Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by Eric (NH)

Posted by al on May 23, 1999 at 22:30:37:

5 of the 18 children were grown up and not living with the lady.I was very desperate to put someone in this house,and i needed the money.The point also i should bring up is learn from others mistakes, and also be willing to keep a place empty until the RIGHT APPLICATION comes along.

Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by Eric (NH)

Posted by Eric (NH) on May 22, 1999 at 18:38:06:

I am curious as to the degree to which other landlords spend money making “non-essential” repairs and improvements.

In the past six months, I purchased a ten-unit, low-income property which is on a par, quality-wise, with student housing. I have heard from many of the tenants how the last owner either ignored maintenance requests or make vague promises which he never kept (which I am learning is how many landlords operate). However, I have difficulty doing business like this. Since owing the building, I’ve spent money on things like installing extra locks on the windows for a nervous tenant, reimbursing a new tenant for a carpet cleaner rental even though the carpets looked O.K. to me, replacing a damaged screen door which was removed by the previous owner, etc.

I know that the author of Landlording, Leigh Robinson, appears to follow the philosophy of making timely repairs so as to keep the property decent and to keep tenants happy. I tend to agree with this, and also believe that it is important to keep the property fully rented and to keep bad debt to a minimum, which I have done. In fact, in spite of having to spend close to 8k already on roof, deck, and furnace repairs, I’m still making approx. 1k per month profit on an initial cash down of 25k.

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to know if other landlords actually care about their tenants comfort, or I am crazy to spend any extra money than I have to?

Eric (NH)

P.S. While I have a soft spot for making repairs, I am pretty ruthless about collecting rent, and have sent numerous tenants “Notice to Quit” notices, which appears to have trained them now to pay promptly and with good funds.

Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on May 23, 1999 at 10:21:16:


I take a different view then Millie and Phil. If you had a rental that was not low income. I would follow agree with their advice.

Since it is low income housing, you are in a different arena. I would do the repairs that are needed including preventative maintenance. But don’t go crazy. I have found that lower income people by and large do not take care of the units real well. I would just make sure the place is safe and decent. I wouldn’t spend money on ceiling fans or fancy screen doors. It will probably go unapreciated and abused.

As for the carpet cleaning, I would let the tenant pay for it. I have found that these types of tenants will try to see how far they can push you.

You need to explain to them that they are not going to be living in a “Lexus” apartment paying “Yugo” prices. Just isn’t going to happen. I know so people may think that this is harsh, but the truth is the truth. In my experience, low income people just don’t treat apartments real well(NOTICE I SAID MOST NOT ALL).

Good Luck,

Tim Jensen

Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on May 22, 1999 at 19:59:04:


I agree with the way you are operating your apartment building 100%. I too spend money to upgrade my rentals and quickly get on a tenant complaint. A big part of becoming a good landlord and having tenants that will promptly pay the rent and want to stay on with you for a good length of time is addressing their concerns and fixing problems. And maybe at times even going the extra mile for them

The landlording business is really a people business. You treat the tenants well and they will normally likewise treat you and your property the same way.

As you mentioned, at the same time we do have to be hard nosed about collecting rent when it is due.

If you do not now subscribe to Mr Landlord newsletter you should.

Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by Eric (NH)

Posted by Eric (NH) on May 22, 1999 at 22:35:39:


Thanks for the feedback. In addition, I did get a few sample newsletters of Mr. Landlord, but I wasn’t impressed (especially not for the price). Maybe I’m just hard to please :).


Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by joan

Posted by joan on May 23, 1999 at 09:46:28:

i purchased a multi family home almost 3 years ago.
the house was fully rented when i purchased the
house. I did everything in reason for my tenants,
but the tenants came upon hard times, losing jobs,
quitting jobs. They did not care one way or another
if i got my rent…They simply stated to me “well,
then take me to Court” The tenants know they have 6
months before the actual legal eviction takes place. In the meatime they hold back the rent,saving their $$ to move on to another apartment. I have had damamged done, took the
proper legal steps, and still ended up losing
thousands of $$$ before they left…The housing
courts are filled with people who make this
a lifestyle, and they could care less…I am a
working class person and disgusted with rental
property income. Can you blame me? I haven"t
even come close to the torment my tenants put
me through…I now rent one of the apartments
and I have a friend in another apartment. I
still have one apartment empty and will be very
leary reting it…I myself bought the house as
an investment for my older years and this was not
in my plans. Disgusted landlord. Sometimes i just
want to sell the house, other times I get so mad
that i want to keep the house after all of this
crap…Is it worth it?? Can anyone shed some light?

Mr. Landlord - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on May 22, 1999 at 22:52:27:

I agree with you on your opinion of the “free sample” newsletters from Mr. Landlord.
However, after seeing this man speak at the convention in Dallas, I learned more in a couple of hours in how to increase cash flow from rentals than I could have elsewhere in months.
So, do not allow the bad FREE newsletters chase you from this guys good advice. He really does know what he is doing and is willing to share that advice. (even if at a price).
I do not have enough properties that I am renting out to subscribe, but I do know that as soon as I get my first multi-unit, I will get more info from Mr. Landlord.

Good luck to you,
Jim iL

Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by AL

Posted by AL on May 23, 1999 at 15:30:46:

I agree with PeteH.The first duplex i bought i rented to a lady that had eighteen children!! 18!!!,she had no job,had only part of the security deposite,and i let her move in!!TWO days after she had been there a property owner from up the street came to tell me he had just been burnt by this same lady.His property was destroyed.Needless to say she never paid rent,she tore-up the property,i didnt even get the rest of the security deposite!!! Its been 3 1\2 years since this has happen i now invest full time (i work for no one!)Dont give up!! read alot of landlording books and tape sets.The best two i can reccommend are DON BECKS course and CARLTON SHEET`S MANAGING SMALL PROPERTIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT.Get a real estate lawyer to write a lease in your best intrest(start with a standard lease to save on cost).Most important be a landlord that will fix things within 24hrs,will at times do extra little things,but one that demands tenants follow the lease or they must go,and check-check-and recheck out the one that will rent from you this is YOUR INVESTMENT!!! al

Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by PeteH(NYC)

Posted by PeteH(NYC) on May 23, 1999 at 14:53:17:

Prequalify, prequalify, prequalify. Check credit, check references, require sufficient income, confirm employment, and trust your gut a little.

In your case, you got stuck with inherited tenants and didn’t get the chance to be choosy before handing over keys. But it is possible to have a positive experience – even make friends with tenants! – if you spend extra energy investigating them first.

I would encourage you to give it another try, after you take some time to recover from the disappointment.

Re: Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by Eric (NH)

Posted by Eric (NH) on May 23, 1999 at 17:54:10:

How do you get eighteen people into a duplex? And why would you have let someone try!?!?

Eric (NH)