Newbie here.....with questions

9 Replies

Hello everyone, I just closed on my first rental property (duplex) in the DFW area. Biggerpockets has given me the motivation and courage to step out into REI. Reading and listening podcasts, posts and blogs has given me a good baseline to research and analyze possible deals. So thanks for everyone being open to sharing their experience (good and bad) on BP, it really helps individuals like me to get started.

One of the units I inherited one tenant, who has lived there for 4 years and I'm in the process on screening tenants for the other side.  I do have a few questions as a first time landlord......

1. The current tenant would like to split her payments, how do or can I accommodated her request, because the current lease agreement does not specify split payments?

2. I'm open to HUD approved applicants for the vacant unit and one applicant applied but she is approved for a 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment at $750 a month. My unit is a 2 bed 1 bath and below her approved amount, how will HUD view this if the paperwork is submitted?

3. Also, my wife and I will tackle this new venture together, so if anyone has any suggestions on how we approach this to maintain a healthy relationship, please feel feel to post them.   


@Jason L.  

Great job!  Congratulations.

1.  This one is simple.  She probably gets paid twice a month and would like to pay 1/2 and 1/2 out of the paychecks.  Just write a simple addendum to the existing lease stating that you are agreeing to allow the tenant to pay the monthly rent in 2 installments.  I would include a clause that states this option can be withdrawn, at either the landlord's or tenant's discretion with 45-days notice, which would cover a full 2 pay cycles.  The other thing I would be careful of is that you're either going to have 2 ensure she is paying 1/2 of the rent early, so that your mortgage payment is covered by the first, or be prepared to float 1/2 of each month's mortgage payment, until the 2nd installment is made each month.  The other option would be to see if the payment date on your mortgage can be adjusted to mid-month.

2.  I would contact the local housing authority.  Each region has their own rules.  The fact that you're below her max approved amount means she should be fine, but it is partly determined by what plan she is leveraging. 

3.  Not married, but my suggestion is to maintain transparency and have clearly defined roles, so you aren't stepping all over each other.  Agree on what decisions (like financial thresholds...anything over $x dollars) can be made independently and what decisions you will always make together or at least consult with the other on first.  Finally, I would have a underlying agreement that neither of you will ever attempt to force or coerce the other to agree to something and, in the event you can't or don't agree, you will walk away from whatever the opportunity is.

@Jason L.  

Congrats on stepping forward. 

When will you do the next deal?


@paultimmins I hope to do my next deal within next 3 to 6 months in the DFW area

@Hattie Dizmond  Thanks for your advice, I was under the impression that I could not adjust the terms of her lease agreement.  

Account Closed I hope to do my next deal within next 3 to 6 months in the DFW area, maybe a four plex or a subject to.

@Jason L.  

I personally do not allow split payments. With 9 rentals, a full time, a husband,a  a ob and a life. I couldn't keep track. So that is personal preference. If you do allow split payments I would add a premium to make it worth your time. My two sense.

My husband is my partner. Real Estate is my thing, and he just supports me. This works very well for us because there is no competion. He is all in it now, but he wasn't in the beginning. We did the baby step approach. As we got further along, and I showed him success he became more engaged and interested. I would say the key is to work together but understand that one person might gravitate towards doing more work in some areas. 

The other thing that I love about him not being in the trenches. Is he can offer a AMAIZNG outside perspective. He is also the first person to review all my documents and make sure I didn't screw up. We have been at this for 3 years and things have CHANGED a TON since we started. We have kept our goals in site (retiring in 15 years) and been flexible about everything else.


Congrats on the duplex purchase!

You can adjust the lease terms if you both agree to do so, so it should be mutually beneficial.  She gets split payments, you get late fees built into the payment plan.

As far as spouses working together, get ready for friction!  Ha ha ha.  You may want to listen to my podcast, #79, we touched on that.  Agree that having defined roles and allowing that spouse to control that area unless it is a big issue is best.  Agree to disagree.  I refuse to move tenants in now unless I did or supervised the cleaning, since I have a different standard of clean.  It isn't a point of frustration to fight about each time, he just knows he has to handle that task if I wasn't involved in order to avoid the fighting.

@Jason L.  

You can't adjust the terms of the lease arbitrarily or coerce her into accepting a change.  However, you can adjust the terms, if the adjustment is mutually agreed upon.  In this case, your tenant is requesting the adjustment, so there should be no issue.  However, it is entirely your decision, since she is still bound by the same original terms.

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