This is a really great year-end list of articles from a resource called Landlordology. It’s a nice starting point for current and future landlords and property managers. PLEASE remember that rental laws are local (Chicago is more specific than most places and Landlordology is based on the West Coast, I believe). Each area has its own requirements but articles like these are very helpful in at least helping you to form your questions before next seeking out the answers.
--I liked this article because standard leases usually default to expecting departing tenants to give a 30-day notice. I’m sure you can agree that having a 60 day window to find a new tenant would make your life a lot easier. But you must take the extra step to specify. The flip side of that is that I would also give a tenant a 60-day notice if I was choosing not to renew their lease (for reasons other than non-payment or some other urgent reason).
--I don’t know anything about what this article is talking about. This might be a West Coast thing. Who the heck has the luxury of charging tenants to keep their own property up to standards? My practices are pretty straightforward. If a tenant reports a problem, we check it first. If it’s obvious that they caused damage, we fix it and we charge them. If it’s regular maintenance, I pay for it and there’s no service charge to the tenant. I never want to get into a situation where a tenant hesitates to report problems to me because they want to avoid a service charge. Today’s small leak is tomorrow’s moldy drywall, rotted wood and much bigger problem.
--Sounds cool. I have no objections. Carry on.
--The only thing I would add is that thieves often target a place and make more than one visit. So after a break-in, don’t let your guard down. In this case lightning can strike twice in the same place. Re-double your efforts to make your place secure and be extra-, hyper-vigilant until the thief who might be looking for a second opportunity loses interest and moves on to somewhere else.
Oh this is a fun one. The article says, “Unfortunately, the law favors squatters by treating them as tenants even though this is unfair to owners. It places the hardship on legal owners instead of on wrongful squatters.” Says a lot. We’ll talk more about this topic in the new year.
Some decent advice. Meh.
--My favorite of the twelve articles. I’m not at this level yet but it gives me some great, measureable goals.
--Yes, this means paying someone who already owes you money to get out of your place. As much as this practice makes my skin crawl, I agree that sometimes it’s a landlord’s most sensible business option.
--Detailed and technical. Thoroughly covers the topic.
--Eeeeck! Eeee-uuuuu! Could we not talk about this one right now? (More on this in the new year.)
--Applies to fairly specific situations but still good stuff.
--The best advice here is letting the prospective tenant know UP FRONT about automatic rent increases and to INTIMATELY (and I do mean in the biblical sense) know the market rates for your area. Make knowledge of your market rates like a lifetime soulmate and never let your relationship grow cold.
Wishing you and yours a safe and productive New Year! Bring on 2016. Cheers!
--The Urban Landlady
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