To-do List for New Landlords in New Hampshire?

9 Replies

So I recently closed on a 3-br MF in Manchester, NH, and became a landlord. And oh boy, there's so much work to do. As a new landlord, I have a few questions. Hope you guys could help!

1. Lease Agreement 

I am still trying to set up a comprehensive lease agreement for all of my tenants at this point. The previous landlord literally had a one page lease agreement with existing tenants specifying only the rent amount and the least terms. I know that BP offers a boilerplate rental agreement for NH,  and I have read some positive feedback on the form. However, I am just wondering if anyone else has had experience with BP forms? If you don't use BP forms, what are some of the sources that you use to draft up your lease agreements?

2. Payment System

I prefer collecting my rent through an online system. I have read a lot of positive reviews on Cozy.co, and I am thinking of getting all of my tenants on this system. However, I would love your feedback on what system you use for rent collection as well, and why you prefer one over the other.

3. Waste Disposal

One of my tenants is moving out. I recently learned that bulky items won't be picked up by Manchester Public Works. Would you recommend charging tenants for this when they move out? 

4. Code Inspection

I believe that before I closed on the house, there was already a code inspector who came by. But is there anything that I would need to do to set up myself to be compliant with the city code/state regulations? 

5. Misc

Is there anything that a new landlord should be paying attention to, especially on the paperwork and legality side of things? 

Much appreciate it!

Also, one of my tenants reported that there are squirrels entering the building through one of the pipes, and it would stink up the place . Supposedly, it smells like squirrels when they do that. I don't even know what they smell like, so I am not sure what that even means. Has anyone had experience with this issue before? And if this is an issue, then what should I do? Thanks again!

Hello Hoang, 
I do not know much about rentals in the Manchester area. (I am in Northern NH Coos County above the Notch) However, I do not an excellent Property property management company in the Manchester area that will be able to help you find your way through the Landlord process. I know a few people who use them and are very satisfied. Also, I do know them as well and they are an outstanding company.  Message me and I can give you the details 

Best of Luck   

Denise

Hi @Denise Hoitt , thank you so much for your reply. I only have one property in my portfolio so far, so it probably doesn't make sense for me to utilize a property management company at this point. But that would definitely be something that I am interested in in the long run. 

@Hoang Bui

Congrats on your purchase. I think I can help with a few of the items you mentioned:

1. I can send you a pretty comprehensive lease agreement I use if you'd like. Send me an email and I'll get it over to you.

2. I've used Cozy in the past and had good experiences. I don't know where you're building is in Manchester, but depending on the area, you might find tenants who may have difficulty with an online payment system (don't have a computer, would rather send a check since they can't guarantee the money will be there when it auto transfers, etc.)

3. If tenants leave crap behind when they move out, deduct the cost of removing it from their deposit. If you don't have a deposit, you're likely SOL. You can try and chase them for money but that success rate is extremely low. 

4. Make sure you have a COC. Call city hall and be sure to transfer the existing one into your name (if there is one). If not, schedule that inspection ASAP.

5. Make sure you're following the lead paint disclosure laws. The most money you can take when a tenant moves in is first month's rent and a security deposit that doesn't exceed one months rent, so don't forget that one. Those are the big items in NH.

Hi, @Hoang Bui definitely important to make sure you have a dedicated team in place if you decide to set your sights on investing out of state. Since it sounds like you have a smaller portfolio for right now, there still are some options for small DIY landlords with 1 to 15 units, built with you in mind. There are some tools available to you where you can bring a certain level of automation to that rental management process (ie. automatically syndicating a single listing to 10+ major listing sites, thorough tenant screening with full background checks, digital lease creation, automated online rent collection, and maintenance tracking). Let me know if you have any other questions, as this could be a good route to go if you are interested in further building out that portfolio.

Hey @Hoang Bui - first off, congrats on your purchase!  I also have a lease agreement if you need/want another option.  I have a client who is using Cozy right now and has good feedback, but Axel makes very valid points with tenants not being able to utilize that system.  Also, make sure you are thoroughly screening new tenants.  Background/credit/reference checks are a must!