this does not happen, the lines of communication can break down and create serious problems.  Remember the truth is something you want.
  3. Respect:  Always treat your tenants with the respect you would want to be treated with.  Listen to what they have to say.  Make sure you are both clear about any and all subject matters that pertain to your landlord tenant relationship.
  4. Record:  Record all communications with your tenant.  This is something that can be tricky to accomplish, but keeping a notebook or Smartphone is a great way to handle this.
  5. Presumptions:  Do not make it a habit to assume things.  This is the biggest way communication will break down.  Make sure to get first hand information and always ask the hard questions.

Listening is a key element to good communication skills.  This is your property and you are the landlord, but making sure you and your tenant’s voice is heard will do nothing but improve your relationship. Having a happy tenant will save you money in the long run.

 

Thanks,

Brandon C Varn

President

Accurate Credit Bureau

 

 

Money Pitfalls

There is a word that every Landlord knows in America, Money.  It doesn’t matter where you live or who you are.  As a Landlord you will be susceptible to money pits.  I know I have been called a million times as a Landlord myself.  Selling me things from insurance, new mortgages, to dream vacations.  Not to mention the financial stress a bad tenant can put us in as well.  Knowing these money pitfalls will help you to devise a plan to avoid them.

  1. Banks.
    1. Credit Card’s
    2. Overdraft Fees
    3. ATM fee’s
    4. Interest Rates
  2. Personal
    1. Expensive Hobbies
    2. Expensive Habits
    3. No Comparison Shopping
    4. Impulse Buying
  3. Financial Choice
    1. Buying too expensive vehicle
    2. Not setting money aside for emergencies
    3. Not reading through a lease thoroughly
    4. Not Managing your budget

These are just a few of the dangerous sinkholes you can fall into.  Hopefully knowing some of these pitfalls will help you to avoid them.  Remember to always think something through before you spend money on it.  You might find something less expensive but the same quality.  You might even find yourself not needing whatever it is anyway.

 

Thanks,

Brandon C Varn

President

Accurate Credit Bureau