OK, I heard this from a friend of a friendâ¦. so I might be all wrong. I have been telling a friend how I might get into land lording. She has 2 friends who are landlords of duplex properties where they lived in half, then moved to a SFH and then kept the property as a rental, and did not pursue further real estate investing.
I told her of the philosophy of how you give notice the day after rent is late, and she said that there are rules about how you can't evict if there are kids in the home.
Are there any restrictions on evictions that you are aware of? I need to go to land lording class….
In NJ and FL, where we have rental properties, there are no restrictions on evictions with children in the family. We have evicted 3 times, and all the tenants had children.
To be sure of the rental laws in your state, have a consultation with an attorney that specializes in landlord/tenant law - not divorces, adoptions, or DUI's.
Oh, my friend Google…. look at this article, it is about Milwaukee County and written by a person involved in the landlord's association. Apparently the courts may have some "traditions" that they like to follow rather than the law???
@Karen M. yes there are local rules. It would be educational to attend your local court as an observer prior to actually owning property. You will have a better idea of what you are getting into. I read the article and it boils down to needing to know your local laws.
Bottom line is, you can evict tenants with kids if they don't pay. The court allows a "stay" which means the tenant gets to live there longer rent free but if they don't pay they will be evicted.
The key to landlording is careful tenant screening. Many landlords go their whole career without every having to do an eviction. I have not had to do an eviction but I have posted a number of notices.
Again, learn, follow and stay on top of your local laws if you are a landlord. When you don't know, hire and follow the advise of competent help and you will be fine.
I'll second what Bill S said above about tenant screening, it is of the utmost importance! In fact, I sent you a message earlier today, replying to your colleague request in which I mentioned a few things along those lines that I consider as the "building blocks" to being a landlord that makes a profit with a minimum of tenant issues:
-renting units that are clean, safe and offer some amenities that might be even a bit above what people normally expect for whatever price range it is in. I don't mean going overboard, but especially if you're rehabbing the place first, if its even just slightly better than the rest, you'll have multiple tenants interested in the place, assuming that . . .
-charge a rent amount that's fair for the location and condition of the unit, but not too high that potential tenants won't even bother applying. So, do some good research on what other landlords are charging for what type of units in that area
-assuming you do the first two, in an urban or suburban area, you should have multiple applicants, assuming that you also get the word out that you have a vacancy or one coming up (don't forget about referrals from current good tenants, too) and then comes the most important part-truly screening your tenants. Here in WI, we have CCAP, the circuit court website that lists the info on EVERY circuit court case in WI going back at least 10 years or more, although some of the older cases in Milwaukee County will say that it is a "converted case" and not give much info, but then you can google the statute # and get a good idea of what that case was about, at least in "legalese". Another thing I've learned is when checking past landlord references, do some checking on this "former landlord" as well, it only should take a matter of minutes, but you want to make sure you're really talking to their former landlord and not their brother in law POSING as their former landlord! (who of course, will give a perfect reference!)
As far as the law goes, I'd say WI is in the middle as far as landlord/tenant law goes, although its been getting better for the landlords lately. Some states are ridiculous as far as what tenants can get away with, especially ones who know how to game the system. That's when getting a bad tenant can honestly cause major harm to a small scale landlord. WI isn't like that and within the last year, the state legislature did tighten up several loopholes in the old laws as well.
I try hard to keep my politics or anyone else's politics out of my BP comments because it usually gets people nowhere when discussing real estate matters, who cares about politics. It is worth pointing out though that at least here in WI, the state's Republicans backed all the landlord friendly laws and law changes and the Democrats opposed them and have supported much more tenant friendly rules. WI's current Rep governor signed the bill, which I doubt would've happened with a Dem governor. The states that I've heard of where tenants can get away with murder are all generally "blue" states and the landlord friendly states are generally "red" states. Obviously, who you vote for in any election comes down to much more than their stance on landlord/tenant laws, but if you're going to be risking your finances and financial future on renting to tenants, it is something worth keeping in mind and I'll leave it at that!
The blog you linked to is written by Tim Ballering who is a major landlord in the Milwaukee area and one of the founders of the Apartment Association of SE WI. I'm a member of that group and for small time landlords it is $99 a year and among other benefits, you get a 2% rebate on anything bought at Home Depot AND 20% off of any paint from HD. I used to get 10% off and recently switched back to HD's Behr paint after being wooed away by SW to try their paint and I prefer the Behr paint, so I've paid for my membership many times over.
Actually, a couple more thoughts here:
-The city of Milwaukee has "landlord classes" and I think they're free and i've heard they cover a lot of this type of info.
-There's an attorney here in Milwaukee who has an excellent blog, mostly about landlord/tenant and real estate law which he practices right here, so its based on what's going on HERE! I'll have to look through my notes, but I can PM you the link.
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