Cathy, I have a condo I rent. The renters have been very good tenants. Should I send a little something (card, basket) during the holiday season?
When it comes to your renters, it has to be all business. Business
and personal can't be mixed. Sometimes, during the holiday season,
I will send a holiday greeting via email. That is it, no cards or gifts!
I have a row of small apartments on a small street. The tenants all complain about snow in the winter in their drive and walkways. Am I responsible for keeping the property clear of snow since we live in a snowy climate or is it their responsibility to keep their drives and walkways clear? I have to listen to this every winter and I refuse.
There are several factors in this situation. The first begins with your
lease, do you have a clause about exterior maintenance in the lease? If not, you really should have a maintenance clause in the lease. Who does what type of thing? Also you mentioned that it is a row of apartments not a large complex. So do you maintain the properties or a management company? It varies from rental to rental. I have some that the management company does all the outside lawn maintenance and snow clean-up. I have some where the renters are responsible for their own lawn maintenance which includes leaves and snow clean-up.If you don't want to maintain their drives and walkways, spell it out in the lease. With rentals,
everything needs to be in the lease, no verbal agreements. Also,
if you are on a private road, not public, you are responsible for
keeping the road clear of snow.
Thank you Cathy, I own these apartments in a small town and have allowed the tenants to have dogs and cats. As a result I tell them they have to maintain their own yard areas (very small). I will make sure I get it in my lease that they take care of their own areas! That includes the snow!
Cathy, I am not a landlord but a renter. I live in a small white house that is very nice. However I am having a problem with green mold growing on the siding of the house. I am a single woman but my landlord tells me to rent a power washer and clean it myself. Should he not be the one responsible for something like this? Judy
Judy, you need to check your lease agreement. Does it say anything about exterior maintenance? It should state what the landlord is responsible for and want the renter is responsible for.
If the siding needed repair, the landlord should want to repair it. However, it would be their discretion as to whether they want to power wash it. I would suggest that you ask the landlord if they will pay for the rental of the power washer if you do it.
CATHY:I HAVE A QUESTION .IF A NEW TENANT SIGNS A LEASE,AND PAYS THE DEPOSIT AS NONE REFUNDABLE.TURNS THE UTILITIES ON , IN HIS NAME.A WEEK LATER CHANGES HIS MIND.WHAT PORTION IF ANY ,SHOULD THE LANDLORD REFUND? .AND WHAT ABOUT UTILITIES FEES. THANKS
Chris, you have to consider several things in this situation. First of
all, you need to know your state rental laws. Regardless of the lease, state law is applicable first. If your lease says the deposit is non-refundable, you don't have to refund it. If the state law says that
you have to, then you can deduct any expenses incurred from the
deposit. ( keys made, new ad, etc.) As far as the utilities go,
the renter will get his utility deposit back from that company. But
in my state and others, the landlord has to pay a fee to get the
utility back in their name. So that expense can be deducted from
the deposit if the deposit is given back.
What are some of the best "excuses" your tenants have for not paying the rent? One of my favorites is " I just got a new car and don't have
Enough money to pay the rent. "
I had tenants that could not pay rent due to the wife leaving her purse visible in a car during the Christmas shopping season. The car was broken into and the cops came out. And yet when my husband went to the apartment to open up vents for another apartment he had to go into their apt. to do so. Lo! and Behold! A tree stacked high with presents. Needless to say when they left they took whatever was not nailed down! Very disgruntled Landlord!
I have had very similar excuses used in my rentals. Christmas time
in particular can be a time of lots of excuses. The tenant may not
pay the rent but lots of presents are under the tree!
I live out of town and rented a basement apartment to what I thought was a waitress and a student. They had one small boy. What I did not find out later was there was a smaller baby, the woman was actually a stripper and they apartment was knee deep in just garbage. I found out about the stripper part when I went by and saw her "uniform" on a hanger stuck into the side of the house to dry. Can I kick this low life bunch out?
First of all, check your lease. What grounds do you have to terminate the lease? Non-payment of rent, people living there that aren't on the lease? You have to go by your lease. Does it include a monthly inspection of the property? If it does, what does it say about the condition of the property?
CATHY: HERE ARE A FEW EXCUSES. 1-I WILL PAY MY RENT AS SOON AS I COLLECT ENOUGH MONEY FROM MY TIPPING CUSTOMERS. 2-1 WILL PAY YOU ASAP,ONCE I GET MY MAILED CHECK FROM MY SISTER IN IOWA. 3- I WILL PAY YOU AS SOON AS I SELL MY TRUCK. HAVE A GOOD DAY.
I have heard every single one of the excuses you listed. The one
about selling the truck is a common excuse used. When they say
that, do they realize that they won't have a vehicle to get to work?
I think that the book is a great resource for people thinking about owning rental properties and it might make some think twice. Nice job !!
I'm glad you liked the book. If you are considering being a landlord,
it gives you a lot to think about!
Happy New Year!
This is a new year to start fresh with your rental properties. Did you make mistakes with your tenants last year? What are some things
You could have done better?
I could have written my lease out as to how the property was to be taken care of. I have renters in an older neighborhood across from a school. The house has a nice back yard and a very tiny front yard. Instead of doing cookouts in the back yard for some reason they put a picnic table out front that sits on the sidewalk along with lawn chairs. In addition to the big grill. I want to keep the neighborhood looking kept up while being a good landlord but the other neighbors don't like the cluttered mess and neither do I. I just wish I had thought to add a clause about upkeep of the lawn and no picnics in front of the house.
Judy, you can add a clause to your lease about the exterior property.
You can add that the front yard must be free of items and structure
Other than flowers and flower pots. I had a tenant who put a trampoline in their front yard. That is when I knew that I must state in the lease that certain items aren't allowed. Ex: ( playground structures, cars parked on the lawn, grills, trash cans,etc)
It is amazing what people will put in their front yards!
Cathy, I have tenants that have been renting (in NC) for a little over a year. They have not paid rent for January, so it is now 20 days late. I have called and text them. Last weekend we spoke and the renter stated that they had the money and it would be deposited. It hasn't. What should I do next?
Hi Gina, sorry but it is time to take action with your tenants. Remember that the further they get behind in their rent, the less likely you will get your rent. You need to give them written notice that you will be filing eviction papers. One you do that, file for eviction in your county. The sheriff will serve the papers with a court date. The court date is usually around ten days after being served. Get your lease, receipts and paperwork ready for the hearing. You will either get your Money or a judgement in your favor. Good luck!
I've been a Landlord for 20+ years