I recently had a tenant who told the neighbors that I sold the house to him on contract, when in fact, it was only a 6 month lease. He also was not paying for specific items and the lawn was a bit too long for even Yogi the Bear!
I know we are in a "big brother" world, but knowing thy neighbors by providing them with your contact information may give you the upper hand into knowing when things start to go (or grow) wrong.
It may not always be the best of choices if your neighbors are constantly complaining, but it sure helped me jump on some issues with this tenant this time....which kept the city of my back when Yogi lost his pic-a-nic basket in the front yard!!
We do try to get to know them during our rehab phase, and if they do not seem like wackos, we usually give at least one of them our contact info and let them know they can call us if they see any problems, even though we have a property manager. One of them actually is a wine distributor, so made a great connection, and we check in with him during our inspections to make sure everything is going fine.
Make a nice business card with your contact info and give it to neighbors who seem to be alert and who care about the good of the neighborhood. Let them know when to call you and check in with them periodically. If they are particularly helpful in some way, then reward them with a gift card. Make a note of their contact info too. It is good to have "eyes on the ground."
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