closing on my first multi-family

4 Replies

Closing on my first multi-family this coming Friday. Im nervous and excited to start being a landlord. I am buying a triplex for 76,000 and the monthly income is 1250. Taxes and insurance about 2,400 a year. Not a bad deal I dont think. I am just wondering is there anything I need to do right away? Legal wise or tenant wise considering that all 3 units are occupied. Also I am going to send them a letter with my name and number and address. Is there anything else in the letter that I should let them know? Also if i am going to work in unit A do i have to let unit B and C know that i will be at the property? Any tips and information would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you

Hello Ben,

Congrats on your first purchase!  

We send out (or drop off) an intro letter to each new tenant like you said, including who to contact for repairs, where to send payments, and where their security deposit is being held.  Also include that you will be honoring their existing lease, and the rent and security deposit amounts.

If the landlord is paying for utilities, get those switched over into your name.  If they are not, talk to your energy company about a "Landlord Agreement"- ours will switch the bill back into my name when the tenant takes service out of their names, and will notify (and likely bill) us if the tenant is not paying.

Try to get as much information on the tenants as possible- names, contact info, applications, payment history, etc.  If they don't give it to you, give the tenants a form to fill out with the required information.  You should have copies of the leases already.

I don't notify tenants if I am not working on something that will affect them.  For example, working on something in a single unit, only notify that unit.  When we put insulation in the attic, I let everyone know since they might hear strange noises etc.  Same thing with painting the common areas, I let them all know.

When do your leases expire?  Figure out when you would need to start marketing vacancies- in some areas you wait until they are empty, but in my market I like at least 2 months before they move out, and more time is better.  I give my tenants a notice about whether or not we wish to renew their lease along with any changes to the rent and give them a month to decide if they want to renew their lease.  I let them know that if they don't let me know by the date given, the rent goes up to XX- which is the rent I would be advertising for a new tenant and generally $10-$25 higher than the price I gave them if they were to renew.  

Kelly

Congratulations Ben! I wish you the best. Kelly has given great advice.

@Ben Meade

Congrats!!  Welcome to landlordhood :)

Advice is good above.  Remember to turn your phone up all the way 24/7 at this point.  Sleeping through a water leak is not a good thing.  You are self managing the property, correct?

My initial tip to all new landlords is "draw a line in the sand" and be ready to redraw it several times.  You want a cordial relationship with your tenants, but not to be at their beck and call ever time a light goes out.  They are responsible for lightbulbs! <-- More than 50% of the tenants I have had over the years have called me to replace lightbulbs the first time they went out.

Yes I will be self managing. Thank you guys for all the information very helpful. I am currently looking for a blank space contracts and applications if there are any online anyone recommends please let me know thank you guys so much.

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