Please Help Just Starting Out

8 Replies

Ok so My father is a owner of a few properties, And he has made me the landlord of them. He has thrown me into a GIANT MESS! I have no clue what to do. He moved these tenants in with no lease or anything, He is leaving everything up to me, He doesn't even know the first and last names of the people he moved in. I am so beyond stressed. I have been doing this for maybe a year now? People are paying their rent so late, I have a guy living in a house who hasn't paid rent in over 5 to 6 months, (He is a family friend so my father is having a tough time putting him out) We have another guy who is a very shady character who my father moved in who is behind on rent. And i am just so lost and am looking for help how to organize this giant mess, Do i need to give out receipts? How do i fix this mess my father has thrown me in. These guys are use to this pay when you get it type of deal my father has thrown me in. Please any advice on what i should do? I am 23 years old and have NO! idea with what i am doing.

Why has your father not used a property manager??

Do these properties have mortgages on them or are they paid off??

Are these single family houses or apartment buildings 2,3,4, 5+ units??

If your father owns the property is he paying you to run it?? If your father wants to collect rent late as the owner or not at all it is his property to decide that.

If your dad isn't paying you to do all of this work and you do not own the properties then I don't know why you are doing this for him. There has to be missing info here not being said.

If this is a situation where your dad needs your help, then you'll have to have a talk with him about backing you up when you give these guys notice to pay or move and then he needs to agree to let you find decently screened tenants and run it like a real business. If your dad is simply setting you up to fail, telling you he's offering you this wonderful opportunity to landlord for him but not giving you any power to actually change anything and then trying to tell you that you are failing because you don't know what you are doing, then it's probably best if you move on and find something else rather than drive yourself crazy. At least you are getting a very good lesson in how not to run things. It sounds like your dad created a situation that a seasoned professional would find daunting, so don't feel bad if you are overwhelmed.

Hi Daryl! Oh my what a mess for a 23 year old to deal with! Here is some advice on how to reduce the stress a bit.

Start this way just so you can look at big picture and break down steps to not have it be so overwhelming:

Write down each property address on a piece of paper. Leave space for notes.

Make notes on each property. Who lives there. Are there any problems with that property. What is the rent for each property. This will help you make a plan.

Making a plan is important to being organized and reducing your stress. Make priorities for each property. For example non rent paying guy is probably priority one. Since he is a family friend try first to have a sit down face to face serious talk. Tell him this is your dads source of income and you need to have a rent paying tenant in there. offer to find him a room for rent in the local area if you have to. If he doesn't cooperate then you will have to evict him. Even if you have no lease in place you can still use standard eviction procedures for your area. If he never paid ANY rent, never paid ANY utilities he is a trespasser and it is easy to get rid of him. But even if he paid one dime in the past you have to treat like regular tenant.

You can do this!!!! Take a deep breath. Realize that there are some things that need to be ironed out but it will not always be this stressful. You can get it organized.

I'm with @Lynn M. here. The place to start is with dad. Get square on his expectations for you running the property. Hopefully, he can turn them loose to you and you run them the way they need to be ran. @Emily Dixon gives some advice. There is a LOT more advice on rentals here. Thousands of posts have been written here about managing your rentals. But its all for nought if dad is going to be in there stirring the pot then letting you clean it up.

After that, there are really three rules:

1) Pay the rent. On time. Every month. No exceptions. No sob stories. Pay or quit.
2) Don't wreck the place.
3) Don't bother the neighbors, city, county, state or feds.

"If he never paid ANY rent, never paid ANY utilities he is a trespasser and it is easy to get rid of him."

Sorry, but that's not true. He's living there. He's a tenant. You call the cops and say he's trespassing and they will laugh at you.

Figure out the law in your area (i.e., speak with a lawyer.) Terminate their existing lease with proper notice. Offer them the chance to get on a new lease. If they don't want that, they leave. Month to month, IMHO, because then you can terminate at will. Longer leases are much more binding on you as a landlord than on the tenant. Then enforce the lease.

But it all comes down to dad. If you try to evict a tenant and he overrules you then there's not much you can do. Either back away and tell him to find another way to manage his properties or convince him to let you run them correctly.

If you let a friend stay at your house and they have not paid a dime to you for rent or utilities they are indeed trespassers if you want them to go and they refuse to go. Only if they have NOT PAID you anything and are just friends your dad let stay there.

After re reading the post it says friend of dad who is behind on rent. So it implies the friend has paid rent in the past and my point is moot anyway.

BUT friends are not tenants. If you have a guest in your home that has never paid you anything you do NOT have to evict them and the COPS will not laugh at you... ASK A Police officer. I just did.

I have been there. You need to play manager and make someone else the bad guy. Go get lease agreements to have the tenants sign and tell them the A hole landlord needs them to sign or start paying. then tell them you will go to bat to work out a payment plan, but they gotta work with you. I would be happy to help ya if ya need lease agreements or anything.
Good luck!

@Emily Dixon this isn't a friend. This is a person who's clearly LIVING there. Or, at least I assume, from @Account Closed 's description. So, they would have their possessions in the house. Even squatters sometimes have to be evicted, if they push back.

I'm 23 years old as well, and probably 6 months ago I was put in charge of several properties, both multi-unit (16-20 units) and doubles. You do need to clarify your role in the organization, as others have suggested, and a great way to do that is to sit down and have have conversations with your father as these issues come up. If you have questions with how to approach a situation with a tenant, ask for his input. Always ask questions, and use those answers to guide you if a similar situation comes up. Even when asking questions, you'll make mistakes, trust me. Be completely open and honest with your father. Always check your emotional baggage at the door.

You will likely be advising your father in more ways than one. Remember to always advise and recommend. If you think you have a good idea to make your father's business more effective, get your ducks in a row and do some research. Learn from the pros. See how they do it.

Record keeping, when first starting out, is best done in the form of old school paper receipts (carbon copy of course, use three copy) and excel spreadsheets. I just started using Quickbooks to manage these properties but it does require a deep understanding of all financial aspects of the business to be most effective. There are plenty of books to help you start properly using QB specifically for landlording.

If your dad's properties are in low income areas (primarily what I deal with), remember that managing properties in areas like that are a different animal. It requires calculated decision-making on your part, and you'll learn to hone your skills in this area as time goes on. As I said before, you'll make mistakes. Just learn from them and move on.

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