Posted by Mike-OH on April 19, 2006 at 12:10:51:
The number of hours per month for any given unit is very low, maybe averaging one hour per unit. Obviously, I won’t have any formal contact with many of the tenants between monthly rent pickups. Having said that, I almost always have something to do. I do this full time and try to accomplish some task everyday. Fixing things, painting (inside or out), etc can occupy some portion of every day. As I am in town doing things, I try to at least drive by each apartment building every day. I often stop long enough to be seen and walk through the common areas of the buildings. Just showing a presence really makes a difference with low income tenants.
The other thing that occurs with low income tenants is that there are a lot of illegal activities. Most are relatively minor (noise, drunk and disorderly) but at least every other month there seems to be a major issue (drugs, assaults, etc). Often this is not the tenant, but one of their friends who has moved in (in violation of the lease). I have had three incidents in the past couple of weeks. One of my Section 8 tenants was arrested for assault and criminal trespass. Another Section 8 tenant had a 18 year old child who was arrested for disorderly conduct. Another Section 8 tenant let her criminal son move in and he is causing trouble. I already gave him and his scumbag friends a warning and I will be kicking him (them) out in the next day or two (and probably having the tenant arrested for a parole violation - back to the pen for her).
Dealing with these low class tenants takes some getting used to. It can become quite intense when you first start, but gets better with a little time and experience.
As for cash flow, I insist on getting 2% of the purchase price each month in gross rent AND must have a positive cash flow that is at least 1/2 of the mortgage payment AND $200 per unit minimum.
Hope that helps.