New Landlord / Investor would like advice

9 Replies

So, I will be closing on my 1st property on 5/2. It will be an owner occupied building in East Garfield park.  3 unit building with 2 3bd 2ba, and one 6bd 4ba duplex down. The units are 1500 sqft. The building already has long term tenant and I will be going in making a profit.  The building is located on Warren blvd, just next to the park, from all account it seems to be a pretty quiet street.   As a new landlord, what tips would you provide to me to make sure I continue to be profitable and grow?   Also, can I ask what your average water bill is?  I saw that this building  had a 1000.00 water bill for a quarterly bill, that isn't good.  How do you control your water bills?  I feel that EGP is really going to take off with the growth that is coming in the West Loop.  What is your take?  

I love that the tenants are long term.  One has been there 12 years, the other 6 years.  I actually have to end the lease of a tenant that has only been there 2 years so that I can move in.  This will be my 1st time doing this, any advice on how to handle it?

get familiar with Chicago’s tenant laws. You need to give the tenant proper notice. And get ready for the possibility of an eviction. - which can take 3-4 months. If you haven’t done this before, consult your real estate attorney. And have them help you serve notice. These things HAVE to be done the right way. And if you start out doing it wrong....and it goes to eviction.... you may have to start the process all over again. 

There are a lot of “professional tenants” in EGP. 

@Bret Rankin What do you mean exactly by "I actually have to end the lease of a tenant..."? I am not 100% certain but that sounds illegal. You take on the lease when you buy the property and you must see it through until the end of the terms, unless they are breaking the lease in some way. Be careful with these processes and make sure to read up on your local/state laws and consider asking an attorney.

Congrats on the purchase and good luck!

Hello Bret,

Congratulations on your investment purchase. I wanted to jump in for a quick second and introduce myself. I am a local real estate attorney that would be happy to chat with you if you feel you need some guidance. I say this because the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) is a bit tricky to navigate for first time landlords and experienced landlords as well. As some of the other members have already mentioned, proper notice needs to be given to your tenants, certain bank accounts need to be maintained and certain rules of access need to be followed. I strongly encourage you to seek out a real estate attorney to assist you with keeping in compliance with the RTLO. Best of luck to you and congratulations again. 

Congrats man, that's a decent block. I like EGP as well, it's got potential (easy access to L, a beautiful park, nice architecture) and I hope it grows.

Also, a 6 BDR/4 BA unit is nuts! Is that one leased up? May be hard to find a tenant for that big of a unit.

Some tips I would have is to screen new tenants properly, start forming a team and networking with not only real estate professionals (attorneys, accountants, brokers, handymen), but also local residents by attending the community meetings. There's some good people there looking to better their neighborhood. Here's a link to their website:

Ping me if you have any questions, being a landlord is love-hate relationship sometimes!