Looking for Rental Property Owners

21 Replies

My toughest challenge currently, is being out of state when multiple units go vacant.  

The key to self managing is prioritizing:

1st)  Screen your tenants - If a tenant does not have at least 3X rent as income they will not be able to stay current.  

2nd)  Have a strong lease, and make sure you live by that lease.  If you let the tenants slide on smoking, or pets it will come back and bite you.  (it is very rare that I forgive a late fee)

3rd)  Keep your properties maintained,  if something needs to be fixed try to get to it quickly.  A drip under the sink may not seem like much, but if the bottom of a cabinet and floor rots out you will have a huge expense.  

4th)  Keep a reserve of cash.  

You can IM, follow or connect if you like.  

Good Luck

Hi

My biggest problem is having units go vacant over the Holidays! Trying to rent or list properties over Thanksgiving- Christmas weeks is much harder. Not impossible just harder!

Screen tenants really well and do frequent maintenance visits or arrange for your maintenance visits to be with a trusted handiman to survey ongoing condition of the home.

I had a tenant who was always busy or not available to allow for maintenance visits and guess what! When they left the house cost $8000 to repair.

I lucked out since the market was up I pivoted deciding to sell and after remodeling. Sold the home for a 60,000 Profit and had $98000 to 1031 exchange into 3 other rental properties!

@Josephine R Mukoroyi I personally think a lot of it will depend on what type of house you are planning to purchase and what type of tenant you are expecting to get. I see you are in the Cincinnati area. I am about 2.5 hours SE of you. 

I think we are lucky in our area as we can locally invest for appreciation or cash flow. I don't have the money to invest in the few areas that are appreciating at a decent rate. With that in mind, I decided to focus on cheap houses in decent neighborhoods and rent to middle class families. 

My biggest challenge is having a reliable handy man who can immediately get to repairs if I can't. I don't have a lot of repairs to worry about, but this is what I stress about the most. If something goes wrong I want it fixed immediately. For the house and the tenant. I don't want to be a bum land lord to my tenants. 

Originally posted by @Josephine R Mukoroyi :

Hello,

I am looking for real-estate landlords who are self-managing their properties.  What has been your greatest challenge in managing your rental properties. 

Thanks.

 I self manage a 5 unit and 4 unit building.  I would say my greatest challenge so far has been the work/life balance when it comes to rental properties.  Fortunately I have great people around me that understand I am a real estate investor and also work a full-time job.  When I am renovating a unit I am in there every night after work until that unit is done.  This can be hard at times because you might miss out on fun activities that your friends are doing, but I look at it this way... I'll work extremely hard now on renovating units so I am receiving top dollar for rent which in turn makes the building more successful.  Do that with enough properties, then one day you'll be the one with the free time when every one else is at work.  Hope that makes sense.  Best of luck in your investing.    

First world problems. I can go months without having a single issue with properties or tenants. Than when I am planning a vacation all hail breaks loose, tenants are moving in and out, stuff is breaking, hair is clogging drains, don't hate on me ladies, but starting to appreciate bald headed women! Not really, but have not figured out a way yet to make cleaning bathtub drains fun? I take late payments in stride, never had to evict, never dealt with more than a couple of grand in damage from any one tenant. Getting units cleaned up, repaired and rented to the first tenant after purchase, usually is the biggest amount of time required during ownership. 

@Josephine R Mukoroyi

The technical part to rentals is covered in detail by many before you and I. The part that is greatest challenge is the mental and emotional drain on a person whether financial or up late at night worrying or stress. 

The two biggest hurdles to this, as least for me, is one, the rental is not your home, so don't take it personal. Everything can be replaced. And two, need to at least on paper reach the return on equity that makes you safe. For example, if you put down $50k, and finance the property. For me, need to reach 100k equity in either principal reduction through mortgage payments, appreciation, and rental cash flow.

Terry

My biggest challenge is tenants who don’t respect the term of the lease. Also tenants who think everything is my problem even when it’s really theirs, but my places are on the “high-end” of the rent spectrum so it comes with the territory I️ guess.

They are also generally new “home-livers” and new to appliances, HVAC etc. so not great with changing filters etc, and call me for things that any normal homeowner could manage themselves.

And people don’t clean well when they leave :(

Originally posted by Account Closed:

First world problems. I can go months without having a single issue with properties or tenants. Than when I am planning a vacation all hail breaks loose, tenants are moving in and out, stuff is breaking, hair is clogging drains, don't hate on me ladies, but starting to appreciate bald headed women! Not really, but have not figured out a way yet to make cleaning bathtub drains fun? I take late payments in stride, never had to evict, never dealt with more than a couple of grand in damage from any one tenant. Getting units cleaned up, repaired and rented to the first tenant after purchase, usually is the biggest amount of time required during ownership. 

 Install hair catchers in bathtub drains and make that a responsibility of the tenant.  

Craig, I do provide strainers, one tenant didn't realize the the strainer was in the drain, and called me. Another took the strainer out of the bath tube. As far as making tenants responsible for drains, suspect that could lead to more problems, I had several dump nasty chemicals in drains in the past, that can cause all kinds of problems.           

@Account Closed I had the same issues on the hair clogging drains. Now part of my checklist for getting units ready is installing one of those screen drain catches specifically for hair in every bathtub. I also have an addendum for every lease on ‘repairs you can be responsible for as a tenant’ which includes things like flushing sanitary products or those “supposedly flushable, but really drain clogging” wet wipes, not using the drain catch and resulting in hair down the drain, pouring coffee grounds down the drain (the garbage disposal is not a trash can) and any other issue I ever run into gets added to the addendum for the next tenant. I keep a running list lol.

I let the tenant know that they can be responsible since they’ve been warned and they sign the addendum acknowledging. I haven’t had a hair drain clog (related to tenant mis-use) since I started doing this.

Account Closed I am tough lol. I had one issue one time on some coffee grounds in the plumbing but this was with 100 year old pipes, I'm sure most of the time its not a problem - but Id rather steer on the safe side and be extra cautious - or at least instill in the tenants to be extra cautious.

Originally posted by @Heidi Wilson :

My biggest challenge is tenants who don’t respect the term of the lease. Also tenants who think everything is my problem even when it’s really theirs, but my places are on the “high-end” of the rent spectrum so it comes with the territory I️ guess.

They are also generally new “home-livers” and new to appliances, HVAC etc. so not great with changing filters etc, and call me for things that any normal homeowner could manage themselves.

And people don’t clean well when they leave :(

As far as the cleaning goes, I have a cleaning checklist I go over with the tenants at move in and we walk through the place going over each section (mopped floors, cleaned out cabinets, wiped down baseboards etc..) the tenant initials each section and ultimately signs off on the cleanliness the unit was delivered to them. This gets scanned and saved to their file - when it comes to move out time, I schedule a preliminary walk through and go over the same signed checklist with regards to what is expected for move-out (returning the unit in the same condition as it was delivered at move-in). They use the checklist as a guide when cleaning after move-out. I find this method leaves no room for misunderstanding and the units are always returned well cleaned - to my standards. Having clear communication and expectations is key here.

If you leave it up to chance, they wont clean to your expectations. Also I've found you cant count on tenants to change HVAC filters or really any normal home owner maintenance things - they are tenants, they don't think like homeowners. I keep my own checklist of maintenance items to complete between every lease, annually at a minimum, meaning if the tenants decide to renew for another year or holdover for month to month, the maintenance gets completed regardless. Things included are changing HVAC filters (semi-annually), pouring root killer down the drain, cleaning out rain gutters etc. (think normal home owner maintenance list)

Feel free to message or reach out I could always email you copies of the checklists I've created.

A big challenge in the  last couple of years have been tenants in different units not getting along and trying to throw each other under the bus. This happened consecutively with four different set of tenants! The other challenge is the entitled tenant-- they asked for extra things (Can you repaint the hallway walls, can you fix the front porch, blinds) and point out that they pay so much in rent, meanwhile they leave a mess with their trash in the backyard. Oh boy. Yes, the rent is paid on time but dealing with the snide remarks is the worst.

I did have to evict a tenant early on years back. Tenant screening via smartmove and calling previous landlords help with the financial stability side but I wish there was a good way to filter out the entitled tenants!

Some of my greatest challenges in self managing my properties (SFHs)
1) Having a good handyman.  I've gone through several over the years.

Some are far better than others. But none seem to really have the heart for the repair calls
A couple of the ones I used aren't even doing rehab any more. One is install satellite dishes.

2) Training new tenants that I don't come to look at the property nor do I answer the phone.
You leave a vmail, text or email me and I'll reply via text/email. 

3) Dealing with a couple of crazy villages that have so much red tape and 
so many ridiculous rules, its no wonder the average person was so fed up with govt that they voted for a bonehead like trump.

4) Collections. I hate floating loans to my tenants which is essentially what I'm doing when I allow them to pay me late. Its always the same people over and over again too. Thats the kicker. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you